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Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Six: The Smallest Year, Once More, part 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Six: The Smallest Year, Once More, part 2
Teddy's back at school, and back in the Great Hall for Sorting, and Geoffrey's being an ass.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

The Gryffindor families were coming back, Teddy noticed.

For the third year running, Gryffindor would have the most new students. Bill's girls were the vanguard of the next Weasley generation (and Aimee, of course, joined her sisters), and Oliver Wood's firstborn, Colin, had taken his place with great joy. Teddy had met his younger sister, Minerva, and had no doubt that, in two years, she would be here as well. There was a Kirke, a Frobisher, a Robins, and a Jordan, though Teddy didn't know how the last was related to Lee. Percy's daughter Molly had been Sorted into Ravenclaw last year (much to Marie's relief), but next year, James would be the leading edge for the real influx of Weasleys and Potters from all sides, and Teddy was quite sure that the vast majority of them would be sitting at this table. Of course, there were also the newcomers--three Muggle-borns and four who didn't come from Gryffindor families at all--but on the whole, what Teddy saw when he looked out was a many-headed phoenix, rising cheerfully from the ashes of his own decimated year.

The Feast was warm and welcoming, and Teddy made a point of saying hello to each of the new first years. Celia Dean, who'd become quite popular last year, started tailing around after him, giving him grander and grander introductions with each stop, until he finally tugged on her pigtail and sent her back to her dormitory mates. He finished up with Aimee, to whom he said, "Oh, right, there's you," and plopped down beside her, stealing an apple from beside her plate.

She reached under his arm and took a turkey leg from his plate.

Victoire smiled at him over Aimee's head. He smiled numbly back, then Marie scrambled over him--standing up on the bench and climbing over his back--and Aimee ducked under his arm to get away from her, and his plate overturned on all three of them.

In all, it was a satisfactory opening to his final year.

The news of the murder at King's Cross didn't wait for Honoria's school paper to break it on Friday; Monday morning, it was the lead in the Prophet. At breakfast, Geoffrey accused the Aurors of using the seventh years to "cover up the truth," and, to Teddy's dismay, several younger students seemed to be seething with outrage over it. They responded to a nasty, impromptu speech on the subject with furious cheers. Geoff, for the moment, was restraining himself from saying that Goyle had deserved it, but Teddy was quite sure it would have got to that if Professor Longbottom hadn't intervened and sent everyone off to class (engendering irritated grumblings about the return of Umbridge, trying to restrict free speech).

Teddy didn't see Geoffrey again until History of Magic that afternoon. There were only four students taking N.E.W.T. level History of Magic--Teddy, Donzo, Geoffrey, and Honoria. Teddy and Honoria both needed a solid grounding in wizarding history for their chosen careers, and Geoffrey had enjoyed skewering Binns since first year. Teddy was baffled as to why Donzo was taking it, but he said he just liked history, despite Binns' best efforts to kill the interest.

Binns hadn't arrived yet when they got there. Teddy took his customary seat by the window, and Donzo grabbed a book from the wall case at random. Honoria was scribbling madly on a piece of parchment, and Teddy guessed it was a future Charmer article.

Geoffrey took a seat on the edge of Binns' desk. "Wonder if he'll bother with the historical roots of our needle-loving friend."

"Don't start," Donzo warned him.

"I'll say whatever I want," Geoffrey said. "Free speech. You believe in that, right Higgs?"

"Free speech doesn't mean that there are no consequences for saying idiotic things," Honoria said, not looking at him. "For instance, if I write that you're a raving loony, I'd expect you to protest that you aren't, and to expect me to apologize. And if you keep going on like a raving loony, which you have every right to do, I'd expect that eventually, someone is going to do this." She pointed her wand at him, and there was a bright slapping sound. A red weal appeared on Geoffrey's cheek. "Which I have every right to do."

"You don't have a right to personal assault." Geoffrey sniffed. "Then again, that's what you pure-bloods always think. That's why there are only fifteen of us to begin with."

Binns came through the wall at the last moment, looking decidedly miffed, and a few seconds later, a third year with detention ran in carrying several shiny new books. She opened them up and laid them down on the desk, then scurried out.

"The powers that be," Binns said, with distinct irritation, "have decreed that we study more... modern history. I have pleaded the case that we do not have any mechanism by which to judge our more recent historical decisions, and they are therefore useless to our study here, but I have been overruled. So, we shall discuss our recent conflict."

"About bloody time," Geoffrey said.

"What no comments about Professsor Binns needing to fight the system?" Donzo asked. "Ghost rights, or some such thing?"

"He is the system," Geoffrey said. "A doddering old ghost of itself going through the motions of being alive long after it should have disappeared."

"Thank you, Mr. Phillips," Binns said. "Take your seat. Now, as you know, our current troubles arose in the distant past, in the conflict between Salazar Slytherin and Godric Gryffindor--"

"Over race issues," Geoffrey spat.

"Yes," Binns said. "Or blood issues, at any rate. Of course, by the time Tom Riddle styled himself as Lord Voldemort, it had gone rather beyond that, and entered the realm of a single man's megalomania."

"It's never a single man," Geoffrey said. "A single man can only take advantage of a rotten society."

"The same society fought him off," Donzo said. "Do we have to go over the same thing every year, Geoff?"

"Want something new?" Geoff smiled coldly. "All right, now that I'm of age, I spent the summer off researching. Remember when Longbottom told us all that it wasn't so terrible, that there were a dozen others out there who just hadn't come to Hogwarts?"

"Sure," Teddy said.

"It was a lie. There were nine."

Teddy shrugged. "So he rounded up."

"And eight of them were rescued from St. Mungo's just before they were killed by Healers there."

This got the response Geoff wanted: complete silence.

He smirked and went on. "Yes, the half-bloods, the children of Muggle-borns. Their mothers were brought to St. Mungo's under false pretenses--some of them, some were taken there from the Department of Mysteries after they'd been convicted of stealing magic--and, well... there are reasons we have a small year, and it's not just because your parents were the only ones stupid enough to get sprogged up in the middle of a war."

Teddy didn't know what to say to this. He'd grown up around St. Mungo's, and knew most of the Healers. He couldn't even imagine... this sort of thing.

"That's not true," Honoria said.

"Oh, it is," Geoff told her.

"It is."

Teddy looked up.

Donzo was fiddling with the corner of a page of his book. He put on his glasses (mostly worn for show or to hide) and said, "My mother was Muggle-born. They caught her in Diagon Alley. She was quite pregnant that autumn, and she couldn't get away quickly. They put her in front of that... that show trial, and then they sent her to St. Mungo's, and a pack of Death Eaters set on her to... well, kill me."

"How did she get away?" Honoria asked.

"You know how I always talked about living with the Pondhoppers in America?" Everyone nodded; Donzo went on. "They knew what was going on. The American magical government was trying to help, and the Pondhoppers wanted to help, so they figured a touring band wasn't going to raise anyone's suspicions, especially with the stupid bubble-gum pop they do. So they signed on as agents to sneak people out, and they actually--that is--well, they heard things, and when they heard Dad going absolutely mad, they went beyond their mission. They broke into St. Mungo's, and got my Mum out, and took us to America before I was born. Dad came right after. He couldn't go back, because they knew who he was, but the band--they could, for at least a few more months. I don't know if they rescued any of the other... you know, the others from our year... but I know they got other Muggle-borns and half-bloods to safety."

After he'd finished, no one spoke for a moment, then Honoria said, "And you wonder why I think our year would make a great series of stories? I have to interview your mother, and your father, and the Pondhoppers..."

Geoffrey interrupted her to start an argument about why she wanted to glorify people who were interfering in another country's internal affairs without a by-your-leave, and Teddy tuned out. He pulled his chair closer to Donzo's and said, "I never knew that."

Donzo shrugged. "I didn't know all of it until Mum told me last year. I'm still not sure what to do with it."

Teddy shook his head. "Neither am I."
18 comments or Leave a comment
izhilzha From: izhilzha Date: June 8th, 2010 06:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow, I really hate Geoffrey. He's the sort of political argumentative idiot that there's no dealing with, for whom there is no right answer except his own. *shudder*

Also. I'm think I'm attempting to stave off the horror of half-bloods being murdered in the womb by being mad at Geoffrey. (Nice job, I must go read something fluffy before bed.)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 8th, 2010 04:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Given what we saw in TDH, I just can't imagine they'd be thrilled with letting those kids be born. And I think that, had they stayed in power long enough, it wouldn't have stopped at kids not born yet.
amamama From: amamama Date: June 8th, 2010 07:48 am (UTC) (Link)
I was going to start with the many-eaded phoenix, but now I'm just so hopping mad at Geoffrey... Gah. Well done, Fern. You're painting the picture of Geoffrey very well - the moment someone agrees with something he said, but then embllishes on it in a good way, he's finding something else to talk about. I think he would work well as dragon feed. If they don't get indigestion from something as grumpy and opposing as him.

Now, the many-headed phoenix! Which I think is an absolutely wonderful picture of post-war baby moom.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 8th, 2010 04:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
He's definitely a nasty piece of work.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 8th, 2010 01:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

I still don't fully understand what is Geoffrey problem....

other than he is a major deluded self-entitled A-hole.

honestly what does he wants to achieve? absolute chaos? the extermination of pure blood wizards?

i still dont understand what he is so angry about other than he is angry at pureblood wizards.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 8th, 2010 04:43 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I still don't fully understand what is Geoffrey problem....

He's just generally angry. Basically, if you've read A Tale of Two Cities, think about the utterly nutty French revolutionaries.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 8th, 2010 05:59 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I still don't fully understand what is Geoffrey problem....

yes but at what exactly? mistreatment of half-blood or muggle-borns by pureblood wizards.? does he not realize Another genocide is not going to solve anything?

incidently, is he half-blood or muggleborn?

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 8th, 2010 10:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I still don't fully understand what is Geoffrey problem....

The Geoffreys I've known don't have any specific thing that they're angry at. They're just all worked up. He doesn't have any special childhood traumas; he's just been brought up to believe that outrage and umbrage are the proper stances toward anything that's imperfect and outside some very limited philosophical boundaries.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 8th, 2010 10:47 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I still don't fully understand what is Geoffrey problem....

so he really is just a "puff of hot air" complainer?

urgh the world doesn't need any more of those. *however, he is funny to read. specially when he gets pwned ala Honoria/ teddy/gonzo style*

then again it's better for them to be just a puff of hot air than someone more serious and active.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 8th, 2010 01:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

oh and another thing....

BRAVO Honoria!!!

and I love her even more known because God known how many times I have come across self-entitled disruptive, poisonous people like Geoff waving that same argument of " I can whatever the heck I want no matter how poisonous it is because there is freedom of speech blah blah.

and not being able to do a thing about it.

So Bravo for Honoria for standing up to that!

*If I ever come across one of them again, I'll say something similar to what Honoria says*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 8th, 2010 04:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: oh and another thing....

Every right has a corresponding responsibility, and the responsibility of free speech is to understand that words have consequences.

(I deleted the double post here; I figured that was most likely just double-hitting "post comment".)
willowbough From: willowbough Date: June 8th, 2010 01:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Unnerving to see that Geoffrey might have willing disciples among the younger years. Even more unnerving that he actually had something of importance to impart to his yearmates. I'll be interested in seeing how this discovery affects the rest of this story. Honoria's articles have just taken on greater significance in light of this revelation.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 8th, 2010 04:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Enfants terribles always have willing disciples. It's fun to trash the world without offering a viable alternative.

Geoff's not stupid, though--he has a particular point of view that he's out to buttress, but he knows how to look for these things.
From: amethystbeloved Date: June 8th, 2010 05:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Reading about the Gryffindor come back was so nice. It's so cool to know that you've actually thought about the families of HP secondary and minor characters and you've found a way to weave them into the scene.
insertparagraph From: insertparagraph Date: June 8th, 2010 05:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow. This is extremely compelling, and I'm hooked. But I have a very bad feeling about this.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: June 9th, 2010 12:21 am (UTC) (Link)
I had already thought that probably they had done something to deal with some of the muggleborn's children- what would happen to children born to two muggleborn parents, were they sent to Azkaban or just killed? Or given in illicit adoption? That sounds too close home...
But seeing it from Teddy's perpective, who knows the Healers there, sent a shiver up my spine. I do hope they did eventually sent those to jail- I would imagine someone denounced them after the war.
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: June 9th, 2010 03:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Geoffry seems to be coming to the fore, which is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, I really am growing to hate him because he is a dick. On the other hand, we have Honoria (and, in other instances other people) taking him to task and being generally awesome!

Also, Honoria's idea for news articles is a really good one, though a potentially painful one for her peers.....

Lovely work as always.
ascot_gavotte From: ascot_gavotte Date: June 9th, 2010 03:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Ugh, Geoffrey. The guy has no real viewpoint, he's just angry at the world in general. His philosophy has the depth of a teaspoon.

I think I remember reading about the murder of unborn children and how Umbridge was responsible for them. It's grisly but I'm glad we get to know more about it.
18 comments or Leave a comment