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Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Thirteen: Little Things, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Thirteen: Little Things, pt. 2
Teddy's been released from the hospital wing and makes what he considers a great conciliatory effort of apologizing to Harry for speaking badly about the battle. He's disappointed that Harry doesn't reciprocate by apologizing for not discussing the Resurrection Stone with him years ago (and naturally, using it to bring his parents back). After this, he sees his friends--Donzo challenges him to a race on figuring out the Animagus transformation, and Corky is lurking in corridors to make sure Teddy's not walking alone--then goes to Defense Against the Dark Arts, where he discovers that Harry has invited a guest speaker: Draco Malfoy. When a distracted Maurice notes that he has the Dark Mark, Draco offers him a choice between sitting still and listening, and getting a demonstration of dark magic.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




Maurice blanched and sat back, quiet, his hands folded on his desk.

"I invited you here to talk to my students," Uncle Harry said, "not threaten them."

"These are your Slytherins," Malfoy said. "They know what I'm doing."

Maurice continued to look down at the wood grain on his desk, but said, quite clearly, "Slytherin solves its own problems now." Slowly, he looked up and met Malfoy's eyes. "We don't let things get out of control anymore."

Malfoy leaned over him. "Really? And how, precisely, do you do that?"

"However I need to."

"Interesting. Good story, wouldn't you say, Higgs?"

Honoria said nothing, though Teddy saw a flash of green as she put away one of her recording quills.

Malfoy looked around, then craned his neck to see Uncle Harry's class list. "Ah, Lynch," he said, heading for Brendan. "Pity your dad squandered the family reputation on his Quidditch skills. You could have been someone now. Of course, a lot of that was Krum's fault."

"Krum's a lousy cheat," Brendan muttered.

"True. And he's done it to your dad what, three times now?"

"Four."

"Four. It's starting to get personal, wouldn't you say?" Malfoy didn't wait for an answer. He rounded on Jane. "And you? A Mudblood in Slytherin!"

"Malfoy!" Uncle Harry barked. "You will not use that word in my class. I don't care what you're here to talk about."

Malfoy adopted an exaggeratedly apologetic attitude. "So sorry. Muggle-born. I'm sure she's heard the other word before, though. Haven't you? Probably makes you angry."

Jane narrowed her eyes and crossed her arms protectively over her chest. "That's a bit outdated, Mr. Malfoy."

"Is it? My mistake, of course." He moved over to Corky. "And look at this--you're really a Gamp, aren't you? She went over and married an Arkerson or--"

"Atkinson," Corky corrected.

"Atkinson, of course," Malfoy said dismissively. "Still, Gamp's a goodish name. Which brings us to Teddy Lupin."

Teddy saw Uncle Harry shift uncomfortably, but he didn't stop things.

"A Gryffindor among Slytherins. Son of a war heroes. A Black to boot, and a Metamorphmagus. If I were recruiting, I think I'd try for Teddy Lupin first."

Teddy's stomach clenched. "Sure you would. Son of a werewolf and a half-blood?"

"Oh, but as Miss Hunter so rightly put it, that's all very outdated. And we are blood, after all."

"I don't care."

This seemed to be the exact answer Malfoy wanted. He smirked. "Yes, I had an aunt--we both did, actually--who liked to deny her family. She came to a bad end. Though not until she'd brought a bad end to--"

Teddy was on his feet before Malfoy finished speaking. He felt Corky grab him from behind and yank him backward as Malfoy was pushed magically away from him. Uncle Harry's wand was out.

"Malfoy, if you ever pull that again--"

Malfoy dusted himself off, unconcerned. "You wanted me to scare them, Potter. A little demonstration. It's not my fault that your godson is the easiest mark."

"I don't do Dark magic," Teddy said.

"And you don't need to," Malfoy said. "You're easy to provoke." He looked away from Teddy. "Don't imagine that I can't see the rest of you thinking that you wouldn't be nearly as easy. Lynch fell into the same trap as Lupin. Hunter does the opposite. She shuts herself down. Atkinson... well, I don't know. I expect he's too confident in his own righteousness, but I'll admit, he's the only one I haven't got the measure of yet. Are you sure you're a Slytherin?" The others laughed nervously, and Malfoy warmed to them. "Higgs at least has the decency to know she's ravenously ambitious. And of course, Mr. Burke here is so devoted to the case against Dark Slytherins that he's willing to address the problem--how did he put it?--however he needs to." He Summoned a chair and sat down close to the front row of seats. "There's nothing wrong with any of this. A bit of healthy ambition will get Miss Higgs a good career, and Miss Hunter will be able to keep a cool head when things go down around her. Lynch has something driving him, and Burke... well, a Burke with his eye on things can't be a bad thing, though in the presence of an Auror, I'll duly advise against vigilantism. As to Lupin, he'd hardly be human if he didn't jump on me for that particular comment. Nothing wrong with losing your temper over an outrage."

"So what's your point?" Corky asked. He was still standing and hadn't let go of Teddy's shoulders, and he was exerting a good deal of pressure.

"My point, Atkinson, is that every one of of you has a door in your mind, and it leads to some empty place inside of you, and it's not that difficult to pick the lock. Don't expect the next Dark wizard to try to use the same key as the last one. If I'd chosen Mr. Burke's mission in life, I wouldn't be listening for someone complaining about werewolves and Mu--ggleborns. They'll have the whole Ministry on them anyway. I'd watch for something new."

"Like what?"

"Hard to say."

"And convenient for you," Corky said. "Telling us to ignore everything you did wrong and go looking for something else."

"I didn't tell you to ignore it. I said not to bother looking for it. There's a difference." He shook his head. "Sit down, Atkinson, I think Mr. Lupin's tantrum is over."

Warily, Corky let go of Teddy's shoulders. Teddy glared at Malfoy. He'd spent a year studying Occlumency with the woman who'd killed Teddy's mother. He'd sheltered her.

Malfoy glanced at Uncle Harry, who still had his wand out, and didn't look inclined to put it away. Teddy couldn't imagine hating anyone in his year as much as they seemed to hate each other.

"What was your door?" Jane asked. Teddy thought she was making an effort to make her voice seem warmer.

Malfoy pursed his lips, then leaned forward. His blond hair fell like a curtain over his eyes, and he was quiet for a long time before he looked up. "The easy answer would be my family. Certainly that was what kept me in. It's not an entirely true answer, but it's partially true, at least. To deny the Dark Lord was to deny my father, which I wouldn't do then and don't do now. But that was at the end, when I'd have rather left. Before that...?" He shrugged. "There was pride involved, and there was a glamor to it. We were going to ignore the stuffy, hide-bound Ministry and all of its petty little rules. We were above it all. The famous Harry Potter was nothing special--we were. I was."

Jane pressed on. "Did you think of yourself as evil?"

"It occurred to me that the world at large might say such a thing," Malfoy admitted. "But I decided that just meant the world at large was easily duped by idiotic rules set by stuffy old women. What they called 'evil' was just innovative and daring, outside the bounds of their imaginations."

A cold thought crept into Teddy's mind, a suspicion that crowded out the lecture. What they called evil... innovative and daring... Uncle Harry hadn't brought in this monster to lecture fifth years. He'd brought him to reinforce the idea that stepping outside the bounds of normal magic was evil, no matter how you justified it.

He was here to talk about the Resurrection Stone, even though he'd probably never heard of it or been apprised of the real subject of his little talk.

Teddy's eyes snapped up to Uncle Harry, who was watching Malfoy's lecture with distaste, though the Slytherins, at least, seemed to be getting a great deal from it. He wasn't looking at Teddy, but was he thinking of their conversation? Was he wondering, "Does Teddy understand now?"

Teddy felt his face flush at the thought of Uncle Harry manipulating him as easily as this Death Eater had, and, even worse, at the thought that Uncle Harry seemed to believe him in need of instructions on how to avoid being a Dark wizard. He barely listened to Malfoy's pro forma advice about looking carefully at anything he ran across--this was first year Defense Against the Dark Arts stuff--and didn't speak again in class.

When the bell rang, Honoria rushed up to the front of the class and started to pester Malfoy for an interview for the Charmer. Teddy gathered his things to leave.

"Lupin!"

He stopped and turned. Malfoy had freed himself of Honoria (Teddy was willing to bet it had taken an agreement to meet later for questioning) and was beckoning with one hand. Uncle Harry stopped arranging papers and moved closer, looking suspicious. Malfoy ignored him.

Teddy thought about just turning his back, but didn't. He went back to the desk.

"We are blood," Malfoy said again.

"So what?"

"So, I'm sorry. About what I did. It was just a--"

"It's all right," Teddy said, looking at Uncle Harry. "I know what you were invited to do."

Uncle Harry shook his head. "Teddy, the world doesn't revolve around you."

"I guess we can't all be Harry Potter." Teddy turned and left. He wasn't surprised to hear someone following him, or feel a hand on his shoulder, but he hadn't entirely expected to find Draco Malfoy following him when he turned around. He pulled away.

Malfoy grimaced. "I offered to babysit you when you were little," he said. "A little atonement. And something of a pathetic payback, but I suppose you don't need to know that. Your granny turned me down. I guess I understand."

Teddy didn't know what Malfoy expected him to say. He said nothing.

"I kept an eye on you, anyway. Read things about you in the Daily Prophet, and even Higgs's little school paper--I have a subscription. There's not much of the family left. Nothing I read mentioned what a little snot you are."

"Is that why you followed me out here? To insult me?"

"No. I just thought you might like to know that I've talked to the O.W.L. classes every year for the last seven years."

"No one's ever mentioned it."

"I prefer people not to gossip, so I hex the door. You'll find it difficult to discuss as well, and I'm afraid Higgs will find it even more difficult to write about. But whatever secret message you think I was here to impart to your ears only, think again. If you're hearing secret messages in what I said, then you need to do some serious thinking about whatever you're up to, because you've got the guilts about it. I didn't put them there." He pulled his hood up. "That's my good deed for the year. I suggest you get your head in order, Lupin."

He walked away. Students in the corridor moved around him in arcs without seeming to see him, and Teddy wondered if he'd hexed the cloak as well.

He turned back toward the classroom. Uncle Harry was standing in the doorway, looking cross. Teddy took a step toward him, but he turned around and shut the door.
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Comments
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summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: June 10th, 2008 08:21 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't... LIKE Malfoy. I just don't. I have to say, the comment about Bella and her killing Tonks did me go OH, NO YOU DIDN'T-

Teddy= needs to get his head out of his ass. MAJORILY. *sighs*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 10th, 2008 03:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, well... Fifteen and righteously angry. I believe "Place head firmly in ass" is step one on the instructions. ;p
rotae From: rotae Date: June 10th, 2008 08:26 am (UTC) (Link)
OMFG. DUDE. I- AGH. I TOTALLY LOVE YOU RIGHT NOW. SO HARD. OMFG. <3 :D

Malfoy grimaced. "I offered to babysit you when you were little," he said. "A little atonement. And something of a pathetic payback, but I suppose you don't need to know that. Your granny turned me down. I guess I understand."

a;lsdkf;af;aksdf;ljd;ads;fja;sdlkfja;lsdkjflkj *FLAIL* XDDDDDD

"Nothing I read mentioned what a little snot you are." LOLOLOLOLOL *uses THE MOST APPROPRIATE ICON EVER* XDDDDDD

Srsly. I totally love you <3 :D BRILLIANT!!

Peace,
Rotae
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 10th, 2008 03:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hee. I thought of having Draco start to make the pot/kettle comment, then say, "On the other hand, between us, that's a bad pun, isn't it?"
alkari From: alkari Date: June 10th, 2008 08:35 am (UTC) (Link)
"I guess we can't all be Harry POtter."

Why is it that I have the overwhelming urge to plant a very large boot in Teddy's rear end?! Several times, LOL. "Get your head in order" was probably one of the politest things Malfoy could say, and no wonder Harry turned away and shut the door.



fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 10th, 2008 03:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Why is it that I have the overwhelming urge to plant a very large boot in Teddy's rear end?!

Because it's very tempting. :)

I think Harry's about to lose his own temper, and would prefer not to say something irrevocable just now, though I'll bet Neville's about to get an earful.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 10th, 2008 09:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh I remember that; being full of self righteous anger and lashing out, only to find out that I was completely in the wrong. Nearly three years since I officially ceased to be a teenager and it still seems like five minutes ago...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 10th, 2008 03:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's very embarrassing in retrospect, isn't it?
beceh From: beceh Date: June 10th, 2008 09:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Fern - You are made of awesome. That is all.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 10th, 2008 03:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! :)
From: glynngriffiths Date: June 10th, 2008 10:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah, that was brilliant! Your Malfoy was perfect - I loved him, and I loved to hate him. He hits below the belt (naturally), but he also has a fair measure of restraint when it's not a specific 'goad them into being stupid for a demonstration' situation. And he realises when he's overstepped the boundaries. I have to say, I'm mad impressed with Harry for inviting him to speak.

And Teddy! Oh Teddy. I know I'm not the first to say I'd like to wallop him over the head, but... I'd like to wallop him over the head! Good call Harry for realising what he thought was going on and calling him on it. Bad call Teddy for lashing out about being wrong in a petulant (teenage) way. Good call Draco for following him and giving him a sorely deserved lecture and pointing out his snottiness. (I wonder what Harry thought of that?)

This, although not strictly speaking funny, cracked me up: He pulled his hood up. "That's my good deed for the year. I suggest you get your head in order, Lupin."
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 10th, 2008 03:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
(I wonder what Harry thought of that?)

Yeah, me too. Hard to disagree with him, but still, it's Malfoy accusing someone of being a snot.

Glad you liked it. I'm not sure Harry's always the one who invites him--I expect he normally arranges this with Robards--but Harry definitely asked him to do it this time around.
amamama From: amamama Date: June 10th, 2008 10:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, wow. Incredible lecture. Malfoy probably proved his point - everyone has their doors, and if the 'right' (actually that should be wrong) person opens it... Well done, this was an impressive sequence. And Mafoy's advice to Teddy to get his head in order and confront his guit is a good one. But will he listen? I sure hope so.

Cheers!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 10th, 2008 03:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
But will he listen? I sure hope so.

In October? :p

I think the most dangerous people are the ones so convinced of their own rightness that they dismiss any chance that there's something wrong with what they're doing. That's where you get nifty humanitarians like Robespierre.
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: June 10th, 2008 11:50 am (UTC) (Link)
wow.

Still won't change Teddy from acting all of 15 though :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 10th, 2008 03:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
No, unfortunately. I mean, what could a Death Eater say that matters? Isn't that just proof of his evil? :eyeroll:
satakieli From: satakieli Date: June 10th, 2008 11:58 am (UTC) (Link)
If it's Draco Malfoy telling you to look to your conscience, Teddy...

Good segment. Yes, it makes me writhe uncomfortably to see him doing that to students. Yes, they're old enough to handle it and learn from it.

Ow.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 10th, 2008 03:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think it makes Harry uncomfortable, too, but, like you said--they're old enough to handle it. And young enough for it to work on properly.
aeterna13 From: aeterna13 Date: June 10th, 2008 12:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Your grown-up Draco is exactly what a grown-up Draco should be. He's done some real growing up (his explanation of what his "doors" were and why he became a Death Eater showed his maturity--he knows his faults), but the old Malfoy is definitely still there, a fact which is in turns amusing and infuriating.

BTW, throughout this entire chapter, I keep thinking about the fact that neither Teddy nor anyone else (except maybe a house elf or two) has been in Teddy's room for days. What has that maze been up to? And what's he going to find when he goes back?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 10th, 2008 03:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hmm. Well, Ruthless went in to get his robes, but that's an interesting point.
redlily From: redlily Date: June 10th, 2008 12:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
What's Malfoy up to these days, anyway? Man, Fern, the next time you have an open call for drabbles, I just might request the story of how Harry first called him up to ask him to do this. I can't believe you've actually got me interested in Malfoy!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 10th, 2008 03:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
It is a little out of character for me. ;p

Here's a twist--I think Malfoy was the one who did the approaching.
aimeejmc From: aimeejmc Date: June 10th, 2008 12:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I, quite simply, adore you. Even when you are distracting me from writing my scholarship essays.

Also? I've been reading too much H/D. That scene didn't end the way my subconscious thought it would. ;)

Edited at 2008-06-10 12:51 pm (UTC)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 10th, 2008 03:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, they do seem to still have an intense sort of relationship, I guess...
milaya36 From: milaya36 Date: June 10th, 2008 12:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Teddy, hon, you're still being a toolface. You might want to look into that.

Malfoy, on the other hand, was awesomely awesome while still clearly being Malfoy. I love that you're willing to do this sort of thing - make your main character clearly wrong and, judging by most of our comments, temporarily unlikeable in order to make it clear that he isn't adorable, perfect Teddy Lupin all the time. I can think of a lot of published authors who never do something like this, who never show their main character screwing up in an indefensible way, and I think it's awesome that you're showing us Teddy's bad side as well as his good.

Nothing I read mentioned what a little snot you are.

And so much love for the above comment!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 10th, 2008 03:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Teddy, hon, you're still being a toolface. You might want to look into that.

Heh, more or less what Malfoy said, eh?

I knew I wanted to do a story where Teddy was utterly in the wrong, but it's harder than I thought it would be. I keep wanting to soften the edges.
From: kobegrace Date: June 10th, 2008 12:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, wow! Since Deathly Hallows's release, I haven't really looked for any fics in which Draco is just Draco -- if Draco is in the story at all, he's either just mentioned in passing or Being Scorpius's Dad.

But your portrayal of him has been perfect. He still has the characteristic snideness that is so very much a part of him, but I'm so pleased that you've allowed him maturity and growth -- in a very believable manner. over-contrite!Draco makes me gag, as does haven't-changed-at-all!Draco. Reading this chapter did NOT make me gag, however, because you've found such a perfect balance between the two.

Also: At "And as for Malfoy pursed his lips, then leaned forward. His blond hair fell like a curtain over his eyes", I had meself a brief, Draco-image-inspired swoon/blush/dreamy-sigh moment that I haven't experienced in a while. I don't know if that was the intended effect (but really, I don't care ;D). So thanks for that. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 10th, 2008 03:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, glad to provide a swoon. ;p

I can see Draco actively resisting losing his snideness, on the idea that he's not going to remake himself entirely just to fit in with what everyone else thinks contrition out to be.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: June 10th, 2008 01:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, shock tactics--yes, I can see how Malfoy would use those and to telling effect. He's still an arrogant jerk but there's a semi-benevolent purpose to it now. And it's almost a relief that he and Harry still dislike each other so much. Post-DH fics that show them becoming friends irritate me immensely; even Harry and Dudley bonding makes more sense.

And oh, Teddy. Still fifteen, still full of righteous anger, still missing the point--and in spite of needing a good shake, still sympathetic.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 10th, 2008 03:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
They definitely didn't seem to be friends on the platform.

I'm glad you're still sympathetic to Teddy, despite his snottiness.
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