The sun rose in Amersham just like any other day. The Potter Cottage started its day with a maximum occupancy. All the bedrooms had been claimed by their original owners together with the respective spouse. And Ginny couldn’t have asked for more considerate children who insisted they should all be together now that the mystery around Harry’s death was about to be uncovered.
Flory was happy, despite it all. The little house-elf had been used to serve all the Potters and didn’t feel happy at all when each one moved out of the grand house. So she found herself at the kitchen, early in the morning, preparing a banquet for breakfast with everyone’s favourite.
Albus was the first one down. He was surprised to see the dinning room table set for breakfast instead of the kitchen like they usually had. But of course, Albus thought, he had the spouses to account for, that way they wouldn’t all fit in the kitchen.
“Good morning, Flory.” Greeted Albus, smelling the food she was cooking. “It all smells great. Thank you.”
“Everything for the Masters and Mistresses.” Flory responded with a bow.
Soon everyone had gone down to breakfast and Ginny couldn’t shake the smile on her face to see all her children under the same roof again. Even if it were for a couple of days and for a terrible reason.
“I feel like I’m the only one not to be pregnant.” Gwen joked.
“And nor do you intend to be, do you, love?” Albus laughed. “Maya and Eleanor keeps us busy enough.”
“I do feel weird to be pregnant again.” Vic commented. “But now I think I’m really excited to have a new baby at home. Remus won’t be long to be at Hogwarts.”
“Merlin, how is it possible?” James gasped. “He was only born the other day.”
“It’s nice you finally understand me.” Ginny put in. “Hey, Teddy, you’re unlikely quiet.”
Teddy looked up from his bacon and eggs. “I-what? I-I was just thinking.”
“I see that.” Ginny only said before turning her attention to her daughter. “Lily, dear, tell us more about the gallery.”
“Oh, I was supposed to have a meeting on Friday with Mrs. Devan, but I had to postpone it. I’m really excited with it all, though.” Lily shared.
“I’m very proud of you, love.” Evan said, taking her hand and kissing it. “I’ve always told her she was talented, but Lily insisted it was because I had some kind of second agenda.”
“Surely, you don’t.” James hissed.
“Jim, I’m pregnant. For the second time.” Lily told him with a devilish smile. “He has a second agenda.”
James, Albus and Teddy all looked like they wanted to twist poor Evan’s throat while Lizzie, Gwen, Vic and Ginny tried to keep their faces straight despite the urge to laugh out loud. Lily did know how to let her brothers uncomfortable and she quite enjoyed it. All Lily had of nice for the rest of the world didn’t apply to Albus, James and Teddy when she wanted to tease around.
“I love you so much, Lily.” Vic said once she recovered. “Your face was priceless, Teddy.” She then added to her husband before being interrupted by the front door bell. Flory immediately assured them she would go get it.
“Well, I’ll take the opportunity to excuse myself.” James announced. “I do have a game to manage.”
“We’ll be there later.” Ginny promised.
James left the room and right after him Flory entered the dining room with the guest that had rang the bell. The elf looked very upset and not sure of what to do and Ginny soon understood why once she saw who she brought with her.
“How dare you come here?” Teddy spilled, getting up in a sudden movement and keeping the man to go any further. “You aren’t welcomed anymore.”
“I-I-” Dean hesitated, looking behind Teddy and searching Ginny’s eyes that now started to water. “I need to talk with you, Gin. You have to know I had nothing to do with it.”
“Did you really?” Albus hissed. “I wonder from where Peter got the idea he had to ruin our family other than from hearing our father ‘stole’ Mum from you, or whatever.”
“I never-” Dean tried but was interrupted by Ginny’s hand extended. She rose too, never breaking eye contact.
“We brought you and you son close to our family.” Ginny started, her voice cold as ice. “I honestly believed we could be friends. But I can see now how you never really showed regret about Harry’s death. I have no idea what you told Peter and what he had on his mind, but we know that was the start of his hate.”
“Ginny, I never thought- I only- He figured it all out.” Dean tried to explain, but incredibly failed. “He kept it to himself. It was a shock for me as well. In my mind, he was always close to you lot, back at Hogwarts. And now, more recently, because he started seeing Jenny.”
“Well, he lied. Peter was never close to us.” Lily told him. “And we now know he only dated Jenny to be up-to-date with Dad’s business. And now he’s dead.”
“He blamed it on our perfectness.” Vic intervened.
“Kids!” Ginny yelled, interrupting whatever Gwen was going to say next. “Everyone leave, go get ready for the game. NOW!”
They all gave Dean one last look before obeying their mother/mother-in-law and left the room, including Teddy who didn’t go upstairs but remained at the kitchen.
“You may have been surprised. But you do have some fault.” Ginny harshly said to Dean. “From all they have told me, Peter lacked love and couldn’t bare our family’s love towards one another.”
“Gin-” Dean tried again.
“Harry never stole me from you.” She carried on. “You never had me. I’m sorry to say that, but it’s the truth. Now, leave my house and never come back, am I clear?”
Teddy Lupin decided to stay behind at the Potter Cottage when everyone headed out to Chudley to support James. The family decided they should be there for him so the parents were also meeting their kids up at the stadium. Although Victoire insisted she could also stay behind to keep him company, he made sure he would be ok and that he had some things he wanted to look into.
Now the young Auror found himself at his godparents' study. It was weird to be there, sitting behind the desk instead of in front of it. Teddy remembered the night before he went to Hogwarts when Harry had called him inside to pass onto him the Invisibility Coat and the Marauder’s Map. He sighed, before getting to business.
Teddy turned around to the furniture behind the desk and took out Harry’s pensive. He knew that right on the door next to the one he opened he could find all of his godfather’s thoughts and memories. He hesitated but gave into the curiosity, opening the door to find hundreds of glass vials with several memories inside. He noticed how some of them where identified. He grabbed one of the ones with an identification.
“Teddy’s wedding.” Teddy read out loud with a smile before taking another. “Teddy’s first Gryffindor’s game.” And then another. “Dora’s birth.” And that’s when he noticed he had organised his memories by children. Later on he found the ones regarding James, Albus, Lily, Rose and also Ginny. Like… “Wedding night. Ok, there’s one I surely don’t need to see for myself.” Joked Teddy to himself.
Soon he remembered why he was there and so he put all the vials he had taken back to their respective places and shut the door. With a heavy breath, Teddy took a couple of vials from the inside pocket of his jacket and poured it inside the Pensive. Taking another breath, he placed his head inside Peter Thomas’s memories.
And Teddy saw everything from a rather harsh point of view. He felt Peter’s loneliness and anger whenever Dylan talked about some of them. Or how he never really fitted in with them. And finally, he saw the day of James’s Valentine’s Day party. Teddy could see that was the day when Peter promised to hate them.
Teddy was breathing quickly once he came back to the present and to the study. His head hurt a bit and there were a million informations in his head. But in the end, all Teddy wanted was to have Harry back. He wanted it more than to see Peter pay for what he’s done.
“And maybe…” He told to himself, remembering a scene he saw in one of Peter’s memories. He was researching about how he would kill Harry. And now Teddy understood how his choice of weapon was because Harry had escaped the Killing Curse twice.
In one movement, Teddy got on his feet and went to where all of the Potter’s books laid, at the wall on his right in the mini-library that held books from the ceiling to the floor. Teddy narrowed his eyes, searching for something that could help him. He wondered and prayed some wizard or witch had already wondered about the death of magical people by muggle weapons. Surely, if Harry had been killed by the Killing Curse, there wouldn't be much for Teddy to do, but the fact was that it hadn’t been a Curse to kill him.
“Accio!” Teddy pronounced, somehow wishing something would fall into his hands. And indeed, a book fell from the upper shelf right into his hands. Teddy read its title already with a smile on his lips. “Escaping Death by Muggle Threats. This seems alright.”
Teddy sat down at the couch on the other side of the room and began to devour the book on his hands. There must be something he could use, or so he prayed with all of his strengths.
Hours had passed when the man closed the book down with a happiness beyond he could bare. He tried not to be very hopeful, but for the first time in weeks, he saw a light at the end of the tunnel. With a flick of his wand, he put the Pensive back to its place and rushed down the stairs.
“Master Teddy!” Flory said with a tone of surprise.
“Hey, Flory.” Teddy greeted. “If the others come back, tell Mum I went to Hogsmeade and I’ll be back in time for dinner.”
“Ok, Master Teddy!”
Teddy grabbed a hand full of Floo Powder and enchanted loudly his destination. Within a few burning green flames, the Auror found himself in his uncle George, Ron and Lee’s store where he knew there was a secrete passage to Hogwarts. He couldn’t wait for someone to open the gates for him.
“Teddy?” Lee called, leaving the office in the back of the store. “What are you doing here?”
“You didn’t go to the game, uncle Lee?” Teddy wondered, to which he shook his head in denial. “Well, I must talk with Headmistress McGonagall. I’m sure you don’t mind me using the passage.”
“Hm, sure.” Lee agreed. “It seems important.”
“You have no idea.” Teddy smiled before jumping inside the tunnel that would lead him to the school.
He felt a little bit of an intruder to simply barge into the castle like that. But Teddy was too excited for manners. Surely, Minerva would understand. And it’s not like he was a nobody, he was an Auror, after all.
“Dad?” A little girl yelled across the corridor, her cheeks starting to redden, but with a smile nevertheless. “What are you doing here?”
“Dora!” Teddy called out in surprise, opening his arms for a hug. Sometimes he forgot he already had a daughter in Hogwarts. Where had time gone by? “Darling, Daddy is here to talk with the Headmistress.”
“Merlin, did I do something?” Dora immediately asked in panic.
“No, I- wait a bit, missy.” Teddy interrupted himself. “Why are you worried? And where’s Nikki?”
“I’m not worried.” Dora replied back. “There is absolutely no reason for me to be worried. Nikki is at the Gryffindor’s Tower, I was on my way there.”
“Hm, ok.” Teddy decided it was not the time to scold his daughter. “I should go, Dora. Is everything ok, then?”
“Yes, Papa.” Dora hugged him tight. “I miss everyone. How’s Nana Potter?”
“Hanging in there.” He told her. It wouldn't add to nothing if he told her that the killer had been caught and it was her aunt Jenny’s boyfriend. Merlin knows his daughter has never read the Prophet in her life. “I love you, princess.”
“Love you too, Dad.” Dora kissed his cheek and turned around to where Teddy knew for a fact not to be the way to the Gryffindor’s Tower. Oh, well, that’s a conversation for some other day.
Teddy tried not to be taken back by how much he missed his daughter and proceeded to where Minerva’s office were. And the Headmistress was surprised, to say the least, when she answered the door to find her old student.
“Mr. Lupin! How did you get in?” Minerva asked but welcoming him inside nonetheless.
“I’m sorry to bother you, Minerva.” Teddy apologised, dodging the question. “But I must talk to you, Professor Dumbledore and Professor Snape.”
“Do you really?” Minerva looked at him above her glasses with an astute expression. “Well, would you like some tea?” Teddy nodded and followed her up to her desk. Professor Dumbledore’s painting hang just above her desk and Professor Snape’s painting wasn’t too far. “So?”
“Hm, it’s a bit complicated and probably impossible, but I had to try.” Teddy began. “Hello, professor Dumbledore, professor Snape.” He added to the paintings that were very keen to listen what he had to say.
“Say it already, Lupin!” Snape urged him.
“The thing is: we caught Harry’s murderer.” He revealed, making Minerva gasp. “It was Peter Thomas, Dean Thomas’s son.”
“That’s surprising to say the least.” Dumbledore commented.
“It was a hate crime, you see. And I just saw his memories. It all revolves around the fact he wasn’t very loved and envied my family for it. The thing is that if somehow I could changed it, maybe we could have Harry back.”
“And why do you suggest that, Mr. Lupin?” Minerva questioned.
“Because Harry was killed by a muggle weapon and not a Killing Curse.” Teddy explained. “It’s reversible. Or so I hope.” Teddy took the book he had read from his jacket pocket and handed to the older woman.
“How do you intend to change the past, may I ask?” Dumbledore asked the Auror.
“Well, that’s why I’m here.” Teddy admitted. “Maybe you could think of something. I don’t know. Something I could do, anything. I beg of you to help me.” He then turned to Snape. “You’re one the greatest minds of Potions of the last century, surely there must be something. I know you hated Dad, but I can’t shake the feeling my unborn child won’t need to never know his grandfather.”
“I didn't hate him." Snape immediately denied, receiving a entertained look from Dumbledore's painting. "It’s funny how you consider him a true father.” Snape commented.
“That’s because he was-is.” Teddy told him. “A very good one and he never let me forget about my real parents either. But the fact is that Harry and Ginny raised me and I love them with my whole heart. My whole world collapsed when I saw his bod-”
“We can imagine.” Minerva offered him a cup of tea. “Is there something to be done, Severus?”
The most never-ending minute had gone by before Teddy heard the words he had been waiting to hear. “There is. But it’s dangerous and risky and it may not work with just you.” Snape finally said.
“Oh, thank Merlin!” Teddy couldn’t help the tears leaving his eyes.
“If Peter really hated the Potters,” Dumbledore intervened. “It would take a lot more than just you to mend it. James, Albus and Lily are important too.”
“Lily is pregnant.” Teddy told them. “I can’t risk her.”
“Well, you must.” Dumbledore simply said. “Otherwise, the whole idea is already a failure.”
“Fine,” Teddy decided with a sigh. “What am I to do?”
Dean Thomas never thought he would need to visit Azkaban one day. But after leaving his son’s lawyer’s office, he believed he would probably visit it quite a few times. Lysander Scamander had accepted the case, specially because he found out it had been Peter himself to hire him to defend X. O. Despite his competence as an attorney, Peter had confessed, there wasn't much he could do now. And even if he hadn’t, the prosecutors’ evidence was very well-based and hard to doubt.
The man walked around London without knowing what to think. Lysander had showed him all the Auror Office had recollected against his son and even he had to admit Peter was guilty. The question pending on his mind was if he had or not something to do with it, even if unconsciously. How did something so big missed him?
Dean looked at his watch and sighed to realise he should go to the Ministry where he had been summoned for interrogation and then he would visit Peter who was being held there, waiting for trial. He couldn’t shake the feeling everyone stared at him on the street, despite still being in muggle London. But it was confirmed everyone was indeed staring at him once he steeped inside the Ministry. News travel fast.
After registering, he went up to where he knew the Auror Office located. And the killing silence that followed when he steeped inside almost killed him. Clearly he could understand why they all looked at him fit for murder, but it didn’t mean he was ok with it. Susan saw him before Seamus and the look on his former dorm mate’s face made his heart break again.
“Mr. Thomas.” John politely called him, walking to his side. “Auror Moore and Auror Porter are expecting you. Please come with me.”
“Have you seen Teddy?” Dean heard Tobias ask Susan in the distance. “Kristen and Matt requested our back-up.”
“He’s been talking with Ben for God knows how long.” Seamus informed him instead.
Dean followed the young Auror with his head down. He didn’t need to see anyone’s accusatory look. The man had never been so inside the Auror Office. The only place he knew there was Harry’s office, which he now assumed was Bernard’s. They arrived at a metal door at the end of a hall with several doors. John led him inside another room once they passed through the door and Dean found himself in a questioning room. Just like the movies. But there weren’t normal detectives sat at the table. No, they were Aurors.
“Good morning, Mr. Thomas.” Kelly first greeted. “Please do sit down.”
The sound of the door closing behind him was deafening. He started to wonder if he wasn’t a criminal just for being inside that room, trapped with two other Aurors. Although Dean knew Kelly and Wallace from the family gatherings at the Burrow and such, he barely could think they would be nice with him.
“Morning, hm, Auror Porter, Auror Moore.” Greeted Dean. He figured first names weren’t in order.
“First of all, Mr. Thomas, where were you in the afternoon of 13th of September?” Wallace started, no foreplay whatsoever.
The interrogation lasted 2 hours and when Dean finally was allowed to leave, his head weighted a ton. They said they would keep in touch and nicely asked him not to leave the country.
About half the time he was inside, he was asked about Peter’s childhood. Dean figured they were trying to create a profile for Peter, understanding what took the boy to murder Harry. Peter murdered Harry. It still didn’t sound right in Dean’s ears.
Dean told all about going to America, how Peter lost his mother to childbirth, explained how his maternal grandparents weren’t very warm and quite rude. He also informed that he only took so long to go back to England because of his job and how Peter never really had many friends because Dean decided to homeschool him since he had greatest difficulties to manage his magic around muggles.
Peter had never told him he didn’t have friends in Hogwarts. He always told him so much about Dylan, Liam and Jessica. From what Kelly and Wallace informed him, his friendship with Dylan didn't become very tight after their first year and Liam and Jessica were Dylan’s friends, not Peter’s. Why did Peter never manage to have friends? Was it because he didn’t know how? Had Dean done something wrong?
Suddenly, Dean’s chest became heavier. What must Sky be thinking of him? How did he fail so much?
John Finnigan was now leading him through the Ministry, taking him where Peter was being held until his trial. It wasn’t a very pleasant place, but Dean surely thought it would probably be a hundred times worse once he’s moved into Azkaban.
“Poor Jenny is coming in later for questioning.” John finally talked with Dean. He hadn’t exchanged one word ever since he greeted Dean when the man first arrived.
“I can’t tell you how sorry I am.” Dean tried to apologised.
“No, you can’t.” John coldly replied. “Jenny and uncle Harry didn’t deserve it. Any of it.”
John talked to the prison guard and pointed to where Dean should wait for his son. It was a large room with about six tables where he figured it was where the prisoners could see their visitors. Peter showed up soon enough, handcuffed and looking like he hadn’t slept in days. Which was probably right.
“Dad.” He enchanted with a fading smile before hugging Dean tight. The man looked into his son’s eyes for some time. “You seem as if you’re looking for your son.”
Dean sighed and sat down. Peter did the same. “I can’t accept this is my son.”
“Have they questioned you?” He wanted to know.
“Yes, and it wasn’t easy being there and realising I’m most likely the blame for this.” Dean said to him. “How could you, Peter? Why?”
“Why, Dad?” Peter laughed. “Why not? Why could Harry Potter and his beloved family have so much happiness when others couldn’t?”
“Others have it too.” Dean quietly told him. “You just didn't want to see. And they have every right of happiness as everyone else. And you took that from the Potters.”
“Oh, just because he’s such a hero? I don’t buy it.” Peter hissed.
“Surely because you know all about it." The man ironically hissed. "I didn’t know you were there too.” Dean looked at him with anger. “From all I could recollect from today, you’re only angry because you can’t make friends, you can’t love. You won’t admit to blame yourself when it’s so much easier to blame the Potters for it. And now you've ruined everything.” Dean rose to his feet. “You disappointed me in a way I never thought possible.”
“Even you?” Peter joked. “You thought you tasted their family but they never will accept you like one of them.”
“Surely I can’t blame them, can I?” Dean told him, his eyes narrowed. “Not when my own son killed one of them.”
After one last look in his son’s eyes, Dean left him there. He barely thanked John who was waiting for him outside and ran out of that building. He needed some fresh air. Dean wasn’t believing the words that left his son’s mouth. Up until that moment, Dean was expecting to wake up of that terrible nightmare. But now he couldn't deny the reality anymore.
What kind of monster had he created, for Merlin’s sake?
“Can we finally be told why are we here?” James finally broke the silence. He looked around the room and couldn’t understand why in the world Teddy had reunited them at McGonagall’s office in Hogwarts.
James sat between his siblings while Teddy stood up next to Professor McGonagall who sat behind her desk. Opposite to the Potters, Audrey Weasley and Professor Higgs also sat down together with Bernard Bennett, all of which only Ben knew what they were there about other than the Headmistress and Teddy.
"Guys, hm, we sort of have a plan to bring Dad back." Teddy began, throwing it out there the real purpose for their meeting other than to drink tea. "It's probably a long shot and it is dangerous, but it's something."
"Are you serious, Blue?" Lily asked him. "Because I'll do whatever it takes."
"How?" Albus wondered.
"Severus is familiar with a potion that may take you to the past and then back to the present." Minerva started to explain. "And that's why we brought you both here, Professor Higgs, Mrs. Weasley.”
"It's an extremely complex potion, not every Master can produce it." Snape put it. "And if not correctly browed, it may take the person who drinks it to death."
"That's the first danger." Teddy carried on.
"I'm sure if there is someone who can do it is aunt Audrey." James guaranteed. "But what good would we do to go to the past?"
"Teddy and I have been watching Peter's memories for the whole day." Ben intervened. "And Teddy has talked with Tristian and he also agrees that his behaviour comes from a series of traumas in his childhood. Not that you'll be able to fix all of them, but we certainly picked up a few moments when Peter completely developed his hatred for you."
"And do we all need to go?" Albus wondered. "We can't risk Lily with her pregnant."
"I'm afraid it is necessary." Dumbledore told him. "One of Peter's triggers was to be 'mistreated' by Mrs. Higgs."
"Are you sure?" Professor Higgs stressed out. "That's my grandson."
"Another reason for you to make the potion right." Minerva replied.
"Don't worry, Mr. Higgs, I'll be fine and so will the baby." Lily guaranteed. "And there isn't enough risk for me to give up on Dad."
"And why do you think we will be successful? What about not being able to basket death or whatever?" James questioned.
"Dad died by a muggle weapon." Teddy explained. "If we can make Peter not hate us, which is the second part of the planning, he'll never have to pull the trigger, therefore, Dad never took the bullet and never bleed to death. It's not a Killing Curse."
"And how's that different?" Albus insisted.
Teddy took out a book from his pocket and placed it on the table. The book was almost three bibles long and seemed very old.
"The explanation is in there." Teddy informed him. "Be my guest to read it. To be honest, I didn't understand the mechanisms very well. Maybe aunt Hermione would've have. But we mustn't involve more people than we should."
"And why can't Mum be here?" Lily asked too.
"We thought better not to cause more trouble to Ginny." Ben answered his goddaughter. "She's been through enough."
"Fine, so what's the deal now?" James finally inquired.
"Aunt Audrey and Professor Higgs will take Professor Snape's portrait to the dungeons and together will bring the said potion to life, enough to take and bring back all four of us." Teddy began to explain. "While Headmistress McGonagall so nicely offered her office for us to plan our plan of action for when we do get to the past."
"There are strict rules you must follow when you are there." Dumbledore carried on. "And certain things you'll have to live with."
"As so?" Lily pressed him.
"If you are successful, and I don't see why you wouldn't be, being your father who he was, only the four of you will remember the other past. You'll be the only ones to know that Harry died once or everyone's suffering and that Peter wanted to harm you one day. When you come back, Harry will be back and no one involved in someway will remember anything Harry related from the previous weeks ever since he was supposed to be murdered."
"Hm, I- hm, what?" James tried to process but failed miserably.
"It means they won't remember anything from these past of weeks of grief." Teddy explained it again. "But everything else they will. For example, Dom will remember telling you about being pregnant."
"What about my exposition?" Lily wondered. "I only contacted the gallery owner because Dad died."
"That won't be a problem because you'll be going along, Mrs. Higgs." Dumbledore assured her with a warm smile. "Don't worry about that."
"I wish you could call me Lily, Professor." The young woman smiled too.
"If that's what you wish, Lily." The old man gave in.
"Do you really think it can work?" James asked once again. "Merlin knows I'd do anything to have Dad back."
"Dad has done more impossible things than we are proposing to do." Teddy said, walking towards his godsiblings with a smile. He kneeled in front of Lily. "And if there's one family that can pull this out, that's us."
"Of course we can." Albus assured. "Let's get our father back, then!"
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