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The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Twenty-One: Sulci Numine, pt. 3
Grr. Homestead (my homepage stuff) is being bitchly in the migration to my new computer. Error five, no site integration. I have to call them and see what's going on if I'm ever going to update my table of contents again!

Er, anyway, in Teddy-land as opposed to Fern-land.

The Forest Guard has gone into the Maze, which took them first into the forest, then to the library, then finally into the past, where they saw Jeremiah Galdreward, a monk during the time Henry VIII was dissolving the monasteries, place his quarantine on the school, where a plague is raging. His brother Callixtus, who has lost two children (as well as the mother they share) wants to do something off-kilter, and the quarantine seems to be a response to this. They fight after the quarantine has been placed, and Jeremiah kills Callixtus in the course of it. After they exit the Maze, Maurice (who had a strange reaction to the fratricide, thinking of his brother Wendell) provides the information--gleaned from a Chocolate Frog card--that Jeremiah took a vow of silence and never spoke again.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

They set Professor Trelawney's classroom back in order before leaving, then stood beneath the trapdoor for a while trying to think of a way to put a seal on the evening. Finally, Corky said, "We've got a start. We can all meet at lunch, right?"

There was general assent.

Maurice checked his watch. "Well... we better get back. Slytherin meeting, if the prefect here happens to remember."

Corky groaned. "They'll wait."

"Slytherin has House meetings?" Donzo asked.

Corky shrugged. "The six prefects all meet once a month to keep an eye on things and hear anyone's problems. Like Maurice's. Or at least one or two of Maurice's; I doubt we'd have time to get to all of them."

"Hey, your girlfriend is seconding this one," Maurice said. "She doesn't like that miserable little... er, first year... any more than I do."

"Maurice and Honoria on the same side," Corky mused. "I'm not sure if that's a sign of progress or a sign of the apocalypse."

"Someone's giving Neil trouble?" Teddy guessed.

Corky nodded. "Yeah. We better get back. She'll be watching the clock by now."

The Slytherins disappeared down the hall, and the rest broke apart naturally a few minutes later, Donzo heading over toward Ravenclaw, Frankie heading down to Hufflepuff, and Teddy going back to Gryffindor with the girls. Ruthless had homework to finish and Victoire had study time set aside, so there wasn't much chance to follow up with them. Instead, Teddy settled himself in his room and got to work on his own homework. Partway through a Divination essay, he happened to think of O.W.L.s--for the first time since the plague had struck--and realized with a panic that they were only a few months away. It felt good to worry about something so silly, and he spent the rest of the evening organizing his revision schedule. He thought Hermione would be pleased with the final result (though he wouldn't share that he hadn't really thought about it until now).

For a few weeks, even though they met at lunch and after Care of Magical Creatures, no one seemed inclined to offer any specific suggestions, but Teddy had a sense that they were all thinking, at some level under their conscious studies. He found himself actually listening to Binns in History of Magic, even paying attention to one of Geoffrey's rants, though nothing about it really stood out (it had caught his attention because Geoffrey had said something about tearing down walls, and Teddy had played with the idea of just breaking through the Maze's walls). He saw Maurice stop a potion he'd nearly finished to ask about protective potions, and their benefits over protective charms (none on their own, according to Professor Morse, but in combination with charms, they tended to multiply effects exponentially). Ruthless had Mum's book out again, and when he settled in beside her at the fireplace to go over fourth year defense techniques and prod her for details of her own O.W.L. in the subject, she eagerly showed him an eighteenth century Auror (one Killian Druce) who'd developed a technique for locating the source of a magical phenomenon. "All we have to do is get close enough, Teddy," she said. "This will find the exact spot." Victoire joined the conversation and said she'd been thinking about what plants grew where in the forest, and maybe they could all get together to figure out what plants they'd seen. Teddy was skeptical, as plants might have changed since the Reformation, but it was as good as anything he'd thought of.

Donzo was in the library, working through books on the right period of history. He found the book that the guide John Lupin had showed them, and learned what he could about the plague, which had descended suddenly and viciously, and lasted for a year before Jeremiah Galdreward isolated it and eventually cured it. Teddy found Frankie having a long conversation with the Fat Friar about Galdreward. Corky got a detention for taking his broomstick out over the Forbidden Forest, far beyond where students were supposed to be. "And I didn't even find the place," he muttered, shoveling hippogriff dung into a pile beside Hagrid's paddock, where someone who'd committed a worse offense would undoubtedly be assigned to bag it up for the greenhouses later.

Teddy dreamed steadily, and he had a sense that they meant something, but even though he dictated them to his quill first thing every morning, he could make no sense of it, because he only remembered disjointed bits. Uncle Harry and Stone... I was being a prat... Uncle Harry with spiders, Martian, and Checkmate... Stone again, and Frankie... James--Uncle Harry's dad, not my James--and Sirius, transforming... Mum and Maddie and Hagrid with centaurs (?)...

There were other dreams, but he didn't bother transcribing them. He somehow doubted that Ruthless, Victoire, and Jane deciding that they wouldn't mind if he went out with all of them at the same time was really valid input about anything.

The pattern might have held indefinitely--it was a huge relief to share the problem, and dabbling at solutions was habit-forming--but all of the work they'd been doing had been noticed.

Teddy had continued taking art lessons from Dean, not paying much attention to them, as he never developed any sudden talent. During the first week of February, he'd managed to master the concept behind drawing eyes in profile (though he still couldn't master any angle other than that or straight forward), and he was concentrating on practicing this new skill at the end of class, when a dark hand fell on his wrist and he realized that he was the last student in the room.

He turned. Aside from Dean, Professor McGonagall, Professor Longbottom, and Professor Robards were there. Daniel came through the door and shut it behind him.

Professor Longbottom sat down beside an easel where a third year Hufflepuff had been painting daisies. "Is it something we've done?"

Teddy frowned. "What?"

Robards rolled his eyes. "Teddy, you know we've been working on the same problem you are. We might be able to keep you from going over the same ground again, and you might have something we don't know. Is there some reason you're not sharing?"

"I didn't think... er..." Teddy glanced from one to another. They didn't seem angry. To some extent, they seemed amused. Teddy felt anger starting to stir, and swallowed it. "Maybe I wanted to find something you'd take seriously."

"Oh," Professor Longbottom said, "that's true. I could never imagine a student coming up with anything useful. Could you, Dean?"

"Never saw it happen," Dean said.

Daniel stepped forward. "Enough. You're giving him good enough reasons to think you wouldn't take him seriously right now. Personally, I'd rather find out what they know, and I have to get back to my patients. Teddy?"

Teddy nodded to him gratefully, then turned back to Professor Longbottom. "Are you going to make us stop?"

"We're all stuck here," he said. "This isn't a teacher-student matter. Unless you're doing something that's insane, we'll take any help we can get."

"Well, I think..." Teddy paused to organize his thoughts--and edit out anything that was insane or personal--then said, "I talked to my friends because I thought maybe they could find something new in what I'd seen in the Maze, and somehow, it came up that we should try going in together..."

The adults listened with at least a good facsimile of respect. Daniel had hoped they'd been looking for a way to cure the plague that was on the grounds, but was happy enough to try to find a way to break the Quarantine. Professors Robards and McGonagall had been able to dig up the counterspell, but it wasn't effective unless it was cast in the right place.

"What about the amplifying potion?" Professor Longbottom asked. "Do we need to brew it?"

"I would assume, given our current situation," Professor McGonagall said, "that the original spell is still active. The Quarantine can be ended with the charm reversal."

"So how are we going to find it?" Dean asked. "Teddy, the place where it was set--did you know it?"

"It looked familiar, but I don't know why."

Robards nodded. "Well, it's safe to say that he'd have placed it as close to the school as he could without being stopped by his brother and the others. I've been reading Jane Hunter's work about Muggle forensics--perhaps we could collect samples, and I could test them for magical residue from the spell? Then if we find the place where it's most concentrated, we try the counterspell there."

"Us, too?" Teddy asked.

"Yes. Let's keep it to that size group, or we'll start losing track of what we're looking at, but I'll find some jars. Perhaps Cho--Professor Morse--has some spare vials from the Potions classroom that she could spare. When we have time, we can go into the Forest."

Professor McGonagall cleared her throat. "All of that is well and good, but I hope Mr. Lupin and his friends will agree to stay in the part of the Forbidden Forest they know, and let those of us with a few more years of experience go deeper in. And please, keep to your classes. It's O.W.L. year, no matter what else is happening."

They talked a bit more, mostly arranging routes they'd follow--Teddy and his friends were firmly kept to the eaves of the Forest--then split up. It was after curfew, so Teddy needed to be escorted back to Gryffindor. Robards volunteered.

They were nearly to the Fat Lady when he stopped and said, "All of this came from looking for Brimmann?"

Teddy winced. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean it."

"Of course not," Robards said, then shook his head with what seemed, shockingly, to be admiration. "You've done very good work on my assignment, Teddy, and I didn't know about any of it. You really think you know where Brimmann's ship is?"

"Yes. Sometimes the Maze... well, once, anyway... the Maze just opened up. It showed me everything. I couldn't see it all at once. But you can check. I'm pretty sure the ship is down not far from Lisbon."

"When the Quarantine goes down, I will check. And you'll get your prize. Your mother would be so proud of you."

"Not with all the cock-ups on the way."

Robards laughed and started moving again. "Tonks never held a cock-up or two against anyone, and I doubt she'd start with you."

He waited for the Fat Lady to open the way, then wandered off down the hall, smiling fondly. Teddy shook his head and went inside.
37 comments or Leave a comment
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fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 5th, 2008 03:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. Teddy's circle is steadily growing.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: September 5th, 2008 03:10 am (UTC) (Link)
I have the Pow-ahhhh! And Teddy mentioned James! Called him his James!

I've been reading next-gen all over the web, and nobody gets James Sirius like you do!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 5th, 2008 03:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, to be fair, he's kind of a blank slate, except that we know he's utterly freaked out about Teddy and Victoire. ;p
sep12 From: sep12 Date: September 5th, 2008 03:31 am (UTC) (Link)
It's O.W.L. year, no matter what else is happening

I LOVE your Minerva. Always. If I can ever make a challenge call I'd like to see your version of the first meeting she has with Sirius after she finds out he's innocent, and her opinion of his animagus abilities.

I also like that Daniel catches on to Teddy's feelings about the adults' semi-teasing of him.

I feel bad about not commenting for so long, but I have been reading every update. This rocks. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 5th, 2008 03:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Daniel doesn't have time to play, "Oh, how cute, the younger generation is doing something"--he has patients to get back to.

I love McGonagall. Just plainly and purely. She's a hoot, and a good teacher.
kt_tonguetied From: kt_tonguetied Date: September 5th, 2008 03:32 am (UTC) (Link)
I absolutely ADORE that Teddy's group is beginning to merge with Neville's group! Very, very, very good! As usual, you have me nearly esperate for more even when a chapter ends so calmly as it did this time!

I really should comment more, but I just feel like I'm harrassing you sometimes when I read the esame day you update and you've already got, like, 36 comments! But there aren't too many now, so yay! Much love to you and ALL OF your writing, Fern!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 5th, 2008 03:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! It's good to know people are reading, so comment away!
From: kobegrace Date: September 5th, 2008 03:44 am (UTC) (Link)
There's always something about your writing that makes me really miss Tonks. Not in an OMG-she-was-in-a-violent-battle-and-now-she's-dead-dead-DEAD kind of way... more like a she's-the-older-sister-I've-never-had-who's-gone-off-to-college-and-is-never-coming-back sort of way.

*sad sigh*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 5th, 2008 04:59 am (UTC) (Link)
I miss her, too.
daksian From: daksian Date: September 5th, 2008 03:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Awesome installment Fern. As always, I like your Slytherin group and how they interact--Corky's assertion of the apocalypse was priceless! And I would like to see a resolution to that H.J. brat... ;)

Another puzzle piece falls into place for the greater puzzle. I love how the adults approach Teddy and take him seriously (even if there was a little teasing). I like the respect it shows, not only to Teddy and his friends, but the respect they get in return.

And lastly, I really liked the conversation between Robards and Teddy. Made me smile. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 5th, 2008 05:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Unlike the adults when Harry was in school, they all have a pretty good example to think about when it comes to what students can do!

Honoria and Maurice on the same team could be... formidable.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 5th, 2008 04:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Why not ask Firenze? Or the rest of the centaurs? They must know the forest pretty well. There's also Hagrid, but I'd bet on the centaurs having more of an historical grasp of the forest.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 5th, 2008 05:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, that would be too sensible and resolve too many things, and it's only February. ;p (Seriously, I shall have to think of a good reason for this not to work out.)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
willowbough From: willowbough Date: September 5th, 2008 04:21 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm always pleasantly surprised when Teddy does something sensible--like talk to adults. And it's interesting that the Hogwarts staff take him seriously, but maybe that's because much of the faculty--at least the ones he's interacting with--is comparatively young.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 5th, 2008 05:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Of course, he doesn't feel it as being taken seriously. Because, well, fifteen--when else is the sense of embarrassment so acute about what adults might really be thinking under those fond smiles?
maz333 From: maz333 Date: September 5th, 2008 04:41 am (UTC) (Link)
So, another great chapterlet as usual, but... I'm mainly excited because the Slytherins are dealing with H.J. Yay! Oh, I just love those wacky Slytherins and their antics... Will have to ask for some 1st year Slytherin stuff the next time you put out a call for prompts.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 5th, 2008 05:03 am (UTC) (Link)
He may be their first real Slytherin-y problem, and I think they've opted to step on his head before he gets out into the world. Corky may be considering doing this non-metaphorically.
shiiki From: shiiki Date: September 5th, 2008 04:59 am (UTC) (Link)
I really like how each of Teddy's friends is doing their best to use their unique abilities and areas of interest to find a solution. That group is just made of awesome!

Thanks again for the great update!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 5th, 2008 05:04 am (UTC) (Link)
It's always good to have a diverse group of people, with divergent interests, attack a problem.
amamama From: amamama Date: September 5th, 2008 07:38 am (UTC) (Link)
*big grin* Well, it finally seems something is happening. I loved slightly sarcastic Neville and Dean, and Daniel for standing up to them on Teddy's behalf. Great interaction. Yay to Teddy for drawing up revision plans, *giggles* for not daring to tell Hermione how late he thought of it. As if she's react like her teen self...


And good luck with getting Homestead to behave. Sounds like you need it, unfortunately.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 5th, 2008 06:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think Hermione has drilled the concept of study guides in to Teddy's head--pretty much any time she interacts with him--so much that he just assumes she'll think he did it inadequately. Ron and Harry would just be frightened by him, I think. ;p
sophiap From: sophiap Date: September 5th, 2008 11:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, excellent! I love the way the teachers confronted Teddy about the work he'd been doing. Brilliant idea, working together and sharing resources.

I'm also intrigued by what Maurice, et. al. are doing with matters within Slytherin
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 5th, 2008 06:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, imagine... working intergenerationally a telling each other about it. It could even be useful.
scopart From: scopart Date: September 5th, 2008 12:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
I just love when Teddy interacts with the teachers. And I'm glad that they're all sharing now- perhaps we can start making some big strides towards ending this quarantine.
Nice bit at the end with Robards.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 5th, 2008 06:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think most kids (and adults) would function better if they actually treated each other like their contributions could be useful. (As opposed to either, "Shut up and take it" or "This is a child centered home and Johnny doesn't like broccoli, so we only serve chocolate for dinner...")
barbara_the_w From: barbara_the_w Date: September 5th, 2008 01:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
ACK -- I really wish Teddy would take Dean into the Maze, so Dean can draw the glade the spell was cast in. Or if Teddy would suddenly develop his father's talent for sketching :)

Thanks for the great chapter, Fern!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 5th, 2008 06:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Teddy knows where the glade is, he's just not remembering. Except when he is. How he'll get there may be a more pressing question.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: September 6th, 2008 02:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay! Finally, my browser allows me to post a comment.

I loved the bit with Robards. I don't know why, but I'd been missing him. He connects Teddy with Tonks in a diferent way- not the mother, daughter, wife or friend- simply the Auror and workmate. And I think that's what he needs- to treat this like a job, being a little more detached.

And of course Neville can't but listen to him. Many things would have been different had their adults listened to them sometimes...
lacontessamala From: lacontessamala Date: September 11th, 2008 06:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I loved the part with Robards too, especially because there was that bit of subtext there about how he'd been unfaithful with his wife and hit on Tonks, if I recall correctly.
37 comments or Leave a comment
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