Godfathers

Five times Harry was glad Sirius Black was his godfather

1) "It will have a backyard," Harry said to himself over and over, those first few weeks. "And we won't care if weeds grow in it. I'll never weed that garden. Our rooms will be across the hall from each other, so I can shout something to him without getting up, and he won't tell me not to shout either. And we'll have breakfast for dinner, and we'll eat in our pajamas." All this, of course, was only a stand-in for the hopes that were too precious to say out loud, even to himself: and he'll be like a parent, he won't treat me like a burden or a freak, he'll answer me when I talk and he'll care what I'm doing. After his name's cleared I will live with my godfather...

2) The summer after Harry's first year at Hogwarts he had had a good time pretending to threaten the Dursleys with magic, before the letter from the Ministry spoiled his fun. But telling them about Sirius was so much better, because Sirius was real. Sure, he wasn't as dangerous as Harry was letting the Dursleys think; but if the Dursleys crossed the line, if Harry asked to be rescued, then a scene out of the Dursleys' worst nightmares really and truly would descend on 4 Privet Drive. It was the first time Harry had possessed any genuine power against his oldest enemies.

3) At the age of 14, Harry understood for the first time what it was like to be the kind of kid who raced home with a good report card or wrote home after winning a game. The kind of kid who believed, expected even, that they would be praised for excellence.

He dipped his pen back in the ink. "So at that point the Horntail obviously had her eye on me. I could tell by how she was moving her head that she was trying to keep me in sight without taking her claws off the eggs. I thought I had better annoy her just enough: enough to get her mind off the eggs, but not so much that she actually came after me. So I shot up as fast as I could (thank you again for the Firebolt, by the way, it was literally a lifesaver) and I could tell by how her pupils dilated that I really had her now..."

4) That summer night, half the Order of the Phoenix must have come up the stairs to complain about how much noise Harry and Sirius were making. Sirius ignored them, and kept telling Harry stories that made Harry howl with laughter. The stories were mostly about James, although Lily, Remus, and Sirius himself were occasional participants (Harry noticed that Sirius edited Peter Pettigrew out of all recollections, without exception). None of them were about brave or admirable things James had done; Sirius knew Harry had heard enough people speak well of James to know that his father was a good man. No, these were stories like the time James got trapped under the invisibility cloak in the staff room and was forced to witness a romantic interlude between two teachers, or the time he started a food fight that landed over half of Gryffindor house in detention, all to escape having to talk to a girl he'd turned down for a date. They were the kind of thing no one but your father's best friend could (or would) possibly tell you, and they made Harry feel closer to his father than he ever had before.

5) Growing up, Harry had gotten accustomed to the idea that no one wanted him around, which made getting folded into the Weasley clan an experience both confusing and exhilarating. It was great... but it wasn't his.
For every time Ron felt like a shadow next to famous Harry Potter, Harry felt like an afterthought in his adopted family, remembered half a breath later and included out of pity. He knew he didn't have any right to their attention anyway, and that he ought to feel grateful in return, and mostly he did, but...

But the day Sirius fought with Mrs. Weasley over him-actually fought to claim responsibility for him, not just accepting it because he had to or because no one else would-Harry realized clearly that as much as he loved the Weasleys, and they loved him, they weren't his family. He had his own family.

Five times Teddy was glad Harry Potter was his godfather

1) Teddy ran away from home when he was seven, because Andromeda never let him do anything or go anywhere. Ginny found him hiding in her garden and wanted to make him go home right away and apologize, but Harry said you should never send a kid back to a home they didn't want to be in. So Teddy got to stay at Harry's house and have lasagna for dinner.

Later Harry took him for a walk and talked about how being a grown-up meant you worried a lot. The worrying just started creeping up on you a bit more with every year, and pretty soon you worried all the time and that's how you knew you had grown up. And if you were like Andromeda and most of the people you loved were gone and you only had one little kid left for all the worrying to be about, it just about made you sick not to know where he was. Teddy started crying and said he wanted to go home. Harry said he'd already let Andromeda know where Teddy was hours ago and she had said he could stay there overnight, but Teddy still wanted to go home. He and Andromeda were both nicer to each other after that.

2) "I can't believe it," an envious classmate said. "First years never get on the house team. I bet no first year's been on a house team since Harry Potter."

Teddy shrugged, trying to act nonchalant when in actuality he had been dreaming of this moment for years. "Well, who do you think taught me how to fly?"

3) In his teenage years, Teddy began to say "Keep your buttocks on," whenever he meant for someone to be patient. It was a smash hit with his classmates and a source of aggravation for Andromeda, who found it impossible to reprimand him for saying it when she found out the origin. The origin, of course, being Harry's retelling of Teddy's mother's advice to him the first time they had met. The fact that Andromeda, usually very proper, couldn't bring herself to tell him off over it was Teddy's second favorite thing about his new catchphrase. Right after how it made him think of his mom as a pretty cool person.

4) "These are the rules," Teddy told James gravely. "One: don't tell any adult how you got it, but your parents are an exception because they already know. Two: don't ever use it for anything mean. Three: pass it on to someone else before you leave Hogwarts. Agreed?"

James rolled his eyes. "You're being weird, Teddy."

"Do you agree?"

"Fine."

"Good." Teddy pulled out a battered piece of parchment, and said with considerable pride, "My dad helped make this. First tap it with your wand and say, 'I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.'"

5) As a kid Teddy learned about his dad hunting down Harry in the middle of a war to ask Harry to be his godfather. He liked the story, because it made his dad and Harry both sound kind of tough to him. But when he got older, he understood why his father had done it.
Harry had been a big part of Teddy's life since before he was old enough to remember: always around, always involved, always doing fun things and giving fun gifts, and taking Teddy's part so much that Andromeda sometimes got exasperated. It was inevitable that Teddy hero-worshipped him. As he got older and was better able to understand the things Harry said in passing, Teddy realized he probably didn't think any higher of Harry than Harry had thought of his own godfather, Sirius Black. And then it dawned on him that his father knew that.

Teddy's dad had known both Harry and Sirius well. He'd known the effect everything Sirius had done (and everything he hadn't had the chance to do) had had on Harry; known that given the appointment, Harry would prove to be the most devoted godfather the world had seen. Tracking Harry down during the war and telling him he had a godson had been his father's best way of loving and protecting Teddy.

It wasn't as good as having parents. But it was pretty damn close.