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Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Seventeen: Shapes, pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Seventeen: Shapes, pt. 3
Teddy, Donzo, and Ruthless try to sort out the meanings of the images in the mirror--or, more precisely, Donzo and Ruthless don't buy any of Teddy's lines, and tell him in no uncertain terms that he's not a murderer--then work on the Animagus transformation. On the way back, Ruthless says that she's not going to have a long heart to heart with Teddy about the mirror, but that she has his back. When they get to Gryffindor, an excited Victoire says that Madam Pomfrey has developed a potion for the Blistering Bloodspots, and she's going to try it out the next day.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




Teddy blinked, a bit dazed. "What?"

"A potion!" Victoire repeated, then twirled on the spot, hugged Teddy, and hugged Ruthless. Ruthless was apparently too shocked by this to respond. Victoire smiled broadly. "Madam Pomfrey's going to try it to tomorrow morning. She says she thinks she has it, and it only took so long because she needed to get permission from the parents to do an experiment, and it took forever with the portraits."

"And she told you?" Ruthless asked.

"No, Professor Longbottom did. All the Heads told their own Houses. The other first years are making her a card to say welcome back. Marie, I mean." She pointed over to where Marie's dormitory mates (and most of the first-year boys) were working on a large purple card with Charmed glitter fireworks that exploded over the words "Welcome back, Marie!" "I'm sure she'll be tired. I should clean up her space, so she won't have to come back to a mess!"

Before Teddy could gather his mind enough to stop her, she'd disappeared up the girls' staircase.

"What is it with that girl and cleaning?" Ruthless said, shaking her head. "Her sister's going to kill her as soon as she feels up to it."

Teddy shrugged. "She likes it. And she's pretty good at it, actually. Marie's used to it. Er... not that it's not annoying," he added quickly. "It's very annoying."

"Mm-hmm."

Ruthless went over to the fireplace, where her brothers were building some dangerous-looking contraption. Teddy knew he was welcome to join if he wanted to, but he didn't. He tried to summon Victoire's elation that something was being done, but the whole business felt off-kilter. Daniel and Madam Pomfrey hadn't mentioned anything at all. Perhaps that's what they'd been doing while everyone worked on the Room of Requirement, which might not even be needed if everyone got cured tomorrow morning, and the Quarantine lifted.

But something about the idea seemed wrong. Teddy had started the plague, after all, and...

And so naturally, you consider yourself so important that a plague can't be cured without your expert, fifth-year input.

Castigating himself for his inflated ego didn't help, either, though he acknowledged the truth of it--the only thing he'd accomplished by trying to help Madam Pomfrey was making himself feel better. If she'd thought he could help with the cure, she'd have asked for it.

He went up to his room, where Checkmate was involved in a mortal game of chase with a mouse that had made the mistake of invading her territory. Teddy pointed his wand at it and Banished it to the far side of the door.

Checkmate gave him a look of confused frustration as the door shut, then set to attacking his trainer laces. He let her go about it, lying down on the bed with his leg dangling over one side for her to play with.

Madam Pomfrey was better known among students for her discretion than her innovative techniques, but Granny had always said she was a brilliant Healer. She brewed excellent potions, and Teddy had never heard of her losing a student she actually had time to treat. She'd been a Hufflepuff, not a Gryffindor, so the chances that she was rushing in before doing all the footwork were fairly small. There was no reason to believe that her potion wouldn't work.

But something nagged at Teddy's mind nonetheless, and kept him from sleeping. His History of Magic textbook--usually guaranteed to work better than any Sleeping Draught--was ineffective, and lying in a darkened room trying to think of nothing at all was even less so. (For one thing, a Maze phantasm appeared at his desk at one-thirty and stayed there for ten minutes, scratching at an essay from some other year until Teddy thought he might go crazy from the sound of it.) He finally lit his candles again and picked up what he considered the dullest of his Fifi LaFolle collection, an almost adventure-free novel called Alexa's Agony, which dealt with an heiress called Alexa Highsmith and her dimwitted lover, Rocco Thain, a churlish parolee from Azkaban. Her family didn't accept him, even though she assured them at great length that he was reformed now. This went on over several chapters, until Rocco got angry about not being accepted and robbed the family vault. By this time, Teddy was weary enough that he slipped into a dream without even noticing. He was in the vault with Rocco, who had acquired Sirius Black's face, but if it was one of Teddy's more unusual dreams, it showed no other signs of it.

There was no gentling of the transition between sleep and waking, no moment of drowsing, not even a shocking scream to mark the passage. Teddy simply opened his eyes and was awake.

The sky was a deep, inky black, but at the horizon, Teddy could see a tiny glimmer of blue. The stars were fading, and the nearly full moon was close to setting.

He dressed quickly, put his candles out, and snuck out through the empty Common Room into the silence of the corridor outside. Nearly Headless Nick, who was floating near a window, blinked at him with owlish surprise.

"Teddy Lupin!" he said fondly. "Out for a bit of an adventure? Shall I watch for your compatriots?"

"Thanks, Nick, but no. I'm just going to the hospital wing."

"Are you feeling ill?"

"No."

"Is there any way in which I might assist you?"

"I can't think of one, sorry." Nick looked crestfallen, and Teddy scrambled for something. "Perhaps... er... if Victoire or Ruthless is looking for me at breakfast, you could mention where I am, so they don't worry."

Nick smiled brightly. "Ah, yes. Truly chivalrous, to guard the fairer sex from needless concern..."

Teddy nodded weakly, hoping for Nick's sake that he didn't use quite those terms with Ruthless, who would find some way to do bodily damage to him despite his lack of a body.

He heard voices from the hospital wing before he got there--the Headmistress, checking off the names of the ill and their parents' permission; Madam Pomfrey, saying, "Cho, I need that at an absolutely even temperature..."; the bubbling of a cauldron, the clinking of goblets.

"I still don't like the blindfolds," Daniel was saying as Teddy cautiously opened the door. The patients were lined up, their eyes covered with heavy black cloth. "They'll be terrified if they wake up and can't see."

"It's Curse-borne, sweetheart," Professor Morse said, eying two separate cauldrons carefully. The flame under one flared and she quickly subdued it to maintain temperature. "And the mechanism is direct eye contact. I'm afraid your bedside manner isn't going to work."

"I'm immune. I can give them the po--Teddy?"

The adults all turned. Teddy stepped further into the door. He had no idea what he meant to say.

"Why are you here?" Madam Pomfrey asked. "I'm afraid I have no time this morning to--"

"May I help?"

"You can keep the second fire even," Professor Morse said, stepping toward one of the cauldrons and leaving the other open.

Madam Pomfrey gave her a look like she had deep misgivings, but seemed to decide that there was no time for argument. "Very well. If I tell you to leave, you will leave."

Teddy nodded and froze a flame before it could leap and superheat a single part of the cauldron.

Madam Pomfrey went to the Headmistress. "Pomona, were there any objections from the parents?"

"No. They're all simply concerned with curing their children."

"All right. I suppose alphabetical order is as good as any. I'll wake Burke. You give him the potion, Doctor."

Daniel dipped a goblet into Teddy's cauldron and came up with the thick, reddish potion. He measured it with his eyes, then tipped a splash back in. He went to Maurice's side.

Madam Pomfrey put a hand on Maurice's head, then pointed her wand at him and said, "Exsuscito."

Maurice's hand moved, then he started thrashing. "Can't see... can't..."

"It's all right," Daniel said. "It's a blindfold. We'll explain later. I'm going to put a goblet to your mouth."

"Who is it?" Maurice cried, thrashing harder. "Who's talking?"

"It's Dr. Morse," Teddy called.

"Lupin?"

"Yes, it's me. The potion's all right." Teddy dearly hoped this was true.

Maurice calmed slowly, and eventually drank from the goblet Daniel had pressed to his lips.

"Give it a moment," Madam Pomfrey said. "It should work quickly."

They moved on to Tinny, then a Ravenclaw boy, then Marie. Each of them awakened the same way, though they were able to reassure one another without Teddy's help after a bit. When they finished with the last patient, Daniel came around to Maurice's bed alone. He signaled the others to stay back, then sat down.

"How are you feeling, Mr. Burke?"

"Tired."

"I'm going to take the blindfold off now, to see if there's any change. Please only look at me."

Maurice nodded. Daniel lowered the blindfold. The great blisters that had erupted on Maurice's face weeks ago had disappeared. Daniel peered into Maurice's eyes, then checked his arms and legs for more sores.

"I think he's clean. Madam Pomfrey, is it safe to do a diagnostic spell yet?"

"No. I don't think so. I don't want to take any chances about magical interactions with the potion."

Daniel nodded and moved down the line, giving Maurice an instruction to put his blindfold back up before he talked to anyone.

Marie had struck up a conversation with the boy beside her by the time Daniel got around to checking on her, and Teddy thought she sounded fine. His worries had been for nothing.

Madam Pomfrey looked at the Headmistress, then at Professor Morse. "I think we have it," she said, then raised her wand at the door. A school broomstick came in. "Mr. Lupin, if you would be so kind as to check the Quarantine at the gate?"

Gratefully, Teddy took the broom and flew it out a window she opened for him. The dawnlit grounds sparkled with dew, and Teddy could see the hippogriffs in Hagrid's paddock, straining eagerly for their breakfast. He flew low enough to wave to them, careful to bow over his broomstick. Dapple made a leap and flew beside him for a little while, then went back down to Buckbeak.

Teddy curved around and went over the lake, feeling like he could fly forever. The Quarantine would be gone. He wouldn't have to think of his late night worries anymore, and be stay awake, afraid that they were real.

The wall loomed up ahead of him, and he knew that it would just be the school's normal security that would stop him, a gentle bounce-back, a--

A burst of painful energy blasted Teddy backward at least ten feet from the wall, nearly toppling him from his broomstick. He barely controlled a dive and plowed into the mud at the lake shore.

The Quarantine was still active.

That meant that the sickness was still inside.

He jumped onto the broom, not bothering this time with the nicety of observing the morning. At the top speed he could handle, he flew back to the open window of the hospital wing. "Madam Pomfrey!" he yelled before he even reached it. "Madam Pomfrey, the Quaran... the Quar..."

He came through the window and stopped.

Maurice and Marie were walking about, dazed but healthy, but several of the others were bleeding again, clutching their faces.

And Madam Pomfrey had collapsed to the stone floor.
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Comments
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aimeejmc From: aimeejmc Date: July 13th, 2008 06:30 am (UTC) (Link)
First! First!!

Madam Pomfrey!!!

::bites nails::
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 13th, 2008 04:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah. Well, er... Healthy, she'd have solved it too quickly!
From: violet_grainger Date: July 13th, 2008 06:32 am (UTC) (Link)

Oh My gosh

Ahhhh
It's still active.. whats Teddy going to do now, and with out Pompfrey....hmmm... maybe Andromeda will have to come and help.
I can't wait till the next installment. I really do love these stories

Good Job Fern
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 13th, 2008 04:53 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Oh My gosh

Andromeda can't get in or out, because of the Quarantine.

Glad you like the stories!
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 13th, 2008 06:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Aaagggghhhhh!!!!!

They CAN'T afford to lose they're only magical medical practitioner!

Also, I realize this is the kind of mistake anyone can make - there was that case a few years ago where they were testing a new approach to asthma treatments in the UK and had people in seizures before they realized they should have waited a little longer after injecting the first person before injecting the second - but, still, AAAAAUUUUUUGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!! And this was evidently an easier mistake to make than that, even if I could wish for a bit more paranoia about infection on Pomfrey's part.

It's very frustrating when a simple lack of Professor Moody level caution comes back to bite you.

And, it occurs to me, if they've got a centuries dead pirate walking around and able to spread illnesses, what happens when curse happy Bellatrix finds a way out?

And can these ghosts be more than just shadows with no perception of the world around them?

Ellen
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 13th, 2008 04:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
The phantasms? No, they don't even know they're there. Then again, Bellatrix might curse what she perceives as empty air, just for the hell of it.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
izhilzha From: izhilzha Date: July 13th, 2008 07:07 am (UTC) (Link)
And Madam Pomfrey had collapsed to the stone floor.

Oh no!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 13th, 2008 04:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Could be problematic...
persephone_kore From: persephone_kore Date: July 13th, 2008 07:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Ack, definitely not good. So... Maurice was first, Marie fourth, and they're still okay so far. So... it's not just that the potion was temporary; there's something more complicated, but I haven't the foggiest idea what. Meep.

Madam Pomfrey?
cornedbee From: cornedbee Date: July 13th, 2008 03:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Cures the symptoms, but not the curse?
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: July 13th, 2008 07:48 am (UTC) (Link)
That's.... not good....

At all....

SSSSSSHHHIIIIITTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!

And I found maybe two typos before, buttt can't find them now *shrugs*. Oh, well.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 13th, 2008 04:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sure they'll turn up; thanks! :)
beceh From: beceh Date: July 13th, 2008 08:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh dear!

Looking forward to the next installment!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 13th, 2008 05:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hopefully, I'll get it posted faster than I did this one!
From: renesears Date: July 13th, 2008 08:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Eeeek! Oh hell no. Well, this is going to end well.

*bites nails*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 13th, 2008 05:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Eeeek! Oh hell no. Well, this is going to end well.

I expect this is roughly Daniel's train of thought!
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 13th, 2008 05:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Why is it that just when we think we've seen every apparently immortal, stabilising parental figure either lost, hurt or proven wrong, the one person we hadn't thought of gets hurt?

Fifth year. Nature of the beast. ;p

Seriously, there are things that ought to have happened by now, like Kingsley moving aside for a new Minister or Madam Pomfrey and Flitwick retiring, but I couldn't bear any more changes.
thornyrose42 From: thornyrose42 Date: July 13th, 2008 09:06 am (UTC) (Link)
At which point there is a large and ferverent "Uh oh!" from everyone reading.

Teddy either has a very good grasp of narativity or as he himself points out he is just being a bit self centred. Personally, unless Teddy inherited a wee smidgen of his Grandad's talent I'd go with the second one. Although it does have a wiff of forbodings about it.
(Deleted comment)
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fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 13th, 2008 04:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Definitely trouble.
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 13th, 2008 11:23 am (UTC) (Link)
D'oh!

I should have realized you were going to do that when Teddy was musing about how talented a healer Madam Pomfrey was.
redlily From: redlily Date: July 13th, 2008 01:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeeeah, I read the paragraphs on good ol' Poppy and was like, "Oh dear. This can only mean one thing."

But I didn't expect the potion to work. Fern always keeps us guessing one way or another!
scopart From: scopart Date: July 13th, 2008 12:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
when I read the end of the chapter I actually gasped out loud in suprise and my hand flew to my chest

I suppose we all knew it wouldn't be that easy, but I didn't expect Madame Pomfrey to go down...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 13th, 2008 04:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Glad I could surprise!
willowbough From: willowbough Date: July 13th, 2008 01:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yikes! OK--very effective "shocking twist." The one person everyone expects/hopes/needs not to fall ill contracts the plague. I hope that at least some of the patients treated with the potion remain healthy, though from the looks of it, not everyone is infected to the same degree? Definitely awaiting the next with bated breath!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 13th, 2008 05:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
A couple of the kids will remain healthy.
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: July 13th, 2008 02:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aaaagh.

agh.

It had to be a bleeding-from-the face kind of plague, didn't it Fern? Blargh.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 13th, 2008 05:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Of course it did. Wouldn't be nearly as disgusting otherwise.
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