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Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Eight: Family Gossip, part 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Eight: Family Gossip, part 1
Teddy and his friends have dredged up some bad memories of the year they were born, but school goes on--N.E.W.T. work piles on as they head into October, and Teddy and several of his friends (plus Maurice's brother Wendell, Victoire, and Story) have gathered in Firenze's forest-like classroom. Working around a mild tongue-tying hex that keeps them from talking about details of the murder case outside of Defense Against the Dark Arts--and trying to get around an argument about Borgin and Burke's that Wendell and Maurice are having--they're theorizing ways that the murderer might have gained access to Platform 9 3/4, which is an extension of Hogwarts security. Donzo has just suggested that someone might have blasted a tunnel through when Harry appears at the door and says, "Well, I told you I was expecting the seventh years to impress me."

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

"Mr. Potter," Donzo said, standing up. "We were, er... well, that is to say, working on--"

"I know what Robards has you working on, and it's with my blessing." Uncle Harry looked around. "And you know something? I'm not a Hogwarts professor. Anyone in the room who's of age and doesn't normally call me 'uncle' can just call me 'Harry' when we're not actually in class." He held out his hand to Donzo.

Donzo shook it. "Well, we can try anyway... Harry." He shuddered. "That'll take some practice."

"Are you here to teach?" Teddy asked.

"Do you even read the Charmer?" Honoria asked, coming forward. "Honestly, Lupin, I wrote an article last Friday about Mr... er, Harry... coming back this week. Though I didn't think he was due until Monday."

"I wanted to meet with Robards," Uncle Harry said. "I was going to talk to the seventh years in class, but as long as I've a handful of you here, I'd love to join the conversation."

"Does that mean that those of us not seventh years need to leave?" Story Shacklebolt asked.

Uncle Harry considered it. "Probably a good idea. Your dad could explain why. But Professor Longbottom has been kind enough to let me meet with family later in greenhouse two--why don't you come down with Victoire and her sisters?"

"What time?" Victoire asked.

"Six o'clock. We'll have supper, catch up on news as long as I'm here. Don't forget your cousin Molly!"

"Oh, Marie will be thrilled," Victoire said. She gathered her things into her book bag. "Six o'clock, then," she said, and led Story out.

Maurice tugged Wendell gently around and said, "YOu too."

Wendell, nothing if not dogged, had not, apparently, decided to drop his side of the argument. "I'm writing to Dad and telling him not to," he said, narrowing his eyes.

"I'll lend you a quill, as it won't do you any good, anyway." Maurice frowned at him impressively.

Wendell took a proffered quill and headed out.

Uncle Harry tapped the door with his wand, and Teddy felt a knot in his mind loosen up.

"We have checked for tunnels," Uncle Harry said. "There used to be quite a few coming and going from Hogwarts, and of course, there are a lot under London. There's no sign of magical or Muggle tunneling near Platform Nine and Three-Quarters."

"Oh," Donzo said, disappointed.

"But it took us time to get to that. It's a good thought." He Conjured a chair and sat down. "Let's hear what else you have."

"You want help from students?" Honoria asked, dumbfounded. "With the entire Auror division at your disposal--"

"Everyone needs perspective now and then," Uncle Harry said. "It's easy to get in a rut of thinking, and asking people who've been outside our circle may well be useful. You're advanced students, and you're doing well, as I understand it. I seem to recall occasionally having been useful when I was a student."

Corky tried to Conjure a chair for himself, but none of them had done well with major Conjuring yet. instead, he Transfigured a low rock and sat down. "Are we thinking good guy or bad guy?"


"The killer," Corky said. "He's killing Voldemort's people. So--good guy or bad guy?"

Uncle Harry looked nonplused. "Generally, when someone is cutting off body parts, I lean toward 'bad.'"

"He means in the war," Maurice clarified. "Are you looking at Voldemort's side or yours?"

"Why would Voldemort's people kill Runcorn and Goyle?" Honoria asked.

"He did like body part spells," Maurice said. "I've read the Quibbler interview you did"--he looked at Uncle Harry--"and... could they be trying to bring him back?"

Uncle Harry looked quite disturbed, then said, "There was something else that made that work."

"Did they know what it was?" Maurice sat forward, looking compact and coiled. "It could be someone who knows the framework from the same article I read, but not the background magic. Let's say it's someone who killed Runcorn, then got Goyle to sacrifice himself, and next--"

"One problem," Teddy said. "No body parts missing."

"There wasn't enough blood from Runcorn," Maurice pointed out. "They could have some of his blood. And maybe something from Goyle's innards. And maybe they'll try to do what Pettigrew did."

"It wouldn't work," Uncle Harry told him. "But... I actually think your logic may not be wrong. It's not necessarily the case, but it's a nasty idea that actually hadn't occurred to us."

"Maurice is full of nasty ideas," Corky said.

"As long as they're likely to cast suspicion on old Slytherin families that embarrass him," Honoria said.

"Poke holes in his theory," Uncle Harry said.

"Well, for starters," she said, "we have to go back to breaking the security. I'm guessing some of Voldemort's followers are out, but are they really unwatched enough to break the security at Platform Nine and Three-Quarters?"

"No one ought to be that unwatched," Uncle Harry said. "On either side. Go on."

"Professor Robards said a Healer had examined Goyle's body. Was anything at all missing?"

"Nothing anyone noticed."

"Who was the Healer?"

"Mehadi Patil. And I did put the tongue-tying hex on the door, so--"

"--so no story. At least not until it's solved." Honoria bit her lip. "I do understand that, actually. I'd rather not, but I do. We don't want to tell the killer what we're looking at, or if we're getting close." She shook her head, then went on. "Anyway, what about the needle messages? Those aren't from someone who wants Voldemort back. They're from someone who thinks the punishment was too light for the crime."

"Could be a smokescreen," Maurice said.

"Let's stop talking about about who," Teddy said. "Let's get back to how. That might lead to who." He twirled his wand, and the notes he'd been taking throughout the year spread themselves out in the air. He pulled in a blank sheet and began to gather the notes together. "We know that there are no tunnels now. An artifact would have left a trace--Uncle Harry, did they find any trace magic?"

Uncle Harry smiled faintly. "I don't suppose another round of begging would convince you to change your career plans?" Teddy shook his head, and Uncle Harry rolled his eyes. "No, nothing."

"Maybe Goyle opened it himself," Donzo suggested, "and let the murderer in with him."

"He didn't have the security clearance. Someone from magical law enforcement is meant to open it on the London end. That's what I'd sent Sam and Ruth to do when they found him."

Teddy wrote down, No evidence of magical break-in, then asked, "Was it open any time before?"

It hadn't been, and the next hour was spent in the most frustrating manner Teddy could imagine--no one's ideas fit the evidence, nothing seemed to be gained, and no brilliant insights were arrived at. Uncle Harry nevertheless took note of all of their ideas ("You never know which might mix with someone else's and come up with the right answer") and didn't seem disappointed in them. By the time they finished, the sky outside was inky black, and rain had stopped streaming down the windows.

"It's nearly six," Uncle Harry said. "Teddy and I have an appointment." He stood and Vanished his chair. "I'd like to thank the lot of you--good insights, and we'll talk more in class, though I'm expected to be the one imparting wisdom there, so I suppose I should come up with some."

They all said goodbye, and Teddy went with Uncle Harry to the greenhouses.

"What are Maurice and his brother arguing about?" Uncle Harry asked as they walked.

"The shop. I don't know it all. Maurice wants to burn it to the ground, and Wendell wants to keep it for some reason."

Uncle Harry looked up at him, surprised. "For some reason? I thought you, of all people, would understand wanting to hold on to something for no reason other than its being part of family history."

"That's a good point. I guess I'm just so used to Maurice hating it like poison, I didn't think about it that way." Teddy remembered the thrall that the Shrieking Shack had held him in during his third year, even though it had been horribly haunted for him, then said, "Maybe I should teach Wendell a good Blasting Curse."

Uncle Harry laughed. "I don't even want to think of what would happen if Borgin and Burkre's just exploded. Perhaps a less violent end to the place is called for."

"Maurice will find that deeply unsatisfying."

They rounded a bend, and greenhouse two came into sight, glittering in the black night. Teddy could see that Victoire was already here--she was on a ladder at the front of the greenhouse, doing something with the roots of a climbing vine, and a breathtaking length of her leg was visible from this angle. She looked down and waved, and he looked away, not wanting her to guess what he was seeing.

A second later, the greenhouse door opened, and little Molly Weasley--who looked considerably more like Arthur Weasley, with less of a sense of humor, if truth were told--beckoned them inside.
19 comments or Leave a comment
malinbe From: malinbe Date: June 19th, 2010 09:54 am (UTC) (Link)
This is a nice way to wake up on the one Saturday Uni is making me go to class from 9 am.

The Junior Aurors meeting was entertaining, but I'm looking forward to the family reunion.

I do like what Donzo said. It was someone Goyle knew, so he didn't object to the company initially.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 19th, 2010 08:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's a thought--Donzo's pretty smart. Though, if Goyle couldn't open it on his own, that just begs the question once further.
mollywheezy From: mollywheezy Date: June 19th, 2010 02:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
I loved Harry's respect for the students' ideas. He's the best kind of grown-up--one who gives kids what he wished he had.

And we have a hint of Teddy/Victoire at the end! I'll look forward to seeing how that develops . . . ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 19th, 2010 08:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think Harry wouldn't easily forget being shut out, particularly during his fifth year. I think he'd want to say something.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: June 19th, 2010 02:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nice to see Harry is making use of the minds of the younger generation. And as grim as the cause may be, I think Teddy's year might find it a bit flattering to have their ideas seriously considered, now that most of them are of age.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 19th, 2010 08:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
And considered by Harry Potter, no less. ;p
byrdbeth From: byrdbeth Date: June 19th, 2010 03:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
"I seem to recall occasionally having been useful when I was a student"

This might be the understatement of the year
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 19th, 2010 08:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
And it's probably as close as Harry ever gets to bragging!
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 19th, 2010 07:25 pm (UTC) (Link)


Is Molly Percy's daughter? I'm concerned about him, having been at the ministry that year. Looking forward to family time. - Karen
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 19th, 2010 08:34 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Molly

Molly is Percy's daughter, and that's a good point that I hadn't thought of.
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: June 19th, 2010 07:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
I seem to recall occasionally having been useful when I was a student."

lol! Understatement of the year, though for those kids who aren't close to Teddy it must still be quite intimidating to meet the Savior of Your Country, even if they've seen him in classes and Harry makes it as unintimidating as he can.

Interesting theories and I like the comparsion of Teddy and Wendell concerning the store.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 19th, 2010 08:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Harry may still have a few good nuggets of insight left in him. :D
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: June 19th, 2010 07:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think it's Sam.

(Well, they didn't mention- what is someone who HAD the clearance to opened it? Someone in magical law enforcement? And I don't think we've ever heard of Sam before this story, soooo.....)

Though maybe there'd be records if it was opened at all....
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 19th, 2010 08:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, I have to admit, I did just sort of think of adding "Dirk Cresswell's boys" when I re-read DH to pick victims. Doesn't mean they weren't there before, just that I didn't know about them (or Teddy didn't). ;p
malinbe From: malinbe Date: June 20th, 2010 12:26 am (UTC) (Link)
I thought the same thing! But then I thought of a reason he wouldn't be, but it's slipped my mind...
amamama From: amamama Date: June 19th, 2010 10:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, cool! So Harry arriving wasn't really a cliffie, but he did arrive at a good point in the story. I like the tongue-tying spell. How useful! And I wonder what B&B has to do with it all. Is it a link, or is it a red herring that's a cool secondary story? Doesn't matter - I really enjoy reading, and that's the point, isn't it?

Happy weekend, Fern! Hop' you're having a grand time. :-)
From: daphne_23 Date: June 20th, 2010 11:24 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm still really enjoying this story, and as a Percy fan, it is pleasing to see an appearance by his daughter, even though I doubt her role will be particularly large :) Am now travelling until August so sad not to be able to find out what happens next for two months, but on the plus side I'm looking forward to reading lots of Teddy when I return!
From: amethystbeloved Date: June 21st, 2010 04:04 am (UTC) (Link)
I loved the way that Harry and Teddy had the Teddy-being-an-Auror conversation and even though it wasn't successful he wanted to have another go at it. I'm really looking forward to the get together in the next section.

Your new icon is super cute! Go rotae!
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 4th, 2010 02:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Awwww, the joys of getting to call adults by their first names! My Biology prof made that offer to me after I graduated (in a rather hilariously-worded, but hard-to-translate e-mail)... but I can't bring myself to do it.
And now I'm at a loss as to what to call my boss. What everyone else calls him - Joey? Not likely!

~Hermione Stranger~
19 comments or Leave a comment