Chapter 4 – The New Heartthrob
His foot tapped on the cobblestone beneath his feet. As he stared up at the moon, he knew that the full moon was only a few days away. But it wasn’t the fear of becoming the beast that stirred his very soul, it was the fear of needing to become what he needed to in order to make his father happy.
A blush crept up onto his cheeks as his hair turned a bright red to match. It had been a long time since Teddy had felt his mother’s side of the family rise within him. His mother was so beautiful. It was a shame that he couldn’t go back and see her, see what she was when she was at Hogwarts, but it was hard enough being back where his father was. Even the gurgling fountain wasn’t drowning out his thoughts as it usually did. He occasionally found solace in the courtyard during the darkness where no one would really see him for who he was: a bumbling kid who wanted nothing more than to have his father proud of him. But what was being asked of him was next to impossible. The ‘master plan’ as they called it was to have him take over at the new heartthrob of Hogwarts. He was already on that bandwagon since he had boarded the Hogwarts Express. But what his father and Sirius wanted him to do was next to impossible.
Didn’t they see that?
“They say life is like a song…”
Teddy’s eyes slightly widened as he heard a familiar voice behind him. He didn’t want to look back to see him standing there. Was his hair still the same color as his cheeks? How would he explain that if it was?
“…once you find your rhythm you just can’t stop.” Remus stood a few feet from Teddy, silent for a few moments before speaking once again. “Lily said you didn’t stick around for very long after the incident at the Quiddich Pitch. She was worried about you and said I should check up on you.”
Teddy cleared his throat. “I’m fine.” His hand instinctively slicked back his hair, praying to Merlin it was black once again. “I just…needed some space. I needed to find my rhythm.”
Remus nodded his head, understanding. “Hogwarts can be overwhelming, especially when you transfer in. It doesn’t help that we’ve sent you spiraling downward for this year either. I mean, I honestly didn’t mean to drag you into this. It’s just James…”
Teddy stood up and turned toward Remus. He could see the pain in his father’s eyes. James was truly acting different, at least the way Teddy could remember from the tales that had been told to him. But to see his father so bewildered by the actions of his best friend made him feel heartbroken. He didn’t know what he would do if Mackenzie acted differently or Victoire acted as though she were hit by a bus. Chuckling to himself, he actually could think of that.
“It’s finally good to see a smile on your face.”
A smile faded instantly as his eyes met Remus’s. “I’m sorry. I wasn’t…I wasn’t smiling about James and your predicament. I was just smiling, thinking of my girlfriend back home.”
“Is she nice?” Remus asked curiously.
Teddy shrugged. “She’s of…higher class so to speak. So it’s kinda hard to fit in with her. Her mother is so well-bred although her father is more laid back. So I feel more at home with him than I do her. Sometimes I just don’t feel like I’m good enough for her. I wouldn’t be the one her mother would pick for her.”
“I don’t know what your father has told you about that, but if I was your father I would tell you that she doesn’t deserve you. You are better than you perceive yourself to be.”
His heart stopped. He couldn’t breathe. The blood drained from his face and he quickly sat on the edge of the fountain, trying to regain his sense of being. Teddy knew that Remus was probably staring at him strangely but he didn’t care. Just to hear those words coming from his father’s mouth, even though Remus didn’t know it, meant the entire world to him. His head was spinning and he couldn’t focus. All he could do was hear his father’s words in his head…
You are better than you perceive yourself to be.
“Teddy, are you alright?”
Teddy could only find the strength to nod. He could feel things on his body changing and he just hoped the darkness covered it up. Remus sat beside him but didn’t dare touch him. His body was shaking and he could feel time shifting all around him. Dumbledore was right – there was no turning back now. Whatever he had done was done. He just hoped that he didn’t screw things up for his future or for his father’s future.
“What color is my hair right now?”
“A cross between purple and pink,” Remus said, as if unfazed by the sight. “It’s a rather interesting combination. I’m sure Lily would say it doesn’t do well for your complexion.”
Laughing, Teddy buried his face in his hands. “This experience has been horrible. I can’t cut a break.”
“Welcome to my life.”
There was a long silence and all that was heard was the sounds of the night and the gurgling fountain. He found peace in that moment unlike anything he had before. Lowering his hands, Teddy gazed over at Remus and saw his father sitting there, sulking. Placing a gentle hand on Remus’s shoulder, Teddy smiled and nodded. He found the strength he needed to make things right for his father. If Remus needed him to help knock James for a loop he would do it.
“That master plan you were telling me about?” He waited until Remus nodded before continuing. “What do you want me to do?”
Some girls screamed while others fainted. Teddy leaned against the doorway to the Great Hall and just gazed amongst the students that sat there. Slinging his blazer over his shoulder, he sauntered down the aisle toward the Gryffindor table where Remus and Sirius were seated. He didn’t care about James glaring at him from the front of the room or about half of the girls that were practically falling off of the benches just trying to touch him. If this was what was needed, he would do it.
“Teddy! What’s going on, mate?!” Sirius stepped before him and shook his hand. Whispering, “Great job. Thanks for doing this.”
“You guys want a show or do you want me to wait?”
Sirius looked at him curiously. “What do you have in mind?”
“Watch.” Turning toward the bench to the left side of him, he placed his foot between two Ravenclaws and smiled at them as they peered up at him. “Ladies…”
Remus stood beside Sirius as he watched Teddy. “What is he up to?”
“I have absolutely no idea.”
Pulling his wand from his back pocket, with a simple flick of his wrist, Teddy could feel the music rise within him. Remus had given him the idea the night before with the words he had said as he entered the courtyard. It was the music that would make him Hogwarts newest star.
Without warning his hips began to gyrate as the music swelled within the Great Hall. Boys from each house were tapping their feet as girls gazed at Teddy’s moving body. He danced without stopping, finding the beat stimulating. Suddenly his voice joined in, singing along with the song Mackenzie had found for him in a Muggle book. It wasn’t hard to find a spell that needed to help him. It was finding the courage he needed in order to do this in front of the entire school. But nothing would stop him. It was getting easier and easier as he landed on his knees in front of a Hufflepuff biting her bottom lip. He leaned in close and sung gently in her ear. Her eyes rolled back in her head and she fainted onto the floor.
Others began to join him, dancing on top of the tables as if they knew the dance he was performing. Background singers began join in while Teddy continued to amaze both Sirius and Remus and throw James into a near temper tantrum.
Just as the song was about to stop, Teddy jumped off of the end of the Gryffindor table and landed in front of James with a huge smile on his face. The song ended and James’s face was red with fury. James balled up his fist and sent it flying toward Teddy, having it connect with his nose. Teddy was sent flying backwards and landed on his back with a sickening thud. Blood poured out of his broken nose but the smile was still on his face. Girls from every house flocked to Teddy’s side as James was shoved out of the way.
“Merlin, Teddy, are you alright?”
“Do you want to go to the hospital wing?”
“Can I take you there?”
“Why would he want you to take him there when I can?”
Girls were slapping at each other and pulling on each other’s hair all the while James was taking out his anger on bowls of fruit on the house tables. Teddy groaned while sitting up, paying careful attention to his broken nose. Looking over toward Sirius and Remus, Teddy watched as they nodded their heads in approval.
Step one was complete. Teddy was the new heartthrob of Hogwarts.
“The singing and dancing actually worked?” Mackenzie asked, chuckling to herself. She couldn’t believe it. “I actually thought it was too much for anyone to believe. Are you sure girls actually fainted?”
Teddy nodded, still laughing himself. “I think I counted four on the way out to the hospital wing. I’ve never seen James so red. Sirius and Remus were impressed. What I was impressed with was my vocals. I didn’t think I could sing.”
“Teddy, you should know by now that you can do just about anything.”
His breath caught as Mackenzie touched his hand. There was a surge of energy that seemed to flow through them and they both quickly pulled their hands apart. She stood and moved away from him, standing in the shadows of the tree they were sitting beneath. He watched as her hands shook. Moving toward her, he placed a gentle hand on her shoulder.
Teddy listened to her sob as she peered over her shoulder and tears pooled in her eyes. “Teddy, I…”
“Mackenzie, please don’t cry.” He hated seeing her like this. “It was never my intention to hurt you. I just…”
“You’ve always had a heartthrob status, only you’ve never seen it. Why do you think Victoire wanted to date you? Why do you think all the girls clamored over you at school? You were the popular one, Teddy. You were just too blind to see it.”
“What else was I blind about?”
Sniffling, she pulled away from his gentle touch and began to back away from him. Tears stained her cheeks as he watched her fade into the distance.
“If you have to ask then you’ll never know will you?”
Without another word said, Teddy watched as Mackenzie turned and walked back toward the castle. He was about to call out to her when he heard his name being shouted from the other direction. What else was he blind about? Mackenzie couldn’t like him…could she?
“Teddy, that was bloody perfect!” Sirius shouted, slapping Teddy on the back. “Your musical number rocked the house. James is furious and everyone in Hogwarts is all abuzz about you. You’re a hit! You’re the new heartthrob of Hogwarts.”
“I think we have another problem,” Teddy muttered.
“I think I lost something and I need you to help me find a way to get it back.”
Sirius nodded and smiled. “Whatever you want, Teddy. You say it and it’s yours.”
Teddy took a deep breath and said, “I need help with a girl…”
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