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?”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.
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.
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.
“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?”
“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. :)
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