Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile Previous Previous Next Next
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Twelve: Slippage, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Twelve: Slippage, pt. 2
After Teddy breaks the Maze, he's suffering from some spell damage, as well as from the ankle he sprained during his run through the woods. Madam Pomfrey is able to fix the ankle quickly enough, but she's put Teddy in the hospital wing for a few days to sort out the rest. He's told her that he doesn't want Harry there. Not that this stops our Harry, of course. He does show up and sit there, not talking to Teddy, for quite a long time. Later, Teddy sees a stag at the foot of his bed and tells it to go away.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Teddy awoke to the smell of eggs, sausage, and hot chocolate, and blinked drowsily.

Uncle Harry was sitting by his bed, a plate hovering beside him. He didn't look especially friendly.

"I'm here for the week," he said. "I have classes to teach. Including yours." He pushed the plate over. "Have breakfast. Madam Pomfrey thinks you should eat, even if you don't feel like it."

Warily, Teddy took the plate.

Uncle Harry watched him eat for a few minutes, then said, "I don't know how to put an end to this. I'm not going to apologize, and I have the distinct impression that you're not, either."

Teddy pushed his fried eggs around, breaking the yolk so it would run over the sausages. He wondered about toast, but decided not to ask for any.

"Do you plan to say anything at all?" Uncle Harry waited, but Teddy didn't say anything. He sighed and shook his head. "I'm going to go to class. But Teddy, this isn't going away. And you're going to have to work a lot harder than this if you intend to get rid of me."

Teddy chanced a glance up. Uncle Harry looked tired and miserable, but also very angry. Teddy had only seen him angry once or twice, and never at him, at least not like this. He looked away and reminded himself that Uncle Harry had started this, Uncle Harry had made high-handed calls about what Teddy could and couldn't handle, had decided who got to live and die, had kept Teddy from seeing Mum and Dad when he knew it was possible, all because of some stupid story.

And you responded by accusing him of the deaths of fifty people he loved. Brilliant.

Teddy shut the voice out and ground his teeth. Maybe it had been overboard, but really, how good was Uncle Harry's judgment about anything? If he hadn't kept the Horcruxes a secret, he could have had half the Order looking for them, found them and destroyed them all before facing Voldemort, and then there wouldn't have been a battle just to cover up looking for one (which Aunt Ginny and Professor Longbottom and Luna could have found months before if they'd known to look--maybe Professor Longbottom could just have made the Room of Requirement produce it when he asked!), so even if it hadn't been his plan, exactly... well, he didn't really have a plan. And Mum and Dad had died, and Uncle Harry had moved into their spot. He'd got Mum's mother to look after him, and of course, he'd got Teddy himself to nearly worship him.

This freshened the anger, and Teddy made himself look back up, eyes narrowed.

Uncle Harry stood up. "Eat your breakfast, Teddy," he said. "I'll send your Defense homework with Atkinson and Burke. I expect it to be done."

He turned and left.

An hour later, Madam Pomfrey came in, leading Neil Overby, who had a pronounced limp. She put him down in the bed beside Teddy's, and ran off to her her Potions cupboard.

"Nearly gnawed my foot off last night," Neil offered in lieu of a greeting. He held up his right leg. The foot was bandaged heavily, and blood was seeping through. "I got it caught in a rotten log, and I guess I just decided to chew my way out instead of waiting to change back. I'm not very smart under the moon. Coral tried to fix it before I left, but her magic's never very good the morning after. Why are you here?"

Teddy didn't get a chance to make up an answer, as Madam Pomfrey came back, Conjured a curtain between them, and started to work on Neil's wound. Teddy Summoned his Astronomy homework. He was nearly finished with it when she emerged.

She shook her head as she started to examine Teddy. "I don't suppose you could tweak that Wolfsbane Potion so that realizing something is stupid is enough to stop him from doing it."

"I don't think I should start tweaking the Wolfsbane. I don't know how it works well enough, and half the ingredients are poisonous when they're not properly brewed."

"Mmm." She tipped his head back and shined her wand-light into his eyes. "Your responses are better this morning," she said. "Still not good, though. This isn't from brushing something, Mr. Lupin. Whatever you came into contact with, you were in contact for a good long time."

"Do I have to tell you?"

"I don't know. Do you?"

"Can you fix it?"

"Yes. You're on the mend already. But whatever foolishness you've been indulging in, please stop. And I quite frankly intend to give the same advice to your godfather."

"Like he'll listen."

"And you will?" She rolled her eyes. "Really, Mr. Lupin, I--" She stopped and frowned. "What's that?"

Teddy listened. He thought he could hear whispering voices, but he couldn't make out what they were saying, or where they were coming from. "I don't know."

The whispering stopped, and Madam Pomfrey gave her head a good shake. "This castle, honestly. I imagine it was just some of the ghosts in the wall. I shall have to talk to the Friar. He's usually good about setting rules for them in here. He knows my patients need rest."

With this, she went back to her examination, told Teddy to drink more hot chocolate and to keep the aethracandia closer to his bed, and left. After she was gone, Teddy moved aside the curtain and got Neil talking about the werewolf sanctuary to distract him from the itch of his healing wound. Everyone there was well. Teddy tried not to think of what he'd been able to see in Greyback's mind on Saturday night, but as Neil talked about Vivian and Celia's holiday in Paris ("All Celia wanted to talk about was some stupid Muggle museum!"), all he could think of was the monster crouched beyond Vivian's childhood garden, with his horrible appetites ready to be sated. He tried not to show this, and Neil didn't seem to notice.

Jane brought him his lunch later, and drew the curtain between the beds after she made a point of welcoming Neil back to Hogwarts. She seemed a good deal shyer than she had on Saturday, though this didn't stop her from giving Teddy a very satisfactory kiss--before telling him that she wasn't in any mood to be third or fourth in the line of girls he paid attention to, so if he didn't mind, she thought she'd look for a boyfriend somewhere else.

Teddy shrugged. "If that's what you want. I do like you."

She smiled. "I like you, too. Maybe we can try this some other time."

Teddy wasn't sure whether she was being sincere, or just being Slytherin and expecting him to protest and insist that he really wanted to go out with her, so she'd be sure--he didn't speak Slytherin as well as he spoke Hufflepuff, but he'd lived with Granny all his life and understood at least a little. But when he didn't protest and she didn't respond with bitterness, he supposed she was just being honest. Once that was over, they had a perfectly pleasant conversation about the Hufflepuff-Ravenclaw game that would happen next weekend. Teddy didn't care about Quidditch, but it was always good conversation fodder.

Neil was cleared after supper, and his scrawny little mates came in high spirits to pick him up and take him back to Slytherin. Teddy deduced from their conversation that they hadn't found a new route into the Chamber of Secrets, but they were quite happy to have discovered a collapsed tunnel under a statue, which they thought might lead out of the school, if they could just find a way to clear it out. Neil seemed keen to try several spells he'd read about for moving heavy objects, though Teddy privately doubted that a pack of first years could accomplish it, as no one else had been able to for years. If it was the tunnel Teddy thought it was, the Death Eaters had sealed it off pretty well during their tenure here.

Corky and Maurice came by with Teddy's homework, and no questions about what was going on with Uncle Harry, though it was clear that they knew something was, as he'd have brought the homework himself under normal circumstances. They did their Astronomy and Ancient Runes together, but curfew came before they could start the Defense homework. Teddy took it out, filled with dread that it would be an essay on why people really ought to listen to an Auror who had died and come back to life, but it was just a set of questions about recognizing Cursed objects, along with practice on the Shield Charm.

Madam Pomfrey gave him one more examination before she turned down the lights for the night and left him to sleep.

He settled into the pillows and looked around the otherwise empty ward. Moonlight fell softly on crisply-made beds, and patients and Healers in portraits went about their eternal nightly routine. In one, a small boy with steam coming out of his ears gratefully accepted a goblet of potion from a Healer in a bobcap. In another a Healer sat alone, looking out the window and sighing. Teddy had always wondered who she was and what she was sighing about. In a third...

Teddy stopped. This one was usually just a Healer examining a horn that had emerged from a teenage girl's ear, but now, another figure, draped in green robes, was sitting in the foreground, looking out at Teddy with one arch eyebrow raised.

"Grayfur?" Teddy asked.

Phineas Nigellus shook his head wearily. "As I've told you on at least one hundred occasions--"

"All right. Great-great-great-grandfather. Or is it four? Phineas. Did you need something?" A thought occurred to him. "Did Uncle Harry send you from home?"

"He most certainly did not. I am obliged to do the errands of the Headmaster or Headmistress, not of Mr. Potter, whatever he may think."

"Er... did the Headmistress want something?"

"No," Phineas said.

"Then why are you here?"

"I am also not obliged to answer impertinent questions from students."

He said nothing else, but was still in the portrait frame when Teddy finally went to sleep.
43 comments or Leave a comment
Page 1 of 2
[1] [2]
willowbough From: willowbough Date: June 3rd, 2008 04:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, the Silent Treatment! A teenage favorite--and certainly a contrast to Harry's own CAPSLOCKS OF RAGE. In fact, Harry might actually prefer the CAPSLOCKS because at least he'd recognize them.

Eerie suggestions of something having leaked out of the Maze, which I suspect may not be as easy to repair as Teddy hopes. Will he contact Maddie to let her know what happened? Or is he going to continue to keep his own counsel, with unfortunate results?

Glad that Jane seems to have a healthier perspective on Teddy's love life than perhaps Teddy himself does. No tears or outbursts like Laura or Lizzie.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2008 03:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Will he contact Maddie to let her know what happened? Or is he going to continue to keep his own counsel, with unfortunate results?

In a fifth year story, I think the answer to that is foreordained. ;P

Jane has a very clinical head on her shoulders, which probably makes her seem cold to everyone who isn't Teddy and doesn't generally find something attractive in most female beings.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
under_crisis From: under_crisis Date: June 3rd, 2008 04:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
wahahahahhaa grayfur phineas for the win!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2008 03:19 am (UTC) (Link)
I love Phineas with a deep and abiding love.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 3rd, 2008 04:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wonderful! I'm so glad Harry is standing up to Teddy! It seems to me that when Harry was mad at the adults in his life in 5th year, they pretty much deserved it. I'm curious about Phineas, but I think that's familial concern.

Good segment!

Lady Stratford
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2008 03:20 am (UTC) (Link)
I think we see only Harry's point of view in canon--he has right to be pissed, but I'm sure if we'd "grown up with" Dumbledore, we'd have understood his desire to shield Harry from all that powerful magic floating around, to keep Voldemort away at any cost, and so on.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 3rd, 2008 05:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have absolutely no time to read, but I thought it might interest you that I dreamed of this story a few nights ago! Probably caused by my recent trip to London (I've never before seen so many advertisements for musicals in one place!) I dreamed that after seeing Stomp in an underground station in VFienna, I was going to see a musical of Teddy Lupin and the Dedalus Maze!

~Hermione Stranger~
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2008 03:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Ha! Hopefully, it was better than the musical Teddy saw with Andromeda at the beginning of the story.
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: June 3rd, 2008 05:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh [I]Teddy.[/i] Silly, teenage Teddy. Neville could have just gotten the horcrux by WISHING it? Oh, silly boy, they TRIED that. And his other suggestions, are so completly and utterly teenagery "I understand this why don't they?" and OHHH I could hit you over the head!

Whispers= creepy. Dead= WAY too prominent in this land. Well, there's always ghosts, but these are like, different ghosts. .... But wouldn't Remus and Dora come to him in a dream and try to tell him to stop this all, or well, whatever?

Emo Teddy. I love you usually. But GAH.

(And the Jane comment made me laugh, a LOT. God. Boys.)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2008 03:25 am (UTC) (Link)
And his other suggestions, are so completly and utterly teenagery "I understand this why don't they?" and OHHH I could hit you over the head!

I have distinct memories of being a teenager and thinking everything in the world was so simple--why couldn't everyone just be reasonable and knock off the fighting? Any five year old could stop war and solve world hunger! I recall a quip I saw on a t-shirt once: "Hire a teenager, while he still knows everything." I grew up to work with them and be an advocate, so it doesn't bother me overmuch, though yes, in cases like this, you do just have a desire to say, "Oh, PLEASE."
wotcher_wombat From: wotcher_wombat Date: June 3rd, 2008 05:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
So... Madam Pomfrey can hear them too? Does that mean the maze effects (affects too?) the real world, not just Teddy's own perception of it?


*hanging on an eyelash for the next bit*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2008 03:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Hanging by eyelashes doesn't sound comfortable. ;p

And yes, that's why I made a point of letting Poppy hear it.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 3rd, 2008 06:35 pm (UTC) (Link)

Hat Trick!

Hi Fern! It has been MUCH too long since I commented on your fics, and the first time I have gotten a chance to comment on your lovely new story. You are maintaining your usual standards for high quality fiction, and entertaining us all with Teddy's latest adventures.

Do you realize that by the time the first anniversary of DH rolls around, you will have written three novels? I am deeply envious of your prolificness (word? probably not :) and your committment to your craft. I can only hope to try emulating your diligence.

Question about Brimman: So, did he start an epidemic of bubonic plague once he reached land? What disease did he have?

Sara Libby
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2008 03:39 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hat Trick!

Do you realize that by the time the first anniversary of DH rolls around, you will have written three novels?

Only if I sincerely turn on the gas with this one. That's only about fifty days! Yikes!

Brimmann had a wizarding disease (I think I named it Blistering Bloodspots, but I'd have to check), which is, erm, not entirely unlike bubonic plague, and even more like pneumonic plague, but isn't really either. Since the reason Teddy's researching him is that his case remained open and he died at large, I'd guess he never made landfall, but we'll find out one way or the other. :)
From: kobegrace Date: June 3rd, 2008 07:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
"[H]e didn't speak Slytherin as well as he spoke Hufflepuff, but he'd lived with Granny all his life and understood at least a little..." -- That's brilliant, Fern!

And Phineas N's appearance is cool, too. Is it merely a cameo, or will he play a larger role in the next chapterlet?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2008 03:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Not in the next chapterlet, but I think I can safely promise that we'll see more of old Grayfur.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: June 3rd, 2008 07:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
How did Phineas Nigellus get into the photo? Anything to do with the crack in the maze?
allie_meril From: allie_meril Date: June 3rd, 2008 08:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think he traveled through the portraits, from the Headmistress's office. Normal portrait movement. :)
allie_meril From: allie_meril Date: June 3rd, 2008 09:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm still frustrated with Teddy, but I know that it will come out all right: there will be long talks with Harry, and eventually Teddy will see reason.

Ooo, eerie whispers. Maze damage? But why can Madam Pomfrey hear them?

The Jane breakup! I like her, she seems like a sensible girl.

...Uncle Harry had made high-handed calls about what Teddy could and couldn't handle, had decided who got to live and die, had kept Teddy from seeing Mum and Dad when he knew it was possible, all because of some stupid story.

*sigh* Silly boy. Silly, foolish, misguided boy. And Teddy formulating alternative plans to finding the Horcruxes? Oh, teenagers think they can solve everything!

This story is so great, Fern; probably my favorite Teddy story so far. With every new installment, I'm enjoying it more and more. The Teddy-Harry relationship is superb and my favorite part, with *such* huge emotional weight now that Serious Issues have arisen between them.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2008 03:45 am (UTC) (Link)
And Teddy formulating alternative plans to finding the Horcruxes? Oh, teenagers think they can solve everything!

It's especially easy to solve in hindsight. I mean, really. Harry should have known that Dumbledore might have been wrong, that a Horcrux was in Bella's vault for Bill to get, that another was at Hogwarts, and that Nagini could have been easily poisoned with a particularly tempting rat. I mean, really, if he'd just gone to the trouble of re-recruiting Peter for one last little job...

hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: June 3rd, 2008 10:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Agh, whispers! Fern, this story is definitely exposing your love of King....
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2008 03:45 am (UTC) (Link)
I am slowly and luxuriously re-reading Needful Things while I write. :)
malinbe From: malinbe Date: June 3rd, 2008 10:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
I loved Phineas taking care of him at the end, and the bit where Teddy reflects on not speaking Slytherin as well as Hufflepuff just made me laugh hysterically.

You wanna hear something funny? I got very sick last night, and apparently, in my delirious-induced dreams, I started asking for "aethracandia to clear my head". Teddy-verse is interfiering my fever dreams. My poor mother, who knows as much of Harry Potter as I know about nuclear physics, was ever so confused.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2008 03:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Hope you're feeling better!

Teddy has a much better grasp of other Houses than Harry had, but that may just make him more suspicious of Slytherin motives. ;p
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: June 3rd, 2008 10:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Good post, Fern. Harry does have to stand his ground on this and Teddy will eventually learn.

Though about keeping the Horcruxes secret, this confused me for a while in the books but I think the answer is this. It wasn't a matter of Harry or Dumbledore not trusting McGonagall, Remus, the Weasleys, (although Dumbledore was a little fanatical with secrets) it was about keeping knowledge of the Horcuxes as limited as possible. The more people who know, no matter how trustworthy, the more likely it is for the information to eventually slip out. It took Voldemort minutes to go after the Horcruxes when he realized that Harry knew about them.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2008 03:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Yup, I think that was Dumbledore's thinking. Especially if Hagrid were involved. ;p But having Harry randomly looking for things might not raise alarms. If attempts were made at the vault, at Hogwarts, and maybe at the cave, especially if someone made a grab for Nagini on top of it, he'd almost certainly realize the plan. (On the other hand, if the attempts were all subtle and made by people who didn't have to fly dragons out of the Gringotts vaults, they really could have finished up by Christmas!)
inkykate From: inkykate Date: June 4th, 2008 01:57 am (UTC) (Link)
I've always wondered... would it have made a difference if Harry had told? Would they have come across the Horocruxes earlier? Or would they have the run the risk of Lord Voldemort discovering the plot well before they were ready to deal with him? (I've also always wondered what Snape would have made of it, and always suspected that he was able to put it together from the bits and pieces he'd gotten.)

Anyway - its canon, so it's a bit mute to wonder. (And it wouldn't have made for a very good, Harry-centric story if it had gone the other way and gone well.)

Other than rambling, and sending questions into the virtual void... I liked the way your Uncle Harry is handling this. There was a small part of me that worried that whatever other emotional growth Harry had he would react... well, as he would have in OotP. Which is actually rather silly, now that I think about it, as he'd moved past that stage well before the schism of 'Nineteen Years Later' and certainly hasn't behaved as an emotionally stunted teenager in any of your Teddy fics.

And now that this, at least, is over, I'm quite happily waiting for each update.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2008 03:52 am (UTC) (Link)
(And it wouldn't have made for a very good, Harry-centric story if it had gone the other way and gone well.)

Which of course was the real reason. If it had been a multi-POV series, then the book could have been a series of Horcrux-smashings by different characters.

Harry has definitely grown up, but he's also terrified of losing Teddy completely if he blows his top--Teddy's more confident than he is sometimes.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 4th, 2008 04:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Also, although Rowling never said, there would have been a certain logic if Harry had somehow been drawn to the Horcruxes. As things worked out, I'm not entirely sure that he wasn't. After all, he'd encountered the locket and the tiara before he'd even started looking for them.

But, getting back to Teddy . . . .

So, is the maze somehow linked to something very like ghosts? Or to the other side of the veil? Echoes from the past that are something more than just echoes?

I remember a Lois Duncan book, Down a Dark Hall, where girls who are picked to go to an elite boarding school slowly find out they were all picked because they have latent sensitivity to the dead. The school is a very haunted building that draws the dead to them. At first, some of them think it's a great gift. The start channelling past geniuses with talents similiar to their own. The gifted math student is writing out genius theorems, the artist is channelling dead painters, etc.

Then, they begin to realize that, the more it happens, the less control they have about who they channel, and more and more dark spirits are being drawn to the school. They also discover their predecessors are split up among the dead and the hopelessly insane.

So, Teddy may be sensitive and may be used to talking to his dead parents. But, whatever the safeguards that normally limit who can get to Teddy from the hereafter, the maze breaks them down. Or does something pretty similiar in the kind of echoes it lets through.

And Teddy has made prolonged, possibly life threatening contact with one of the worst echoes in there.

He's also had thoughts spilling into his head not just from Greyback (who, let's face it, he was connected to) but to a pirate who died centuries before he was born.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2008 05:19 am (UTC) (Link)
:puts Duncan book on reading list:

I'm discovering the Maze as I'm writing. I knew it would do this, but I'm not sure why yet.

And I agree--Teddy's gotten complacent about some weird connections in his life. That's why Harry is having a hard time convincing him that there's anything dangerous about being close to Death. As far as Teddy's concerned, he's always been close to the dead, and they've never hurt him, so what's the problem with crossing the line a few times if it means being able to hug his mother, or hear his father's voice?
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
43 comments or Leave a comment
Page 1 of 2
[1] [2]