You are viewing a story from harrypotterfanfiction.com


Cronus Rising by Padfoot Girl

Format: Novella
Chapters: 10
Word Count: 40,560
Status: WIP

Rating: 15+
Warnings: Mild Language, Mild Violence, Scenes of a Mild Sexual Nature

Genres: Drama, Horror/Dark, Action/Adventure
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Bill, Luna, Draco, Ginny, Teddy, Victoire, OtherCanon
Pairings: Harry/Ginny, Bill/Fleur, Ron/Hermione, Other Pairing

First Published: 07/18/2009
Last Chapter: 09/06/2009
Last Updated: 03/05/2020

Summary:
Gorgeous banner by MrsLovett @ TDA



At a time when the world is piecing itself back together,

There are those who want to rip it apart again.

Teddy Lupin is about to learn how powerful his godfather truly is.


Chapter 1: Prologue
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

“Cronus Rising”

 

“Prologue”

 

 

 

Teddy Lupin had heard great tales of war since he could remember. He remembered listening to them with rapid fascination. He imagined great battles with the sky lighting up with every color imaginable. He pictured cheers and applause when the good guys won. Images of his godfather fighting with ease also flickered in his mind since his godfather was an Auror, and Teddy had no doubt that his godfather was the best Auror there ever was. The appealing nature of those battles soon lost its magic when he was told that his parents died in battle.

 

 

Most of the time, Teddy didn’t quite understand what war actually meant. He was only five years old after all. He couldn’t comprehend murder and snatchers. Mudbloods and blood traitors were hazy words in his vocabulary. The concepts of war were lost to him and seemed like a far away nightmare that could never truly exist outside of dreams.

 

Teddy also didn’t understand why every time he was out with his godfather, people stopped him on the street to shake his hand, snap a picture or ask for his autograph. His godfather’s picture almost always graced the covers of magazines and newspaper. There were times when his godfather’s girlfriend, Ginny Weasley, would also grace the pages.

 

Teddy could see why Ginny was always on the covers and in the newspaper. She was the star Chaser of the Holyhead Harpies. She was, in Teddy’s opinion, the coolest person he had ever met.

 

That was who Teddy was with one muggy July night. He was sitting on a comfy couch in Ginny’s personal locker room, swinging his feet in excitement to be at a finals game with his godfather. His godfather always got the best box in the house.

 

“You won’t believe what I saw when I was out to lunch with Luna today,” Ginny said with a smirk dancing on her features.

 

“Luna’s back in town? She bring any nargles or thingy shnorks?” Harry teased.

 

“No, but she brought a boy! His name is Rolf, and he’s… quite fit for Luna.” Ginny grabbed something off her vanity. “Anyways, we left the restaurant, and I see the newest issue of Witch Weekly with us on the cover.”

 

Teddy craned his neck to see the magazine. On the glossy front cover, smiling at the camera, was his godfather with his arm wrapped around Ginny. They were both in formal robes. The young boy concluded it was probably taken at one of Harry’s boring Ministry events that he was always complaining about and dragging Ginny to.

 

Witch Weekly’s 100 Most Influential Wizards in the United Kingdom,” Harry read.

 

“Guess who snagged the spot for number one.”

 

“Hayden McGreggors?” Teddy spoke up with shining eyes.

 

Ginny and Harry laughed. His godfather told him no with what appeared to be a sad smile.

 

“But he’s the bestest Seeker that Britain has ever seen!” protested Teddy.

 

Ginny walked over to the small child and sat down next to him. He snuggled up close to her as she enveloped him into a one armed hug.

“Your godfather is number one,” she told him with a tap on the nose.

 

“Harry’s number one?” Teddy questioned with his nose scrunching up. “But why?”

 

“I’ll tell you when you’re older,” his godfather replied as he flipped through the pages.

 

“I made it too,” Ginny said with a laugh. “I beat McGonagall.”

 

“What numbers?”

 

“I snagged 78 and McGonagall got a winning 86.”

 

Harry nodded absentmindedly. He stopped on one page and Teddy could see a smiling Ginny embossed on the sheet. Below her picture, in bold letters, read, Ginevra Weasley: Holyhead Harpies’ Star Chaser and Captain. Long-term girlfriend of The Chosen One.”

 

Teddy’s brow furrowed as he read the heading slowly. Before he could ask what exactly it said, there was a knock on the locker room door. A head peeked in telling Ginny that she was needed for the huddle. Harry threw the magazine onto the vanity, kissed Ginny on the cheek and then scooped his godson up in his arms.

 

“Win for me, Ginny!” Teddy shouted over his godfather’s shoulder.

 

Ginny chuckled and waved goodbye to him before the door closed behind them. They made their way to the premium box. Ginny’s family was already situated in their seats, two in the middle were empty for Harry and Teddy.

 

As soon as his godfather sat him down on the ground, Teddy rushed to greet Ron and George. The two never failed to amuse the small boy. George was always had treats and tricks in his pockets. Ron always made him laugh with a joke.

 

“Where’s Hermione?” Harry questioned as he sat down in a vacant seat.

 

“Got called into work,” Ron replied. “Bit weird, isn’t it? It’s been quiet lately.”

 

“Teddy, the game’s starting. Come sit down.”

 

The five year old watched in excitement. He tried to keep his eyes on Ginny but often found himself unable to keep up with her fast-paced flying. Before long, Teddy’s nose was pressed against the glass as his eyes darted around the field.

 

When the game ended, the Holyhead Harpies won 380 to the Applyby Arrows 150. Harry lifted a protesting Teddy up in his arms and situated the boy on his hip.

 

“’M not tired,” he said into his godfather’s neck.

 

“Sure you aren’t.”

 

Harry rubbed his back soothingly and carried the small boy out of the stadium. When they were far enough away, Teddy felt the familiar sensation of being sucked into a vacuum.

 

Teddy only vaguely registered entering his house. His godfather called out for his grandmother but there was no answer. That was when the small boy lifted his head from Harry’s shoulder. The back of his hand scrubbed his eyes awake. His grandmother was always waiting on the living room couch when he came home.

 

“Grandmum!” Teddy shouted as Harry jerked his head away.

 

Harry loosened his grip on Teddy and let him stand on his own two feet. He pulled out his wand and held it in front of him. Teddy began to wander into the house when a hand gripped his shoulder and pulled him back. His back collided with his godfather’s legs.

 

“Stay close,” Harry whispered.

 

“GRANDMUM!”

 

“Shh, be quiet.”

 

Scared and confused, Teddy gripped his godfather’s pant leg tightly in his small hand. His dark green Holyhead Harpies Phrygian cap slipped backwards on his head. Harry pushed the child behind him as he inched farther into the house.

 

Opening the swing doors to the kitchen, Teddy peeked from behind his godfather’s legs to see his grandmother lying very still on the floor. Her eyes were lackluster and staring right at him with no flicker of recognition or life. Before Teddy could call out to her or rush towards her, Harry swept him up in strong arms and ran from the house.




I hope you enjoyed the prologue. This story will only be 6 or 7 chapters long, and newer chapters will be longer in length. This was just an introduction chapter. The chapters will switch between Teddy's to Harry's third person POV. Please leave a review and tell me what you think. :)

 



Chapter 2: Fallen Heroes
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

“Cronus Rising”

 

 

“Chapter One: Fallen Heroes”

 

 

 

 

   

Harry was sprawled on the couch in his flat with the small body of his godson slumped against his side. On the coffee table lay Witch Weekly with him and Ginny’s smiling faces staring up him. The picture had been taken a fortnight ago at a Ministry gala celebrating five years of being Voldemort free and honoring the lives that were lost in the struggle. Harry had been asked to be the keynote speaker so he attended with Ginny on his arm.

 

Now, the tinges of war were upon them again. Andromeda Tonks’ murder did not seem random or insignificant. The wizard who allowed the killing curse to slither from their throat did not do so out of madness or insane fun. It was not a botched robbery. No, everyone knew that Teddy Lupin was Harry Potter’s godson. Whoever murdered Andromeda was going after Teddy. Harry was positive.

 

When Harry told his godson that his grandmother was dead, he cried something awful. Quickly, he slipped into the denial stage of grief. After hours of crying and hiccups, he collapsed into his godfather’s arms out of exhaustion.

 

The embers in the fire were slowly dying causing the room to grow darker by the second. Glancing out the window, Harry noted the full moon creeping out behind dark clouds. Images of Remus Lupin’s dead body flickered in front of his eyes. They disappeared as quickly as they came.

Peace was a fickle friend. It would linger around just long enough to mask the world in a disillusioned dream. Then, it would disappear off into the abyss and leave behind chaos and death.

 

It had been years since Harry felt the claws of death coiling into his life. There only seemed to be birth and love. Bill and Fleur had a daughter they named Victoire. They named her as such because she was born on the second anniversary when Voldemort had been defeated for foolishly thinking he was the master of the Elder Wand. Percy married a woman named Audrey who quickly gave birth to a baby they called Molly. She was a year younger than Victoire. George, just eight months ago, married Angelina Johnson.

 

The lock to the front door clicked. Involuntarily, Harry tensed. Pulling Teddy closer to his chest and hand slipping into his pocket for his wand, he prepared himself for whoever was going to enter the flat.

 

A flash of red appeared as the door opened slowly. Harry immediately eased and his grip loosened on his godson. Ginny’s eyes were glassy and red, her balance something less than desirable. Her hair was pulled back in a slack ponytail and she wore Muggle street clothes.

 

“I heard what happened,” Ginny slurred slightly as she plopped on the couch next to Harry. “I was at a bar with the team when the news broke.”

Harry opened his free arm to wrap around Ginny’s shoulders. He pulled her close to his chest, her redhead nearly touching Teddy’s brown one. Stroking her arm, he told her everything was going to be all right.

 

“I’m so sorry, Harry,” Ginny whispered. “I know how much she meant to you and Teddy.”

 

Leaning his head down, Harry planted a soft kiss on her temple. It wasn’t long before he heard Ginny’s breathing even out. Lolling his head back, Harry prepared himself for a long night.

 

Molly Weasley was kind enough to plan Andromeda’s funeral by saying that Harry had his hands full with a grieving child. The wake took place at Andromeda’s small cottage. Teddy refused to leave his godfather’s side.

 

Hand in hand, Harry and Teddy made their way through the well-wishers and grievers to give their thanks and receive condolences. The little boy was quiet and withdrawn; and it was hard for Harry to see him as such. Teddy Lupin usually bounced off the walls and constantly fidgeted because he lacked the self-control to ever sit still.

 

Luna Lovegood moved through the crowd with an unfamiliar male following her. Luna was dressed quite respectably in a black dress (no doubt from Ginny’s closet) and a gaudy turquoise necklace looped around her neck.

 

“Harry, it’s been so long,” Luna greeted him, a small birthday bag laced in her fingers. “This is Rolf Scamander. We’ve been traveling the countryside looking for evasive creatures.”

 

“Nice to meet you,” Harry greeted.

 

The two men shook hands. Once they pulled apart, Luna knelt down to Teddy’s eyelevel. She held out a bag covered in balloons to the small boy.

 

“Err, Luna, this is a wake and not a birthday party,” Harry reminded her.

 

“I know,” was all she said.

 

Teddy let go of his godfather’s hand for the first time since entering his deceased grandmother’s cottage to peer inside the bag. Harry watched as the boy’s head tilted to the side as he reached into the sack. In his hand was a circular ring with glass in the middle. It was gray with jagged edges.

 

“Harry, what is it?” Teddy held up the object for his godfather to take.

 

He accepted it and rolled it in his hand, not quite sure what to make of it. Perhaps it belonged to an Umgubular Slashkilter or something of the sort. Harry didn’t dare ask Luna.

 

“It’s an Enemy Eyeglass,” Rolf spoke up. “You put it up to your eye and anyone wishing you harm will glow a mean red.”

 

“I thought it would be useful,” Luna continued, “since your grandmum was murdered and all.”

 

Teddy frowned and muttered his thanks. Sometimes, Harry wished that Luna came with a filter. He handed the Enemy Eyeglass back to his godson. He had never heard of anything of the sort before and ruled it off as one of Luna’s fantastical things.

 

Upon seeing Ginny talking with her mother a few feet away, Luna grabbed Rolf by the elbow and dragged him off to her best friend. Placing a gentle hand on Teddy’s shoulder, he gave it a slight squeeze of reassurance.

 

“I’m gonna go to the bathroom,” he whispered quietly.

 

“Want me to come with you?”

 

The boy shook his head in the negative and sulked off up the stairs. Harry frowned deeply as he watched him go.

 

“How is he taking it?” Hermione’s voice asked.

 

Harry turned to see her suddenly at his side. Her hair was pulled back into a messy bun and a black dress clung to her curves.

 

“Not well. He’s certainly not the little boy we’re all used to,” Harry replied.

 

Harry caught Ginny’s eye. She smiled softly at him and gave him a small wave. Harry smiled back tightly, his mind wandering to the lost little boy upstairs.

 

“Ron’s probably already told you that the night Andromeda… well, I got called into work.”

 

“Yeah, he told me that when you failed to show up for Ginny’s game.”

 

“Well, what he didn’t tell you was that it was a Muggle torturing.”

 

Harry’s head snapped to Hermione, disbelief clouding his features. One would have to be mad to attack Muggles with the Ministry in the state that it was. Under Kingsley Shacklebolt’s rule, Muggle tormenting or torturing of any sort was punishable to a stint in Azkaban.

 

“That’s not all, Harry. At the house, the cover of the new issue of Witch Weekly was on the floor. The one with you and Ginny from the gala.”

 

“What would that be doing there?”

 

“I think it was supposed to be a message to you.”

 

A thousand thoughts bombarded Harry’s mind. It had to have been some crackpot Death Eaters wallowing in the defeat of their old master. The bastards thought that they could rattle him, thought they were all-mighty and tough? They thought wrong. They had no idea who they were dealing with. Ginny must have noticed the tense conversations and made her way over to the pair.

 

“Where’s Teddy?” Ginny asked, her hand resting on Harry’s shoulder.

 

“The loo,” he responded.

 

“I think maybe you should go check on him.”

 

Harry nodded stiffly and made his way upstairs. The bathroom door was open and the lights off. Strolling down the corridor, Harry stopped outside a door with a metal sign nailed upon the wood. The sign, in Remus’ careful lettering, read Teddy R. Lupin. Harry rapped a few knuckles on the door. There was no response.

 

He twisted the doorknob and pushed forward. On the windowsill which normally housed a variety of stuffed wolves collected throughout the years, sat Teddy with his forehead resting on the glass. Faint red tear tracks covered his pallid face.

 

Making his way into the room, Harry gently closed the door behind him with a soft snap. He took a seat on the large windowsill next to his godson, his hand resting on the boy’s sneakers.

 

“I was a little over one when my parents’ died,” Harry spoke softly. He had never told his godson the story of his parents’ deaths. “They were murdered by a dark wizard called Lord Voldemort.”

 

Teddy tilted his head towards his godfather, the Enemy Eyeglass clenched tightly in his fist. He blinked several times before lifting his legs to give his godfather more room. Harry scooted until his back rested against the glass and allowed Teddy’s legs to rest comfortably on his lap.

 

“I don’t remember them at all. They were these mystical fairytale people who I respected and loved. They helped me through the toughest times of my life even though I can only recall what they look like because of pictures.” Harry paused to look at his godson who was listening intently. “I lived with my aunt and uncle for most of my life. They were Muggles and hated magic. I felt like I had nobody. I wished night after night that some long lost relative would just come and take me away from there.”

 

“Did someone come?” Teddy whispered.

 

“Hagrid came when I was eleven years old and told me I was a wizard. I was floored. I was never told of magic before that.”

 

“Did you stay at Hogwarts then? You never went back did you?”

 

“Oh, I went back every single summer. When I turned seventeen, I left that place and vowed I’d never return. Except, I send Christmas cards to my cousin and aunt every year. I’ve even gone out to the pubs a couple of times with my cousin.”

 

“But no one came for you.” It wasn’t a question but rather a statement filled with disappointment.

 

“When I was thirteen, I found out I had a godfather.”

 

Teddy’s brow furrowed as he lifted his head off the glass. He scooted down the windowsill to get closer to his godfather. Once in arms reach, Harry hoisted Teddy up onto his lap. The boy snuggled up close to his godfather, his free hand clenching a fistful of his dress shirt.

 

“Why didn’t you live with him?”

 

“Oh, I wanted to. He wanted me to as well. He was blamed for a crime he didn’t commit. He went to Azkaban for a lot of years before he broke out because he thought I was in terrible danger.”

 

“How come I haven’t met him?”

 

“He died when I was fifteen saving my life. It nearly broke me. But then I had your father and all of the Weasleys and a great headmaster by the name of Albus Dumbledore all behind me. I felt like I could go on as long as I had them. Then, Dumbledore was murdered. After that, George’s twin brother Fred and your parents were killed. It was so hard to get over their deaths.”

 

“What happened then?”

 

“Well, Lord Voldemort, the reason they were all murdered, was dead. I had Ginny. I had you. I had my best mates and a surrogate family. I joined the Auror department and I fight every day to ensure something like that never happens again.”

 

Teddy didn’t say anything. Running a hand through the boy’s messy hair, Harry smiled softly. It was Teddy who was his savior after the war. Harry lived and breathed for his godson, vowed that he would never let anything happen to him. Harry had failed. His grandmother was murdered and the boy felt grief crashing into him relentlessly.

 

“Promise you won’t go anywhere?” Teddy asked in a quiet voice.

 

The boy had a whole family support system with the Weasleys, but the one person he craved by his side was his godfather. Harry’s chest burst with pride and he could not deny the child that simple request. After Sirius died, Harry had pondered why his godfather had been so reckless in his life. Why couldn’t Sirius Black just be happy to have his godson survive the devastation at Godric’s Hollow and care for him? Revenge and battle meant so much more to him. Harry would never allow anything to mean more to him than Teddy.

 

“Promise,” Harry whispered and kissed the boy on top of his head, silently praying he could fulfill that simple request.

 

There was a soft knock on the door before Ginny Weasley popped her head into the room. She made a motion to leave once she saw the private scene in front of her, but faltered when Teddy’s head lifted off Harry’s chest to give her a subtle smile.

 

Teddy always had a soft spot for Ginny. Next to Harry, Ginny was his favorite person in the world. He loved listening to her chat about Quidditch and found it rather fun to go out shopping with her. When Harry had to work late on Friday nights, which Teddy always spent the weekends with his godfather, Ginny would pick him up from his grandmother’s and they would cook dinner together.

 

Ginny made her way into the room and knelt down in front of Teddy and Harry. Her eye caught the ring in Teddy’s hand and raised a questioning eyebrow.

 

“It’s an Enemy Eyeglass,” he told her as he held out his hand.

 

“Luna gave it to him,” Harry supplied.

 

Ginny raised the circle to her eye and looked through it. She moved from first Teddy and then to Harry. A smile broke out across her freckly face.

“Well, you two aren’t imposters according to your nifty eyeglass!”

 

Teddy laughed as Ginny handed him back the object. The eyeglass was quickly raised to his own eye to survey Ginny in front of him. Once he was happy with the fact that she was who she appeared to be, he let her know she wasn’t an imposter either.

 

“Everyone’s leaving,” Ginny turned her attention to Harry. “My mum and I were thanking them for coming.”

 

“You’re the best, Ginny.”

 

“Mum says she wants you two to get home, so she’s gonna clean up.”

 

“I’m not going to let her do that by herself,” Harry reasoned.

 

“She’s not. She reeled in my dad, Ron, Hermione, George, Angelina, and Bill to help. She let Fleur skip out on it so she could get Victoire home and in bed.”

 

Harry stood up and gently hauled Teddy over his shoulder. The boy squealed in delight, his mind escaping the death of his grandmother for a split second. Reaching out his free hand, Harry took Ginny’s in his. They made their way downstairs to see Mrs. Weasley bossing everyone about.

 

“Oh, Harry, dear, did Ginny tell you? I want you boys to go home and get some rest. I got everything covered here,” Mrs. Weasley told him with a pat on the arm. “RON! GEORGE! Stop messing around and take those dishes in the kitchen to get clean!”

 

“Thank you, Mrs. Weasley, for everything. I don’t know what I would have done without you,” Harry told her with a smile.

 

Teddy twisted his midsection on Harry’s shoulder to see the Weasley clan rushing around the house. He gripped his godfather’s arm tightly and pulled himself in an awkward position.

 

“Harry!” He turned to see Kingsley Shacklebolt rushing towards him.

 

“Kingsley, thank you for coming”

 

Harry held out his hand to shake the Minister’s hand. Kingsley gave his condolences before asking to speak with Harry in private. Hauling Teddy off his shoulder, Harry put the boy onto his feet.

 

“Harry, stay!” he pleaded, his fists clenching his godfather’s pant leg.

 

He knelt down until he was eyelevel with Teddy. Slowly and gently, he pried the tiny fingers out of their death grip.

 

“Hey, buddy, do me a favor and stay with Ginny for a bit, alright?”

 

Ginny held her hand out for the child to take. With hesitation marking his movements, Teddy slowly made his way over to her and grasped her hand into his. Harry stood up and gestured for Kingsley to follow him into the den. Glancing back at his godson, he saw Teddy with the Enemy Eyeglass pressed against his eye and scanning the Weasleys carefully.

 

“What is it?” Harry questioned once they were securely away from the others.

 

“I’m sure you share my suspicions that Andromeda Tonks’ death was not a random act of violence. It was planned and executed with great care.”

 

“I reckon as much.”

 

“Just minutes before Andromeda was attacked, we believe that a Muggle family was terrorized as well. We sent the Magical Law Enforcement to catch the wrongdoers,” Kingsley explained.

 

“I know. Hermione was part of the team that went out.”

 

“They captured one of the Wizards involved. We have him in a Ministry holding cell. According to the Auror who interrogated him, he asked if Harry Potter enjoyed their… gift, he called it.”

 

Gift?” Harry questioned harshly as a frown worked its way deep in his eyebrows.

 

“The Auror played dumb. Asked what this gift was. The man replied… the gift was the death of your godson.”

 

Harry could hear his heart hammering in his chest. White, hot anger coursed through his veins. His godson, Teddy, was the intended target. When he was absent, they murdered Andromeda in his place.

 

“Who is he working for?” Harry demanded.

 

“A man known by the name of Cronus.”

 

“Cronus? I’ve never heard of a Wizard by that name!”

 

Kingsley nodded in agreement. It was someone new who took a liking to the way Voldemort ran his regime of terror. Harry would be damned if he let it happen again.

 

“So, this Cronus is a Voldemort copy-cat?” Harry asked.

 

“It’s what I’m inclined to believe.”

 

Sighing heavily, Harry raked a hand through his hair. A Voldemort copy-cat was all he needed to top off the fantastic week he’d been having. Harry had been hoping for some elusive Death Eater on the loose. Not this. Anything but this.

 

“Harry, it gets worse,” Kingsley said regrettably. “This came across my desk. It was found in Andromeda’s house when the Aurors did the sweep a few days ago.”

 

Pulling out a piece of glossy paper, Harry’s heart sank. There was Ginny’s picture all smiles and waving at the camera with the caption, Ginevra Weasley: Holyhead Harpies’ Star Chaser and Captain. Long-term girlfriend of The Chosen One.” Except, the picture, had a huge red X marked across the face. Harry’s insides churned.

 

“Why didn’t you tell me about this before?” Harry demanded as he snatched the Witch Weekly page.

 

“I talked to Ginny person-”

 

“She knew? She knew and she didn’t tell me a bloody thing!”

 

“We both agreed you have a lot on your plate. We wanted-”

 

“A lot on my plate?” Harry said bitterly. “Yeah, well, I had a lot more on my bloody plate when I was seventeen years old and hunting Horcruxes!”

“Look, we both agreed it wouldn’t be best to tell you until after the wake. You had a crying child attached to your hip and a funeral to plan. I did what I thought was best for you and for your godson,” Kingsley seethed. “I didn’t want you to go pull a Sirius-”

 

“Pull a Sirius, eh? You thought what? I’d go out and hunt for the bastards that want my godson and my girlfriend dead, and I’d get myself locked up in Azkaban?” Harry stepped towards Kingsley, face red with anger. “Sirius did what he thought was best! He went after Pettigrew to protect me from the likes of him. He just got blamed for everything in the process! Maybe if you Aurors did your job right back then, he wouldn’t have suffered all those years!”

 

Kingsley sighed. His jaw tightened.

 

“I’m not talking to you when you get like this. I want you in my office Monday morning with the best Aurors in the division.”

 

With that, Kingsley briskly marched out of the den. Harry scratched the side of his face and glanced down at the X covered Ginny. It brought a whole new meaning to X marks the spot.

 

Entering the living room, Ginny was sitting on the floor with Teddy in her lap. They were examining the Enemy Eyeglass. As soon as they saw Harry, Teddy raised the circle to his eye and surveyed his godfather head to toe with it. He then whispered something to Ginny who laughed.

Harry knelt down in front of them. Holding his arms open, Teddy latched his arms around Harry’s neck.

 

“Let’s go home.” Harry then turned his attention to Ginny. “You and I are going to have a talk later.”

 

“Kingsley told you then?” she replied flatly.

 

“It was foolish not to tell me.”

 

“Well, you found out in the end. No use crying over spilt milk.”

 

Harry didn’t respond. Instead, he stood up straight and cradled his godson in his arms. He thanked Mrs. Weasley once more and bid goodnight to everyone. Then, Harry Disapparated.

 

Once safely inside his flat, Harry put Teddy immediately to bed. He kissed the boy on the forehead before exiting the room quietly. Collapsing down on the living room couch, the Witch Weekly picture of himself stared up at him. Flipping to his page of dedication, Harry glanced down at the caption below his picture that read, “Harry Potter: World Class Auror, Order of Merlin First Class Recipient, Wizengamot Member, International Confederation of Wizards Chairman, The Chosen One, War Hero.”

 

With a wave of his wand, the fireplace burst to life. Harry threw the magazine into the flames and watched his picture melt.



Thank you for all the encouraging reviews for the first chapter! I replied to them all. The next chapter will be out in a few days. Please, leave a review before you leave. They were all so encouraging and caused me to post this chapter before I intended to! :)

 

 



Chapter 3: The Enemy Eyeglass
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

“Cronus Rising”

 

 

“Chapter Two: The Enemy Eyeglass”

 

 

 

 

Teddy Lupin bolted up in bed, his grip tightening around his wolf plush. The sun was seeping through the curtains and indistinct shouts were emitting from the living room. He slid out off bed, his bare feet touching the cool hardwood floors. Creeping out of his bedroom, holding Moony tightly in his arms, he slinked down the hallway like a cat hunting its prey until he could see Harry and Ginny in the living room.

 

They were facing each other, faces red with fury. Teddy had never seen the two fight before. In fact, they were almost always lovey-dovey with hugs and kisses and sweet spoken words. They’d kid around with each other with smiles and playful eye rolls. Teddy concluded that he did not like to see them fight.

 

“You should have told me!” Harry hissed.

 

“Right, Harry, because you tell me everything,” she snapped back. “I mean, I was the first person you told about the Horcruxes-”

 

“Oi, Ginny, shut it about that.” Harry sighed. “It’s over and done with.”

 

“Well, this is over and done with so deal with it.”

 

Harry laughed bitterly and pulled a piece of glossy paper from his pocket. Teddy craned his neck to see what it was. There was a familiar picture of Ginny with a large red X crossed over her face. Teddy frowned.

 

“This lunatic wants you.” He held the page up for Ginny to see. “He’s this delusional git who calls himself Cronus. Nifty nick name he picked up. Remind you of Voldemort too?”

 

“Harry…”

 

“The night he attacked Andromeda, he wanted Teddy. Moments before, he had a group of wizards attack a Muggle family and torture them into insanity.”

 

“I know…”

 

“THEN GET IT THROUGH YOUR SKULL! HE WANTS YOU TO GET TO ME!”

 

Teddy flinched at his godfather’s harsh words. He had never seen Harry so angry, had never seen him yell so harshly. In fact, Teddy couldn’t even remember a time his godfather raised his voice at all. Harry was always so calm, so nice. It was unnerving to see his godfather speak in such a way.

Ginny, who didn’t seem as bothered by the tone of Harry, crossed her arms over her chest. Her hip jetted out and she looked terrifyingly like Mrs. Weasley. Teddy shrunk himself into the tiniest ball he could manage while his bottom lip found itself securely between his teeth.

 

“I’ve heard this speech before, Harry,” she said coolly. “Are you going to break up with me again?”

 

“You are absolutely maddening!”

 

The picture of Ginny was scrunched up into crumpled ball and was thrown at the nearest wall. It hit the wall with such force and magic that there was a loud boom. Where the paper had collided with the wall was a round-shaped indention with cracks weaving from it.

 

“Oh, that’s just brilliant,” Ginny said with a sneer. “Wreck the whole apartment while you’re at it. I’m sure your landlord will be pleased.”

 

“I don’t take death threats lightly!” Harry snapped. “Unlike you who finds it fit to fiddle while Rome’s burning!”

 

“I do not find this amusing, Harry, nor am I taking it lightly,” Ginny seethed. “Although, this Cronus bloke, oh, I’m sure he’s the next Tom Riddle. I mean, any wizard who picks out his own clever nick name must be just as powerful and evil as Voldemort.”

 

“He’s murdered!”

 

“Yeah, and I’m sure he’s already started picking out China patterns to turn into Horcruxes.”

 

Harry shook his head, his lips drawing out in a thin line. Teddy turned his head away. He didn’t want to hear them fighting. Tears burned Teddy’s eyes. Large droplets weighed down his eyelashes and slid along his chubby cheeks. He held in the sob that burned his throat and clenched Moony so tightly that the stuffing was stretching the stitches that held the fabric together.

 

“Merlin, Ginny! You are frustrating the ruddy hell outta me!”

 

“While you’re yelling at me, why don’t you wake Teddy up too. I’m sure your delicate tones haven’t disrupted him at all.”

 

Upon hearing his name, Teddy scurried off to bed and buried himself under the covers. He let out a strangled sob. He did not want Ginny to die and he knew that Harry would do anything to protect her. What if they died just like his parents and grandmum? How could he survive without anybody? Where would he go? Did he have a Muggle aunt and uncle who hated magic just like Harry did?

 

 

The weekend flew by quickly with no more fights. In fact, Teddy did not see Ginny at all after Saturday morning’s screaming match. She was gone by the time Harry came into his room to tempt him to breakfast.

 

When Monday morning rolled around, it was the first day that Harry was going back to work since grandmum died. Teddy was supposed to stay at the Burrow with Mrs. Weasley and Victoire.

 

Piling bits of cereal and milk onto his spoon, Teddy watched his godfather leaning against the counter with the Daily Prophet in his hands. On the cover was a picture of Harry except he looked younger. Blood caked his clothes and scratches marred his face. In his right hand was a long and slender wand that was not the wand Teddy knew his godfather possessed. The heading read, “Five Years After Lord Voldemort’s Defeat A New Dark Wizard Emerges.”

 

Teddy kept his tongue and did not ask his godfather what exactly the headline read, but there was a lump in his stomach that told him it wasn’t anything good. Especially not since a bloodied picture of his godfather shown on the cover.

 

“Are you nearly done?” Harry asked as he tossed the paper in the bin.

 

He nodded his head in the positive. Shoving one last spoonful into his mouth, Teddy jumped off the chair. Harry waved his wand and the dishes cleaned themselves in the sink. His godfather motioned his head for Teddy to hurry along.

 

Teddy ran about his room packing up his book bag with things he wanted to take to Mrs. Weasley’s house. Stuffing in a few Quidditch books and Moony into the bag, he began to zipper it shut as far as it would go. Moony’s grey head peeked out from the top. On his nightstand was the Enemy Eyeglass. Teddy shoved that in his pocket for good measure before hurrying out to the living room to see his godfather waiting for him in his Auror robes and briefcase in hand.

 

“We’re going to use the Floo today,” Harry announced as he held out a small trinket filled with powder.

Teddy scrunched his nose in distaste.

 

“Come on,” Harry encouraged. “I put new wards around the place so I can’t Disapparate us out anymore.”

 

Slowly, Teddy grabbed a fistful of Floo Powder and stepped into the blue flames dancing in the fireplace. He glanced up at Harry with one last pleading look to Disapparate instead of traveling by Floo. When his godfather shook his head, Teddy threw the powder at his feet and shouted, “THE BURROW!”

 

Teddy fell out of the fireplace feeling nauseous and dizzy. Mrs. Weasley hauled him up by his armpits and got him out of the way just in time for Harry to stroll out of the fireplace. He brushed his robes nonchalantly while waiting for Teddy to get his bearings.

 

“Be good for Mrs. Weasley, alright?”

 

Harry knelt down on the floor and held his arms open for his godson. Teddy immediately lunged for him. There was a selfish part of Teddy that didn’t want to see Harry go. What if something happened to him while he was at work? Teddy bit his lip as he felt a kiss be placed on his forehead.

 

“Thank you for taking him in. I promise this isn’t permanent.”

 

Harry patted Teddy twice on the back and broke the hug. Suddenly, Teddy felt lonely. He watched sadly as Harry gave Mrs. Weasley a hug and a swift kiss on the cheek.

 

“Never you mind, Harry! I’m glad to take Teddy in. Victoire will be so glad to have a playmate.”

 

With a nod, Harry Potter disappeared with a faint pop. Teddy turned to Mrs. Weasley who was beaming at him. Reaching into his pocket, he gripped the Enemy Eyeglass and placed it over his right eye. Mrs. Weasley did not glow but she frowned slightly.

 

While Mrs. Weasley busied herself in cleaning the Burrow, Teddy stepped outside and explored the grounds. He never had free reign at the Burrow before because there were so many of them. Wherever he went, there was sure to be a Weasley there.

 

Clumped together at the edge of the vegetable patch in a mass were the most disgusting creatures Teddy ever saw in his life. They looked like overgrown potatoes with stubby little arms and legs. Fuzzy sprouts covered the body of the largest potato creature.

Rising the eyeglass to his eye, Teddy saw the little potato creatures glowing a sunny yellow. The sprouted one, however, was a deep red. Teddy fell to the ground, flattening his body against the grass. As though he was going into battle, he slithered through the grass and weeds on his belly. Once he got closer, he checked the Enemy Eyeglass once more.

 

The potato creatures were muttering and some were digging holes in the garden. Teddy suddenly found himself to be an Auror going after wrongdoers just like his godfather. He didn’t have a wand so another weapon would have to do. Glancing around him, he noticed a slim and long branch. Stretching his arm out, he grasped his newfound sword with his fingertips.

 

Mrs. Weasley needn’t worry about potato creatures wrecking havoc on her garden anymore.

 

Teddy charged towards the potato creatures with his sword stretched out in front of him. He slashed it at one of the potatoes only to have it bite his sword. Teddy waved it in the air but the potato creature would not let go.

 

“Oi! That’s my sword!” Teddy shouted.

 

Then, another potato creature rushed Teddy and knocked him to the ground. The leader of the potato creatures, the one that glowed a dark red, bit his finger. Teddy let out a screech and started to kick at the potatoes that were attacking him. Forgetting his sword, Teddy ran for the house. He dashed through the sliding glass door and slammed it shut.

 

One of the potato creatures ran straight into the glass with a loud splat! and Teddy laughed. He stuck out his tongue at the creatures.

“Teddy?”

 

The small child whipped around to see Mrs. Weasley standing in the doorframe with her hands on her hips. Teddy attempted to smile innocently. When that didn’t work, for she still looked quite stern, Teddy held up his bleeding pointer finger.

 

“The potato creature bit me,” he said lamely.

 

Mrs. Weasley fussed over him then. She sat him on top of the kitchen table and muttered spells under her breath. The blood disappeared and the bite mark didn’t sting anymore. The puncture marks were still visible, a scar for his brave endeavors. Harry would gush with pride.

There was a male voice that called out from the living room and Teddy thought it sounded like Mr. Weasley. Mrs. Weasley told Teddy to stay put until she got back and raced out of the kitchen.

 

That’s when Teddy saw her. Victoire Weasley was peering into the kitchen with large eyes akin to the ocean. Blonde hair was pulled back into two French braids – she was, perhaps, the only Weasley in the history of Weasleys not to have vibrant red hair. She scampered into the kitchen and climbed up the table until she was sitting next to Teddy.

 

“How did that happen?” Victoire asked as she pointed to Teddy’s injured hand.

 

“Err, a potato creature bit me,” he replied.

 

“Why?”

 

“They’re mean.”

 

There was a loud thump that sounded behind the children. They both jumped and turned around. The potato creatures were still there. Victoire craned her neck and looked like a snapping turtle with her teeth bared. Teddy scooted away from her.

 

“Look through this.” Teddy handed her the Enemy Eyeglass. “Evil things glow.”

 

Victoire looked through the ring and squealed with delight. She then looked at Teddy and her smile fell. She handed the eyeglass back to Teddy.

 

“I like the colors,” Victoire told him.

 

“You’re not ‘posed to like the colors!” Teddy protested. “It means they’re evil buggers!”

 

“Oh,” was all she managed to say.

 

The rest of the day was uneventful at best. Mrs. Weasley made him stay by her side all afternoon. Victoire was there too. She wasn’t very entertaining. She liked to hum tunes that his grandmum would listen to on the radio and would spin around in circles until she fell on the ground. Teddy didn’t understand girls.

 

When Harry picked Teddy up at the end of the day, he was beyond elated. Back at the flat, Harry plopped Teddy down on the kitchen counter as he busied around the stove to cook dinner. Harry never cooked dinner. It was either Ginny cooking or they went out to eat.

 

Teddy told him all about his day. The story of how he fought off a good fifty potato creatures (which he later learned were actually called gnomes) that attacked him when he tried to banish them from Mrs. Weasley’s garden. He showed Harry his battle wound.

 

“Mmm,” Harry hummed as he examined the puncture marks. “You were very brave. I daresay you’ll be a Gryffindor like your dad and me.”

 

“What was my mum?”

 

“Uh, a Hufflepuff, I believe.”

 

Teddy frowned and bit his bottom lip. He watched idly as his godfather poked at the boiling chicken with brows furrowed.

 

“Did you not know my mum good?”

 

“Well,” Harry corrected him. “I knew your dad really well. He was best mates with my dad and my godfather. Your mum… well, I liked her and all but I didn’t get to know her that well. I reckon Ginny knew her quite well. They were always together at Headquarters…”

 

Harry dropped the knife onto the counter and wiped his hands on his torn jeans. He cleared his throat and looked everywhere but at Teddy.

 

“Harry?” Teddy said quietly.

 

His godfather cleared his throat again and squeezed the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger. There were times when Harry would get into moods. He’d stop talking and have a faraway look on his face like he wasn’t where he thought he should be. Those moments always scared Teddy more than he was willing to admit.

 

“Harry?” Teddy pushed. “Harry?”

 

“Sorry,” he said lamely. “I, uh, I was just thinking of my godfather. There was a time when I felt so out of place. I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere and that my name was hindering me. The only people who liked me for purely who I was were your dad and my godfather. I was just… so angry all the time.”

 

The chicken bubbled angrily on the stove and threatened to spill over the edges. With a flick of his wand, Harry lifted the pot off the burner. It floated over to the sink and the contents cascaded out. Steam rose from the sink and the metal sizzled.

 

“Are you sad ‘cause you and Ginny yelled at each other?”

 

Harry snapped his attention to his godson.

 

“You two haven’t talked since Saturday,” Teddy pointed out.

 

“Ginny and I just had a… disagreement about something.”

 

There was a gnawing dissatisfaction to Harry’s answer. Teddy picked at a piece of imaginary lint on his jeans but kept his mouth shut. His grandmum always said it was impolite to push people to talk about things they didn’t want to, and to ask a million questions in hopes of finding an answer he was not meant to know.

 

Teddy glanced at the clock that hung in the kitchen. It was not an ordinary clock for it had three hands. Two of the hands had pictures of Harry and Teddy tacked on the ends and pointed at Home. The third hand had Ginny’s picture at the tip and pointed at Burrow. Teddy wished that her hand was with his and his godfather.

 

“Call her,” Teddy whispered.

 

“What?”

 

“I wanna see Ginny. I haven’t talked to her in ages.”

 

“Uh, you can fire call her if you want.” Harry shrugged. “If you do, ask her if she wants to join us for dinner. We’re going out.”

Harry put Teddy on his feet. He ran into the living room with his godfather at his heels. A blue fire burst to life in the hearth and Teddy stuck his head in eagerly. After saying he wished to be at the Burrow, Teddy’s head lingered in flames as he glanced around the living room of the Burrow for Ginny.

 

“GINNY!” he shouted. “GIN-NY!”

 

Soon, from the kitchen, the short redhead appeared with shorts and a tank on. Ginny crouched in front of the fireplace with a smile plastered across her lips.

 

“Teddy Lupin? What do I owe this pleasure?”

 

“Harry’s sorry,” Teddy spoke for his godfather. “He didn’t mean to yell. He’s sad. He burned the chicken.”

 

“He burned the chicken?” Ginny questioned with dancing eyes. “Well, we can’t have your godfather mutilating poultry, can we?”

 

Teddy raised an eyebrow and opened his mouth in confusion. Upon his look, Ginny laughed. He loved her laugh.

 

“Harry says we’re going out to dinner and wanted me to invite you,” Teddy continued.

 

Ginny flipped her vibrant red hair behind her shoulder.

 

“Get back to the flat. I’m coming through,” Ginny told him.

 

Teddy pulled back and whipped around to see Harry sitting with his elbow propped up on the arm of the couch. His head rested in the palm of his hand as he watched his godson closely.

 

“Ginny’s coming,” Teddy announced with a smile as he bounded towards his godfather.

 

Harry merely nodded as he pulled his godson into his lap. A minute later, Ginny emerged from the fire with soot on her nose. She glanced at the pair on the couch.

 

“You burned the chicken?” she addressed Harry with a stern look.

 

“I was distracted,” he admitted. “I didn’t so much burn it as I overcooked it.”

 

Teddy twisted awkwardly in his godfather’s arms to look up at his face. His eyes were gliding down Ginny’s body, pupils dilated and a half smirk painted on his face.

 

“You’re not dressed to go out,” he told her.

 

Glancing back at Ginny, Teddy quite agreed. She looked like she had just got home from Quidditch practice. Her hair was pulled back messily in a high ponytail. The dark green tank top clung to her skin and showed off an array of freckles flaked across her shoulders. Her shorts were black and showed almost all of her short legs.

 

“I’ll cook for you,” she told them. “I just ate at Mum’s.”

 

“You don’t have to do that,” Harry rushed.

 

“I don’t mind. Plus, I’d love to see your chicken.”

 

“It’s in the sink. I didn’t feel like cleaning it up.”

 

After dinner, Teddy found himself squished between Ginny and Harry on the couch watching news coverage on the Quidditch finals. Teddy watched through heavy-lidded eyes. He was leaning against Ginny, an arm wrapped around her small waist. His feet were resting idly against Harry’s thigh.

 

He never felt safer.

 

Taking in a whiff of Ginny’s scent, she smelled of springtime and sunshine. He always loved the way she smelled and he supposed that’s what Harry liked so much about her.

 

Ginny was stroking his hair gently with her fingers. The smooth rhythm made his eyes droop until he could only see an indistinct sliver of light.

“I’m sorry, Gins,” he heard Harry whisper.

 

“Shh,” was all she said.

 

Harry lifted Teddy’s legs so that he could scoot closer. His lower body rested on his godfather. Ginny shifted Teddy in her arms. The smell of springtime and sunshine was gone. It was replaced with the familiar scent of aftershave and ink.

 

“I’m not going to break up with you again,” Harry said softly. “I don’t want that. I know Cronus isn’t powerful like Voldemort. I just… if anything happened to you or Teddy…”

 

“I know,” Ginny whispered. “You’d be devastated. I just don’t want you to get so wrapped up in Cronus like you did with Voldemort. If anything happened to you, Merlin, Harry, what would Teddy and I do?”

 

“Ginny…”

 

“I’m more worried about you than Teddy and I. We’ll be fine. Teddy’s always with us and now during the daytime with my mum. He’s safe.” Ginny paused and Teddy swore he heard her smile. “I noticed the nice little Auror detail you had following me the past couple of days. Although, seriously, Harry, I can take care of myself just fine.”

 

Teddy snuggled down into his godfather’s arms and let their playful conversation lull him to sleep. He did not think of his grandmum’s death or this wizard who apparently wanted to kill them all. No, he dreamt of a large house with a wrap-around, white porch. There was a large Quidditch field behind the house where Ginny and Harry flew around with him tossing Quaffles and laughing. For that moment, he was safe.




I hope you enjoyed the Teddy chapter as I do enjoy writing the boy. Next chapter will be a Harry chapter and will really dive into the major plot of the story. Thank you for all the encouraging reviews. I've responded to them all. Do keep sending them. :)

 

 



Chapter 4: History Repeats
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

“Cronus Rising”

 

“Chapter Three: History Repeats”

 

 

 

 

 

The house stood lopsided and asymmetrical. The roof was blown to smithereens. It was just a gaping vortex with shingles hanging on by threads. Above the house, contorted and twisted in the clouds, was a symbol that nobody thought was ever to see the light of day again. The Dark Mark shone brightly in the sky with the skull’s strong jaw and coiling snake. Rising his wand in the cool night air, Harry silently flicked his wrist. The mark seeped out of the clouds.

 

Under the lamplight was a small group of wizards. Faces were all pallid under the streetlamps. Whispers broke out, scared and furious. Harry Potter stood in front of the group with a frown etched into his brow. He did not partake in the conversations.

 

Suddenly, the streetlamps went out. The balls of light soared through the sky one by one to Ron Weasley who stood in the very back of the crowd. It was best to keep prying eyes away. Masked in darkness, Harry allowed his eyes to adjust before walking towards the house that was in shambles.

The front door was blown off the hinges. Stepping over the broken splinters of wood, Harry saw the man first. Sprawled on the ground with blood seeping from his mouth, he clearly had been tortured before the killing curse was laid upon him.

 

Ascending the stairs, Harry gripped the railing for balance. In the hallway, mere feet in front of him, was a thin Asian woman. Harry blinked several times and felt her soft lips on his. He could taste her tears as they wept for a boy that was not him. Shaking his head, Harry stared down at Cho Chang’s unnaturally still form with a frown.

 

Her once tan skin looked oddly pale under the moonlight. Her mouth was opened in an ‘O’ shape. Dead, lackluster eyes glared at him. Harry had to look away.

 

“According to the Intel our men gathered, Cho married a Muggle man by the name of…” Ron trailed off as he consulted the file in his hands. “Dominic Maddox. She left the Wizarding World shortly after the Battle of Hogwarts and lost all communication with any wizard friends. She worked as a paralegal in a Muggle law firm. What the ruddy hell is a paralegal?”

 

Harry was barely paying attention to his best mate. Certainly, he had not stayed in contact with Cho because things fell apart badly at the end of their short-lived relationship. There was no need to talk to Cho for Ginny Weasley captured his heart in ways that Cho never could. There was still a clawing at his heart. She was his first girlfriend and now she was dead by a wizard who obviously had connections to Voldemort. It made him sick.

 

“… a daughter.”

 

“A daughter? Cho has a daughter?” Harry whipped around to face Ron.

 

“Yeah, the file says she’s three.”

 

“If she has a daughter… where is she?”

 

Ron shrugged. Harry looked down at the file to see a picture of Cho paper-clipped to the inside of the folder. She was smiling up at the camera, dark hair pulled back in her usual ponytail. She looked young and radiant. Harry couldn’t bring himself to look at her dead, cold body.

Closing his eyes, Harry focused on his surroundings. He concentrated on the magic of the house and used his senses to figure out if there was a surge of magical power anywhere within the walls. It was a technique that was taught in basic training that would enable an Auror to sense how powerful his opponent was.

 

There was a small bit of power emitting from the door at the end of the hallway. Stepping around Cho’s body, Harry strolled down the corridor until he reached the door. He could definitely sense magic beyond the barrier.

 

Opening it slowly, the room was decorated in purple and pinks. Flowers covered the walls. Ruffles were situated on the window and bed. On the far wall of the room was a closed closet. Stepping towards it, Harry slowly opened it to reveal a small shaking pile of blankets. Crouching down, he pulled the blankets aside to reveal a tiny girl sobbing silently.

 

With a wave of his wand, the Silencing Charm lifted and the small girl’s cries ricocheted throughout the room. When she saw Harry, she only screamed louder.

 

The girl, Harry later found out, was called Mei. She huddled herself in the closet, refusing to come out for Harry or any other male Auror. It was only until a witch stepped up that Mei came out of her hiding place and cried wildly for her mother and father.

 

Glancing down at his watch that once belonged to Fabian Prewett, Harry realized that he had been twenty-three for an hour already without even noticing. His mind wandered to Teddy sleeping soundly in his own bed with his plush Moony to keep him company. He thought of Ginny Weasley twisted in his sheets and her freckly cheek on his pillow. Harry called Ginny at nearly eleven o’clock to ask her to watch Teddy while he went to work. She obliged and went straight for his bed since she had practice early the next morning.

 

When he arrived back at his flat, it was nearly four in the morning. The living room was masked in darkness. Harry kicked off his shoes and slowly maneuvered throughout the living room.

 

Stopping on the way to his bedroom, Harry peeked in on Teddy. The boy was twisted around in the sheets. His head lay at an awkward angle off the pillow. His chin rested on Moony’s grey head. Soft snores escaped his rounded lips. Walking into the room, Harry shifted his godson’s body so that his head was on the pillow. He ran his fingers through the Teddy’s messy brown hair. The boy stirred slightly but remained asleep.

 

Upon entering his own room, he noted Ginny curled up like a cat on the edge of the bed. Her red hair sprawled behind her and her white skin shone brightly in the moonlight that was seeping through the window. Loosening the tie around his neck, Harry watched her sleep. The slow rise and fall of her chest, the soft puffs of air that escaped plump lips… Harry was memorized.

 

There was a tightening in his chest. Did Dominic Maddox ever watch Cho sleep? Did he feel a rush of affection and a knot coiling in his stomach? He wondered if Cho or Dominic ever got up in the middle of the night to see their daughter sleeping like a pretzel. Did they ever gently set her in a more comfortable position?

 

Crossing the room to his dresser, Harry dug through the piles of boxers until he saw a small blue box lying misplaced with the fabric. His fingers brushed the velvet fabric and he clenched the box in his hand. Snapping it open, a diamond ring with an asscher cut lay inside. He envisioned the ring sparkling on Ginny’s finger, her smile large as she showed her mother, Hermione, and sister-in-laws.

 

Burying the ring box in the boxers, Harry closed the drawer silently. Changing quickly, he slid into bed next to Ginny and felt his chest constrict. He placed a small kiss to Ginny’s speckled shoulder before putting his back to her and drifting off to sleep.

 

The next morning, when Harry woke up, Ginny was gone. The indention of her body was faintly visible in the mattress and pillow. A lump formed in his throat but he quickly swallowed it.

 

Harry leaned against the counter reading the Daily Prophet as Teddy shoveled cereal into his mouth. The attack on Cho’s home made the front page. There was a picture of himself at fifteen and Cho at sixteen gracing the cover. Harry’s stomach churned at the headline that read, “Harry Potter’s Ex-Girlfriend Found Slain In Home With Muggle Husband.”

 

“Almost ready, Teddy?” Harry called as he watched his younger self blush.

 

“Yeah,” Teddy said reluctantly. “I wanna go to work with you.”

 

“Don’t you like Mrs. Weasley and Victoire?”

 

Harry glanced at his godson over the paper. Teddy frowned as he forcefully shoved his spoon into the bowl.

 

“They’re alright,” he said slowly. “I just rather spend time with you.”

 

His heart clenched and a lump the size of a grapefruit formed in his throat. Pride and love gushed through his entire body. His brain quickly ticked off his itinerary for the day and concluded that he was simply too busy to take Teddy along. He wanted to procure of particular file of an ex-Death Eater and, hopefully, have some Aurors track him down.

 

“You can come with me another day when I don’t have so much to do. I promise.”

 

Teddy brightened immediately as he scampered off to his room to pack his bag. Harry cleaned the dishes with a flick of the wand.

 

Three hours later, Harry was waiting impatiently in an interrogation room. A thick manila folder lay closed on the table in front of him. He memorized the content thoroughly and fully. There was a twist of anxiety that knotted his insides. This wizard was his only lead.

“Get off of me!” a familiar male voice snapped as the door opened.

 

A tall, lean man brushed the Auror’s hands off him. His blonde hair was plastered neatly on his pallid forehead. Cold eyes glared at Harry as he straightened his signature black robes on his body.

 

“I should have figured it was you who beckoned me like dog,” he spoke swiftly.


“Have a seat, Malfoy,” Harry spoke evenly.

 

Draco Malfoy sneered before collapsing down into the chair opposite of Harry. It had been years since they had seen each other but the boyhood rivalry was still alive. Harry wondered briefly if his feelings towards Malfoy were akin to Sirius’ feelings towards Snape.

“I’m sure you’ve heard about the Dark Mark making a grand appearance once more.”

 

“I had absolutely nothing to do with that!” Malfoy hissed.

 

“I know but you bear the mark upon your arm.” Harry kept calm as Malfoy unconsciously rubbed his forearm. “Malfoy Manor was primary headquarters to Voldemort.”

 

Malfoy turned away in disgust, his face paling a ghastly white at just the mention of his name.

 

“Do you remember any Death Eater that weren’t caught by the Ministry, had the Imperius Curse lifted off them, or dead?”

 

“There were a lot of wizards whose names I never knew,” Malfoy answered slowly with narrowed eyes. “My mother and I kept close to Snape and that was it.”

 

Harry nodded but didn’t believe him for a second. He knew that Narcissa Malfoy no doubt hung around Bellatrix Lestrange quite a bit. He didn’t know exactly what kind of information he could get from Malfoy, but he expected more than nothing.

 

“Did you ever hear of someone who went by the name Cronus?” Harry pushed.

 

Cronus? What sort of name is that?”

 

“This wizard who is coming into prominence is a Voldemort copy-cat who we believe calls himself Cronus.”

 

Malfoy didn’t say anything. His brows were furrowed in disbelief.

 

“I have never heard of a Cronus.”

 

Harry felt his frustration mounting. Glancing over at Malfoy, whose arms were crossed and lips were drawn in a straight line, Harry contemplated his choices. Kingsley gave him the go-to last night to implement his plan. It had to be foolproof. Harry knew - hoped that he was going about the whole thing the right way.

 

“I read in your file that you applied for an Unspeakable apprenticeship but was turned down because of the Dark Mark that was once upon your arm,” Harry lazily opened the file. Everything about Malfoy was in that file including O.W.L. marks to baby pictures. “So, you applied for an apprenticeship at an apothecary. You’re an apothecary’s assistant. Is that right?”

 

“What’s it to you, Potter?” he spat.

 

“I’m offering you a way into the Ministry. If you come and work with me on this Cronus case, if you try to infiltrate his ranks and report back to me…. when this is all over with, I will get you a fair apprenticeship at the Department of Mysteries and pay you quite generously.”

 

“What if I don’t accept?”

 

“Then you can go back to your little apothecary.”

 

“What if I do accept? Who all would know?”

 

A spark ignited inside of Harry. This was his only chance and he hoped that he wasn’t making the biggest mistake of his life.

 

“We’ll protect your parents and your girlfriend. We’ll protect you. The only people who will know would be myself, the head of the Auror Department, and the Minister of Magic.”

 

“What exactly would I do?”

 

“Find out who Cronus is, get into his inner circle, and help us bring him down.”

 

Malfoy didn’t say anything. His pallid face glowed unnaturally under the fluorescent lighting in the interrogation room.

“I saved your ass from Azkaban. I saved your whole family. You owe me, Malfoy.”

 

Malfoy’s jaw tightened and his eyes narrowed.

 

“Let me get this straight, Potter. You want me to be the Snape to your Dumbledore?”

 

The phrase made Harry falter. His insides froze instantly. He never thought of it that way. The simple fact remained that Malfoy was right. That was exactly what Harry was attempting to accomplish. He wanted a pawn in the enemy forces to do his bidding.

 

“This Cronus guy can’t stay in the woodwork forever you know,” Malfoy added with a sneer. “Why is it so important to you to track him down instead of just waiting a few more weeks until he makes his grand entrance? You must know he will eventually. A copy-cat would surely want to be in the limelight, to revel in the glory.”

 

“Just wait around, eh?” Harry snapped. “Innocent people are dying!”

 

“Tell me the real reason you called me in here, Potter, and I just might be inclined to assist you.”

 

“People are dying, Malfoy, and it’s my j-” Harry ranted as Malfoy stood up and walked towards to the door to leave. “WAIT! He wants my godson and my girlfriend! I’m trying to protect them!”

 

Malfoy turned around with a sneer dancing on his features.

 

“Cronus can’t get to your little Weasley girlfriend so he killed your ex-girlfriend instead. Almost Shakespearean, isn’t it, Potter?”

 

“Are you in or are you out?” Harry growled.

 

“I’ll see what I can do, but I make no promises.” Malfoy paused. “I’m not doing this for you, Weasley, or that little werewolf cub you’ve got. I’ve got my own stakes in this.”

 

With that, Malfoy left. Leaning back in his chair, Harry let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding.

 

Harry did not leave work until around seven that night. When he arrived at the Burrow, although he told Ginny specifically not to, there was a small party waiting for him. All of the Weasleys (minus Charlie), Hermione, Luna, Rolf and Teddy were present to wish him a happy birthday.

Harry laid out on the prickly grass in the backyard with Victoire beside him. They were watching as the sun slowly started to set in the sky. A good several yards away George, Ron, and Bill were teaching Teddy how to degnome a garden. Ginny, Mrs. Weasley, Hermione, Angelina, and Fleur were all busy inside cooking dinner. Percy, his wife Audrey, their daughter they named Molly, and Arthur were sitting at the picnic table chatting about politics. At the far end of the lawn, Luna and Rolf were cuddled together whispering.

 

There was a calm peace that filtered throughout the house. Harry only half-listened to Victoire as she pointed out clouds in the sky and told him what she thought the clouds looked like. Soon, the girl became dissatisfied with her arrangement. She huffed as she tried to find a more comfortable position. A small weight rested on Harry’s chest and Victoire found no problem using Harry as a pillow.

Teddy laughed loudly as George cursed at a gnome who had no doubt bit him. Turning his head, Harry watched George chasing a gnome as Teddy squealed in delight.

 

Once the garden was degnomed, Teddy collapsed on the ground next to his godfather. A brown head quickly found itself on Harry’s shoulder. Ron and George lingered as well while Bill went inside to help with dinner.

 

“Saw Malfoy in the Ministry today,” Ron began as he took a seat in the grass. “What did the little rat have to say?”

 

Harry glanced at his best mate but said nothing at first. Instead, his arm snaked beneath his godson to pull the boy close to his body. Victoire, upon seeing the cuddling taking place, immediately scooted up on Harry’s other side. He wrapped an arm around the girl as well.

 

“Nothing much,” Harry replied. “He said he didn’t know of any Death Eaters who got away or who was behind this whole Cronus business.”

 

“You believed him?” Ron gaped.

 

Knowing he could not tell Ron of the arrangement he made with Kingsley and the head of the Auror Department, Odin Vidar, Harry merely shrugged his shoulders.

 

When dinner was finished, everyone sat around two tables slid together in the backyard. The conversation was light and cheerful. Quidditch and children were the main topics of discussion for a good part of the meal. Soon, rather than later, the conversation slowly turned to marriage.

“I daresay,” Mrs. Weasley started after a good three glasses of champagne, “that it will be nice to have Harry and Hermione officially become part of the family. When are you boys going to propose?”

 

Ron looked like he swallowed a lemon and Harry choked on his own glass of bubbly. The ring tucked away with his boxers floated in his mind. Harry dared a glance at Hermione who was quickly gulping down her glass with flushed cheeks. Part of him wanted to look over at Ginny to see her reaction. Glimpsing over at her out of the corner of his eye, he watched as she flipped her hair behind her shoulder and smiled at something Luna had said.

 

Well?” Mrs. Weasley pushed.

 

“Molly, leave the boys alone,” Mr. Weasley chuckled. “They’re all still young.”

 

“We were married at twenty, Arthur! Harry, Ron and Hermione are all twenty-three now! Next month, Ginny turns twenty-two!” Mrs. Weasley protested. “I just want all my babies to get married so they can give me a whole boatload of grandchildren.”

 

Ron choked on a piece of beef causing Hermione to thump him loudly on the back. Harry looked across the table at his best mate to see a wild look on his face. She’s nutters, Ron mouthed.

 

“Well, it looks like Perce and I are the best kids you got, Mum,” Bill replied with a smirk. “We’ve already given you one grandchild each.”

“I theenk it is the perfect time to announce our news, Bill,” Fleur beamed. “We are ‘aving another baby!”

 

The table burst out into chatter, Mrs. Weasley crying loudly as she stumbled towards Fleur and Bill to hug them. George leaned over Teddy and tapped Harry on the shoulder.

 

“Would I be stealing Fleur and Bill’s thunder if I announced right now that Angelina and I were pregnant as well?” George whispered with a gleam in his eye.

 

“You’re joking!” Harry hissed.

 

“Found out yesterday, Mate.” George laughed. “The Weasleys are now officially reproducing like bunnies!”

 

“Congrats, Mate!”

 

Harry found himself staring at Ginny and imagining her belly plump and round with a tiny person growing inside. She would be a wonderful mother, Harry was positive. Ginny was so amazing with Teddy.

 

The party dispensed shortly after ten o’clock for most had to get to work early the next morning. Teddy lay in Harry’s arms like a sack of potatoes, his head lolled against his godfather’s chest and arms wrapped loosely around his neck. The boy was exhausted and kept dozing off in his godfather’s arms.

 

“I’ll see you tomorrow,” Ginny said as she stood up on her tiptoes to kiss him chastely on the lips so she wouldn’t disturb Teddy.

Harry’s heart pounded wildly in his chest. With a surge of love and passion, he blushed a deep crimson.

 

Moveinwithme,” the words rushed out of his mouth before he could stop them.

 

“What?”

 

“I… move in with me.”

 

Ginny’s mouth hung open and eyes were opened wide. Turning around quickly, she noted her mother dozing off in the arm chair. Her father was cleaning up in the kitchen. Everyone else had left to their respective homes.

 

“Harry… I don’t know what to say.”

 

“Say yes.” Harry swallowed a lump in his throat. “I reckon I’m the only guy your mum would approve you living with. You live at home too, so there are no lease problems or anything. Just… come live with Teddy and me.”

 

Ginny licked her lips before a large smile crossed her features. Slowly, she nodded her head. Harry’s chest roared.

 

“Yes! Alright… let’s do it!”

 

Balancing Teddy on his hip, Harry gave Ginny a tight one-armed hug and kissed her on the temple. For a moment, all the worries about Cronus had disappeared from Harry’s mind. He was, quite simply, happy and content for the time being.



Thanks for all the positive reviews and encouragement! Keep them coming! I've responded to all reviews. Next chapter, a Teddy chapter. :)

 

 



Chapter 5: Market Encounters
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

“Cronus Rising”

 

“Chapter Four: Market Encounters”

 

 

 

Teddy Lupin bounded around the flat as though he were on a very severe sugar high. He was excited beyond words because it was Saturday which meant Ginny Weasley was moving into their flat.

 

Capturing Teddy Lupin’s heart was not an easy thing to accomplish. He didn’t instantly trust people. He was unusually shy around strangers and kept his tongue when around people he didn’t really know. Like a codependent toddler, Teddy stuck close to his godfather in social settings outside of the Burrow walls. When Harry was unavailable, Teddy sought out Ginny’s company.

 

When Harry sat his godson down and told him that Ginny would be moving in, Teddy had been more than elated. Ginny and Harry often reminded him of Mr. and Mrs. Weasley. Ginny was the only girl that Teddy wanted his godfather with.

 

“Can I tell you a secret? Nobody else knows yet,” Harry said over the breakfast table on Saturday.

 

“Mmeah,” Teddy replied with a mouthful of cereal.

 

His godfather reached into his trouser pocket and pulled out a small box. Opening it, he slid it across the table. Teddy dropped his spoon in the bowl causing milk to splash onto the table. He reached out to grab the box. A sparkling ring was situated in the center.

 

“I’m going to ask Ginny to marry me,” Harry explained with a grin. “When that happens, that means we’ll be buying a house. I’m thinking that it needs to have a huge backyard so we can play Quidditch.”

 

Teddy glanced up at his godfather with his jaw hanging open. Harry and Ginny were getting married! Happiness swirled around Teddy’s stomach at the very thought of it. It would mean that he would finally have a normal family.

 

“Well, when Ginny and I get married, we’re gonna be having kids too. So, you’ll be having little brothers and sisters I guess.”

 

His smile grew wider, eyes sparkling. For a moment, Teddy seemed to forget that Harry and Ginny weren’t his real parents. When his dad and mum’s smiling faces filtered through his mind, his grin faded slightly. There was an emptiness that filled his heart.

 

“You alright?” Harry’s concerned tone ripped through him. Teddy looked at up at his godfather.

 

“Yeah…” he trailed off. “I’m really excited.”

 

“You can’t tell Ginny though. I’m waiting for the right moment and I want her to be surprised. Promise me, okay?”

 

“Promise.”

 

After breakfast, Teddy and Harry sat on the living room couch watching a recap of a Quidditch game while waiting for Ginny and Mrs. Weasley. The doorbell rang and Teddy bounced in excitement. Harry crossed the room to open the front door and Teddy sank down into the cushions. Two men walked in. One looked familiar from his grandmum’s funeral. The other one did not look familiar in the slightest.

“Harry, we need to have a meeting with…” the unfamiliar man trailed off upon spotting Teddy sitting on the sofa.

 

“Odin, this is my godson Teddy Lupin. Teddy, this is my boss Odin Vidar.”

 

“Hi,” Teddy greeted weakly.

 

Odin Vidar nodded stiffly. He was a tall, muscular man. Scars littered the sharp angles of his face. His mane of pepper hair was pulled back into a ponytail.

 

“Kingsley, you know Teddy. Teddy, this is Kingsley Shacklebolt., the Minister of Magic. He used to work very closely with your mum.”

 

Kingsley ambled forward. He too was a large, muscular man. There was, however, a gentleness to his features that Mr. Vidar did not possess. Kneeling down to Teddy’s eyelevel, he held out his hand.

 

“You look incredibly like Remus,” he commented as Teddy shook his hand.

 

“You knew my dad too?”

 

A soft smile crossed Kingsley’s face as he nodded.

 

“Tonks and I were Aurors together while Remus and I worked together in the Order of the Phoenix.”

 

“What’s the Order of the Phoenix?”

 

Teddy glanced questioningly at his godfather who frowned. Kingsley looked guilty before standing up and crossing the room to stand next to Mr. Vidar. That only confused Teddy more.

 

“I’ll tell you when you’re older,” replied Harry.

 

A frown etched itself into Teddy’s features. He hated being told that he had to wait until he was older.

 

“We have a plan,” Kingsley started slowly, “that we think will draw Cronus out so we can play M- our spy.”

 

“What is it?” demanded Harry.

 

“There’s a meeting set up at a Muggle diner in two hours. The three of us and him will be in attendance,” Mr. Vidar added.

 

“Today? It’s… it’s Saturday! Ginny is moving in today.”

 

“This can’t wait, Harry. You need to be there. You’re a crucial part of the plan.”

 

“Ginny will understand,” Kingsley supplied.

 

“Are we talking about the same Ginny?” questioned Harry with a weary smile.

 

Ginny and Mrs. Weasley arrived nearly an hour later. They each carried a box in their arms. Setting them down on the living room floor, Mrs. Weasley let out a sob and pulled her daughter close to her chest. After several sobs and kisses later, Mrs. Weasley broke the embrace and made her way to Harry.

 

Teddy’s godfather received the same treatment. Catching Ginny’s eyes, Teddy and her broke out into snickers as Harry idly tapped her back and told her everything was alright.

 

Mrs. Weasley then went to sit next to Teddy on the couch and wrapped an arm around his shoulders. She pulled him close and kissed the top of his head. She muttered to herself that she couldn’t believe her baby was all grown up and asked where the time went. Teddy didn’t say anything.

Harry pulled Ginny aside. Teddy heard him whisper to her that he had to be leaving soon for work.

 

“You what?” Ginny asked.

 

“I have to get to a meeting for work. Look, I’m sorry but it’s important.”

 

Ginny’s lips drew in a thin line and her arms crossed over her chest. Teddy thought of the engagement ring in Harry’s pocket.

“Don’t be mad,” Harry whispered.

 

“I’m not mad. I just thought when I moved into my boyfriend’s flat that he would be there.”

 

Harry kissed Ginny on the cheek and hugged Teddy before leaving the flat. Mrs. Weasley had to part as well since she was due at Bill and Fleur’s.

Ginny sunk down to the ground and pulled out tiny packages from one of the boxes. With a tap of her wand, the packages grew in size. Soon, there was an array of boxes littering the living room floor. Teddy sat next to Ginny idly as she sorted through her possessions. He didn’t touch anything because grandmum always said not to touch things that weren’t his.

 

Photo albums and envelopes were unpacked from one of the containers. Ginny gave Teddy the container to look through. One album was labeled Summer 1995 in Ginny’s neat cursive.

 

The first photo was of Ginny, Ron, George and a boy who looked exactly like George. The twins in the background made funny faces and held up fingers behind Ron’s head. Ron looked sulky and annoyed. Ginny laughed with a full smile spread across her pallid face.

 

“My mum always took a group picture of us after each year before we were off to Hogwarts,” Ginny explained.

 

“Who’s that?” Teddy pointed to the George look alike.

 

A faraway look crossed Ginny’s usual smiley face. A frown was etched on her lips and her brow was furrowed.

 

“George’s twin brother Fred,” she replied. “He died the same night your parents died.”

 

Teddy nodded. That night was barely spoken about. He was told an evil wizard named Voldemort attacked Hogwarts with his followers. A lot of good people died that night trying to defend what was right. Voldemort was killed as well. The vague explanations were not enough to quench his thirst. When he tried to make his godfather go into more detail, Harry always told Teddy to wait until he was older.

 

“Harry says you knew my mum better than he did,” Teddy said.

 

“Yeah, she was funny, kind, and beautiful.”

 

Ginny flipped through the pages of the photo album until she got to a picture of herself and Teddy’s mum. They were sitting at a kitchen table. His mum was transforming her face into various animal parts. First, a snout of a pig and then a beak of a bird and finally her ears drooped into those of an elephant’s. Ginny laughed next to her.

 

“I can’t transform anymore…” Teddy whispered sadly.

 

What?”

 

Concern flashed through her eyes. Teddy looked away as tears blurred his vision. Soft fingers brushed his chin and gently forced him to look up at her.

 

“Since grandmum died, I can’t transform,” Teddy sobbed and launched himself into Ginny’s warm arms.

 

Her fingers tangled through his hair and her free hand rubbed his back soothingly in circles. The tears were pouring down his cheeks and soaking Ginny’s tank top. She didn’t seem to mind though.

 

“Have you told Harry?”

 

Teddy shook his head in the negative. More than anything he wanted to tell his godfather that he could no longer change his appearance at will. Harry just looked so sad and stressed all the time that Teddy didn’t have the heart to worry his godfather even more.

 

“Why not?”

 

“’Cause,” Teddy replied with a shrug of his shoulders.

 

Ginny broke the embrace and held Teddy at arms length. Her thumbs brushed away the cascade of tears. Her smooth, soft palms cupped his cheeks. She smiled at him.

 

“Harry would want to know,” she told him gently. “He can help.”

 

“Can’t you help? Harry’s always so busy.”

 

“You are more important to him than anything else in the entire universe. He’s never busy when it comes to you.”

 

A half-hearted, lopsided grin appeared on Teddy’s face.

 

“People talk…” he said slowly as his bottom lip found itself tucked securely between his teeth.

 

“About what?”

 

“A wizard named Cronus who wants to kill me and you.” Fresh tears tickled his eyes. “Did he really kill grandmum?”

 

Ginny stared at him with her jaw dropped and her eyes opened wide. Her hands fell from Teddy’s cheeks and searched for his hands.

 

“Where did you hear that?” she whispered.

 

Teddy gave her an apologetic smile.

 

“I hear you and Harry talking sometimes late at night. Mrs. Weasley talks ‘bout it with Mr. Weasley. At Harry’s birthday party, I heard people talking ‘bout it. Sorry.”

 

“Teddy…”

 

“And I know Harry’s working real hard to keep us safe and I didn’t wanna worry him. Please, don’t tell him.”

 

Silence rang between them. Slowly, Ginny nodded her head and squeezed Teddy’s hands in reassurance. A soft smile spread across her lips as her hands squeezed his.

 

It felt as though a huge weight had been lifted off Teddy’s shoulders. He felt grounded once more without the worries of keeping secrets. The clawing feeling at his insides ceased.

 

“Is there anything else?” asked Ginny.

 

“No,” Teddy replied. “Can I ask a question? I won’t tell anyone you told me the answer.”

 

“Sure,” she replied with slight hesitation.

 

“Why does Cronus want me and you?”

 

Ginny blinked. Reaching out, she pulled Teddy onto her lap and snuggled him close to her chest. He relaxed instantly in her arms.

 

“Cronus wants to hurt Harry. The best way to do that is to hurt the people he loves the most which is us.”

 

“Why does he want to hurt Harry?”

 

“Harry is… special. He’s really powerful and famous. Harry…” Ginny faltered in her thoughts.

 

“Harry what?” Teddy pushed.

 

He twisted around to look up at Ginny with eyes as large as cup saucers.

 

“Back when Harry was seventeen, he was the one who defeated Voldemort the night you parents and my brother died.”

 

Teddy stilled. Whispers of Voldemort always wafted through his ears like a water damaged radio. Bits and pieces were revealed so sporadically that it was hard to comprehend exactly what had happened. When the information was pieced together, it never made much sense.

 

Never before had Teddy heard anything about Harry and Voldemort fighting to the death. Harry was so kind and gentle. Teddy could not imagine his godfather killing anyone, even if that someone murdered his own parents.

 

It was a common fact that Teddy Lupin worshipped the very ground that his godfather walked upon. Harry was on a high pedestal that deemed him worthy of never making any mistakes. Teddy never imaged his godfather to be a savior to anyone besides himself because he killed a demented, powerful wizard.

 

Suddenly, the synapses in his brain were firing. It made sense now why people always stopped Harry on the streets to shake his hand and talk with him. Harry’s picture always in magazines and newspaper was suddenly understandable.

 

“Why didn’t he tell me?” Teddy whispered.

 

“Because his whole life, he’s been famous. He was famous for things he didn’t want to be famous for. He was treated differently.” Ginny tilted his head back to look at her. “Blimey, Teddy, when I first met him, I treated him differently. All he wants to be to you is your godfather, a normal godfather.”

 

Teddy looked down at the photo album that lay open on the ground forgotten. A picture of his godfather and a man that Teddy did not recognize were sitting on a moth-eaten couch talking. Both looked worn and somber.

 

“That’s Sirius Black,” Ginny whispered, “Harry’s godfather.”

 

The man was thin and cheeks gaunt. Long black hair was pulled back into a loose ponytail. Sirius Black looked like he had been beaten by a few of Mrs. Weasley’s garden gnomes.

 

“Harry said he died.”

 

“Yeah, he died protecting Harry.”

 

Teddy nodded and said nothing. Images of Harry dying to protect him flashed through his mind. Quickly, he pushed them away.

“I’m sick of unpacking,” said Ginny. “I think we should go out shopping. Have a bit of fun. What do you say?”

 

Twenty minutes later, Teddy clenched Ginny’s hand in his as they walked through aisles of vegetables. Ginny wanted to make a special dinner for them since it was her first official night in the flat.

 

Usually, Teddy loved shopping with Ginny. She would tell jokes and make silly comments. That day, however, Teddy felt uncomfortable. Upon looking around the tiny market, Teddy spotted two men dressed in all black. They stared at Teddy and Ginny like hawks. It unnerved him greatly.

Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out his Enemy Eyeglass. He never went anywhere without it. Placing the eyeglass to his right eye, he stared at the men. They glowed a deep red.

 

Dread gushed into the pit of his stomach as his hand tightened instinctively around Ginny’s. He could feel his heart pounding wildly in his chest. He had to get Ginny out of there. He had to get himself out of there. More than anything, he wished his godfather was with them.

 

“Ginny?” Teddy whispered.

 

“What do you think of a chicken dish?” asked Ginny. “I think it would be fitting since your godfather can’t cook chicken right to save his life.”

 

“Ginny!”

 

At the panicked tone in his voice, Ginny crouched down in front of Teddy. She reached out and brushed his hair out of his eyes.

 

“What’s wrong, Sweetie?”

 

“Those two men… they want to hurt us.”

 

Ginny followed Teddy’s gaze. Teddy watched at the men reached into their jacket pockets and pulled out long, slender wands.

Everything was a blur. Teddy was pushed to the ground and a swirl of red clouded his vision. Ginny screamed at him to hide. Scrambling backwards, his back hit the vegetable display.

 

Sparks flew everywhere. Muggles were screaming and running for safety. Teddy watched as Ginny hurled curses and dodged spells. A snarl was worked upon her features and she looked rather scary. A cry escaped her lips as a light hit in her the arm. She didn’t miss a beat, however. Spells flung from her wand one after the other. A red spark soured through the store towards Teddy. He sat there frozen as the spell darted closer. Suddenly, Ginny was in front of him with the tip of her wand colliding with the tiled floor. There was a loud crack as the floor started to splinter. A pale blue orb surrounded Ginny and Teddy. The red spell rebounded off the shield and hurled backwards to the men.

 

Ginny reached behind her and tightly gripped Teddy’s arm. His whole world felt like it was squeezing together. A loud pop rang in his ears.

When Teddy opened his eyes, he noted that they were in a dingy alleyway next to a dumpster. Ginny was panting beside to him, her hand clenching her arm. Teddy scrambled to stand up and squatted in front of her.

 

“Are you okay?” he asked with tears burning his eyes.

 

Ginny nodded as her bottom lip slipped between her teeth. Blood was seeping between her pale fingers. Slowly, her hand parted from her skin to look at the damage. The skin was completely red and blistering. Blood poured down her arm and dripped onto the ground.

 

Teddy glanced up at her face to see her deathly pale and clammy. Her chest heaved rapidly.

 

“Ginny…” worry laced Teddy’s words as the tears freely poured down his face.

 

With her good arm, she held her wand in hand. She waved it and a silver mist escaped the tip. The haze contorted into that of a horse. It galloped out of the alleyway, rising steadily up into the sky.

 

“Help’s on the way,” she whispered.

 

Teddy bounced on his heels and watched Ginny closely. Her breathing was shallow and uneven. Sweat poured from her brow and slithered down her colorless cheek. Her eyes were closed and lips parted. The blood continued to pour down Ginny’s arm in a never-ending flow. Reaching out with a shaky hand, Teddy tenderly touched Ginny’s knee.

 

Pops sounded throughout the alleyway. Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger appeared. Ron’s arms wrapped themselves around Teddy’s waist and pulled him away from Ginny. He cried out in protest as Hermione muttered spells under her breath at the wound.

 

“GINNY!” Teddy screamed and squirmed in Ron’s arms.

 

Ron held him tightly against his chest. The tears clouded Teddy’s vision so that all he could see were blurs of red and brown. He clawed feebly at Ron’s arms and continued to call for Ginny who did not respond back.

 

“We need to get her to the hospital,” Hermione shouted. “I’ll take her, you take Teddy.”

 

Teddy let out a scream so loud that he thought that his throat was going to rip in half. The familiar feeling of being sucked into a vacuum occurred once more. He vaguely remembered sitting down between Ron and Hermione in the waiting room of the hospital. Ginny had been wheeled away for treatment.

 

The tears were rapidly drying on Teddy’s face. His eyes burned and he felt like he couldn’t breathe. Ron kept an arm around his shoulders, but Teddy didn’t want it. He wanted Harry and Ginny… not Ron and Hermione.

 

“Where is Harry?” Hermione asked.

 

“I don’t know. Ginny was supposed to be moving into his flat today,” Ron replied.

 

Suddenly, Hermione’s frazzled face hovered in front of Teddy’s. Ginny’s blood covered her shirt. She reached out a hand and touched his knee. Instinctively, he pulled away.

 

“Teddy, where’s your godfather?” she asked kindly with a frown.

 

“Work meeting,” he muttered with a sniff.

 

Hermione turned to Ron but he merely shrugged. Neither one asked anymore questions.

 

It felt like hours before a Healer appeared with news on Ginny. The Healer said that she was fine and was resting. Teddy squirmed out of Ron’s arms and scampered towards the Healer demanding to see Ginny. The Healer motioned for all three of them to follow.

Upon entering Ginny’s room, Teddy made a beeline to her side. She was ghastly white which caused her skin to blend into sheets. A large bandage was wrapped around her arm where the curse had hit her. Her red hair lay limply around her face.

 

Teddy climbed onto one of the hospital chairs to give him enough leverage to hoist himself onto the bed next to Ginny. Hermione made a motion to stop him, but Ron held her back. They loitered at the foot of the bed.

 

Reaching out a shaking hand, Teddy brushed a lock of red hair out of Ginny’s face. She moaned and turned her head. Eyes fluttered opened and brown orbs focused on Teddy. A soft smile crossed her features as her hand searched for his.

 

“You okay?” she whispered.

 

“Yeah…” he replied with his voice cracking. “Ginny… I was so scared.”

 

“I know,” she responded as she tugged his arm so that he would lie beside her on the bed. “It’s all over with now.”

 

Teddy snuggled against Ginny as her arm wrapped around his shoulders. Resting his head on her shoulder, his arm draped across her stomach. He was careful not to touch her injured arm. Tears once again poured down his face and soaked Ginny’s hospital gown. She spoke soothing words of comfort as her fingers twirled his hair.

 


Hope you enjoyed the new chapter filled with Teddy's tears and his bond with Ginny. I really wanted to emphasize that Teddy cares for Ginny just as much as he cares for Harry. Thank you for all of the reviews. They are so encouraging and really make me enjoy writing the story. Keep them coming! :)

 

 

 



Chapter 6: Atonement
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

“Cronus Rising”

 

“Chapter Five: Atonement”

 

 

 

 

  

The diner was small. Tucked in the corner booth, hidden underneath the shadows, was the most mix-matched threesome that Harry had ever seen. Draco Malfoy was shoved next to the wall with narrowed eyes and skin looking unnaturally pale. Next to him was a man twice his size with an unruly mane of pepper hair. Across from them, with his hands folded neatly on the table, was the Minister of Magic himself.

 

Harry slid onto the bench next to Kingsley. A mug of coffee sat steaming in front of him, but he had no desire to drink it. He wanted the meeting over and done with as soon as possible. Ginny and Teddy were waiting for him back at the flat and, more than anything, he wanted to be with them.

 

“We can speak freely,” Odin Vidar said gruffly. “No one can hear us.”

 

Nodding, Harry turned towards Malfoy. His former childhood enemy refused to acknowledge the people around him. Lines creased his forehead and lips turned downwards. Harry had a feeling that they had already begun discussing the plan.

 

“Mr. Malfoy has agreed to help us,” Kingsley spoke calmly.

 

“Potter, you and Malfoy will be working very close together. Your lives depend on each other,” Vidar commented.

 

Harry glanced at his boss. Trust between two school-aged rivals was not a simple thing to come by. Betrayal could come too easily.

 

“We’re staging an attack. After drastically changing your appearance, you will be given a potion, Potter, that will slow your heart rate and make you appear dead,” Vidar explained. “Meanwhile, Malfoy will cast the Dark Mark above the house in hopes of luring Cronus to him. If they shall come, Malfoy will pledge his allegiance to Cronus as a bitter ex-Death Eater who has been ostracized from society and seeking revenge.”

 

Harry could hear the blood pumping in his ears. The plan was brilliant; there was no doubt about it. He did not, however, like the idea of being near death and at the mercy of Draco Malfoy. The mission was based upon trust. There was none between the two.

 

“We need to make it as believable as possible,” Kingsley interjected as he noticed Harry’s uncertainty. “We can’t have anyone else knowing Draco’s involvement. The house will, of course, be monitored by Odin in case things don’t go as planned.”

 

“I need more,” Harry spoke up.

 

“What do you want?” Kingsley asked patiently.

 

“I need an Unbreakable Vow.”

 

Malfoy’s head snapped to his direction. A sneer twitched on his thin face, grey eyes piercing. It was the only way that would ensure treachery was not an option. Malfoy was a lot of things but a martyr was not one of them.

 

“Draco?” Kingsley questioned.

 

His jaw tightened. He glanced at Kingsley before jerking his head reluctantly.

 

Muggle bills were tossed onto the tabletop. The four wizards exited the diner silently. A black, Ministry-issued sedan was waiting in the alleyway for them. One by one, they filed into the roomy backseat.

 

There were two leather benches that faced each other. Vidar and Malfoy shared the back seat while Harry and Kingsley took a spot across from them, their backs flush against the thin wall that separated them from the driver. The car revved and weaved through the London traffic.

Harry and Malfoy took each other’s hands. Kingsley’s wand pointed at their arms. Harry could see the sweat running down Malfoy’s forehead, his hand clammy.

 

“Do you, Draco Malfoy, promise to work exclusively with the Auror Department as a spy in hopes of bringing down a wizard they call Cronus?” the Minister’s voice rang quietly in the vehicle.

 

“I do,” Malfoy whispered.

 

A red flame slithered out of the tip of Kingsley’s wand. It coiled around Harry and Malfoy’s joined hand.

 

“Do you promise to work with Harry Potter as an equal, a partner, and protect his life as though he were a brother?”

 

“Yes.”

 

Another red flame winded around their joined hands.

 

“Do you, Harry Potter, promise to work with Draco Malfoy as an equal, a partner, and protect his life as though he were your brother?”

 

“I will,” Harry spoke softly.

 

Harry’s whole hand tingled as the third flame glided around his skin. The wand pulled away. The coils faded and seeped into their hands.

Leaning back into the leather seat, Harry glanced out the window at the passing scenery. Vidar and Kingsley discussed their plan but Harry did not listen. The briefing lay idly next to him. He would catch up on it later.

 

The lingering pulsation from the Unbreakable Vow resonated through his body. It was powerful magic that was not to be taken lightly.

Mistakes were inevitable. Everyone made them. The Malfoy family had made enough mistakes to last them a lifetime. The family name was as tainted as the Black name. The surnames were synonymous with dark magic and bloodshed.

 

Draco Malfoy was attempting to redeem his forefathers’ name. He was on the dark and winding path of atonement. For once, there was a different hero caught in the folds of darkness. It was a title that Harry was more than willing to part with.

 

Upon arriving to his flat, Ginny and Teddy were absent. The living room was covered in an array of boxes. Knick knacks and personal effects were strewn about the hardwood floor.

 

Harry called out for Ginny in hopes that they were taking a nap or cooking dinner. Instead of his redheaded girlfriend, a tall and beautiful blonde glided out of the kitchen with a tiny girl perched upon her hip. Dread instantly washed through every inch of his body.

 

“There was an attack,” Fleur said softly.

 

There was a buzzing in his ears. Her mouth was moving but Harry could not understand one word that she was saying. There was no way that Cronus or any of his followers could get through the wards around his apartment. They had been specially designed, intertwined with ancient blood magic.

 

“Where are they?” he croaked.

 

“St. Mungo’s.”

 

Harry stormed out of the flat. Running down the stairs, his heart felt heavy and his shoulders were tense. They had to be alright.

 

Upon arriving at St. Mungo’s, Harry raced to the reception station and demanded to know where Ginny Weasley and Teddy Lupin were. The witch gapped openly at Harry. She was a young woman, perhaps in her mid-twenties. Her eyes were wide. She was going through paperwork clumsily. Harry attempted to keep the groan from escaping his throat.

 

“Harry!” a familiar voice called.

 

Turning, he saw Hermione Granger waving at him. Leaving the reception station, he raced towards his best friend. She gripped his wrist and tugged him along the corridors.

 

“Oh, Harry, it was dreadful. There was blood everywhere,” Hermione said as they entered the lift. “They don’t know what kind of spell hit Ginny, but she’s alright now. She somehow managed to Apparate out with Teddy and sent a Patronus to Ron and I. When we got there, Ron grabbed Teddy who was crying bloody murder while I tended to Ginny who was barely breathing.”

 

“So, they’re both alright?”

 

“They’re fine. Teddy didn’t even have a scratch on him and the Healers were able to fix Ginny up.”

 

The tightening in his chest loosened ever so slightly. It would not be completely gone, however, until he rested eyes on his godson and girlfriend.

Pushing the door to the hospital room open slowly, he first noticed Ginny’s pale form lying in bed. In her arms was a tiny boy with a messy mop of chestnut hair. His cheek lay on her shoulder and his arm draped protectively around her middle. Her lips were moving, speaking soft words to the child.

 

Her chocolate eyes gazed at Harry in the doorway and a soft smile spread across her lips. She whispered something to his godson who turned towards the door. Upon seeing his godfather, Teddy extracted himself from Ginny’s limbs and scooted down the bed.

 

In five strides, Harry was at the bed. He scooped his godson up in his arms and cradled the boy. He placed a kiss on top of his head, his eyes never leaving Ginny.

 

Teddy’s small frame shook in his arms. His fists clenched his shirt tightly. Tears soaked through the fabric of his collar within seconds. Muffled sobs rang throughout the quiet room. His face was hot against Harry’s neck.

 

“It’s okay, Teddy,” he whispered. “It’s okay.”

 

His eyes wandered from Ginny’s face to the white bandage on her arm. A frown worked its way onto his features. Setting down on the bed, he adjusted his godson in his arms.

 

“You okay?” questioned Harry as he rubbed circles on Teddy’s back.

 

“I’m fine.”

 

“What happened?”

 

Ginny told him how they went to the market and were attacked by a couple of wizards that she did not recognize. A spell hit her in the duel. Then, they tried to hurt Teddy. She dove in front of him and put up the most powerful shield charm that she was capable of.

 

“It was probably Cronus.” Harry sighed. “What the hell were you thinking leaving the flat like that?”

 

What? I’m not allowed to go shopping anymore? The detail you had on me all week was magically gone.”

 

“I called them off for the weekend. I figured we’d be at the flat all day unpacking and Sunday I would be with you.”

 

Ginny reached out a hand and gripped his knee. A silent communication rang between them: Let’s not fight right now.

 

“The Healer said I could go home as long as I had someone competent with me,” she said. “I think you’re quite competent enough.”

 

Harry spent nearly a half hour signing forms and waivers to get Ginny out of St. Mungo’s. Teddy had latched himself onto his godfather’s hip and refused to be let go. This made the discharge process twice as long.

 

Ginny was wheeled out of the hospital to a Ministry-issued sedan. Harry helped her inside before climbing in himself with his godson in tow. When the car sped through the streets of downtown London, Teddy slid out of his godfather’s lap and happily sat between the two adults.

 

Once inside the flat, Ginny collapsed down on the couch and stretched her thin body across the cushions. Teddy scampered towards her when he was put on his feet. She took him willingly in her arms. A kiss was placed on his temple.

 

Harry ordered a pizza from a Muggle restaurant since he failed at culinary genius and it was unfair to make Ginny cook when she was just released from the hospital.

 

When dinner was finished, the three took their usually spots on the couch with Teddy squished in the middle. The Quidditch final match between Puddlemere United and Montrose Magpies was airing on the set. It wasn’t long before Teddy was fast asleep.

 

Carefully getting up from the couch, as not to disturb his godson, Harry made his way to a trunk in the corner of the room. He pulled out a stone basin that once belonged to Albus Dumbledore and sat it down on the coffee table.

 

“I want to see the memory.”

 

He wasn’t asking, and Ginny scowled.

 

Grabbing her wand off the end table, she pointed the tip to her temple and closed her eyes. A silver mist trailed from her forehead and floated down into the basin. Harry told her to watch Teddy and he was gone.

 

The market was about ten minutes away from the flat and was always the one he and Ginny would go to when they shopped for supplies. It was quiet, only a handful of customers perusing the aisles.

 

It didn’t take him long to spot Ginny and Teddy. They were holding hands. Ginny was looking at the celery and carrots with deep concentration written on her face. Her basket of other goods sat forgotten next to her feet.

 

Teddy was in his own little world. His eyes darted around the room as though knew something was amiss. His eyes locked onto two men. Harry followed the gaze to see the attackers. He had never seen them before in his life.

 

Turning back to his godson, Harry watched him carefully. Teddy pulled out the Enemy Eyeglass that Luna had given him at Andromeda’s wake. Situating it on his right eye, his whole face quickly paled.

 

“Ginny?” he whispered in a panic tone but she did not pick up on it.

 

“What do you think of a chicken dish? I think it would be fitting since your godfather can’t cook chicken right to save his life,” she said in a teasing tone.

 

“Ginny!”

 

She picked up on the tone that time. She crouched down next to him with worry set into her features. Brushing a lock of chestnut hair out of his eyes, she asked him what was wrong.”

 

“Those two men… they want to hurt us.”

 

Ginny followed his gaze and immediately snaked a hand to reach for her wand from her jacket. She pushed Teddy roughly back and told him to hide. The boy backed up until he hit the vegetable display.

 

Harry watched as run of the mill jinxes and curses flew in the market. The Muggles were screaming and taking cover. Teddy just sat there in plain view with tears brimming his eyes and skin ghastly pallid.

 

Turning his attention back to the duel, Harry tried to identify the curses and jinxes hurled at Ginny based upon their color and spark intensity. A roaring monster of fiery filled his chest when a nonverbal Cruciatus Curse was flung at Ginny. She dodged it by mere inches.

 

An odd yellow curse flew at Ginny and hit her square in the arm. She cried out in pain but kept fighting out of pure adrenaline. A round, red bruise formed first that quickly blistered and bled. Droplets of blood bubbled as sweat quickly formed at her hairline.

 

A red spark flew towards Teddy. Harry’s heart seemed to skip a beat as she dove in front of his godson. She slammed her wand into the tiled floor as a pale blue shield formed around them. The ground around the tip of the wand cracked. Ginny reached behind her and gripped Teddy. They Disapparated.

 

Harry was thrown out of the memory and stood in his living room. He turned to Ginny with a frown. He was going to murder the wizards that attacked Ginny and Teddy. When he was done with them, he was going to get Cronus as well.

 

Ginny took Teddy to bed with her as she feared he would get scared if he woke up alone. Not particularly tired, Harry kissed her swiftly on the cheek before she disappeared with his godson in her arms.

 

Lounging on the sofa with a bottle of Butterbeer dangling from his fingertips, he watched the end of the Quidditch game. Puddlemere United won by a landslide. After that, he caught up on paperwork. It wasn’t until two in the morning that he slid into bed next to Ginny.

 

Sunday was filled with unpacking. Teddy happily helped Ginny with whatever she needed while Harry lounged on the couch and offered moral support. His mind was elsewhere, his thoughts swirling at lightning speed. Cronus, Malfoy and top-secret mission filled his mind. Tomorrow night, he would drink a potion that would put him near death and Malfoy would cast the Dark Mark to lure Cronus.

 

There were a million things that could go wrong in the plan. With Harry’s luck, they would go wrong. Murphy’s Law and Harry Potter went together like two peas in a pod. If anything happened to him, he had to ensure that Teddy would be in the right hands. Silently, he drafted his last will and testament in his head with Ginny gaining custody of his godson and Teddy being awarded everything that he owned.

 

That night, he sat at the kitchen table and wrote out his will. He knew that Cronus was not Voldemort. He knewthat another war was highly unlikely. There was a part of him that didn’t want to take any chances.

 

Ginny wandered into the kitchen in a tank top and short shorts. His eyes trailed her body, a grin forming on his lips.

 

“Are you here to seduce me?” Harry teased and leaned back in his chair.

 

“It has been awhile.”

 

She licked her bottom lip slowly. Harry fought the urge to clear the kitchen table with a sweep of his arms and take her right there. They would surely wake up Teddy. Harry didn’t really want to give a five year old the birds and bees talk.

 

“You are a tease, you know that?”

 

Ginny strolled over to him and swung a leg over his legs. She slid down until she was sitting on his lap so that they were face to face. Her breath tickled his lips as her hips grinded nicely into him. It distracted his mind wonderfully. He bit his lip as his hands roamed up her sides, dragging the thin fabric with them.

 

“Mr. Potter, what are you doing up so late?”

 

His hands slid under her tank top and run over her flat abs. They glided upwards, the tips of his fingers grazing the soft skin beneath her breast.

 

“Work stuff,” he replied nonchalantly.

 

“You are such a workaholic.”

 

She leaned her body into her until their chests were pressed against each other. Her mouth captured his in a soft kiss. She nipped on his bottom lip playfully. The kiss deepened and all worries seeped instantly from his mind. Her fingers twined in his messy locks and her hips rocked over his crotch. Sliding his hands to the small of her back, he pulled her as close to him as possible.

 

She pulled back and Harry’s lips followed after her. A laugh escaped her rosy lips as she dragged her nose against his.

 

“You are making me rapidly forget about work,” he breathed.

 

Ginny smiled impishly as she pushed her body away from his. He groaned and his hands groped for her to come back.

“Your godson is lying in our bed sleeping,” she said with a smirk.

 

Harry had forgotten Teddy. Rolling his head back, he tried to think of anything else besides the tingling sensations pumping through his body. Ginny eased her weight off his lap and he was relieved. If she had been rocking on him much longer, he wouldn’t have made it.

 

“What are you working on?” she questioned as her eyes glanced towards the paperwork.

 

“Nothing,” he said quickly and tried to gather it from her view.

 

“It that a will?”

 

Shit. Harry faltered and looked up at her through his bangs.

 

“Why are you writing a will?” she demanded.

 

“It’s just a… insurance policy,” he replied. “With this Cronus bloke out there, I just want to ensure that Teddy goes to go you in case-”

 

“Shut up!” she hissed. “You don’t need a bloody will. Just rip it up.”

 

“Ginny…”

 

“Cronus isn’t Voldemort. Get that through your skull. Rip it up!”

 

Harry cocked his head. She was being unreasonable… per usual.

 

“I don’t want to fight with you,” he whispered.

 

Ginny crossed her and pursed her lips in a very Mrs. Weasley manner. He hated when she looked like her mother. He felt like he was being scolded.

 

“I just… I have a mission tomorrow night and it’s dangerous.”

 

“What kind of mission?”

 

Her expression softened instantly, her arms falling to her sides as she sank into the seat next to him. He so desperately wanted to tell her the plan and how his life depended on Draco Malfoy of all people. She would not understand though. All of the Weasleys didn’t have a modicum of trust when it came to a Malfoy.

 

“We’re going to try to lure Cronus to us so we can figure out his identity.”

 

We? Is Ron going?”

 

“No,” Harry replied. “Ron doesn’t even know about the mission.”

 

“Who knows about it?”

 

“Kingsley… Vidar…” Malfoy Harry added silently.

 

Her eyes flash and her lips form into a thin line. He swallows a lump that formed in his throat.

 

“What do you have to do?”

 

“It’s top secret, Gins,” he answered. “I can’t tell you.”

 

Rising from her chair without a word, she slinked out of the kitchen. Harry sat alone in the kitchen with a half-written will laid out in front of him. Grabbing a quill, he finished writing the document.

 

 

Harry stood in a house destroying furniture and planting blood that Vidar had obtained at a Muggle morgue on the hardwood floors. Draco Malfoy stood not far away wringing sweaty palms.

 

Teddy had been less than thrilled when he left for work and said he would not be back until late so Ginny would put him to bed. He fought Harry tooth and nail to stay home. The boy was terrified that his godfather was going to die some horrific death. Harry couldn’t blame him.

Glancing at a large mirror above the fireplace, Harry frowned. He grew several inches in height. His hair was a soft honey, his skin had a tint of olive to it and his eyes were a shocking blue. His nose was hooked and lips small. The scar upon his forehead was no longer visible.

 

“Are you ready?” Harry demanded harsher than he intended.

 

Malfoy jerked his head and pulled out his wand. Taking several deep breathes, his demeanor changed. Cracking his neck from side to side, he shook out his nerves.

 

Harry uncorked the vial of black tar. Draining the contents, it tasted just like it looked. He coughed and shoved the vial into his pocket. His breathing slowed and he fought to get oxygen into his body. His heart seemed to be barely beating. Falling to the floor, Malfoy rushed over to catch him and helped him into a lying position. With a flick of a wand, Harry felt the last of the Muggle blood splattered across his face and around his body.

 

Trying to move, he found that he couldn’t. His eyes would not even blink. The last thing Harry saw was the Dark Mark shooting out of Malfoy’s wand before his eyelids were pushed closed.

 

It was difficult to tell how much time passed. His world was clouded in darkness and Malfoy was making little sound.

 

“Someone’s coming,” Malfoy hissed somewhere to Harry’s right.

 

The front door was blasted off its hinges. Footfalls sounded on the hardwood. They were heavy and sounded like they were clad in boots.

 

“Who are you?” a deep, male voice demanded.

 

“My name is Draco Malfoy and I wish to speak to a man they call Cronus,” he spoke coolly.

 

All hints that Malfoy was a nervous wreck while they were staging the scene were completely gone.

 

“What’s your business with him?” a new, male voice rang. It was higher pitched than the former.

 

“What he wants,” Malfoy replied. “He’s going after Harry Bloody Potter, his Blood-Traitor girlfriend, and his Half-Bred godson. Not to mention he detests Muggle filth like this one.”

 

A swift kick was delivered to Harry’s side. He silently cursed Malfoy.

 

“So, what?” a new man spoke. “Yeh killed yerself a Muggle and yeh want an award?”

 

“I want to bring down Potter and his new world order of Muggle lovers.”

 

“The Dark Mark looms above the house yet no Ministry officials have arrived,” the deep-voiced man spoke. “Suspicious, isn’t it?”

 

“Yeah! ‘Picious it is!”

 

“We are in a Muggle neighborhood,” Malfoy said dully and sounding eerily like Snape. “I cast a charm on the Dark Mark so no filthy Muggles can see it. The Ministry will not notice the mark until morning most likely. I wanted to give us a chance to talk.”

 

One of the men grunted.

 

“You could be a Ministry drone trying to lure us out. We’re not stupid,” the first man commented.

 

“We ain’t no stupid blokes! Yeh gotta do better than that to see Cronus.”

 

It was silent for a few seconds before one of the men gasped. Harry only assumed that Malfoy had drawn his sleeve and made the mark shine on his pallid forearm.

 

“The Malfoys were one of the most prominent Pureblooded families in all of Britain. Then Harry Potter,” he spat, “destroyed the Dark Lord. My family had to pay its way out of Azkaban. I want revenge. I want Potter’s head on a platter.”

 

“We make no promises, Malfoy,” the deep-voiced man spoke. “We will converse with Cronus. If we find out this is a trick, we’ll hang you by your toes and fillet the skin from your bones.”

 

Harry heard them leave. Malfoy did not move upon their exit. He didn’t know how long it was before a hand touched his arm and his whole world was sucked into a vacuum.

 

Once they were out of the Muggle house, a potion was poured into Harry’s mouth. Slowly, the feeling in his limbs returned. His breathing picked up and his heart was pumping normally. His eyes fluttered opened to see Kingsley looming above him.

 

Before long, Harry found himself standing with Vidar and Kingsley in Malfoy’s memory. The three wizards who had been affiliated with Cronus were not familiar to Harry. Vidar, however, recognized the squeaky voiced one. Apparently, he was a smalltime criminal who had been picked up by the Ministry on several occasions. They were misdemeanors that resulted with a slap on the wrist and a hefty fine.

Nevertheless, they had their first lead in the case. Harry could not contain his joy.




Hope you enjoyed the new chapter. It was difficult to write but I think it turned out well. Thanks for all the reviews! They were wonderful and encouraging. I responded to them all.

 

 



Chapter 7: Mirror Mirror
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

“Cronus Rising”

 

“Chapter Six: Mirror Mirror”

 

 

 

 

 

Harry did not come home at all on Monday. Teddy sat at the kitchen table with his head in his hands watching the clock hang on the wall. His godfather’s hand was pointed at WORK up until the time Ginny put Teddy to bed, told him a story, and kissed him softly on the forehead. When he woke up the next morning, his godfather was still absent and Ginny said that he never came home the night before.

 

Teddy curled up in the comfy green armchair holding Moony close to his chest. He refused to say anything, refused to move. Dark thoughts plagued his mind. What if Harry was dead? No, he couldn’t be dead. The clock in the kitchen was never wrong. Then again, Harry had never stayed at work for so long either. Something was horribly wrong. Teddy couldn’t help the nagging feeling that clawed at his heart.

When five o’clock rolled around, a key was shoved into the front door. Harry Potter stepped through the threshold looking worn and haggard. Teddy immediately jumped off the chair and bounded towards his godfather.

 

“HARRY!”

 

He wrapped his arms around his godson and lifted him up in the air. Teddy snuggled against his chest, face buried into the crook of his neck. His legs were wrapped tightly around his godfather’s waist and arms linked desperately around his neck. A breath that Teddy did not know he was holding escaped his lips. The boulder that had been laying heavily on his shoulders had lifted.

 

Peeking out, Teddy noticed Ginny standing not far away from them with her arms crossed and mouth drawn into a thin line.

 

“I’m sorry,” Harry murmured into the mop of sandy hair. “I had a mission.”

 

“You couldn’t have called all day? Teddy was worried sick about you!” snapped Ginny.

 

“Can we talk about this later?”

 

Ginny jerked her head while Harry carried his godson to the couch. Plopping the boy down onto the cushions, Harry knelt down in front of the couch and grasped Teddy by the knees.

 

“I’m sorry I’ve been gone so long. I was working nonstop for two days.”

 

“S’okay,” Teddy whispered.

 

“No, it’s not. I’m sorry.”

 

Reaching into his jacket pocket, Harry pulled out a mirror. He extended it out to his godson who grasped the handle tightly. Glancing into the glass, he only saw himself. Red faced from crying and dark circles under his eyes. He thought he looked more like his father than he already had. Many pictures of his father made him look worn, tired, old. Teddy felt that he looked hauntingly the same.

 

“That used to belong to my godfather,” he explained. “My father had one too. They used to communicate to each other using the mirrors. Sirius gave me my father’s when I was fifteen to contact him anytime I needed to. He kept his.”

 

Teddy looked up at his godfather, his heart pounding against his ribcage. A smile slowly spread across his lips.

 

“I want you to keep Sirius’ and I’ll keep my dad’s. I’ll carry it with me at all times. I can’t promise I’ll respond right away, but I will as soon as possible.”

 

Dropping the mirror onto the cushion next to him, Teddy flung his arms around his godfather’s neck. Happiness bubbled inside of him. He would never have to worry about his godfather again. He could just call him in the mirror and see his smiling face alive and well.

Hours later, Teddy lay slumped against his godfather’s side, his hands fisting the fabric of his shirt. He struggled to stay awake. Part of him irrationally thought that if he allowed sleep to succumb him, Harry would disappear for days again and leave again on a dangerous mission.

 

“Are you going to tell me?” whispered Ginny

 

“What do you want to know?” Harry sighed heavily.

 

“The mission… what was it and who was it with.”

 

“Ginny…”

 

Teddy stirred in his godfather’s arms. He battled with sleep and forced his eyes open. They would not stay that way. Only a slit of his godfather’s leg was visible.

 

“It’s over and done with, Harry. You can talk about it after the fact. Plus, it’s not like I’ll tell anyone.”

 

“We lured out members of Cronus’ posse.’

 

How?”

 

“With the help of Draco Malfoy playing the role of an ex-Death Eater scorned. You mustn’t tell a soul we are working with Malfoy. Nobody knows. We need to keep it that way in order to gain the information we’re seeking. Not Ron. Not Hermione. Not your parents. Not Luna. Nobody, Ginny.”

 

A breath of air escaped Ginny’s lips. Her weight lifted off the sofa.

 

“You’re serious? You trust him? Honestly?”

 

“I have to trust him. He made the Unbreakable Vow with me, Ginny. He betrays us, he dies. Malfoy is a lot of things but a martyr is not one of them. You know that as well as I do.”

 

“I still don’t trust him. I mean, he could have other people do his dirty work.”

 

Harry’s hand was running through Teddy’s hair soothingly. Sleep was dangling in front of him, taunting him into a lull. He wanted to stay away, needed to hear Ginny and Harry’s conversation. Everyone refused to talk about Cronus around him unless they thought he was preoccupied with something else or sleeping.

 

“Look, I’ll be honest with you from now on but you have got to stop arguing with me at every turn. I have a job I need to do. I can’t have my girlfriend yelling at me every time work related things crop up.”

 

“I’m not yelling at you because of work, Harry. I’m scared. Merlin, Harry, I’m so scared. After what happened at the market… I was so terrified that they would get Teddy.”

 

He listened to his godfather reassure her in a gentle tone. The sound of his voice coupled with the rhythmic hair brushing, Teddy was fast asleep.

 

 

The next morning Harry dropped Teddy off at the Burrow. Upon arriving, he produced the Enemy Eyeglass and surveyed Mrs. Weasley before stashing it away in his pocket. His godfather crouched down beside him with a furrowed brow.

 

“Teddy, why do you look through the eyeglass every time you see someone?” questioned Harry.

 

“To see if they’re evil.”

 

“How would you know that they’re evil?”

 

Harry reached out and brushed Teddy’s sandy bangs out of his eyes.

 

“Evil things glow red,” he replied. “Like the gnome that bit me glowed bright red while the other gnomes were just yellow. The bad men who attacked me and Ginny were all red and angry looking through the glass.”

 

“You mean it actually… worked?”

 

Nodding his head, Teddy let his bottom lip slide between his teeth.

 

“Can I borrow it for the day? I’ll give it back tonight. Promise.”

 

Reluctantly, Teddy dropped the eyeglass into his godfather’s hand. With a quick hug and a peck on the temple, Harry was gone.

Teddy felt exposed and unsafe. The eyeglass brought him a sense of security when Harry was not with him. That was ripped away. Part of him knew it was not his godfather’s intention to punish him, but Teddy could not help but feel like a naughty child.

 

Harry promised he’d give the eyeglass back, said he just wanted to borrow it for the day. Teddy supposed that his godfather needed it more since he had a dangerous job and Teddy was safely stashed away at the Burrow.

 

Still, he wanted – needed – the Enemy Eyeglass to feel safe.

 

Victoire lounged on the floor with a coloring book laid out in front of her. Humming escaped her ruby lips as she bopped her head from side to side. Teddy peered from his spot on the chair to see what she was coloring. It was a Quidditch book and Victoire was filling in her aunt’s red hair – or more like scribbling red all over the place.

 

Ginny often laughed when she saw toys with her picture on them. Once, when they were shopping in Diagon Alley, they entered the toy shop. On the shelves were seven dolls, each representing a player on the Holyhead Harpies. Ginny scrunched up her nose as her little doll shelf huffed in the package at not being able to fly. Upon telling Harry about what they saw, his godfather came home from work the next day with the Ginny doll in his possession. It sat on Teddy’s bookshelf in his room. Every now and then, doll Ginny would fly about the room throwing a Quaffle in the air.

Teddy slid off the chair and ambled towards Victoire. Sitting next to her, he wrinkled his nose at the awkward way she was holding the crayon. Three fingers were situated akin to a tripod on the wax. The picture wasn’t colored very nicely.

 

Victoire craned her neck to look at Teddy, annoyance clouding her blue eyes. Her golden hair slipped out of its ponytail and covered her face.

 

“Can I join?” he asked.

 

Scooting her body over, she made way for Teddy to color the page next to hers. Picking up a crayon, he filled the Quidditch robes with a dark green. He made small talk with Victoire the rest of the day and waited impatiently for Harry to pick him up and take him home. He took great care to keep within the lines unlike his coloring partner. Harry would be proud.

 

It was just past four when Harry arrived at the Burrow. Teddy rushed to him, wrapping his arms around him. The eyeglass was handed back to him and Teddy immediately slipped it into his pocket.

 

Harry had gotten off work early before Ginny was to leave at six. A Portkey would take her to Cardiff for a Quidditch match against the Ballycastle Bats. Therefore, Harry left work early to ensure her a safe travel and so that the three of them could bid their goodbyes. Teddy was not allowed to go to the actual game.

 

They ate take-out at the kitchen table and chatted idly about their days. Harry didn’t say much and opted to listen to his godson and girlfriend talk.

When it was time for Ginny to leave, she hugged Teddy long and hard, whispering sweet molasses words into his ear. His arms were locked tightly around her neck, his face buried into the folds of her Quidditch uniform. She kissed him on the forehead before tugging away from him.

 

“I won’t be gone for long. I’ll be back late tonight. You can watch the game on the telly with Harry,” Ginny told him.

 

Her fingers brushed the stray locks of sandy hair out of his teary eyes. He sniffed loudly and tried to offer her a smile. It wasn’t fair that he and Harry couldn’t go to the game. They always went to the games and sat in the best box in the house. Harry said it was too dangerous to go out unnecessarily and reassured him that Ginny would be fine. A herd of Aurors would accompany her to the pitch and patrol the sidelines during the game. She would be completely safe.

 

“You’ll be safe?” Teddy had to double check.

 

“I’ll be fine. Your godfather went overboard with protection,” she teased as she tucked a lock of hair behind his ear.

 

“You’ll win?”

 

“Pfft, Sweetie, you don’t even have to ask that. The Holyhead Harpies are the best team. We’re going all the way to the World Cup next summer.” Her smiled filled Teddy’s whole body with warmth.

 

One by one, wizards in Auror robes started to tumble out of the fireplace. They shook hands with Harry and glanced over at Ginny and Teddy. He glimpsed at them and only recognized Ron. Stepping back, he reluctantly allowed her to make her way to the Aurors.

 

They all grabbed onto a dingy boot and were gone within minutes. Teddy frowned and rushed to his godfather, locking his arms around his knees.

“She’ll be fine. I wouldn’t let her leave if I didn’t believe it,” reasoned Harry as he smoothed a hand over his godson’s hair.

 

Teddy nodded slowly. She was fine. She would not be attacked again. Ron would protect her.

 

 

The game started off with a blast. Within the first twenty minutes, the Holyhead Harpies were already up by 100 points. Teddy sat on the edge of the couch, hand stuffed into the bowl of candies on the coffee table. His Phrygian cap was situated squarely on his head as he watched Ginny zoom in and out of the frame. The worst part of watching the game on the telly was they often showed all the players and didn’t just follow Ginny. He always watched Ginny exclusively at the games. He thought she was the coolest and best player any team had to offer. Not to mention, she was his godfather’s girlfriend.

 

He never thought much about what that made Ginny to him. Was she his godmother by default? He never heard about a godmother or ever met a godmother. It was always just Harry who took him on weekends and visited for dinners at his grandmother’s house during the week. His grandmother nor Harry mentioned a godmother. He’d have to ask Harry about it another day. At that moment, he was too interested in the game.

Harry lounged next to his godson, an arm draped over the back of the couch. Dangling from his fingertips was a Butterbeer. On his lap, a giant bowl of popcorn rested.

 

“MERLIN!” Teddy shouted as one of the Holyhead Chasers was knocked off her broom by a Bludger. “They’re getting dirty now!”

 

His eyes followed the swirls of dark green robes. He was a Harpies follower through and through. Ron often teased him, saying it was a girl’s team and all. He tried to convince Teddy that the Chudley Canons were the way to go in Quidditch. Harry, on the other hand, worshipped Puddlemere United. Teddy was content with the Holyhead Harpies. They were, by far, the best team in the world.

 

“I can’t wait ‘til I get to Hogwarts,” Teddy said with a dreamy sigh. “I wanna play Quidditch and become the cap’ain.”

 

“What position?” questioned Harry as he took a swing of Butterbeer.

 

“Hmmm.”

 

Teddy had never really thought about what position he would like to play. Part of him wanted to be a Seeker because Harry used to be one. Another part of him wanted to play Chaser because Ginny was the best Chaser there ever was.

 

“Dunno yet. Just wanna play.”

 

“Did I ever tell you that I joined the house team when I was a first year? Youngest Seeker in a century.”

 

“No way!”

Whipping his head to his godfather, Teddy openly gapped at him.

 

“Way. I was in flying class and this git stole… Merlin, I don’t even remember what was stolen. It was Neville Longbottom’s though. I flew after the kid to get it back and he threw it. I dived to grab it before it could break.” Harry squinted, a faint smirk dancing on his features. “Professor McGonagall saw me and thought I was bloody brilliant. I got on the team right then and there.”

 

“Wow! How come you aren’t a Quidditch player like Ginny then?”

 

Harry shrugged and took another swing of his Butterbeer.

 

“I dunno. I love Quidditch but I had my heart set on being an Auror. Then, after the Battle of Hogwarts, anyone who fought in the battle was automatically accepted into the Auror Training Program. Ron and I just signed up and… well, here I am.” He glanced at his godson. “Life just sort of works out in the end.”

 

They turned their attention back on the game. Holyhead Harpies were making a killing in the game with Ginny scoring the most goals out of everyone.

 

There was a knock at the door and Teddy froze. The Quidditch game on the telly was long forgotten. His godfather rose form the couch and ambled across the room. Teddy tightened his grip on Moony as he saw his godfather draw his wand and rest it against his leg.

 

A burly man stood in the doorway. His blonde hair was plastered against his pink face. Harry stepped aside, tucked his wand nonchalantly in his back pocket, and the man squeezed into the living room. His eyes darted around the room until they landed on Teddy.

 

“This is my godson Teddy,” Harry supplied. “I’ve told you about him.”

 

Tension slowly seeped from Teddy. Glancing back at the television, he watched as Ginny scored. He could not fully enjoy the game with the strange man mere feet away. Digging into his pocket, he produced the eyeglass and peered through it. The man did not glow. He let out a sigh of relief as curiosity grew the best of him. He had never seen this man before in his life.

 

“Oh, yeah, I remember.”

 

“Dudley, is something wrong? Why are you here?”

 

Teddy knew it was impolite to stare, but he could not help it. He had heard of Harry’s biological family but had never met any of them before. Curiosity hammered in his chest at seeing the phantom Dudley Dursley.

 

“Yeah, there is. I got a funny lot of wizards following me about!” Dudley’s face bleached of all color. “Y-you don’t reckon they got them Dementors lurking with them, do you?”

 

Teddy watched his godfather carefully. His face remained neutral and calm. Teddy’s insides were crawling. Was Cronus after Dudley too? Dudley was a Muggle though… why would a wizard want anything to do with a Muggle?

 

“They’re my men, Dudley. I assigned them to protect you.” Harry squeezed the bridge of his nose. “I have a team following Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon as well.”

 

Your men?”

 

Harry glanced at Teddy who instantly snapped his attention to the Quidditch game. He let out a cheer for Ginny in hopes his godfather would think he was not eavesdropping.

 

“We’ve been having problems lately, Dudley. It seems as though I am being targeted as well as people close to me.”

 

His voice was a soft whisper but Teddy could still hear him. Resting his chin upon Moony’s soft head, he stared unblinkingly at the telly.

 

“Targeted for what?”

 

Ginny scored another goal and the crowd cheered loudly. Teddy let his eyes linger in the direction of the two cousins. He was careful not to move his head.

 

“Remember back when you were seventeen and you went into hiding?”

 

“Yeah…”

 

“It’s sorta like it was back then, only less dangerous.”

 

His heart pounded against his ribcage. Stories of his parents’ deaths flashed through his mind. If what was going on now was like it was back then, then who is to say Harry and Ginny wouldn’t die the second time around? Harry promised he wasn’t going to leave him but what if he was forced to like his Grandmum?

 

“Everything is under control,” Harry’s smooth voice broke Teddy out of his thoughts.

 

“Okay,” Dudley replied lamely. “It’s just… I got this girl, Harry. Claire, remember I told you about her? Well, we’re engaged.”

 

“That’s great! Congrats!”

 

Harry clapped his cousin on the shoulder with a wide grin gracing his features. All signs of awkwardness were gone when the conversation steered away from Cronus.

 

“You know I’m planning on asking Ginny soon. She moved in last Saturday,” Harry continued. “I’m glad to hear you and Claire made the jump. It’s fantastic news.”

 

“Er, thanks, Harry.” Dudley wringed his hands. “It’s just… if I need protection, shouldn’t she?”

 

Not caring anymore what was considered polite, Teddy turned his head to glance at his godfather. Harry’s features were soft, friendly. He nodded his head in the positive.

 

“I’ll get a couple men to tail her to ensure her safety. Have you told her about…”

 

“Uh… no, no. I mean, I was hoping we could keep your little secret between us, you know?”

 

Teddy continued to stare, his brow furrowing. What secret? Teddy wanted to jump off the couch and join in on the conversation but he thought that wouldn’t be a good idea.

 

“No, that’s perfect, Dudley. I was just asking.”

 

“Thanks, Harry.” Dudley shifted his weight. “Er, I was gonna send it out next week with the rest of them, but I thought since I was seeing you…”

A cream envelope was produced from Dudley’s jacket pocket. Harry took it carefully, opening it with his thumb. A small chuckle escaped his lips. “You can bring your girlfriend,” Dudley supplied. “If you want, you can bring your godson too.”

 

“I’d love to, thank you.”

 

“It’s so soon because Claire’s father’s got prostate cancer. He wants to be well enough to walk her down the aisle before treatment really starts to wear him down.”

 

“There’s nothing wrong with a little rushing if you two love each other.”

 

“Oh, I love her more than anything,” Dudley agreed. “She’s perfect.”

 

“I’m glad you’re happy.” Harry turned his attention to his godson. “Teddy, come here. I want you to meet my cousin Dudley.”

 

Teddy slid off the couch and inched slowly to his godfather. Leaning his back against Harry’s leg and clenching Moony tightly in his arms, he glanced up through his sandy fringe at Dudley.

 

“This is Teddy Lupin. He’s five.” Harry squeezed his shoulders. “Teddy, this is Dudley Dursley, my cousin.”

 

“Hi,” he said shyly as Dudley nodded in his direction with a tight smile.

 

“Well, I should, uh, be going. I just wanted to let you know dodgy wizards were following me but I guess you already knew that.” Dudley grinned sheepishly. “We are family, Harry, and if you wanted, I’d like you to be a groomsman in the wedding. There’s a spot open if you…”

 

“Oh, Dudley, you don’t have to...”

 

“I know that. It’s just, well, you saved my life and all. You’re my cousin and… if you don’t want to…”

 

“Sure, I will. Uh, just let me know the details.”

 

With another nod, Dudley Dursley left the flat. Harry sighed loudly with a curse escaping his lips. Teddy twisted until he was looking up at his godfather.

 

“What?”

 

“I have to ask him to be groomsman in my wedding now.”

 

“No, you don’t,” Teddy reasoned. “You don’t have to do things you don’t wanna.”

 

“I don’t, but it’s the proper thing to do.”

 

Reaching down, Harry hauled his godson over his shoulder. He shrieked loudly and kicked his legs. Gently, Teddy was thrown onto the cushions of the couch. All the air in his lungs escaped causing him to cough. He turned his head to watch the Holyhead Seeker diving towards the Golden Snitch.

 

Harry collapsed down on the couch next to him. Teddy’s feet rested on his godfather’s thigh as he bounced in excitement. The Harpies were gonna win! Within seconds, the Snitch was clasped tightly in her hands and the crowd cheered wildly. Teddy screamed in excitement and threw his arms around his godfather’s neck.

 

“GINNY WON! GINNY WON!”

 

The two celebrated by eating large bowls of ice cream and watching the post-game coverage. Teddy vowed he would not fall asleep. He wanted to be awake for when Ginny came home so he could give her a giant hug.

 

His eyes were not cooperating. As Ginny spoke to the reporter on the telly, a smile dancing on her flushed face and chocolate eyes sparkling, his eyelids began to droop. He curled up into his godfather’s side and listened to Ginny talk. His godfather’s soothing hand running through his hair did nothing but allow sleep to consume him. Soon enough, with Ginny’s voice ringing in his head, Teddy fell into a deep sleep.

 


Sorry the chapter is up so late. My hours at work were dramatically increased and have cut into my writing time. I hope you enjoyed the latest Teddy chapter. All past reviews have been responded to. Don't forget to leave a review before you leave. :)

 

 



Chapter 8: Witch Weekly’s Influential Wizards Gala
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

“Cronus Rising”


“Chapter Seven: Witch Weekly’s Influential Wizards Gala”

            Harry stood frozen as he watched the look of mirth escape his godfather’s face. A laugh of triumph rang behind him somewhere but he did not pay any attention. His focus was situated on Sirius Black’s body twisting gracefully as he glided backwards towards the shimmering veil. An expression of shock and peace clouded his features as the curtain wrapped around his torso to drag him under. He was gone.


            Emerald eyes snapped open, his breath catching in his throat. There was a slight weight on his chest that seemed to affect his ability to breathe. Glancing down, the outline of Teddy Lupin’s head rested idly on his chest. His gaze wandered to the left to spot a sea of red hair sprawled across the pillow next to him.


            He was only vaguely aware that he could no longer feel his fingers. The weight of his godson and girlfriend on his arm over the course of several hours caused the limb to feel dead and pathetic. Slowly, he tugged his arm out from underneath the slumbering forms. The limb felt like dead weight and tingled painfully. Using his other hand, he shook out his arm to start the blood flow.


            The image of Sirius’ death lingered in his mind. It wasn’t often that Harry revisited that night in the Department of Mysteries in his dreams. When he did, however, his heart would ache and the feeling of loss was raw. Deciding that sleep would not come easily, he slid off the mattress and padded towards the kitchen to make a cup of tea.


            The clock on the microwave enlightened Harry that is was just past four in the morning. Collapsing into the chair situated around the kitchen table, his fingers laced around the warm mug.

            Thoughts of Cronus ran rampant in his head. Earlier that evening, Draco Malfoy was to attend a meeting with the man and his followers. Anxiety set in hours ago. What if his cover was blown? What if he was already lying lifeless on a cold, stone floor? How could Harry tell Narcissa Malfoy of her son’s death… his mother who saved his life that one May day when the Killing Curse hurled at his body and killed the part of Voldemort’s soul residing inside of him?


            A knocking at the front door snapped Harry out of his morbid dwellings. He rushed to the door to look out the peephole to see a familiar man jittering. Opening the door, Draco Malfoy rushed in with his hands stuffed in his pockets. His white face glowed almost translucent in the pale moonlight emitting from the window.


            Harry tried to act natural when he realized he was only clothed in his boxers and a threadbare Holyhead Harpies shirt Ginny gave him when she first started five years ago. Crossing his arms over his chest, he tried to act casual.


            Wordlessly, Malfoy pulled back the sleeve of his shirt to reveal the Dark Mark burning brightly in his skin. Harry’s eyes were glued on it, unable to force his gaze away. Only after the fabric recovered the flesh did Harry dare to look up.


            “I can’t do this,” Malfoy hissed. “I can’t do this again.”


            “What happened?” pushed Harry.


            Malfoy’s gray eyes darted around the small apartment as though he half expected childhood enemies to burst out of the walls and curse him.


            “Oi, Malfoy! What the ruddy hell happened?” he hissed.


            “Is anyone else here?”


            “My godson and Ginny are in my bedroom.”


            Malfoy scowled and made a motion to leave when Harry stopped him. Drawing his wand from the waist band of his boxers, for he never went anywhere without his wand on him at all times, to cast a Silencing Charm around the living room.


            “He’s my cousin…”


            At first, Harry didn’t even believe that Malfoy had said anything. His voice was barely above a whisper. Then, Harry thought that Cronus being Malfoy’s cousin was completely ridiculous.


            Bellatrix Lestrange was dead. Andromeda Tonks was dead. Those were his only living relatives who could bare him a cousin. Harry’s insides twisted. What if there was a secret Black child? What if Andromeda’s own son had her killed?


            “Explain,” Harry demanded before his mind unraveled with theories.


            “He told me that his parents were Bellatrix and Rodolphus Lestrange.” Malfoy sighed. “I guess he was born right before they joined ranks with the Dark Lord. Not wanting a child to cage them down in a movement they deemed important, they gave him up for adoption.”


            Harry’s heart pounded against his ribcage. All the air in his lungs escaped as though he had fallen fifty feet off his broom and landed on the hard earth. 


            His mind wandered to Mrs. Weasley and the look of fury plastered on her features when Bellatrix Lestrange nearly killed Ginny. The protection wards around the Burrow were not enough suddenly. Surely, Cronus would go after the woman who murdered his mother.


            “He told you all that? Why?”


            “He said blood was the most important connection you could have with a person,” Malfoy replied wearily.


            “His parents gave him up for adoption…” Harry trailed off trying to make sense of the whole situation. “They didn’t want him. Wouldn’t you think he’d hate the very foundation of family?”


            Malfoy sneered.


            “I didn’t psychoanalyze him, Potter.” Malfoy stuffed his hands in the pockets of his robe. “I came to tell you who he was and what he was planning to do.”


            “You mean besides kill my girlfriend, my godson and myself?”


            “He wants his father out of Azkaban,” he continued as though not hearing Harry. “He’s already coordinating plans to break him out. Not to mention, he has a hefty number of rebellious wizards under his wing who share his philosophy of totalitarian rule.”


            “Rodolphus Lestrange is still alive?”


            The Death Eaters who survived the Battle of Hogwarts were carted off to Azkaban immediately. Trials awaited them within the next few months, almost all of the wizards claiming they were hoodwinked and cursed, but most were not given the benefit of the doubt. When they were sentenced to lifetime imprisonment in Azkaban with Voldemort officially declared dead, many followers did not wish to live out their prison sentence. A mass suicide pact had been made and Death Eaters were dropping dead nearly every day.


            There were a few nutcases who truly didn’t believe Lord Voldemort was dead. They thought they could escape easily enough for dementors were banned. Instead of the creatures, the best charm experts in all of Europe flocked to Azkaban to put up wards that made escape impossible.


            Harry never thought much of Rodolphus Lestrange before. His wife and brother died during the Battle of Hogwarts, his son given up for adoption and yet Lestrange was still alive? It made little sense in Harry’s mind. Lestrange had nothing to live for.


            “We’ll add several more wards around Azkaban and increase the number of wizards on the staff. If he comes near Azkaban, we’ll get him.” Harry ran a weary hand through his messy black locks. “What is his real name?”


            “I don’t know,” Malfoy replied with a sigh. “I didn’t ask and he didn’t say. He just told me who his parents were and that he trusts me because I am both an ex-Death Eater and his blood.”


            “No matter, we’ll find out soon enough.”


            “You can’t tell anybody!” hissed Malfoy. “I was the only one he confided in about his parentage! If word gets out, my guise as a spy is over with and I will be dead before you can say Hippogriff!”


            Harry nodded gravely. They did not need to make the information public to rattle Cronus. With background information on him, they could easily find out his Achilles’ heel and draw him out in the open. Cronus could not hide forever. His days were numbered.


            The floorboards creaked and a rumpled Ginny Weasley appeared in the doorway to the living room. Harry glanced at her, silently telling her to keep her mouth shut. His gaze turned to Malfoy who had stiffened considerably.


            “I mean it, Potter! Stay the hell away from me and my girlfriend!” Malfoy hissed. “I do not know anything and I am not willing to help you!”


            With that, Malfoy stormed out of the flat and slammed the door shut behind him. Ginny glanced at Harry with tired eyes. Crossing her arms, Harry’s old t-shirt lifted ever so slightly to reveal her creamy white thighs.


            “What’s going on?” she whispered as she closed the distance between them.


            “You know I feel incredibly uncomfortable discussing work with you.”


            He reached out an arm and wrapped it around her shoulders. Drawing her close to his chest, he planted a soft kiss on top of her messy red locks. Her face peeked up at him, her lips brushing against his chin.


            “If you can’t trust me, Harry, then who can you trust?”


            “It’s not a matter of trust. I trust you more than anybody, you know that. It’s just… the less you know, the better.”


            “This Cronus bloke is after me. I think I deserve to know the details of what is going on.”


            Her breath tickled his neck. She rose up on her tip toes to touch her soft lips to the sensitive spot belong his ear. He hated when she did this because he became putty in her hands.


            “It was just about who Cronus is,” he replied huskily.


            “Who is he?”


            She twisted in his arms so that they were vis-à-vis and began to plant kisses along his cheekbone. His eyes slid closed as her lips founds their way to his own. Snaking a hand around her neck, he pulled her close to him.


            She always tasted sweet. When her fingers curled through his messy locks, he moaned in pleasure and tugged her as close as humanly possible. Her hips grinded into his as he nipped her lip playfully. She pulled back, a finger placed gently on his lips.


            “Who is he?”


            “Ginny…” Harry groaned.


            He leaned forward in an attempt to distract her, but she adamantly kept her mouth away from his. He did promise to be honest with her about the whole Cronus ordeal last week.


            “He’s Bellatrix Lestrange’s kid,” he whispered.


            “What?”


            Harry explained the story to her to the best of his ability. He was careful to leave out the Azkaban plot. When he was finished, Ginny’s eyes were narrowed and her mouth opened in an ‘O’ shape.


            “So… Harry, are you going to reopen the Order of the Phoenix?”


            “What? No! He’s not Voldemort, Gins.” Harry slid his hands down her sides until he felt the elastic of her panties through the thin t-shirt. “He can’t stay in the woodwork forever. All we gotta do is find out his read name.”


            “You’re finally listening to me about Cronus?”


            Harry sighed heavily and looped his thumbs under the elastic and pulled her close to him. Her hands rested idly on his shoulders.


            “Before, we had no idea who this guy was. He could have been…”


            “You honestly didn’t think he was Voldemort, did you?” questioned Ginny.


            “I don’t know, Ginny. The irrational part of my brain was attempting to convince me that it might be him… that he made another accidental Horcrux like he did with me. Then the rational part of my brain told me that he was deader than dead. It’s just good to know that this is some whacko Death Eater’s son who wants revenge. I can deal with that.”


            Cupping his face into her hands, Ginny rose to her tip toes to give him a chaste peck on the lips. His hands roamed around her body until they found the small of her back.


            “Come back to bed,” she whispered and lined his jaw with soft pecks.


            “I can’t,” he replied.


            “Harry…”


            “No, it’s not… I had a bad dream. I don’t feel like sleeping.”


            Ginny nodded and gave him another peck on the lips before ambling out of the room. Collapsing on the couch with his feet propped up on the coffee table, Harry dug through all the information he had on Cronus. He wanted to be beyond prepared for when they would meet.


 


            That weekend, Harry found himself donning formal attire and adjusting cufflinks on his wrists. Behind him, lounging on the bed with Moony embraced loosely in his arms, was Teddy Lupin. He was sulking at that moment. He wanted to go to the Witch Weekly’s Most Influential Wizards Gala with Harry and Ginny.


            Harry attempted to explain to his godson that such events were not fun and that he didn’t even want to go himself. Ginny was making him. For weeks, Ginny was stuck in their flat unable to go out on her own. The only time she did leave the flat was when she had to go to practices or games. Even then, she had a flock of at least ten trained Aurors accompanying her. She claimed that she was going stir crazy, wanted to get her hair done and buy a new dress, and get out of the flat for the night. She wanted to go on a date. Harry could not deny her that.


            The one condition of going to the gala was that Teddy would not go with them. The party would consist of the 100 most influential people in the United Kingdom and there was a chance that Cronus would show up. The only Weasleys who did not make the influential list were Mrs. Weasley, Charlie and George. Mrs. Weasley was attending with Mr. Weasley (who had snagged number 99 for his involvement in reinventing the Ministry). Charlie was off in Romania. So Teddy would stay with George and Angelina for the night.


            Teddy was not happy about this.


            “Don’t be mad, Teddy,” Harry said softly as he straightened his tie. “You’re lucky you’re not going. It’s some stupid party with a bunch wizards and witches who think they’re better than they are. It’s going to be boring and annoying.”


            Harry turned to look at his godson. Teddy glared at him.


            “Victoire isn’t going either,” he reasoned. “You two can have fun together.”


            “Victoire is a baby,” Teddy said matter-of-factly. “I’m not a baby. I’m six.”


            Harry crossed the room and crouched in front of the bed. He tugged at Teddy until he was sitting on the edge of the bed and looking at his godfather. Resting his hands on his godson’s knees, Harry looked at him directly in the eye.


            “I never said you were a baby, Teddy. You are, by far, the bravest young man I have ever had the pleasure to meet. I am beyond proud to call you my godson. I look at you and… Merlin, Teddy, you look just like your dad. Your dad was the kindest and smartest man I ever had the honor to know. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss him… that I don’t wish he were here to tuck you in at night instead of Ginny and myself.” Harry licked his lips. “Every day, I try to raise you the way I think Remus would have wanted. I am not, Remus. I’ll never be him. But I do know what he would do if he were me.”


            “What’s that?” Teddy whispered.


            “He wouldn’t allow you to go to the gala with Ginny and me.” Harry squeezed his godson’s legs. “There was a time when I was thirteen. There was a man who everyone thought wanted to kill me. I laughed it off and went on my merry way doing what I wanted to. I came into possession of a map of Hogwarts, a map that your father and mine created while at school. Hermione told me to turn it in, but I refused. I wanted to sneak out of the castle and have innocent fun. Your dad found me with the map. He was not pleased. He told me that the man trying to kill me was a very serious matter and that my parents gave their lives to save mine. I was repaying them by gambling with my life for treats and cheap thrills.”


            Teddy looked down at his shoes. Tears burned his amber eyes.


            “Your parents died a noble death, Teddy. They died in hopes that their son would be able to live in a war-free world. I will not gamble your life for a night at a boring party. This whole Cronus business will all be over with soon and then you can come to all the boring parties you want with Ginny and me. I promise.”


            Slowly, Teddy’s head nodded. He sniffed loudly and wrapped his arms around his godfather’s neck. He murmured his apologies into the folds of Harry’s dress shirt. Harry hugged him back tightly and told him it was alright.


            Glancing behind his godson’s mess of sandy locks, Harry saw Ginny leaning against the doorframe of the bedroom. Her red hair was loosely pulled back into an elegant updo with stray curly strands framing her face. An emerald dress clung pleasantly to her thin waist.


            After dropping Teddy off at George and Angelina’s, they made their way in the Ministry-issued sedan to the gala. A herd of Aurors stood at the entrance to the ballroom, stiff and unwavering. Ginny handed their invitation to the wizards and proceeded in.


            The room was already jam-packed with witches and wizards dancing, drinking and eating at their assigned tables. Ginny kept close to Harry, her hand resting comfortably on his offered arm. There was one stipulation that Harry made if they were to come to the party: Ginny had to stay close to him at all times.


            “Oi! I’m glad you’re here!”


            The couple turned around to see Ron Weasley standing behind them with ears tinted red and jaw tight.


            “Where’s Hermione?” questioned Ginny.


            “Talking to Slughorn. The bloody idiot snagged eighty or something. Still doesn’t know my ruddy name and I’m the sixth most influential wizard in Britain! Beat him by a good seventy-something.”


            “How disappointing.”


            “You look dreadful,” Harry interrupted. “What’s wrong?”


            Ron scowled and jetted his chin to the left. Harry and Ginny both looked. Standing tall and muscular with his wiry hair was Cormac McLaggen. A broad smile was stretched on his lips as he laughed openly with Barnabas Cuffe.


            “Bloody idiot,” Ron hissed. “He made eighty-four, I think.”


            “Why do you care if McLaggen is here?” questioned Ginny.


            “Why do I care? He dated Hermione!”


            “They never dated,” stated Harry.


            “They went to Slughorn’s party together back in the day! They’ve snogged! If that’s not dating, I don’t know what is!”


            Ginny laughed and, at the look Ron gave her, she promptly hid her face into Harry’s arm. Trying to keep a straight face, Harry gave his most sympathetic look he could muster.


            “I don’t think you have to worry about Hermione and McLaggen,” Harry said gently. “She thinks he’s vile.”


            “Still… I reckon Hermione would be in a right state if Lavender was here,” reasoned Ron.


            “I highly doubt that,” Ginny commented.


            “It’s just… Hermione’s exes are all famous or prominent members in society. Who have I got? Lavender Brown who designs robes and dresses for a living,” Ron said sullenly.


            “She does design lovely things though,” Ginny added. “I’m actually wearing one of Lavender’s designs! I owled her with my predicament of not being able to leave the flat because Harry’s a paranoid bugger and she sent this over to me at a discounted rate!”


            Ron only scowled.


            “Harry! Ginny! Willaby!”


            Slughorn stumbled towards the small group. The champagne in his glass sloshed over the rim of the glass. Ron sulked away to find Hermione.


            “Professor, it’s good to see you,” Harry said politely as he shook his hand.


            “Professor,” Ginny addressed with a nod.


            The contents on the glass were quickly thrown back into Slughorn’s eager throat. A waiter passed them and he clumsily placed the empty glass on the tray.


            “I must say, Harry, m’boy, that Miss Weasley looks absolutely enchanting on your arm. She is, perhaps, the best accessory you could have.”


            A soft chuckle escaped Ginny’s lips and Harry smiled courteously.


            “I must confess, Professor Slughorn, that I keep Ginny around for more than just her stunning good looks.”


            Slughorn laughed boisterously and patted Ginny gently on the arm. Harry glanced around the room in hopes of finding a familiar face that would help them out of the overly polite conversation that he was trying to maintain.


            “I have to inquire, you understand, for you two are my favorite students, when you two will tie the knot? You’ve been dating for five years, am I correct?”


            Harry glanced down at Ginny who was looking idly towards the couples spinning gracefully on the dance floor.


            “Yes, five years is correct… give or take a few months,” he replied.


            “When are you two going to get engaged? Or… dear me, have you already popped the question but want to keep it out of the public eye?”


            “Uh, no. No. Just… waiting until it feels right.” Harry smiled tightly. “I have a godson who lives with me, you know. I have to make sure it’s all stable with him first.”


            “Oh, yes, yes. Remus Lupin’s boy? Teddy, isn’t it? I daresay, I hope I am still teaching at Hogwarts when he comes along. I’d love to have him attend Slug Club meetings.” Slughorn winked. “He’ll be great with godparents such as you two.”


            “I’m sorry to interrupt, Professor,” Ginny spoke tenderly, “but the Minister is waving Harry and me over.”


            Ginny tugged Harry with her across the room in the general direction where Kingsley was dancing with his wife. Looking back, Ginny ensured Slughorn moved onto his next conversation before faltering on the dance floor.


            Harry wrapped his arm awkwardly around Ginny. Dancing was still foreign to him and he was convinced he had two left feet. If it was appease Ginny, however, he would embarrass himself in front of everyone.


            Ever since his mission with Malfoy, Harry had been avoiding the topic of Cronus and would only answer her questions when she brought it up. He did not want to fight with her anymore about the affair. For a good week, the two had failed to fight at all. It seemed as though their relationship was back on track to the way it was before Cronus came into the picture.


            The engagement ring burned in his pocket. He got into the habit of carrying it around with him wherever he would go partly because he didn’t want her to find it in a drawer and partly because he didn’t know exactly when or even how he wanted to propose. 


            Harry thought he’d go traditional and ask Mr. and Mrs. Weasley for their permission for Ginny’s hand. Then, when the whole Cronus ordeal was over with, he’d take her to a fancy restaurant and pop the question. He already started to write the speech in his head and, no matter how many times he revised it, the proposal sounded cheesy.


            “What are you thinking about?”


            He looked down at her and smiled.


            “Nothing,” he replied.


            “Nothing?” she raised her eyebrow elegantly.


            “Just… trying to figure out how my mother ever got along with Slughorn,” he said with a shrug.


            Ginny, seemingly pleased with the answer, rested her head onto his chest. They swayed to the music. His chin rested onto her head. Breathing in her scent, he instantly relaxed in her arms.


            Scanning the dance floor, Harry spotted Mr. and Mrs. Weasley dancing formally together. They were whispering and Mrs. Weasley’s cheeks flushed. His eyes wandered again until he spotted Ron and Hermione. They were a good foot apart from each other. Ron was staring down at his feet, a look concentration etched onto his features. Hermione looked annoyed and kept trying to tug him closer.


            Three songs later, Harry tugged Ginny along to find their table. Glancing at the place cards on the table at the front of the room, Harry immediately saw one that read Harry Potter – Number 1. The card to his left read Ginny Weasley – Number 78. To his right was Kingsley Shacklebolt – Number 2.


            Ginny sank into her seat and tossed her name card into the center of the table. Taking his seat next to her, Harry glanced around the room.


            “I wish Luna was here,” Ginny commented.


            “I don’t think Luna will ever make the most influential list.”


            “Harry…?”


            “Ginny…?”


            She twisted to face him. Her hands reached out to grasp his into hers.


            “Slughorn brought up a good point…” she said slowly.


            Harry remained silent.


            “I just… five years is a long time. I want to marry you, Harry.”


            “Give me some time, alright, Ginny? I love you and I am committed to you. I want to marry you. I do. It’s just… with Cronus causing trouble and Andromeda’s death still raw with Teddy… I want our wedding to be perfect. It’s not a good time right now.”


            She nodded and forced a smile onto her face. Turning away, she focused her attention to her plate which was rapidly beginning to fill with food. Harry turned to his own plate, the weight of the ring in his pocket becoming nearly unbearable.


            Soon everyone was taking their spots at the tables. Ron and Hermione joined them. Soon Kingsley and his wife did as well. Finally, Odin Vidar filled the last seat. The food was delicious as the seven made small talk and avoided all serious conversations.


            Towards the end of the meal, the editor in chief Adele Pozzi of Witch Weekly took the stage. The tip of her wand touched her throat.


            “Thank you all for attending the hundredth and sixth annual Witch Weekly’s 100 Most Influential Wizards of the United Kingdom Gala.” Applause sounded throughout the room. “It is my pleasure to announce that for the first time since 1975 that all 100 wizards are in attendance tonight! The wizard who snagged the top spot needs no introduction. He is surely just as famous as Merlin himself! I am pleased to say that the legend is just as great as the man. Harry Po-”


            A young witch hurried onto the stage causing Pozzi to take the wand off her throat. Furious, she glared at the newcomer for interrupting her speech. The woman grabbed Pozzi’s wrist and touched the wand to her own throat.


            “Everyone remain calm,” the girl spoke in a slightly robotic tone. “Don’t bother withdrawing your wands. There is a shield surrounding the stage and your spells will not penetrate it.”


            “Harry!” Ginny hissed and gripped Harry’s forearm.


            Slowly, Harry withdrew his wand from his jacket pocket and held it tightly in his grasp under the table. His eyes flickered to Kingsley who did the same. Harry had no doubt that Ron and Vidar followed suit.


            “Tonight’s entertainment has arrived,” the girl said with a smirk.


            The chandeliers rattled above them before bursting into thousands of tiny pieces. Glass rained down upon them. Several people ducked under the tables while others attempted to cast shield charms. Harry was one to cast a shield charm but found his wand was not cooperating. His fingers laced around Ginny’s wrist and pulled her to the ground, his body covered hers.    


            The largest chandelier in the middle of the dance floor tumbled to the ground. It connected with the hardwoods with a loud clank and the glass darted in every direction.


            “I think I forgot to mention that there is also an anti-magic shield surrounding you. Your wands are effectively useless.”


            The woman yanked Pozzi’s wand out of her grasp and, with a flick of the wand, sent her flying onto the dance floor. She screamed in pain as shreds of glass embedded themselves into her skin.


            Harry could feel Ginny trembling beneath him. He tightened his grip around her and rested his cheek upon her head.


            “All for one and one for all!” an unfamiliar male voice shouted.


            A man dressed in billowing, black robes entered onto the stage with his wand clenched in his hand. Long, dark hair was pulled back into a short ponytail. He was pale with heavy-lidded eyes. Harry knew immediately that the man was Cronus for his resemblance to the late Bellatrix Lestrange was striking.


            A herd of man and woman followed behind him all in traditional white Death Eater masks. They surrounded Cronus, wands out and arms crossed over their chests.


            “The United Kingdom’s 100 most influential wizards…” Cronus trailed off with a smirk. “Your reputations precede you.”


            With a flick of his wand, the tables and chairs soared upwards. They lingered there seemingly glued to the ceiling. The name cards rained from the sky.


            Harry glanced over at Vidar who had his wand clenched tightly in his hand and his jaw squared. His eyes blared furiously as he inched closely to the stage. His actions were extremely foolish as he’d be dead before he would even make it halfway to the stage. Harry could not warn him to stay put without drawing attention to their corner of the room. If Odin Vidar was irrational enough to play a martyr then Harry could not stop him.


            Cronus scanned the room. His eyes rested on Harry and a sneer spread across his features. His gaze flickered to the flaming red hair that peeked out from underneath Harry.


            “Harry Potter, so we meet at last. I daresay, I am rather disappointed that I do not have a good view of your girlfriend. I hear she puts up a good fight.”


            At the comment, Harry tightened his grip around Ginny so that she could not look up and give Cronus the satisfaction of seeing her. His body shifted slightly and covered up a little more the slight figure below him.


            Out of the corner of his eye, Harry saw Vidar storm towards the stage with his wand out. Nobody made a move to stop him and Cronus merely glanced over at him. Vidar’s body collided with an invisible barrier. He was thrown backwards onto the dance floor right on top of the broken chandelier in the center. He grunted loudly.


            “Anyone else want to attempt to play hero?” Cronus questioned. “Perhaps you, Harry? No? I hear you have quite a hero complex.”


            Harry remained silent. Hermione gave out a dry sob from the right. His eyes wandered to see Ron covering Hermione akin to how Harry was with Ginny. Hermione’s russet eyes stared unblinkingly at Vidar.


            “I implore you all to reevaluate your loyalties to your government,” Cronus spoke gently. “The Ministry finds it fit to allow werewolves equal rights, monsters who would ravish your children into bits and pieces without a second thought. They deem Muggles on the same playing field as us. Why must we hide from such vermin? We are more superior and advanced than they are. House elves have rights and require payment for their duties? Ludicrous! The old, traditional ways of our world have been thrown to the dogs. This new world order is spreading like wildfire. I will not stand for it. Your government, Minister Shacklebolt and Mister Potter, will backfire. I am a traditionalist and find these extreme liberal policies unnerving.”


            Ginny struggled underneath Harry’s grasp. She wanted to look at Cronus, wanted to see what was going on. Harry held tight, however, and faltered her motions to move.


            “I will liberate you all from your insufferable government with one, swift coup de grâce. I will finish what our gracious Dark Lord started.”


            The windows shattered loudly and rained down more glass upon the floor. People screamed and attempted to pull their clothes to cover their faces. The tables and chairs shook violently from above them and tumbled to the ground.


            Harry jerked up and pulled Ginny out of the way just before their table slammed where they were crouched. The legs splintered off the tables and flew in multiple directions.


            Flames erupted around the room in coiling strands. People were screeching and made a mad dash for the doors. Harry glanced at the stage to see that Cronus and his lackeys were Disapparating out of the ballroom.


            Gripping Ginny’s hand in his, he tugged her along behind him. They side-stepped the rising flames and hurried out of the ballroom with everyone else. Once outside, he turned to observe her. A large gash ran from her hairline down to the corner of her eye. The blood had caked onto her pale skin. Her dress was torn in several places but she was, essentially, unharmed.


            Tenderly, he touched the end of the cut. She jerked back, wincing in pain. Wrapping her arms around herself, she shivered. Harry shrugged off his jacket and placed it around her shoulders before pulling her close to his chest.


            “Mister Potter! Mister Potter!”


            Turning his attention to the left, Harry saw Professor McGonagall rushing towards him. Small cuts littered her face. Hair gray hair was unraveling from its usual tight bun.


            “Ramsey Henson,” she said in a flustered tone. “Ramsey Henson of Slytherin, top of his class, excellent in Transfiguration and Charms. He was, by far, a model student.”


            “Ramsey Henson?” Harry whispered. “His name is Ramsey Henson?”


            “I thought you’d like to know.”


            “Thank you, Professor. Are you alright?”


            She nodded stiffly, her eyes glancing around at the mass of people on the grounds outside of the ballroom. Professor McGonagall rushed off to help those lying on the floor in need of medical attention.


            Hermione and Ron were with the other Weasleys all whispering and hugging each other. Kingsley was crouching down to talk to Odin Vidar who had a herd of Healers surrounding him.


            “I want to leave,” Ginny whispered as she buried her face into the folds of his shirt. “I just want to get Teddy and go home.”


            Harry nodded. Everyone was quickly Disapparating from the scene or helping to get the injured to St. Mungo’s. Tightening his grip around her shoulders, he Disapparated from the scene. He had things to do before it was too late. Plans were quickly being formulated in his mind and they would be carried out within the week.


            Cronus was, Harry feared, more powerful than originally thought.




Thank you for all the reviews! Over a hundred reviews. That warms my heart with joy. Do keep them coming as they are very encouraging and truly helps me stay inspired to write. I hope you enjoy the new chapter. :)


Chapter 9: Number 12 Grimmauld Place
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

“Cronus Rising”


“Chapter Eight: Number 12 Grimmauld Place


            The furniture was covered in large, off-white cloths. Thick layers of dust were piled on top of the fabric. The house had the distinct smell of an elderly person. It was the scent that used to linger around his grandmum’s house and the scent that currently resided in the Burrow.


            Teddy tightened his grip around his godfather’s hand. Two nights ago, Ginny and Harry returned home from the Witch Weekly party covered in cuts and scratches with torn clothes and dismal faces. There was only one time that Teddy had been that scared, that was when Ginny was bleeding and wheezing in an alleyway after Cronus had attacked them.


            Wizards and witches busied in and out of their flat for days with plots and plans and hushed whispers. That was how Teddy found himself in the decrepit house. Harry had told him in the most serious voice, “The Headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix can be found at Number 12 Grimmauld Place. Repeat that to me now.” Teddy had, trying to mimic his godfather’s tone.


            Two houses peeled away from each other to reveal Number 12. The people through the windows did not seem bothered that their houses were moving. Teddy didn’t know whether to laugh or be frightened. Before Grandmum died, Teddy would have thought it was a neat trick and beg his godfather to do it again. Nowadays, he didn’t know what to trust anymore.


            The front door behind them burst open. Chattering flooded through the house. Teddy whipped around to see the familiar face of Luna Lovegood and her boyfriend (whose name escaped Teddy’s mind) and a man who sometimes visited Harry.


            “Hullo, Harry,” Luna greeted in a dreamy tone.


            “Luna, thanks for coming.”


            Harry’s hand slipped from his godson’s. He rushed forward to hug Luna and then shake the hands of the two men.


            “Teddy,” his godfather addressed him, “you remember Luna and Rolf?”


            “Hi.” He smiled sweetly at them.


            “This is Neville Longbottom. We work together at the Ministry.”


            “Hi,” Teddy said again as he glanced around at the faces in front of him.


            “Merlin, Harry, every time I see Teddy, he looks more and more like Professor Lupin,” Neville commented.


            Teddy smiled tightly in his direction before wandering away from the adults. He looked around the entranceway with mild interest. The wallpaper was yellowing and peeling away to reveal weathered bricks underneath. A large portrait hung on the wall with dusty curtain covering it. Teddy peered at it and reached out a hand to poke it when someone grabbed his wrist.


            Jumping around with a shriek dying in his throat, he saw Mrs. Weasley standing behind him with a stern look that clearly read don’t touch anything. It was scary how his Grandmum and Mrs. Weasley shared the same looks.


            “Harry, dear, is everyone here yet? People are getting anxious,” Mrs. Weasley said in a sweet voice as she pulled Teddy close to her.


            “Nearly,” he replied. “One more person is coming and we can’t start without him. Could you show Luna, Rolf and Neville to the kitchen? I’m going to wait for him.”


            “Of course. Teddy, you’re to go upstairs. There’s a bedroom on the first floor. Victoire is already up there.”


            “I wanna stay with Harry,” he replied quite adamantly.


            Mrs. Weasley opened her mouth as though to shout so Teddy threw his godfather a pleading look.


            “He can stay with me until the meeting starts. Then, it’s straight upstairs.”


            For a moment, he thought Mrs. Weasley was going to argue with Harry. Her lips were drawn into a thin line and her head was cocked slightly to the right. Instead, she motioned for Luna, Rolf, and Neville to follow her down a staircase.


            “When you go upstairs,” Harry started with a grimace, “promise me you won’t look at the walls.”


            “Why?”


            “Because I daresay they will give you a fright.”


            Teddy’s bottom lips slipped between his teeth. It was a habit he picked up ever since Grandmum died because bad news seemed to be at every turn. He glanced up at his godfather through his sandy fringe. Several of the cuts on his face were scabbing over. A large bruise peeked out from under his godfather’s t-shirt. It was slowly turning a sickening yellow.


            “Harry, where are we?”


            “I own this house,” he replied miserably.


            “You bought a house?”


            “No, Teddy,” Harry chuckled softly. “I inherited the house.”


            Narrowing his eyes in confusion, Teddy shook his head to tell his godfather he didn’t understand what that meant at all.


            “You see, when people die, they have what’s called a last will and testament. In a person’s will, they leave their possession and money to people. When my godfather died, he left me this house in his will along with all of his money and everything else he owned.”


            “So…” Teddy’s brow furrowed, “your godfather bought a house and left it to you?”


            “Well, he didn’t buy the house either. He inherited the house from his parents when they died.”


            “So, basically, a lot of people died and the house just passed on to different people and that’s why it smells like old people and is all dusty?”


            Harry laughed. 


            “Exactly.”


            “Harry?”


            “Mmm?”


            “Am I going to inherit this house some day?”


            “Probably,” he replied thoughtfully. “Unless I burn it down to collect the insurance money.”


            Before Teddy could question what that meant, the doorbell rang. Harry jumped which, in turn, made his godson jump with him. Harry looked from the door to the curtain-covered portrait as though he didn’t know which one to go to. He chose the door which Teddy thought was smart.


            A tall, thin man stood in the doorway. Platinum blonde hair was combed neatly on top of his head. His features were prominent and pointed at sharp angles.


            Harry stepped aside to allow the man entrance. The stranger strolled inside with his hands stuffed in the pockets of his black robes. Cold, gray eyes surveyed the house until they landed upon Teddy. His face was void of any expression but he stared none-the-less. Teddy squirmed.


            “Malfoy, this is my godson T-”


            “I don’t care,” the man called Malfoy interrupted loudly.


            Teddy wished the man would stop staring at him. His eyes desperately sought out Harry who was staring at the stranger with a hard look.


            “A son of a werewolf.” He sneered. “Shouldn’t be allowed to breed if you ask me.”


            “No one asked you,” Harry hissed through gritted teeth.


            Finally, the stranger’s eyes drifted away to look at Harry. Teddy let out a breath he did not know he was holding.


            “Teddy, go upstairs with Victoire. Stay up there until someone comes to get you,” Harry said harshly, his eyes never leaving Malfoy.


            He scampered off to the staircase. His hand gripped the railing tightly. Looking behind his shoulder, he saw his godfather and the man squared off against each other with clenched jaws and sneers. Hurrying up the stairs as fast as he could, Teddy wished he hadn’t.


            Tacked onto the peeling paper on large wooden plagues were heads. Except, they weren’t human heads but that wasn’t a comforting feeling. They were heads of creatures that Teddy had never seen before in his life. Their eyes were large and lifeless. Their mouths hung open and their blackened tongues were just barely visible through the gums. Large, floppy ears protruded from their heads.


            Teddy ran down the hallway until he reached the bedroom. Once inside, he slammed the door shut. His breathing was jagged and his heart was beating so fast that it felt as though it were going to burst through his ribcage at any second.


            Turning around, he noted Victoire sitting in the middle of the floor. There was a picture book resting in her hands and her face was so close to the pages that her nose was touching. What puzzled Teddy more was that the book was upside down. He didn’t mention it to her though.


            After ten minutes of squirming and being bored, shouts and screams floated from the downstairs. Teddy and Victoire crept quietly to the door and stepped out. The heads on the walls were staring down at them, but Teddy paid no attention. He was more concerned at what was going on.


            Reaching behind him, he gripped Victoire’s hand into his. She was making stifled mousy noises. Her body was pressed up against his back. They inched down the hallway and peered down the stairwell.


            The pasty blonde man stormed up the stairs into the main hall. His cheeks were painted a flushed red. His wand was clenched at his side. Teddy stepped to the right to cover as much as Victoire as was humanly possible.


            A blur of messy black hair charged up the stairs and gripped Malfoy by the elbow and whipped him around. Harry stared at him, jaw tight and eyes blaring. Teddy had never seen his godfather so upset before.


            “I’m done,” Malfoy hissed.


            “You can’t be done!” Harry shot back. “You made me the Unbreakable Vow. You stop now, you’ll end up six feet under.”


            Teddy crouched down and pulled Victoire with him. They could not be seen. Harry would be upset if they were caught eavesdropping.


            “I will not tolerate Weasley’s snide comments!”


            Victoire made a strangled sob in the back of her throat. Whipping around, Teddy clamped a hand over her lips. Her eyes were larger than usually and illuminated oddly under the green-tinted lighting. They were staring at something beyond him and it was causing her chest to heave and tears to brim her eyes.


            Glancing behind them, Teddy noted the ugly heads on the walls. Victoire apparently had not seen them on her original journey upstairs. The very sight of them was scaring her silly.


            Teddy let his hand slip from her mouth. He pulled the tiny girl into his arms akin to how Harry and Ginny would hold him whenever he was upset. Her fists clenched the fabric of his t-shirt. He could feel her wet tears soak through his shirt. She stayed silent, however, and that was all Teddy wanted.


            Turning his attention back to his godfather and Malfoy, they were not the only ones who had gathered in the tiny entrance hall. Victoire’s dad was there, his red hair tied back at the nape of his neck. His arms were crossed and his eyes surveyed the scene in front of him. A strict-looking woman stood next to him. Peppered hair was pulled back into a tight bun and moon-shaped glasses slide down her nose. Behind them was Kingsley Shacklebolt.


            “Mister Malfoy,” the woman started, “often the right thing to do is the hardest to accomplish. Severus Snape knew what he was getting himself into the moment he signed away his allegiance to Albus Dumbledore.”


            “I’m not Snape!” he hollered. “Potter isn’t Dumbledore!”


            Straining, muffled screams could be heard from somewhere downstairs. Nobody paid attention to them. Teddy craned his neck to see if there was anyone else there but failed to spot anyone.


            “Nobody said you and he were,” Bill Weasley said softly.


            “You agreed, Draco,” Kingsley said calmly. “You agreed and now you must follow through with our plans.”


            “He’ll kill me!” Malfoy shouted. “He’ll kill me as soon as he finds out I’m playing double agent!”


            “It would seem, Mister Malfoy, that your ambitions outweigh your drive to achieve them,” the woman said sympathetically.


            “I’ll talk to Ron,” Harry added. “He’ll keep his mouth shut at meetings.”


            Somebody moved from the stairwell behind Kingsley. A flash of red appeared and Teddy noticed that Ginny had joined the group. She threw a glance at the people but moved on. By the time Teddy realized that she was coming up the stairs to check on him and Victoire, it was too late. She spotted them squatting at the top of the stairs.


            She shooed them away from the stairs and into the bedroom they were supposed to be in. Following behind them, she snapped the door shut quietly. 


            “You two were told to stay here,” she said softly.


            “Sorry,” Teddy replied.


            A guilty smile crossed his features as he looked up at Ginny. The large gash in her head was still clearly visible on her pallid face.


            “You need to stop listening in on conversations that have nothing to do with you, Teddy,” she said lightly. “If we don’t tell you something, there’s a reason for it.”


            “Ginny, it’s not fair,” he said stubbornly.


            “There are a lot of things that aren’t fair.” She frowned. “You wouldn’t know what’s going on.”


            “I know you and Harry got hurt.”


            “We did,” she whispered and closed the space between them. “We don’t want you getting hurt.”


            Her soft hands enclosed over his. Victoire, feeling left out, crawled between them and flung her arms around her aunt’s neck. One of Ginny’s hands left Teddy’s to circle around Victoire’s waist.


            Teddy nodded despite himself. The door creaked open and Harry stood in the doorway. He propped his body against the frame and crossed his arms. Teddy wanted to run to him but kept still. Was he angry that they were eavesdropping?


            “Gins, can you take Victoire downstairs? I’d like to talk to Teddy.”


            Leaning forward, Ginny gave him a quick peck on the cheek before standing up. She swung Victoire up in the air and settled the girl on her hip. They ambled out of the room, stopping briefly so Ginny could whisper something into Harry’s ear. He nodded before stepping inside the bedroom and closing the door.


            “The summer before my fifth year at Hogwarts, I stayed in this house with the Weasleys and my godfather. This room was Ginny and Hermione’s. Ron and I shared a bedroom upstairs.”


            Harry crossed the room and sat down on the nearest bed. The springs screeched in protest at the weight. Teddy slowly walked towards his godfather and climbed up on the mattress to sit next to him. His feet dangled off the side and swung lazily. His trainers hit the wooden frame rhythmically.


            “Those were dark times, Teddy,” he whispered. “It was filled with taboos, snatchers, disappearances, and death. I know you don’t understand why you’re not allowed to know what is going on. I would be upset if I were you. You see Ginny and I coming home bloody and cut up. It would terrify anyone.”


            Teddy glanced over at his godfather. His legs stopped swinging and a lump formed in his throat.


            “I’m trying my best to ensure that those times don’t repeat themselves. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have enough time for you or that I don’t care what is going on in your life. I wasn’t the first person to notice you suddenly stopped changing your appearance. Is that by choice?”


            Teddy’s lip found itself tucked securely between his teeth. His heart was hammering in his chest. He shook his head in the negative.


            “Your mother’s abilities were affected by her emotions. When she was incredibly upset, she could not change her appearance at will anymore.”


            Tears were burning his eyes. Harry was all fuzzy and a giant blob next to him. The tears ran down his face.


            “What’s wrong, Teddy?”


            A comforting hand found itself on his back. Harry rubbed circles until he gently squeezed his godson’s neck.


            “Grandmum is dead,” he gasped out between stifled sobs. “You and Ginny are always hurt. Cronus wants us all dead. I want my mum and dad and grandmum!”


            Teddy collapsed into his godfather’s arms and soaked his shirt. He shook violently. All of his anger, frustration, and grief were rolling out in giant waves. They wrecked through his body and left him feeling exhausted.


            Teddy didn’t remember leaving Grimmauld Place and arriving back at their flat. His eyes opened to find himself curled up in his own bed with the covers wrapped carefully around his body. Moony was stuffed under the crook of his arm. Across the room, the Holyhead Harpies dolls were playing a game of Quidditch silently on top of his dresser.


            Blinking back sleep, he carefully extracted himself from the covers. Sliding off the bed, his feet hit the cool hardwood floors with a soft thump. With Moony clenched tightly in his arms, he padded out of his room.


            The living room light was on. He crept along the wall to see the back of his godfather’s head on the couch. The television was off and the paper lay discarded on the end table. Ginny was no where to be seen.


            He ambled into the living room and his godfather turned almost immediately. His eyes were lackluster behind his thick, black glasses. His hair lay rumbled on his head more than usual. Dark circles resided under his eyes.


            On the coffee table lay a stone basin that Teddy had seen on several occasions in the past. He never knew what it did and never asked. Somehow, before, it never seemed important enough for questions.


            He sat down on the couch next to his godfather, his gaze situated on the basin. Peering into it, he saw a swirl of a man laughing. The man looked oddly like his father. This only made his heart race in anticipation.


            “This is a Pensieve,” Harry commented as he inclined his head towards the basin. “It allows a person to store their memories. Once the memories are in the Pensieve, you can watch them sort of like a moving picture at the theater.”


            Teddy nodded. He had been to a Muggle movie theater many times before. Ginny and Harry used to take him sometimes on the weekend. The first time they went, Harry had a deep discussion with Ginny on how it actually worked afterwards. Teddy didn’t pay any attention to that.


            “I don’t have very many memories of your mum,” Harry said sadly. “I do have quite a few with your dad. I stored my favorite memory I have of your dad in the Pensieve. I thought we could watch it together.”


            Teddy was on the edge of the cushion. Moony was long forgotten next to him. Taking Harry’s hand, the two leaned over the Pensieve and found themselves falling in. Teddy closed his eyes tightly until he felt the ground beneath his feet once more.


            Cracking an eye open, he was standing in a kitchen. A teenage version of his godfather sat at the kitchen table with a mug laced between his fingers. Teddy let go of present-time Harry and wandered to give his younger version a good glance over.


            The younger version of Harry looked just like older Harry. They had the same untidy mop of black hair. Thick, black glasses sat perched on their pale noses. The lightning bolt scar shone brightly through the fringe of their bangs. The only difference was that younger Harry looked more miserable than his godfather.


            The door to the kitchen swung open and a man stepped inside. Long, black hair was tied messy into a ponytail. Pale eyes glanced lovingly at younger Harry. He took a seat next to him, a sad smile etched onto his face.


            “What are you doing up?” the man asked.


            “Couldn’t sleep,” Harry mumbled.


            “Bad dream?”


            Harry did not respond.


            “Yeah, me too.”


            “That’s my godfather Sirius Black,” older Harry spoke up.


            Teddy turned to his right to see his godfather standing next to him, his hands in his pockets.


            The door to the kitchen opened once more and Teddy froze at the man who entered. His hair was sandy and streaked with gray. Amber eyes shone brightly under the pale lighting in the kitchen. Lines covered his face.


            “Daddy?” whispered Teddy.


            “Glad to see you all waited up for me,” his dad said with a tired smile.


            “Where were you?” questioned Harry.


            “Order business,” he replied with a wave of the hand and sat down across from Harry and Sirius.


            Teddy inched forward and slid into the empty seat next to his father. His gaze did not leave his dad. He had seen pictures before but never had he seen his father so up close and personal. Everyone was right, he did look a great deal like his dad.


            They had the same hair, the same eyes, the same nose, and even the same lips. The only difference between them was his dad’s various scarring.


            “We weren’t waiting up for you,” Sirius supplied, “because you would not approve of our topic of conversation.”


            “Why is this giving me horrifying flashbacks to a less than ingenious idea that you and James cooked up that would land us in detention?” his father pushed.


            “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Sirius replied. “You’ve started to lose your memory in your old age. All that gray hair is getting to you.”


            Teddy propped his elbows on the table and rested his chin in his hands. His eyes bore into his father with curiosity and love. He was only vaguely aware that his godfather took a seat next to him at the table.


            “You know, Harry, there was a time when Remus used to be fun,” Sirius continued with a smirk, “a time when he wasn’t so serious and brooding and wasn’t dead tired at one in the morning.”


            “I wish I could tell a there was a time story about Sirius, but I’m afraid, Harry, that your godfather has always been childish and annoying,” his father replied playfully.


            “Touché, Moony!”


            “Thank you, Padfoot.”


            “I’ll take any stories about when you guys were at Hogwarts,” Harry spoke up with a smile in his eyes. “I mean, if Remus isn’t too tired.”


            Sirius let out a bark-like laugh and wrapped an arm around Harry’s shoulders. Even his father chuckled and leaned back in his chair until he was balancing on its hind legs.


            “Which one should we tell him?” Sirius thought out loud.


            “As long as it doesn’t involve your escapades with girls, I am game for anything.”


            “I think we should tell him the story of the dare war.”


            “Dare war?” Harry asked excitedly.


            “Yes, you see, Lily and James had this phase at the end of our sixth year when they dared each other to do outrageous things,” Sirius supplied.


            “Somehow, we got roped into the dare war,” his dad replied with a frown. “I don’t like this story.”


            “Of course you wouldn’t! Just wait until you heard the dare James gave Remus.”


            “Merlin, I hated James for weeks after that.”


            “Until he sent you a bouquet of chocolate flowers and all was forgiven.”


            “I didn’t care for the flower aspect of it. I was more interested in the chocolate.”


            Teddy listened rapidly to the tales of the Marauders. His smile grew larger at every word and his gaze never left his father’s face. Halfway through the first story, his godfather had gathered Teddy up in his arms and situated him in his lap. The two cuddled up together and listened to the tales of their fathers at school. All the worries of attacks, deaths, and Cronus slipped from Teddy’s mind.




Hope you enjoyed the new chapter! Thank you for all the wonderful reviews! Last chapter reviewed the most reviews yet! I replied to them all so do check my comments back. Please, keep up with the reviews. They are very inspirational and really make me want to get the next chapter to you as soon as I can. :)

For anyone who reads "Wings of Time," the new chapter should be out later this week.  Sorry for the delay on that story.


Chapter 10: The Siege
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

“Cronus Rising”


“Chapter Nine: The Siege”


            It had been a month of bi-weekly Order meetings and pulling extra hours at the Auror office. During that time, there was not a peep from Cronus. People were growing anxious, fearing a large scale attack was eminent. There was nothing even from Draco Malfoy who had only been summoned to Cronus on several occasions to discuss plans to infiltrate Azkaban. No definite dates or means were discussed. Therefore, extra security measures were put into effect.


            Fearing he would draw unwanted attention to himself and Dudley, Harry dropped out of his duty as a groomsman. He did not, however, decline to attend the wedding. 


            Harry’s eyes adverted from his reflection to see his godson lounging on the bed behind him. Teddy was growing restless because he was only allowed to be at the flat, the Burrow and Grimmauld Place. His cravings for information only grew. Harry knew that Teddy was picking up his facts secondhand through hushed whispers at the Burrow and shouting matches at Grimmauld Place.


            At headquarters, Malfoy and Ron failed to get along. They often snapped at each other and slipped in snide comments every change they could during meetings. Harry vaguely wondered how Dumbledore put up with Sirius and Snape.


            “Harry?”


            Snapping out of his reverie, Harry glanced at his godson’s reflection. The boy was rolling on the bed, half of his body leaning dangerously off the edge. Moony was long forgotten behind him but the eyeglass was clenched in his fist.


            “Mmm?”


            Harry adjusted his tie. The bottom flap was longer than the front one. Groaning inwardly, he started the process over.


            “Can I go to the wedding?”


            Teddy’s lips were pursed together in a pout. His eyes grew large and moist. Harry had no doubt that George had been teaching Teddy the fine art of getting what one wants.


            “I wish you could, but it’s not safe.”

            “You and Ginny are going!” Teddy pointed out.


            “Just tell him,” Ginny’s voice rang.


            Snapping his attention to the doorway, Ginny stood there in a little black dress with strands of pearls draped around her slender neck. Her vibrant red locks were curled in waves that hung elegantly around her features.


            “Tell me what?”


            Teddy bounced on the balls of his feet, his hands in front of him to keep his balance.


            “Yeah, tell him what exactly?” inquired Harry.


            “Something to put his mind at ease,” replied Ginny.


            She crossed the room and settled herself next to Teddy. He immediately clamored on her lap and leaned back against her. Ginny and Teddy were quickly becoming inseparable. Harry spent so much time at work and, with the Quidditch season was slowly dying down as the European semi-finals were nearly finished, Ginny was often home and taking care of Teddy.


            There was a tinge of guilt and jealousy that burned deep within him. He had not been there for Teddy in the last several weeks. Cronus had consumed his life and his work quickly became his number one priority. At the same time, he hated not being the one that Teddy would run to. More often than not, he would run to Ginny before seeking out Harry.


            “What do you suggest?” questioned Harry.


            He leaned backwards and the edge of the vanity dug into his back. Over the years, he liked to assume that he was getting better at being a parental figure to the tiny boy. It was something he had to work hard at because he did not know any warm, loving parental figures growing up. With Ginny, it came so easily to her. She knew exactly what to say and do to make Teddy feel instantly better.


            “Tell him why Cronus is after us,” she said gently as her fingers ran through his hair.

            Teddy glanced at Harry through lidded eyes. No matter how full of energy he was, fingers through his hair made him sleepy.


            “That’s complicated,” he replied with a frown.


            “Simplify it then.”


            Harry ran a frustrated hand through his unruly hair. He did not have time to spill out the sob story that was his life. Not to mention, Teddy was only six years old.


            “You know my parents died when I was a baby… it was because of me-”


            “Don’t blame yourself,” snapped Ginny.


            “I’m telling the story, Ginny.” Harry sighed. “He murdered my parents because of a prophecy.”


            “What’s a prosophy?” inquired Teddy, his head lifting off Ginny’s shoulder.


            “It’s a story that tells the future,” whispered Ginny.


            “Lord Voldemort didn’t like this prophecy. So, he went after my parents to get to me. He wanted to kill me so the prophecy couldn’t come true. My mother died to save me so he disappeared for a really long time and I became famous.”


            “You were famous ‘cause he couldn’t kill you?” Teddy asked confused.


            “I was the first person to ever survive the Killing Curse.”


            “There’s a Killing Curse?”


            Harry glanced up at Ginny.


            “Not everyone is nice,” she stated as she held Harry’s gaze. “Not all magic is good. There was an original Order of the Phoenix. Your parents fought for what was right. Now, Harry and I are fighting for what is right. Your godfather is the most powerful wizard in Britain… nobody can beat him so don’t you worry one bit about him.”


            Teddy nodded, his eyes narrowed at he stared at his godfather as though he were about to accomplish some great magic that nobody had ever seen before. When Harry failed to do anything spectacular, Teddy slid off Ginny’s lap and padded down the hallway to his room. He was due at the Weasleys’.


            Not wanting to attract any unwanted attention, Harry learned to drive a Muggle car. After sending Teddy thru the Floo, Ginny and Harry made their way to the parking garage. At the end, hidden away in the shadows, was a 2003 Bentley Azure Mulliner.


            Ginny cautiously hauled her frame into the passengers’ seat, her fingers quickly buckling herself in. Her wand lay on her lap. Harry took his spot behind the wheel, the feeling still uncomfortable and foreign.

            After the war, he asked Hagrid for Sirius’ old enchanted motorbike. He learned the drive and fly the bike. It brought back nostalgic memories of childhood dreams where the wind blew through his hair and tickled his skin. Ginny only agreed to go on the bike if they flew. She did not trust Muggle motorists.


            “You’re sure you can drive in London traffic?” questioned Ginny as he twisted the key in the ignition.


            “Positive.”


            “Why can’t we just fly the bike or Apparate? Nobody is going to notice if we lack a car.”


            Slowly, Harry pulled out of his parking spot and eased back in the leather seat.


            “Because we’re going to a Muggle wedding, Gins.”


            “So, we could have flown the motorbike to Surrey and then landed around the block and drove.”


            Harry said nothing as he pulled out onto the busy streets of London. Out of the corner of his eye, he watched as Ginny tensed in the seat.


            “You’ve ridden in a Ministry-issued car plenty of times,” her countered.


            “Yeah, but they’re enchanted like the Knight Bus so accidents are nonexistent. This car is not enchanted and you’re driving.”


            “What’s wrong with the way I drive?”


            Gripping the wheel, he sat up straighter to maneuver through the traffic. Suddenly, he felt self-conscious behind the wheel.


            “It’s not so much how you drive but more so of how Muggles drive.” Ginny leaned forward and squinted out the front window.


            “Just try to relax, okay? It’s just like flying a broom.”


            Ginny eased back in her seat and watched the cars weaving through traffic. Her fingers curled around the armrest until her knuckles were porcelain. Slowly, she relaxed when accidents failed to occur.


            Parking the car in the filled lot of the church, Harry gripped Ginny’s hand tightly and walked briskly to the front doors. Unconsciously, his eyes darted around as though he half expected Cronus to jump out from a tree or his lackeys to hurl Killing Curses at them.


            The church was stuffy inside. Perspiration ran down the back of his neck and his bangs were quickly being plastered to his forehead effectively hiding his scar.


            Aunt Marge sat up front, taking up a whole pew to herself. No one dared to squeeze in next to her. Harry tugged Ginny along to the middle section behind all of the Dursleys’ acquaintances and business associates. He did not recognize anyone except for Aunt Marge.


            Glancing around the room, he scanned for his aunt, uncle and cousin. They were nowhere to be seen. Ginny huddled close to him, her fingers itching towards her wand to cast a cooling spell. Harry shot her a look when he saw it peek out of her clutch.

            “Harry!”


            Turning around, Harry saw his red-faced cousin waddling towards their pew. Not far behind him were Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon. Harry stood up, reaching out a hand to drag Ginny with him.


            “Dudley, congrats.”


            Harry held out his hand and shook Dudley’s firmly. When the contact was broken, he gently pushed Ginny in front. She smile nervously at him and held out her hand.


            “Ginny Weasley, it’s a pleasure to meet you.”


            Uncle Vernon was looming behind Dudley, his beady eyes narrowed and mouth drawn in a thin line. Peeking out from behind him was Aunt Petunia who stared at Ginny suspiciously.


            “Now, you listen here boy, there will be no funny business from you,” Uncle Vernon whispered with a porky finger pointed at his nephew.


            “Dad,” Dudley said, “don’t. I wanted Harry here.”


            “Ginny Weasley.” She stepped in front of Harry and extended her hand to his uncle. “You’ve met my dad and some of my brothers before.”


            When he did not accept her hand, she withdrew it to flick her curls behind her shoulder. Her eyes wandered to Aunt Petunia and she smiled sweetly.


            “Vernon, let’s take our seats,” Aunt Petunia said stiffly.


            The two ambled away towards Aunt Marge. Dudley lingered behind, a lop-sided grimace dancing across his face. Harry didn’t exactly know why his cousin was trying so hard to have solid, familiar ties with him. It was odd to say the least but at the same time a silent blessing. Harry had family ties with the Weasleys but they were not blood. Dudley was his flesh and blood. There was a part of Harry that could not deny the small pit of joy that erupted in his stomach at the very thought of having Dudley be on friendly terms with him.


            Dudley waved feebly goodbye as he marched down the aisle to the priest. Harry stood there, hands in his pockets, as his eyes wandered around the church once more. Aunt Petunia was craning her neck to stare at Ginny. When she caught Harry looking at her, she quickly turned around in her seat and waved at her son.


            Ginny tugged Harry down into the pew. Her head rested on his shoulder as her fingers absentmindedly tickled his thigh.


            The organ in front of the room burst to life and Harry only half-heartedly watched the wedding party march down the aisle. None of Dudley’s groomsmen were his old bullying friends from school. They were replaced with clean-cut looking businessmen. The bridesmaids were dressed in flowing lilac gowns and looked like cookie-cutter suburban girls.


            The Wedding March began to play and Claire stepped through the wooden doors. She was tall, all legs and barely any torso. Blonde hair was twisted on the nap of her neck. Her pale skin illuminated brightly under the lighting. Blue eyes sparkled as she looked around at her friends and family. Her eyes landed on Harry and her head cocked to the side in confusion. Her eyes snapped away from him to glance up at Dudley.


            The ceremony dragged on for a half hour. Harry squirmed in his seat at the heat that was baking down on him. Ginny leaned back, her legs spreading open slightly seeking for some relief.


            After the rings were slipped on and the kiss planted, Dudley and Claire marched up the aisle arm-in-arm with large smiles gracing their features. Harry tugged Ginny up to stand so they could clap with the rest of the guests.


            The reception was across the street at a swanky dining hall. The floor was cleared in the middle for dancing. All around the clearing were round tables for the guests with a large, rectangular table for the wedding party. Fine linens covered up the tables and large vases filled with flowers served as centerpieces. At the banquet table was a large, frozen sculpture of a swan.


            Harry had no doubt that Aunt Petunia helped plan the décor.


            “I can’t believe it was a sauna in that church,” Ginny hissed as she let Harry lead her to their table.


            “Gins…”


            “I’m surprised that sculpture didn’t melt to death in this heat. If you would have just let me-”


            “Dudley!”


            Harry smiled warmly at his cousin and held out a hand to congratulate him. His gaze wandered to Claire who stared at him wide-eyed and pale.


            “This is my wife Claire,” Dudley introduced proudly as he pushed her forward. “Claire this is my cousin Harry and his girlfriend Ginny.”


            “You’re… you’re Harry Potter,” Claire whispered.


            Her hands clamped over her mouth. Harry glanced at Ginny before looking back at Claire.


            “What did you say?” he questioned.


            “How do you know Harry?” Dudley butted in with his brows furrowing.


            “My mother was Emmeline Vance,” she replied in a shaky voice. “She died when I was thirteen. I was three years behind you in school… a Ravenclaw. When You-Know-Who took over the Ministry, my dad knew it was only a matter of time before he came after the Muggleborns. He’s a Muggleborn so we got out of the country as fast as we could. I threw out my wand when I was fourteen before we got on the airplane.”


            Harry could hear the blood pumping in his ears. He could not move, could not speak, could not do anything. Emmeline Vance’s face flashed in front of his eyes. He remembered her from his Advance Guard back when he was fifteen and remembered seeing her sporadically at headquarters. He remembered reading about her death in the Daily Prophet and feeling frustrated not because a life was lost but because Voldemort had one-upped the Order once again.


            “I remember her,” he said softly once he found his voice. “She was in the Order of the Phoenix.”


            “You’re a… a… witch?” Dudley uttered in hushed tones as his eyes darted around the reception hall.


            “I was. I’m not anymore.”


            Ginny stepped forward and pulled the younger girl into an embrace. Black, mascara tears ran down her porcelain face. Harry felt a knot twisting in his abdomen. He could not bear to look at Dudley.


            After a quick trip to the ladies room with Ginny, the two girls walked back into the reception hall with large smiles on their faces and chuckles on their tongues. Extending a hand to Ginny, Harry led her to the dance floor.


            Her body was pressed firmly against his. One hand lay comfortably on the small of her back and the other clenched her hand into his. They had gotten used to dancing together with the numerous Ministry social events that they attended. Each time, Harry felt like he had won the lottery. All of his worries seemed to slip away when Ginny was in his arms.


            Ginny leaned her head forward to rest comfortably on his chest. He laid his chin gently on top of her curly red head. Looking around the room, he saw Dudley cautiously dancing with Claire as though he thought he would squash her feet with a misstep. Not far from them, Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon swayed half-heartedly together. Large smiles graced their features as they excitedly chattered and stole glances at their son.


            An aching twisted his insides. At his own wedding, he would not have parents that would beam proudly at him. He would have no godfather who would pat him on the shoulder and tell him to treat his wife right. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley were the closest thing he had to parents. On his wedding day, however, they would be beaming at their daughter and not him.

            The engagement ring weighed heavily in the pocket of his dress pants. He did not want to propose until after Cronus was taken care of. He did not want to make promises that he may not be able to keep. There was, however, an overwhelming urge to drop down on one knee in the middle of the dance floor and declare his love to the redhead in his arms. She made him feel things that he never thought possible.


            She was perfect in every way. She was the final puzzle piece that would make him complete. Teddy adored her as well and she treated him as though he were her own. They could make a small, unconventional family together and be insanely happy.


            The large chandelier above them shook violently. Harry and Ginny instantly stopped swaying to glance up. The crystals vibrated as the ceiling pulsed at the collar. Grabbing Ginny by the wrist, he tugged her out from underneath the chandelier.


            “Get out of the way!” shouted Harry. “It’s going to fall!”


            The couples scurried away, surprised shrieks emitted from their lips. Harry stole a glance at his cousin who was glancing up at the ceiling. His face lost all of its color. Turning back to the chandelier, a loud CRASH! sounded throughout the room.


            Standing on the arms of the chandelier was Cronus. A smirk graced his features and his wand was clenched tightly in his right hand.


            Harry pushed Ginny behind him and whipped out his wand. People were screaming and running for cover. Some were scampering pass Harry to get to the door. There was a loud BANG! from behind which made Harry jump and whirl around.


            Witches and wizards ambled into the hall with wands out and white masks covering up their identities. His eyes glanced over the bodies trying to spot a tall, thin man with platinum blonde hair. Draco Malfoy was, apparently, absent from the raid.


            Turning his attention to Cronus, Harry made sure his back was flush with Ginny’s. They were the only two who could take on a room full of crazies. Ginny was a fair fighter and could produce mean hexes. She was, regrettably, rubbish at complex and vastly damaging curses.


            Plots and plans spiraled out of control in Harry’s mind. He was taught in Auror training to come up with all possible battle plans. The only ones springing to mind were dismal at best. They needed backup.


            Silently, Harry waved his wand high in the air to release a vibrant, silvery stag from the tip. He galloped upwards and disappeared through the ceiling.


            “Neat trick,” Cronus commented with a smirk. “Personally, I’d want my Patronus to have a bit more balls. Something enormous and vicious… certainly not a little stag.”


            Harry pointed his wand directly at Cronus’ chest. He was itching to send a few good curses at the wizard but waited. He did not want to be the one to start the fight.


            Ginny let out small grunt as she blocked a spell hurled at her. That was all Harry needed. Rounding on Cronus, he shot a Disarming Charm only to have it deflected. It was his traditional first move, an instinctive and practical way to go. In return, Cronus shot an Entrail-Expelling Curse at him.


            Harry dove out of the way, only to see Ginny struggling with a mob of supporters gaining up on her. Multiple jinxes and curses were flying at her in rapid succession which caused her to put up defensive shields and reflect the spells. A lone Cronus supporter stood out of Ginny’s eyesight and threw a vibrant purple spell in her direction.


            Waving his wand, the ice swan leapt to life and spread its wings. It flew into the line of fire. When the purple jet hit its body, the swan burst into rain.


            Standing up straight, Harry shot a succession of several harmful curses at Cronus. Most were deflected easily. One, however, broke through the barrier. The curse was meant to make the wand arm immobile but, due to the barrier, it only made Cronus fumble for a few seconds.


            “HARRY!”


            While Cronus shook his arm out, Harry turned to Ginny who was being detained by several wizards. Their arms twisted around her midsection and her wand had fallen useless to the ground.


            Raising his wand above his head, he swirled it in a circular motion before letting an orange spark fly out. Fire erupted and slithered towards Cronus’ lackeys rapidly. Ginny let out a squeal as the arms let go of her and she tumbled backwards towards the flames. The fire parted for her body to collide with the tile floor.


            Turning his attention back to Cronus, Harry heard several men and women screaming in pain as the fire coiled around them.


            “Taking quite awhile for the Order and the Aurors to arrive,” Cronus said in an almost bored tone. “I do hope that they hadn’t figured out this was just a distraction from the main event.”


            Harry’s insides froze as his mind wandered to Azkaban. Cronus did not want Harry or Ginny or even Teddy at the moment. He wanted Azkaban Fortress. He wanted to spring his father from the depths of stone and brick hell.


            Raising his wand above his head to send out another Patronus, the Killing Curse hurled towards him. Diving out of the way, he glanced back quickly at Ginny who was controlling the lines of fire he set to life. She was keeping the cronies at bay.


            The furniture rose to the ceiling causing all the plates, food and centerpieces to tumble from the sky. The wedding guests screamed because a good half of them were hiding under the tables. With a wave of Harry’s wand, all the falling debris burst into confetti and trickled down to the ground. 


            Loud pops were sounding from outside of the reception hall. Back-up had arrived and the siege of Azkaban would start to take place. The front door was burst off its hinges and the Order of the Phoenix and Aurors stormed through the entrance.


            Leading the pack was Odin Vidar who immediately hurled curse after curse at Cronus. Harry ran towards the group to get outside. He had to get to Azkaban.


            A hand grabbed his elbow to stop him. Whipping around, Ron stood there with a puzzled look etched on his face. Harry only had to mouth Azkaban before his best mate followed him outside.


            The rushing of Apparation settled but Harry felt nauseous as though it was his first time Apparating. The cold ground of Azkaban Fortress was covered in an array of dead bodies. Limbs twisted out in awkward directions, wands lay useless on the ground. The fortress which once stood tall and menacing on the tiny island was in disarray.


            A large, gaping hole through the side of the building shone brightly. The bricks had made an avalanche into the sea. Black smoke coiled from the building, age-old magic seeping from the foundation at being broken. Above the crumbled brick was a bright green light in the sky. A snake slithered through the clouds escaping the mouth of the skull it was housed in.


            “Bloody hell,” Ron said somewhere behind Harry.


            Moving forward on jelly legs, Harry stepped over dead eyes and pale appendages in the dank Elysian Fields. He stood in the entrance of what had been Azkaban Fortress to see blood embossed on the cracked brick wall.


            Your king is backed into a corner, Mister Potter, the wall read, Checkmate.




Sorry for the lack of updates. I was busy moving into my apartment, working rush weeks at my college bookstore, organzing club rush, attending sorority recruitments for my sorority, and not falling behind in classes so early in the semester. Thank you all for the continued support in my absence of updating. It really motivated me to write snippets anytime I had free time to spare these last few weeks. I apologize for the horrific grammar mistakes in this chapter. I will go back and edit it later but I wanted to give you faithful readers a chapter. All reviews were replied to and I ask you to leave a review for the new chapter. Your reviews were the only thing that kept me writing. :) 


http://www.harrypotterfanfiction.com