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Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Fourteen: The Halloween Feast, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Fourteen: The Halloween Feast, pt. 2
Rather belatedly, Teddy makes the connection between the odd appearances and disappearances going on and his use of the Maze. Ashamed that he might be causing a real disturbance and wanting to prove himself, he decides that the wisest course of action is to tell no adult what he thinks, and try to fix the problem on his own by going back in. He fixes the physical damage to the Maze, then does the spell to enter it.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




The first thing he noticed upon entering the Maze was that it was definitely not fixed.

Wind whipped violently through his hair, and tattered images flew through a dark and unpleasant fog. At first, he seemed to be standing on nothing, but the Maze made some kind of effort, and he found himself on the battered boards of the deck of Tirza's ship. No Guide appeared.

"Mum?" he called. "Dad? Sirius?" No answer. He cast around frantically. "Uncle Harry?"

No one.

A wave rose up, tipping the deck almost to vertical, and he grabbed at the rail, barely catching it before being thrown overboard into whatever was really here.

"Tirza?" he tried. "Miss LaFolle?"

He heard a tittering giggle as the ship came down again, throwing him to the deck. He caught a brief glimpse of Bellatrix--not the Bellatrix who'd killed his mother, but a younger, unblooded Bellatrix--running for the mast. She slipped into the fog and disappeared. Teddy decided not to call for her.

Slowly, he pushed himself up to his hands and knees and crawled for the prow, trying to see ahead into the storm. Other figures came and went too quickly to identify.

The ship was tossed to the right, and he lost his balance, rolling down the deck until he was stopped by the wheel. He used it to pull himself up, heedless of any change in course he might be making. His arm was sore from where it had hit the deck. The fog swirled in front of him, and there was Brimmann, his face running with sores, his mouth drawn back in a snarling smile. Teddy scrambled back and caught himself on the rail, looking seaward, into the impenetrable storm. He could see the side of the ship disappearing down into nothing, but as a wave hit it, the water splashed upward, and it wasn't water, but blood, red and stinking. Teddy jumped back with a wave of revulsion. In the distant mist he saw another shadow, a prowling beast on a distant shore.

"Greyback," he muttered to himself. "Wonderful. Stay in here, will you?" he called to shadow.

In the unseen sky above, thunder crashed, and the world of the Maze was lit with white lightning that reflected off the fog, so Teddy felt like he was standing in the center of the sun.

"What do I do?" he yelled.

The tittering laugh came again, but this time when Teddy looked, he didn't see Bellatrix, just a gathering green light, rushing through the white.

He grabbed Ariadne's thread and shouted, "Home!"

He was thrust out into his room, shivering... and soaking wet.

He looked at his drenched robes, and it was definitely blood on them. It was all over his hands, and, he was willing to guess, all over his face. Checkmate poked her nose out from under his bed, looked at him wide-eyed, and went back.

"Great," he muttered, starting to clean himself up with irritated jabs of his wand. "Just perfect. Good show, Lupin."

It took half an hour to get rid of enough gore to walk out of his room and go to the prefects' bathroom, and he spent longer than he strictly needed to in the hot, soapy water. He scrubbed himself thoroughly, not wanting a trace left. The robes, he thought he'd incinerate; Granny had got him enough robes to get through the year minus a pair. When he'd finished, he wrapped his hair in one towel and put another around his waist, and stepped out of the bathroom.

And into a shallow stream that was now running down the edge of the corridor. As he watched, a flashing silver fish swam over his toes.

As he watched, the stream glimmered and then disappeared.

Teddy sat down on the floor, exhausted, his eyes closed.

"Oh, are you miserable?" someone asked.

He opened his eyes. Moaning Myrtle was floating gleefully a few feet above his head.

"Has something terrible happened?"

Teddy shrugged and got up, careful to hold his towel shut. Myrtle was the only one of the ghosts who seemed to enjoy an occasional peek, and he didn't want to give her the satisfaction. "A flower and a stream," he said. "Yes. Terrible."

"And the children," Myrtle said. "Don't forget! It's not ghosts, you know."

"Yes. I'm sure they'd be terrifying, if they had the slightest notion that they were here." In truth, the children really did bother him less than they should have, he supposed--phantasms from the past that had never appeared before should have been a matter of grave concern. But that was just time. Time could sometimes slip, as he knew from having shared memories with his father. Time was the most fluid of the mysteries. The flower, the stream... those could be thought of as space. But the blood on his robes, blood that hadn't existed in any real time or space...

Well, there was certainly one Mystery that was drenched in the blood of innocents, wasn't there?

And he couldn't afford to have that Mystery leak out. He couldn't go into the Maze until he knew why it had broken in this way, and how to fix it.

If he told Maddie, she was certain to take it away, and he was tired enough that this seemed like a great relief. She'd take it away, and tell him he didn't have the necessary talents to be an Unspeakable, and they'd take it back to the Department of Mysteries, where they'd no doubt cluck a bit about mishaps that trainees had with it, as they did a few simple repairs, which they all knew by heart...

He focused on the image of Unspeakables gathered around the Maze, fixing it with a light touch, and held onto it, trying not to imagine the follow-up conversation Maddie might have with Uncle Harry and Granny, telling them that Teddy had failed miserably and they really needed to keep him away from powerful magical objects. Maybe she would even be right. After all, he hadn't exactly done a stellar job of custodianship.

He went back to the room and wrote the letter, detailing everything that had happened (though he skirted around the rage that had caused him to "run into" Bellatrix). It was easier that way than calling her by Floo--he could arrange it and make it make sense, going back and correcting things. It took him until after midnight to finish, but when it was done, he thought it would suffice. It was after curfew, of course, so he couldn't send it.

He overslept the next morning, missed breakfast, and had to rush to his first class (Care of Magical Creatures, where Dapple was still having difficulty flying and Buckbeak was still having difficulty believing that this was his offspring), and by the time lunch came, he'd forgotten that he hadn't got around to sending it. He had a pleasant meal at the Ravenclaw table, trading stories with Donzo and Maurice (who'd come by from Slytherin), and didn't think of his letter to Maddie until Frankie wandered over and asked how he was feeling.

"I think I've got Sprout convinced to let us have the Halloween feast on All Saint's Day," he said. "That way, it'll be Friday, and we can have a nice late party. Thought the Muggles and Minions crew could put it together. McCormack can do a set or two--"

"Not unless you've got his concert fee stuffed in your book bag," Maurice interrupted.

"--or we'll just play some music on the Wireless. I think I'll let Weasley loose on decorations again." He shrugged. "Anyway, I wanted to see if you were feeling up to helping, after everything. Have you got it worked out, what happened?"

"No, but I wrote to your--" Teddy slapped his forehead. "I didn't send it!"

But it was too late to send it during lunch. Afternoon brought Uncle Harry's last Defense Against the Dark Arts class for the year, and a test in Potions, and some heavy catch-up in Arithmancy, and when Teddy got back to his room, all he was thinking of was a weekend of homework ahead.

In fact, he didn't remember to send the owl until Monday morning, and that was only because he left it on top of his book bag Sunday night. The only school owl available was a small barn owl that didn't look like it would make very good time. It didn't matter. It was sent. The whole business would soon be out of Teddy's hands. He would have to think of a new career path, but he felt considerably better otherwise.

The phantasms continued to appear around Hogwarts over the next week, and people got used to them, as people tend to get used to anything that happens around them. For a few days, it even became a game, rather like collecting Chocolate Frog cards--"Who did you see? What showed up in your House?" The redheaded boy who appeared in the Gryffindor Common Room and in the library was identified as Albus Dumbledore, by a very surprised Flitwick, and the stern-looking girl as Minerva McGonagall, when she'd been a first year student. In Hufflepuff, Cedric Diggory had been spotted studying in his favorite spot by the fire. None of the phantasms took the slightest note of their surroundings, and Teddy didn't think they realized that they'd been momentarily plucked forward in time. Several people had attempted to touch them now, and, though they were perfectly solid, they didn't even notice prodding and poking.

Maddie's return letter came on Thursday--Halloween proper--after supper, when Teddy, Victoire, Ruthless, Donzo, and Maurice had all gone to Hufflepuff to make the final plans for tomorrow's party. The barn owl dropped into Teddy's lap, exhausted, and held up its leg.

Teddy pulled off the note. Teddy, it said, I will be there on Saturday. I would come immediately, but the Department is short-staffed and I can't get the time. I am very concerned about this, and I beg you not to use the Maze again, but Croaker doesn't think there's any immediate danger from the phenomena you describe (I didn't share your experiences in the Maze, just the ones outside of it). Be careful. I'll have a look, and everything will be fine. Accidents happen. Don't blame yourself. Love, Maddie

He looked up to tell Frankie that his mother was coming on Saturday, but the words stopped in his throat. Just beyond the table where Frankie and Ruthless were arguing (again) about whether or not costumes should be a part of the festivities, a beautiful girl with high cheekbones and gray eyes was sitting on the back of a sofa, tying the orange laces on her lime green trainers. As Teddy watched, her black hair turned a very horrible shade of purple and rose into a fan. She looked up and smiled at someone who'd once been where Teddy was now.

Teddy smiled back and waved.

She bent over to tie the lace on her other trainer, and disappeared.
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Comments
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 17th, 2008 07:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh Teddy...
I don't have much to comment on, but I couldn't resist being the first.
Wonderful as always! ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 17th, 2008 03:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks!
From: glynngriffiths Date: June 17th, 2008 08:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, thank heavens he sent it! You had me on pins and needles there that it was going to get pushed aside and forgotten forever. But now that it's sent, and it's only Halloween, I guess it's not going to be something Maddie can easily put to rights? Oh, the twists and turns of your plot! Well suited for a story about a maze, I think. :)

And Tonks smiled at Teddy. *Sigh* Or in his general direction, in any case.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 17th, 2008 03:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, something will definitely go wrong to screw up Teddy's last ditch attempt at common sense. :)
alkari From: alkari Date: June 17th, 2008 08:41 am (UTC) (Link)
LOL. At long last a faint glimmer of good sense appears in Teddy's teenage boy brain - 'fess up, tell Maddie exactly what's happened, and let the experienced adults take over. *sigh of long suffering amusement*

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 17th, 2008 03:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well... partly fess up. We still, er... bumped into Bella. Yeah.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 17th, 2008 09:23 am (UTC) (Link)
This is ominous... Teddy really isn't in control of himself, is he?

Is it a coincidence that three out of the four identified phantasms (Dumbledore, Cedric and Dora) died at Hogwarts?

And I'd be interested to hear what McGonagall has to say about her younger self reappearing at Hogwarts.

I am so glad that you have shown us bits of future Teddy and his good relationships with the people he's trying to alienate himself from around now.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 17th, 2008 11:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, Cedric died in the Little Hangleton Graveyard. But dying as a student, like Myrtle, I'm sure his connection to Hogwarts is strong. I wonder if any Hufflepuff or Slytherin students are appearing? Are the students only appearing in the common rooms?
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
thornyrose42 From: thornyrose42 Date: June 17th, 2008 09:49 am (UTC) (Link)
I know exactly what Teddy means when he says that he felt \"considerably better\" after sending the letter. You would not believe the size of eth sigh of relief that I sighed when Teddy finally got around to sending that owl. Although I\'m still not entirely convinced by the various delays that prevented him from sending it you know as soon after his trip in the Maze as possible, come on he still has the Map, Teddy do you really expect us to believe that you couldn\'t have sneaked out to send a letter if you really wanted to?

And Dora!! Hi Dora, I know that you being there is simply another symptom of things going really wrong but at the same time, Teddy\'s description of her made me go all wibbly. Of course he thinks that his mum is utterly beautiful and she sounded just so Tonks with her questionable taste in shoes and hairstyles.

Fifth year wouldn\'t be fifth year with out Myrtle and a bathroom scene, athough at least this time she had the deacency to pretend that she hadn\'t been perving all the way though his bath.

\"Well, there was certainly one Mystery that was drenched in the blood of innocents, wasn\'t there?\"

I may be ebing very dense here but which one exactly, or is he just thinking about Greyback? Or his pirate? Or you know Death in general, because that one is sort of already thriving in teh world.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 17th, 2008 03:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Teddy do you really expect us to believe that you couldn\'t have sneaked out to send a letter if you really wanted to?

Oh, but he had classes, you see. And, erm, homework, right. And he just forgot during lunch.

(This? Not so alien. I have a friend whose baby just turned one--and I keep forgetting to send the present I bought the week she was born. I moved with the present.)
aeterna13 From: aeterna13 Date: June 17th, 2008 11:55 am (UTC) (Link)
"If he told Maddie, she was certain to take it away, and he was tired enough that this seemed like a great relief. She'd take it away, and tell him he didn't have the necessary talents to be an Unspeakable, and they'd take it back to the Department of Mysteries, where they'd no doubt cluck a bit about mishaps that trainees had with it, as they did a few simple repairs, which they all knew by heart..."

I remember this part of fifteen. Some of that anger about being treated like a child ... okay, a lot of that anger about being treated like a child has its root in the fear that you might still be one.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 17th, 2008 03:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think that's a big part of it. You still feel so much of a kid that you're sure someone's going to call you on it, and you haven't yet realized that most adults are waiting to be called on the same thing by their elders.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: June 17th, 2008 01:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Whew. Glad to see that Teddy's good sense has reasserted itself enough so he finally tells Maddie the whole story. That trip into the damaged Maze was unnerving to say the least, though it makes perfect sense that Teddy would find himself wet and befouled afterwards, since the thing seems to be leaking magic.

Nice moment with StudentTonks too.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 17th, 2008 03:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
I wanted Teddy to see something pleasant that he needed to see after the mess in the Maze.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 17th, 2008 02:15 pm (UTC) (Link)

m

poor teddy! The description of Dora was beautiful ... "smiled at someone who'd once been where teddy was now" and the last line were lovely, all though the whole thing is sad.
and just when teddy had asked for help, too!
the maze was quite scary, with the blood "red and stinking" and the "younger, unblooded bellatrix"- a lot of vivid descriptions in this section. Is death the mystery drenched in blood?
this story is addictive.~m
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 17th, 2008 03:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: m

Thank you! It's a weird little story, but I'm enjoying it.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: June 17th, 2008 02:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hi Dora! *waves* Lime green trainers with orange laces? God, that's so her.
I really am glad that Teddy finally sent the letter. I'm incredibly relieved.
Now I'm waiting for same Slytherin kid to freak out because young Tom or young Bella appeared at the Slytherin common room. So far, we've only seen goodies.
Ohh, I'm so intrigued.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 17th, 2008 03:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I expect Slytherins are trying to keep themselves decently covered up at the moment...

Lime green trainers with orange laces? God, that's so her.

And sadly, she keeps replacing them. She still had a pair a lot like them in Shades. ;p
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: June 17th, 2008 02:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ack! Scary times in the maze, and NOT good that effects of events in the maze are leaving physical residue on Teddy when he leaves.

I can't believe he sent the letter; I was sure he'd decide against it or if not, the owl would go astray. How can you manage to make even THAT tense? ;-)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 17th, 2008 03:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah... bringing back grime and gore that never existed anywhere in the real world isn't a good sign, even in the wizarding world. ;p
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: June 17th, 2008 07:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
You know, if someone tried to kill one of them, it'd make a time paradox, wouldn't it? If Dumbledore was killed, then all of the wonderful things he did would never have happened, and... that'd be bad.

Also, McGonagall is the only one who's shown up who isn't, you know, dead. o_0. Wonder if she feels anything about this- like, if she notices it or anything.

Knew he'd see Tonks or Remus eventually, heh.

Wonder if that will have any effect on anything...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 18th, 2008 05:16 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't think they can be killed, if they don't notice people poking and prodding them. Not sure. :)
From: spitc1899 Date: June 17th, 2008 07:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
That ending . . . I will go grieve for Tonks now. And, of course, it's not going to be fixed that easily . . .
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 18th, 2008 05:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Of course it's not.

I miss Tonks.
From: tree_and_leaf Date: June 17th, 2008 10:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Scary stuff, with a tremendously sad ending. And I can't wait to see what's doubtless going to go wrong with Teddy's belated attempt at sense, poor kid.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 18th, 2008 05:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah... Teddy's delay is going to cost him.
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: June 17th, 2008 10:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Really do like what you have going on at Hogwarts. Sounds like something that would occur there. Very nice seeing Tonks at the end.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 18th, 2008 05:19 am (UTC) (Link)
I like Hogwarts, because these sorts of things aren't quite as wild there as they would be elsewhere. :)
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: June 19th, 2008 02:20 am (UTC) (Link)
I love the explination for *why* the blood (and the flower, and the river) are so much more disturbing to Teddy than the people ( though I'm guessing after having seen Dora, whose descrition was heartbreaking and beautifully written, he may have a different opinion on the importance of the phantoms). I never would have thought about how creepy it is that blood that doesn't exist now does. And that is a seriously creepy problem. I'm guessing he'll be more preoccupied with the phantoms for a while now, but I think how he identified the most worrisome areas shows he has the right aptitude for an Unspeakable.

I wonder if seeing Dora ( or any of the other phantoms) will eventually show Teddy what Harry meant about the Stone?....Can't wait to see!
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