A/N: Continual thanks to my betas, LadyParongsny and ambriabeal for helping me pick apart this little story, and to Colubrina who alpha read every chapter, even after she essentially refused to forgive me after chapter four (well deserved; I eventually expect retribution), and thanks to all you wonderful readers for helping to celebrate my birthday (tomorrow!) by donating your hearts, souls, and tears—they were delicious.
"This means I'll know him or her when I see them, doesn't it?"
Teddy stared at his face in the mirror with hope in his currently green eyes. Green because Harry was standing behind him, and Teddy had yet to be able to control his morphing abilities when around other people. His hair was black as night, and he looked more like Harry's son than the baby in the other room did.
While Teddy grinned happily, Harry was frowning. His hands were still shaking.
The werewolves were granted rights thanks to Hermione and Neville, and after the celebration, Harry and Teddy had left the Leaky Cauldron, bidding their friends and family goodnight. Harry should have been faster, should have known that someone out there would be angry about what had happened that day in the Wizengamot. Teddy was almost just as famous as Harry had been as a child, though much better protected. Still, the offspring of a werewolf was the perfect target for a message to be sent by people who didn't want to see equal rights given to creatures.
Harry had yanked Teddy into his arms protectively, just as the curse flew at them. It missed Teddy's chest—the intended target—but scraped the side of his cheek in the process. Nothing fatal—at least for Teddy; the attacker couldn't say the same once the fight ended—but the scar was permanent.
Harry saw the mark as a reminder that, despite the war being long over, he still had people he couldn't always protect. As a new father, it terrified him. Teddy, however, saw the mark as something he'd been wanting since he could remember: a guide to his soulmate.
"Your mum was my soulmate," Charlie had told him many times, sharing scars and blemishes and stories of written letters and pranks that happened long ago. Teddy could remember placing his small hand over the scar over Charlie's heart. "The last one."
"Did you love her?"
Charlie smiled. "She was my best friend."
"What about my dad?"
"He had his own soulmate out there . . . somewhere. I don't know who they were. But he loved your mum. Hearts and souls are different. A soulmate can be someone you grow up to marry, like your grandparents, or they can be someone you just love; a best friend, like your mum and me."
"I'll be like you and Daphne," Teddy said excitedly. "When I see someone with my soul scar, I'll know them right away. And then I'll take care of them forever, like you do with Daphne. Like Grandma and Grandpa did. Like aunt Hermione and Draco, Uncle Ron and Sue, and—"
Harry sighed softly and hugged Teddy tightly from behind. "I hope you get the best soulmate ever, Ted. No one deserves it more than you."
He didn't say so out loud, but Teddy quite agreed.
When they arrived at the Burrow for the family dinner, Teddy rushed into the house. "Where's Vic? Granny Molly, where's Victoire!?"
"Don't run in the house, Teddy . . . Teddy? What's that on your face? Harry!"
"We had an accident after the Wizengamot session, Molly. He's fine. It's all taken care of," Harry assured her, holding out baby James as a distraction, grinning when the older witch squealed in delight at the prospect of holding the new baby Potter.
Teddy ran headlong into Victoire, knocking her to the ground. "Ow! Teddy!" she groaned at the impact, rubbing her head. "What're you running for?" He pushed her a bit, tilting her head to the side as she objected, tugging at his hair with a laugh, thinking that they were playing. When a deep frown came over him, Victoire stopped laughing. "What's wrong?"
He sighed sadly and muttered, "You're not it."
"And what's rule number one?" Andromeda asked her grandson as they stepped out of the Floo into the hallway of St. Mungo's maternity ward.
"Pick a colour," Teddy replied. When his grandmother gave him a look, he winced. "Oh, wait, that's Muggle rules. Umm . . . stay calm and don't cause a scene?"
She nodded, smiled, and then took his hand in hers, leading the boy down the long corridor where a group of friends and family were gathered, overflowing out of the doorway of a room at the end. Catching sight of her nephew and his wife, Andromeda offered a polite smile. "Hello, Hermione. Draco."
Hermione turned and smiled, one hand resting on her large stomach. "Oh, Andromeda, they'll be so glad to see you and Teddy."
"What've they named him?"
"Albus Severus," Draco said, snorting as he tried to contain his laughter even as his wife pinched his arm.
Teddy slipped past the grownups, squeezing himself into the room, his heart racing at the prospect of meeting someone new, someone who could possibly, maybe, potentially be . . . "He's not it," Teddy said, his shoulders slumping forward as he locked his gaze on the small, black-haired child in his godfather's arms.
"Are you sure?" Harry asked Daphne.
She looked concerned, reaching up to touch the lightning bolt soul scar on her forehead. "It'll be different, I know it will," she said softly. "Still . . . I spent my whole childhood being terrified of this thing and what it meant. I didn't want that for our kids, but—"
"It's different," Harry agreed. "Do you want me to let him in?"
Daphne shook her head. "I'm still tired."
Kissing her forehead, Harry smiled once more at his wife before stepping out of the room with the bundle in his arms. Their family and friends were in a room down the hall, but Hermione stood outside with Teddy, waiting as instructed. The boy nervously toed the floor with his beat up trainers, relaxing only when Hermione squeezed his shoulder.
Harry smiled down at his godson. "Teddy," he said as he knelt down, "I want you to meet Lily."
Peering carefully into the pink bundle, Teddy chewed on his bottom lip until he saw it: a soul scar on the newborn's cheek that matched his own. His nervous expression split into a wide, happy grin, and he looked up at Harry and promised, "I'll take care of her."
"Go away, Teddy!"
"Lily, I—Ah!" He ducked when a rock was thrown at his head. His blue eyes widened in shock as the little witch stormed away from him, running into Malfoy Manor where the family had agreed to meet up after putting all the other kids on the train. "What did I do?"
Draco put a hand on his cousin's shoulder. "I'll give you a hint: she's a pretty blonde that's on her way to Hogwarts right now."
Teddy frowned. "Vic? Lily's upset because Victoire is gone? She doesn't even like Vic —Oooh!"
"James told us he caught you two snogging," Hermione said, flicking Teddy's ear from behind. "Add that to the fact that she's heartbroken over you leaving for Egypt—"
"That's where my apprenticeship is," Teddy defended. "I . . . it's a really good opportunity for me. Bill and Angelina both said—"
"It is," Hermione said with a soft smile. "Lily's still young and doesn't understand. Add that to the fact that she thinks she's in love with you and . . . well . . ."
"She's young," Draco echoed his wife. "Plus, she's been on a soulmate kick lately, asking a lot of questions about what it meant for us. The fact that her parents are soulmates has kind of put fairytale dreams in her head."
"Charlie and my mum were just friends. I . . . I didn't know," Teddy said with a sigh and ran his hands through his turquoise hair. "Should I go and talk to her? Tell her that we're only friends?" At both Draco and Hermione's incredulous looks, Teddy groaned. "She'll throw more things at my head; got it."
"My husband is the most famous Seeker in the world," Pansy argued, glaring at the redhead.
"Then let him give her tips on how to fly. She's a chaser, for one," Ginny retorted, "a position I played professionally, and she's my niece!"
"She's my blood! And in my former House!"
"You didn't even play Quidditch for Slytherin!"
Lily sighed at her aunts as she hovered on her broom. Her Quidditch robes were well worn and dirty from the last match of the year. Losing the Cup for her House had riled her up to the point of asking for help from her family. Both Ginny and Pansy jumped at the chance, but they'd barely stepped foot onto the grass outside Potter Manor before descending into a typical fight. "I'm going to go inside until you're done," Lily announced, slipping off her broom, the shouting witches not even noticing.
"How bad?" Harry asked with a smirk as his daughter strolled into the kitchen and plopped onto a chair at the counter. He reached into the cooling cabinet, retrieving a butterbeer and handing it to her. Lily just gave him a look, and he laughed. "I've got something that might cheer you up."
Her eyes brightened and she reached up, snagging the letter in her father's hands with Seeker-like reflexes. Teddy's familiar handwriting popped out on the page. He'd spent two years in Egypt learning to be a Curse-Breaker before a cave-in that cost the life of one of his friends had him reconsidering his career options. It didn't help that he and Victoire broke up early into her seventh year at Hogwarts. Teddy stayed away from Britain, travelling between there and Romania—where he'd accepted an internship working alongside Charlie.
Sorry I couldn't come home to see you off the train this year. Charlie and I have been working hard with a pair of Chinese Fireballs that were used in an illegal fighting ring. Both dragons were cursed during their training, so I actually get to use some of what I learned in Egypt. Isn't that awesome? I miss you. I want to bring you to Romania soon and show you around. You'd love it here. Sorry about the injuries I got recently, by the way. I hope they didn't last long or embarrass you. They were pretty bad for me, actually. In fact, I had to be sent out of country to see a specialist since our Healers here aren't familiar with Metamorphmagus physiology. Luckily, the people at St. Mungo's know what they're doing and—
Lily looks up, blue eyes wide as she stared at her father, gasping. "St. Mungo's!?"
Harry grinned and gestured over her shoulder.
Lily spun around and excitement filled her at the sight of Teddy standing behind her, his leg in a cast.
"Wow," he said, staring at her in shock. Had she always been that beautiful? "You . . . has it really been that long? You look so—"
"Teddy!" she screamed and flung herself into his arms.
The wizard felt his cheeks heat up at the contact, and he glanced up at Harry, who sighed dramatically before giving him a look that appeared equal parts "stern father" and "approving godfather" before leaving the room. Feeling somewhat mollified, Teddy relaxed and hugged Lily closer.
Have a great game.
I'm going to have an amazing game. We're going to slaughter Hufflepuff.
Teddy laughed at the note on his arm and finished dressing for work. There was a lot to do around the dragon reserve, and he was desperate to get ahead of his tasks. He'd promised Lily a summer-long holiday in Romania once she graduated; a promise that had taken pleading with Harry and Daphne with assurances that their daughter wouldn't come home either permanently injured by a dragon, or pregnant.
While Teddy certainly wasn't ready for that step, the ring he kept on him at all times was burning a hole in the pocket of his robes.
The grin on his face gave him away and his workmates chuckled at his expense, Charlie included. "Merlin, you look like your mum when you're in love," he said. "I'll let you pensieve a memory of mine so you can see for yourself. She was stupid over your dad. It was hilarious."
"You're all just jealous because the prettiest girl in the world loves me," Teddy said. Considering his first and only other girlfriend had been part veela, his opinion on beauty was something people took as fact. He smirked at everyone except Charlie, who was already taking down the protective wards around the pen where they kept a group of orphaned Hungarian Horntails.
"Now remember," Charlie began, "just because they're babies, doesn't mean—Ted?"
"Yeah?" Teddy glanced up at his name to see the colour draining from Charlie's face. "What?"
Teddy quickly conjured a mirror and panicked when he looked at his reflection. A thick scar was rapidly growing diagonally from the top of his jaw and down his throat. Eyes wide and hands clenched tightly, he looked up at Charlie once before touching his wand to the mirror in his hand.
Harry and Hermione stormed through the gates of Hogwarts with ease.
They'd been having a perfectly pleasant afternoon at work when the cat Patronus flew through Harry's office and stopped, sitting down on top of a pile of papers that Hermione was looking over to say, "Potter, you're needed at Hogwarts immediately. Lily has been injured."
They rushed through their old familiar stomping ground to find Neville, Luna, and Theo—in addition to the entire Slytherin Quidditch team—standing outside the infirmary. "What happened?" Harry demanded.
Theo and Neville both looked enraged, so Luna stepped forward. "Lily and another girl got into a duel before the match and Lily was hit with a Slicing Hex that—"
"She's fine," Neville quickly assured his friend. "She got to the Hospital Wing in time, the other student has been suspended pending an investigation, but Lily's going to make a full recovery."
Harry leaned against Hermione in relief. "I need to send word to Daphne. She's in Italy visiting the Zabinis with Astoria and Ginny."
"Might want to get word to Andromeda as well," Theo insisted.
Harry blinked. "Why?"
The doors opened and Minerva stepped out with a heavy sigh. "Because, Potter, your godson used an illegal International Portkey to get to Scotland, and then Apparated through Hogwarts security wards. They're broken, for the record. He, however, is inside; magically exhausted."
Shocked at the news, Harry made his way into the hospital wing to find Madam Pomfrey hovering over a bed in the corner, where Teddy was wrapped protectively around his daughter, both with matching—but fading—scars on their necks.
The sisters sat uncomfortably beside one another.
"Lovely wedding," Narcissa said. "I've always loved Daphne's personal style. I'm sure Lily will make a beautiful bride." The guests were gathered and merely waiting now. Slytherins, Gryffindors, Hufflepuffs, and Ravenclaws. Malfoys and Weasleys. Muggle-borns, half-bloods, creatures, and purebloods all sitting together. At the front of the aisle stood the groom, wearing what looked to be Muggle jeans and a tuxedo coat. His hair was purple to match the wedding colours. His Muggle trainers were some ungodly shade of orange.
"Your grandson is, as always, very . . . festive," Narcissa said thoughtfully, choosing her words carefully. "It is his day, of course, but . . . couldn't you have prompted him to be a little bit more . . . appropriate, given the occasion?"
Andromeda turned and smiled at her sister. "Perhaps," she said. "Is that Scorpius snogging the Potter boy near the cake?"
Narcissa's eyes widened in horror, and she spun in her seat to glare across the room just as the music began to play. Andromeda's soft chuckling could barely be heard as Lily's elder brothers, followed by Scorpius, walked the bridesmaids down the aisle. "You're not funny," Narcissa whispered to her sister.
"Agree to disagree."
When the bride made it to her groom, Harry kissed her cheek and squeezed Teddy's hand.
Teddy reached out and brushed the pad of his thumb over her cheek, where their first soul scar rested. "I'll take care of her," he vowed to his godfather.
Lily snorted. "You've got your work cut out for you."