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Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Five: The Last First Day, part 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Five: The Last First Day, part 2
Harry called Teddy and the Head Girl and Boy (Honoria and Donzo) to King's Cross early, to run interference with the younger children while Aurors secured the scene of the murder. Donzo thinks they'll need more than the three of them. Harry identifies the body as the conductor of the Hogwarts Express--Goyle. (I know, weird posting time. I was almost finished last night and just decided to finish up before work.)

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

"I know Goyle," Honoria said, and for the first time in a long while, Teddy thought she looked shaken. "I mean, I hadn't met him, personally, but I know friends of friends, and when I was in Greece a couple of summers ago, they were talking about him. Marcus Flint said that he was thinking of marrying a girl that he'd met by post."

"He did," Harry said. "They just had a baby. I sent Ruth Scrimgeour to tell her what's happened."

Honoria shook her head, dazed, then straightened her spine. "Well, we'd best get going. The bigger families and younger children always start showing up by nine-thirty--they're excited and want good seats. It's already a quarter after eight. We should definitely call the other prefects."

"I'll do it," Donzo said. Everyone but Lizzie can send back a Patronus, and I don't think we have to worry about Lizzie not showing up. We can tell the littler ones that we're trying to start a new tradition of seventh years saying hello at the platform and helping younger kids find their way."

Honoria thought about it. "Not bad, but don't try to elaborate; it'll make them suspicious."

"That'll work," Uncle Harry said. "I appreciate your help, Higgs, and I'm sorry you found out about someone you know this way."

"Well, he wasn't exactly a family friend." She blanched. "I'd best tell Rita Skeeter to watch her back. She's my godmother, but I think she's not exactly beloved in some circles. Which would be the same circles where--"

"I have people looking after Rita," Uncle Harry said. "But don't tell her. I don't think she'd take it well."

Honoria, looking relieved at this intelligence, just said, "Probably true."

"What about the Malfoys?" Teddy asked.

Uncle Harry looked pained. "Yes. I suppose. Draco will be less thrilled than Rita." He sighed. "I should get him word about Goyle, though. I don't have time, and he wouldn't take well to a Patronus dropping in."

Teddy waited for Donzo to go off and send a Patronus to the other prefects--Corky from Slytherin, Roger and Tinny from Hufflepuff, and Donzo's partner in Ravenclaw, Lizzie Richardson--and the others to arrive. It took about ten minutes; most of them were as excited as first years and already packed. It seemed natural that as Head Boy and Head Girl, they should explain things to the others, so Teddy waited until the attention was off of him and slipped back into the shadows, where Uncle Harry was trying to hide the blood better whilst still giving enough room for his Aurors to do their work.

"Are you all right?"

Uncle Harry looked up, surprised. "Yes, Teddy. I'm fine. Thank you."

"You don't look fine."

"You being of age doesn't mean we switch roles." He managed a smile. "Give me a break. I'm still getting used to looking up at you."

"I'm still getting used to that, too. Do you need anything?"

Uncle Harry stood up, looking out over the platform. "I need to catch this bastard." He put a hand on Teddy's arm, then sat down on one of the benches. "It's strange. I loathed Goyle. He was a thug and a bully, and not very... Teddy? What is it?"

"A thug and a bully," Teddy said. "Big bloke."


Teddy held out his hands and curled them into fists. "Rule of the fist. Metaphorically, anyway."

"Oh, my God. His hands. And Runcorn's jaw and eyes for spying and turning people in." Teddy nodded. Uncle Harry unconsciously rubbed his scar. (It didn't hurt him anymore, but habits died harder than Dark wizards.) "I'll point that out to Goldstein; he's trying to get an idea of who this is."

"Hope it's useful."

"I'm sorry to drag you in this morning. I know--it's an important day for you, too, but it just seemed the best way to handle it, and I knew I could trust you."

Teddy couldn't think of anything to say to this that didn't sound wrong somehow, so he just gave Uncle Harry's shoulder a squeeze and said, "We'll handle the kids. I've got your back."


Teddy returned to the prefects, who were just getting the gist of what they were expected to do.

"Not to be too practical," Tinny said, "but we should get our luggage and pets on board the train before anyone gets here. And Teddy, where's your cat?"

"I asked Granny to bring her closer to eleven. She didn't need to be asleep yet." He hadn't, in fact, asked, just left a note--but he knew Granny well enough to know that she wouldn't miss her last chance to send him off to school. It occurred to him that maybe Uncle Harry could tell her about Goyle, and she could tell Draco before he heard it from some less sympathetic source.

There was a grinding sound of brick on stone, and the first family came through the passage.

"...now, we'll find somewhere to wait, they won't let us board this early, but you'll get to see everyone, Timothy, and you'll see that they aren't frightening at all..."

A brightly-robed woman was pulling a trunk, and behind her was a very small first year boy. Teddy started over, but Tinny was already on the case, with all of her Hufflepuff warmth. A few minutes later, the boy was smiling tentatively, but Teddy didn't see how it ended, as the next families were starting to arrive.

The early trickle was easy to handle, but by ten o'clock, families were coming in regularly, and there was no way to stop each individual child for a pick-me up conversation. Instead, they formed a loose greeting line that happened to follow the line of the Aurors' torches. Roger did a mild restraining spell that he used around Hagrid's paddock when he was cleaning, that convinced the creatures that they really wanted to be elsewhere. It worked on about half of the people. The others seemed to buy the idea that the seventh years were trying to create a tradition--Teddy's year was known, and thought to be odd because it was so small and so marked by the war. A few parents looked suspiciously beyond them, where there was a space that was obviously inaccessible, but most of them were focused on getting their children onto the Hogwarts Express.

Bill and Fleur arrived with their brood at ten-thirty. Aimee would be starting this year, and her older sisters, Victoire and Marie, were fussing over her. Victoire happened to look up and notice the line of first years. She broke off and marched straight to Teddy.

"What's this?"

"Trying to start a new tradition."

"You and Higgs?"

"The prefects. She's Head Girl."

"One chance not to lie to me."

"I won't lie. But I won't tell you right now."


"At school."

She gave him a suspicious look. "Do you need help from the fifth year prefects? The Shacklebolts were right behind us, and Story and I can get our crews together..."

"No. We've got it. Go fuss over Aimee."

Maurice wasn't as easily put off a few minutes later, and he joined the line between Teddy and Donzo. Jane Hunter took Teddy's other side, under the guise of discussing their non-existant relatinship. As the rest of the year drifted in--Franklin Driscoll, Laura Chapman, Connie Deverill, Brendan Lynch and Joe Palmer--they took their places casually, not giving anyone a choice.

"Only one missing," Jane said. "Maybe he won't show. He hates the wizarding world so much, maybe he'll just skip seventh year."

Teddy glanced at the barrier. "No such luck."

A large, awkward-looking young man with flat brown hair nearly ironed over his head was coming through, carrying a suitcase on wheels and a book bag. He looked at the crowd with great distaste.

Maurice leaned over to Teddy. "I don't think Geoffrey's going to be very reassuring to anyone. Maybe he won't notice us."

They weren't so fortunate. Geoffrey Phillips, the only member of Teddy's year with whom he'd been able to establish no rapport at all, glanced over and saw the rest of them standing in a line. He lowered his head bullishly and came over, ignoring anyone in the path. He also ignored Teddy entirely and went to Franklin Driscoll, who he shared a dormitory with (along with Donzo).

"What's this?"

"We're welcoming the younger students," Franklin said. "Not really your thing."

"To the contrary, I have quite a lot to tell them about this--"

"I said, 'welcome,' Geoff."

Teddy had only been listening to this with half an ear, and he lost even that interest when Geoffrey put down his book bag. The sport coat he was wearing was unbuttoned, and it opened to reveal a red tee-shirt underneath. On it was an oversized black needle with an exaggerated eye, a cockroach impaled at the end of it. This went diagonally. In the lower corner under it, the base of the "R" also stamping at he cockroach, was the word "Revolution."
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i_autumnheart From: i_autumnheart Date: June 3rd, 2010 02:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oooh, not a good day for revolutionary t-shirts... I am resolved to be suspicious.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 3rd, 2010 07:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sure Geoff considers it the perfect day for such a shirt, or would if he knew what was going on behind the line.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 3rd, 2010 03:33 pm (UTC) (Link)

question please!

I went to the link you gave with all the teddy verse/shift verse
and it says This links to all seven extant stories--five finished, one in progress, *one probably dropped for good.*

oh please tell me it's not Strays! it was great!

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 3rd, 2010 07:23 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: question please!

I've had two runs at Stray, and run out of steam both times. I'm not saying I'll write it off completely, but in all likelihood--yes.
Re: question please! - (Anonymous) - Expand
nundu_art From: nundu_art Date: June 3rd, 2010 03:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
*sigh* All these lovely chaplets and I've no time to read them. I shall one day, I swear!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 3rd, 2010 07:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
They'll be waiting. ;p
sidealong From: sidealong Date: June 3rd, 2010 03:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Not a good shirt, Geoff.

I'm afraid.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 3rd, 2010 07:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
In an odd way, I'm less freaked out by serial killers than by the bizarre people that fawn over them.
mollywheezy From: mollywheezy Date: June 3rd, 2010 04:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
I never thought anyone would make me feel sorry for Goyle and his family . . .

Not a good shirt for Geoff . . .
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 3rd, 2010 07:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I never thought I'd feel sorry for them, either.
gypsy_thief From: gypsy_thief Date: June 3rd, 2010 05:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Obviously, Geoff has taken a job at Revolutionary Pest Control. They're big Beatles fans.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 3rd, 2010 07:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, clearly. You've sussed out the next chapter. ;p
lollapulizer From: lollapulizer Date: June 3rd, 2010 06:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't think Geoff did anything, but I do think the group he's involved with is behind everything. Unless that coincidence is a red herring.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 3rd, 2010 07:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Geoff is an ass, but mostly of the stand-on-the-sidelines sort at the moment. He just admires the guy's handiwork.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: June 3rd, 2010 06:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Eeeehhh!! REVOLUTION!!

(what? I study in the most leftist university in the country. Although I don't much like it in Geoffrey's chest)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 3rd, 2010 07:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Geoff is the nastiest variety of revolutionary--one of those bottom-feeders who's in it for the destruction.
amamama From: amamama Date: June 3rd, 2010 07:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow. Wowowowowow. *lets out breath* This is wonderfully awesome - creepy, but not too creepy. And now Geoff comes along with a rather unfortunate T-shirt. Foreshadowing of what is to come, years down the line? Iirc, he's the one who started the pure-blood purge?

Keep on charting new waters, this is such a treat.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 3rd, 2010 08:10 pm (UTC) (Link)


what pure-blood purge?
get rid of purebloods or mudbloods?

and when did this "purge" happened?
From: natzee_xx Date: June 3rd, 2010 08:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've been reading your fics for a while now but this is the first comment I've ever left and I just have to tell you how much i LOVE your fics :) I especially love the relationship you have between Teddy and Harry it's everything it should be!

"habits died harder than Dark wizards"
I have to admit this made me smile, it probably shouldn't have but it did.

Cannot wait for the next installment!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2010 06:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks--glad to have you aboard!
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: June 3rd, 2010 09:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Geoffrey. You are still creepy. (And I just realized how well this story ties in with the later war stories you've drabbled in, soo....)

One typo found- Jane Hunter took Teddy's other side, under the guise of discussing their non-existant relatinship. - probably that should be relationship.

Otherwise, I am very very interested! Freaked out, but, interested.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2010 06:02 am (UTC) (Link)
probably that should be relationship.

I dunno, he does say it's "non-existant." Kind of like the word. ;p
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: June 3rd, 2010 11:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, smallest year! You are such a tight-knit group! Geoff's continued presence really has confused me since he hates wizards so much one would think he'd quit and get into a muggle school. People who do things that make themselves deliberately unhappy confuse me in general though and Geoff's admiration of a killer makes him not just strange but down right creepy! Love that detail though.

Also, I know want a scene or story where Harry (well, or someone else) tells Draco about Goyle. I imagine even if you aren't close anymore that would be a charged conversation. I'm also glad you gave Goyle a happier life before he was killed.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2010 06:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Geoff hates everyone--if he were in a Muggle school, he'd still be complaining about the privileged elite class (while taking all the same classes). Hogwarts really is the only option for Muggle-borns if they want to learn magic, as they can't very well be home-schooled, which Geoffrey undoubtedly thinks is horrendously terrible.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: June 4th, 2010 03:22 am (UTC) (Link)
A shirt with a needle? Oh boy--I know it's probably a coincidence, but still . . . ::shudders:: And Geoffrey Phillips is wearing it too--eww. Somehow I don't think his t-shirt is going to go over well with the Aurors.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2010 06:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, it's not a coincidence.
From: amethystbeloved Date: June 4th, 2010 04:00 am (UTC) (Link)
I have now caught up and have just joined the anticipation-for-the-next-installment club. Your comment about Harry's old habit was too cute~ it's as if we really are a part of the wizarding world.

Wow, I forgot all about Geoffrey. It will be interesting to see what kind of trouble he'll be stirring during the year.

Now, I wonder who would marry Marcus Flint... oh well, happy endings aren't necessarily picky choosers!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2010 06:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Maybe Marcus has a mail order bride, too. ;p
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 4th, 2010 04:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Geoffrey makes the main character of "I Am Not A Serial Killer" look warm and fuzzy.

Actually, he makes the serial killer of "I Am Not A Serial Killer" look . . . maybe not warm and fuzzy but definitely a better person to hang out with.

Wait, though, if Goyle worked on the train, shouldn't a fair number of the kids know him at least a little? He's not as big as Hagrid, but he was still fairly distinct in a hulking sort of way. I'd guess kids would be more likely to remember him than more average size folks.

Side thing: If Goyle was at all like some of the little boys I know, working on a train would be their dream job, a little slice of heaven.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 4th, 2010 06:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Wait, though, if Goyle worked on the train, shouldn't a fair number of the kids know him at least a little?

I don't think so. In six years of trips on the Hogwarts Express (well, five, since second year didn't have the train trip), we never saw the conductor, or any adults other than the lady selling sweets and Remus (and they noted that Remus's presence was odd). He's probably just up there in the engine, and doesn't have any contact with the passengers.
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