Sunday, May 3, 2009

Teddy Lupin and The Shrieking Shack: Chapter 5 Guest Speaker

Two months later, Teddy and his gang had only made it two, of what they guessed to be seven, passages. One they had discovered to be caved and the other had caused Teddy and Orion to have a harrowing and close encounter with the caretaker Filch. But all thoughts of the secret passages were driven out of their minds by an upcoming Defense against the Dark Arts lesson.

After the Second Great Britain Wizarding War, the post of Defense against the Dark Arts had been filled an energetic and young Professor, Aurora Robbins. She had previously tried to be Auror but realized that she had the patience to be trained and disciplined as the job required. However, there was no denying that she knew what she was doing, did it well and was well liked by the student body.
No matter how much everyone liked Professor Robbins, it couldn’t be compared with the anticipation that Hogwarts students looked forward to Defense against the Dark Arts classes in their fifth year and beyond. After the War it was decided by the higher ups in the Ministry Magic that the best way for students to be prepared for the outside world was to be taught by someone with great experience and skill. So the Minister of Magic Kingsley Shacklebolt passed the Auror Education Bill. The bill stated that a member of the Auror office would be brought in periodically to teach classes to fifth years and above.

Today was the first of these special lessons for fifth years and it was to be taught by none other than the famous Harry Potter. The halls were crowded around the much larger empty classroom that was used for these lessons as people tried to catch a glimpse of Teddy’s godfather.

Teddy Lupin was late, Annie had forced him to spend time with her, a very annoying but at times a briefly enjoyable experience. Teddy wasn’t the only one who appeared to be sidetracked because he saw Harry come out of a hallway Teddy had never noticed before, his hair askew as always but walking a forceful and quick stride following by the Headmistress, Professor Minerva McGonagall. McGonagall was obviously desperately trying to get Harry to listen to her.

“Potter, you can’t be serious!”

“I’m very serious.”

“This is very advanced magic many of the students won’t be able to make more than wisps come out of their wands.”

Harry turned on his heel and stood outside the door to face McGonagall, “Professor McGonagall, if I didn’t think the students couldn’t handle it I would not even attempt this. I know what I am doing.” He was not harsh or angry just very stern but unless Teddy was mistaken he saw a hint of a smile upon his lips. Professor McGonagall took a step back, she was not shocked or abashed (Teddy doubted anything could make her be) but she did seem to be surprised than anything.

“Since when do you go back to calling me Professor?” she asked.

“Since when did you go back to calling me Potter?” Harry retorted, now openly grinning.

If Teddy hadn’t seen it he wouldn’t have believed it but Professor McGonagall thin lipped mouth upturned into a smile. She passed Harry and went to go walk down the adjacent hall. “Harry,” she muttered.

“Minerva,” Harry replied and he ushered Teddy in and closed the door behind him.

“Now let’s get started,” Harry was sitting at the front of the room arms crossed surveying the class. “Who here can tell me what a dementor is?”

No hands were raised. Teddy, who was sitting next to Archie, nudged him in the ribs. Archie despite his vast knowledge on numerous subjects refrained from answering questions in class because he didn’t want to see like a know-it-all. But because the class Archie was in did know the same information as him, he usually was forced to do it anyway. This time was no different. Archie raised his hand.

“Yes Archie?” Harry was well aware of Archie’s knowledge and it was through Harry that Archie had met Hermione Granger.

“A dementor is a soul sucker. They create an environment that seems to suck all the happiness out of the world and make you relive your worst memories. And if they get close enough to you they can rip your soul from your body,” Archie answered in a rough monotone.

“And?” Harry had an uncanny ability to wiggle information out of people when he knew them withholding it.

“They used to guard Azkaban until after the Second Great Britain Wizarding War when they were replaced with the British Prison Guard, BPG, an offshoot of the Auror department.” In a even more reluctant tone then before.

“Well done! Fifteen points to Ravenclaw! Now the only way to combat a dementor is a Patronus Charm which looks like this. Expecto Patronum!” Harry said pointing his wand in front of him.

A beautiful sliver stag erupted magnificently from his wand. A couple of girls in the front row made oooh and ahh noises, Syd who usually hated when girls did such things even gasped a little bit. Teddy, who over the years had seen his godfather do some cool magic, was impressed and judging by the looks on Archie and Orion’s face they were too. Harry sent the stag running down the row of one of the desks until hit the wall and vanished from sight.

Harry cleared his throat so that all attention was back on him and all the students abruptly snapped back to face him. His face was very serious now. “A Patronus charm is a very advanced magic, guys. I don’t say this to discourage you from trying but to make you don’t get disappointed if nothing happens. Keep in mind however that this will be much difficult when faced down with an actually dementor. Now let’s get started!” Harry returned to his regular congenial self and with a wave of a wand all the desks were pinned up against the walls.

“Now the Patronus charm is as simple as it is difficult,” Harry continued pacing in front of them addressing the class at once. “All you need to think of a happy memory, a very happy memory. It doesn’t have to be real, it doesn’t even need to be a memory it can be person or anything that makes you happy, truly happy. Happiness so strong that fills you up and gives you the will to fight.” The class was enraptured with Harry’s words and Teddy caught several of his classmates staring at Harry open-mouthed. Harry stopped pacing the room and turned to face them straight ahead. “Once you have this memory deeply entrenched in your mind all you have to do is utter the charm itself, ‘Expecto Patronum!’” Harry clapped his hands together. “Let’s begin!”

For several minutes nothing happened apart from a few of them conjuring thin slivery wisps out of their wands. These instances however where so fleeting in occurrences and minute in size that they were hardly significant. Harry walked up and down the practicing students advising and instructing them. One girl so upset that she was not performing well and in front of one of the most famous wizards in the world, nonetheless, was almost on the edge of the tears. Harry did his best to comfort her and even conjured up a box of tissues for her to wipe her face.
Harry stopped in front of Teddy and looked at him with arms crossed his emerald eyes twinkling at him. “How are you doing?”

“Honestly, not good.”

Harry walked closer to Teddy so only they could be privy to their conversation. Everyone was so busy that it was not very necessary. “Your father was the one who taught me how to do this and to perfectly honest Ted, I hope I am half as good as teacher as he was to me. The best way to learn something is to have confidence in yourself; your father taught me that.”

“Why are you telling me this? Why not the rest of the class?”
Harry smiled at him. “As a teacher, although temporary, I am not supposed to have a favorite but someone who spent most of his time at my house as a child and still does, excuse me if I have a soft spot for you. But besides that Teddy what I am about to say you next will benefit only you. Teddy you are blessed to have people around you who love and care about you but no matter how much Ginny and I, Hermione and Ron and your grandmother look after you we can never fill the role of your parents.—

“I know that—

“Teddy let me finish, if you had think of something that you could wish for and it could come true instantly despite the improbability or even the impossibility of it what would it be?”

Finally Teddy understood what Harry was getting at and Harry seemed to understand that too for he nodded and walked away from Teddy but Teddy was sure he kept his eyes on him as he moved around the room. Teddy took a deep breath and pictured from his stories of his parents and the photographs of them he possessed their smiling and happy face which seemed to urge him on. Teddy especially thought of his father,
Teddy knew the less of him then his mother because he did not have the benefit of knowing someone who had raised his father like his grandmother with his mother. One of the co-creators of the Marauder’s Map and one of the mentors of one of the most powerful wizards he knew his godfather. These faces he pictured and he felt the overwhelming feeling of happiness and peace Harry described and shouted (or so it seemed) the charm.

Out from Teddy’s wand grew a large and powerful-looking four legged figure. It was a wolf not impressive of Harry’s stag but it felt familiar and comforting but at the same time more strong than Teddy had imagined. It fur was not silky and sheen but it was more matted and untidy not unlike Teddy’s constantly changing hair and appearance in general. Teddy felt an enormous amount of pride and comfort looking at his Patronus.

The class erupted into applause and as quickly as it appeared Teddy’s wolf faded away as quickly as it appeared. Harry was ecstatic he came behind Teddy’s and energetically clapped his hands on both of Teddy’s shoulders. “Well done!” Teddy never really performed well in class, he wasn’t dreadful by any means but just average, except for Transfiguration, but Teddy had been able to change his appearance at will since hours after being born so this was hardly considered a real achievement, in his mind anyway. Still being the first one in class at very advanced magic was a good feeling and he didn’t understand why Archie answered more questions.

Bolstered by Teddy’s success several more followed his example. A Hufflepuff girl who Teddy had spoken to on a couple of occasions but couldn’t remember her name was the first to follow summoning a braying horse out of her wand that pranced around the room and disappeared into the wall. Archie was able to create a falcon Patronus that circled overheard before disappearing. Orion made a large bear come out of his wand that surprised everyone (Orion especially because it disappeared almost instantly from his reaction). Syd managed to conjure a sprightly hare that bounced in front of her excited. Soon the room was full with the slivery light of Patronuses.

Shortly there after the class was over and the students filed out of the room chattering excitedly. Teddy was about to join the rest of his friends but Harry called him back. Harry was shuffling with some of the papers on his desks getting ready for his seventh year lesson while Teddy waited for the room to be clear. Once the room was empty Harry looked up from his desk and towards Teddy. “I hope you are using that map wisely.” It was a grave statement but from the look in Harry’s eye Teddy couldn’t tell if he was completely serious.

Teddy Lupin and The Shrieking Shack: Chapter 4 The Plan

“What do you mean; you didn’t end it with her!” Orion exclaimed gaping open-mouthed at Teddy.

It was the next morning and Teddy was sitting across from Syd and Orion in the Great Hall, both were looking at him like they had never noticed him before. Teddy poked at his breakfast trying not to meet their judgmental stare.

“We just sort of figured once you didn’t come back on the train and you didn’t join up with us until dinner we just sort of figured you did it…” Syd said trailing off after the sullen glare that Teddy flashed at her.

“Well I didn’t,” Teddy said grumpily into his eggs, “To be fair though I didn’t say we weren’t broken up but I didn’t say we were still together either.”

“What?” Orion asked looking more bewildered then ever. “What did you say then?”
Teddy rubbed his neck nervously and simply replied “Nothing to be honest.” Which was the truth as soon as Annie had dragged him out into the corridor she had not stopped talking. In the end it all ended with her crying and furiously kissing him and well he couldn’t exactly it end with her then… All thoughts of Annie were driven out of his mind in an instant because at that moment he heard the most wonderful twittering laugh. It was not overly girlish and annoying but it was gentle and it put a slight smile to Teddy’s lips just by hearing it. The laugh belonged to Victoire Weasley who had just gracefully sat herself down next to Teddy.

“So you didn’t end it with her did you?” She said her piercing blue eyes staring pointedly into Teddy’s own.

“W-Well no,” Teddy stammered, “Wait. How did you know?”

“Look at yourself,” She said turning to grab a scone for breakfast. Teddy looked at his spoon and immediately realized what Victorie was talking about. His angular, somewhat chiseled, handsomely skinny features had been replaced by a dour and mousy looking appearance. His deep normally bright green-blue had been replaced by a dark brown as had his green eyes. It was the face that Victorie, and most people who had known Teddy for a most of his life, associated with Teddy being moody and/or depressed. Teddy shook his head at his look returned to normal. Victoire was now beaming at him.

“Much better,” There was a shout further down the table and Victoire turned away from Teddy to see her boyfriend Brian, the tall and (regrettably) handsome Gryffindor keeper waving for her to join him. “Well then,” She said turning to the group of them in large, “I guess I’m off.” She stood up and her hair brushed in Teddy’s face and he was able to smell the intoxicating scent of it.

She was just about to leave them altogether when she turned around at looked directly at Teddy, “Ted, I think I speak for all of us when I say ‘Man up.’” And with that she turned on her heel and walked down to the end of the Great Hall and pecked her boyfriend on the cheek.

Teddy watched her go and he felt his face and hair turn red as she planted her lips on him. There were sniggers coming from the direction of Orion and Syd. He shook his head once again and looked at them.

“Sorry mate,” Orion grinned apologetically, “But you really do have to get better with that.”

“Yeah I know,” Teddy sighed, “Grab Archie and let’s go outside there is something I want to show you three.”

Teddy, Orion and Syd all rose from the table at once and went over to go talk to Archie who then joined them and they walked out into the sunny courtyard.

As Teddy, Orion, Syd and Archie sat underneath their favorite shady tree; Teddy took out the Map from his pocket and laid it on the ground for all of them to see. Teddy pointed his wand to the Map and revealed its contents the group who gathered around closer to block out any onlookers.

“What’s up Ted?” Archie asked in his husky voice.

Teddy rolled the map out fully so almost the whole landscape of Hogwarts became evident to them. Teddy pointed at seven locations across the map.

“See these seven?” Teddy said looking at his friends’ face whose brows were furrowed
as they looked at the map.

“What about them?” Orion asked looking away from the map to Teddy.

“Look closer at them; I think they are ways out of the castle.”

“What?! That’s impossible.” Archie exclaimed and searched the map frantically.
Archie was a devoted reader of Hogwarts a History: The Revised Edition and the fact that this book hadn’t mentioned any passages out of the school he found it deeply troubling. Teddy found it highly unlikely that Hermione Granger, the author of the book, would include these passages because he had personal experience with Hermione’s strict personality at times.

“Trust me,” Teddy said “If you just look at this here it looks like it keeps going underneath,” Teddy pointed to a spot in one of the hallways. “And these trail off out of the edge of the map.”

Archie nodded still in disbelief, Syd searched the map further but Orion looked up to map to look at his best friend’s face. “Are you thinking what I think you are thinking? That we can use these ourselves.”

Teddy snapped his fingers and grinned at Orion, “Exactly!” As Orion and Teddy looked at each other they saw the glint in each other’s eyes that they both knew meant adventure.