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Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Four: An Accounting Error, part 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Four: An Accounting Error, part 2
Teddy isn't feeling as useful as he wants to at home, but he gets back into his life, writing a story wtih James, joining Frankie's game, studying with Alderman. A week before school, he and Andromeda go to a family picnic at Shell Cottage. Trying to distract himself from Victoire (who is very appealing to him at the moment), he goes inside to help Fleur, but instead finds himself talking to Bill and Harry about the possible curses that Borgin might set off if the shop goes out of the family. It doesn't seem a good lead on the murder. Bill changes subjects and tells him that he's set up an account at Gringotts for "Jim Wolf"--the name Teddy and James are writing jointly under--and asks if Teddy would like to put some of his other money in it. When Teddy seems to be suggesting that he could run out of money sometime soon, Bill realizes that he doesn't believe a financial statement that was given to him... but Harry assures him, "Teddy, there's no error. It's all yours."

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Teddy tried to say something, but nothing came out. The amount of gold on the statement he'd seen in April had been staggering, numbers that he couldn't even wrap his mind around. He shook his head.

Bill waved his wand, and a rolled scroll appeared. "Here, I'll show you," he said. He moved closer to Teddy and unrolled it. "Here"--he pointed to a large sum that had appeared at the beginning of last summer--"is the gold from the Brimmann wreck. It's quite a good chunk, actually, especially once it starts earning interest."


"Gold makes gold," Bill said. "That's why there's so much from the rest. Your allowance has only been skimming the tiniest bit, and your grandmother has paid all of your school expenses from her own vault. And before you try to push any back, she's hardly destitute at the end of it, and I want you to try and imagine her face if you even suggested it."

Teddy blinked. "Right. Er... What is the rest?"

"Well, it's four things. The first is"--he pointed to a very large amount, but Uncle Harry held up his hand.

"Let's save that for last. I'll explain it."

Bill nodded. "All right. The second bit, here, that's from your Mum. When the Ministry changed hands, Kingsley saw to it that the Aurors who lost their lives fighting for the Order of the Phoenix got a full death benefit. She got hers, and as it turns out, she was also Mad-Eye Moody's heir. He didn't really have anyone closer. I don't think she even knew that, as his will wasn't found until after the war."

Teddy blinked at this number. "Blood money."

"No," Uncle Harry said. "It's something that we all have arranged, to make sure our families aren't left without support."


"The next bit," Bill said firmly, steering him away, "comes from your father."

"Dad didn't have any money!"

"Not while he was alive. But he sold Fred and George several Charms during the last year of his life--"

"I've been getting those royalties all along, it can't be that much--"

"You've been getting an allowance from them. But the original sales still stand, and George paid off the balance of what he owed, as well as the royalties for years. So that's from your dad."

Teddy could hear his own breath. If Dad had lived, he wouldn't have been poor anymore. It wasn't enough to be rich--it was the smallest of the numbers--but he wouldn't have had to wear patched robes and live in squalor, either.

"This most recent one," Bill said, "is one your grandmother discovered when she was going through old Ted's things. She changed it to wizard gold, but it was Muggle money at first. He was, shall we say, a very good guesser about the future. And he bought a lot of stock in companies that he--guessed--would do well."

Teddy didn't say anything to this. Using Divination for that sort of thing--which Granddad had obviously done--was frowned upon, but difficult to prove, and--

"He was well aware of what he was doing," Bill said. "And I helped him. It was to hide his assets. He wrote a Muggle will whilst on the run, and left all of his accounts to his daughter Nymphadora or her heirs. It never occurred to me that it had got quite that successful."

"Which brings us to the first deposit," Uncle Harry said. "That's your share of Sirius's gold. And your vault is actually his, that's why that was the first deposit and the others were just moved there."

"But he left his gold--and everything!--to you!"

Uncle Harry sighed. "Come for a walk. This isn't just about the gold."

"I'll help Fleur finish up," Bill said, and Vanished the scroll they'd been looking at. He went to the kitchen.

Uncle Harry led Teddy outside. They passed a vegetable patch where Laurel Shacklebolt and Lily Potter were building a tower of trellises, and a windswept hill where the youngest boys were having a race. They rounded a curve in the cliff, and Uncle Harry Conjured a pair of chairs for them, looking out over the sea.

Teddy sat down with some trepidation. The last time Uncle Harry had called him out for a walk to talk about the dead, they'd had a screaming row that had ended with some nasty name calling, and several months of quarantine at Hogwarts after Teddy had let out a plague in a fit of rage. "What?" he asked. "What is it?"

"It's something I argued with Andromeda about," Uncle Harry said. "She said you were comfortable enough as it was, and the Black gold was tainted. I think she's changed her mind about the family since, but the wound was still fresh then, and after I did this--she was a bit cool to me. We haven't really talked about it since."

"Why?" Teddy asked. He thought again about the number. "I'll give it back, really, obviously, I don't need it. It's... it's more than I can use, and James and Al and Lily--"

"Are also quite comfortable," Uncle Harry said. He shook his head. "It wasn't about what you'd need. It was never about that."

"What, then?"

Uncle Harry was quiet for a long time, then said, "I was an insane choice for godfather."

"What? No, you're--"

"I was seventeen. I doubt they were thinking of me as a guardian--you were left in Andromeda's care for a reason." He smiled faintly. "But they did choose me. I think your dad did it because I knocked him in the head with some basic facts."

"I know that story."

"Yes, you do. But I also know that, if Sirius had been alive, he'd have been the one doing that all along. It probably wouldn't have got as far as it did if Sirius had been there to laugh in your father's face about his insecurities. The more I found out about them, the more I realized--if Sirius had lived, he'd have been your godfather, just like he was mine. I don't doubt that at all. And he would have loved you, and seen to your needs as much as he could, just like he did for me."

"But he didn't know me."

"Which left me in the position of trying to guess what he would have done. And what I guessed was that he wouldn't have played favorites. So I split the inheritance. I had the house already--we needed it for the war, and I'd got to like it--and the things in the house. I guessed how much that was worth, then, figuring that into the inheritance, split the number I got. I took a bit of the gold, but most of it is yours. I started to tell you that when I used it to buy the Shrieking Shack--"

"You said that it was going to be mine by the time I came of age, not that it already was, and I thought you spent it on the house..."

"On the Shrieking Shack? That... well, it wasn't a terribly expensive property, and the taxes on the lot aren't very high. It didn't make much of a dent."

Teddy felt his face get hot. Not much of a dent. His parents had wept over that house, been unable to keep Gringotts--under the control of unforgiving Death Eaters--from seizing it, had even destroyed all the work they'd put into it so that the Death Eaters wouldn't benefit from them... and all along, it was just a drop in the bucket for someone else's fortune.

For Teddy's fortune.

"If Dad had had it then..."

"I had no idea how much was in there. And he wouldn't have taken it from me--or from Sirius--which is another reason I gave it to you when you were a year old, before you could protest." Uncle Harry looked out over the ocean. "They'd have found reasons to take the Shrieking Shack anyway. Within a few months, they made it illegal for werewolves to own property, except by special dispensation from the Ministry--which, at the time, was Voldemort."

"So you don't think Dad would have taken it, and you think I will."

"It wasn't about what Remus would have taken," Uncle Harry said. "It was my best guess at what Sirius would have wanted done with his estate."

"Were you right?"


"Did you ask the portrait?"

Uncle Harry blinked, then laughed. "I never even thought of it. I made the call a long time ago, and I didn't really think of it until you came of age."

"You didn't use the--?" Teddy pointed to a round scar on his palm that had been cut there by the edges of the Resurrection Stone during his first year.

"No, Teddy, I didn't. I trusted my memory. Not that I wasn't sorely tempted."


"Me. Why do you think I don't trust it?" He thought for a while. "What do you think? Do you think it's what Sirius would have done? You've spent time with him in your dreams, and in your dad's ring. What do you think?"

He thought about Sirius--not just the times he seemed to appear in Teddy's dreams, or about the portrait, or about Dad's memories, but about the Apparition that had appeared to him in the forest when Uncle Harry had--against his deepest instincts--allowed Teddy to use the Resurrection Stone. He'd stepped aside to let Teddy say goodbye to his parents, but last words he'd said were, "As the one of us without any of his own children, I'm just glad someone remembers me."

He nodded. "It's what he would have done. But it's so much. What do I do with it?"

"That's not up to me to answer, Teddy," Uncle Harry said. "But I believe that, when the time comes, you'll know."
15 comments or Leave a comment
silvery_wraith From: silvery_wraith Date: May 31st, 2010 06:51 am (UTC) (Link)
"As the one of us without any of his own children, I'm just glad someone remembers me."

Oh, Sirius. How could anyone not remember you? This line SLAYED me.

Fern, I think this might be my favorite chapter of all your written works, ever. It is the perfect combination of adult Harry, almost adult Teddy and of course, a dash of my favorite: Sirius.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 31st, 2010 07:16 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad you liked it! I was a little worried about a whole chapter that boils down to a bank statement, but of course, inherited money is never just about money.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: May 31st, 2010 02:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Second the little sniffle: Oh, Sirius...
alkari From: alkari Date: May 31st, 2010 07:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Wonderful chapter, and yes, poor Sirius would have done exactly as you said. Would have laughed at Remus, and made sure Teddy didn't lack for anything regardless of Remus' insecurities. And I love the fact that Harry hasn't thought to consult the portrait!

Third last para is confusing - I'm not sure whose POV you are in. "He thought about Sirius" - who is the 'he', Teddy or Harry? I think it's supposed to be Teddy, but you may want to adjust slightly.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 1st, 2010 04:33 am (UTC) (Link)
You're right. I knew it while I was writing it for once, but I was trying to avoid saying Teddy's name over and over, but the pronouns are just too vague there.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: May 31st, 2010 02:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nice man-to-man talk between Teddy and Harry. Of course it's bittersweet for Teddy to know that he is the beneficiary of so many tragic losses--and yet Harry is right in saying that the dead would have wanted him to have all this.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 1st, 2010 04:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Inheritances are very strange. It's got to be hard to deal with them--on the one hand, money is good. On the other, as Teddy thinks, they're blood money.
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: May 31st, 2010 09:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've finally caught up with this and am loving it. This chapter made my eyes moist -- all Teddy's inheritances and what they meant for the dead and mean now to Harry and Teddy. Beautiful!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 1st, 2010 04:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I think Harry did the right there.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: June 1st, 2010 12:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, for a bank statesment, as you said, it was pretty emotional. Very sweet. Thank you!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 1st, 2010 04:35 am (UTC) (Link)
You're welcome! The things the dead leave behind are powerful.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 1st, 2010 03:10 am (UTC) (Link)
What's a girl got to do, to meet a nice Harry of their own?
...I may nuzzle my computer screen.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 1st, 2010 04:36 am (UTC) (Link)
What's a girl got to do, to meet a nice Harry of their own?

I don't know, but if you figure it out, please post. ;p
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 2nd, 2010 11:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Love this!
From: amethystbeloved Date: June 4th, 2010 12:11 am (UTC) (Link)
I loved the way you gave us a play by play of how Teddy got his fortune. So interesting! Wow, the Shrieking Shack story is so heartbreaking.

I have to go, but I'll try to get back to it tonight.
15 comments or Leave a comment