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“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. :)

 

 

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