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A Thorough Understanding by TeresAngela

Format: One-shot
Chapters: 1
Word Count: 3,502
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: 12+
Warnings: Scenes of a Mild Sexual Nature, Contains Spoilers

Genres: Drama, Romance, Angst
Characters: Teddy, Victoire, OC
Pairings: Teddy/Victoire, Remus/Tonks

First Published: 07/28/2007
Last Chapter: 08/02/2007
Last Updated: 08/02/2007

Summary:
**SPOILER**
Teddy Lupin had understood, and will always understand.


Chapter 1: A Thorough Understanding

Disclaimer : The Wizarding World, Victoire Weasley, Teddy Lupin, and all the Tonkses and Lupins from the generation above the latter are properties of J.K. Rowling. I own nothing in this story, except, maybe, if it could be counted, the Weasley-Lupin kids.

A Thorough Understanding 
“…but he will know why I died and I hope he will understand” (Remus John Lupin - DH, Ch. 34)

Great Britain, September 1st, 2040 
“Will Flobberworm and Skrewt come back, Daddy?”

Smiling, Teddy Remus Lupin put his newspaper aside and turned to his young daughter.

“Of course they will, Pumpkin,” he then answered, lifting the lean-built girl up to his lap. “They’ll be here for Christmas, as what they have promised you.”

“When will the Christmas be, Daddy? Is it at the end of September?”

He let out a laugh.

“It’s at the end December, Pumpkin.”

The little girl’s heart-shaped face scrunched up in concentration as she carefully stuck her fingers, one by one, out of her balled left fist, tapping each finger with her right forefinger as they stuck out. Teddy watched as her hair got darker; from the shade of blonde to a dark shade of brown, before finally fell into a shade of black as a hint of sadness entered her usually cheerful face.

“Four more months!!!” she wailed, looking up at him with teary eyes as she did so. “Four more months!!! I won’t see Flobberworm and Skrewt for four more months!!!”

He let out another laugh, knowing it might be confusing for her innocent mind, but couldn’t help to prevent himself from doing so.

“It won’t be long,” he then said, placing his right arm under her skinny knees; his left one circling around her shoulders. “And I can guarantee that it will last shorter for you, if you sleep well every night. Time for bed, Pumpkin.”

The girl wriggled in protest as he stood up and started carrying her out of their living room, proceeding to the bedroom upstairs.

“No! Not bed! I still want to play! Not bed! NOT BED!!! TAKE ME TO HOGWARTS!!! FLOBBERWORM!!! SKREWT!!!”

A red-haired head peeped out of the kitchen as they passed its door; watching them with a pair of affectionate-but-disapproving eyes. Blinking at their owner, Teddy turned to the stairs, started climbing it as the little girl got more and more enraged, kicking and trashing as they passed the framed pictures displayed along the stairs.

“HOGWARTS!!! FLOBBERWORM!!! SKREWT!!!”

“That’s enough, Pumpkin,” he finally decided, loosening his grip on her and seated her on the pink-and-purple draped four-poster bed in the room they had just entered; her room. “Wash yourself and change, and after that we can have the story session.”

The girl’s sulky face lightened up as the words ‘story session’ reached her ears; she eagerly stood up and dashed out of the room with the set of pajamas her mother had set up upon the bed, towards the bathroom located just a few door next to it.

“Watch out for the floor, Pumpkin!” he shouted, recalling the more-than-few incidents happened in the bathroom as a result of her innate clumsiness. “It is…”

WHACK.

“DON’T WORRY, MUMMY, DADDY, I JUST TRIPPED!!!”

Sighing, he shook his head and grinned. This was the twenty-something-th time it happened, he reckoned, but after all, he still found it quite funny. How strong the gene was, that, after escaping one generation, it reincarnated to a third generation, into a little girl that, by any aspects, bore an uncanny resemblance to the last possessor of that clumsy trait.

“Living out the legacy, isn’t she?” he then asked, turning to one of the pictures assembled upon the nightstand.

No verbal answer was given to him, it was impossible, he’d learned years ago. But, deep down inside his heart, he knew, he had been answered, with a considerably hearty simultaneous laughter. He had always been told that they were that kind of ‘fun-aspiring’ people, and he had nod doubt about it, for he had a complete faith on the tellers; the group of people who, altogether, had helped him building an image from the ruins, recreating his own castle upon the foundation the two special people had left for him.

“I’m finished, Daddy!!!”

The cheerful voice brought him back to reality. Turning to his side, he saw his young daughter again, this time already pajama-clad and damp-headed.

“You did it really quick, Pumpkin,” he commented, pulling out his wand and waved it upon her head, casting a drying charm on the still-dripping brown hair. “Have you washed everything?”

“Yes, Daddy,” the girl answered confidently. “I’ve also washed Mother Duck and the Ducklings.”

He ruffled her hair.

“Well done,” he then said, jumping out of the bed. Together they removed its bright pink covers, revealing the fluffy pillows and the stuffed animals kept underneath.

“Climb in,” he quietly said, giving her another smile. She obeyed him, quick and silent; one of the few things her mother had envied him for. As quick and silent as she had, he covered her back with the blanket, revealing nothing but her face to be visible.

“Daddy! You suffocate my friends!!!”

For a moment, he stood stunned there, not quite understanding what she’d said. But, then, seven tiny stuffed heads appeared, one by one, from underneath the cover, and, he realized, she must have been upset for having her stuffed ‘friends’-‘s heads buried under the heavy cloth.

“Sorry!” he then quickly apologized, bowing towards the stuffed animals – of various kinds – and patted their heads, one by one. Gryf the Lion. Huffy the Badger. And the five others he didn’t quite remember, regarding the fact that his Pumpkin hardly ever taken them out of bed.

“They forgive you, Daddy,” she said afterwards, smiling back at him. “They understand you didn’t intend to do so. You’re not killing. Not like Death Eaters.”

For a moment, he opened his mouth, ready to give her an explanation that you didn’t have to be Death Eaters to kill. But, then, he came into a realization. For someone as young as her, the world was black and white; either you good or bad, you couldn’t be both. So for now he’d just agree with her that Death Eaters were the bad ones, and Order and D.A. people were the good ones.

“What story you want to hear, Pumpkin?” he then managed to ask her, ushering his thoughts away for a moment.

The girl frowned in thought.

“The story of Four Friends was my favorite,” she then said, looking at him. “But after the part when The Supporting One sells his friends so The Taker wouldn’t take his candies, I’m no longer liking it… And Flobberworm and Skrewt had just read The Tale of Three Brothers for me last night…”

Her voice faded away; sobs came to replace. She seemed to have forgotten the fact that her brother and sister weren’t there, and, by saying the nicknames she called them with, she’d refreshed the memory.

“Daddy,” she called him then, looking at him with her dark, tearful eyes, “how if Flobberworm and Skrewt never come home?”

The question hit him as good as a Death Eater’s stupefy. How could, by the name of all people, she think about something horrible like that?

“Your brother and your sister will come home, Pumpkin,” he then said, trying to reason with her. “They would be here again, play and fly with you, calling you Niffler…”

“Sarah’s elder brother said he would just go to a concert,” she cut, wiping her tears with her sleeves. “But he didn’t come back. The please-men said his car fell down into a river.”

And then it came into his mind, the reason behind his little girl’s larger-than-capacity question. Her friend Sarah, a muggle girl she’d met at the muggle kindergarten he and his wife had sent her to, had just lost her nineteen years old brother to a traffic accident.

“Well,” he then said, after a long minute of thinking, “they’ll still be with you, I guess.”

“But Sarah’s brother is no longer with her!” the precious Pumpkin disputed. “He’s gone! He’s no longer taking Sarah to the ice cream shop!”

Teddy Lupin paused for a while, studying the expression at his daughter’s face. There was fright, as well as fierce love and concern.

“I know what to tell you, then,” he said, taking a deep breath. “Have you ever heard The Cub’s Tale?”

The girl shook her head; tears flowing to the side of her face as she did so.

“Glad you haven’t,” he then continued, taking another deep breath, “because I would be very disappointed not to be the one telling you about this. This one is my favorite.”

Precious Pumpkin’s eyes twinkled a bit as he finished the sentence; she’d always adored him, he knew.

“Ready for the story?”

She gave him a nod; the twinkle in her eyes grew slightly brighter.

He took another deep breath.

“Once upon a time,” he started, making his voice as steady as possible, “in a place in the earth not many people knew, lived a happy pack of wolves.”

He took a brief pause, noticing his little girl clutching one of the stuffed animals closer to her heart.

“Among this pack was a pair of kind, helpful wolves – well, actually everyone in the pack were sort of kind and helpful, but let’s focus on this pair. They were different in much, much way, but, somehow, they managed to find each other and proclaimed each other as mate.”

“You mean they got married, Daddy?” asked the little girl curiously.

Teddy smiled.

“You can say like that, Pumpkin,” he carried on, secretly glancing at the framed pictures. “And a few months afterwards, this couple was blessed with a cub. Everyone in the pack was delighted, but none of them could be happier than the parents. No one could find a couple happier than them on those days; they kept sharing their joy with the others, spreading happiness in such a dangerous condition that threatened them.”

“What threatened them, Daddy?”

Again, he just smiled. This time, with a familiar tightened sensation in his heart.

“A group of hunters are after the pack,” he continued, catching a small whimper from his daughter. “The hunters had killed several members of their pack, Pumpkin; and the remaining pack members knew, there would eventually be a day when the hunters would slay them all.”

They, the father and the daughter, made an intense eye contact at the point. The pleading look in Precious Pumpkin’s eyes had almost broke Teddy’s will to go on; for a moment he was tempted to turn the story into a fine one, into a kind of story every child would hope. But, he then decided he wouldn’t, as it didn’t happen in reality indeed.

“And it was true.”

The dark, twinkling eyes widened at the sentence, and some tears started falling, again, on the cheeks of their young owner.

“The hunters had a leader,” he continued, looking up to the ceiling not to meet the heartbraking glance, “the most brutal, meanest among them. He wore a robe made of wolf-fur, Pumpkin, and we both know by this point, that every captured wolf would be killed and skinned.”

Another whimper filled the room.

“Among the wolves,” he started speaking again, “were a brave one; he was believed to be the one to beat the head-hunter. So, the pack made up a plan: the other grown-ups would try to take down the peripheral hunters, while The Brave go straight down to the head-hunter and finish him.”

“Did the couple who had cub fight too, Daddy?”

Teddy closed his eyes.

“Yes,” he said, “they did. To give their cub a better future, without hunters roaming around.”

“Did they make it?”

He reopened his eyes, looking down at his Pumpkin.

“They died with several others.”

“No!!!”

Silence filled the room for a while.

“But their death wasn’t a vain; The Brave won, and their pack could now live a peaceful life, once more.”

“B…but…Daddy…how about the cub?”

The two pairs of dark eyes met, sharing many thoughts he knew he understood much better than her.

“The parents of the cub, before the battle, had trusted him to The Brave. So, with the help of the remaining of the pack, The Brave took care of him. They did their best to raise him, they gave him all he needed, but, still, they couldn’t replace his parents; the parents he vaguely remembered. And, so, one day, in despair to some of the elder wolves who had tried to bluntly replace his parents, he secretly slipped away from the pack, hoping something bad would happen to him, so he could reunite with his parents soon.”

“Did the bad thing really happen?”

Again, he must pause.

“Yes, it did. When he was already quite far from the group, regretting his plan and wanted to turn back, a blizzard came, and he was caught inside.”

“Did he… die as well?”

Teddy, again, smiled.

“No. He didn’t. His parents had come into action, deciding that they couldn’t stay silent watching their stubborn, foolish son, dying.”

“What did they do? Did they coming back to life?”

Teddy shook his head.

“We cannot disturb the dead ones, Pumpkin,” he said, “especially when they’re already in peace. They were still dead.”

“Then how could they safe their son?”

The puzzled look in his daughter’s face made Teddy smiled again.

“They could safe their son,” he answered, softly brushing a few hair strands away from her face, “because they had never left him. Part of them lived in him, in the vague memory he’d had about them, and all the qualities he’d inherited from them.”

Pumpkin suddenly brightened up.

“They helped him survived that night; they walked with him through the wind, warm him up, and showed him the way back to the pack, in which The Brave and the others had been waiting for him, anxious and terrified.”

“Was he punished, just like I was when I left Mum at Diagon Alley?” asked the little girl.

Teddy laughed.

“Yes, he was,” he answered, “he was grounded, for about three days – that was pretty long for a wolf, by the way.”

“And after that?”

“After that? Oh, he met a female cub just slightly younger than him, they form a friendship and then…”

“Fall in love and get married and live happily ever after.”

“Not quite like that,” he gently said, looking as his daughter. “No one lives happily ever after, Pumpkin… But they lived mainly in a happy state.”

“Interesting,” replied the little girl, turning to the right side as she finished the word.

“Have you got the idea of death, then?”

“Not really,” answered the girl, “it’s confusing, you know, Daddy. But at least now I know what to say to console Sarah… and also how I could reach Flobberworm and Skrewt should anything bad happened. They owe me a chocolate frog, Daddy; their Quidditch Team lost.”

She paused for a while, slowly closing her eyes, before started speaking again.

“Will you play a wolf-Dad for me, Daddy, someday, when I’m lost and we’re no longer together in this world?”

Teddy Lupin’s precious Pumpkin would never know what her father’s answer was, for she had slowly drifted to the world of dreams, leaving her full-of-emotion father in the world of reality. Her hair had turned to her favorite shade of orange as her breath became more regulated, creating a soft, peaceful sound in the air.

“More than will, Pumpkin,” the father softly said, as he quietly kissed her forehead and waved his wand to dim the lighting in the room, purchasing his daughter a good-night-sleep from the night.

Without much sound, he went out of the room and closed the door, walking away from his mother’s childhood bedroom, which he had decided to give to this youngest daughter of his; who would live the legacy of the family, as a human, friend, lover, and whatever she might choose to do in the future. Passing the array of moving photographs as he climbed back down to the living room, he gave some of them a quick glance. There was his maternal grandparents’, must be expecting his mother at the time, together. His parents, in their best attire, in the day that marked the start of their earthily-short but eternal marriage. Himself, as a teenage boy, together with a younger teenage girl, just before his first school-ball… The girl who had grown into the woman that had insisted on putting all these pictures alongside their stairs.

“Finally asleep?” she asked, as she greeted him with a quick kiss at their living room.

“Eventually,” he answered, sinking on one of the couches. “Having a mental battle. She was afraid her siblings won’t be back, after knowing the stories of the death of her friend’s brother.”

“And you teach ‘er the philosophy of death?” she asked him, rather unbelieving but interested.

“Kind of,” he answered her. “In a form that she could understand, at least a little. I had to make her cry a bit, I hate admitting it, but finally the message sunk in.”

She looked at him, her blue eyes still and unblinking.

“And you’ve ‘ad to make yourself cry too, tearlessly and soundlessly.”

He could say nothing about this; she knew him too well, as he also knew her too well. Through their childhood and early teenager years, in which they were caring, affectionate friends; through their late teen years and early adulthood, in which they were a pair of passionate, fierce lovers; and through most of their adulthood, in which they were both best friends and true lovers, having been through seven pregnancies, four of those ended in miscarriages and two of the rest so difficult.

“I’m glad our Nymphadora listens to you,” she then said, pronouncing precious Pumpkin’s real first name. “Cause she wouldn’t listen to me.”

“Nymphadora-s don’t listen to their mothers, from what I heard,” he replied, reaching the diary-shaped photo frame she’d placed on the table he had been sitting close to. “I’ve ever mentioned this to you before, right? Don’t name our daughter Nymphadora. But you kept lashing out at me during the last three months before her birth, so I gave up, cause I couldn’t take it anymore.”

She gave him a playful punch on his shoulder and joined him at the couch, having a share of look at the three photographs in the frame. A photograph for each generation who had lived in the house since ninety-seventies; the late Ted and Andromeda Tonks, with pink-haired baby Nymphadora the first, who goes by ‘Dora’ or ‘Tonks’; the late Remus and Nymphadora ‘Tonks/Dora’ Lupin, with turquoise-haired baby Teddy, who had stuck to his given name since he was born; and the currently residing Teddy and Victoire ‘Vic’ Lupin, with their then thirteen years old ginger-haired son Andrew, seven years old blonde daughter Maureen, and orange-haired baby Nymphadora Victoria (who juggled around herself four nicknames : ‘Pumpkin’ for her father, ‘Nymphadora’ for her mother, ‘Niffler’ for the brother and sister she respectively called ‘Flobberworm’ and ‘Skrewt’, and ‘Tori’ to the society). All of them, well, except the babies, of course, smiled to the camera, pure happiness on their faces.

Some of them would never meet each other again in this world; some other even had and would never meet each other; but, Teddy perfectly knew, they were all together now. The living ones brought the legacy and memory of the deceased, connected by a strong bond called love, which would be spread down the generation, to fill the world with joy and forgiveness, peace and understanding.

And as he mentally looked back to the pensieve-memory he once visited with his Godfather Harry Potter long, long ago, Teddy Remus Lupin looked down to the middle photograph, to the man in the photograph, his father Remus John Lupin.

I’ve understood.


FIN


In memoriam of Remus John Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks, the two characters J.K Rowling didn’t intend to die, but she finally had to kill. May their legacy and love live through their son and the next generations.

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