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Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Twenty-Five: Legitimate Questions, pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Twenty-Five: Legitimate Questions, pt. 3
Teddy had his day to testify against Sam, which Hermione arranged on the same day as Ruthless's, so he could be there for her afterward (and, probably as she also planned, be in the gallery to give her moral support so she wouldn't fall for Sam's tactics). After their testimony and Donzo's (he joins them after), they eat together and Teddy brings up the idea that an Azkaban guard--Marietta Edgecombe--might be one of Sam's followers. They all dismiss it, as her mother was a prisoner, but she's not the only guard, and as Donzo points out, if the followers are so upset that Sam's on trial, there's no telling what they'll do when he's convicted.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

As the trial went on in London, May brought a lush green world to Scotland. It also brought Victory Day--the last time Teddy would be in the place where his parents died on the anniversary of the battle. After supper, he went to the rocky ground under the north battlements and stayed there until the sun set. He used Dad's ring toward the end, let it take him to the memory of their wedding. He'd seen it before, but he savored it, anyway. It had been a horrible way to be forced into marriage--the Wizengamot had been debating the right of werewolves to marry as the ceremony was going on--but they'd both been deliriously happy to be together, to love each other, to look forward to the future, however bleak it might become. When he went inside, he spent time with the portrait, letting Mum query him on the girls in his life, taking whatever advice Dad was in a mood to dispense, which included, as it had last year, a firm instruction to go downstairs to Victoire's birthday party. "And don't be morose there," Mum added. "Birthdays take precedence over death, at least this long after the fact."

Teddy gave them his word on this, but thought they were checking up on him, as by the time he got downstairs, Dad and Sirius had slipped into a medieval landscape, and Mum had struck up a conversation with Sir Cadogan, who'd inhabited a fanciful illustration of Camelot for the evening. They shooed Teddy back to the living any time he tried to connect with them.

He set out his crystal ball before going to sleep, and he dreamed kindly of them on the island he'd imagined for their benefit. They seemed to be getting further away sometimes, but that night, they all sat together on the steps of the Shrieking Shack, and didn't say much of anything.

Teddy looked out across the water and said, "I miss you."

"Not nearly as much as we miss you," Mum said. "But then again, we'd have been missing you soon enough if we were there with you."

Teddy turned and shook his head. "I won't ever shut you out. And I wouldn't have. If."

"You don't know that," Dad said, smiling faintly. "No young man thinks he's shutting mum and dad out when he goes out into the world, but I'm reasonably sure all the mums and dads feel it."

Teddy didn't answer. The dream went on until he awakened the next morning.

Geoff Phillips presented his report on their missing classmates in History of Magic. He'd managed to locate and contact seven of the eight still living abroad, and--Teddy was quite surprised--to get records from St. Mungo's of the fifteen women whose pregnancies had been forcibly terminated that year. Several of them had disappeared or died during the war, and of the others, only one had responded to his inquiry. He read her account aloud.

"The Death Eaters who did it are all in Azkaban," he finished. "Alive and well." He sat down.

"It's where they belong," Donzo said.

"Right," Geoff said brusquely. "Protected from every side."

"They attacked my mum, too," Donzo reminded him. "If one of us is going to be vengeful, it'll be me."

"The lot of you live in a bubble."

Teddy rolled his eyes. "It's true, we don't read Nutters Monthly."

Geoff held up the letter he'd got. "Does she sound like a nutter to you, Lupin?"


"Nor to me. Not everyone who pricks a hole in your little bubble is a nutter."

"No, just the ones who are nearly quoting a murderer."

"Killing people makes Sam Cresswell crazy. It doesn't make him wrong on the facts. And I'm hardly the only one who thinks that. There wouldn't be any of the papers you call Nutters Monthly if I were."

"A lot of people thought Voldemort was the savior of the wizarding world, too," Donzo said. "Does that make it right?"

"You're comparing Death Eaters and their victims?"

Donzo sighed, obviously frustrated. "The school was hidden away because witches and wizards were being hunted by Muggles, some of them tipped off by Muggle-borns who'd been invited to come here. By your reasoning, it's the same. Where do you draw the line?"

Geoff didn't answer, and Binns forced the class back onto the topic of the underground resistance during the war. Teddy was scheduled to present his own paper the following week. Between papers, they had to go over everything they'd learned in the last seven years for their upcoming N.E.W.T.s, and there wasn't time for philosophical arguments.

Most of Teddy's classes, in fact, had begun comprehensive reviews. Invented Potions were due in mid-May, and Teddy had finally managed to get one that worked with Laura's crystal ball photography. It didn't capture motion, but between them, they caught several shadowy figures and stunning bursts of light. He got full marks for it, but was immediately plunged into homework and tests meant to prepare him for examinations. In Charms, Flitwick started assigning essay after essay on Charms theory, as he was satisfied that everyone could perform on the practical, and in Divination, Teddy found himself bounced back and forth between Trelawney and Firenze to make sure he was proficient in every conceivable method. Defense Against the Dark Arts reflected the practical turn the class had taken since the war, and Teddy usually came out of these sessions dazed from deflecting any number of spells and curses. Trips to Maurice's were all business, and when the subject of Cresswell's trial came up anyway, it was impossible to talk in any depth.

As the details of the crimes leaked out into the press, fewer and fewer people seemed inclined to sound like supporters, though a handful of younger students continued to wear Geoff's tee shirts. Uncle Harry wrote to say he was relieved by this receding wave of support for Sam, but Teddy had misgivings about it. Still, he supposed Uncle Harry knew more about that sort of thing than he did.

At the end of the month, Maurice returned to Hogwarts with him after their Sunday tutoring session. Granny had put her foot down and told him she'd watch the store until he was finished with N.E.W.T.s. If Maurice could have single-handedly conferred sainthood, Teddy had a feeling Granny would have halo by now.

The last weekend before N.E.W.T.s actually began, Teddy found himself on a grassy slope at the lake shore with Donzo, Maurice, Roger, Corky, and Honoria. It was a hot, lazy Saturday night, and well past curfew, though no one was bothering to look for them. A few fairies were flitting around the patches of wildflowers, but not much else was moving.

"I thought you'd have finished up your series before exams," Maurice said to Honoria.

"It's done," she said. "It's just question of running the last three. It's actually handy--I have my editorials ready during exams, so I won't have to write anything fresh."

"You're really going to keep them going right up to the end, then," Donzo said.

"Shouldn't I?"

"Well, you could concentrate on your N.E.W.T.s rather than the newspaper."

"I'm looking for an apprenticeship at the Prophet. Believe me, Rita will be kinder about low marks than letting the paper slip at this point."

"Hagrid doesn't care about my marks," Roger said. "He had the job before he even got a N.E.W.T.--he only got one after the war, when Harry Potter got the Ministry to let him finish school."

Teddy sighed and rolled over onto his stomach. "I'm looking for a Ministry apprenticeship. They want me to get good marks in everything."

"Well, then clearly it'll be impossible." Donzo got out his guitar. He was sitting cross-legged on the ground, and balanced it on his knee. "I, on the other hand, have nothing special to worry about. How about some music? All right, Maurice, or do I need to get a cover charge here?"

"Special dispensation," Maurice said.

Donzo started playing something quiet on the guitar, just improvising--Teddy had long since learned to tell the difference between that and real songs--but stopped after a bit. He rested his hand on the guitar's body. The pick glinted in the late red sunset. "It's really almost over, isn't it?"

"Don't get maudlin," Corky said.

"I'm not. I just feel like we should do something."

"Does Lupin have a crisis?" Honoria asked. "We could end like we started."

"Sorry," Teddy said. "My only crisis is that I can't remember who led the goblin revolt of 1467."

Corky laughed. "Well, it's only the beginning of June. Plenty of time for something to come up."

"Let's get through N.E.W.T.s first," Teddy said.

Maurice shook his head sadly. "You're getting boring in your dotage."

Teddy smiled, and let the warm breeze and his friends' voices lull him off to sleep. He dreamed of his island. Dad and Mum and Sirius were there, but they didn't notice him. They were having an argument about Azkaban. Sirius was saying he could swim there as a dog. Teddy lost the thread of it.

It was dawn when he was shaken awake. Professors Longbottom and Hagrid were going around among them, smirks on their faces, waking all of them up.

"I should take points," Professor Longbottom said, "but I won't. Come back to the castle. It's nearly breakfast time."

The ground was damp, and they were all stretching out their aches and pains as they walked silently back to the castle, following the professors inside. A few early morning risers were already there, munching on toast and jam. Teddy and his friends all sat at the Slytherin table.

Just as he was getting ready to tuck into a plate of bacon, Teddy heard an owl call as it swooped in. Another followed. The morning edition of the Sunday Prophet.

It fell onto the table in front of Honoria, and she unfolded it.

Splashed across the front page was a picture of Sam Cresswell being led from the Department of Mysteries in chains. He was obviously shouting over his shoulder at people in the front row of the galleries.

The four inch headline said it all:

18 comments or Leave a comment
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 1st, 2010 07:49 am (UTC) (Link)
I know that this just fiction, but as soon as I saw GUILTY, I thought thank God.
So thank you for getting me invested in your Teddy's world.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 2nd, 2010 02:16 am (UTC) (Link)
You're welcome. :D
vytresna From: vytresna Date: November 1st, 2010 12:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Led from the Department of Mysteries" makes it sound as though he was in the Department of Mysteries; "led from Courtroom Ten" sounds more accurate in any case. You're also missing a couple of articles.

Anyway, I really wish I'd had such strong feelings about graduation. Seemed everyone else did, but honestly, I was just happy that it was over with.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 2nd, 2010 02:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Oops. Yes, that's a writing-too-fast thing.

I had no feelings about graduating from grad school, minimal feelings about college, and rejoicing about finishing high school (largely because I erroneously thought that college would be better). But there was that fear that my friends were going to scatter to the winds. And they did. Of course, then came the internet, so we're all still in touch.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: November 1st, 2010 01:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Always like seeing Teddy hanging out with his yearmates, even if all of them are experiencing the melancholy of an era in their life coming to an end.

Not that there was ever any doubt about the verdict in Sam's trial, but I'm apprehensive about what happens next.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 2nd, 2010 02:18 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm apprehensive about what happens next

Well, everyone gets a new kitten, and there are rainbows and unicorns. Not buying it? ;p
From: kobegrace Date: November 1st, 2010 01:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Guilty. OK. That should end things.

So why do I still have a feeling that something crazy's about to go down?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 2nd, 2010 02:19 am (UTC) (Link)
'Cause it's spring at Hogwarts?
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: November 1st, 2010 03:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

and things seem to brighten up a little....

(although i know things are not over yet, i'm not optimistic; i just hope they dont get too far worse)

but the 7 year "what will i do after i graduate" was so realistic. it brought memories of my own year and the widespread of "senioritis"

pity Geoff had to be included in this chaplet. i admit he makes some sense but Murder is not the answer ever, and he really has to srop seeing things in black and white.

then again, we know he never will learn. pity.

also YES finally! Cresswell is found guilty and his supporters seem to not consider him oh so "prince charming" or "Mr. misuderstood".

(I bet one of the things that did that was Ruth's Testimony and Maurice's)

the scene of the breakfast table was very vivid too, well done.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 2nd, 2010 02:21 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: and things seem to brighten up a little....

I think everyone has that "What will I do next?" moment. Yipes.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: November 1st, 2010 03:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yaay! I'm relieved.

Geoffrey really, really needs to brush up on Human Rights.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 2nd, 2010 02:22 am (UTC) (Link)
You mean you think Robespierre is not the best model for post-revolutionary behavior? ;p
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: November 2nd, 2010 04:23 am (UTC) (Link)

if robiespierre is who i think it is...

my french history is very rusty at best...
but let me guess Robespierre was the one that lead the "days of terror" (i dont remember the exact name) that immediately followed the decapitation of the french royal family.

and during those days, under robespierre law Anyone could be sent to the guillotine.

if that's robespierre Geoff is seriously messed up in role models.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 2nd, 2010 05:23 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: if robiespierre is who i think it is...

Yep, that's the guy. Checking Wikipedia, he had this lovely quote:
"Terror is only justice prompt, severe and inflexible; it is then an emanation of virtue; it is less a distinct principle than a natural consequence of the general principle of democracy, applied to the most pressing wants of the country"

I doubt Geoff would consciously choose Robespierre as a model, but he does seem to not have a lot of argument there.
From: maxzook Date: November 1st, 2010 05:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
If Maurice could have single-handedly conferred sainthood, Teddy had a feeling Granny would have a halo by now.

No, I don't think we've heard the last of Sam Cresswell ...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 2nd, 2010 02:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Oops. Ah, those articles will get me in the end.
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: November 1st, 2010 06:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oddly, enough though things are quiet, I'm worried about the Guilty verdict -- although it was clear that had to be the decision. But I'm concerned about Granny running the store for Maurice. Perhaps I'm just jumping at shadows, or perhaps not!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 2nd, 2010 02:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Nice weather, eh?
18 comments or Leave a comment