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Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Twenty: Shadows, pt. 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Twenty: Shadows, pt. 1
Teddy has been assuming any number of shapes lately, from student to Auror's assistant to author, and when he assumes the shape of a hawk and flies away from Hogwarts, going to sleep at the Shrieking Shack, he dreams of his mother, talking to him about shapeshifting, and about what he might have missed in the frenzied moving around. She assumes the shape of Laura Chapman, who share's Teddy's Divination class, and who had scryed--though Teddy had nearly forgotten about it--that Sam Cresswell might no longer be alone. He rushes back to school.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

Teddy thought about trying to work the still life that guarded the Hufflepuff door. It seemed simple enough--you had to rearrange the food on the plates for guests. He'd seen Tinny and Roger and Frankie do it hundreds of times. But in all likelihood, you had to be a part of the House to do it, and he didn't want to bother with getting detention for trying to break in, so he camped outside, by the kitchens (a bleary-eyed Winky looked at him suspiciously as she went in to start breakfast), until the door opened.


Teddy got to his feet. Roger Young was coming out, dressed in blue jeans and a tee shirt, obviously on his way to help Hagrid at the barns. Teddy nodded to him. "I need to talk to Laura. I didn't want to scare her, sending a Patronus, but I'd like to talk to her--"

"You're not going out with her again, are you? Because I'm not playing at being a messenger--"

Teddy shook his head. "It's about Divination. We're taking it together."

"And you have to talk to her about it at five-thirty." Roger shook his head. "Give me a minute. I think I saw Luna Summerby up and about; she'll be able to get to the girls' dormitories. Come in. Wait in the chairs."

Teddy went into the Hufflepuff Common Room, one of his favorite places at Hogwarts, and took his accustomed Muggles and Minions seat. Roger went to a small blond girl who was frantically working on an essay and spoke to her quietly for a minute. She looked stricken, but got up and went.

Roger came back over. "She's losing her train of thought for you."

"Sorry. I--"

Roger waved it off. "It's Hufflepuff House. We know that if we're in the Common Room, someone might ask for help, and if that happens, we go help. If we can't, we work in our rooms."

Luna Summerby disappeared into the round corridor that was lined with the doors to the girls' dormitories. Teddy saw her stop near the end--he supposed the seventh year girls were behind the fifth door, just as he was on the fifth floor of Gryffindor Tower--and knock on the door, which opened. Tinny came out, wiping her face, becoming more alert as Luna conveyed the request (Teddy couldn't hear, and he guessed that there was some magic keeping the dormitories quiet). Tinny leaned back into the room, made a gesture (Teddy could only see a vague motion of her arm), and then Laura came outside. Tinny pointed.

Laura, pulling on a dressing gown, gave him a curious frown, and followed Luna back out. Luna bit her lip.

"Go on and finish your essay," Laura said. "I'll read it for you before you go to Defense Against the Dark Arts. We'll work out the bit about the Red Caps." She reconsidered. "Actually, since you're doing a favor for Teddy Lupin, I can't think of many people who could go over Red Caps with you better." She gave him a pointed look, and Luna looked at him cautiously.

"Sure," Teddy said. "I got an up close and personal view when I was a first year. I'll find you at breakfast."

Looking both relieved and terrified, Luna Summerby dashed back to her chair and began to work again.

"If that's all," Roger said, "I'd best get to the barns before Dapple decides to eat my Ouzelum."

"Thanks, Roger," Teddy said.

Roger left.

Laura sat down in the chair beside Teddy, curling her legs up under her. In the process, she showed a length of thigh that turned Teddy's attention entirely away from murderers for a moment. A lacy nightgown beneath the dressing gown seemed to cling to her. Teddy drew his attention up to her face, which didn't help, as he noticed that she looked quite a lot like Victoire, something that hadn't occurred to him in the two months they'd dated, and...

She raised an eyebrow. "All right. I'm interested. I know you didn't drop by just to see me in a dressing gown."

Teddy shook off the momentary attraction--Laura had never been more than a passing interest in that way--then cast a Muffling Charm and said, "I had a dream last night. About what you said when you scryed for me. About Cresswell?"

"Oh." Laura looked alarmed. "Teddy, you know I'm not as good a Seer as you are. All I saw were shadows. I couldn't tell you a thing about them."

"Could you just describe them?" Teddy shook his head sharply. "And don't talk about not being a terrific Seer. You're the only other person to make it to N.E.W.T.s, and you Saw something that day that I haven't Seen at all, and I've been looking."

"It was just because you asked..."

"Laura--what did you see?"

"I don't think I could describe them. I--" She blinked. "Wait, I might be able to do something better. It's the Charm I've been working on for Flitwick. Let me get my crystal ball and my camera. And some clothes." She stood and ran back to her room.

Teddy had no idea what sort of Charm she might be working on that would involve her crystal ball and her camera. He waited for her impatiently, thinking about going over and helping little Luna to pass the time, but concerned that he'd have to interrupt himself if Laura came back. Being interrupted in the middle of a lesson wasn't good for students or teachers.

Laura came back five minutes later--it felt like an hour--wearing her school robes and carrying both of the items she'd mentioned, plus a pile of photographic paper, which she laid out on the table, and indicated that Teddy should come over. Efficiently, she set up a Darkroom Charm around them--it could be seen through perfectly well from either side, but protected film anyway. She'd obviously done this quite a lot.

"So, what's this Charm?"

"I wanted see if I could get an image in a crystal ball to photograph." She set up her camera on a tripod between the crystal and the photo paper. "It's not easy, because it means that you have to actually be able to show something that you might only be seeing in your Mind. You know the debate."

"Is it the crystal ball, or the Seer's eye?"

"Right, that one." She shrugged. "I think it's a bit of both. You never saw all of those literal things you see now before you got the new one, and you've always had the same eyes."


"Anyway, it's not perfect, but I've got it enough for Flitwick to give me credit. It's more that I'm projecting my memory of what I saw before into the crystal ball, and using the camera to capture it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but I think that capturing the memory..." She shrugged again. "Well, you'll see. It's a distorted picture of a fuzzy memory of an unclear vision. Fair warning."

"I'll take it under advisement," Teddy said.

Laura smiled nervously, then passed her hands over her crystal ball. It glowed. She focused on it, and Teddy could almost see something moving. Then she raised her wand, pointed it the camera, and opened and closed the shutter several times.

There was nothing for him to do for the next few minutes, while she engaged in the utterly foreign pursuit of developing a photograph. Finally, she sighed heavily and said, "This is as good as it's going to get. For what it's worth, it's the best one yet."

"It's amazing," Teddy said, quite honestly, though the picture itself meant almost nothing to him. He could see Laura's face distorted through the crystal, but the middle of it was blocked by a dark, spreading shadow. At the center of it was something shiny.

"A needle," Laura explained when she saw him looking. "I don't See people, like you do. But I saw the Needle's Eye killer as a needle."

"That makes sense."

She pointed to the black mass around the needle. "At first, it was bars, and I thought, 'Good, they're going to catch him.' But then it started moving and turning into this. See? It's like a Shield Charm."

"Protection, not prison."

"Right," she said. "And here"--she pointed to an odd shaped swirl in the shadows--"can you see the face? I mean, not a particular face, but a face. A person's face. And there's another, and another." She pointed to different parts of the picture. Teddy had to examine it with morphed hawk's eyes, but once he did, he saw what she meant. She smiled uncertainly. "So, you see, that's why I thought he wasn't alone, that it wasn't any special magical protection. I think I see people around him. They're doing things for him so he doesn't have to risk going out. Or maybe that's guessing too much; that's not in the vision."

"I think it's a good guess," Teddy said.

"I was thinking it was like Greyback." She winced. "Sorry, Teddy."

"No, it's all right. I'm a lot less skittish about Greyback than I was when you and I were going out. I've been thinking about him a bit this year as well." He picked up the picture, which was already starting to fade.

"I can't seem to make them stay," Laura said. "The pictures..."

"That might be in the potion," Teddy said. "I'll see what I can do."

"Did it help?"

"I think it's important to know," Teddy told her. "Really important. I have to tell Uncle Harry."

Laura looked quite terrified at the prospect of having her vision shared with Harry Potter, but she didn't object.

Teddy helped her take apart the magical darkroom, then, while she went to take care of her hair and make-up, he went over to Luna Summerby and said, "So, what can I tell you about Red Caps?"
14 comments or Leave a comment
amamama From: amamama Date: September 24th, 2010 07:51 am (UTC) (Link)
And LJ just ate my comment before I was finished! *wails* Meh. Anyway, I like the way Teddy behaves here. Both being distracted by Laura's legs, helping with the red caps essay and telling he needs to talk to Harry. The latter being a major point... THanks, Fern!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 25th, 2010 04:51 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure how Harry will feel about clues from Trelawney's classroom!
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 24th, 2010 12:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Let me get my crystal ball and my camera. And some clothes." Love it!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 25th, 2010 04:52 am (UTC) (Link)
It is a sort of random assortment, isn't it?
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 24th, 2010 01:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

interesting.. and one thing i forgot to ask about last ficlet...

I always wondered why people, specially wizard wth the "more advance" things they have to try to "print" memories. cool way you are fleshing out the idea.

why would the hufflepuffs look at him with distrust? that was confusing.

my left-over question was in regarding Sirius talking about Reg in the last ficlet.

it came across as if Sirius didn't believed in his brother redemption, that he said he still believed in the pureblood supremacy crap, but when to destroy voldemort horcurx only because of kreacher.

which also makes me curious as to when regulus is "brough back" and if he ever did talked about sirius about things.

interesting progress

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 25th, 2010 04:54 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: interesting.. and one thing i forgot to ask about last ficlet...

Random other house person showing up at the crack of dawn to talk to someone he broke up with? I think most people living in any house--at school or elsewhere--would be a little leery!

Sirius isn't questioning Reg's redemption at all. He's just saying what the books did--that it didn't start with a crisis of conscience, leading to a principled break. It started with someone he loved being in danger, which led to him questioning the entire meaning of his life and then going out for some vengeance at a very high cost to himself.
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: September 24th, 2010 01:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like that Laura, despite her protests, is also quite good at Divination and is making this charm and whatnot that is totally new.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 25th, 2010 04:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Laura's invested in the idea of herself as only mediocre in school, because she didn't do wonderfully in all of her other classes. But the ones she kept for NEWTs, she's perfectly fine in!
willowbough From: willowbough Date: September 24th, 2010 02:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
NIce look inside Hufflepuff--I appreciated Roger's explanation about the Common Room and the students' acceptance that people may stop by in need of help. Will be interested in seeing what Harry makes of Laura's contribution to the investigation.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 25th, 2010 04:55 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm interested in finding that out myself...
malinbe From: malinbe Date: September 24th, 2010 02:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
That was lovely, and really interesting. Few people have spoken about photography and magic!

I also loved the whole chapter past, the meeting with Lucius especially. It was chilling to the bone. Sorry I couldn't review!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 25th, 2010 04:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Harry in the books seems disinterested in the process of wizarding arts. It's just not his thing. But Colin seemed interested, and he was able to talk to people, so presumably someone somewhere is talking about it!
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: September 24th, 2010 05:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I like this perspective on the Hufflepuff House interactions and their Common Room!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 25th, 2010 04:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I do love the 'Puffs.
14 comments or Leave a comment