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“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! :)

 

 

 

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