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Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Thirty-One: Shared Secrets, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Daedalus Maze, Chapter Thirty-One: Shared Secrets, pt. 2
Teddy and Harry are recovering from the Maze trip. Harry took the brunt of it, which is one more thing Teddy feels guilty about, but Harry tries to assuage this. He also tries to tell Teddy that Remus and Tonks are, symbolically "in his way," but Teddy's already traumatized by the notion that he saw them as monsters, and isn't prepared to consider anything other than complete purity in them, compared to his own utter wretchedness. Harry changes the subject and obliquely hints that he should continue his Animagus experiment, and then brings up O.W.L.s.

Thanks to willowbough for the suggestion of how to share the Animagus transformation with Donzo.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Hannah Longbottom visited that night, with a message from Hogwarts that Teddy was expected back at school by Wednesday, unless there were serious health concerns. When Aunt Ginny pointed out that she could have sent an owl about this, she said that an owl wouldn't be able to report back to several anxious people who wanted full reports on both Teddy and Uncle Harry, and knew they wouldn't get a straight one from either of them. Uncle Harry shuffled out for this visit, cleaned up and trying to look well. Teddy didn't think Hannah was entirely fooled. He sat up late with Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny, talking about little of consequence. Aunt Ginny--once it was clear that everyone was safe--had gone to Kingsley's office to find out about the paperweight. "He said that it was in the office before he got there, and when the first... pulse, I suppose... went through and knocked things off his desk, he decided it was time to clear it off anyway. He saved it for James on a whim. Hermione had been talking about the fort." She shook her head and took a sip of her mulled mead. "The Minister of Magic and a former Auror didn't bother to see where it came from. Apparently, someone had taken a damaged crystal ball and carved it. It was still Charmed. Kingsley swears that it never did anything to make him suspicious."

Teddy didn't doubt this--the Maze had activated it--but he'd learned quite a long time ago that it was generally better to let Aunt Ginny finish fuming on her own, and perfectly understandable mistakes were forgiven. He was just glad she wasn't fuming at him.

Ron and Hermione and the children came the next day to visit. Rosie and Hugo had apparently been instructed in sickroom etiquette, as they spent the first half hour tiptoeing around and whispering. It was raining outside, so they went to the kitchen instead of the courtyard to hear James's story, which had now expanded to include a dragon that he'd fought single-handedly, and a Lethifold that Teddy had pulled off of him. Teddy considered embellishing it further--maybe giving Uncle Harry a swordfight with a demon--but he didn't have the heart. Instead, he went upstairs, toward where Aunt Ginny and Granny were talking in the parlor. He didn't go in. He moved aimlessly through the small library, and finally heard Uncle Harry's voice coming from the front room.

"...I can't say why. I promised."

"I don't know what to tell you then, Harry," Hermione said.

There was a heavy sigh. "It goes against everything I believe. But I can't get it out of my head."

There was a pause, then Ron said, "You know that's a problem."

"I don't mean that way. It came from nowhere. In a dream." A chair scraped back. "I sound like my fifth year, though I reckon at least it's not Voldemort sending dreams this time."

Teddy turned away. The conversation was Uncle Harry's, not his, and he had no business eavesdropping. He couldn't make out the low hum of Hermione's answer.

He made his way up to the third floor, to the narrow corridor where the brothers' doors stood across from one another, continuing their endless, fading glare. He went back into Sirius's room and curled up on the bed. He slipped into a pleasant dream about the Marauders. They were all in their animal forms, including Teddy. Padfoot barked up at him, then signaled to break away. Teddy followed him into Hogsmeade, where they stopped behind Weasleys' Zonks--except that in the dream, it was Zonko's--and transformed. Sirius held up one hand said, "I solemnly swear--"

"--that I'm up to no good," Teddy finished.

Sirius laughed heartily. Teddy wanted to ask why he was here, or if Mum and Dad might talk to him again, but he couldn't seem to get the words out. Sirius wildly christened him "Wings the Avenger," then took him into Weasleys' Zonks, which became Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place. Mad Auntie was screaming in the entrance hall, and Sirius grabbed her curtains and pulled them shut.

"I talked to her more that last year than I had since I ran away. Miserable old cow."

"Why argue with a portrait?"

"Because it was better than having the arguments with myself. Also, cathartic. You should open the curtains and give her a go. She's got to be good for something." He headed up the stairs, and Teddy followed. They stopped in front of Regulus's door, which Sirius pounded on for quite a long time before giving up and heading into his own room. He shook his head sadly at the pinned up Muggle girls in swimsuits. "These need replacing. Swimsuits have got considerably smaller."

"You put a Permanent Sticking Charm on them."

"Oh. Right. Ah, well. They were good company." He turned. "You're not a murderer, so let it go. You're no more a murderer than I was."

"You were innocent."

"Hardly." He wrinkled his nose and slapped at something on his arm. "Harry needs to do something about these chizpurfles."

As soon as he said it, Teddy felt his skin crawling. He woke up to find a small colony of the little beasts swarming on his forearm. Aunt Ginny was calling him for dinner.

Granny woke him early the next morning and did one last diagnostic spell before he had to return to Hogwarts. She couldn't find anything wrong with it, despite an abnormally long examination. Teddy went to Uncle Harry to say goodbye (Granny took one look at him and informed him that he would return to work on Monday, and not a moment sooner), then left with Granny, who took him to Hogsmeade by Side-Along Apparition, then walked him to the Hogwarts gates. Professor Longbottom met him there, and took him back to the castle.

For the next two weeks, his friends hovered near him (Ruthless grinned and called this the "bi-annual Teddy-watch") as they studied for examinations. The plague study group was caught up, and Tinny held a Hufflepuff party in Teddy's honor to thank him for his time. Teddy was embarrassed by this, but it seemed genuine, and he didn't want to snub them. She also promised that she was working on the best Tube Crawl ever for a post-O.W.L.s Muggles and Minions day. Frankie looked so pleased to have her back at urban planning that he didn't even attempt to offer any suggestions, though Teddy noticed that he'd put several Muggle Studies books concerning chemistry in prominent view.

At first, he didn't try transforming into Wings because it didn't occur to him, but as days passed, he was afraid that it wouldn't work outside the Maze. He talked himself out of doing it in his room, as he wasn't sure how Checkmate would respond, and it never seemed a good time to sneak out anywhere else. Still, he dreamed, remembering the sensation of rising on the columns of air, the amazing vision through the hawk's phenomenal eyes. Finally, he went up to the top of the Astronomy Tower. The soft scent of mid-June rose up from the grounds below.

He expected that it would be a fight, that he'd have to re-learn without any boost from the Maze's magic, and had allowed himself quite a lot of time. But the transformation went as smoothly as it had inside the Maze--a thought that wasn't quite a thought, a surge of power going through him, and then the world was huge and filled with vibrant colors and shadows and lines. He hopped cautiously to the battlements and flew tentatively up onto one. The grounds were impossibly beautiful, and he could see everything from here, from fish moving near the surface of the lake to a mouse scurrying in the grass.

He tried to step off of the tower to fly, but couldn't bring himself to do it. He went to the center, with a stone floor all around him, then ran in a long, expanding spiral, spreading his wings to feel the air, until finally he lifted off. Once airborne, there was no fear of the drop. He flew over it easily, letting himself enjoy the warm air and the soft evening mist. Finally, he circled around to Ravenclaw Tower. He'd visited the Common Room, but never Donzo's dormitory. He took a guess that it would be on the same level as his own, since they were in the same year.

He found the window and landed on the sill. Donzo was sitting cross-legged on his desk, apparently trying to put his Potions book to music, as he would read a bit, then close his eyes and mutter, swaying a little to a beat only he could hear. Franklin Driscoll was sprawled on the floor, rolling his eyes at the display. Only Geoffrey Phillips was looking toward the window. He was wearing only a vest, pants, and a pair of filthy socks. He had a bright yellow Muggle pen in one hand, and had apparently been marking his History of Magic book with it. He drew back.

"There's a buzzard in the window," he said. "I imagine it's one of yours." He wrinkled his nose in Donzo's direction.

"It could be mine," Franklin said. "I've been talking to the museum about a summer post."

Donzo glanced over, at first disinterested, then smiling. "Oh, I think it's mine," he said, the moved closer to the window and added, "Probably some fan frippery. I'll take it out on the balcony, in case it sings."

Teddy met him on a balcony near the top of Ravenclaw Tower, transformed, and took a bow.

Donzo clapped politely. "Took you long enough."

"Well, maybe with a competent teacher..."

"You wound me." Donzo put his hand melodramatically over his heart. "So, what's it like to fly?"

Teddy told him. Donzo was keen to have one true Marauder adventure. "I know you're not wild on anything frivolous just now," he said, "but I plan to drag you, kicking and screaming, back to normal life."

Teddy agreed to go after O.W.L.s, though neither of them had the slightest inkling what they meant to do.

O.W.L.s began. Teddy found Potions absurdly easy--after a year of brewing Wolfsbane Potion, two Sleeping Draughts and a Mnemonic Notion were child's play. Charms was also a stroll in the meadow. Herbology wasn't his best subject, but he thought he did well enough. Care of Magical Creatures and Arithmancy, he wasn't entirely certain about. Defense Against the Dark Arts and Transfiguration, he'd studied hard for, and he thought he acquitted himself well. Only Divination was a challenge. He was meant to crystal gaze, and froze entirely, thinking of the mad run through the Daedalus Maze. His tester was ready to fail him--he could see that--so he asked if he might use a different crystal ball. The tester, who had apparently not had any prior intelligence about the students he'd be testing, seemed surprised that such a Divination dullard had his own crystal ball, but allowed it. Teddy pulled out the one he'd taken from the Maze. It gave him a wide view of the outer world. He didn't understand everything he saw in it, but he was finally able to read at least a few things that could be verified later.

After their last exam, Teddy and the rest of his year (excluding Geoffrey, by his own choice) were planning to meet in the Slytherin Common Room for a party, in case anyone didn't end up going on for any N.E.W.T.s, since it could be the last time they saw each other. Teddy happened to be crossing the entrance hall with Corky and Maurice when the huge door opened.

He looked up.

Uncle Harry was standing there. He looked fully recovered, but his face was troubled and his arms were crossed protectively over his chest. He nodded to Maurice and Corky then looked at Teddy and said, "Could you come with me?"
63 comments or Leave a comment
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rotae From: rotae Date: October 30th, 2008 07:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Ugh. This is like a TV series. I'm so excited to get the new one, but then they leave you on a cliff hanger and you realise you have to wait AGAIN for the next one!! XDDDD

Wonderful, as always XD

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 31st, 2008 05:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah, mission accomplished. :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 30th, 2008 07:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Looks like somebody's about to get a chance with the Resurrection Stone...

Oh, I can't wait. I miss Remus and Tonks too...

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 31st, 2008 05:44 am (UTC) (Link)
You caught me. :)

I miss them, too. I just need to spend time with them.
amamama From: amamama Date: October 30th, 2008 07:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Eeep! Ouch! And now that it seemed you had decided to finish with smooth sailing, you steer us right into troubled waters. Of course it may be nothing, but...my stomach is all in knots now. Well, I'm tickled pink that Teddy managed his transformation outside the Maze, and his Divination exam sounds fun. I can just see the incredulous look of the examiner when he asked to use another ball.

And now I'm too afraid there's something seriously wrong, some disaster lurking, the death of a loved one or something, to be able to say much more. Tea, I think...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 31st, 2008 05:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, there's always a reason for tea.
From: tree_and_leaf Date: October 30th, 2008 08:36 am (UTC) (Link)
She couldn't find anything wrong with it, despite an abnormally long examination.

With him, surely?

And eep, what's happened now?
barbara_the_w From: barbara_the_w Date: October 30th, 2008 07:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
I noticed that too! And this one:
Donzo glanced over, at first disinterested, then smiling. "Oh, I think it's mine," he said, the moved closer to the window and added, "Probably some fan frippery. I'll take it out on the balcony, in case it sings." Possibly should be "then"?
shiiki From: shiiki Date: October 30th, 2008 10:57 am (UTC) (Link)
I suspect we're about to find out what Harry was discussing with Ron and Hermione that Teddy didn't hear. It was honorable of him, of course, not to eavesdrop, but I certainly wanted to hear that conversation! :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 31st, 2008 05:46 am (UTC) (Link)
I suspect we're about to find out what Harry was discussing with Ron and Hermione that Teddy didn't hear. I

You sure are. :D
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 30th, 2008 11:02 am (UTC) (Link)
For some mad reason I imagine Harry opening BOTH doors of the entrance hall and walking in between them, arms outstretched to push them open. That's how dramatic these last few segments have been. :)

Great stuff!

Lady Stratford
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 31st, 2008 05:47 am (UTC) (Link)
He needs the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack to accompany it. BAM-bam-bam-bam-BAM.... bam-bam-bam-BAM...
From: jme1374 Date: October 30th, 2008 11:07 am (UTC) (Link)
I *love* this story, and have been following it all along. I don't comment much, but I very much appreciate the way you have built personalities for Teddy and all his friends, so that now I know how they act and who they are.

And now, in the three-sentance glimpse you give us of Harry and his friends, I realize that you completely get them too. I could just [i]see[/i] Ron and Hermione exchanging a glance after Harry's [i]"I can't get it out of my head."[/i] and Ron's somewhat tentative (but knowing it has to be said, and that he's the best one to say it) response [i]"You know that's a problem."[/i]

Great job! I can't wait to see what happens next!
From: jme1374 Date: October 30th, 2008 11:09 am (UTC) (Link)
gah, and I *still* haven't figured out LJ tags, nor do I *ever* remember to preview my posts.
daksian From: daksian Date: October 30th, 2008 12:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
First off, if you don't do in the main story, you're going to have to write up the Donzo and Teddy Marauder adventure as a ficlet. I'm just sayin'. ;)

If Harry's about to do what I think he's about to do...I have to applaud him. It's very hard to go against your own beliefs for the sake of someone else.

I do hope you'll have a follow-up to Teddy's OWL scores. Of course, I'm most interested in the things he thought he didn't do well in, or was uncertain of.

I'm very much looking forward to the next installment!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 31st, 2008 05:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Hopefully, I'll come off November NaNo with a little energy left, and I'll do the usual holiday challenge call around mid-December.
nundu_art From: nundu_art Date: October 30th, 2008 12:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
*sigh* Just when I thought we were cruising through the 'wrap-up' chapter, Harry throws us for a loop. (not that I'm complaining, mind you!)

Love, love, love the story, Teddy, Harry, Gran...ALL OF THEM! Will we have a 7th year story?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 31st, 2008 05:50 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't know. Teddy doesn't have a seven-book nemesis to defeat, so all of his stories depend on whether or not something occurs to me to tell about him.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 30th, 2008 12:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Geoffry is disturbing, as I imagine you mean him to be. Sirius! I so want to know what's going on with Harry! Love it. Even though real life interrupted 7 times while I read this!

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 31st, 2008 05:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Geoffrey is definitely meant to be off. The boy has drunk the Kool-Aid.
scopart From: scopart Date: October 30th, 2008 01:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I hope this is what I've been hoping for... =D
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 31st, 2008 05:51 am (UTC) (Link)
I hope so, too!
willowbough From: willowbough Date: October 30th, 2008 01:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Will Teddy get a chance to see his parents after all, courtesy of the Stone? One can only hope-he might be ready to handle the experience now, and even wise enough to understand why it can only be a temporary thing.

I always enjoy the catching-up segments in the Teddy-verse. His friends must be getting used to his every-other-year crises, judging from Ruthless's remark. And hooray for the Animagus translation, and going to visit Donzo first!
willowbough From: willowbough Date: October 30th, 2008 01:33 pm (UTC) (Link)


You're welcome, by the way.
From: kobegrace Date: October 30th, 2008 01:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Fern; what now?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 31st, 2008 05:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Not long to wait!
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: October 30th, 2008 03:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
"...it was generally better to let Aunt Ginny finish fuming on her own."

Yay!! First Grownup!Harry and now Aunt Ginny channeling Molly!

You do the best next-gen evah!!!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 31st, 2008 05:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Don't we all grow up to channel our mothers?
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: October 30th, 2008 03:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah for Teddy shifting in real life. I knew he could do it! The dream with Sirius was wonderful, full of insight and worry but still dream-fragmented. I hope after this stressful year that Teddy aces his O.W.L.s -- he deserves that.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 31st, 2008 05:53 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't have any worries about Teddy's O.W.L.s. :)
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