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Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Twenty-Seven: A Midsummer Night's Jailbreak, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Twenty-Seven: A Midsummer Night's Jailbreak, pt. 2
I have to get better than this once-a-week schedule. Losing too much of the plot between posts!

Anyway, Teddy and his friends (and not-so-much friends, like Geoff) have just taken off from his island on a boat to go and take back Azkaban, where Sam's little cult have decided to serve up justice in their terms. The bad guys have taken Andromeda and the Malfoys from Borgin and Burke's.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

A mile away from Azkaban, Brendan ended the calming spell on the sea around the boat, and it began to heave alarmingly with the sea. Teddy had assumed they'd need to Conjure oars from here, but Hagrid had introduced Roger to several of the local selkies, and they appeared, in seal form, when he called out to them, helping to guide the boat the rest of the way.

There was a signal fire burning atop the rock, and guards watching the skies from the walls, but no one saw as the boat slipped into the shadowed cove. They came to rest beside the high iron gate.

Ruthless climbed down from the crow's nest and looked over her shoulder. "They're not looking this way," she whispered. "McCormack--the shaft is there. " She pointed to an opening about ten feet up. "Can you get to it?"

Donzo nodded. "Just a little rock climbing. Unless Teddy can give me a lift up there?"

"Will you be able to get enough traction if you're feather-light?"

"Yeah. Might even make the climb easier."

"Right, then," Ruthless said. "When you get into the dungeons, you'll go up the corridor toward the stairs. There's a room off to the side. That's where the winch for the gate is."

Donzo transformed. Teddy Charmed him feather-light, Disillusioned him, then transformed himself. He felt the spreading cracked egg sensation of a Disillusionment charm and looked up at Ruthless, who rolled her eyes at him.

Through his hawk's eyes, the Disillusionment on Donzo was useless. To the humans, he'd certainly seem invisible, but to Teddy, the distortion of his shape and the tiny shadows of his fur were perfectly clear. He took off, grabbed Donzo by the scruff, and flew him up to the vent.

Donzo had to scramble for purchase, but Teddy held him steady until he got inside and scurried away. Teddy swooped back down over the boat, where his classmates were watching nothing at all quite anxiously. He flew over their heads, tapping Ruthless to tell her that he was on his way, then circled up into the sky.

Azkaban rose out of the sea like the turret of a dark and fabulous undersea castle, its ragged cliffs the work of a bitter stonecutter. Most islands here were home to seabirds, but Azkaban was barren of all but the coldest and hardiest of non-human life--lichens, seaweed, even some clinging barnacles below the tide line. Waves crashed incessantly on the rocks. There were people who thought that Dementors were native to this island, and being here, Teddy could almost believe it, though he knew better. Perhaps there had been a time when it was nothing more than a wild island, not terribly different from Teddy's own island, but centuries of intimacy with evil had given it a kind of shadowy vibrancy, a Stygian consciousness that grew around it like a murky aura.

Teddy circled as close as he could to the cliff walls. There were cell windows here--less, he suspected, to give prisoners a view than to let in the damp and cold--and he could see into the cells. Many of the prisoners were standing at the bars, looking out into the corridors. Teddy took a chance and landed on one sill long enough to see a pair of guards patroling. They were clearly not the regular staff, as they weren't in uniform, but beyond that, Teddy could see very little.

He took off again and flew to the top of the island, to the flat area at the top where prisoners were brought in from the air. He counted eight witches at the guard posts, and two wizards who seemed to be cobbling something together with chains and chairs. One of them ran to the door that led to the cell block and shouted something.

The door opened, and Sam Cresswell came out, looking angry. "What?" he asked.

"The hexes aren't working," one of the wizards said. "I've set these up a hundred times in the Department of Mysteries, but it's not working here."

Cresswell hissed. "Fine," he said. "We'll have to do it the non-magical way. Get the keys." He went back through the door, and Teddy saw him head down the stairs. Another group of witches was waiting for him.

There was nothing more he could see here.

He circled down from the other side, seeing whatever he could through the cell windows on that side. There were a few more guards, and some cells seemed now to be occupied by real Azkaban guards in uniform. He recognized one of these as Millicent Bulstrode, a woman who'd been badly mauled--and turned--during Greyback's escape. She was beating furiously on the bars and yelling at someone in the corridor.

He got back to the boat, landed and transformed.

"Finite incantatem," Ruthless said, breaking the Disillusionment. "What did you see?"

Teddy told them.

"It's more than us, but not that many," Honoria said.

"And we can let the guards out," Joe said. "They might not be armed, but they can help overpower people."

Laura went to the stern of the boat and looked up. "That's the signal," she said, pointing at a pallid flash of wandlight. "Donzo's in."

As if in answer, Teddy heard water start to sluice off of the iron gating as it rose up. It made more noise than he was comfortable with, but no one came running. They had other priorities on the inside, and they weren't expecting any knowledgeable company.

Teddy chanced a spell, and guided the boat into the cove.

There was a thud on the deck, then a slight blur of motion directly in front of him.

Teddy undid the Disllusionment on Donzo.

"Be quiet," Donzo whispered. "Everyone. They're in the dungeons, maybe twenty of them. They have Teddy's Granny in there, and the Malfoys, and a couple of prisoners. They're all tied up. I think they're having a trial. It took a minute to get into the room with the winch. I had to Muffle it. I don't think they're paying attention to spells on the inside now. They didn't notice the Disillusioning, either. They think they have control."

"How do we get in from here?" Tinny asked. "Do we have to climb up to the top?"

Ruthless shook her head. "They use this cave for supply deliveries," she said. "There's a door further in. Greyback's people had to climb, but I can unlock it."

Brendan guided the boat into the narrowing cave. The dwindling light had nearly disappeared when they ran across a small stone dock. Joe Palmer re-Conjured the gangplank, and, without speaking, they disembarked.

As the stood by the door, Teddy cast a Muffling Charm. "Listen," he said, "we'll need to get everywhere at once, or they'll be calling one another for help. It looks like the main concentrations are in the dungeons and at the guard tower, but then, those were the only places we looked. I'm guessing there are more guards patroling the corridors."

Franklin stepped forward. "Will they have kept brooms here?"

"Probably, up at the top," Ruthless said. "In case anyone needs to go for help. And of course, people ride them to work."

"Good. Palmer, we should get airborne. We can blast out the windows where they're holding the real guards--"

"No good," Geoffrey said. "Are you daft? It's a prison, they'll have thought of that."

Donzo wrinkled his nose. "Much as I hate to admit it, Geoff's right. We need the keys."

Connie Deverill raised her hand, then smiled sheepishly. "Er, guess this isn't class, and I ought to just talk, eh?"

"If you have something to say that's not one of your stupid jokes," Geoff said.

"They probably keep the keys in the tower. We can distract them." She looked at Franklin. "Remember when I tried playing Quidditch? Pretty pathetic. But we did that exercise--trying to hit things with the Quaffles. Joe, can you...?"

"What am I meant to hit?"

"Anything," Lizzie said. "We'll get Disillusioned again, and cause some chaos. Laura... you're light on your feet. Can you get around everyone in the middle of it?"

Laura, looking a little green, nodded.

"Right, then," Teddy said. "Joe, Franklin, and Laura--you're getting the keys and getting the real guards out. Connie, how many do you think you'll need to get their guards neutralized up there?"

"Me?" Connie blinked, surprised. "Er... four. If we get them by surprise, that should do it."

Roger, Lizzie, and Geoff volunteered.

Franklin took a deep breath. "So once we've got the keys, we'll take the north cell block, where you saw the guards. What about the south cell block? You didn't see any regular guards there."

Teddy shook his head. "No. I don't think there were many of them, either."

Tinny stepped up. "I'm always keen for a tube crawl," she said with a shaky smile. "I reckon you'll want most of the rest at the dungeons, but maybe Brendan and Janey could come with me?" She looked hopefully at the Slytherins.

Jane Hunter shrugged. "Why not? It ought to really annoy the Death Eaters in there if I help rescue them."

"Good," Teddy said. "Then everyone else is with me. We'll go in. Five minutes to get where we're going--then everyone start at once. Even if you get to your place early, don't start until five minutes have passed. Are we clear?"

Everyone nodded.

Teddy broke the Muffling Charm.

Ruthless unlocked the door.
23 comments or Leave a comment
rotae From: rotae Date: December 6th, 2010 11:42 am (UTC) (Link)


fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 11th, 2010 06:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Soon. Busy week, but soon. :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 6th, 2010 12:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
AHHHHH! These cliffhangers have been brutal!

This is awesome...am waiting eagerly for the next installment. :)

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 11th, 2010 06:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Me, too--should be action-heavy!
i_autumnheart From: i_autumnheart Date: December 6th, 2010 12:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow - so much fun, watching Teddy's cohort gearing up to save the world... I really want more soon please, though!

Also, I still very much love Tinny's use of 'tube crawl' when they're preparing to invade a real true dungeon :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 11th, 2010 06:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Tinny's definitely trying to make this feel like more familiar ground than it is for her!
gypsy_thief From: gypsy_thief Date: December 6th, 2010 01:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Love it!

If Tinny, Jane, and Brendan are going to the dungeons, I'm a little lost as to where Teddy is heading.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 11th, 2010 06:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Tinny's gang is headed to one of the cell blocks; Teddy's headed for the dungeons.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: December 6th, 2010 02:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
And they're off! The Smallest Year is doing an exemplary job of scouting and planning their mission, instead of just rushing in half-cocked. How creepy that Sam and his nutball followers are trying to set up their own wizarding court in Azkaban.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 11th, 2010 06:39 am (UTC) (Link)
It may come from Teddy spending his whole school life with non-Gryffindors. It would be a tempering influence. ;p
vesta_aurelia From: vesta_aurelia Date: December 6th, 2010 02:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
*gnaws at keyboard*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 11th, 2010 06:40 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm still pretty awake. I'll see what I can do. (She says four days later.)
malinbe From: malinbe Date: December 6th, 2010 02:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
I HAVE A MIDTERM TODAY. I wasn't nervous.


I can't believe poor Andromeda is there! Gosh, I hope they find her innocent, at least! She worked with the Order for fuck's sake!

This is too good, I need more before I die of cliff hanger over anticipation or something like that.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 11th, 2010 06:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Hope your midterm went all right!

Andromeda may have worked for the order, but they're all sellouts, you know, and now she's running Borgin and Burke's and hanging out with the Malfoys.
pevara From: pevara Date: December 6th, 2010 03:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love the Smallest Year so very much, and a desperate to find out what happens next. Delightful chapterlet!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 11th, 2010 06:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! I'm looking forward to finding out what happens, too.
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: December 6th, 2010 05:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was really pleased to get a bit more, and then you leave us at another critical moment! I like the fact that while they're anxious to help, these kids are obviously nervous about what they're about to do. And now I'm looking forward to seeing more.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 11th, 2010 06:43 am (UTC) (Link)
They haven't been tested every year with Teddy--he's switched it up for his end of year adventures along the way.
silvery_wraith From: silvery_wraith Date: December 6th, 2010 06:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've finally caught up from the last couple chapters and now I have to wait!!! You're so good at creating tension and cutting off a chapter at the right point fir cliffhangers.

I can't wait to find out how this is going to end!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 11th, 2010 06:42 am (UTC) (Link)
The cliffies have their own little rhythm. Sometimes deciding when to stop takes longer than the actual writing!
cleindori From: cleindori Date: December 7th, 2010 05:02 am (UTC) (Link)
AAAAAH CLIFFIE! Can't wait for part 3!

In other words, you've done a great job of setting things up and leaving us tense and hanging on your every word -- well done! ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 11th, 2010 06:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! Hope it'll pay off now...
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 11th, 2010 04:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hi Fern! I've been away for a while from LJ, but I'm really happy that I was able to get back into the story before the grand finale. The scenario that you've created is incredibly exciting and interesting. I absolutely adore the way that you described Azkaban, with evil twisting it to the dark place that it is now known as. I love the way that the time spent on Teddy getting the island has now proven its purpose. Great job, and I can't wait for more!
~Amethyst Beloved
23 comments or Leave a comment