Title: The Disorder of the Phoenix

Category: Books » Harry Potter

Author: JacobApples

Language: English, Rating: Rated: T

Genre: General

Published: 01-25-18, Updated: 05-31-18

Chapters: 27, Words: 104,285

Chapter 1: Chapter 1

Disclaimer: JKR owns her creations.

Summary: Seven years after defeating Voldemort, Harry Potter has moved to the United States to teach DADA at Ilvermorny, taking his godson, Teddy Lupin and Teddy's grandmother, Andromeda Tonks with him. What will happen when Fawkes the Phoenix pulls the happy family back in time for a better future? Set before the breakout from Azkaban in book five, Order of the Phoenix. No time paradox. Edward Lupin -aka Teddy Potter is seven years old.

AN: Reboot of my other fanfiction that got out of hand. I will likely finish this fanfiction in the fifth book (I have a plot this time). I live near Ilvermorny on Lake Pontoosuc in real life and go to Salem State University a.k.a. Witch City. I also have dyslexia, therefore, there will be grammar and spelling mistakes.

BETA: DarkSuspense, endless thanks! Chapters up to chapter 15 will be reposted.

Pairings: Harry Potter (age 24) and Nymphadora Tonks (age 22). Andromeda (age 49) and Ted Tonks (age 43).

I work for reviews please :D

Chapter 1

Pontoosuc Lake was about a mile by a mile. Set in a valley in Berkshire County, Harry Potter could see the lake like a silver disk from his classroom in Ilvermorny Castle. The lakefront house he had purchased for himself and his godson, Teddy was Harry's idea of home. None of the houses in their neighborhood were identical and the view of the water, mountains, and state forests was far from the landscape of Surry. The house was two stories, three bedrooms, the kitchen/dining room/living room was the safest and warmest place Harry had ever known. He adored not having to live in Ilvermorny like most of the other professors, having road his broom to work.

"Daddy!" Teddy screeched running towards him. Harry smiled and opened his arms to scoop the boy up.

"What trouble have you found?" Harry asked the boy, whose hair had turned a startling shade of reddish-orange.

Teddy tucked his head against his godfather's shoulder.

"TED LUPIN POTTER!" Dromeda's voice called from upstairs.

Harry rubbed his son's back in soothing motions. It still amazed Harry how fast Teddy was growing. The baby he had brought to this new world, who couldn't sit up on his own had turned into a boy that ran everywhere and had an insatiable curiosity. His curiosity may have been partially Harry's doing, as his number one house rule was always, always, ask questions.

Dromeda came down the stairs in a fury that reminded Harry a bit of her elder sister Bellatrix as she pointed a finger at both of them. "Put that little boy down, he's in trouble."

Harry did his best to swallow his smile and did as he was told. When it came to Teddy, there was very little that could make him angry, the child had saved his sanity after the war. Andromeda and Teddy were the sole reasons Harry had survived the death toll and destruction of the war. In fact, the only thing that could anger Harry in recent years were people's safety. Harry could not abide life-risking behavior, the irony of which did not escape him, but as he told Dromeda there is no reason for children put themselves in danger if adults do their part in their communities and society.

"What did he do?" Harry asked, mouth twitching.

"He drew on the walls," Dromeda said, glaring at him not to laugh.

Harry gave her innocent eyes, "Which walls?"

She glared at him harder, "In the hallway."

Harry pulled the sponge from the sink, a handful of paper towels and some soap. He handed the load to the small boy. "Go clean up best you can."

"But Daddy-" Teddy began.

Harry shook his head and kneeled to make eye-contact, "You made the mess, you clean the mess. It was rude of you to draw on the walls without asking Grandmama or me. Had you asked I would have let you paint on the walls in my bedroom, but you didn't ask so you need to be respectful and go clean up."

Teddy stared at his toes and dragged his feet towards the steps.

"What do we say?" Harry called after him.

"Sorry," he muttered, tone sullen.

"Teddy," Harry chided.

Teddy took a deep breath and looked up at his grandmother. "Sorry, Grandmama, for drawing on the walls."

Dromeda, hands still on hips, folded at the big green puppy-dog eyes he gave her. She sighed, "I will accept your apology after you clean the walls."

Teddy gave her a shy smile, hair turning back to his usual messy black and hurried up the stairs.

Dromeda sighed again, taking a seat at the table that faced out onto the lake. "I'm growing soft, I'd have grounded Nymphadora for a month for that one."

"He's only seven," Harry reminded her, pulling out leftovers from the fridge to warm up for dinner.

"Seven is old enough to know better," Dromeda said.

Harry shrugged. When he was seven he had been cooking meals while his cousin smashed his toys in the living room. Teddy had never had a hand raised to him and had never been as ungrateful and spoiled as Dudley, so as far as Harry was concerned, they were in the clear. Teddy smiled and laughed more than he cried or whined, their household was a happy one. Besides Harry was teaching eleven to eighteen-year-olds; he only wished Teddy could stay seven forever.

"And those big green eyes, he knows, knows that no one can say no to them," Dromeda added with a huff, accepting the tea Harry gave her in her rose-porcelain teacup. Tea was the one thing Dromeda seemed to be unable to reconcile with America. So much so that she refused to go out to breakfast, seeing as no American restaurant in Berkshire County knew how to serve tea. Lipton tea is an affront to the human race, she said anytime Harry jokingly suggested they go out for breakfast. Harry would argue that there weren't many options for restaurants in the area as a whole. Harry preferred cooking and Dromeda was no slouch in the kitchen either. If they wanted to go out to eat, Harry liked to make a trip to the magical communities in Salem, Massachusetts or New York City.

"My big green eyes never got me far," Harry said.

Dromeda scoffed, "I think your many, many admirers would argue differently. Merlin, Harry, if I weren't old enough to be your mother I might be interested."

It was Harry's turn to scoff, "You are about as likely as I am to go out on a date. Anyways those girls-"

"And lads," Dromeda interjected with a smile.

"-are only interested in my fame."

"You underrate yourself and overstatement your fame. Americans don't all recognize you, the No-Majs have no idea and there is a line, my dear, maybe rows of lines ready to fall at your feet."

"I'm scrawny, Dromeda," he said turning his back to get the silverware to set the table.

"You're lean, and since I got the nutrition potions in you, you reclaimed those inches. A six foot, in shape, intelligent man with thick black hair and the greenest eyes on the planet is quite the catch. Once they figure out you're a family man, intelligent professor, a seasoned veteran, and a fantastic cook as well as baker, there are precious few who would not be interested."

"I am not interested in dating. I am quite content with the life I have," Harry said, exasperated as he began to grow tired of this discussion.

"Perhaps Teddy would like a mother."

"I thought I was the mother," Harry quipped, "or so you keep telling me."

She smiled, her brown eyes warming at their old joke, "You are certainly the best wife I've ever had, but Harry, Teddy wants you to be happy."

"I am happy," he tried to assure her.

"You don't think he hears you wake from your nightmares?"

"I haven't forgotten to put a silencing charm on my room since he was two."

"He still knows."

"As he spends most nights climbing into bed with me from his own nightmares, I am aware of that," Harry said, jaw tight. "I doubt dating will help. Nothing can erase the past, we just have to learn to live with it."

"Maybe if we visited Britain-" she began.

"No," Harry said.

"The Weasleys-"

"Can go turn themselves. I tried having Christmas with them. Ron and Hermione... well I was not surprised when they got a divorce last year. Ginny was… unaccepting of my career choices to say the least. Being around them all just reminds me and them of everyone we lost. And I cannot take another backhanded comment about Teddy's name," Harry said, running a hand through his hair.

Dromeda sighed, "I don't understand why they refused to understand it was so we didn't have to constantly explain to strangers about you being his godfather. Especially when his default features are a direct reflection of yours."

Harry flushed, "I still feel a bit bad about that. He is Remus's son."

"I would have preferred you being his birth father."

"I was barely seventeen when she got pregnant," Harry remarked.

"Still legal," Dromeda retorted.

"You just didn't like Remus."

"It wasn't that I disliked him, so much as I didn't approve of him with my daughter. But I am not my parents so I wasn't going to argue with her heart. Teddy came from a place of great love," Dromeda corrected.

Harry nodded, placing the food on the table. Harry couldn't help thinking of the night Remus had run out on Dora. Harry would have never abandoned Teddy. Even if the war started again, Harry would have done everything he could've to keep his family together. He'd done anything so he could return each night to tuck his son into bed and prepare for class on the couch as Dromeda read her novels.

Harry never wanted to give this life up and he would never run from it.

"Teddy food's ready!" Harry called up the steps. Teddy ran down the steps seconds later.

"Wash your hands," Dromeda reminded.

Teddy skidded to the downstairs bathroom sink before racing back to the table and seating himself at the table in a flurry of motion. "Thank you, Grandmama and Daddy," he said as he lifted his spoon to dig into the rice.

Harry and Dromeda grinned at each other. In addition to Teddy being a growing boy, his condition made it so he burned calories faster than most, which meant he was always hungry. He was lucky both his guardians loved to be in the kitchen.

They had almost finished, Harry and Dromeda their first portion, Teddy his third when a flash of fire had Harry out of his seat, Teddy behind him, with Andromeda at their backs.

"Fawkes?" Harry questioned.

The firebird sang at him.

Harry didn't lower his wand completely, his pulse still racing, "I haven't seen you since Dumbledore died. How are you?"

Teddy peaked around his godfather's leg and said, "Oooh! A phoenix! Grandmama, look a real phoenix!" Teddy had a special interest in magical creatures that might put even Hagrid to shame one day.

The bird preened.

"What do you need, Fawkes?" Harry asked. "Who sent you?"

And to Harry's astonishment the phoenix spoke, "I need you to go back and fix the future. I do not enjoy it. You will never return to this time, this space in your life."

"Excuse me?" Harry asked, dumbfounded.

The next thing he knew he was throwing up the strongest shield charm he knew around his family before turning and crouching to wrap himself around them as a physical shield. It did none of them any good as Fawkes's fire engulfed them. It hurt to be burned alive, to be reformed, but Harry didn't feel like he was dying, dying hadn't hurt like this, this- this must be what it felt to be born; no wonder the first breath babies had they spent crying.

Harry's knees rammed into a bench and he only just kept Teddy from hitting his head on the table. Harry jiggled his sobbing son onto his hip, one arm firmly around him the other he had his wand pointed at… George and… Fred Weasley who were both gaping at him as the flames cleared. Andromeda was nowhere to be seen. Harry spared a thought that he was glad the flames hadn't left them naked and dead, followed by a stream of curses that only six years as a professor restrained his tongue. He never thought he'd want to kill a phoenix but as he assessed his surroundings he thought he wouldn't mind plucking every cursed feather off Fawkes, one by one. Watching, said bird circle him and fly across the great hall to Albus freaking Dumbledore made something dark clench in Harry's heart.

"Shhhhhh, Teddy, shhh," Harry whispered to crying Teddy as he held him close. "It's alright. It's over now. It's going to be okay." Which, of course, was an absolute lie because they were at Hogwarts, judging by the frizzy mess of Hermione's beautiful curls they must be back before his sixth year.

"Hem, hem," a voice disturbed the unnatural silence of the great hall.

1995, Harry thought, perfect, just frigging perfect.

The sound of clicking heels on stone had Harry pointing his wand at the pink toad.

"Get away from us." The demand was the first thing out of Harry's mouth.

"For burning one of the students alive I am afraid you must surrender yourself to the ministry," Umbridge screeched.

Harry didn't lower his wand. Teddy had muffled his sobs against his robe. "Madame Pomfrey," Harry called over Umbridge. "Could you take a look at my son?"

"You will both be going to prison," Umbridge sneered with curled lips.

Harry's eyes narrowed, "He's seven years old you daft toad."

"Then I'll take the child and you will submit yourself to the dementors," Umbridge explained calmly.

No one around Harry misinterpreted his expression of bared teeth as a smile. "No," Harry said, eyes glowing faintly with power as the word rang through the room. Minerva, Severus, Poppy, and Dumbledore were finally moving toward them. The other professors standing guard at the house tables.

"You killed Harry Potter," Umbridge said, her own sickly sweet smile unfaltering.

"I am Harry Potter," he said, teeth clenched as annoyance filled his veins.

"We all witnessed Harry Potter screaming as he burned to death just before you appeared out of that flame."

"You can blame Dumbledore's buzzard for that, but I am Harry Potter. I've got all the scars to prove it," His last sentence said with more bitterness then he had intended. He needed to calm down, he was not helping Teddy calm down. His petite shoulders were shuddering, he was nearly hyperventilating.

"How old are you, Harry?" Hermione asked, her voice small.

Harry eyes flicked to her, "Twenty-four."

"Time travel is illegal," Umbridge sang.

His attention zeroed back in on his old DADA professor, "Again, it was the buzzard."

"Perhaps, Mr. Potter we should take this to my office?"

Albus's voice chimed through Harry, his real voice not some portrait on a wall. For all the mixed feelings he had about the man he had missed the old fool.

Harry took several steps backs until he was even with Severus and Minerva before turning his back on Umbridge. "I think that would be wise," Harry said, striding as quickly as he could away from the hall and all its memories. The last time he'd been here the dead had outnumbered the living. The images of bodies under sheets laid in neat rows, most far too small to be adult, filled his mind. It made his dinner churn in his stomach.

"Fawkes spoke?" Albus asked in clarification looking at his familiar.

Harry was calmer now, at least outwardly. Poppy had looked over Teddy and aside from a little magical exhaustion, he was fine. Teddy had fallen asleep against Harry's chest, and it awed Harry that Teddy trusted him that much. It made the notion of failing him, of letting him come to harm in this world somehow more abhorrent to him.

War. Harry rubbed Teddy's back more to comfort himself than the slumbering child. Harry had no choice but to fight, Voldemort was alive and as the prophecy said they couldn't coexist, Tommy wouldn't allow it.

On the bright side, Harry knew where the Horcruxes were. Breaking into Gringotts again was going to-

"Mr. Potter, are you listening?" Umbridge asked.

Harry blinked, focusing on the room around him. It wasn't that he hadn't been paying attention, no he had been quite aware of everyone's movements and breathing. Their words, however, "Could you repeat the question?"

Snape snorted, "Haven't changed much, have you Potter?"

Harry leaned back in his chair observing his sour potions professor, the man who had saved his life as well as help Albus set him up to be a martyr. "I got my potions mastery certificate three years ago, sir," Harry said. "So at least my 'dismal' brewing skills changed."

"I don't believe you," Snape said.

Harry sighed, "Andromeda was more patient with me."

"Andromeda Tonks?" Snape asked frowning.

"That's the one," Harry said.

"The question, Mr. Potter, is where you will be staying," Fudge said, he had come at Umbridge's summons.

Harry desperately wanted to go home. Wanting nothing more than to apparate to the States and never look back, but where he went Voldemort would follow and the whole of Hogwarts had seen his son. Teddy was as much a target as Harry was now.

"He must be under observation," Umbridge announced.

"He and his family are more than welcome at Hogwarts," Dumbledore said, eyes twinkling.

"He must do something for the school. He can't stay here for free," Umbridge protested.

"I'll take the Defense Against the Dark Arts position," Harry said, pulling the Daily Prophet off Albus's coffee table, "Seeing as you got yourself a new job, High Inquisitor."

"You are hardly qualified," she sneered.

Albus's fireplace flared and Harry couldn't help but flinch slightly at the flames. Albus rose to answer it and pulled his head back to allow Andromeda and Ted Tonks through.

"Harry," Andromeda said in relief as she walked over to him. Harry held her hand out to her. She wrapped herself around his shoulder, one arm going to Teddy.

"He's alright, a touch terrified, but thankfully alright nonetheless," Harry said.

"Dora is alive," Andromeda whispered in his ear.

Harry froze, gaze darting to her brown eyes, her black hair shielding them from the onlookers. Fawkes had said they would not be returning to their time, but looking at Dromeda face, he realized quickly and with a hint of sadness that she wouldn't have wanted to return.

"Are you two lovers?" Umbridge interrupted rudely with an ever-present frown.

Andromeda pulled back from Harry, wand raised at the toad. "Careful, I may have married a Tonks but at heart, I'm still a Black, Dolores."

Umbridge opened her mouth to say something scathing but was cut off when Fudge spoke first. "Do you have experience teaching, Mr. Potter?"

"Lord Potter," Andromeda shot in quickly. "He's of age and legally he gets his parents' fortune including his father's seat in politics."

Fudge's jaw tightened. Harry kept silent, he had left his father's title behind him as well as the title of Lord Black when he left for America, but if they were staying those titles would certainly do well to help them now.

"Very well, Lord Potter, do you have any experience teaching?" Fudge asked again.

"I taught Defense Against the Dark Arts for six years."

"You broke the curse?" Minerva couldn't help but ask.

Harry smiled at her, "I did, but I was a professor at Ilvermorny, not Hogwarts."

"You moved to the States?" Fudge asked. He sounded insulted at the mere possibility.

"Explains the accent," Snape muttered.

"Well, Dolores will be quite busy, and I am sure Mr- I mean Lord Potter has quite abandoned his fantasies about the Dark Lord coming back from the dead," Fudge said.

Harry smirked, "The Dark Lord did not come back to life." Seeing as he never died, he added mentally.

Fudge clapped, "All's settled then."

"He cannot teach my class!" Umbridge screeched.

"I would have chosen Lord Potter to teach at my school had he been available early in the year, and the ministry was only permitted to choose a candidate as, until now, I had not found a suitable candidate," Albus interjected, eyes sparkling.

"Good, good, I really must be going, work to do," Fudge said standing.

"About the time travel-?" Andromeda asked.

Fudge shrugged, "Time travel isn't illegal so much as using time turners are without government permission. We can't control what birds do and as it was explained to me the younger Harry Potter burned up in flames. I would rather the papers print you time traveled then someone assassinated the Boy-Who-Lived."

Umbridge looked lost, "But the boy is unpopular, he's-"

Fudge shook his head, "No, Dolores, death changes how people look at children, even ones prone to telling false truths."

Harry put his hand over his heart, "I must not tell lies."

Fudge saw the scar on the back of Harry's hand, they all saw it, clear as day. Snape frowned as Minerva glared daggers at Dolores, who put her chin up. Albus kept his eyes trained on Fudge, as the Minister put his head down saying, "Yes, yes, I really must be going." In a flash of green, he was gone.

"There is a spare suite of rooms near Flitwick's classroom on the second floor," Albus said. "Will your son be staying with you?"

Andromeda and Harry exchanged glances, neither of them could leave Teddy. "Would my husband be permitted to live here as well? We can afford to pay a stipend, of course." Andromeda wondered.

"No, we can't," Ted said, frowning at his wife, "besides we have a house."

"I can pay for them," Harry offered.

"You are not paying for our living, Lord Potter," Ted said firmly. He wasn't trying to be rude, but Ted Tonks had worked hard for their humble home, for some pureblood heir to come in and offer them room and board was not acceptable.

"Ted this isn't about us or even Harry," Dromeda said, putting a hand on Ted's arm. "It is for our grandson. Teddy has just been ripped away from his home, his friends, his time, his country, his very reality. I must stay with them and I want you with us."

Ted's expression fell and with a sigh, he released his pride. "I suppose it is alright, but I am not selling our house."

"Of course and maybe after the w-chaos Harry will move in with us," Dromeda caught herself after the near slip-up.

Ted raised a brow at Harry, "You'd move in with your in-laws?"

Harry could have said that he and Nymphadora were never together, but Umbridge was still in the room. "Dromeda keeps telling me I cook too much food, even with Teddy's appetite. I wouldn't mind more family," Harry shrugged honestly.

"He's the perfect wife," Dromeda quipped with a grin.

Ted grinned, "Impossible," he argued and wrapped an arm around her waist. Frowning she looked at him questioningly. "Because you're the perfect wife, Dromeda," he continued smoothly.

Emotions flowed across her face and she hugged her husband tight. Words could neither express the joy of having her love alive again nor the sorrow of remembering the pain of his passing.

"I expect you to start tomorrow, Lord Potter," Umbridge said intruding on the moment.

Harry rose, his height easily dwarfing her, with Teddy still soundly asleep in his arms. "Of course."

"Do you have a lesson plan?"

"I always have a lesson plan, besides it's like starting from scratch. Lupin and Crouch were the only two who taught the students anything."

"I've taught-"

"Taught them nothing," Harry snapped. "That textbook was retracted for impracticality and covering not even one-tenth of what was needed to pass the OWLs. Now, if someone would be so kind as to lead us to our rooms so I can put my son to bed properly, I would be much obliged."

Minerva stood to lead the way. Harry shot one last hostile glare at Fawkes before following, Ted and Andromeda saying they needed to go back to the house to pack.

Their rooms were modest. It housed three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, and a dining room that opened to a combined living room, library, and study style area. The bookshelves were depressingly empty. Harry was pleased that the kitchen and living area both had beautiful windows looking out upon the lake. His heart panged at the thought, he already missed Pontoosuc lake. Scotland had majestic mountains, but the rolling hills of Berkshire County had their own charm. Or perhaps he was biased by experience.

"We won the war?" Minerva ventured before exiting.

Harry had already put Teddy to bed, the boy so exhausted he hadn't stirred.

"No," Harry said with the shake of his head. "Voldemort died in the end, but Wizarding Britain lost, the Second Civil War as they call it, destroyed the foundation of what our culture and society could have been. Too much, too many scars, no one trusted anyone else."

"You left," she said softly, slowly coming to the conclusion after rethinking about all of the information from earlier.

"I could not bear to stay," Harry admitted.

Minerva shut her eyes and took in a long breath. "There is an Order of the Phoenix meeting tomorrow at your godfather's estate. It's a Friday and I believe you would be expected to stay the weekend."

Harry only nodded, "Goodnight, Minerva."

She left and Harry began to weave protection wards around their new living space starting with the windows. When he went to open them to draw a symbol on the outer sill a white owl came fluttering through the window.

"Hedwig?" Harry gasped.

Landing on his shoulder, his familiar nipped his ear with affection. For the first time since returning to 1995, Harry felt the small beginnings of hope.

Hedwig, his first and truest friend.

"Hedwig," Harry said smiling, "I've missed you."

She rubbed her fuzzy head against his cheek as if to say, "I know."

AN: Please let me know your thoughts and reactions? I post for feedback :D

Chapter 2: Chapter 2

Story Note: This is not a bashing story, however, not all the characters are going to get along. Albus, Severus, and Remus -though I like them, they are not going to have an easy time with Harry nor is Hermione and Ron going to like losing their best friend. Surnames vs. first names and nicknames flow in and out with how the characters think of each other. Know that there is a method to my madness. Please enjoy!

Chapter 2

Naturally, Harry's first class to teach at Hogwarts was his own. He had transfigured the robe he had been given by Ted to fit the more Asian influenced style that he'd grown accustomed to in Ilvermorny. The emerald lapels crossed each other and there was a wide band of fabric wrapping his torso. He entered the double doors taking long strides, a part of him glorying in the fact that he was taller than everyone in the room, including Ron. Harry had always been the shortest boy in their year. Ron would grow taller than him but that would be in a few years from now.

Harry had cleared the tables out early in the morning and placed non-visible cushioning charms and wards on every surface of the room. He'd set his notes on his desk along with the class roster. Standing behind his desk he watched his ex-classmates watch him, waiting, sneering, ready to pounce at the first sign of weakness. Harry sighed inwardly. This class was going to add decades to him, he just knew it.

"This is Defense Against the Dark Arts, a class I have been teaching for six years. I realize given the circumstances-"

"Do you still think the Dark Lord is coming back?" Seamus Finnigan asked.

"Fifteen points from Gryffindor," Harry said evenly.

The response among the Gryffindors and the Slytherins was a stunned silence. Harry spoke into the silence. "Given the circumstances of our shared history, you might find yourselves wanting to treat me as a fellow classmate. I would advise against that because I do not care about the house cup, or who wins the next Quidditch match, or who you dislike in your classes, or if you dislike your classmate's families, or if you dislike me, or the subject. There are three things that concern me, your safety, giving you the tools to pass your OWLs, and your ability to protect yourself from magic whether it be dark, light, or accidental."

They all watched him, still waiting.

"I will be grading you on your class participation. In-class assignments will be primarily practical."

Hermione's hand shot up in the air.

Harry sighed, "Ms. Granger I assume you are going to ask about the written portion of OWLs?"

She flushed, opened her mouth to speak but ended up just nodding.

"I will be assigning minor papers every week that will require you to research spells and the theory behind them. I will hand them back to you with written comments and suggestions. I don't really care how well written they are -though you should for your OWLs, I am more interested in seeing that you understood what you have researched. If you need help, you may speak to me after class. Before the exams we will have a few review classes where I will give an overview of the theory," Harry finished picking up his roaster sheet. "Now I am going to group you all up into pairs. The person you are with will only be your in-class partner and their success or failure will not reflect your grade. You don't need to talk to each other out of class so keep the complaining to a minimum."

"Ms. Greengrass and Mr. Longbottom. Ms. Bulstrode and Ms. Brown. Ms. Davis and Ms. Patil. Mr. Zabini and Mr. Thomas. Mr. Crabbe and Mr. Finnigan. Ms. Parkinson and Ms. Dunbar. Mr. Goyle and Ms. Smith." Harry sighed as the last four glared daggers at him. The rest of the class that had been evenly split between Slytherin and Gryffindor, who now looked on like spectators at an execution. Harry took a long breath, "If any you talk before you raise your hand and I call on you, it'll be twenty points. Mr. Weasley with Mr. Nott and Ms. Granger with Mr. Malfoy."

Nott looked at him with the sure promise of death. Hermione and Ron looked crushed. Malfoy looked outraged. Three hands shot up in the air. Harry held up a finger up to hold them off a moment longer, "Working in pairs, I'll be able to keep track of who is attacking who. I have paired you with either with people I think are either at the same skill level-"

If looks could kill Nott's would have struck Harry down.

"-or with people whose differences will help the other. Tensions between your two houses being as they are I doubt there will be any lack of competition." The three hands stayed up.

Harry sighed again and pointed at Draco. "Shoot Mr. Malfoy, but keep it succinct and if you mention heritage I will give you a month's detention."

"Why Granger?"

"Because last I checked Ms. Granger and yourself are the top of your year. Unless something changed overnight and you've stopped trying to live up to your father's impossible standards or Ms. Granger has decided that books just aren't for her."

There was a beat of silence. Hermione's hand fell to her lap. Ron's stayed raised. Harry waved him on.

"How could you pair me with Nott? We are friends, Harry." Ron's face was bright red with emotion.

"Professor Potter," Harry corrected. By the class's expressions, his tone was clearly colder than any of them had been expecting. "And we are not friends. When I was younger perhaps, but friendships fail and people move on. As for why I paired you with Mr. Nott, he is better than you."

"Excuse me!" Ron all but yelled.

"He's better than you. I've seen him in duals and he is going to keep kicking your butt until you start taking this class seriously. Mr. Nott will be able to practice his aim and the force he can put into spells. And as an added bonus learning to overcome distractions."

Ron, the distraction in the equation looked mortified.

Theodore Nott finally raised his hand.

"Mr. Nott," Harry acknowledged.

"You're going to let me kick Weasley's butt, Sir?"

"You are skilled enough, Mr. Nott, that if he is sent to the hospital wing too often or gets maimed I will fail you, beyond that Mr. Weasley is just going to have to learn to defend himself."

Nott actually grinned at him.

"You're still going to rig it for the Gryffindors, your house," Draco said.

Harry shrugged, "'The Hat wanted to put me in Slytherin so I am not as 'golden' as you all believe. Aside from that Gryffindor is not my house. I graduated from the Pukwudgie house."

"What in Merlin's name is a Packwedgy?" Ron asked.

"Pukwudgie is a healing creature from North America. I dropped out of Hogwarts at the end of my sixth year. I finished my last year at Ilvermorny, Pukwudgie is one of their houses. Now enough distractions. Wands out, we are starting with the basics," Harry waved his wand at the board. The chalk wrote a neatly, "Expelliarmus."

"That's a useless spell," someone called out.

"It worked well enough when I used it against Tom Riddle. Often the most basic spells can be the most adaptive. They give you time to think of something more powerful or complex. It is imperative that you learn as many spells as you can that you don't need to think about to use. For those of you who are confident with the spell, practice your aim. Notice how much power you use, how much emotion, and the focus you expand." Harry motioned with his wand, "That is the motion. If you flick it too far you will either miss your target or throw your own wand."

And just like his first time teaching in the Room of Requirement wands went flying, spells went askew, and students landed on their butts.

Harry was closest to Millicent Bulstrode, whose androgynous features were not as distasteful as he had made himself believe when he was her age. He offered her a hand up. She took his hand, her cheeks coloring as he pulled her to her feet with ease. "You put cushioning charms on the floor," she said hesitantly.

Harry smiled at her, which made her cheeks brighten, "Well spotted. I'm glad they proved effective. You're not hurt, correct?"

"No, Professor," she answered.

"I got her good!" Lavender cheered.

Harry shook his head, "No, Ms. Bulstrode it appears to have used too much power for the spell and knocked herself back, however, she still has her wand and her aim was true. Where is your wand, Ms. Brown?"

Lavender looked around herself.

Harry raised his voice so the class would hear him, "Keep track of you wands whether it be in your opponent's hand, your pocket, or across the room."

The class fell into a rhythm and Harry found himself liking these people better as his students than he had as classmates. The Slytherins were wary of him and the Gryffindors kept waiting for him to be their shy and rash classmate. But as a professor, Harry had learned to put the personal aside, he praised and corrected everyone evenly, picked out the students who preferred eye contact and nod to being called out, or the students he had to push. By the end of class everyone, including Neville, Crabbe, Goyle, and Ron had a decent handle on the spell and nearly everyone appeared to have forgotten that their new DADA professor was the famous Boy-Who-Lived. They left, splitting back into their houses as left. Nearly every one of them was smiling. Magical students had one thing in common, magic. Harry had learned the more practical he made his students do in class the more they tried. Even the bookworms enjoyed using their wands. The trick came in making groups of people who would challenge and push one another without one student outshining the rest.

Hermione and Ron stayed behind to talk to him.

"Harry?" Hermione asked. As Harry jotted down notes about the class into a notebook.

"What is it, Ms. Granger?" Harry asked putting down his quill to look up at her.

"We are friends, Harry," she stated, clearly bothered by what he had said to Ron.

"Our friendship fell apart after the war, Ms. Granger."

"Don't Ms. Granger me, Harry. It's Hermione. We are your closest friends."

"You were my closest friends, past tense. And I must insist you call me Professor Potter."

"We know you, mate," Ron said.

Harry leaned back in his chair, "Doubtless you know things about me, but time and war do change people. If you have no questions about the class I must ask that you allow me to finish my grading. And before you ask you both passed for the day."

"You let Nott beat me up all class!" Ron exploded.

"But you did learn how to disarm him -eventually."

"He could have hurt me!"

"He's not that dumb to do it in a professor's class. Mr. Malfoy was the only one ever bold enough to try that crap but he was too focused on trying to outshine Ms. Granger."

Hermione glared at him. He handed her a sheet. "Here is the list of assignments I can think off. No more than one standard page for each topic. If you can't put it in your own words and can't choose the most important facts from the description then you don't understand it enough to teach it. When you get into the real world people will stop listening to you if you can't preprocess information."

"Is that your advice from the future?" Hermione asked.

Harry was done with this conversation, these two could keep asking questions into the year. "You may leave, you'll be late to your next class."

They heard it for the dismissal it was, Hermione and Ron turned to leave but Hermione stopped to say, "I know you would be good at teaching, Professor Potter."

Harry gave her a sad smile, "One of the few things we got right. Have a good day, Ms. Granger, Mr. Weasley."

Teddy clung to Harry at lunch. Andromeda and Ted had gone early to Grimmauld Place to meet up with Nymphadora and explain that she was a mommy.

"How was your first morning of classes?" Minerva asked.

"Whose stupid idea was it to put all the Slytherins and Gryffindors into the same class?" Harry asked, turning to face her.

Snape smirked, "I've been asking the same question for years."

Harry met Snape's gaze, "It makes less sense for potions then defense. At least I can use their foolishness against them. But waiting for things to boil, sharp objects, and one wrong ingredient and suddenly there's a bomb in the class even with the simple recipes. Potions is the worst possible space to have warring students in."

Snape stared at him for a long moment before returning to his food.

"Albus is the headmaster," Minerva said.

"Albus isn't smart," Teddy said before taking a large bite out of an apple.

"Be kind young man," Minerva said glaring at Harry who had made no attempt to correct him.

"How are you liking Hogwarts, Teddy?" Pomona asked over Filious.

Teddy sat back further on Harry's lap, "I want to go home."

Harry hugged him, "We are going to be okay, Teddy."

"But you hate Hogwarts," he said shifting to look up at his godfather. "You said bad things happen here."

Harry fought not to frown, bad things had happened at Hogwarts, but he hadn't told Teddy about the Dark Lord. He had told his son in -watered-down terms, about his parents dying in a war, Slytherin's monster, the Triwizard tournament (without the last task), and breaking into Gringotts. He knew about Hagrid and his magical creatures like Buckbeak. But Teddy did not know that there was a prophecy or a Dark Lord out to get them. It was a burden he refused to tell the seven-year-old. Harry had planned to tell him the overall story when he was eleven and give more details as he asked for them. Harry kissed the top of Teddy's head, "In a few years we will go back to America, you will be attending Ilvermorny with the older students. You like Ms. Rome remember? She's your age now."

"Hogwarts is the safest place to be," Minerva said.

Harry couldn't help but laugh, he hugged Teddy tighter to him, "I am sorry to tell you this, Minerva, but the world is a bigger place than the United Kingdoms. In my day, half the would be Hogwarts students transferred to Beauxbaton, students of Pureblood and Muggle Born decent. There is maybe half the number of students in 2004 as there is now."

Minerva's lips thinned.

Filius jumped in then, "What is your favorite subject, Teddy?"

Teddy looked at Filius smiling, "Hi Mr. Flitwick, you know magical creatures is my favorite."

Filius blinked at Harry's son, "You know me?"

"You visited our home often, Professor Flitwick. You are always a welcome guest," Harry explained. In fact, it was Flitwick who had taught Harry wards and a few new tricks for dueling. They'd grown to be friends in the wake of the war. Filius had retired a year after the war unable as Harry was to keep reliving the past.

"Oh, I see, what's your favorite magical creature, Teddy?" Filius still trying to engage the depressed youth.

"Kitsunes and phoenixes but now I think phoenixes are evil. Fawkes is a monster."

Harry rubbed his son's back. "It's probably just being Albus's familiar," he said not entirely joking.

"I hate him," Teddy said.

Harry hoped he was talking about the bird, though, being wary of Albus Dumbledore was probably a good a thing. "Teddy, hate is a strong word. Grandmama, you, and I are all uninjured and you will get to meet your mom tonight."

"It a lot hurt though," Teddy said.

Harry's emerald eyes darkened, almost blackening.

"You've never met your mother?" Umbridge asked. "How did she die?"

"Teddy," Harry said, tone light, "Ms. Umbridge is giving us all an example of how she is one of the rudest and most distasteful people anyone has ever had the misfortune of meeting."

Teddy tried not to smile at his father, but couldn't help but giggle when Umbridge threatened to take house points from Harry.

"You can't take house points from a professor," Minerva said. Giving Harry a wink, impressed with his ability to redirect a volatile conversation. It astonished her a little, Harry had been angry and volatile himself this year. Yet as an adult he seemed to be managing them all. She was both proud and worried. Harry Potter was a man who had never had a real childhood. It prompted her to ask, "How old were you, Harry, when Teddy was born?"

"Seventeen," Harry answered.

Minerva's jade green eyes widened, "You were very young to become a father."

Harry smiled, bending to put a cheek on Teddy's head, "My son is the very best thing to ever happen to me."

Teddy turned around to give his dad a hug. His small arms wrapping around the older wizard's neck. There was a collective sigh from the house tables. Harry looked out at their audience. The girls looked away giggling as the boys frowned at their feminine classmates, Harry frowned right along with them.

Harry looked to Minerva beside him, "They do it too? I thought it was only the girls at Ilvermorny."

Minerva rolled her eyes at him, Filius on the other side of him coughing. "You're an attractive professor in your early twenties. Many of the students will react to you," Minerva explained.

"Yeah, but it is always when Teddy visits me at work I get the 'reactions.'"

Filius grinned, "He's a mini you, Harry. If you don't mind me saying, Teddy, you are quite adorable."

Teddy sat back on Harry's lap, and turned, directing a fake pout at Filius, "You always call me adorable."

"And he gets away with nearly everything because of it," Harry said, smile returning.

"Not everything," Teddy said before popping a pastry into his mouth.

Harry ruffled his hair, "You're a good boy most of the time."

"Spoiled," Snape muttered.

"Not everyone is allergic to human affection, Snape," Harry said not looking up as he pulled a few more vegetables onto Teddy's plate. Teddy dropped them into his bottomless pit of a stomach without question.

Minerva had to hide a smile.

"How did you handle your class, Potter?" Snape asked. "Despite the glares Weasley sent at Mr. Nott, they weren't at each other's throats today."

"I split them into prearranged pairs of Slytherin and Gryffindor."


"I found it to be highly amusing. Your Slytherin students are quite talented, excluding Mr. Crabbe they all perfected the spell by the end of class," Harry said.

"They have training outside of school," Minerva said defensively as Snape smirked.

Harry shrugged, "They were about even at the start of class with the Gryffindors. I think they just know more theory and are better at applying it, aside from Ms. Granger, of course."

"Who did you pair Ms. Granger with?" Filous asked.

Harry grinned, "Mr. Malfoy. And I paired Mr. Weasley with Mr. Nott."

"You are an idiot," Snape said firmly. "They will kill each other

"It worked quite splendidly, actually," Harry said, stealing one of the little pastries off Teddy's plate.

"Daddy!" Teddy protested.

"And I told them if they killed or maimed each other I would fail them," Harry said before eating the little cake. It was raspberry, Teddy's favorite.

His son pouted at him and Harry handed him another piece of fruit. Typically, Harry and Dromeda only gave his son sweets at tea time or after dinner. Only on holiday's did he get them at lunch.

"Students shouldn't be using magic in classrooms, it's dangerous for the children's safety," Umbridge shot in.

"You're dangerous to the children's safety," Harry said. "It may surprise you, Umbridge, but this is a magical school where the students use magic so they don't get themselves killed when they are using magic without supervision."

"And what about the students falling? Or accidents?" Umbridge asked.

"I'd rather they make mistakes were I and Poppy could get them help them. In their dorms, their classmates might or might not do what's needed in time. As for falling, that's what cushioning charms were created for."

"You charmed your classroom?" Filous asked.

Harry nodded, "Yes and you are welcome to check them over."

Filous clapped his hands as if he had just been given the grandest gift.

"You have the afternoon off, Harry," Minerva said. "You have no afternoon classes scheduled."

Harry hummed, "I suppose it is a good time as any to go to the bank and get some shopping done."

Teddy's head shot up, "We are going to Gringotts? Can we go see the dragon?"

Harry gave his son a look, which even the seven-year-old could interrupt as don't say anything about me robbing the bank.

Teddy giggled, enjoying knowing a secret none of the other adults knew.

"No dragons. But we can go to Diagon Alley, all the shops are standing," Harry said. Teddy had never been to Diagon Alley. Harry had thought about bringing him to George's joke shop but- but like so much else it depressed Harry too much to see the scars and destruction of their society. His fame had only gotten worse and the wizarding community was mistrustful to the point of hostility. It really wasn't a place for young children whose godfather was a savior. In 1995, their appearance would make a stir but nothing like it would have in their own timeline.

"Yes!" Teddy cheered, "Can I meet the Wandmaker with the weird eyes and can we go to the bookshop? I lost all my magical creature books."

"I am sure Mr. Ollivander would love to meet you and a collection of Newt's books is never a bad investment," Harry said. "The bank first though. You have to be extra polite to the goblins."

"Are they going to threaten to eat me again?" Teddy asked.

"Why would they threaten to eat you?" Pomona asked.

Because I robbed them and rode off on their dragon in the process breaking the roof and used an unforgivable on a goblin, Harry thought. Aloud he said, "There was a disagreement about the Sword of Gryffindor." And there had been, but that wasn't really why.

"Tedd, are you done? We can grab something to eat in London later," Harry said.

Teddy nodded sliding off Harry's lap as the chair edged back. "Bye Mr. Snape, bye Ms. Minerva, bye Mr. Flitwick, bye Ms. Pomona." Harry held Teddy's hand as the left the great hall.

"He grew into quite the wizard," Filius remarked.

"His son is a heartbreaker," Pomona said.

"I can't believe he held his class together, pairing them as he did," Severus said.

"I will have him out of job soon," Dolores muttered.

Minerva had to take a breath before saying, "Fudge and Albus hired him. You aren't getting rid of him."

"He is so handsome!" Millie said to Pansy, who nodded her head in agreement.

"Who knew such a scrawny guy would be such a hunk? Even with the glasses, he's remarkable," Tracy said.

"His son is adorable," Daphne said.

"Who do you think the mother is?" Pansy wondered.

"Harry Potter is not attractive," Draco said, poking at his food.

"Dude," Theo said, "The man is hot. Everyone can see that."

"He's weirdly good at teaching," Blais said. "I wasn't expecting him to be too quiet, or a snob or hand the class to the Gryffindors. But I honestly learned things."

"I'm glad we are using magic in class again," Daphne said.

"It's fun beating up Gryffindors without getting lectured for it," Theo said.

"They nearly lost a hundred points for complaining and cheating," Blais said. "Excluding potions, we are always the ones to get in trouble even if we weren't the ones cheating."

"Why cheat? It was just one spell and target practice," Theo said.

"Did you see him throw that shield around Goyle when Finnigan tried using a stinging hex on him?" Tracy asked.

Blais nodded, "He cast it from across the room and his back was turned to them. He must have heard Finnigan shout the spell."

"Even so that was a quick reaction time, I don't think I'd want to face Professor Potter in a one on one duel," Theo said.

"I hope he shows us how to use that shield charm. I couldn't hear what spell he used," Blais added.

"He silently casted," Draco said darkly.

"Maybe he would let us request it or show it to us after class," Theo said.

"He is the coolest professor we have ever had," Millie said.

Draco threw up his hands, "We've only had one class with him. He isn't that great."

"He's pretty cool," Vincent mumbled, eyes focusing on his plate.

"Can you believe him!?" Seamus exploded, "We lost ninety points!"

"At least we are using magic again," Dean said.

"He's kinda awesome," Parvati said.

"You're just saying that because he's hot," Lavender said.

"He taught us all something. That used to be my worst subject. Today was fun," Parvati argued.

"What did he say to you two after class?" Lavender asked at to the now golden duo.

Hermione was lost in thought and Ron glared at everyone, "He said we weren't friends in the future and to get lost."

Hermione looked up, "He said it nicer than that, Ron. He was really professional."

"After all we've been through, professional, Hermione? Professional?" Ron simmered. "Professional is all we get for the last five years."

"He said our friendship didn't survive the war," Hermione said softly.

"So he does think You-Know-Who is back," Seamus said, crossing his arms.

"If he does, I don't think he is going to involve us," Ron said, angrily.

"Isn't that the adult thing to do?" Parvati asked.

They all stared at her and it was Neville who asked, voice quiet yet steady, "When have the adults in our lives ever put our well being first?"

AN: Thank you, reviewers! You are the kindest most wonderful people! You made my day! I am trying to get these chapters out as quickly at the best quality I can :D

Chapter 3: Chapter 3

AN: I am not trying to bash, but everyone's emotions are high -which causes stupidity and dramatics.

Chapter 3

Harry asked for a private meeting with his account manager at Gringotts.

Teddy was very polite with the goblins and apparently, even they were not immune to Teddy's puppy-dog eyes.

"Time travel is odd and as we can only prove that he related to both the Tonks and Lupin families with blood magic but it wouldn't necessarily prove they were his parents. For instance, they could be an aunt or a fourth cousin. He is essentially an orphan and is not entitled to any of his family's funds," the goblin, Siftsand explained.

"How do I adopt him, formally?" Harry asked. Teddy again sitting on Harry's lap. Harry's hands rested on Teddy's legs as the child nervously traced his fingers over Harry's knuckles.

"How formally?" Siftsand asked.

"What do you mean?"

"Do you want him to be your ward or your legal firstborn, heir to your estate, Lord Potter?"

"Teddy is my son, all that I have goes to him."

"And if you sire your own blood?" Siftsand pushed.

"Then I will write a will so all my children are provided for, but Teddy is my son. He has my name."

"You said his full name is Edward Remus Potter, formally Edward Remus Lupin?"

"Yes," Harry said.

"If he were to take your name, a pureblood name, his legal name must be Edward Harry Potter."

Harry frowned, "I didn't have to take Sirius's name when my godfather died."

"You are not asking to be his godfather, you are asking to be his father. If you would prefer to bring in Mr. Lupin and sign over your parental rights, the child may keep his name," Siftsand said evenly.

Harry gripped Teddy's knees. He couldn't give Teddy up to Remus. Perhaps it was monstrous of him to not give Remus a chance, to not so much as talk to the birth father of his son. But Teddy was Harry's son, Harry's one salvation in his train wreck of a life.

"Teddy," Harry asked, "Are you okay with me changing your name?"

The little boy looked up at him with large, terrified eyes, "I don't want to go live with Remus, please, Dad, please, please don't give me away."

Harry wrapped his arms around Teddy, encircling him with his robe and his body. "I will never give you up, my son. I would cheat, I would steal, I would break every law in the universe to stay with you."

"I want to be Edward Harry Potter."

Harry relaxed, but Teddy still held onto his arms as tightly as his small form could.

Siftsand finished the paperwork and needed only a bit of Harry's blood and a touch from Teddy on the adoption certificate.

"I have a hypothetical question, Sir," Harry said when everything was settled.

"Yes, Lord Potter?" Siftsand asked.

"What is the bank's policy for handling dark objects that hold pieces of a humans soul?"

"A piece of a soul negates the humanity."

"So if I told you there was such an object in one of the vaults?"

"I would ask which vault and the object in question would be disposed of."

"Bellatrix Lestrange, Hufflepuff's cup. Do not touch it with bare skin," Harry said.

"We are well aware of how to handle cursed objects."

Harry stood and bowed deeply to the goblin.

"Dad, can we ride the carts now?"

"Yes, young Potter, you may," Siftsand said.

Teddy and Harry had a blast on the carts that led down to the Potter Vault. Teddy thought he heard a roar from deeper into the bank.

When they emerged Teddy told his father, "Dad, you have to free the blind dragon."

"Well, it looks like we'll be in Europe for a while. It seems like a good way to pass the time," Harry said, claiming Teddy's hand as they walked Diagon Alley.

"Lord Potter, you've changed and you've fixed what cannot be fixed," Ollivander greeted.

"Elder wand," Harry said translating the strange greeting with ease. Luna Longbottom had been his only other frequent visitor from the old days. "Speaking of which Tom Riddle is going to be knocking down your door in a year or so asking for it. Please just tell him Albus has it. The man can take care of himself. You shouldn't have to suffer for his ambition."

Ollivander blinked his large eyes, reminding Harry of Hedwig. "I shall keep it in mind, now who is this with you?"

"Edward Harry Potter," Teddy said quickly.

Harry frowned down at him, his son's tone was almost frantic. Harry touched Teddy's shoulder, not quite knowing what the problem was.

"Ah, well I am honored to meet you, Mr. Potter. Tell me, did your father turn out to be a great wizard, like I had protected?"

"He's the best," Teddy said turning his head to one of the shelves. He pointed his finger at a box on the uppermost shelf. "That one."

"Pardon?" Ollivander asked.

"That's my wand," Teddy said, his eyes flashing to a deep brown like Dromeda's.

Ollivander smiled and headed for his latter. But before he got it even with the shelf the box fluttered off the shelf, unboxing itself as it fell, the wand flew into Teddy's outreached hand. There was an instant of gold and silver sparks, ruining Harry's vision for a few moments.

"Absolutely not," was the first thing Harry said.

"But Dad-"

"The wand chooses the wizard, Lord Potter."

"It isn't legal and I can't get caught by the ministry teaching my seven-year-old wand based magic. If I can't teach you how to use it than it is far more dangerous to you, not only could you harm yourself, Teddy, but if someone got a hold of it they could cause a lot of damage. You may not have a wand yet."

Ollivander got closer observing the wand in Teddy's hand, "Rowan, thirteen and ⅞ inches in length. Rowan calls to the pure of heart. This is one of my greatest masterpieces. Not terribly unique but of the wands I've crafted none have been so finely harmonized. This wand is steady, unfaltering, yet has the capacity of untold power and learning."

Harry couldn't resist, "What's the core?"

"A feather from a wonderful phoenix Albus Dumbledore named Fawkes."

Teddy dropped the wand, "I don't want it." His face was a mask of disgust, his hair flashing to a shocking shade of neon green. He held up both his hands and backed away from the offending wand. Harry bent down to retrieve it before Ollivander could make the effort.

Harry felt a rush of connection but there were no sparks and he doubted this wand could put up with all the crap he'd put his holly wand through. "One of Fawkes's feathers is the core of my wand as well, Teddy."

"Yes, but Rowan and Phoenix is a kinder match than Holly and Phoenix. The Rowan wand speaks to much power, it's been decades since a wand flew off a shelf, and only thrice before has a wand responded to one of such a tender age. But despite the power, that wand was not made for conflict between the light and the dark. It is a wand meant to lead its master on a longer path of discovery and deep into the natural world," Ollivander said.

"But honestly, Mr. Ollivander, what do you want me to do with it?" Harry said.

Ollivander opened his mouth but Teddy interrupted him, "I am not ready. I don't want a wand yet I just wanted to meet you."

Ollivander smiled at the young Potter. "It is yours, and perhaps you are not ready for it, but it is ready for you. I see you are a metamorphmagus, who was your mother?"

"Nymphadora Tonks," Teddy said.

"Ah, a descendant of the Black line. I can hold that wand for you until you are of age, though it may try to follow you and you may find you need it sooner than others. Maybe not today or tomorrow or next month or next year, but sooner than elven," Ollivander said, his voice hypnotic.

"Could I purchase the wand and another arm sheath? I'll carry it on me until he needs it."

"What did you feel when you picked it up?"

"Warmth but also the sense it wouldn't put up with the same treatment I have given the Holly wand."

"Holly wood likes the adventures," Ollivander said smiling. "But yes, that solution will work for a time, but with the wand's strong attachment to your son, I would advise you not use it unless absolutely necessary. Do not even practice with it, it will know of your need when or if the time comes."

Teddy was back to his mini-Harry appearance by the time they left the shop. The bookstore was less eventful but it raised Teddy's spirits. Harry found himself wanting to buy most of the store. It had been a while since he had this much extra money and he would miss his library from the future. Harry added a featherlight charm to two new trunks for them both. They got new robes and new potions supplies. They stopped for afternoon tea, Harry having a cup of Earl Grey and Teddy having a cotton candy ice cream. Harry warned him not to change his hair color to match his food, they were drawing enough attention as it was. Harry planned to go to muggle London to get Teddy comfy clothes and other supplies, such as a normal toothbrush that did not feel the need to comment on your teeth's appearance.

Narcissa Malfoy froze on the street on the outside of one of the food stalls looking at a much older Harry Potter. Reading something in the paper wasn't the same as seeing it in person. But it wasn't the oddity of a time-traveling Boy-Who-Lived that had her walking into the shop. It was the smiling boy across from him. His appearance was that of his father's, though his hair laid in ringlets rather than a bird's nest. There was something in the child's gestures though that reminded her of her little sister, of her own son. She couldn't put her finger on what exactly the child had done but she was compelled to get a closer look.

Harry Potter must have seen her coming because he made eye contact as she walked in. He greeted her with a genuinely warm smile. She almost missed a step.

"Mrs. Malfoy," Harry said. "Come sit with us." He motioned for the clerk's attention. "One more Earl Grey please, two sugars, no milk."

Narcissa sat primly on the edge of the chair set between Harry and his son. "And how would you know my tea preference, Lord Potter?"

"I am a man of the future," he said with a grin. "Mrs. Malfoy this is my son, Edward Potter."

"Hi Aunt Cissa," Teddy said smiling, before taking a crunch out of his ice cream cone.

"Aunt Cissa?" she repeated.

"Nymphadora Tonks is his mother. She passed in the war and Andromeda helped me raise him," Harry explained.

"She and I reconnected enough for him to call me Aunt Cissa?" She wanted to be offended but that wasn't the emotion that filled her.

"I saved Draco's life a few times and you spared mine. Your husband got a life sentence in prison and Ted Tonks passed away as well. I think it is fair to say that you- lost interest in your grudge against Dromeda."

The clerk put down her tea before her.

"Do we see each other often?" Narcissa asked. Her heart aching at the thought of reconnecting with her sister. Along with a healthy heap of worry about the approaching war and her husband's part in it.

Harry shook his head, "Just the summer solstice. Last year was the first time you came to visit us in the States."

"You moved to North America?" She took a sip of her tea. Closing her eyes briefly, it was exactly how she liked her tea.

"There wasn't anything keeping us here," Harry said.

"We lost the war," she stated.

"We all did."

Narcissa shook herself, looking down at the boy who was indeed related to her. He had just finished his ice cream, "Perhaps one day I can visit you and your father for another cup of tea, Edward."

Teddy looked up at her, his green eyes morphing to match Narcissa's grey-blue eyes, "I really like your stories about adventures of the Black family. And you can call me Teddy."

She smiled at him, "I think I would enjoy that also, Draco never cared for them. He just wanted to her about his father's family."

"You're the best storyteller, Daddy always leaves stuff out."

Harry sighed, "I still don't think the Black stories are appropriate but I suppose the damage has already been done."

"Yes!" Teddy cheered.

Narcissa laughed. They finished their tea talking about the Malfoy property in France and the Potter home in Massachusetts. Narcissa questioned Harry about how he liked teaching and Harry asked about how her research was going in applied astronomy. They parted ways an hour later -Teddy having ordered another ice cream. Narcissa felt like she just found a part of her family, not like she just had tea with her sworn enemy.

Harry and Teddy arrived at Grimmauld Place with loaded trunks and a measure of apprehension.

Harry was not worried about Teddy meeting Nymphadora. For all his acquired looks, personality wise he was his mother's son. They shared the same love for life and enduring charm. Harry wondered what he would have done if he were meeting Lily Potter tonight. Hug her, thank her, or possibly yell at her for dying? If Harry were seven and Lily had re-appeared in his life -he would have clung to her and never let go. But then, Teddy had a much more secure home life than Harry had had. Teddy already had a family who loved and wanted him, Nymphadora would be an addition to that.

It was meeting Remus that Harry was concerned about. Harry and Dromeda had talked to Albus about holding off that introduction. Where Teddy grew up with many stories of his mother thanks to being raised by his maternal grandmother, Teddy knew nearly nothing about Remus. All Harry had really been able to tell Teddy was that his father was a brave, intelligent man who had a hard life. That his birth father was a good professor and friends with Harry's father wasn't much. Harry knew that better than anyone, he'd only known Sirius for three years, and to this day when he thought of his father it was Sirius, not James he first thought of. Remus was a vague story in Teddy's life and unlike Harry, Teddy had never mourned for the parents he had no memory of knowing.

"Do not make much noise, Teddy, the portraits have tempers."

Teddy nodded, holding onto his father's robes. Entering the dingy apartment Harry's heart was seized with a wash of guilt and sorrow. He had made so many mistakes the first time around. Mistakes that had cost Sirius his life.

But his heart swelled when he saw who was waiting for him.

"Sirius," Harry breathed, as his smiling godfather caught him a bear hug.

Harry squeezed him back, holding on longer than he had planned.

"Harry," Sirius whispered and pulled back. "Look at you. You grew into the spitting image of your father, though I think you got an extra few inches of height, and Lily's eyes."

It had been a long time since anyone had compared Harry to his parents. "Sirius, I've missed you so much."

Sirius's smile faltered and he opened his mouth to ask when he spotted Teddy. He crouched to eye level with the boy, "And look, another Prongzlet, and you have your grandmother's eyes too."

"I'm a wolf, not a deer," Teddy told the man.

Sirius smiled at the boy, "Guess Harry told you all my secrets then?"

"You're a Grim, I bet I can outrun you though."

Harry also crouched, balancing on the balls of his feet. Still whispering he introduced the two, "Teddy, this is my godfather, Sirius Black. Sirius this Edward Potter, otherwise known as Teddy."

Teddy must have forgotten that Sirius was Harry's godfather because the boy re-examined the wizard he knew had been Remus's friend.

Sirius stood, his knees aching.

Teddy held up his arms to Sirius and a clear command of pick me up. With a grin, Sirius obliged him. "The Tonks are in the kitchen, the rest of the Order isn't arriving for another hour or so."

Teddy rested his head on Sirius's shoulder. Harry thought the boy probably needed a nap. He hadn't slept well last night and there was a lot for him to process.

"Maybe Teddy we can take a nap before dinner."

Teddy didn't respond at first. He looked at Harry his eyes sad, "I want to meet my mom."

"To the kitchen then," Sirius whispered and led the way, Harry following.

Sirius put Teddy down on the ground and Harry walked into the room behind them. Ted, Dromeda, and Nymphadora were standing by the table, Remus stood on the other side of the table. Harry couldn't help his glare when he saw Remus. Dromeda was glaring at the man too.

"Remus," Sirius questioned, "what are you doing here?"

"Harry didn't tell you that he's my son?" Remus asked, his voice a low growl.

"What?" Sirius asked confused.

Nymphadora dropped to her knees arms outstretched to her son.

But Teddy ran to Harry, wrapping his arms around his legs, using Harry as a shield between himself and Remus.

Harry ignored Remus, not knowing what else to do. He had the distinct feeling this was all about to go to hell in a handbasket. Teddy was trembling against his legs. "Teddy," he coaxed, "Come say hello. That's all anyone is expecting. They just want meet you."

"He's afraid of me," Remus said, voice horrified. "You told him I was a werewolf?"

"Of course I told him," Harry snapped. Harry reached down to pull Teddy to him as he dropped to his knees. "Teddy, what's wrong?"

Teddy was shaking and buried his face against Harry's robes.

"You alienated my own son from me," Remus simmered.

"I'm confused," Sirius said. "He looks like Harry."

"He's like me," Nymphadora said, voice awed. "A metamorphmagus."

"My own son is afraid of me," Remus said again.

"This isn't about you," Dromeda snarled.

"What did you say, Teddy?" Harry asked, the child mumbling into his chest.

Teddy pulled back, tears spilling from his green eyes, "You promised."

Harry frowned, running a hand over his godson's head, "What did a promise, Teddy?"

"You promised I would be your son, that I could stay with you," he said sniffling.

Harry hugged him, "You'll always be my son."

"But I want to stay with you," Teddy cried, pushing back against Harry so he could see him. "The goblins changed my name, you have to keep me."

Harry's heart clenched. "Of course, your staying with me. Nothing and no one is taking you from me. No matter what. I don't care about goblins or angry werewolves, you are my son, Teddy, you don't have a choice about staying with me or not."

"You changed his name?" Remus asked, his voice laced with anger. "You legally adopted him in this timeline before consulting me."

Teddy began to sob.

In response, Harry lifted the child up and carried him out of the room without looking back.

Andromeda turned on Remus with rage, "How dare you!?"

The portrait in the hall began screaming obscenities, but Andromeda yelled over her aunt with ease. "Tonight was not about you or your feelings!"

"He turned my own son against me!" Remus shouted back.

"He's not your son!" Andromeda yelled. "You should be down on your knees before Harry. He has done everything for that boy. At seventeen! Seventeen he took responsibility for an infant. I wasn't as much help as should have been after my daughter and husband were killed in that godforsaken war. But Harry? He pulled us out of the country, finished his tests at a foreign school and learned to take care of a baby. He got a job as a professor to feed us because the goblins had seized all his assists. You sure didn't leave anything behind you in the way of finances."

"Yes, wonderful Potter! But why is my son terrified of me?"

"He wasn't scared of you, Remus," Dora said, her quiet voice loud in the absence of Sirius's screaming mother. Ted must have gotten the curtain shut. "He was terrified of losing, Harry. He didn't really care about either of us."

Dromeda put a hand on her daughter's shoulder. "He just landed here yesterday. It is a lot to process for a seven-year-old."

"He changed his name," Remus said. "I couldn't get him back legally even if I wanted to, could I?"

Andromeda growled at him, "If you think you will ever replace Harry as his father you are dead wrong. Harry devoted his life, everything he is for Teddy. No parent has ever loved a child more than Harry has loved his godson."

Sirius looked he had been punched in the gut.

Nymphadora slipped out of the room, leaving her mother to rip Remus a new one. She headed to the bedrooms that had been set up for Harry and her mother. But they weren't in either room.

"They went to the attic," Phineas Nigellus Black's portrait told her.

"Thanks," she said as she went further up into the house.

She knocked softly on the door and opened it when no one answered. What she saw broke her heart. Teddy and Harry were asleep on Buckbeak's side. The Hippogryph eyed her but held still. Harry was curled around Teddy. The child's cheeks were still wet with tears and he was drooling on Harry's robes. It was as if they'd both come in to see the Hippogryph and passed out from exhaustion.

The sight of the older wizard showing such care to his godson, their closeness with one another, it shattered what Dora thought she wanted out of life. Shifted her axis in who she aspired to be.

AN: Reviewers are incredible! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Chapter 4: Chapter 4

AN: Thank you for the reviews! I will try to write more for you but I am enrolled in seven college courses, work, and am applying to grad school. Much love!

Chapter 4

Harry woke up with his face pressed into feathers and Teddy curled against his stomach his back to Buckbeak's side. Buckbeak had folded his wing over Harry like a blanket.

Harry looked over his shoulder and saw Nymphadora sitting, her back leaning against the wall. She appeared to be lost in thought. Harry ran a hand over Buckbeak's shoulder, the hippogriff raised his head lazily, peering at Harry with tired eyes. He raised his wing so Harry could sit up, supporting Teddy's head, his body a dead weight. The last two days were really too much for the young man.

Harry looked around the room, admittedly noting they were not alone with the hippogryph. "Nym-"

Her eyes flashed up at him, "Do not call me Nymphadora. The name is Tonks."

Harry smiled at her, "I've lived with your mum for the last seven years. I am not going to call you by your surname."

"Dora, then."

"Dora," Harry said softly.

Her face flushed, freckles chasing across her pale cheeks. Her hair was a deep scarlet red, her eyes the same brown as her mother's.

"Is the Order here?" Harry asked.

"You've been asleep almost two hours, so probably."

It was Harry's turn to flush, "I didn't sleep last night."

She rested her chin on her knees, hugging herself, "You don't have to explain yourself to me, Harry."

"I am sorry about changing Teddy's legal name without talking to you and Remus."

"Would it have changed your mind if we'd tried taking him from you?"

Harry paused and said truthfully, "No, it wouldn't have changed my actions."

"Then don't apologize," she said with a weak smile.

"You're not mad at me then?" Harry asked.

She shook her head, "I don't know how I feel, but anger for you isn't it. Harry, I'm- I'm grateful for you. I don't know you well enough to make you the godfather of my child. But then I don't know that I could have a child right now, not and be a good mother. A child. That's huge. That's another person whose needs you put before your own. I can't see myself being good at that, not right now." She bit her lip, "How did you take care of an infant at seventeen? I mean how did you just assume responsibility for a child and move to another country so he wouldn't have to grow up with your past? You didn't even have an eight-month grace period to wrap your head around being a father."

Harry positioned Teddy so his weight rested fully against his chest. "The war was bad," Harry started, trying to put into words something he'd never had to put voice out loud before. "I was lost after Voldemort died. The Death Eater raids didn't stop at the Battle of Hogwarts. The number of students that died... I spent the first three days sleeping in the Gryffindor dorms. I watched all the parents come to reclaim their children or their child's body. No one but the reporters came for me. The Weasleys were good to me of course, but losing Fred put into perspective for them that I wasn't really a part of them. You-" Harry swallowed. "Yours and Remus's body were never claimed. Andromeda didn't come to the mass funeral. I waited for her to come. I knew I was Teddy's godfather so I went to go find them."

Harry's eyes had dulled with memory, "Ted had died about two months before and Andromeda was alone in the house with Teddy. She let me in the house and it was like she was on autopilot. Her face was gaunt and her words were hollow. I don't think she had slept after hearing about your death or bathed or eaten. She took care of the baby, and except to change and bath him I doubt she ever put him down." He paused rewatching in his mind's eye as Andromeda had handed the swaddled babe to him so she could go make tea. "When she handed me Teddy, everything changed. He was so beautiful, so precious, and completely unaware of the horrors around him. He was a newborn in a world of old sorrows. He became my everything. I couldn't bear the thought of my fame, of the aftermath of war stifling his future. I knew I had to get him out. It wasn't hard to convince Dromeda to sell the house. I knew I needed a job and I wanted to stay in the magical world so I wrote Beauxbaton and Ilvermorny. Both were thrilled at having the darling of the British Wizarding community. But Ilvermorny offered me an internship as I studied to take my Wizarding exams. The internship turned into a full time job and well, we made a home."

"I couldn't have done that," Dora whispered.

"You would be surprised how becoming a parent changes you," Harry said smiling.

"Aren't I already?" She asked, her hair shifting to a golden blonde.

Harry shook his head, "It hasn't sunk in yet. Not for either of you, I think." Harry stood to his full height.

Dora looked up at him wondering how the boy she'd first met this summer could possibly be the same person as the wizard who stood before her now.

"Do you know where our room is?" Harry asked.

She nodded and stood. She led the way down the steps and almost tripped down the second flight. Harry caught her wrist and pulled her up to him so she had to catch herself against his chest. Teddy stirred only a bit. Dora held her breath as she stared up into Harry's emerald eyes. He was smiling at her.

He bent to whisper in her ear, "Teddy did not inherit your clumsiness."

She shoved away from him and walked down the steps more carefully, "He should have if he inherited my shape-changing ability."

Harry grinned at her, "Perhaps, Teddy is more athletic."

She huffed at him, "I'm athletic. I'm an Auror."

"Sure," Harry teased, "And how many times did you fail your stealth test?"

"If you weren't holding Teddy I'd show you-"

"This is Regulus's room," Harry interrupted.

"Sirius's brother," Dora agreed, "It is the cleanest, safest room in the house."

Harry nodded. He walked over to the bed. He took off Teddy's shoes and clothes down to his boxers before pulling back the comforter and tucking him in. Teddy stretched out between the cool sheets. Harry hesitated by the bed, watching the small sleeping form.

"The meeting has started by now," Dora said gently.

Harry's brows furrowed, he looked at her, "I need to talk to Albus. Do you need to be there?"

"I need to know what is said and agreed upon, but I don't have anything to add. Moody and Kingsley will be there tonight," she said.

"Would you mind staying with Teddy?" Harry asked. "I can't leave him alone."

Her eyes widened, "If he wakes up, will he be upset with me?"

Harry shook his head, "I doubt it, he wanted to meet you. There is no one in his life you're replacing. He knows a lot about you too. Remus… well, you and Sirius are probably the only people who really know him."

"I didn't ask for him to be here tonight," she said.

"I figured it was Dumbledore sticking his nose in where it didn't belong," Harry said. "You can lay down in the bed with him. He will not mind, Teddy's a bit of cuddle bug." Harry left before Dora could convince him to linger. Harry really, really didn't want to go to this meeting. He closed the bedroom door and put a few wards on and an alert charm so he would know if the door was opened and if Teddy had left it. Wards were his favorite thing in his arsenal. He was decent in potions because he was good at cooking, he was good at herbology and with magical creatures because he had patience and very little fear of things that could kill him. But defense and wards were his bread and butter. Maybe he wasn't the expert at runes or arithmancy that Hermione was but he had learned enough. Besides, he used more of the North American style of wards that relied more on raw power and intention than symbols.

As he went to the kitchen he thought of ways he could befriend Kreacher to get the locket. He'd have to warn Sirius not to talk to Kreacher. They also needed to figure out a way to get Bellatrix Lestrange either a death sentence or a dementor's kiss because of anyone who had escaped -she had caused the most problems. It struck Harry that Amelia Bones was still alive. He'd have to find a way to keep her that way.

Harry entered the kitchen and the room atomically silenced.

"About time," Moody muttered.

"Nice to see you too, Madeye," Harry said dryly.

"Oh Harry," Molly cooed standing to give him an embrace but Harry was already halfway to his seat on the other side of the table. He sat between Kingsley and Sirius, Ted and Dromeda across from them.

Molly sat back down. "You finally look like you have some food on you," she said smiling.

"Andromeda learned some things from her healer husband," Harry said winking at Ted, who grinned back. "Where's Remus?"

"He left," Dromeda said.

He ran away again, Harry thought. He sorta pitied Dora if she tried dating Remus again, judging by the fury in Dromeda's eyes Harry somehow doubted she would keep her disapproval silent this time around.

"Things didn't go well with Teddy meeting his birth parents?" Albus asked from the head of the table.

Harry saw Andromeda draw her wand out of her sheath under the table as they both turned death glares on the Headmaster.

"Let's get one thing straight, Albus Dumbledore, you will stay out of my son's life. You will not meddle, you will not influence, you will not involve him in any of your twisted plots," Harry said.

"Harry! That is no way to talk to-" Molly began.

Harry stood and slammed his palm on the table, his temper finally slipping its leash for the first time in seven years. "Fred dies, Molly," he snapped.

Molly's breath caught.

"This cursed war is fought on Hogwarts soil. More children than adults died in this war."

"Impossible," Minerva said. "Invaders cannot enter Hogwarts."

Harry glared, "No, not impossible. But then he had you bothered to listen to me when I told you about my suspicions it might have been avoided."

"And there you go, thinking you know best," Snape said.

"I'm from the future, you tosser, in this case, I think it would be safe to assume that I do know more than you."

"Are you going to blame me next?" Snape asked.

"How soon did you learn that Albus was setting me up to die for the cause? When did you agree to shape me into the martyr?"

Severus Snape's eyes widened, he leaned back in his chair and turned to Albus his face a mask of confusion. "No, I mean -no. What are you talking about, Potter?" His voice lacked its usual bite.

Harry remembered Snape's memory of this conversation, of the silver doe. Lily's son.

"Apparently, you didn't hear the full prophecy," Harry said.

Snape watched Harry like a child watching villain about to slay their pet puppy.

"Harry don't," Albus ordered.

"Don't what? Don't tell the Order what they are risking their lives for in the Department of Mysteries?"

"Harry," Albus said slowly, "do not say it."

"Don't say the prophecy says I'm the chosen one and in order to kill the Dark Lord we both have to die?" Harry taunted.

"What?" Sirius and Snape gasped together in shared horror.

"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches. Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives. The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies." Harry recited for them all, Albus buried his face in his hands.

"You don't know what you've just done, Harry," Albus said.

"The only thing that prophecy changed was the public calling me the Chosen One rather than the Boy-Who-Lived. It may surprise you but Tommy was already trying to kill me."

Albus shook his head, "No, it-"

"It messes with your plan of allowing Voldemort to kill me? Because after you died, I followed the instructions you left with Snape. I surrendered myself to the dark side. I let Voldemort cast the killing curse on me without so much as drawing my wand."

Albus met Harry's eyes and flinched at the raw emotion he found there. "You lived," Albus whispered.

"No," Harry said. "I died. I died because I loved you. I trusted you. I honestly believed that my suicide would be best for everyone. Only by some quirk of magic was I was given a second, or is third chance at life, but you didn't know that, did you? You set me up to perform the same death magic Lily found to save me, but just as my mother died, you planned on me staying dead."

"It wasn't like that, Harry."

"Then what was it like, Albus? Did you think the sliver of Voldemort's soul in my scar had fussed with my soul and would cause a chain reaction when I was murdered, killing him as well? Because he got back up. You have no idea how tempting it was for me to move on, to see what follows after the end comes. Before I had Teddy, I had no one left on this side holding me back. Nobody would have been able to stop him had I stayed dead."

"Ron and Hermione's friendship-" Albus began.

"Were not as strong of bonds as everyone seems to believe."

"Harry, I-"

"Overestimated yourself," Harry finished for the older wizard. "I will help you all end this war before it starts but I have a condition."

"What condition?" Albus said eyes tired.

"You leave Teddy out of it because if you, Albus, drag my son into this hell I swear by all that is magical and mundane I will see you rooting in a cell with Gellert Grindelwald for the rest of your miserable life."

For a moment anger flared in Albus's eyes followed by a century of regret and pain. He bowed his head to Harry, "I swear it."

Harry let out his breath, sinking into his seat. A part of him wanted to take his words back, the rest of him felt light as if a great burden had been lifted from his shoulders. He looked across the table, Dromeda was holding a hand to her lips, her beautiful face awash with grief. Silent tears spilled from her eyes, Harry realized it was the first time he told that story. The first time anyone had heard the extent of what Harry had sacrificed for them all.

Harry Potter may not have killed the Dark Lord when he was a baby but he had grown into the kind of man who would give up everything he was for those who could not care or protect themselves.

AN: Will Albus and Harry rebuild their relationship? Will Snape pull the stick out of his butt? Who knows, but I think it is safe who just took control of the Order of the Phoenix. Your thoughts and reactions are most welcome :D

Chapter 5: Chapter 5

AN: To answer questions, yes this is a rewrite of my early fanfiction and yes there are grammatical issues, I am dyslexic.

Chapter 5

"You met with him, Narcissa," Lord Voldemort repeated.

"Yes, M'lord," Narcissa said. She hated talking at these meetings. She had never taken the dark mark, never wanted to be a Death Eater, and had never willingly invited this monster int her home.

"What did he tell?" Lord Voldemort asked.

"We chatted," she said, just this side of obstinate. Lucius reached for her hand under the table. She wanted to shove him away.

"Chatted. What did you chat about?" His cadence of his was uncomfortable to listen to.

"His job. He was Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor and he said we lost the war."

"Did he now?" Lord Voldemort mocked. "Did he say how?"


"Anything else of import? And what were you doing during this chat?"

"We were sharing tea, and he taught at Ilvermorny, not at Hogwarts."

"He went to the States, interesting," Lord Voldemort mused.

"What about his son?" Wormtail asked.

Narcissa wanted to snarl at him, Teddy was her nephew. The idea that she and Dromeda could reconnect had taken root in her mind. She kept her face passive but dug her nails into Lucius' hand. "He's seven," was all she could say.

"A weakness," Lord Voldemort said with a barbaric smile.

"He isn't," Narcissa snapped.

The Dark Lord turned to her, for the first time that night she held his attention. She'd been talking before but he had focusing on her husband. "A child is always their parents' greatest weakness." It was a threat to Draco's life, and for a moment white-hot rage coursed through her mind.

"You could barely handle Potter when he was a child. He's a full grown wizard now. If you go after his son, he will reshape heaven and hell to end you," Narcissa spat.

The cruciatus curse came without warning, without mercy.

Every pain is relative, every hurt will at some point end. But in the moments, in the hours it has you, pain is an emperor forcing its rule on your thoughts, on your existence.

Narcissa woke, her body racked with uncontrollable tremors. She was in a warm bath, the steam was sweet smelling, as the water slashed out of the tub as she relearned control over her body. Lucius was in the tub with her, holding her. He said nothing. She leaned into his chest, he kissed her temple. Her throat was raw from screaming. Narcissa gave into the tears as her husband held her.

They were helpless and Narcissa's only hope was that Harry Potter would find a way to kill the Dark Lord before the Dark Lord destroyed everything she loved.

The Order meeting had extended until morning, Harry kept the Horcruxes quiet but had described Amelia Bones' murder, the missing people, and the breakout from Azkaban. Harry found that the Order asking him questions gave them the most in-depth answers. Harry had not spent the last seven years going over the war, in fact, Harry had done everything, used every distraction to ensure that he never had a spare moment to think about the war. He fell asleep each night because of both physical and mental exhaustion.

Kingsley, Moody, and Severus were the three most imperative people sitting at the table aside from Andromeda and Harry.

"Oh and Ted," Harry said remembering, "Someone at St. Mungo's gives a patient a potted Devil's Snare."

"Pardon?" Ted said sitting up. He had been listening but he had worked the day before and at four in the morning, there were only so many horrors one could process before tiredness seeps in.

"Devil's Snare, Saint Mungo's, kills someone. And some healer found a way to bring the Longbottoms back."

Ted was fully awake now, "How?"

"You add 1 gram moonstone and asphodel petals, each petal for a year, to an aging potion. It de-ages the mind as well as the body. Some old witch invented it trying to make herself young again," Harry said.

"Did it work for her?" Ted asked.

"Not the way she wanted. In de-aging the brain she lost all her memories, when she woke up she couldn't understand that her family was gone. Kinda like time traveling into the future, I suppose. She was a hundred and fourteen. She died of natural causes even though physically her body couldn't have been more than thirty," Harry explained.

"So if the Longbottoms take the potion it will be as if they are waking up from 1981?" Sirius asked.

"That's what seemed to happen, but even if their bodies feel youthful they will have still lost the fourteen years," Harry said.

"That is a small price to pay for one's sanity, Harry," Ted said, his gaze distant.

"I can help you brew the potion," Snape offered.

"You put the moonstone in first, finest powder, and you add the petals in last. One complete counter-clockwise turn after each petal," Harry instructed.

"What heat?" Snape asked.

"Same as the original aging potion. If you turn it clockwise after the petals it causes you to get older and the person who takes it will start having seizures. If you don't give that person the correct de-aging potion they will be dead in twenty-four hours. The mind can't process a year's time with no memory or sleep. Some wizard hit his wife with a stunner while he tried getting her to help, it gave her an extra few hours," Harry said.

"You make it sound like you've seen that," Sirius said.

"A de-aging potion, Sirius, in the search for beauty and vitality many people tried to brew it at home. A lot of people died. Governments outlawed it except for in cases like the Longbottom's. In fact, I think it would be best if you snuck the potion to them. You will not get the glory, but then you will not get the blame for a bunch of fifty-year-old women trying to kill themselves to reclaim their twenties."

Ted and Snape nodded at that.

Andromeda suggested poisoning Bellatrix with her prison food.

"I can't be the one to brew it," Snape said, regretfully. "My occlumency shields are impenetrable but I don't think I could be behind her death and not let a breath of- satisfaction through."

"She wasn't always that crazy," Dromeda said.

"Droms, Bells was always crazy," Sirius said.

"But she wasn't evil until she married Lestrange."

Sirius looked away, "I should have been there to stop that marriage."

"There wasn't anything we could have done," Andromeda said. "She was set on marrying."

"He broke her."

"Can we kill that bastard too?" Andromeda asked Kingsley.

Kingsley thought about it. "Bellatrix is in the top tower. We could work our way down. The only problem is that after Crouch's escape everyone is checked for potions. I don't know that I could smuggle a poison to the island."

"We could deliver it," Harry said.

"I'll deliver it," Andromeda said, not wanting Harry anywhere near dementors. "I can handle the winds. You're too small to handle the gusts."

Harry crossed his arms and mock glared at her. "I can out fly your speckled butt any day of the week."

"My wife's butt is not speckled," Ted said.

She coughed, "Well in that form it is. But I am larger than Harry and could handle a dunk in the water."

"You are more likely to be seen," Harry argued.

"I am white, grey, and greyish blue. Your butt's bright orange."

"What in blazes are you two babbling about?" Hestia Jones asked.

"You're animagi," Minerva guessed. "Birds?"

"We're both falcons," Harry said.

"No way?" Sirius asked grinning at his godson.

"We figured if Wormtail could do it, anyone could."

Sirius smile faltered.

"It helps when we took Teddy out to run in the woods," Harry added. "I am an American Kestrel."

"Kestrels being the smallest breed of falcons," Andromeda said with a grin. "I am a peregrine falcon. And despite what Harry thinks, I am the fastest bird there is. We clocked me at 200 miles per hour."

"Yeah," Harry said, "Until you crashed into a tree branch. That was a fun trip to the hospital."

"It was not fun," she said.

"Teddy thought it was hilarious."

"No, he thought your laugh sounded funny, you honking ass."

"So, Andromeda will fly me the potion," Kingsley said, taking a hold of the conversation.

"Yes," she said.

"Great," Kingsley said. "We will plan on that for Wednesday, that's when I'm scheduled to check in on the prison. Ted and Snape can get the Longbottoms back. Hestia will get the cabinet from Knockturn Alley and destroy it. Harry, could you come in on Monday to speak with Amelia Bones?"

Harry nodded, "I think that would be wise. Fudge and the goblins already cleared the time travel thing but it would be polite to check in with her. Explain certain things to her in person."

"How are you planning to kill Voldemort?" Albus spoke for the first time in hours.

"I was thinking I'd drop a bomb on his head," Harry said.

"Muggle weapons will malfunction around magic," Albus said frowning.

"I wasn't serious," Harry said.

"Because I'm Sirius," Sirius said.

Harry's mouth twitched but he kept his focus on Albus, "See I never understood that, some muggle weapons must work. But anyway, I need to get him mortal first. Which may take a few weeks. After that, well, it will depend on what Tom does. I could probably take him in a duel, but honestly, I'd rather assassinate the monster than give him another sporting chance to kill me. For now, though I need to keep Teddy safe. Tom will be after him to get at me."

"He can stay with me," Sirius offered.

Harry shook his head, "I'm sorry, Sirius but I can't leave him behind when I return to Hogwarts."

"Hogwarts should be safe enough," Snape said. "At least for now."

Harry sighed but nodded, "I will not be taking him on any more trips to London or Hogsmeade. We should probably keep an eye on Ron and Hermione too. We may not be close friends in the feature, but I would never wish either of them harm. And when is Hagrid going to be back from visiting the Giants?"

"Do you know everything?" Albus asked.

"If I knew everything, Albus, I wouldn't be asking questions. Also, I adore Hagrid but if you want something to stay secret, involving Hagrid isn't your wisest choice."

Snape smirked at that.

"That reminds me, Sirius, can I have Kreacher?"

"Why would you want Kreacher?" Sirius asked, disgusted.

"Because the last time, you yelled at Kreacher to 'get out' he took that as an escape to get out of the house and run to Bellatrix. He helped get you killed."

"Oh," Sirius said. He called, "Kreacher!"

Pop. "Master calls," the elf said ringing his hands. Then muttered darkly, "Filth in the House of Black. Oh, what would Mistress do to poor Kreacher?"

"Listen up," Sirius snapped. "I, Lord Black, he by give you to Lord Potter, to serve and be Mastered."

There was a small rush of power as the elf's loyalties switched to Harry. Harry said in a rush, "I, Lord Potter, claim you as my servant, Kreacher. I command that you not leave this dwelling. I command that nothing you know, have witnessed, or will learn are you to communicate either by mundane or magical means to anyone without my explicit permission."

Kreacher bowed, "As Master Potter commands. Scum."

"Go clean the house, but leave Teddy alone, you are not to enter a room he is present in."

"Yes, Master." Pop.

"You realize he isn't going to clean the house, right?" Sirius asked.

Harry shrugged, "I will avoid saying 'you are dismissed' or 'you may leave' where possible."

"Is there anything more we need to discuss?" Moody asked.

"Probably," Harry said, "But nothing I can think of." He looked at the clock, "Teddy will be up within the hour. I'll make breakfast if anyone wants to stay." He got up and headed to the pantry. Molly had filled it.

"I think I best be going," Albus said, standing to leave. Moody followed, everyone else stayed. Harry was a bit too interesting for them to leave just yet. Besides, it was a Sunday.

"I can cook, Harry," Molly said rising.

"Nonsense," Andromeda said putting a hand on Molly's wrist, motioning for her to sit back down. "Let the man cook for you for once. It calms him down."

"He seems pretty calm," Arthur noted.

"He has the patience and control of a saint," Andromeda said. "And the same amount sex in his saintly life."

Harry threw a container of baking powder at her head.

Which she caught and hurled back at him. He caught it one-handed and went back to cooking. Ted watched his wife, realizing how close these two people were.

Molly launched on this line of questioning. "You don't date?"

"I'm too busy to date," Harry said waving his wand to get the water and teacups ready for tea.

"That's no excuse, Bill's dating Fleur," Molly said.

Charlie smiled into his hands, Bill hadn't been able to come tonight, or was it last night?

"You hate Fleur," Harry said without turning to face her.

"No, I don't. But I am sure we can find you someone in your age group. Lucinda Tulkamun was a year ahead of Bill. She was a Quidditch captain, now I think she works in the ministry."

"I'm fine, thanks anyway, Molly."

"Do you like being a father?" Molly asked changing tack.

"Molly," Arthur warned.

She gave her husband innocent eyes. Arthur rolled his.

"Yes, I love being a father," Harry said, missing the trap.

"Don't you want more children?"

Harry almost sliced his finger as he was cutting apples.

Andromeda laughed, "He does."

Harry turned, pointing his knife at Andromeda, "Shut it."

"You need a lady friend if you want more children," Molly pressed.

"One would think you'd need a wife, not just a bed partner," Harry shot back.

Which is when Harry's ward pinged against his wrist, only he felt it. A few moments later Teddy came barrelling into the kitchen, he skidded into Harry's legs. "Beat you, Mommy!" he called.

"Nymphadora is single," Dromeda said as her daughter ran into the kitchen, nearly knocking herself out when she bumped into the door frame.

Harry went back to cooking, his face beet red.

Sirius barked with laughter.

"What's so funny?" Dora asked as she took the empty seat between Sirius and Kingsley.

Kingsley chuckled and Charlie joined in.

"What?" She asked looking at all of them.

"Daddy what are you making?" Teddy asked ignoring the mass of people.

"Blueberry pancakes and apple fritters," Harry said.

Which prompted Hestia to say, "If you don't date him, little Auror, I will."

"You want to date Remus?" Dora asked, confused.

Hestia shook her head and pointed to the man at the stove, chatting to the seven-year-old as he made the finest smelling food this side of heaven.

Dora's eyes swung to Harry's tall frame, the neat line of his broad shoulders down to his narrow waist and long legs. Her cheeks flared, freckles emerging like bits of pepper.

AN: I am keeping the chapters at breaking points so some will be longer or shorter than others. Thank you so much for the reviews! Your thoughts help tell me to decide what's working and what I need to focus a bit more on.

Chapter 6: Chapter 6

AN: As to my writing pace; I am depressed, lonely, and not in the mood to paint. Also, I don't have a bucket load of homework yet so enjoy this while lasts, my dearest readers. It takes a minimum of 5 hours for me to write and look over a chapter and I have been writing for a solid three days, only stopping to eat and sleep. This is the most response I've gotten for a story and I'm loving it.

Chapter 6

Amelia Bones was a no fuss, no drama kinda witch and had been known to be painfully direct at times. When Harry Potter, the superstar of Wizarding Britain came to speak with her on her lunch break, she was expecting drama and was not happy about it.

"What do you want, Lord Potter?" she asked.

"Just to talk," he said.

"Then talk," she said curtly.

He seemed to make a decision before launching into the conversation. "Being from the future, I know you're destined to be murdered in a few weeks. I'd prefer if you weren't."

She was silent for a moment. She put her drink down on her desk, before asking in an even tone, "How was I murdered?"

"In your home, supposedly by Voldemort himself."

She took a deep breath. "You still believe he's back then."

"Do you truly believe a baby defeated one of the most powerful wizards in history?"

"It did seem illogical at the time, but he didn't come back."

"My mother was researching ancient magic, she hurt him and he went into hiding."

"No one was there to remember."

"I was there, Madam Bones, I remember."

"What does it feel?" she asked.

"What does it feel like to die? I suppose it hurts but you are gone before you register the pain, at least with the killing curse. Coming back -hurts a lot."

"You're lucky."

Harry shrugged, "My luck is rather fickle."

"You didn't come here just to warn me of my death."

"I wanted to ask if you would move into a safe house, you're niece is welcome to join you over the holidays. It is where I will bring my son."

"I will still be able to come to work?"

"Naturally," Harry said. "The safe house is the base of the Order of Phoenix."

"That Order got my brother killed."

"Voldemort is after you now, whether you associate with Albus's followers or not."

She tilted her head, "I don't dislike Albus Dumbledore, I even respect him, but I do not trust him."

Harry nodded, "I learned the hard way where trusting Albus leads you. But this offer comes from me, not him."

"Will you be doing illegal things in the name of the Greater Good?"

"Illegal? You mean like assassinating Dark Lords and of few of his imprisoned followers."

Her mouth opened in a small oh of surprise, "You shouldn't have told me that."

"No, I shouldn't tell Fudge that. Voldemort is active again and we are at war. His influence has already reached the ministry. What side are you going to be on, Bones? The side that is passive and gets itself kicked around and killed or the side takes the initiative?"

"I will not take orders, Potter."

Lord Potter's green eyes flashed with their own light, "I don't want sycophants. I'm not Albus. I want people to be informed and do what they think is right."

"Killing people isn't right, isn't legal."

"Defense is legal, Bones. And mark my words, when Voldemort makes a deal with the dementors to give them free feasting rights, the worst of the worst are not going to stay imprisoned. I don't like the death sentences, but I'd rather they die than have serial killers after my students."

"Says the child who survived Sirius Black's escape."

"It was Peter Pettigrew who almost killed me, who was the Secret Keeper that got my parents killed."

"What are you talking about?" Amelia asked, but the pieces were already clicking into place in her mind.

"Peter Pettigrew was the traitor, the man who killed thirteen people. He is a Death Eater and helped Voldemort regain his power. He killed Cedric Diggory before my eyes."

"How did he escape?" She asked not sure if she meant Sirius or Pettigrew.

"Peter cut off his finger and went down the sewer as a rat. Sirius slipped out of Azkaban as a dog. They -my father included, became animagi to be with Remus Lupin during the full moon in their school days."

"Anyone else I should know about not being legally registered?"

"My little family was registered in our time."

She sighed, "This is a lot to take in."

"I know," Harry said. "But dying is sorta a bigger thing to take in."

"My niece, what happened to Susan?"

"She survived the war, but your death… she suffered. I remember when the ten death eaters escaped the other students hounded her about her relatives."

Amelia shut her eyes and said, "I'll pack my bags."

"Would you mind if I escorted you?" Harry asked.

She smiled then, "It is the ministry's job to protect you."

"I like being an adult, Madam Bones. I find not being taken to court because I used a patronus to save my soul handy."

"We were all suspecting you were going to be joining our office in the future, to become an auror."

Harry smiled, "I gave up fighting dark wizards and witches to raise a baby."

"Pity," she said, "You could have helped a lot of people."

"I saved my son's life," Harry said. "Small in the grand scheme of things perhaps, but when he comes to me to rescue him from the nightmares, from the small hurts we all face growing up, my life doesn't feel insignificant."

"Parents are often called heroes."

"I've been called a hero my entire life. I still prefer the title 'Daddy' to anything else."

"But you'll fight this war again?"

"If you had the keys to stop the first war, how could you do anything else but use them?"

"You could die," she pointed out.

"If I do nothing, I know I will," Harry said, his emerald eyes dark with sorrow.

Amelia stood, "I have another hour left of my lunch break. Let's go pack my stuff and Susan's now. You can bring the bags to this hidey hole. I'll meet you here in my office tonight at nine."

"I am sure the resident of the Hidey Hole, will be happy for the company," Harry said with a small grin.

"Where have you been?" Umbridge asked.

"Lunch break, now if you'll excuse me, my class is waiting for me."

"I'll be proctoring today."

"Fine," Harry said, walking around her to enter the double doors. "Hello, class. All four houses I see. Split yourselves in half, one line on each side of the room. I have no idea what your spelling experience is but I am going to teach you lot how to make up for each other's weaknesses. Wands out."

The class did as they were told. Umbridge had to take four steps to keep up with each one of Harry's. But she managed to claim the only chair in the room. She automatically began ruffling through Harry's notes.

"How do you read this chicken scratch?" she asked.

"I warded those," Harry said.

The pages morphed together into a mini dragon that tried to bite the witch's fingers. She raised her wand, "Incendo!"

The spell blew back in her face as energy, causing her and the chair to topple backward. The papers transformed into a buck and two does who began to prance around Harry's desk.

Fred, George, and Lee were in tears of laughter.

Harry ignored it all, pointing a thumb at Fred. "Switch with someone on the other side, your twin will not always be around to save you."

Fred smiled, bowing to him, "Of course, Lord Potter." He skipped across the room. A Slytherin girl replaced him rolling her eyes at his antics.

"Now, every-"

"Wait!" Umbridge yelled, righting herself. Her hairdo had fallen out of its tight knot, the pins hanging heavy in her light brown hair. "Wait! I need to make notes."

"That is your issue, not mine, not the classes," Harry said, voice haughty. "Now everyone cast your strongest shield charm and be ready to hold it. You should be able to cast silently at this point in your education."

The looks on his students' faces said plainly that they disagreed with him.

The shields went up, and the moment they did Harry cast a reflection shield that bubbled towards the other end of the room. The force of his shield going up slammed into the students' shields. All thirty of their charms buckled, Harry let his shield drop but the students had already been slammed into the wall. They all sank to the floor, stunned, staring at Harry, their eyes going wide, filling with fear and awe.

"Get up," Harry ordered, "Keep a hold of your wands. Your enemies will not give you time to recover any more than gravity would wait for you to get out of the way of falling rocks."

"You hurt them!" Umbridge exclaimed, more in triumph than concern for his pupils' safety.

"We're fine, you dumb hag," Lee called, "The walls were padded, we're just shocked is all."

"Twenty points from Gryffindor, for insulting a professor," Umbridge said.

"Twenty points to Gryffindor for alleviating the High Inquisitor of her worry for my students well being," Harry said. "Fifty points to the student who can name the spell I used."

The Slytherin girl raised her hand, Harry waved to her, "A reflecting shield charm. One that bubbles outward."

"Fifty points to Slytherin, Ms-"

"Stimpson, Patricia Stimpson."

"Very well done, Ms. Stimpson," Harry praised. "Shields are your greatest defense in nearly any circumstance, except against the Unforgivables. For those use physical cover and transfiguration will be of more use to you. Mirror or reflect charms are great because they act as defense and offense, however, they have one major drawback. Does anyone know what that drawback is?"

No hands rose.

"Right then," Harry waved his wand at the board, the name of the shield charm writing itself in handwriting that belonged to the Holly wand, not his own chicken scratch. "The motion for the spell is this," Harry motioned with his wand. "As you will be casting the spell with your classmates' picture a wall merging together about half a meter in front of you."

After a couple tries the class got the spell.

"Excellent, shields down. Does anyone want to take a guess at the problem with this type of shield?" Harry asked.

Again, no one raised their hand.

"Alright then" Harry pointed to the side of the room with George and said, "Shield up. I am going to throw a fireball this time, be ready." Harry showed off a bit with a wandless softball sized ball of fire in his left hand. The ball looked like fire but it was a cold flame and when it struck a person it would flash blue and cover them with a thin coating of frost. It was basically a fancy snowball, practically harmless unless you were a flower, but the students didn't know that. As it grew in Harry's palm the ball of fire looked damned impressive. Harry pitched it at the shield charm and he immediately flattened himself to the flow on his back. The other side of the room gasped as Harry watched the fireball whiz over where he had just been standing. Harry turned his head, as the other group got their shield up before the ball hit. Harry watched the ceiling as the ball ping-ponged back and forth. Harry sat up when the ball angled towards the back of the room and heard someone scream as the ball of fire stuck Umbridge in the face.

Harry stood, smirking as the flame engulfed the witch, the students watching in fascinated horror. The blue flames spurted out, leaving Umbridge to blink at them, her face covered in fast melting frost.

"It wasn't fire," someone said into the shocked space.

Harry smiled, "A glorified snowball. Wandless magic is rarely powerful enough to cause real damage, though Icklehim Morner published an interesting book on wandless illusion spells. Works well for entertaining small children. The one wandless spell I'd like you to learn is Accio Wand. Your wands should all have a connection to you. Accio wand and Lumous should work even if you are not touching your wand. I can't really teach you how to do it, it's more a matter of belief and practice."

"I feel like we should be clapping," Fred said. "Can we clap?"

Harry shook his head, "I assume you all saw the danger of a reflection or mirror shield. Anyone not behind your shield can be victimized. If the spell you reflect is powerful enough to do damage to a building you could cause a wall or ceiling to collapse."

"You dare-" Umbridge began, finally recovering.

Harry spoke over her, "For homework I want each of you to research and learn fifteen shield charms. Avoid shields specific to an offense spell, as in a duel you would rarely know the spell your opponent has just thrown at you. You will be expected to perform them for the class. Ask your classmates for help. Write a one-page theory essay for any shield out of the fifteen you cannot cast. Class dismissed so Ms. Umbridge can have her mental breakdown."

"Why you imprudent-"

The class left bubbling with excitement and laughter.

Harry let Umbridge rage as he reclaimed his chair so he could write his notes about the class. Noting which students were the weakest with the spells, best with merging their magic, and who had the quickest reaction times. He didn't get all their names but he would ask Minerva later. He did while tuning Umbridge out.

She got so frustrated she threw a stunning charm at him. His mirror charm was up before she had finished raising her wand. Harry left Dolores Umbridge on the ground for the house elves to clean up.

"Where's Dolores?" Albus asked at dinner.

Harry shrugged, "She hit herself with a stunning charm. She's not the brightest candle wick is she?"

"What do you mean she hit herself with a stunner?" Pomona asked.

"We were practicing mirror shields in my seventh-year class."

Snape and Filius laughed.

The sight of Severus Snape silenced the majority of the great hall. Which naturally killed Snape's mirth.

"You didn't think to revive her?" Albus asked, despite his tone his eyes were sparkling.

"Nope," Harry said.

"Umbridge is really dumb," Teddy told the Headmaster. "She insulted centaurs on centaur land."

Minerva raised an eyebrow at Harry.

"It was Hermione's idea to show Umbridge Dumbledore's 'secret weapon.'"

"What weapon?" Filius asked.

"There wasn't a weapon, at least not Albus's," Harry said. "Hermione came up with the idea to lead her into the woods. Umbridge was going to use the torture curse on me to get answers as to where Albus had disappeared to. Snape ran out of veritum serum because she kept questioning first years."

Minerva's eyes filled with fury, "I say we leave her on the floor overnight."

"We can't do that," Albus said.

"Then you go revive her because it will not be me," Minerva said.

The sentiment was shared amongst all of the professors. Albus ended up having to get up to go get Dolores. Not even Pomona or Poppy moved a muscle to go help the woman frozen in Harry's classroom.

Midway through dinner, sixth and seventh year students got up from each table to walk over to the head table. Harry didn't recognize any of them from his classes. Though he hadn't the sixth years yet. He'd only had the second and third years that morning.

They grouped around their Heads of Houses. They were all asking the same question, was it too late to switch into Professor Potter's Defense Against the Dark Arts class?

The four Heads of House turned to Harry who answered with, "As long as you do the homework, sure."

Teddy giggled at them, causing the girls to ooh and aww while the boys headed back to their tables. Teddy knew that his father's homework was notorious for being hard and time-consuming.

Yet this change would be the first time since DADA had become an optional course for the older students that every student at Hogwarts was enrolled in defense. Harry wondered if it would make a difference when Voldemort unleashed himself on Wizarding Britain.

AN: Updates will slow down until I get my next break. Thank you for the love! Your thoughts on the characters and Harry's choices would be helpful :)

Chapter 7: Chapter 7

AN: Wicked short chapter but I couldn't bring myself to add anything else to it. Dora will be in the next chapter, slow burn. I saw that there was an issue with this chapter going up, hope it works now. Also, last few chapters have between 4,000 to 3,000 words this is the first 'short' chapter because of content not for update speed.

Chapter 7

Tuesday, 2 o'clock in the morning. Ted Tonks woke, reaching for his wife but the bed was empty. He got up, his body lethargic at the early hour. He had spent the night after his shift at St. Mungo's with Severus Snape, it was an almost absurdly easy potion. But he supposed the result if they mussed even one ingredient would be quite dire. Ted would give the Longbottoms the potion tomorrow. Severus and Ted had tried the potion on Mrs. Norris. The cat's fur looked silky and her personality seemed relatively less cranky. As Severus pointed out though, she was still a cat.

Ted opened their bedroom door, Teddy's door was still closed but Harry's and the bathroom door… Ted heard the all too familiar sound of someone throwing up into a toilet. Working in a hospital there was no shortage of people puking. Ted's own stomach still twisted in sympathy but he was a pro at swallowing past his gag reflex.

He found Harry Potter on his knees, curled around the toilet as his stomach unloaded. Dromeda was rubbing useless circles over his scarred back. Ted came over to kneel on the other side of the boy. Ted placed a gentle hand beside his wife's hand, Harry flinched as if Ted had branded him. Harry turned his head to look at him. His eyes were unhidden behind glasses, but more than poor version seemed to be affecting his sight. It was if those emerald eyes were completely blind, or at least not seeing what was around him.

Harry whipped his head back to the toilet as his body tensed and hunched, but only spit came out, his stomach was empty now. The dry heaving must have hurt because tears squeezed out of Harry's eyes as he panted and tried desperately to relieve the sickness from his body. His body making the motions to continue throwing up. Ted got up to get cool clothes.

"Calm him down, Dromeda, if he doesn't stop soon it will be stomach acid next," he told his wife softly.

Ted came back with the wet towels and began wiping the sweat off Harry's back. Harry immediately started to shivering, he pressed his forehead to the porcelain rim of the toilet.

"What's wrong with him?" Ted asked.

"Just night-terrors," Dromeda said softly, her eyes full of pain. "What dream was it, Harry?"

She took a small towel from Ted and placed it on the back of Harry's neck.

"The great hall," Harry moaned, "The great hall."

Harry's tears fell faster, but he gave no more voice to the pain.

"The great hall?" Ted asked Dromeda when the had finally got Harry into a hot shower.

"It's where he killed Voldemort, where they laid out the dead," Dromeda said, her own eyes filling with tears. "I didn't see it. I couldn't come, I had to stay with Teddy. I, I-" Her voice broke, "You had just died, I couldn't. I didn't want the last memory of our daughter to be her dead body. I couldn't do it."

Ted went to hold her but she pushed him away.

"I was so happy to be back. So happy you and her were alive, I forgot. Forgot what returning to this place would cost him," her words were harsh.

"This was not your fault, Dromeda, none of this was your fault," Ted told her earnestly.

"I fell apart, Ted," her voice angry now. Angry at herself. "Harry swept in and pulled me off the floor. He took care of me and my grandson. I gave them both so little in return."

"I'm sure you gave more than you think."

"He doesn't deserve this, Ted!" She said a tad louder.

"Life doesn't give us what we deserve," Ted said.

"Well, Life, Fate, and Luck can go screw themselves!"

"Dromeda, Harry is not the first person to suffer, he will not be the last. But he has Teddy, he has you, and he has me. He's going to be alright."

"You can't know that."

"And you can't know that all the bad things will happen. You were given a second chance, Dromeda, don't squander it by asking what could have been. You'll drive yourself mad."

"I'm a Black, I'm already mad."

"No you're a Tonks, part of hardworking farmer's family that knows even when famine strikes, somehow, some way life goes on," Ted said reaching for her again.

Andromeda let herself be held, let herself be comforted. Let her husband heal some of the monsters eating at her heart.

Chapter 8: Chapter 8

AN: There is enough foreshadowing in this chapter that I feel like I'm teasing you all. This is 3,000 word chapter :) Please enjoy the drama.

Chapter 8

Harry got out of the shower. His body felt empty, his mind heavy as if sadness could have a physical weight. After he put clean clothes on he went to go check on Teddy. Harry watched the rise and fall of his son's chest for a few minutes from the dim light of the door. The full moon was tonight, he'd be up at four thirty. Tomorrow he'd sleep in until noon. He shut the door as quietly as he could, resetting the ward to know when Teddy left.

Harry went back to his room, to his old trunk. He removed the map and the invisibility cloak. He came out to the main room. Andromeda and Ted were up waiting for him sitting at the little table.

"Here drink this," Ted said, gesturing to the tea set before one of the chairs. "It'll fill and calm your stomach."

Harry took to long steps, picked up the small mug, and poured the hot liquid back. It was hot enough that he felt it down his throat, hitting the center of his chest before his body absorbed the temperature.

Ted winced.

"Where do you think you're going?" Andromeda asked.

"Horcrux hunting," Harry said, hand reaching for the door.

Ted spit his tea. "Horcrux? Did you just say horcrux, like a cursed item of a murder's split soul -can possess people, horcrux?"

Harry shot Ted a glance.

"I have worked in the departments of cursed objects, experimental magic, and dark art victims."

Harry's eyes flicked to Andromeda, "What? Preparing for your family's retribution?"

"Our wedding gift may have shifted my apparitions in my healing career," Ted said.

Harry opened his mouth to ask then thought better of it, and turned back to the door. Andromeda shifted, flew to the door, shifted back and pressed her back against the shut door. She knew better than to touch him in that moment. Harry's control over his temper was remarkable but she saw glimpses of what that restraint cost. Swallowing anger was like drinking a smoothie with broken glass rather than ice. "You are not going dark object hunting in the state you're in now."

"So you want me to just let the pieces of his soul sit around. It will not be long before Tom figures out that I know where they are," Harry said.

"It can wait for the weekend," she said.

"What if he figures it out tomorrow?"

"Fine, then I'll go get them."

"No," Harry and Ted said in unison.

"Why not?" Andromeda asked Harry.

"Because you could get hurt," Harry said.

"And you think you could handle the mind screw those things will play on you? Your occlumency shields are barely up right now. Getting yourself injured today, Harry, helps no one. We've been here for a grand total of five days. The Dark Lord is so arrogant it will be a while before he realizes that you know where they all are," Andromeda reasoned.

"What if you're wrong?"

"What if you can't handle the stress? How much sleep have you gotten in the last four nights? That nap with Teddy and three hours of nightmares? You must give yourself time, give Teddy time. You cannot win a war in a week."

"If I don't act soon people will die and it will be my fault."

"That's Albus Dumbledore talking. The Dark Lord's choices are not yours."

"But the choices I make affect the choices he makes."

"We are all human, Harry, even him. You cannot be responsible fo-"

"I am responsible for not acting."

"You need sleep."

"I can't sleep!" Harry roared.

Andromeda's breath caught, Harry had never yelled at her before.

"I can't sleep! I can barely keep my food down! Every time I see their faces, when I walk into a room I saw destroyed, all I see is their bodies," he raged. "All I can think about is what their parents' faces looked like when they came here. I hate Hogwarts! But then those kids look at me and I remember that if I don't stand up for them no else is going to. And not because the Hogwarts professors don't care but because they are set in their ways and the Dark Lord knows how to work around them."

"Then fly, Harry," Andromeda said. "Go taste the skies, clear your head. I'll make breakfast for Teddy."

"The full moon is tonight," Harry said.

"And you think hunting horcruxes is going to help you keep Teddy safe in the Forbidden Forest?" she asked.

"I'll brew you a dreamless sleep for tonight, Harry," Ted said.

Harry looked between the two adults, sighed, handed Dromeda the map and the cloak before shifting. His little falcon form flapping to keep eye level with Andromeda.

"Ted, open the window," Andromeda commanded.

He did as he was told.

Harry's body and tail feathers were orange and his wings were greyish blue. The top of his head was blue capped with a strip of white and black on his cheeks. The moment the window was open, he dived through it.

"So, he's not okay," Ted remarked.

Dromeda let her head fall back on the door, her eyes closing. "He used to tell me that he was grateful for the night-terrors. He said if the worst that happened to him were his dreams he would never spend a moment of his blessed reality complaining about it."

"Harry is a remarkable person," Ted said.

"He's only scratched the surface of his potential. I never thought there would be a day I didn't fear the Dark Lord. But I know Harry, and it is the Dark Lord who should be afraid."

Teddy had woken to his father yelling. Teddy wasn't sure how but he knew Daddy always knew when he left the room. Even if he wasn't in the house Daddy always knew if he left. So Teddy didn't open the door. He laid on the floor and shifted his ear to the crack. Out of all his friends back home, he had the best hearing, better hearing than anyone he'd met.

So he heard it all. Daddy wasn't okay. Daddy was going to kill the Dark Lord to keep everyone safe; again. Grandmama and Daddy had never told him the story, but his friends had. The story about Harry Potter, the Savior of Britain was his secret favorite, one he never asked Daddy about because he knew that's why his father had bad dreams. Bad dreams about Hogwarts.

Teddy didn't know what he should do. He didn't know how to make Daddy happy again.

He stayed in his room as long as he could trying to think up a solution. He thought about it until his tummy forced him to go find food. Grandmama had made bacon. Grandpa had already left for work.

"You alright, Teddy?" Grandmama asked him.

"Are we not allowed to go home?" Teddy asked.

"Well, I'm sure someone lives in the old house. But even if we went to America it wouldn't be the same as it will be in ten years," she said. Grandmama always told the truth.

"But do we have to live here?" Teddy pressed.

"It's the safest place for us at the moment. And the government wants to keep an eye on the time travelers for a while."

"Can't we live with Grandfather?"

"Grandpa is living here, with us. My house in Britain isn't safe enough."

"No, I meant live with Daddy's dad."

Grandmama frowned, "You mean, Sirius?"

Teddy nodded, "He's Daddy's godfather, just like Daddy is my godfather."

Grandmama smiled at him, "Well I'm sure Grandfather Sirius will be happy to hear that. We could live with him but you wouldn't be able to see Daddy every day. Traveling back and forth between here and London twice a day would make him more tired. And you'd have to stay in London, so you wouldn't see him at lunch."

"Oh," Teddy said, shoulders dropping as he nibbled on a piece of bacon. "Could we stay there on weekends?"

Grandmama refilled his pumpkin juice, "I'll talk to your father about it when he gets back."

Teddy nodded, thinking there must be something he could do.

Dora pounded on Remus's door. "By Merlin's saggy balls!" she shouted. "Open this cursed door or I swear I am going to bust it down!"

She heard a bolt click, he must have been by the door. It creaked open, a rugged Remus stood in the door frame.

"What do you want?" He snarled.

She knew it was the full moon tonight, but they needed to talk and she was done waiting for an invitation. She put a hand on his chest and shoved him back, slamming the door behind her. "We need to talk," she said.

He glared at her but took the food she offered him.

"Did you take your potion?" she asked.

"Of course I took it."

She sat on the coffee table, as much as she liked Remus, she didn't like his moldy couch. "We need to talk about Harry and Teddy."

"He stole our son, Dora?"

Her spine stiffened, "And when did we have a son? You are barely willing to kiss me."

"It isn't lack of willingness."

"Then lack of what, Remus? Do tell me what you lack, what I lack that you are constantly running away from me."

"I'm no good for you," he said, "I'm too old. I'm a monster."

"And is Teddy a monster?"

"Teddy thinks I am."

"How would you know? You've never talked him. The most monstrous thing I've ever seen you do is making that little boy cry and doing nothing to calm him down."

"Great, so now everyone thinks I'm a monster," he said, looking away.

"Dammit, Remus! Would you stop with the self-pitying for a moment and think of someone other than yourself for once in your life?"

"No one is safe with me around."

"So you don't want to be a part of your son's life at all?" she asked.

Remus glared at her, "That's not what I said."

"It's how you're acting."

He sighed, taking a seat on the couch. "I'll admit I was wrong with the way I handled things, but Harry should have talked to us before making legal arrangements."

"We were the ones who made him the godfather, and we were the ones who died a month after Teddy was born. Harry's the one who raised him," she said.

"But we're alive now, and he took our son."

"Remus," Dora sighed. "It is as if we had a one night stand. We left Harry with a baby. He took the financial burden, took care, and loved the child. But leaving a bit of DNA behind doesn't make either of parents. We share a relation now, we are related to Teddy, but he isn't our son. Not in a way where we have more rights to him, more rights to that boy's love than Harry."

"Harry didn't give us a chance."

"Harry didn't give the government a chance to seize Teddy. Mum explained it to me. There is no way for either of us to prove Teddy is our son in the courts. When Teddy time traveled to a time before he was conceived he became an orphan, a ward of the Ministry. You know how corrupt our government is, and Harry didn't just adopt Teddy, he made him his official heir. When Harry dies, Teddy will be Lord Potter."

Remus was frowning at his worn shoes. "Your mother said we left them with nothing."

Dora frowned, "What I don't get is how the goblins seized the Potter fortune and estate."

"Goblins can only do that if he had broken into the bank, they don't care how many wizarding laws a person breaks."

"Why would Harry steal from the bank if he already had a fortune?"

"I don't know," Remus said, grumpily. "Why don't you go ask him?"

"Why are you being so painful about this? I thought you loved Harry. I thought you wanted a bigger family."

He didn't respond.

"Did you even want children?"

Again, no response.

"Remus, look at me."

He didn't look up.

"Remus, please."

When his eyes met hers, Dora didn't like the look in them.

"Don't do this to me. I love you. Don't self-destruct on me."

His gaze went cool and she felt her heart crack.

Her voice was strained when she asked, "Would you have wanted to have a baby with me?"

She saw the decision form and solidify on his face. She wanted to unask the question.

"No, Dora. I don't want children and I don't want to have a child with you."

She blinked back the tears, "You don't mean that. You just want me to leave so you can wallow in the hurt. So you can pretend that you're the monster people think werewolves are. So you can pretend that you're alone for people's safety not because you were so afraid of rejection. Afraid of the fact that you failed James and his son. Failed them like you failed Sirius and Lily. So you can lie to yourself about why Harry doesn't know you and why your own son is never going to know you either."

"Get out of my house," Remus growled.

"If I leave. I'm not coming back," Dora said. "I can't keep trying to save you from yourself if you're not even going to try to help yourself."

He stood and pointed at the door, "Then leave!"

"Don't do this, Remus," she said again. " If you let me leave without fighting for me then I'm gone."

"Then get gone."

Dora left. She didn't know how she found her way back to Grimmauld Place, she didn't even know why she had come here to begin with.

"Nymphadora?" It was Sirius. "What are you doing here? What happened? Why are you crying?" he asked as he led her into the kitchen.

She sniffed, rubbing the heels of her hands under against her eyes. "Remus," she said, voice broken. "He broke up with me. He didn't even try, he didn't even try."

Sirius wrapped her in a hug as she sobbed out the broken pieces of her heart. Her hope for a future with the man she had given her heart to was gone.

Harry flew and dived and danced in the wind. Hedwig -who was about three times bigger than Harry, found him. Her wings changed the currents a bit. They raced and hunted mice, which Harry killed but let Hedwig eat. They soared the skies, wove through tree branches for hours.

The windows to his classroom were locked so he had to find a window on a higher floor that was opened. Hedwig followed him as they sped down the empty halls. Harry made it just in time for his sixth-year class. The students gawked at him as he seamlessly went from a flying falcon to a walking human. Hedwig landed on his shoulder proudly, giving his students the most arrogant self-satisfied look any avian had ever accomplished.

When it came to friends, no one could replace your familiar.

"Everyone wands out. Today we will be learning how to cast spells silently."

Nobody questioned him, and by lunch, the students of Hogwarts all seemed to agree that not only was Professor Potter the coolest professor but probably the best they'd ever had at teaching. McGonagall, Flitwick, and Sprout had always been good but Professor Potter's classes were fun even if they were hard. There was just something about Harry Potter that made a student want to earn his respect. They didn't have to beat each other, they just had to do their best. Harry did not play favorites, was not condescending, and never overreacted, but he did see everything and everyone for the individuals they were. None of them felt particularly special, but all of them felt acknowledged. It was a small thing to be acknowledged, to be seen for yourself not the person beside you, or for the color you wore, yet that small thing meant a great deal for those who had settled for being unseen, uncounted. The Boy-Who-Lived had always mattered to them, but now it seemed they mattered to Harry Potter.

AN: A little cheesy but everyone could do with a little more heart in these crazy days. I was really trying to make things work with Remus but for a sweet guy, the man has enough self-doubt, self-loathing, and depression to drown a ship. Lesson to everyone dealing with mental health issues, myself included, you can never fix someone who doesn't want to be fixed. You can never love someone enough if they are incapable or unwilling to love themselves. Only they can choose to find a way out, however hard that road is to walk. You can walk beside someone but you cannot walk that road for them.

Anyways I just can't picture Remus with Dora after she's seen Harry with Teddy. Besides that Dromeda is about ready to murder the man. Let me know what you think of the characters and plot, please?

Chapter 9: Chapter 9

AN: Um so who hasn't said stupid stuff in a break-up? I don't dislike Remus but the man has some major issues. 5,000 words; so stop complaining about short chapters and not updating quickly enough. Thank you to the reviewers though, your words mean a lot to me :)

Chapter 9

Teddy had stayed with his grandmother for lunch. Harry announced that his afternoon classes would be canceled. He did, however, pass out the homework, much to his students' annoyance.

Harry walked up to the Gryffindor table, Hermione and Ron coming to attention when it appeared he was walking toward them.

"Hi, Harry," Hermione greeted, smiling at him.

"Professor Potter," Harry corrected reflexively.

"I wouldn't have thought you'd care about titles," Ron said, frowning at his ex-best friend as Hermione mumbled an apology.

"I was only nineteen when I became a full professor, the title mattered," Harry explained. "Mr. Longbottom, I need to speak with you, if you would follow me please?"

Neville stood, face worried, "Am I in trouble?"

"No, but it is a private matter if you would join me for a walk, I believe today is one of the sunny days of the season."

Neville nodded and followed Harry. Noting that they seemed to be heading toward Hogsmeade. They walked for a time in silence. The day was beautiful.

"You have been given two weeks off from school, and you have been excused from any papers. This was approved by the Headmaster and your Head of House. Andromeda Tonks and I have volunteered to tutor you for any subjects you may need help catching up on when you come back," Harry said, his tone instructive as if he were giving a lecture.

But Neville only heard the possible reasons behind a mid-semester time off.

"Are my parents alright? Have they gotten worse? Is Gran-"

"Everyone and everything is fine," Harry soothed. "Have you done side along apparition?"

"Of course," Neville said. They were approaching the border of Hogwarts' land. "If everything fine, what's this about?"

"You know I'm from the future, right?" Harry tried to joke, but Neville was too stressed to respond to such a lame attempt at humor. Harry sighed, "Magic advances, but I would ask you please not tell anyone what I am about to tell you. St. Mungo's doesn't know who is responsible-"

"You killed my parents!" Neville accused stopping in his tracks.

Harry spun on his heel, his face covered in shock and horror, "What? No, Neville, I gave someone the recipe for a potion that healed them."

"Healed them-?" Neville repeated, staring at Harry in utter disbelief.

"There were two side effects, and one misleading thing about the potion," Harry said.

Neville braced himself for the worst.

"The potion your parents were given de-aged them both mentally and physically of to a time about a month before the attack. They will have no memories, will never recover their memories of the attack or the years they spent in St. Mungo's. The one thing to keep in mind about this de-aging potion is that it doesn't give them years back, though they will look and feel younger, mid-twenties, if they were to die of old age, it would include the years they- rewrote," Harry said.

"You healed my parents?" Neville asked.

"I remembered how to make the potion."

"My parents can talk? My parents can function? Take care of themselves? Do they know who I am?" Neville was speaking faster.

"Well they woke up thinking you were a baby, but yes they know who you are. They have been asking for you all morning. The St. Mungo's staff wants to monitor them but they are in perfect health. They are ready to go home."

"Home?" Neville asked, looking lost. He had hoped for so long that he now found the idea of believing his parents could be healed and waiting for him was impossible. Impossible to trust in a fantasy.

Harry held out his hand, "You don't have to believe me. I know I wouldn't have, not at your age, when I was younger it was my dearest wish that my parents would come to whisk me away, saying it had all been a mistake, a terrible nightmare. I know it is hard to believe in dreams, Neville. Let me show that good things are just as likely to happen as the bad things."

Neville ran for him, hugging the tall man around the waist, the tears coming unbidden.

Harry hesitated only for a moment before hugging Neville back. Taking a step back across Hogwarts wards, holding tight, Harry apparated to the hospital.

Neville's stomach turned as they were jerked through space. But the moment they were in front of the St. Mungo's he was running, his mind empty, as his feet took him up the familiar stairwell, the tired, sickly, depressing halls. He stopped before his parents' room, hope rising in his chest, just like it always did. A delusion that his mother would greet him, eyes focused, that his father would smile at him. But the fear that rose in Neville's chest was enough to choke him. What if Professor Potter was wrong? What if they weren't okay, what if the worst thing wasn't his parents losing their memory? Was that even a worse thing? Neville would have traded away everything for his parents to be healed. If the price was for them to forget the horrid years being vegetables in this cursed place and being tortured into insanity, that was no sacrifice, that was a good thing.

Neville's thoughts smiled at the fact that Harry Potter had time traveled back in time only to bring his parents from the past into the future. If, his more vicious side thought, if the Professor was telling the truth.

"Damnit, Mother! I'm fine. I want to see my son," a man's voice said. "Get off her! Stop touching us, we're fine. I hate hospitals."

Professor Potter had caught up to Neville. Neville's eyes flicked to him but Professor Potter made no motion to open the door or to push him forward. That gave Neville strength, even as he heard his Gran's harsh response to the male voice, the voice that might belong to his dad.

Neville opened the door and he couldn't help by cry at the sight of his mother and father in real clothes, not the hospital nightgowns. His father stood tall, glaring down his Gran, gesturing angrily at the healers trying to check over him.

His mum must have been waiting for him because she had been staring at the door, at him when he came in. Her brown eyes sparkled when she saw him, "Neville." She ran to him, touching his face, kissing his cheeks.

"Mum," Neville croaked.

Suddenly, a pair of strong arms was wrapped around them both. "Son, my son," his father said.

Neville lost all sense of decorum, he sobbed into his mother shoulder, great racking, ugly sobs. His mother was crying too, murmuring words of comfort, "I'm so sorry, Neville, I'm so, so sorry. I love you so much. We love you so much. You're so beautiful, you grew up to be so beautiful. I'm so sorry we weren't there to see it. We're so proud of you."

Through it all, his dad held them both, their rock, their shield in the onslaught of incomprehensible emotion.

Harry watched Neville meet his family. Watched Frank try to pull together a broken family. Harry had been there the first time they'd met. Only Luna and two grandchildren had been there as well. This was better, this was so much better. It wasn't that time changed one's love for their parents, but Neville was still young enough that he needed his parents. It may change the man Neville grew up to be, but knowing how Neville's extended family had treated him, Harry doubted it would be for the worse. Luna had confided in him once about Neville's crippling self-doubt that sometimes arose after the night-terrors. Something that had only eased when his parents had healed. When his father had been proud of him and his mother told him it was alright to feel.

Harry met Frank's gaze. Harry realized that they were the same age now, weird.

"James Potter?" Frank asked, barely audible over the people in the room, the two dear hearts he was holding up in his arms.

"Harry Potter," Harry said with a smile, "Take care of your family, Lord Longbottom. Contact me if you need anything."

Frank frowned a bit, trying to do the age math that likely did not fit with him being told that Neville was fifteen, but Frank nodded to Harry's comment, squeezing his family closer to him.

To say Voldemort was not having a good day would be the understatement of the millennia. His spies had reported two events, two separate terrible, infuriating events.

The Longbottoms had recovered, suddenly young, healthy, and in the prime of their lives. How? Nobody knew, but Voldemort guessed it had something to do with Harry Potter.

The deaths of his ten finest imprisoned Death Eaters was also Potter's fault. He wasn't sure who had directly poisoned them, but Potter was going to pay for it. Along with any other person fool enough to get in his way.

Bellatrix Lestrange was dead. Bella his most loyal, his most deserving follower was dead, beyond recovery. Voldemort no longer cared about the prophecy, whatever it might say. No longer cared about killing Harry Potter. No, Voldemort would do what he had done to Regulus Black. Make Potter watch the world unfold without him, alive, frozen, forgotten. And in honor of Bella, Voldemort would torture his heir, Edward Potter into insanity. Curse the child in ways that no potion or healer could fix.

"Lucius, why did you call me?" Narcissa asked. She could count on one hand the number of times her husband had called her into work. On every other occasion, she'd been told to dress in her most presentable robes. Today, Lucius had left her secret note in her makeup box, it read; Bella's dead. Pack what you need most and leave the house as quickly as you can. Meet me before my shift ends.

"We are going rogue," Lucius said.

"Excuse me?"

"I want out, we have no hope winning this war. Even if we did win, after what the Dark Lord did you -I can't, I can't trust that he will not hurt you again. That he will not go after Draco."

"You realize how dangerous it is to be a traitor?" she asked.

"As opposed to how dangerous it is to stay?" Lucius argued.

"Are we going to work with the Order?"

"No, well not Dumbledore's Order. We are going missing. I have enough funds to provide for us all. I don't need to work."

"Are we going to be refugees?"

"No, I have a suspicion. I think Harry Potter has taken over the Order of the Phoenix. We are going to ask him for sanctuary."

Narcissa frowned, "At Hogwarts?"

Lucius shook his head, his long hair falling over his shoulders, "He came into visit Amelia on Monday, and suddenly she's not living at the Bones Manor anymore. If we follow her, she might lead us to their base."

"Lucius, what about anything you just said makes you believe that those plans will work?" Narcissa asked.

"Harry talked to you. You said Andromeda and you reconnect in the future."

"Harry didn't say anything about liking you, though. You were imprisoned."

"I can't go to Azkaban, nothing the Dark Lord offers is worth dying for, worth rooting in a cell for. I was relieved when he died, I never expected, never wanted him to come back."

"What about the dark mark?" Narcissa asked.

Lucius pulled up his sleeve, in the place of the tattoo, was raw white and pinkish skin with a sticky clear substance on it. Burn cream, she realized, horrified.

"What did you use?"

"It took a couple of tries but it's gone," Lucius said, grabbing her outreached hand. He pulled his wand and shifted their appearances. "Come, Amelia will be leaving soon."

Harry was checking on Sirius and was not expecting Dora to be there.

Her hair was a dull brown, her eyes a shallow blue. Her freckles, which Harry was nearly positive belonged to her true complexion, shown clearly on her pale face.

"Hey, Dora, you alright?" Harry asked coming into the kitchen.

"Harry!" Sirius cheered, coming around the table to hug his godson.

"Hi Sirius," Harry said hugging the man back. When they pulled apart Harry grinned. "Dromeda told me to tell you that Teddy has officially dubbed you his Grandfather, seeing as I'm his godfather and your mine."

Warmth filled Sirius' face and he all but skipped to go get everyone a fresh cup of tea.

"That was sweet of Teddy," Dora said, sadly.

Harry sat down across from her, "What's wrong, Dora?"

She hunched in on herself, "Remus broke up with me."

"Ah," Harry said in understanding. "I'm sorry he hurt you."

She looked up at him, searching his face for answers, "You don't sound surprised."

Harry shrugged, "I have no doubt Remus loves you, but I'm not surprised that he choose self-hatred over a future. He is a man of habit."

She looked down into the tea Sirius handed her.

"A man of habit," Sirius repeated, "Yeah, I'd say that fits him pretty well. He was always doubting himself. It got worse as he got older, mind you, he was always old for his age. I swear being a werewolf took away decades."

"Remus is kind, he's sweet, he's a gentleman, he's intelligent," Dora defended.

"Remus is not that intelligent," Harry said.

"Yeah, he is," Sirius said.

"Compared to you maybe," Harry allowed. "But I mean, maybe he's book smart but he doesn't have a ton of common sense a lot of the time."

"You don't mean that," Sirius said.

"Yeah, I do Sirius. How could he possibly forget about the full moon that night in my third year? And this isn't the first time he ran out on Dora," Harry said.

She looked up, "When was the first ti-"

There was a huge bang on the door, "How dare you!?" Amelia screeched. The door banged into the door and Sirius' mother began to wail.

"I'm going to kill that portrait," Sirius muttered as they all ran out into the living room.

Amelia had already stunned her guests.

Harry was surprised to see Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy laid out on the ground. "Would you shut up Lady Black!?" Harry yelled, "It's mostly purebloods in the house, Blacks, Potters, and Malfoys. You like the Malfoys right? Your niece Narcissa?"

"Blood traitors," was the last thing Walberga said before falling quiet to watch.

Harry searched both stunned people, and he pocketed their wands. Harry used a rope charm to tie them up individually. He lifted them both up, placing them on the coach before he revived them. He asked, "What do you think you're doing here?"

"I wanted to beg for your protection," Lucius said.

Harry laughed, looming over the man, "And tell me, Lord Malfoy. Why should we help you, of all people?"

"You were kind to my wife."

"Politeness is one thing, letting you into the Order's safe house without taking a chunk out of your memories is quite another."

"She saved your life," Lucius said, a bit desperately.

"She did, but I saved Draco's life twice. Besides, that's only a reason to take her in, maybe Draco. Not you."

"Please, Harry Potter, we have nowhere else to go," Lucius begged.

Harry raised an eyebrow, doubting the act.

"When has a Malfoy ever begged," Sirius asked, ticked.

"Who would Draco go to if you both went missing?" Harry asked.

"Severus Snape," Lucius said.

"Not ideal, as that leaves Draco in the Dark Lord's reach, but we'll work something out."

"You can't be considering this, Harry," Sirius said, "We can't trust them."

"This house has a dungeon right?" Harry asked.

"You're going to imprison them?" Amelia asked. "I told you I didn't want to be involved in any illegal dealings."

"They came here for protection. So we'll keep them safe from the Dark Lord, feed them, shelter them, but Sirius is right we can't trust them." Harry pointed his wand at Lucius, freeing one of the wizard's arms. Harry yanked up his sleeve and gripped where the dark mark was, squeezing, hard.

Lucius yelped trying to pull back his arm, Harry held firm. Lucius let out a piteous yell that was nearly a scream.

Harry let go and waved his wand so Lucius was re-tied. Harry wiped his salve covered hand on Lucius's shoulder. "Guess you really do want free if you are trying to flay your arm off."

Lucius was panting with the pain Harry had caused him.

"Well, you really did grow up," Sirius remarked, looking at Harry like he had never seen him before.

"We cannot do this," Amelia said.

"Amelia, if we send them back to the Dark Lord now, they're dead or worse," Harry said.

She sighed, "We can't trust them on our side, either."

"Of course we can't," Harry said.

"So what?" Dora asked, "You are going to put them in the dungeon and make Sirius take care of them?"

"First off nobody can talk to Albus about this. Where is Nigilgus's Portrait?" Harry asked, suddenly.

"Second floor," Dora said.

"Is he here? Did he hear?" Harry asked.

Dora shook her head, "He left when I came in crying. He said something about detesting women with emotions."

"Good," Harry said before flushing, "I mean sorry for your hurt, but it's good he didn't hear." He looked at Narcissa, "For your sake, I'm sorry about this, but if we win this war you'll be free to go, and if we lose you could lie about getting kidnapped. Kreacher!" Harry called.

Pop. "Master calls Kreacher?"

"You are not to talk to any of the portraits, you are not to talk the Malfoys, check on them, do anything for them, or be on the same floor as them. You are not to listen to them, do not take any order or suggestion they give," Harry commanded.

"Kreacher understands, awful master."

"Go rescue more objects from being cleaned in the house," Harry said.


"Harry," Sirius sighed.

Harry held up a finger, "Dobby."

Pop. "Harry Potter the most wonderful has called Dobby?" The elf asked bobbing up in down.

"I was wondering if you could do me a huge long time favor? It might mean you leave Hogwarts for a while. Winky can join if you like."

"Oh, Harry Potter is too gracious! Always thinking of others, like poor Dobby and poor, poor Winky!" Dobby was almost in tears. "Anything Harry Potter needs, anything!"

Harry pointed behind Dobby, "I need you to watch over some prisoners, ensure they stay imprisoned, fed, watered, and in decent health. While they don't have to be happy, I'd ask that you not torture them."

Dobby turned slowly to face the Malfoys. Dobby met Lucius's eyes. Lord Malfoy looked somehow paler than normal.

"Where?" was all Dobby asked.

"This house's dungeon, give them a clean bed and blankets. Same cell, you don't have to do anything they ask as long as they are safe and healthy," Harry said.

Dobby touched a hand to the couple's shoulders, Harry mouthed an I'm sorry to Narcissa as they popped away.

"If this gets back to Albus they will be tortured. Do not tell the old man or anyone else."

"Did you just set the Malfoy's old house elf as their prison guard?" Sirius asked.

"Yep," Harry said.

"Cold," he said. "Your father would have been proud."

Harry smiled, "Glad to hear it, but I have to get going."

"Lily would have been disgusted," Amelia said.

"People will come looking for them," Dora said.

"Ten Death Eaters die in jail and Lord Malfoy and his wife go missing the same day. It will not fool Voldy, but it will enrage the Ministry."

"Do we want the Ministry enraged?" Amelia asked.

"Yes, we do. They've been sitting on their butts for months since Cedric's death. Trying to cover up any sign that all is not well at the Ministry. Covering up the Malfoys' disappearance will be hard. And they can't say they went on vacation because they left Draco behind with no notice. At some point, they'll have to assume they're dead. Draco isn't of age yet so Malfoy Manor will be checked. Voldemort will have to find some other hole to hide in. But Malfoy Manor was the most secure. It weakens him. Lucius had more money than any other follower he had. This is a good thing for us. As long as we can keep Draco safe, it is a huge advantage."

"How long did this war last?" Sirius ask.

"Counting this year-" Harry said, "Four but the last year the Dark Lord had been defeated it was more a bunch of magical people rioting, such as the giants and werewolves, and Death Eater raids."

"You didn't stay to help?" Dora asked.

Harry glared at her, "I was only seventeen and not a certified auror. It really was a job for the government. Besides I had a son and your mother to take care of with no way to pay the bills."

"Why didn't you have any money?" Amelia asked.

"Issue with the bankers," Harry said.

"Oh speaking of which, the goblins sent a letter here, not sure how they did it, but it is addressed to you," Sirius said, disappearing into the kitchen. He came back with an envelope.

Harry opened it. There was a copy of Teddy's official papers and a note that said the Hufflepuff Cup had been cleansed of evil and returned to Hogwarts.

Harry smiled, he'd be back at Grimmauld Place this weekend to get the locket. Nagini and ring would be the two tough ones to get to now.

Lucius and Narcissa sat on a queen size bed that wasn't as comfortable as their own but wasn't bad for a prison.

Dobby hadn't said a word to either of them as he made the small place liveable over the decades of lack of use. The elf left the two skeletons in the corner though. They both shuttered to think of the old blood wards that must still be active on this place. There was just enough light in the room to see by but not enough to read. Boredom promised to be the biggest issue.

"Where do we use the restroom, elf?" Lucius called.

In response, a rusted old bucket appeared between the two skeletons.

"I think Harry is trying to teach us a moral lesson," Narcissa said.

Lucius groaned, falling back on the bed. "This was a stupid idea."

Narcissa leaned over him, smiling, "Probably, I'm just glad it worked."

"This wasn't what I had in mind."

"But we're safe and Severus is a traitor, you saw the way Harry reacted to hearing that he was the godfather, they will keep Draco from harm."

Lucius lifted a hand to cup her cheek, "Such faith?"

"Hope, Lucius, it's all we have," she whispered.

"Dobby will give youz privacy but Dobby will know if you try to do anything foolish," the elf said.

Lucius rolled his eyes.

"Privacy," she smiled.

"Joy, we can now delight in boredom without being glared at," Lucius said sarcastically.

Narcissa brought a leg over Lucius's, "Why not enjoy our time together? You know I'm still young enough for a witch. I always wanted more children, Lucius."

Lucius used his uninjured arm to hold her waist and twisted their legs so he ended up above her. He pressed his lower body to her. He kissed her, she fell into that kiss with ardor.

He pulled back to say, "You know my line only produces one male heir."

"A curse," Narcissa breathed, "But we are in Lord Black's personal prison. All foreign spells and curses and potions we bring into this place are rendered temporarily useless."

He gave her a long look, "This cell can stop a curse?"

"Only active ones. A werewolf would still be a werewolf because the curse is a part of them."

"This fertility curse is a part of me, Narcissa," Lucius said sadly.

"Is it? Or is it an active curse that constantly subdues our fertility?" she asked.

Lucius tried to think, but all he could think of, all he could feel was her warm, beautiful body beneath his. He leaned in for another kiss, "Let's find out."

Harry made it back to Hogwarts at dusk. He flew back to their rooms.

"You're late," Andromeda snapped at him.

"Sorry, there was some complications."

"Are the Longbottoms alright?" Ted asked.

"Yeah, they're fine, I stopped at Grimmauld Place though, and well, family issues," Harry said, looking around for Teddy.

"What issues?" Dromeda asked.

"Remus broke up with Dora."

"That isn't an issue, that's something that needed to happen," Dromeda said.

Ted asked, "Is Dora okay?"

"She's a little down, but she'll be okay. Where's Teddy?"

"Daddy!" Teddy yelled as he ran at Harry who swept him up into his arms.

"Ready to go see the Forbidden Forest? The centaurs welcomed us and as long as you follow me around we'll be safe."

"Can we go now?" Teddy asked, straining his head to look at the darkening sky out the window.

"Let's go, Peregrine," Harry called as he grabbed his firebolt to go to the woods.

"Wait," Ted stammered, "Why are you taking a seven-year-old out into the Forbidden Forest?"

Harry mounted his broom and lifted into the air, "Explain things to your husband, Dromeda. Teddy and I are going to enjoy the moonlight."

Harry sped with Teddy in his lap toward the forest. They didn't make it to the ground in time. One moment Harry was holding a child, the next he was holding a fuzzy eared wolf-pup in his arms. Teddy wagged his bushy tail and yipped at Harry licking his cheek.

Harry may have freaked out a bit when Teddy had first shifted at sixth months old and bitten his finger. But somehow being a metamorphmagus and a born werewolf had made Teddy into more of a shapeshifter. A Native American wizard had told them that Teddy had been blessed by Spirit Wolf. What was a curse in Europe was a gift in America. Teddy was fully aware in his animal form. He could shift at will like an animagus but the full moon drove his instincts so he felt ill if he didn't shift that night of the month. He looked like a real wolf, his true color was a grey-white coat but he had learned how to shift that too, so he could be sable brown or midnight black.

Harry left his broom in a tree and shifted into his animagus form. Andromeda and he hadn't chosen to become animagi for the same reason that Marauders had for Remus. Teddy wasn't contagious and wasn't any more dangerous than a dog. But he was fast and as humans, Dromeda and Harry couldn't keep up. As falcons, it was Teddy who couldn't outrace them.

Harry clicked his beak at Teddy, leading him into the forest. Dromeda caught up to them, slapping her wings at Harry for leaving without her. The three of them spent the night exploring, dancing, and playing. Spirit Wolf had indeed blessed Teddy, blessed all three of them. Under the full moon, they forgot their troubles, forgot what timeline they were in, where they were, knew only that they were together and had bodies that belonged to the mysteries and adventures of the forest.

AN: That will be explained in greater detail to Dora later. More Dora will come as she gets over Remus. Did I surprise anyone? I've been slipping things in since chapter one. Please tell me what you think?

Chapter 10: Chapter 10

AN: I know what happened to the Canon Blacks but this is fanfiction, so stuff it. Thank you to my reviewers! You make updates happen :D

Chapter 10

The next day, Harry barely managed his classes. But no one noticed. Harry had long ago learned how to bury his exhaustion, fear, anger, and frustration with unteachable students. There were days where he wished he would take a page out of Snape's book.

"Do not hold your wand backward," Harry said to his first years as two, not one, but two students were holding each other's wands. They were laughing madly and had created a loop of tickling charms. If Lockhart didn't prove that not all Ravenclaws were inclined towards intelligence these two made an excellent example.

"Let go of each other's wands," Harry said coming to loom over the two hyenas. The rest of the class was laughing too, excluding a couple students from magical families. The two Ravenclaws, one brown haired girl, and one sandy-haired boy ignored Harry and kept giggling. Tickling charms were great, touching another students wand -much less the end of someone else's wands... "Fifty points from Ravenclaw," Harry said.

Which ended the laughter in the room. The two Ravenclaws hands slackened and Harry snatched both their wands. Harry stormed back to his desk, even he had his limits. "Notebooks and quills, out."

"But professor we only have a minute left of class," said a too sweet Hufflepuff girl that Harry had picked out as one of the students who would be polite and adorable in order to manipulate people into giving her what she wanted.

"If you do not learn this lesson, it will be a week of detention for the class," Harry said, flicking his wand at the board.

"But we didn't do anything wrong, Professor," the Ravenclaw girl said.

"Yeah, it was just the giggling charm," the sandy haired boy said, "You have to give us our wands back."

"Fifty points from Ravenclaw," Harry said, he pointed to the board which now read, Never, ever, ever grab a wand from the wrong end, least of all someone else's wand. "Can anyone tell me why grabbing the wrong end of a wand is bad, most especially someone else's?"

A Slytherin girl raised her hand.

"Ms. Zeller," Harry called.

"It's stupid," she said.

Harry couldn't help but smile a bit. "Yes, but why?"

"Because you can be hit directly with a spell with no protection."

"Five points to Slytherin," Harry said, "Can anyone else explain the other reason we don't grab the wrong end of a wand or someone else's wand?" A hand went up, "Mr. Abercrombie."

"The wand can backfire and if it isn't yours the wand can reject you," he said, voice timid.

"Ten points to Gryffindor, for two answered questions. You and Ms. Zeller are exactly right. Holding a wand backward means you have no protection from the magic that comes out of it and it is very likely to misfire if you were to put energy into it. Grabbing another witch's or wizard's wand backward heightens that probability. Remember that the wand chooses the witch or wizard, therefore the wand is capable of acting out, and if the master of that wand is still holding it, or so help you if two magical beings push their magic into the same wand, the effects can be catastrophic."

The bell rang but no one stood to leave.

"I would like you all to keep in mind the killing curse is far from the only way you can be killed by magic. There are many, many things that can do you permanent harm. If you but use some common sense and not treat your magic, your gifts, and your wands as toys you will avoid a great deal of pointless suffering. You may leave once you have copied what's on the board into your notes."

The class left in silent mass, far too solum for a group of students who'd been crying from getting tickled not fifteen minutes ago. The two Ravenclaw students remained behind. Shamefaced and heads down they asked for their wands back.

"Wait," Harry said, writing his own notes down about the class. After about ten minutes he led the two Ravenclaws to Professor Flitwick's office. It was the last period of the day and most people were headed to the great hall for dinner but Filius was still in his classroom looking over some essays. Harry knocked on the door frame.

Filius looked up and smiled at Harry, "Hello, Harry, come in. Mr. Dorbis and Ms. Pinwoods?"

Harry handed Filius the two student wands and had the students explain what they had done. "Detention," Filius said after he had heard the story. Harry saw the same shadows in Filius' eyes as Harry knew lurked in his own. The students might only be first years, but Filius and Harry had both witnessed the danger of accidental wand-driven magic, the results of which often were not reversible.

"I said three weeks," Harry said.

"They will be serving it with me," Filius stated.

Harry nodded. The students left on the verge of tears. Harry sighed, and sat on the edge of one of the desks facing Filius. "I know we are supposed to be there to teach them but there are some mistakes that we can't afford them to learn from experience."

Filius rubbed his nose, "It is no wonder Severus loses his temper so often."

Harry smirked, "Severus, temper? Surely not."

Filius chuckled, "He does care about the students, no matter how it seems."

Harry's face softened, "I know that. Merlin knows, he saved my butt enough times. He's always cared more about our safety, even if he never liked us."

"It is not always necessary to like a person to protect them," Filius agreed. "I just wish there was a way we could protect the students from themselves."

"When I taught in Ilvermorny, I would always take my students on a field trip the magical hospital."

Filius' eyes brightened, his gaze sharpening on Harry, "Did it help?"

"It did, especially for the students from non-magical families who had never been exposed to magic outside of the school. If we did it here we would have to plan for small groups, St. Mungo's is too busy to have a large group come through."

"I'll talk it over with the other heads of houses," Filius said.

"Not Albus?"

"We will ask him last, I think. Things tend to work smoother if we give him a form that he checks yes or no on. Minerva is the one with a head for planning."

"She is the Assistant Headmistress."

"She'll make a great Headmistress when the time comes," Filius said with a smile.

"Yes, she did. She almost convinced me to come back to work for her," Harry said.

Filius' smile fell, "Albus didn't retire did he?"

Harry shook his head, "We all die Filius, it is the way of things."

Harry skipped dinner that night, taking the potion Ted had left him. Harry was rewarded with twelve hours of sleep. As it so happened the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh years had a block of there Friday afternoons off. Harry invited them to his class for extra credit.

Every student, from all four houses, from all four years, showed up. When the doors opened they were greeted with an obstacle course, with clear walls, rock walls, pools of water, and a few odd noises echoing in the shadows. Harry was holding up his hand, grinning. He counted off with his fingers, "Spell one, Aguamenti, spell two Cantis, spell three Orchideous, spell four Glacius, and spell five Finite Incantatem are the only five spells you are allowed to use. The point of the game is to use the objects in the room as shields. Often the best defense is getting out of the way. The game ends when every team member on a single team is singing or has ice on their head. Slytherin and Gryffindor vs. Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff."

"That isn't fair!" Finch-Fletchley said, "Both their houses are better at offense than either my house or Ravenclaw."

Harry snorted, "That's not what I see in classes, but as it happens I'm betting on Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff seeing as you're less likely to turn on your own teammates."

The students all gave each other wary looks. Harry transfigured the colors of their ties and the image on their cloaks. Maroon red and olive green vs. cornflower blue and pumpkin orange. A silver horse with a tail vs. a copper lion-like-creature with a stinger on its tail.

"Why do they get a lion?" Seamus asked.

"It's not a lion, it is a manticore. Manticores vs. Kelpies, try not eat each other," Harry said.

What ensued after the game started, was the most chaotic game of magical tag played in the last century. Harry kept watch, refereed, and kept score from the vantage point of the chandelier. He didn't time out cheaters, he dumped a small waterfall of ice water over their heads and shielded their victims. The girls stopped cheating first, but it took a Chantis from Harry, to teach Crabbe to stop cheating. Crabbe sang opera for about thirty minutes before Draco could get to him and successfully undo the spell.

The Weasley twins took to the game like fish to water, leaping across objects and ducking behind walls like a scary combination of jungle cats with the mentality of two crazy monkeys. The spells were easy enough and harmless enough that everyone was using them. The better casters of Cantis could get their victims to sing love songs and rock classics or whatever type of music they preferred. Girls like Cho Chang and Lavender Brown took vengeance on the poor fools who drenched them in water. Ginny kept up with her twin brothers like an evil shadow. Luna Lovegood, however, was the unparalleled victor. No one could hit her and she must have hit a two dozen students on the Kelpie team. From Harry's vantage point he knew it was because she was the only student to figure out that not only were there see-through walls but walls with mirrors -that if you stood in a certain spot, you would project your image across the room. Luna used the mirrors to pop in and out of view as well hit her opponents from behind. The Greengrass sisters caught onto this but couldn't find where the trail of mirrors led without being hit with spells.

As Harry had predicted Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw, or the Manticores won. It took most of the game for the Slytherins and Gryffindors to figure out how to set traps together and watch each other's backs. It was too late to win by the time they started working together.

Despite there being a losing and a winning side both the Kelpie and the Manticore teams left smiling, laughing, joking, teasing, exhausted, soaking wet, and with a type of unity that was rarely seen at Hogwarts. The Sorting Hat would be proud.

Harry had talked to Dromeda and Teddy. Teddy had agreed to stay the weekend with his Grandmother at Hogwarts. Harry would be back from Grimmauld place Sunday night. After dinner, Harry went down to the Chamber of Secrets to grab a Basilisk fang before going to the Room of Requirement.

The stupid diadem tried to rip his arm off, but he was able to kill it. His mental shields holding up to the black mist. Harry left for Grimmauld Place and found Sirius asleep with Buckbeak. In the kitchen, Harry called, "Kreacher."

Pop. "Worthless Master calls Kreacher."

Harry didn't try to sweet talk the elf. "Master Regulus wasn't worthless, was he?"

The elf's eyes filled with true ire, "Master Regulus was worth more than the likes of you could ever imagine, putrid filth."

"Master Regulus betrayed the Dark Lord. Died trying to shield a no-maj family, didn't he? He couldn't stomach killing children?"

"Master Regulus was strong."

Harry nodded, "He was. He was also clever. Finding the Dark Lord's hiding spot for Slytherin's Locket. You saved him from that cave, without you, he would have never made it out alive. He never found a way to destroy it though, did he? And when the Dark Lord executed him for standing up for the no-maj children, you kept trying to find a way to finish that last task, didn't you?"

Kreacher didn't say a word. He stared at Harry with a mixture of fear and hatred, a slave belonging to unknown but powerful master.

"I know how to destroy it, Kreacher, I brought a Basilisk fang with me. Its venom can destroy a horcrux."

"Kreacher does not believe you."

"Then let me prove it to you. Please Kreacher, bring me the locket. I am a parselmouth, I can open Slytherin's locks."

Kreacher hesitated, shifting from foot to foot. He was scared of trusting a wizard, but then this master had asked, not ordered. Only Regulus had ever said 'please' to him. A Basilisk fang. A parselmouth. Kreacher had failed on his own, what did he have to lose now?

Pop. Pop.

With shaking, long-fingered hands, Kreacher handed his most cherished, most loathed item over to Harry.

Harry took it by the chain. "Thank you, Kreacher," he said, kindly.

The shaking in the elf's hands spread to his entire body.

Harry set up a shield ward between himself and the elf. Harry pulled out the fang, holding it was a leather wrap so the poison on the fang wouldn't touch his skin. He laid the locket on the floor.

"Open," he hissed and stabbed it the moment the hinge snapped opened.

An unholy wail filled Grimmauld Place, the black smoke writhing, shrieking, bleeding black ink, before dissipating and fading into nothingness. Harry cleansed the locked with a few words. Hissed it closed and handed it back to the elf.

Sirius and Buckbeak were startled from slumber by wailing, like some cursed baby, though if it was a baby, it wasn't a human one.

By the time he got down the steps his mother had been shut up and Harry was making tea in the kitchen.

"Hello Godfather," Harry greeted with a smile, dipping his tea bag into his mug.

"I heard screaming," Sirius said between gasps of air.

"A lot of things in this house scream," Harry remarked.

Seeing that Harry was calm, Sirius sunk into a chair at the table, "Yeah, my cousin, Narcissa being one of them. You should have put them in separate cells."

Harry smirked, "Well, I always did doubt Narcissa stayed with Lucius just for the money."

Sirius groaned, "You wouldn't have found that amusing at fifteen."

Harry set the second cup of tea down before Sirius, taking the seat next to Sirius for himself. "Course not, I was a virgin teenager."

Sirius brightened a bit on this topic, "You're not a virgin now though, are you? Dromeda made it sound like you didn't get much action in America."

"I am not a virgin."

"You have to give me more than that."

"One girl from Hogwarts and a couple of no-majs from America. Nothing that lasted though, nothing I wanted to last."

"Did you even try with relationships?"

"No," Harry sighed. "There were some nights I couldn't sleep. I told Dromeda I was going out for a walk after Teddy was in bed. I would apparate to New York City. Hit a couple dance clubs, got a hotel room for a night, sometimes I'd be invited over to a woman's apartment. I'd be gone before the sun rose. Don't tell Dromeda that, she may skin me, I was always able to sneak back in to take a shower and make breakfast for everyone."

Sirius frowned, "It was your own home, you should not have needed to sneak around."

Harry shrugged, "Teddy's hearing is incredible, Sirius. I didn't want to get his hopes up that I was in a relationship. Because trust me, those nights were not about hearts and flowers."

"I'd say you sound like James, but Prongs only had eyes for Lils. You sound like me," Sirius said.

"You make that sound like a bad thing."

"Harry, I am an escaped convict hiding in my hated parents' house, sleeping in a room I haven't seen since I was sixteen. You don't want to end up like me."

"Well, I don't think I would fit in the Dursley's cupboard anymore and my parent's house is a pile of ash or is it still a memorial, so I'm not going to end up like you," Harry said, his tone almost flippant.

"Cupboard?" Sirius asked, his eyebrows pinching together. Before understanding clicked in. "She put you in a cupboard!? Lily's horse-faced, skeletal sister Petunia, put my godson in a cupboard!?"

"I got my cousin's second room when the Hogwarts letters first arrived."

Sirius was seeing red and was trying to breathe evenly, "Letters?"

"Uncle Vernon tried really hard to have me not sent to Hogwarts, he sealed off the letter grate, the windows, the doors, he forgot the fireplace though. He ended up taking us to some random shack in the middle of nowhere. Hagrid broke the door down. I was a fool not opening that first letter in the hall."

There was so much wrong with what Harry had just said Sirius could barely process it.

Harry twilled his spoon in his drink. "Hey, Sirius…"

"Yes, Harry?" Sirius answered through his teeth. Barely able to contain himself.

"How would you like to go on a field trip? I think you should find something extra wizardry to wear."

Petunia Dursley was just serving up dinner when three solid knocks resounded on the front door.

"Who's that, now?" Vernon Dursley asked. "No decent folk call at dinner."

Dudley Dursley eyed the food with loving anticipation. He had gained enough muscle that his 'diet' had been lifted. While he still had to eat more greens, pasta and desserts were back on the menu.

"Duddikins wait for me to get the door, it could be someone important," Petunia said, before going to the door.

She was at a loss for words when she opened the door. A figure dressed in black robes with emerald fringe stood on the front step. Her eyes went up and up and she gasped at the features that smiled at her. For a moment all she saw were her sister's beautiful eyes before she registered that they were shielded by a pair of spectacles, and then she saw her handsome brother-in-law's face. She had only met James a few times and hated him instantly because he was everything her husband was not. Noble, beautiful, rich, talented, and kind. By the looks of the man before her, he was the same.

It hit her then that this man was her nephew.

She gasped, a hand going to her lips as she took a step back.

"How kind of you to let us in," the man/her nephew said, stepping into the house.

Only then did she see the man behind her nephew. She recognized him too. He was much older than last time they'd met at the wedding. He had been the best man, the godfather. Ice filled her veins at that realization. Both of these people were wizards and they could destroy Petunia's entire life, her son's life with a flick of a twig.

"Get out," she whispered.

"No," the best-man said, "No, I think we will stay for dinner. I want to get know the people who raised my godson."

"Petunia, who is it?" Vernon yelled.

Petunia ran wide-eyed into the dining room, "It's-"

"Sirius Black and your nephew, Harry Potter, who have come over to share a family dinner," Sirius said, pulling his wand to summon two more chairs to the table.

"Oh, sit down, Aunt Petunia," Harry said, "I can serve dinner. Merlin knows this is the last time I'll choose to return here."

"You're the murder!" Vernon yelled, rising to his feet, knocking his chair over.

"Sit down. We've already disabled your phone lines, there is no one who can get here in time to stop up from using magic, we are after all Merlin blessed wizards," Harry said, emphasizing every forbidden word. This was a lie, of course, Harry had warded the place from outside attack but the phone lines were quite intact. Harry potioned out the food. Not leaving any leftovers he put the most on his and Sirius' plate, then Aunt Petunia's, then Dudley's, and lastly -with the smallest amount on Vernun's plate. Harry snatched the wine off the table and poured it down the sink. He got the water out of fridge and poured that instead.

"You're older," Dudley said into the glare-down at the table.

"Time travel, and before you ask, no that isn't normal even for magical people," Harry answered his cousin civilly as he sat down across from him, Petunia on his left. Sirius sat between Harry and Vernon.

"How'd it happen?" Dudley asked, for once, his parents didn't stop him from asking about Harry's Freakish world.

"Magical fire bird."

"Did it hurt and what's wrong with your words? You're talkin' funny," Dudley said around a mouth full of food.

"It hurt a bit, been through worse though. I talk funny, because I've lived the last seven years in America," Harry said.

"Why?" Dudley asked.

"I needed a job and I needed out of this country. My parents' killer came back -as you learned this summer, and he started another war."

"Did you get married?" Dudley asked, knowing full well that his father was about to stop them from talking any moment now.

"No, but I do have a godson, his name Teddy. He's the best and brightest thing in my life."

Vernon finally broke, "Like a freak like you could possibly raise a son!"

Which set Sirius off. Harry ate his meal, enjoying the shouting match between his Uncle and Godfather. Sirius didn't draw his wand, never got out of his chair put he still cowered the whale of man that was Uncle Vernon.

"A cupboard? When I first saw him he had barely enough to eat, sunburnt from working in the garden. I saw him cook your meals! You were given a child to care and love and you shoved him in under some dirty old steps, treated him like a prisoner, a servant-"

"He is a good for nothing, lazy-"

"Says a man the size of hippo! With his own son practically breaking the chair with his rolls of fat! Lazy! You dare call my godson lazy!? You have no idea what he went through at school, do you? You don't know him at all. And for a child to clean, to cook, to bake, to slave for two capable adults is a type cruelty that you should be jailed for," Sirius snarled.

Harry got up to serve out dessert to himself and Dudley, seeing as they were the only ones eating.

"Chores were the only way to give him a chance, seeing as your freak world is nothing but a shame!" Vernon yelled into Sirius' face, spittle coming out his mouth.

Harry noted that Uncle Vernon sorta had point, Wizarding Britain hadn't lived up to Harry's hopes and baking, cooking, cleaning, and gardening had all come in handy. Actual, being able to work on next to no sleep or food had been useful too. But Harry wasn't fool enough to point that out to Sirius. The only reason those extremes had been needed, was because the adults in his life had failed to keep him safe. If Teddy ever told Harry that he was 'fine' going three days without a meal, Harry's heart would shatter.

"And has your precious son ever done a chore in his life!? As he ever worked for the scraps of bare necessity like you made Harry do?"

"The boy-"

"I am not a boy," Harry snapped, for the first time that night catching Vernon's gaze. His Uncle seemed to deflate into his chair. "My Godfather is right. You are awful parents. Sirius was on the run for the entire three years I knew him, yet he was still able to show me more love and care than either of you did. And you weren't just awful parents to me, you hurt Dudley, too. Giving him everything he wants, praising him for poor grades and his mean behavior. You turned him into a monster of a person, with no real friends, poor health, and no concept of how to function in the real world. I mean sure, he takes over your drill business, Uncle Vernon, at twenty because you die of a heartattack in your forties. But he never moves out his mother's house and the women he had a shotgun wedding with is dumber than a sack of rocks. Your poor granddaughter, sickly baby girl, she's not at the level physical or mental she should have been at for age. Something about drinking while pregnant."

There was cavernous silence at the end of Harry's little speech. Petunia was shuddering in her seat, tears falling down her bony cheeks.

"You're lying," Vernon stuttered, "You are lying!"

Harry finished the last bite of chocolate cake, put his fork down, whipped his mouth with a napkin, and stood. Harry pulled an envelope out of his inner robe pocket. "This should be enough money to buy you a new house. You don't have to sell this one, but don't come back until Hedwig, my white owl, gives you a letter saying the war is over and it's safe to come back."

"We aren't moving," Vernon declared.

"Shut up, Vernon," Petunia said, voice hollow.

"Petunia?" Vernon asked, shocked.

Petunia went to take the envelope but Harry didn't let go, "I didn't know my mother well. But I remember that night. Remembered her giving her life for mine. I can say I forgive you for the hell you put me through, for the lies you told me about her and my dad, but even if I say it, I don't think I could ever possibly mean it. When I hear stories of her I know why you disliked her. You hated her because she was everything you weren't and everything you wanted to be. Her friend, Alice told me so many stories, but what I realized to be the biggest difference between you and my mum, is that she would never have taken her hurt feelings out on your son. In your jealousy, you ensured you'd never be the person you wanted to be. I hope that you are capable change, I hope you stay safe in the future, but I am grateful I will never be forced to pretend to be your family again. Goodbye, Petunia, Vernon, Dudley."

Harry left without looking back. Sirius grabbed hold of his hand as they stepped into the streets.

"It wasn't like that the last time I said goodbye," Harry said. "I never got to say any of that before. Dumbledore said what you said, but he wasn't angry. He wasn't angry because he had known, always known, practically engineered it." Harry looked at his godfather, standing in the street where they had met in his third year. "You care, you actually care about what happened to me and will happen to me," Harry's tone made it a half question.

"Of course, I care, Harry, I love you," Sirius said, "I've always loved. Since that day I saw you in that silly muggle machine, kicking against Lil's stomach. How could I not love you?"

"Don't die this time," Harry told him. "Please, Sirius? Please don't die on me again? I don't think I could live through it a second time."

Sirius squeezed his hand tight, "We're going to do better this time, Harry. You're not alone this time."

Harry felt as though he were diving in the air in his animagus form with his eyes closed. He didn't know where the ground was, and all of a sudden he wasn't a kestrel and there were no wings to protect him from this impact. He really couldn't survive this alone. Sure, if the people who died the last time died again, and he and Teddy were still alive, Harry would go on. But he would be a living ghost, the broken pieces in him now, the pieces he'd spent seven years puzzling back together would be broken beyond repair. Harry clung to Sirius' hand as they left the dreary streets of Surry behind them.

AN: So I am the type of writer who lets the characters decide what they want to do and I wasn't expecting to visit the Dursleys. Let me know what you think?

Chapter 11: Chapter 11

AN: Dudley is a good bloke but I did take a darker view of what the future would have been, but frankly both the epilogue and the Cursed Child, while enjoyable, never sat right with me. I just don't believe it was all that neat or that Harry would have understood his more 'normal' and 'outgoing' children over Albus Potter. I mean, Harry was friends with Luna, and you want me to believe that Harry wouldn't adore and do everything in his power to connect with his kids, especially the odd one out? Sorry, not buying it.

ANII: Not that good at writing romance...

Chapter 11

Saturday morning Harry was cooking breakfast for Sirius, Amelia, Kingsley, and Dora.

"You don't have to cook," Sirius said for maybe the fifth time. After last not the role of 'godfather' had finally sunk in. For all his looks Harry was not James and for all the horrors Sirius had been through in his life Harry's life made him feel spoiled. When he had run away at sixteen, Euphemia and Fleamont Potter had taken him in. When Harry ran away the Minister of Magic and the Headmaster had shown up and told him that he was required to go back the following summer. No one had ever asked why Harry hadn't wanted to go back. Sirius had never asked, not in so many words.

"I like cooking, Sirius, honestly, it doesn't bother me," Harry said.

"Did it bother you once?" Dora asked. She couldn't cook, in fact, her mother had forbidden her from the kitchen. Her father kept the knives well away from her and they used metal as opposed to glass or porcelain cups.

"As I wasn't allowed to eat the food I made most of the time, yeah it bothered me. Though cooking got easier once I didn't have to use a stool."

"How old were you when you first learned to cook?" Kingsley asked.


"What!?" Amelia and Dora exclaimed in unison.

Harry distributed the bacon and the eggs. "The Dursleys were not the kindest human beings."

Kingsley was staring at Harry a little too hard.

Harry turned on him, "Something to say?"

"You turned out very well. Not many adults overcome their pasts as well as you seem to," Kingsley said.

Harry flushed a bit. Which Dora found endearing.

"Thanks, but I do still have my faults," Harry muttered, taking a seat between Dora and Sirius.

Breakfast passed and Sirius shooed Harry out of the dank house. "I can do the dishes. Dora, go with him, make sure he gets into the right sort of trouble," he said with a wink to his niece.

"The right sort of trouble?" Harry asked with a frown.

Dora blushed and pulled the wizard out of the house before Sirius could make any more pointed comments. She liked Harry, she didn't like that Sirius and her mum were set on her dating Harry. As she pulled Harry down the busy London streets she realized a date was exactly what would happen with just them wandering the city.

She slowed looking up to watch Harry studying the people around them. He looked up at the sky and seemed to half smile at the darker clouds as the wind picked up.

"Did you have plans for today?" she asked.

Harry turned that emerald gaze on her, her breath caught, "Nope, I'm all yours."

"Well- um, I-" she stuttered.

"Did you have plans for today, Nymphadora?"

"Don't- I'm-"

"Sorry, Dora," Harry corrected himself. "Your mother rarely, if ever refers to you as Dora."

"Nymphadora is a stupid name," Dora said, finally regaining the use of her speech.

"Nymphadora is an interesting name and a rather pretty one. Harry is neither, I can't tell you how many times people have called me Hairy Harry," he said. He rubbed a hand through his messy hair. The end result was much the same as it's original state.

"I can see how that would get old," she conceded.

"So did you have plans for today or errands to run?" Harry asked.

"Nope, I have today off, I was thinking I might go see Mum, but she said to, um-"

"Dromeda told you to keep an eye on me?" Harry supplied.

Dora's entire face flushed, her hair flashing pink, "Yeah, something like that." Her mother's phrasing had been more directive than that. "What do you want to do?"

Harry was staring off into the distance, his expression thoughtful, "How about… do you want to go to the British Museum? I've never been."

A museum? She wondered. "Sure but we will need to change clothes."

"I only bought new no-maj clothes for Teddy," Harry said.


"No magic, what Americans call muggles," he explained before grabbing a hold of her hand and walking towards one of the commercial areas of the city.

"Wait where are we going? Sirius might have something-"

Harry smiled at her, "I am newly rich, I don't mind picking up something new for the two of us."

Dora followed Harry through the crowd. The crowd parted before them -presumably for their odd attire, but Harry didn't give any indication that he heard or cared about people's whispering, pointing, or distasteful looks. Harry brought them into four shops before he found a store he liked. It wasn't the fanciest place but Dora didn't really want to look at the price tags on either.

Dora was staring at a floral dress that was primarily white with flowers in shades of pink, purple, and hints of baby blue and browns in it. It was almost old-fashioned with long sleeves and billowing skirts. It was a spring dress, but she was certain with a pair of stockings and boots it would be fine for all seasons.

"Do you want to try it on?" Harry asked.

"Um, I thought we were here for you?"

Harry shook his head, "A suit is a suit, no matter where you go." The store clerk behind him glared daggers at the back of Harry's head. "But this was the only store you seemed interested in. If I was wrong we can try somewhere else."

She smiled at him, "Nope, I'll try this one on." Dora grabbed her go to size and followed the still annoyed clerk to the changing room.

Harry picked out a two piece suit, it was a charcoal grey with a baby blue button down. He was trying to pick out a tie when Nymphadora emerged from the changing room. She took his breath away. Her straight bleached white hair framed her freckled face. Her sapphire blue eyes seemed to pull the bits of blue from the dress. If Harry were honest with himself, he prefered no-maj styles on women because they showed more skin. But Nymphadora made the long sleeved dress beautiful. Not that her dragon leather coat and cargo pants hadn't been interesting, but in a dress she was stunning.

"How do I look?" she asked, twilering, making the skirts whirl out like flower petals.

He had to swallow before answering, "You look lovely." The last word dipping into his native accent that he had worked hard at to erase in America.

She smiled at him, "You look good, too."

"Do you want to get it? I already told the clerk if you liked it we would walk out in the clothes."

"You don't have to buy this for me," she said looking for the tag, which Harry snagged off and hid in his palm. She rolled her eyes and redirected the conversation by asking, "What are you looking for?"

"A tie," he said, "Do you want an overcoat? It is a bit chilly."

She came closer to look over the ties, "No, I like the chill."

Harry bent to whisper in her ear, "The dress covers the arm sheath nicely."

She elbowed him in the side with a grin. She picked out a tie that was done in multi-grey with a depiction of stylized stag. "Is your patronus still a stag?" she asked as she looped it around his neck. She might not be a messy person but even she knew how to properly tie a tie, unlike her father.

"Is yours still a bunny or is a wolf now?" Harry asked, face too close as she finished the knot. There was something in his eyes that made the question more important than it should have been.

She blushed and turned away from him. Harry purchased their knew outfits. They left with their robes in a bag. He pulled her into an alley for a moment to shrink the bag and pocket it. He offered her his arm. Taking his arm in hers, they walked the streets as a couple.

Harry was a very serious man, Dora noted as they walked through the halls of fantastical art. Even though Harry was quiet by nature he wasn't gloomy like Remus. Harry held himself like a man used to controlling his emotions, his burdens, and content to observe everything around him at distance. Dora had always prided herself on making people laugh. Remus's soft smiles had meant the world to her. She wanted to know what Harry's smile looked like when he was feeling true amusement rather than smiling out of politeness.

"'Colossal Granite Head of Amenhotep III,'" Harry read from the museum label.

"Erm," Dora grunted.

Harry shot a look at her and he almost choked on a cough.

"What?" She ask, dropping her voice a few actives and drawing the word out. Her forehead had flattened and shielded her eyes while her lips and nose had broadened like the statue.

Harry put a hand to his mouth and turned his back on her, striding into the next gallery. She broke him on the next portrait painting they came across, sporting a pair of blue cross eyed, a bubble nose, and powdered cheeks.

She didn't get a soft smile she got a great big belly laugh.

Several people hushed him. He pinched his nose to true and subdue it but Tonks copied another portrait. And he ended up blowing his cheeks out before snorting with laughter. He hugged her to hide her face when the security guards.

Dora buried her face in Harry's chest as he shook from suppressed laughter as he apologized to the security for being disruptive. Underneath the smell of the suit, he smelled like wind and rain and her mother's jasmine flower soup.

By the time they left the museum Harry had himself mostly under control once more while Dora was all but skipping beside him, her smile radiant.

Harry smiled at her, she was beautiful and despite the ongoing war and his near constant worry for Teddy, for Dromeda, for Sirius, and everyone else, she had managed to make him laugh. Made him want to laugh.

They went out to lunch at a little coffee shop. The table was small and they watched the rain on pouring down on the outside world. They talked about little things. Harry, knowing that she had just broken up with Remus did not push. He restrained himself from flirting with this wonderful little hurricane of energy and personality. In the last seven years, he had never met someone he would have wanted to bring into the life he'd made for himself. Never wanted a woman's prolonged affections or to get to know them better. But as Harry listened to Nymphadora talk about her job and her opinions he found himself wishing he could stay in this moment of time forever.

Harry listened to her, engaged her in conversation. As a trained auror she hadn't lost her awareness of the people around her and she could tell that Harry had not either, but he didn't let that distract him from what she was saying. She didn't question him about his life, finding that he was more likely to slip in stories naturally about Teddy and her mother if she didn't pry. It was interesting being with a man her own age. He didn't look down at her as if she were some adorable talisman against age. He looked at her the way a man notices a sexy and sophisticated woman. Dora would never be either of those things, sure she was pretty, and if she wanted to force it she could make herself beautiful, but sophisticated was off the table. Yet Harry made her feel like an equal, sure he had experienced more horrible things than she ever would and he was a father, but underneath it all, he was also Harry, just Harry.

It was late afternoon by the time they returned to Sirius house. Harry started on early dinner. When they were all done eating Sirius suggested a game of exploding snap. Amelia and Kingsley grinned at Sirius's innocent face as Harry and Dora agreed to play.

This would be Harry's first time playing exploding snap with adult wizards Dromeda notwithstanding. He found that fire whiskey with four people that ignored any semblance of rules made exploding snap an intriguingly dangerous game. Mrs. Black's portrait left them alone after Sirius blew fire in her face, almost scorching the portrait. Kingsley's bombing laugh, Amelia's giggling, and Sirius's barking set Harry and Dora into their own peels of laughter. It was a good night.

Kingsley, Amelia, and Sirius left Harry and Dora asleep on the couch. Dora's cheek resting on Harry's chest as the slept off the liquor. It was a good end to a good day.


The headlines of the Daily Prophet came in an endless stream over the last two weeks, confusing the public, making them think, making them wonder, making them fear. What Lord Potter had forgotten was the inherent chaos and panic that came with change. Lord Voldemort was all too happy to take advantage of the Ministry's lack of leadership, of the public's doubt in their saviors the Great Albus and the Time Traveler. True, Lucius had deserted him, but Voldemort was not without his resources, not without his followers. And there were ways to stir the pot without over turning the apple cart.

Voldemort performed six gruesome murders; Elphias Doge, Ulick Gamp, Brunhilde Stokke, Ellert Hawkworth, Griselda Marchbanks, and Tiberius Ogden. Voldemort had killed them in such a way that he would not be admittley suspect. Greyback's claws did nicely in slicing the elders into scarlet ribbons. None of them were strong enough to survive the change, Lord Hawkworth the only one living long enough to partially change. Voldemort kept their bodies for a number of days. So that Sunday morning, the earliest employees had to go into immediate crisis management as they attempted to reclaim the half-dozen, rooting, shredded bodies from the muggle police. The photographs of the mangled bodies of some of the most respected people in Wizarding Britain would haunt their society for years to come. To Voldemort, the people he had killed were useless pawns, on the verge of retirement their deaths meant nothing in the day to day scheme of the Ministry, but to their society, well they would be looking for someone to blame.

Voldemort could think of no one better but the mysterious Time Traveler that could not be accounted for over the weekend.

AN: The last bit was for all of you who don't like fluff and are wondering if Harry is just going to breeze over this war. Just a reminder, Harry's been in the past for about two weeks now. Hermione, Ron, Remus, Snape, Umbridge, and Albus will have more time to evolve or screw up further. But I don't want to rush it. Thank you to my reviewers!

Chapter 12: Chapter 12

Dearest Readers,

I am not going to kill Sirius, Hedwig, Nymphadora, Andromeda, Ted, Teddy, Fred or George, and basically any well-loved character on Harry's side. Pourquoi? Because if you wanted to read about the sadistic deaths of every character you cherish most -no one is stopping you from re-reading the original books. This is my fanfiction and I am partial to tragic beginnings and happy endings.

Warmest Regards,

Jacob Apples

P.S. Shout out to my Indian readers. I am back home from Salem Massachusetts and in Berkshire County right now. I live on Pontoosuc Lake (which you can see from Mt. Greylock a.k.a. Ilvermorny) and it is frozen and really, really, cold here. Having lived in Hyderabad last year, I cannot tell you how much I miss the warm sun and good चाय. Much love, JA.

Chapter 12

Hermione made a disgusted sound at the paper.

"Why do you even bother reading that rubbish?" Ron asked.

"Because it says important things, Ronald," she shot back. "Along with the rubbish."

"Can you believe they are still trying to blame those murders on Harry?" Ginny asked.

"Same old," Fred said, George finished, "Same old."

"What I can't believe is Neville's parents," Hermione said. "I knew he lived with his Gran but I didn't know his parents had been tortured."

"They are fully healed, though," Fred said. "That's the hard part to believe."

"Harry must have brought back the secret from the future," George said.

"Yes, but what potion?" Hermione asked. "Why wouldn't Harry share a healing potion like that?"

"Because it was a de-aging potion," Angelina said. " A potion like that could be completely dangerous."

"How could the knowledge of a healing potion be dangerous?" Hermione asked she wanted to know so badly.

"Because people have been looking for the fountain of youth forever. A potion like that could cause chaos. That Mr. and Mrs. Longbottom have no memory of the last fourteen years is a bad thing. Image what the side effects would be if you brewed it wrong?" Angelina explained.

"Oh," Hermione conceded. "That makes sense."

"Although, now that people it's possible they will try harder to experiment," George pointed out.

"Better than knowing for sure though," Fred said.

Luna came up beside Ginny, "Did you hear her new decree?"

Ginny looked over her shoulder, "Is it bad?"

"Educational Decree Number 14; proper dress and decorum are to be maintained at all times," Luna recited sadly.

"I hate her," Ginny said. "Why hasn't Harry done anything about her?"

Luna sat down at the table, "He can't solve all our problems. He's fighting a war."

"There is no war," Seamus said.

Luna smiled at him, "Then why are people dying?"

"Yeah Seamus," Ginny said harshly, "Or do you think it's Harry who is killing people?"

Seamus glared at her, "Even if Professor Potter was killing people, you'd still like him, wouldn't you? That's all you girls can talk about, how handsome he is. But he's too old for you now Ginevra. He'll never notice you now."

"You do realize she has six older brothers, right?" George asked the fifth year.

Fred cracked his knuckles.

Seamus looked back down at his food.

"We have Harry's class next," Hermione said.

"It's Professor Potter," Ron mocked.

"I'm sure he has his reason for his distance."

"After all we've been through?" Ron asked. "No, Hermione, he doesn't, he really doesn't."

"Maybe we should try talking to him after class."

"Because that worked out so well the first time?"

"It was his first day back before," Hermione said, her tone hopeful. "I'm sure his head is more on straight now."

"Fine," Ron muttered. "Don't care either way." Internally, Ron cared a great deal. He missed his best friend.

"Try not to knock yourself over with the bubble shields," Harry said after writing out the homework on the board.

Hermione and Ron waited for the rest of the hall to file out before approaching Harry's desk. He had finished his own notes rather quickly and was now eyeing a pile of letters like he was expecting spiders to come out of them. His face read as a man deciding how best to kill said arachnids.

"Professor Potter?" Hermione asked timidly.

Harry's emerald eyes focused on her, the intensity of that gaze spooked her a bit. "Did you have a question, Ms. Granger?"

"Um, well, uh- how are you?" she asked lamely.

Harry sighed leaning back in his chair, "I've been worse. Yourselves?"

"I'm okay," she said softly.

Harry looked at Ron, "And you, Mr. Weasley?"

He received a glare for his trouble. "My name is Ron."

Harry took in a large breath, and waved his wand, summoning two chairs. "Have a seat, Ron, Hermione. Ask me what you want to know and I'll tell you what I can. Just don't touch those letters," he said pointing at the small pile on his desk.

They both sat.

Ron was still angry, "Can we call you Harry?"

"No, Ron, I would still prefer you call me Professor Potter."

"But we are friends, best friends."

"We were friends. Past tense," Harry corrected.

"And when did we stop being friends? Time travel shouldn't have taken away my best friend. A month ago I had a best mate and he's still alive and yet I can't even use your name," Ron said.

Harry sighed. "Ron, you and I haven't talked civilly to each other in about four years. The last time I saw you was for Yule two years ago and you were too busy fighting with Hermione to talk to me."

Hermione frowned, "Why were we fighting?"

Harry hesitated.

"What were we fighting about?" she asked again.

Harry sighed.

"What?" Ron asked, knowing Harry's expressions well enough to know something was up.

"If I tell you it will either ensure it never happens or make you two make that mistake that much quicker."

"What mistake?" Ron asked.

Hermione who also knew Harry's expressions asked, "Was it a mistake or did you just think it was a mistake?"

Harry shrugged, "I know how you two felt about each other but after the war, and I think after I moved to America the dynamics changed. Neither of you ever forgive me for moving away."

"How Ron and I feel about each other? And not forgive you how?" Hermione asked.

"For once in your life, you stubborn prat, could you give us a straight answer without downplaying it or leaving stuff out?" Ron growled, "You are always leaving things out."

Harry sighed, "Alright, but if this screws-"

"Things are already screwed up," Ron interjected. "You not being our friend is the greatest screw-up anyone has ever made."

"Very well, you two get married."

Ron gaped and Hermione blushed.

"You started dating in our sixth year. I moved away before you got married. Ron never forgave me for the move. Things were uneasy between us. I saw you once in the winter and we exchanged a few letters. Hermione and I started getting closer, though only through letters. Apparently, you both were having communication issues because Ron started getting jealous and Hermione, you closed yourself in your job and research. But you both blamed me for your marital problems. Two years ago, you both yelled at me in front of Teddy which was the last straw for me. I haven't had direct interaction with either of you until Fawkes decided to displace me."

Ron and Hermione were silent for a long time and exchanged a long look between each other.

"You must hate us," Hermione said, eyes filling with tears.

"No, Hermione. I could never hate you or Ron. I can't say I wasn't hurt by our friendship ending because it did. It hurt a lot for the three of us to break, but I could never hate you."

"But you will not try and be our friends now?" Ron asked.

"I am a decade older than you now," Harry said.

"What's the real reason you're keeping us at arm's length?" Hermione asked, face hard.

Harry bit his lip, "Honestly Hermione, it's because you don't remember what the three of us went through. If I had time traveled to the middle our seventh year we'd be thick as thieves, but you haven't lived through the upcoming hell."

"What about Sirius?" Ron asked. "You have been gone most weekends. We know you've been going to Grimmauld Place."

"He died at the end of the school year, so aside from me grieving him our relationship didn't develop beyond the fifth year," Harry said, voice cool.

A look of shame came over Ron's face and Hermione looked paler.

"Did either of you have any more questions about the future?"

"How did you beat Voldemort the first time?" Hermione asked.

Harry sighed, "Long story but the short of it is that Dumbledore set up a crazy plan that required me to die and rely on wandlore."

"Suicide?" Ron asked.

"Yep," Harry said, popping the p. "Another killing curse to the face from Voldemort."

Hermione squeaked, "How? How could you possibly survive a second time? And why would you commit suicide?"

"You sacrificed yourself for someone, didn't you? You git," Ron sighed.

Harry grinned, "Well it was the whole of Hogwarts, so it wasn't just one person."

"And why was that supposed to be helpful?" Hermione asked.

"Because Dumbledore left me instructions."

She frowned, "Why would Dumbledore ask you to kill yourself?"

"Prophecy, ancient lore, yadda yadda," Harry said waving his hand as if it meant nothing.

"Do you remember being dead?"

Harry was silent for a beat, "Not exactly, I remember having a choice, a choice to rest and meet my family or to keep fighting."

Hermione gazed into him, "Why did you come back?"

Ron turned on him, "Because he wanted to live, obviously."

"No, he didn't," Hermione said, her voice low.

Ron turned on Harry, "Tell her you wanted to live."

Harry's lips thinned, "I didn't want to die, Ron, but once I was dead… I came back because I didn't know how to stop fighting."

More than anything else Harry had said, Ron finally understood why Harry had distanced himself from them. Harry wasn't someone they could ever understand, not fully, and you couldn't be best friends with someone who you did not understand. "How are you going to kill him this time?" Ron asked. It was the last question Hermione told him to ask. It was the one question that was guaranteed to have Harry send them away for being 'children.'

"Once the no-nosed parasite shows his ugly mug, I'm going to take him out," Harry supplied easily.

"You mean like a one on one duel?" Hermione asked.

"A duel to the death, yes, but one on one probably not. If I can cheat and get help I will."

"You really think you can take him?" Ron asked.

Harry met his gaze, emerald eyes bright, "Yes, Ron, yes I am going to win because I refuse to lose everything I lost the first and the family I have now."

Harry was poking at a letter with a branch he had snatched from a tree in his falcon form.


"Yes…" Harry responded not shifting his gaze from the letter. He'd been receiving death threats for two weeks. A few had itching powder and other held hexes. Harry hadn't fallen for any of them but Teddy had almost opened one last night. This letter seemed to have a rat inside of it. Magical or otherwise, Harry planned to take his frustration out on it.

"What are you doing?" Dora asked. She'd come to Hogwarts and her mother had told her Harry was still in his classroom grading essays.

In answer to her question Harry took the branch and whacked the letter. The paper opened and shifted into a paper-toothed rodent monster. Harry took the stick and beat the crap out of it like a kid who didn't want the candy out of the pinata rather he wanted to smash the smile off the unrealistic donkey.

When Harry finally decided he had beaten the paper rodent into confetti, Dora was almost on the floor laughing.

"Hey, Nymz," Harry said, sitting on his desk to face her, "How is it going?"

Swallowing the laughter she said, "I think the question is, how are you? Sirius hasn't seen you since-"

"Since Voldemort decided he was going to slaughter a group of Albus's friends and blame it on me? I am aware, but I've been busy."

"Busy beating on postage?" she asked.

Harry shrugged, "I am a full time teacher raising a seven year old. Dromeda is the one who homeschools him, but the whole time travel thing has him thrown out of balance. Unless I am working he's been attached to my hip. Even for grading he stays with me now"

"He's not with you now," she noted.

"We had an incident last night. Teddy isn't anymore found of taking medicine than most children."

"I haven't seen you much either…"

Harry gave her a hard look before asking bluntly, "What do you want from me, Nymphadora?"

She glared at him, "Why do you always insist on calling me that?"

"Because it's your name."

"When you were fifteen you called me Tonks."

"That was ten years ago, seven of which I spent with your mum who only ever calls you Nymphadora. Dora doesn't sound right to me and I can't call you Tonks because I live with both your parents now."

"It's weird to think you see them more than I do," she said.

"Why are you here, Nym?" Harry asked.

"I haven't heard from you since our date."

Harry raised a brow, "We're at war and you're worried about a single, unofficial date?"

"Well if Remus taught me anything it was if I'm not persistent the guy will never get back to me."

"I repeat, we are at war. We have more important things to be doing than romance."

"I'm not asking for romance," Dora said.

"Then what are you asking for?" Harry asked, "What do you want?" His tone was just this side of being harsh.

"You live with my parents, you are the man who raised my son, no matter what we feel for each other we are already family. I want to be a part of your life, I want to get to know my son, and I can't do that if you don't want to speak to me."

Harry sighed and took off his glasses to rub his face. "You're right. I'm sorry, I haven't been… I haven't been thinking."

"It's alright, I know you are going through a lot. But if you let me in I could help."

"Have you been talking with your mum?" Harry asked.

"I have, but not about you or Teddy. She hasn't exactly been welcoming," Dora said.

Harry chuckled, "You mean she's been pushing you to talk to me about getting an invitation?"

"Well, yeah, but in her defense, I can be as stubborn as the best of them and I was waiting for you to contact me first."

Harry put his glasses back on, "Your mum isn't subtle at all. She's been pushing me to do the same. But as she so often tells me, I redefined stubborn."

"Did you tell her we went on a date?"

Harry laughed, "Do I look like a fool to you? Still, she knows something happened. Did you tell her?"

Dora grinned, "Hell no. As far as I knew, before you three time traveled, she didn't know about Remus either."

"But she knows something happened between us," Harry said.

"And what did happen between us, Harry?" she asked.

Harry didn't hesitate, "A wonderful day with a wonderful woman who just happens to be the mother of my son."

She smiled taking a step towards him, "Then what's with the distance?"

He grabbed her hand before she could touch him, "The war, Nymphadora."

"You cannot blame the war for this."

"We hardly know each other," Harry deflected.

"I enjoyed getting to know you," she said, taking another step forward.

Harry placed his free hand on her shoulder to keep them apart, "You just broke up with Remus."

"No, Remus broke up with me nearly a month ago. Broke up with me before we were even a couple. I know Teddy's existence may suggest otherwise, but I assure you that furthest we got were a handful of reluctant kisses."

Harry stared down into her blue eyes, her lovely freckled face framed by white hair. She could look like anything she wanted to, but it was the personality that burned behind her eyes that enticed him. "Remus was a fool to let you go," Harry said softly.

"Are you a fool, Harry Potter?" she asked.

"Nym-," Harry sighed pulling away from her. He walked around his desk waving his wand at the paper confetti which burned into nothing. "I'm no good-"

"Don't you dare," she snapped, her hair flashing to a flaming red. "Don't you dare pull that dragon crap with me. You are more than good enough for anyone."

Harry smiled at her, "That's not what I was going to say. I'm no good at dating. I am more of a one night stand kind of guy. Of course, you are welcome here, welcome to see your parents and your son whenever you like, but right now I don't think I can give you more."

"Have you ever tried to date someone after adopting Teddy?"

"Once, it didn't end well. The lady in question had no interest moving to America or me devoting more time to an infant than her. She wasn't ready to be a mother."

"That's understandable," Dora said gently.

"Very understandable. I can't say we broke up on good terms but I never resented her for her choices."

"Who was it?"

Harry shook his head, "I have enough drama to be getting along with at Hogwarts. I am not going to have rumors start about love affairs I had with what are now underaged women."

"You know I wouldn't tell anyone."

"The walls have ears."

"You've been talking about Voldemort."

"Yeah well, I wish more people would acknowledge him."

"You haven't spoken about him publicly at all."

"Why would I? I don't know if you've noticed but the public alternates between hating and loving me quicker than an eye blink."

"You should still speak out," Dora said.

"I've been considering giving the Quibbler another interview, but I can't afford to lose my position at Hogwarts," Harry said.

"Why not?"

"Because Voldemort will come after the students whether I am here or not. If I am here than I am the target."

"Do you believe you could take him on directly?" she asked.

"I'm no auror, but then neither is Albus," Harry said glancing out the window.

"You think you're as strong as Albus?"

Harry met her gaze, "I have a lot of raw power. The magic that I am best at is the type of magic that is most useful in a duel, in surviving."

"That isn't a yes."

"When someone is trying to kill you, it isn't necessarily how good you. But I have power, practice, I am physically in shape, I have library's worth of spells memorized, and most importantly, I have more to live for than either Albus or Voldemort. So yes, I believe I could win, because I am far too stubborn to lose."

"So you think you are incapable of failure."

"If I truly end up dead than there is nothing I could do after that fact. So I am going to keep treating life like I'm not going to fail, doing everything to ensure don't fail Teddy."

"Like I did."

A look of horror flashed over Harry's face and he took a step towards her, "That's not- I don't mean that."

"But it's true," she said her hair dulling to a brownish-grey.

Harry wrapped his arms around her, "No it's not. You didn't fail Teddy. He knows you died fighting for what was right. That you were trying to make a world in which he could live a happier life."

Dora felt like he was quoting someone, but still, she took the comfort he offered her, hugging Harry back. She'd never been concerned about how she might die. She'd never been too afraid of her own death in general, reasoning that death would come when it came. But meeting Teddy, seeing the shadows in her mother's eyes she had spent the last month thinking of little else than how her death would affect others. When she died who would she be leaving behind? This war was no longer abstract, the dangers of her job, as an auror no longer a distant possibility. Her choices, her death had broken her mother's heart, left her son without a mother, and saddled Harry with the care of both. Harry was family already, but she liked him and she couldn't stop herself from wanting more with him.

Harry kissed the top of her head in a brotherly fashion. "Come on, Teddy has been asking after you."

He took her hand and led her to their suite on the second floor.

"Mommy!" Teddy screeched running full tilt at her. She instinctively picked the child up. He wrapped his arms around her neck. His emerald eyes that were a mirror of Harry's and curly black hair that matched Andromeda's shifted to match Dora's white hair and blue eyes.

Dora shifted her nose and lips into a beak.

Teddy giggled and shifted his features to match.

Dora brought him to the couch and what followed was a competition of a rainbow of colors and odd shapes that had Harry and Dromeda in fits of laughter.

Harry wrapped an arm around Dromeda's shoulders and gave her a kiss on her wet cheek. Harry was well aware those tears weren't from the laughter, they were from a deep-rooted sorrow of losing a child. True Nymphadora was alive, but no one is immortal and seeing her grandson and her daughter together, happy, bright, and living was a beautiful sort of torture.

Dora laughed at Teddy as he tried to figure out how to make his skin tie-dye natural skin tones. He couldn't but what he did manage was turning his skin blue.

Teddy stuck his tongue out at her. "I know how to do something you can't do," he said before shifting into his wolf form, showing off his different pelt colors.

Dora squeaked in surprise when the large puppy put his head down on her lap, his wolf eyes gazing up at her, one was amber and the other a blue-grey, it was something he could not change about his wolf's appearance.

"How?" she breathed, smoothing a hand over Teddy's head and back.

"Apparently," Harry started, "A natural born werewolf mixed with the metamorphmagus gene results with a natural born animagus. And before you ask he isn't contagious and has full awareness of himself just like any other animagus."

"What about the full moon?"

"It makes him ill if he doesn't shift that night, but otherwise he can shift back and forth on command," Harry explained.

Teddy who had been shifting for nearly an hour sighed and slipped into sleep, nestling against Dora's hip. Dora petted his head and his ears. "I didn't think he could get cuter."

"He definitely has the market on cute," Harry said.

"Mum, are you okay?" Dora asked, seeing her mother crying.

She nodded.

Dora knew not to push her mother when she got emotional. Only her dad could get away with that. He had told her that of the three Black sisters his wife was the most dangerous. Aunt Bellatrix may have been a terrorist but it was her mum that would destroy the world for her family. Which Dora didn't completely understand because her mother hadn't fought in the war, yet the look in her father's eyes, the way the air shimmers around her mother when she got angry, Dora believed that Andromeda Black was a force to be reckoned with.

"Why does Teddy like me, trust me so much?" Dora asked.

"Because Grandmama tells the best stories and ninety percent of them are about you. You are his hero," Harry said. "He doesn't like my stories as much because according to him I leave stuff out."

"I thought you would be his hero," Dora said.

Harry shrugged, "I am not a metamorphmagus."

"Why doesn't he like Remus then? I mean Teddy liked me from the start. Why was he so fearful of Remus?" Dora asked, hoping Harry hadn't said bad things about him.

"Because neither Harry nor I knew much about Remus," Andromeda said.

"But that's not Remus's fault," Dora defended. I mean we weren't married for long were we?"

"No, but it is certainly his fault that he didn't know Harry," she said.

Dora gave Harry a sharp look, "Do you resent Remus?"

Harry sighed, "No, I just didn't want him to try and take Teddy away from me. A custody battle could have put him in the hands of the government. That whole circus could have been avoided if I had been given enough time to calm Teddy, to explain things to Remus."

"He'll be upset about him having lycanthropy," Dora said.

"He doesn't have lycanthropy," Andromeda said, "he's Wolf blessed. We were in America the first night he shifted. In fact, it was the first night in our new house he shifted in his crib."

"Did you freak out?" Dora asked.

"Harry certainly did," Dromeda said.

Harry flushed, "I thought a wolf puppy had gotten into the crib and I realized it was Teddy right before he bit me."

"Did he break the skin?" she asked.

"Yes and the next full moon I locked myself up in a cage. I woke up with the worst crick in my neck and no lycanthropy," Harry said.

"So when did you decide to become animagi?"

"When he was two he kept getting loose in his wolf form. It was damn near impossible to catch him. As birds we were a lot faster," Harry said.

"Lucky you both got such useful animals. Do you know why you're both falcons?" Dora asked.

"I believe it was Harry," Andromeda answered. "His love for flying and America. An American Kestrel just sort of fit."

"But why are you also a falcon?" Dora asked.

Dromeda raised her wand and a silver kestrel circled the room, "Because Harry's the one who taught me how to live life again."

Harry kissed her mother's cheek again. Dora didn't see a woman and a man, she saw a mother and her son. A mother who had lost her husband and her daughter, a young wizard who had never had a family, and an orphaned baby. They had made a home and a life for themselves, these people who had lost everything and found each other.

Dora looked at Harry, amazed again at how brilliant people could be even after such tragedy. Harry had been thoroughly beaten by life and yet he had picked himself up, learned to stand, and held a hand out to those around him. She wasn't in love with him, but for what he had done for everyone, for her mother, and for her son, she did love him.

Albus Dumbledore was not in a pleasant mood. Tom had killed his friends, people he had known almost his entire life turned into carrion meat. The papers were blaming Harry, but as Harry hadn't been pulled in for any questioning, no one sensible or of import believed Harry in anyway guilty. Though a part Albus was angry at Harry. He had not shared enough about the future. Albus felt useless, the cards all blown out of his Harry. Logically, Albus knew that in Harry's timeline this must not have happened the first time, the boy was too good-hearted to allow innocents. But grief was a vicious thing and he was so, so angry.

"You called," Severus' voice interrupted his thoughts. Albus had forgotten he was there.

"Yes, is there any news from Tom?"

Severus' lips thinned, "He's angry. He's after Teddy Potter but if we thought Harry was ever well protected we were wrong because Harry Potter's son is damn near impossible to get at."

"You haven't told Tom what you've found have you?"

"I have told him the truth, and the truth is I don't even understand what I am seeing or feeling when I come by their suite. The easiest place to grab him with be either in the hallway or great hall."

"You think it would be easier to kidnap a child under my nose than from their suite while they're alone?" Albus asked, eyebrows raised in disbelief.

Snape sneered, "And tell me, your mightiness, what happens when you try to visit them? Do you even remember getting down the hallway?"

Albus' brows pinched. "He can't be that good at wards. He didn't take atheromancy in school. There is no possible way that in under seven years he could learn warding that affects a wizard like a muggle."

Severus sneered, "With the amount of power he has. The only reason he didn't match you and the Dark Lord in grades is because he didn't apply himself. He barely studied, he barely practiced except in Defence Against the Dark Arts."

"He's not that talented," Albus huffed, thinking the only reason he won against Voldemort was because of luck and a lot of help.

"He was marked as the Dark Lord's equal."

"You heard his story, he won because of my plans, he-"

"Plans I would never have supported if you had told me the whole of it," Severus said bitely.

"Be that as it may, Harry cannot challenge the Dark Lord on his own."

Severus sighed, "I may not like him all that much, but he is an excellent teacher."

"He will not be teaching for long if Dolorus keeps at it," Albus noted.

"Why is she still here? Why haven't you evicted her yet?" Severus asked.

"We have to stay on good terms with the ministry."

Severus didn't waste his breath trying to point out the uselessness of that sentiment.

"How has Tom reacted to having no leads for getting at Harry?"

Severus pinched his nose, "Not well."

There was a knock on the door. Fawkes trilled, flapping his wings happily.

"Come in," Albus called.

Harry came in, Fawkes sang, and rather than a look of peace, Harry's face was one fury. "Get lost Fawkes," he said, tone glacial.

Fawkes flamed out of the room.

"You shouldn't take your unhappiness out my familiar," Albus said.

Harry's angry eyes flashed to him, "I barely made it through this war the first time."

"But you have so many of your loved ones still alive," Albus said.

Harry sighed and took a seat next to Severus, "If we win this war then I'll appreciate what I have. But if I lose everyone again, if something happens to Teddy I swear to you I will find a way to kill your bird."

"You weren't this murderous when you were younger," Severus noted.

"I killed Quirrell in my first year," Harry said in return.

Which cut through Severus' humor, "Did you honestly see that as murder?"

"Yes, but I understood he would have killed me if I hadn't killed him, and besides a man who would kill and drink blood from a unicorn is evil enough for me not to have mourned him too much."

"I still think keeping that stone in Hogwarts was idiotic," Severus said.

"Says the man who helped construct one of the obstacles."

Severus scowled.

"But that's not why I'm here," Harry said.

"Enlighten us," Severus said.

"I need to know the location of the Gaunt house."

"Why?" Albus asked.

"Tell me the location or take me there and I'll explain."

"Why not just tell me?" Albus asked.

"Because the last time you went there -on your own, you got yourself cursed, and had Snape had to assist with killing you sooner."

"When?" Severus asked.

"This coming summer he got cursed, and at the end of the school year you hit him with the killing curse to save Draco's life."

"Where is Lucius and Narcissa?" Severus asked.

"Why would I know that?" Harry countered.

"Because change follows you around like shadows. Where are they?"

Harry met those onyx eyes, "I don't know."

Severus frowned, "Your occlumency shields are very good."

"I was trained by a Black."

"Andromeda isn't that powerful," Severus said.

"Out of the three, I'd say she is the most dangerous."

"And yet her husband died."

"She wasn't at St. Mungo's when Voldemort raided it."

"She didn't fight in the first war."

"Asking someone to kill their own family is a lot to ask for," Harry said.

"It was weakness, is weakness not to fight," Albus said.

"Not following you is not a crime, Albus," Harry said. "When the government turns on its people, it is not a crime for those people to defend themselves over everyone else when you don't know who's on whose side."

"It is people like that who allow the war to go on," Albus said.

Harry shook his head, "The world would be easier if there were simple right and wrong answer. But if everyone fought everyone their might not have been anyone left to fight for."

"Very philosophical, but back to the Gaunt house," Severus said.

They both looked at Albus and waited.

It took Harry about an hour to get through all the wards and traps.

Severus and Albus watched like they were proctoring a test, a test that had they been the ones taking it they wouldn't have finished at Harry's standard.

"What are we looking for?" Severus asked.

Whatever it was Harry found under an old floorboard. He pulled out a leather pouch with some kind of tooth and stabbed it. A black screaming must came out and withered away.

"What was that?" Severus asked.

"The death of a horcrux, Nagini and the Dark Lord himself are the last ones."

"What is the ring? I think I recognize the stone."

"This ring cursed you, and the stone was the last thing you gave me before I walked to my death. I think I will be keeping it with me," Harry said, wrapping it in with the Basilisk tooth.

Severus met Harry's emerald gaze, Lily's eyes sparkling at him. Severus and Harry were in absolute agreement. Albus Dumbledore was a man they both loved and respected, but he was not a man they could afford to trust completely. They would go behind his back to keep the older wizard safe and keep others safe from him. Neither Severus nor Harry saw themselves as perfect, but together Voldemort would hardly stand a chance.

AN: Yes, there will be drama because we haven't even made it to Halloween yet and I have plotted this war to last till the end of the school year. Bare with me and I promise some beautiful feets of magic and an evolving community learning to care about each other.

Chapter 13: Chapter 13

AN: Beta reader would be welcome but please don't berate me for mistakes, I am well aware that I don't post perfection, no need to remind me.

Chapter 13

"Wotcher Harry?"

Harry whipped out of bed so fast he clicked skulls with Nymphadora.

"Ow!" she exclaimed clutching her forehead and she lost her balance, falling on top of Harry who had gotten tangled in the covers.

As she tried to get off him she ended up kneeing him. To which Harry grunted and rolled so Dora was effectively pinned, cocooned in a wrap of blankets underneath him. Harry took a minute to catch his breath, his core shuddering from the pain. Had the blankets not been between them he would have been incapacitated.

Nymphadora was smiling at, her eyes bright as she repeated, "Wotcher Harry?" She had spent much of the last month visiting and had taken to sleeping on the sofa most nights.

Harry thought of a lot of responses to that one, growling at her, shaking her, kiss her… but before he could decide, Teddy was barrelling at him. Harry turned to catch him, falling to the side of Nymphadora, securing her in the blanket taco.

"What-cha Daddy, Mommy?" Teddy asked with a giggle, his New England accent changing the cher to a hard cha.

Harry mussed his son's hair so that the black curls looked more like his own bird's nest. "Mommy," Harry intoned, "said she is going to help you take a bath."

Teddy was off the bed and out of the room quicker than he had entered.

Harry sighed, relaxing back onto the bed. He rubbed his forehead, and said to Nymphadora, "You have a hard head."

She wiggled in the blankets but she couldn't get her arms out of the covers. "Your head is not exactly soft either," she said struggling harder. "Would you let me up?"

Harry grinned at her and her heart skipped, "You got yourself into this predicament."

Her hair flashed purple, "You'll have to let me up some time."

"I don't see why you want up so badly, you will have to give Teddy a bath."

"He can't be that bad, he's seven," she said, managing to wriggle onto her side so she could lay a cheek on Harry's bare shoulder.

Harry's grin turned nearly evil, "He's alright at bathing himself, it's his head, neck, and behind the ears, he hates to wash."

"Does he swim?" Dora asked.

"Almost every day in the summer, but neither Dromeda nor I have been able to convince him that lake water isn't the same as a bath," Harry said.

"Huh," Dora said.

"What?" Harry asked, seeing a thoughtful expression on her face.

"I just- well this is going to sound weird but I think my mum is nicer to Teddy than she was to me," Dora said. "She is definitely more lenient."

"She is his grandmother and besides I'm told everyone is more lenient with their second child."

"You're a pretty lenient dad," she said.

Harry laughed, "Oh no, maybe on small things but if helicopter parenting is still a term than I am like my son's personal secret service. The only time Teddy is without Andromeda or me, he is under my wards."

"You can't raise him like that forever," Dora said.

Harry shot her a glare and rolled out of bed. It was seven fifteen in the morning, Ted had given Harry another sleeping potion the night before to ensure he would sleep in, seeing as it was Halloween. It was no doubt Dromeda's doing. Harry hadn't been in Europe for Halloween in seven years, and even back in America, it was a day he stayed held up at home stressing that something bad might happen. It hadn't since moving to Lanesborough if one discounted that time Teddy painted on his Grandmother's wedding dress he'd found stored in closest.

But now that they were back in Britain…

"I'm serious, Harry," Dora said, as she kicked off the blankets. "You can't always be there for him."

"You don't think I know that?" Harry snapped. "You might be his biological mother but you have no idea what it really means to be a mother."

Nymphadora's face was flushed, her hair a dark auburn, "I may have only known him for a little under two months but I care about him."

Harry slipped a robe on, he'd only worn a pair of shorts to bed. "And I care for my students, but I don't feel for them what I do for my own son."

Even with the rising anger, she felt a bit of regret that he was covering up. She stepped closer to him, "And how long exactly do you think it will take for me to view him as my son, sixth months, six years? Tell me, Harry, what is the timeline of loving another person?"

To that Harry had no response, he looked away, tying up his robe.

She walked towards him, putting both hands on his chest, he stilled under her touch, his emerald eyes meeting her blue ones. "I am not saying I know how to be a parent, or that I even see myself as Teddy's mother, I think my mum fulfills that roll in his life better than I ever could. But I do love him, Harry. He stole my heart the moment I saw him. I would do anything for him, and the more I get to know him the deeper that feeling becomes. I am not telling you how to raise Teddy, I don't think there is a person on earth who could do more for him than you have. All I meant is that you can't always hold yourself accountable for being there. You'll have to let him make his own mistakes one day."

Harry put his hands on her shoulders and leaned in to whisper in her ear, "As he grows older I will teach him how to protect himself so even when I am not with him I can be assured he is as safe as he can be. But that time is not today and not tomorrow, so I will be there today and tomorrow and the next day and the next month and the following year and the years after that. When the day comes that he no longer needs me, I will still be around because I will need him."

Dora had stilled at his words, she tried to look up into his eyes but he was too close. "Sounds a bit obsessive," she joked.

"Maybe," Harry murmured on the shell of her ear. "But it is my idea of what a family should be. People who love and who can depend on each other." He kissed her cheek. "I wasn't joking about giving Teddy a bath," he said before herding her out of the room so he could finish getting ready for the day.

Dora was not ready to wrestle a seven year old into taking a bath. Her mum had taken her wand, saying something about a family rule that they never pointed wands at family members unless absolutely necessary.

She was forced out of her thoughts when she fell into the tub fully dressed, at this point she believed magic might be necessary.

"Mommy!" Teddy squeaked, half under her. "No fair! Let me up!"

But Dora wanted this nightmare done with. Teddy had washed all of himself below the shoulders and it was now her mission to scrub his head clean. One arm hugging the boy to her, the other fumbling with the shampoo bottle. She got a sizable amount on her hand. Squeezing Teddy tighter as he struggled against her, she whipped the shampoo into his hair and began scrubbing.

Teddy cried out as if she had fatally wounded him, but Dora didn't fall for it, not giving an inch as she soaped up his head and behind his ears. Teddy was crying, and fisted his hands and began to rub at his eyes. Dora was sorry she had gotten soap in his eyes but not sorry enough to halt her attack.

When he was finally all soaped up she said, "Hold your breath, Teddy."

"What?" he asked tearily.

"Hold your breath," she repeated.

Teddy, who seemed to be far too trusting held his breath, puffing out his cheeks.

"Close your eyes."

He did.

Dora dunked him under the water. He came up sputtering, arms flailing "Mommy!" he cried as if she had broken his heart.

She turned him towards the faucet and put his head under the spray of warm water.

Teddy gasped and started struggling, but while Dora had failed the stealth test, she had received an outstanding for physical endurance and strength for her size group.

"There, all clean," Dora proclaimed, letting Teddy up. He sprang out of the tub, streaking through the apartment to his room.

Her father peeked in, "I heard screaming." He started smiling when he saw her sitting fully clothed and soaking wet in the draining tub.

"Was I that much trouble?" she asked.

He came to stand over her, "About people touching your head, absolutely. Your mother had to use a sticking charm on your butt so she could brush your hair."

She frowned up at her father, "I don't remember fighting Mum about my hair. In fact, I don't remember Mum ever touching my hair."

Ted grinned, "She gave up when you were two, I was the only one who you ever let touch your hair. Dromeda would complain about my healer's hands."

"You never snagged my hair on the brush," Dora said smiling back at him, resting her arm and chin on the rim of the tub.

"You going to stay in there all day?" he asked.

"No, but I figured I would take a shower while I'm here."

"Ah," Ted said in understanding. "Here's your wand." He pulled it out of his pocket and handed it to her. He kissed her forehead, "I love you."

She smiled, "Love you too, Dad."

He left the room waving his wand to evaporate the trail of water Teddy had left behind him.

Harry's little family spent the day boarded up in their Hogwarts apartment. When Dora mentioned going the great feast, he all but growled at her. Instead, they spent the night playing a magical version of monopoly that Andromeda had ordered from the States. The idea of the game was to cheat and it was the magical board's job to ensure it was nearly impossible to win. In other words, the players weren't just trying to beat each other they were trying to win against the game itself.

"Lobbying? What's lobbying?" Dora asked holding up a card that gave her the chance to pay money to the organization that owned Harry's properties.

"You get out of paying taxes if you pay enough when you land on someone else's spot," Teddy explained, he was the current champion of the game, having all the green and blue lots.

"That doesn't make any sense, I am paying money so I don't have to pay taxes?"

"Government bribery," Harry supplied.

"Huh?" Dora asked, more confused.

"It's an American game, dear, just roll with it," Andromeda said.

"It is certainly what happened with the Tea Party, the colonials were buying more expensive tea of worse quality from the Caribbeans illegally than the marked up British tea from Asia," Ted said, taking his muggle history out to shine.

"Mommy finish your turn," Teddy ordered, not at all caring about the history lesson. If it didn't concern winning the game or magical creatures he didn't care much about what the adults were discussing.

The game lasted till nearly midnight. Dromeda won, as was usual much to Teddy's frustration. Typically, Teddy would have been asleep well before then and typically, Harry would have insisted he at least be in bed. But tonight was Halloween, Harry preferred Teddy be awake and with him. Besides, it was a Saturday night and everyone could sleep in on a Sunday morning. Harry was sure that tonight was a hard one for Sirius and would be visiting his godfather to check up on tomorrow.

Harry kissed Teddy goodnight as Ted and Dromeda walked him back to his bedroom. Harry and Nymphadora began to put the game away.

"Why is Monopoly such a long game?" she asked.

Harry shrugged, "Magical Monopoly is way more fun the muggle version."

After they had the came cleaned up they collapsed on the sofa.

"Aren't you going to bed?" Dora asked.

"No, I am going to wait up."

"For who?" she asked.

Harry looked out the window and said, "You mean for what."

She frowned, sitting on her knees and leaning towards him so she could see his face, "Alright, you'll stay up for what?"

Harry didn't shift his gaze from the dark glass, "Sunrise."

"Harry-" she started.

He turned to her, "What about you? Aren't you going to bed?"

She brushed a lock of her white hair behind her ear, "Um, I'm not really tired."

Harry smiled at her, "You should be, it took you an hour to give Teddy a bath this morning. He told me you drowned him."

"I didn't!" she exclaimed.

Harry laughed, "I did realize that."

His laugh made her stomach flutter, it was possibly one of the best sounds in the world. She brought her hand up to touch his neck. Harry might be a decent liar, but his pulse wasn't. His heartbeat pounded against her palm.

"What are you doing?" he asked, narrowing those beautiful green eyes at her.

She shifted closer, bringing her other hand to cup the other side of his neck.

Harry pulled back a bit, and started to say, "Nym-"

She cut him off with a kiss. For a moment he was unresponsive, but at the gentle coaxing of her lips, he melted. With a small groan, he wrapped his arms around her, pulling her flush against him.

Dora pulled back, out of breath but she was smiling down at Harry who seemed equally out of breath.

"Well finally," her mother's voice sliced through the moment.

Dora flung herself off Harry's lap, landing with a thud on the floor on her butt.

Ted and Dromeda laughed. Harry helped her off the floor and Dromeda came to other side of her daughter to give them both a hug. Dora's face was on fire and so was Harry's but whatever reaction she was expecting from Harry it wasn't to hear him sigh and hug both her and her mother back.

Dromeda pulled back with a huge grin, "Have you planned your first date yet?"

Harry grinned back, "Already happened."

"That weekend you spent at Grimmauld Place," Dromeda stated.

"Yep," Harry agreed.

"You went out for coffee and you talked?" Dromeda guessed.

"Half the date, yes."

She frowned, her brown eyes as bright as jewels, "What else did you do?"

"Guess," Harry said.

"You had wild, passionate, spontaneous sex," she said, "You better have used a condom."

"Dromeda!" "Mum!" Ted and Dora exclaimed in unison.

"No we didn't use protection," Harry said, lips twitching.

"Harry," Ted and Dora warned together.

"Because we didn't have sex," Harry finished.

Dora slapped his shoulder.

"You went shopping?" was Dromeda's next guess.


"Clothes shopping?"


"But that's not all you did," she said with a frown.

"We went to the British Museum," Dora interrupted, not liking being talked over.

"We got kicked out of the British Museum," Harry added.

"Why?" Ted asked.

"Harry was overcome with laughter," Dora said innocently.

Harry kissed her temple, "That's one way to put it."

Dora looked up at him and truly wished her parents were not in the room with them.

"I was joking early by the way," Dromeda said.

Harry looked over Dora's head to meet Dromeda's gaze, "Joking about what?"

"Joking about needing protection, I want more grandbabies."

"Andromeda!" "Mom!" Ted and Dora berated in unison.

Harry sighed and leaned back against the sofa. There appeared to be some pitfalls with being interested in someone whose family you were already a part of.

AN: A fluffy chapter but we needed it to move forward, I will be updating on Sunday. I just needed this chapter to live on its own. We made it to Halloween! Please let me know your thoughts and reactions? Thank you to all my wonderful reviewers this story if for you all!

P.S. Hi Scimas, Ravenclaws5, EMReader81, geekymom, ObsessedWithHPFanFic, and deadarm00!

Chapter 14: Chapter 14

Chapter 14

Harry woke at first ray of light shining through the window. Nymphadora was curled on his lap. While they maybe had gotten four hours of sleep it was more than Harry had expected. He ran a light hand down her hair that ended midway down her back, when that didn't wake her up he continued. The sunrise made the white strands look like pink and orange light across a field of snow. Harry found her default coloring a bit strange because he knew that her native coloring was Ted's sandy-brown hair with her mother's brown eyes. The freckles though had to be hers, Harry liked her freckles a lot, but he could tell by how often she tried to cover them up that she did not share his opinion. When she woke he wanted to ask why white hair and dark blue eyes were her go to.

They were dating now, Harry thought, which was strange. He hadn't dated anyone since he was seventeen. Would he be good at? What if things didn't work out between them? Dromeda kill him. And where did that leave Teddy? How ever Nymphadora saw Teddy, Teddy was beginning to see her as actively being his mother. Though Dromeda certainly hadn't drawn back from Teddy now that Ted was part of her life again, she had changed. Where Harry had become more stressed, more on edge, and all around angrier, Dromeda had grown more relaxed, more happy, simply secure in who she was and what she wanted out of her life. The lost soul Harry had found at the end of the war, the grieving mother and widow was still a part of her, but she seemed to be living in the moment. Harry was living every moment in fear that he was about to lose everything.

Harry hugged Nymphadora to him, breathing in her scent, she smelled like apples and cloves. An odd combination but it somehow suited her. Even the tightening of his arms hadn't woken her. Harry sat up slowly, sliding her into his arms. He held his breath waiting for her to wake, but apparently, she was a very heavy sleeper. He stood with her in his arms. Though she wasn't the lightest person, as an Auror she was probably mostly muscle, Harry didn't have a problem carrying her to his bedroom.

He laid her down on his sheets, his cover had already been pulled back. He pulled the blankets over her and she curled herself between the cool sheets. Harry paused at the sight her in his bed, she was so beautiful. As he got know her that beauty only grown so that he no longer knew if she was physically beautiful or if who she was just that beautiful to him. He bent down to kiss her forehead before going to change into fresh robes.

Whatever he did he couldn't mess things up with Nymphadora. She was too important to Dromeda and Teddy. Harry had not planned on liking her as much as he did and he had the feeling that if he let himself he would fall in love with her. She had already filled a roll in their lives and when Harry was with her he sometimes forgot to be afraid the future, both his past and the new possibilities of this war. When he was with her he wasn't thinking about survival, he thought about living. If he was truly planning to pursue a relationship with her he'd have to open up to her. That was its own type of fear, a fear which made life real rather than throwing him into the hamster wheel of suffering Fate liked to catch him in.

Nymphadora was a blessing and Harry refused to let fear dictate his decisions like he had for the majority of his past.

Harry was sitting at the foot of Sirius' bed.

"Harry?" Sirius asked.

The wizard turned to him with a face splitting smile.

Sirius frowned, Harry didn't smile like that. The older Harry was self-confident, but he didn't have the same air of confidence that this wizard had, and Sirius had never seen Harry smile like that.

Which should have been the first clue. "James?" Sirius asked. He saw the eyes now, hazel rather than green, his hair a lighter shade.

James laughed, the sound was joyous and carefree.

That sound hurt Sirius' heart.

"Took you long enough, Padfoot," James said.

"You better remember me," a familiar voice threatened.

Sirius turned to see a smiling Lily sitting beside him.

"Lils," Sirius choked. Her green eyes were exactly like Harry's.

"I'm sorry, I'm so, so, so sorry, Lily, James," Sirius said. "I failed you." The tears came unbidden. "I failed Harry. I was too bull headed, I didn't see what was most important until it was too late."

Lily wrapped him in a hug, a hug that he did not deserve but desperately needed. She pulled back and kissed both his cheeks, "Do you honestly believe we would blame you for what happened to you? We were all wrong about Peter. We were all too arrogant to realize that weakness does not mean powerless or insignificant. We were so arrogant that we mistook our pity for him as friendship."

"Yeah, Padfoot, it wasn't you who killed us, who attacked our son," James said, suddenly sitting on the other side of him.

"I as good as killed you myself."

"No, you did not," Lily said firmly.

"You did make a mistake, but we made that mistake together," James said. "I was nearly as suspicious of Remus as you were. And Dumbledore-" James shook his head, "I was afraid to give him power over us."

Sirius frowned, thinking of all that he had learned from the older Harry, "Do you know-"

"That Dumbledore convinced my son to sacrifice himself, my barely of age son to die for our war?" Lily snapped. "Oh, we know, and I am going to make that man's afterlife a hell and make the fallen angels look like mere grunts. James and I did not die for Harry so he could become the Headmaster's personal weapon against the Dark Lord."

Sirius felt a fresh wave of sorrow wash over him, "I should have been there for them."

"Sirius, it isn't your fault that you didn't get a trial," James said.

"I laughed, Prongs, laughed! They thought I was a madman. I should have tried to explain."

"We understand, Siri," Lily said. "And even if you had been calm and collected there was no guarantee that they wouldn't have still tried to blame you. It is not a secret that our government was desperate and dysfunctional then."

"I don't know Lil's," James said, "-it doesn't seem much better now."

"I should have stayed with Harry," Sirius said.

James grabbed Sirius's hand and squeezed, "We're only human, my brother. We all failed Harry, but that doesn't mean we love him any less, that he loves us or you any less. It is a part of life to die and maybe we left him too soon but it wasn't for lack of love."

"I could have- I should have done better," Sirius said, his voice full of fourteen years worth of regret and Dementor induced torture.

Lily grabbed his other hand and touched his cheek until he met her gaze with her eyes that were also Harry's eyes. Not just the color but the shape, even the long lashes, though Harry's were black, not red. "You're talking as if you're already dead, as if my son is already dead. You aren't and he isn't, you may never be given the chance to redo the past, but you still have a future. Don't forget to live it."

The dream broke at the sound of someone waking his mother's portrait up.

"Sorry!" Amelia shouted up the steps as Sirius listened to her yell at his mother, "I'm a Bones, you dreadful old hag! I'm a pureblood! Stop screeching at me!"

Sirius replayed the dream over in his mind, over and over again. With the hangover it was difficult, but he pushed himself to commit James and Lily's gift of a dream to memory. He sat up in bed, looking at the spots were James and Lily had been. They had been so real, the dream had been so vivid he swore he could feel the warmth of their hands in his.

Amelia knocked on his doorframe, he looked up her slowly, his head feeling heavy. He had drunk too much yesterday.

"Hey sorry about waking you up," she said. This Sunday had been her first day off since the massacre left on the steps of the Ministry. "I am making lunch do you wan-"

She stopped seeming to see his face for the first time, "Sirius, are you alright?"

He just stared at her, was he alright? He was alive, he was breathing, but was he alright?

No. No, he wasn't alright, James and Lily had forgiven him but Sirius didn't think he could ever forgive himself. But Lils had told him to live and she was right that both he and Harry were still alive. The problem was that Sirius had no idea how to start living again. He had been a fool who had lost everything, then had been a prisoner without a trial, and now he was a fugitive with nothing productive to do.

"Sirius," Amelia tried again, "are you alright?"

He met her gaze and answered, "I don't think I am."

She stepped into the room, her salt and pepper hair braided back, and her brown eyes filled with worry. She went to put a hand on the same shoulder where Lily had hugged him and he jerked away from her touch. "Don't," he managed.

But Amelia Bones was not a subtle person and if she decided to give someone emotional comfort then there wasn't much that person could do about it.

She sat where Lils had sat. "You're going to be okay," she declared.

Sirius shot her what would have been a scathing look if he hadn't been trying to process his depression and maybe one of the worst hangovers of his existence. "You can't know that," he said.

She patted his knee, "I do know that. You have a wonderful godson and his wonderful godson, and you have your cousin and your cousins' husband and their daughter. You even have a cousin in the basement. You have a family. People you love and who love you in return, time and space don't destroy families. You will be alright because you are not alone."

Sirius' chest was so tight it felt as though his lungs had turned to cement and his ribs had become a vice that was going to crush his heart. "But what if I fail them again?" he asked.

"We all have failed the people we love, Sirius. We all have disappointed them. We disappointed our parents, we disregard our siblings, we have fallen short of what our kids need us to be. But then we keep trying and sometimes they forgive and sometimes they don't. But life goes on."

"What if Harry doesn't forgive me?" Sirius asked.

"That's not why you're hurting right now," Amelia stated.

"Oh, miss emotional expert, do tell me why I am hurting," he tried to say sarcastically but it just came out tired.

"You're hurting because Harry has forgiven you, and you know that if Lily and James Potter were here now they would forgive you too, and you don't know how to live with that."

Sirius looked away from her piercing gaze, looking down at his hands, hands that both Lily and James had held not fifteen minutes ago, hands that had held a newborn Harry fifteen years before that. His vision blurred before he realized he was crying, he folded forward and let the emotions and his demons have him.

Amelia rubbed his back as he cried himself hoarse and empty, cried and let the pain he'd been trying to escape from have him, destroy him, and remake him.

Harry spent the morning trying to track down where exactly Lupin lived. He had a vague idea and neighborhood name. The most rundown apartment should have been his first pick, perhaps he was trying to delay this conversation?

Harry took in a long breath before knocking on the door that would not have held up to a firm shoulder shove.

The door creaked open and a stoney faced Remus Lupin opened the door.

"What do you want?" he growled.

"We need to talk," Harry said, putting a hand out when Remus made to close the door. "Please, Remus, just give me a chance."

Remus sighed, and turned back into the apartment, leaving the door open.

Not the warmest welcome, Harry thought yet when he entered the neat yet filthy apartment he thought it might just be Remus' embarrassment of having any type of guests here. Remus did not have dirty living habits, the same could not be said about the previous tenants. There were permanent stains on the floors and ceilings, there were cigarette burn marks on the aged table, and mold growing on the broken couch. Teddy would be seeing more of his birth father, but Harry would not be bringing his son to this place, not ever.

"Are you finished taking stock?" Remus asked, voice thick with emotion, "You are free to leave when you are finished."

What Harry wanted to ask was why Remus didn't fix the place up magically but thought maybe masquerading as a muggle with no money, questions might arise if anyone ever saw the place fixed up. Harry still itched to de-mold the couch though. Wasn't Remus' health poor enough without that?

"Well?" Remus pushed.

There weren't even chairs Harry could sit down in. Harry sighed running a hand through his hair, "Will you let me say to you what I planned to say to you before you met Teddy?"

Remus motioned with his hand for him to proceed.

Harry swallowed, thee Professor Potter nervous about talking to someone? If his students back home could see him now they would be laughing. He never lost his cool in America. But this was Great Britain, and despite his fame, everyone already knew how not Great Harry was. "Hi Remus, I need to talk to you, you might want to sit down. Everything I am about to tell you is going to be hard to believe, but I assure you it is true. This war we are in now continues for another three years. In that time you and Nymphadora Tonks fall in love and get married. You got her pregnant, which I know isn't what you wished for, but you had a son who the two of you named Edward, after Nymphadora's father Ted but everyone calls your son Teddy. Teddy Remus Lupin is his full name, and he is the only reason why I have survived the aftermath of the war. He is the brightest and best part of my life. I have thanked you every day for making me his godfather. Andromeda Tonks and I have been raising him for seven years in America. I got a job at Ilvermorny because I screwed up with Gringotts and they cut me off from the Potter fortune, which is a story for another time. Teddy is an intelligent, energetic, and happy little boy. He spends his summers swimming in lakes and winters playing in the snow. We like to go hiking and Andromeda has started to homeschool him. His favorite subject is magical creatures and thinks you were an amazing person. Though Dromeda, being Nymphadora's mother, Teddy grew up with more stories about his mother and as he inherited her metamorphmagus ability he does idolize her more than he does you. It's why Nymphadora met him first. Teddy is only seven and between the time travel and being ripped away from his home in the States he has been overwhelmed him. Teddy will always be my son, but he's your family too and I want you to be a part of his life."

After Harry's speech, Remus was just stared at him, expression unreadable.

He was quiet long enough that Harry began to babble, "And I'm sorry about the name change. The goblins said that he was an orphan of time, that there was no way to prove who his birth parents were/would be. That legally he had no name and if I didn't claim him as mine that ministry might have grounds to take him away from me and I just couldn't take that chance. But I really, truly didn't want to change his middle name, but apparently, the firstborn son's middle name is a-"

"A title to the pureblood families," Remus finished for him. "By wizarding law and tradition, the male Head of the Family passes both his first name and his surname to his firstborn son. Even those families who choose to forgo the tradition, legally the name of their father's first name is attached in addition to the child's other middle name on legal documents."

"So I could have given, Teddy four names?" Harry asked, not knowing what else to say.

Remus sighed and ran a hand down his face. "No, no Harry, it doesn't matter to me what his name is. I was shocked when Albus told me I had a son and hurt that you hadn't contacted me yourself. I- that is I never saw myself being a father and I reacted badly."

"Teddy has forgiven you, he was overwhelmed by everything and got it into his head that I was leaving him. Which I'm not."

"He's seven, he has an excuse for overreacting. I did not, I behaved abominably and I am sorry," Remus apologize.

Harry nodded, accepting the apologie, "Do you want to be a part of Teddy's life? Not just on holidays, but truly a part of his life?"

Remus frowned, "I am his father."

Harry glared at the older man, "I'm his father, you are the man whose future-self marries and knocks up a woman thirteen years younger than himself then tries to run away from the responsibility of child before the both of you fight in a battle that orphans said infant child." Harry nearly bit his tongue off, he did not want to say that, did not want his temper to lead him.

Remus' face flushed and he turned his head abashed. Out of the two of them, Remus had a better control over his temper or at least was better at suppressing it than Harry, there meeting two months ago notwithstanding. Remus audibly inhaled and exhaled, "Yes."

"Yes?" Harry repeated.

"Yes, I want to be a part of Teddy's life, not as his father, but I want to see him more often than holidays."

Harry smiled, his shoulders relaxing. "Good," he breathed. "This is good, I am glad, so glad."

Remus shifted on his feet, "Is there anything else I should know? Dora and I didn't have twins did we?"

Harry flushed, "No but-"

"But what?"

"You broke up with her," Harry said quickly.

"So…" Remus said, heart sinking.

"Nymphadora and I-"

"Are in love," Remus completed, tone empty.

"We're dating," Harry corrected, though in love was pretty close to the truth.

"Are you asking my permission?" Remus asked, voice nearly inflectionless.

"No," Harry said, his voice growing colder, "No, I am telling you."

Remus crossed his arms, "So you're demanding I be okay with it?"

Harry huffed running a hand through his hair, "Remus- Remus I don't know how to do this. I didn't want to time travel, it wasn't my idea. I didn't intend to be at odds with the father of my godson or fall for the mother of my godson. I don't want you to hate me, I don't want you to be hurt, but whatever is between you, Nymphadora, and I can't fall on Teddy. It isn't his doing. As far as he's concerned Dromeda and Ted are his godparents, I am his father, and Nymphadora is the only person he's ever going to see as his mother."

"And where does that leave me?" Remus asked. "If you have all the answers, you tell me where that leaves me?"

"You can either be the sperm donor and an old story or you can be a part of Teddy's family. You can be a beloved uncle. He's already starting to call Sirius his grandfather. You can still be a father figure in Teddy's life," Harry said.

"But you'll always be his dad."

Harry nodded.

"What if that isn't enough?"

"Than you shouldn't have died," Harry said, harshly.

"And what if I don't want you dating the woman I was supposed to marry."

"Than you shouldn't have let her go."

Let her go, Remus thought. He hadn't let her go, he chased her away. Chased her away and hid from the world. Remus sighed, "I am sorry."

Harry gave him suspicious eyes still on the defensive.

"You are right, right about everything. Andromeda was right too. I should be down on my knees thanking you for going above and beyond what any teenager should be expected to give. I couldn't have raised a child right out of Hogwarts. Merlin knows I am not fit to raise a child now. I want to be in Teddy's life and I am sad that I can't have the title of father but realistically, I don't want the responsibility of raising a child. As for Dora… I have no claim on her, none at all, we were not dating when time was rewritten, and I ended anything that might have been between us. I have only myself to blame that you have everything I could have had and never fought for," Remus said, looking out the dusty window.

Harry had no idea where to go from there. He had nothing more to say. Was he supposed to leave now? Make plans for him to go see Teddy?

Remus looked at him, "I would offer you something but my fridge is empty."

"Do you want to go see Sirius with me?" Harry asked.

Remus nodded. They left together. Things were not solved between them because Remus couldn't help feeling what he felt and Harry couldn't help caring for the man who had been one of his father's best friends. Remus had many faults, and though he might be prone to self-destructive behavior, at heart he was a good man. Remus was lost and Harry had been lost his entire life until Teddy. Perhaps Remus should be grateful to Harry but it was Harry who would always feel indebted to Remus for giving him the greatest gift on the planet; his son.

"What the hell happened to you?" Harry asked when he entered the kitchen. Sirius was hollowed eyed, skin pasty, and clutching a cup of coffee like his life depended on it.

Sirius smiled weakly, "Hey godson, how's my grandson?"

"An energetic menace to society," Harry said, giving the older wizard a one armed hug before going to the stove to warm up the kettle. "Hi, Amelia."

"Hello, Harry, Remus," she said, straight backed and in control as ever, drinking from her cup of coffee like a civilized person.

"Hello," Remus responded before turning to Sirius, "What did you do?"

"Drank too much," Sirius muttered.

"I did that last Halloween," Harry said. "Well, the day after. Started at midnight stopped at dawn."

"How did Andromeda react to that?" Sirius asked.

"She never found out. I got rid of the bottles and took a sobering potion. A silencing charm on the bathroom and one shower later I was good as new."

Three pairs of eyes bored into his back, looking at him like he was insane. Harry found a package in the cupboard and he went to the fridge and poured some milk into a pan he put on the stove, dumping the package in before finding a spoon to stir the mixture. He turned to them, feeling their stares, "What?"

"Harry," Sirius said, slowly, "a sobering potion is hell. Nobody uses it unless they are dying from alcohol poisoning because it feels like dying."

"Well according to you, dying doesn't hurt at all, 'quicker and easier than falling asleep,'" Harry said, using his hands for air quotes.

Sirius frowned, "When and why would I have said that?"

Amelia asked, "Was he a ghost?"

Harry's gaze went distant, "For a short time I suppose he was."

Remus was horrified, "Why would Sirius' ghost be telling you what it feels like to die? Ghosts are known for talking about the method of their deaths but they never describe how it feels?"

Harry raised a brow, "And how would you know that?"

"Because I was fascinated with the Hogwarts ghosts and questioned them until they got sick of me but they never talked about what happens after life ends," Remus said. "So why would Sirius tell you about it?"

"Because I was walking to my death at the time, Remus, and I didn't want to die and I was going to let it happen anyway. But for the record coming back to life hurts a hell of a lot more than the killing curse itself," Harry said before turning back to the stove.

The other three magical humans exchanged looks, realizing that time travel was low in the ranking for the oddities of Harry James Potter.

"The house looks cleaner," Harry said, as he poured the substance into a mug and finished making tea for the other two.

"Whatever you did to Kreacher has worked wonders, he's cleaning and though he still doesn't like me he has stopped muttering," Sirius said.

Harry handed Remus a cup of tea along with a bag of crackers he had found. Harry sat beside Sirius, replacing his godfather's cold coffee with a cup of hot chocolate.

"You realize hot chocolate isn't going to help with a hangover, right?" Sirius said, wrapping his fingers around the warm mug.

"Just drink it, Sirius, it will make you feel better," Harry ordered.

Sirius did as ordered and closed his eyes as warm sweetness entered his system, "I am hungover not suffering from dementor effects, why does this feel so good?"

"Because chocolate understands," Harry said, sagely.

Sirius smiled and took another sip. "So," he began, "It looks like you two made up."

Remus shrugged, "It's complicated."

Harry shook his head, "It's not that complicated."

"What's complicated?" Amelia asked. Pointing her chin at Remus she asked, "Are you going to man up and meet the son you left orphaned to be raised by a teenager?"

Harry looked at her, opened his mouth then closed it before asking, "Are you being sarcastic? Or are you just that insensitive?"

Her lips twitched, "Susan would argue insensitive."

"Please tell me that's how you talk to Fudge behind the scenes?" Harry asked.

"It's how she talks to everyone else. She had a better sense of humor in school though," Sirius said.

"Harry isn't the only one at this table who lost their entire family at Voldemort's personal hand," Amelia said.

"You also weren't this unpleasant," Sirius said with a grin, "Believe it or not she sorted into Hufflepuff."

"That shouldn't be surprising," Amelia said.

"No, what isn't surprising is that you were the head girl of your class, what is surprising is that you had any friends in Hufflepuff who you didn't have to threaten to hang out with you."

Amelia glared at him, "I may have had more friends in Slytherin than my own house but my housemates were not afraid of me."

Remus let out a short laugh at that.

She turned her glare on him, "They weren't."

"Amelia Bones," Sirius said, "We were all afraid of you. Why do you think you never pranked?"

Surprise flashed across her features.

"I thought my mum was the head girl?" Harry asked.

"Lily was," Remus said, "But Amelia was two years ahead of us."

"Ah," Harry said in understanding.

"Speaking of Hogwarts," Amelia said, changing topics, "How is Susan doing in her classes?"

Harry smiled, "Very well, she's close approaching being fourth in the class."

"Fourth?" Amelia questioned, she didn't need Susan to be first in her class but she was curious to know who the others were.

"Hermione Granger is first followed by Draco Malfoy, Theodore Nott, Neville Longbottom," Harry said.

"Neville Longbottom?" Amelia asked, "Augusta is always on about how her grandson is almost a squib."

Harry shook his head, "No, Neville is far from being a squib. He just needed a confidence boost."

"Still he must have jumped from being nearly at the bottom of the class to the top," Amelia said, "That's quite the leap."

"I know he's been doing better in his other classes since he returned to Hogwarts than normal but the 'leap' as you put it has only been seen in my class. But it isn't that large of a leap, aside from myself and a handful Slytherins our class had a pretty weak defense education."

"Thanks Harry," Remus said sarcastically.

Harry grinned, "Well you were a pretty good professor, but that was one year, Crouch was alright, though he taught primarily theory. Even so, one and a half out of five years left a lot of in our education. So most of the spells the students are learning are new material."

"But it wasn't new for you when you were fifteen," Amelia noted.

Harry shook his head, "At fifteen I was the best in my class at DADA and I was teaching a DADA club, but what I am teaching to the fifth years now is more advanced than what I knew at fifteen. If it wasn't for my fickle luck, two months into my class all of my students should be able to theoretically to out strip my fifteen year old self. Susan has a head for in battle strategy, she would have kicked my butt."

"Your fickle luck," Amelia said. "Do you think Susan would have been able to compete in the Triwizard tournament?"

Harry's gut twisted. "I don't think anyone should be expected to compete in the Triwizard tournament." A large part of Harry believed that if he was going to be thrown back in time, it should have been before Cedric died.

"How's Teddy liking Hogwarts?" Sirius said catching the mood change.

"As well as can be expected," Harry answered. "He likes the Forbidden Forest. I had to throw him over my shoulder to get him away from Firenze."

"Who?" Sirius asked.

"He's one of the centaurs, very good with children," Harry said.

"What are you doing bring a seven year old in the Forbidden Forest?" Remus asked.

"We were hiking," Harry said, his voice falsely cheerful.

Remus narrowed his eyes at Harry, he had a sneaking suspicion, his worst fear when it came the idea of fathering a child. "Teddy inherited Dora's metamorphmagus ability, did he inherit anything from me?" Remus' voice was falsely causal.

Harry sighed, "Don't freak out."

"He's a werewolf!?" Remus boomed, standing up so fast he knocked over his chair and his tea.

"I just told you not to freak," Harry said, staying in his seat.

"Oh my god, I can't believe this, I am such an idiot, that poor, poor boy-"

"Remus!" Harry called, "Calm down, it isn't that bad-"

"Not that bad!?" Remus exclaimed, "How old was he when he first shifted?"

"It's not what you thin-"

"How old?" Remus growled.

Harry sighed, "Six months, but-"

"Oh Merlin," Remus breathed, leaning on the table for support, "Has he bitten anyone? How terrible is it for him? I cursed him, I cursed him! I cursed my own son!"

"Well he has bitten me a few times, he got Dromeda once or twice, but nobody else is really around-"

"I'm so sorry! I am so, so sorry-"

"Remus!" Harry yelled, cutting the old werewolf off. "Sit down, I am not a werewolf, Andromeda is not a werewolf, Teddy has not and is not capable of passing on lycanthropy, and he is not cursed."

Remus numbly sat into another chair, one that was still upright. "How can you say that?"

"Teddy doesn't have what you have, or at least he doesn't have lycanthropy the way you have it. A combination between being born with it and being born with metamorphmagus along with, at least Dromeda and I believe having shifted for the first time on land where Spirit Wolf was revered as a spiritual type deity left Teddy blessed. He can shift at will, Remus. He has full presence of mind and he isn't contagious. It is as if he were born as a wolf animagus. The only noticeable side effect is that on the night of the full moon, if he doesn't shift that night he feels sick, almost like a stomach bug with a high fever and an overabundance of energy. But I swear to you that is the sole and the extent of the negative effects of his abilities. If anything it balances out the problems of the metamorphmagus ability, he isn't clumsy like Nym is."

It took a solid five moments for Remus to process this.

It was Sirius who broke the silence, "So why did you and Dromeda become animagi, again?"

"Because keeping up with two year old with the ability to run on four paws at the speed of a puppy is damned near impossible. Dromeda and I were lucky that falcons are native enough to the area to use with no-majs around. Puppy Teddy looks like a dog more than wolf if you don't look too close, well at least for now."

"He looks like a real wolf?" Remus asked, voice quiet.

"Yeah," Harry said, "Though he can change his pelt color."

"Your son can turn into a blue furred wolf?" Amelia asked.

"Nope, he can only shift his fur to natural colors. At least for now."

"If I take the potion can I come running with you three for the next full moon?" Remus asked.

Harry heard something in Remus' voice that let him know the question meant more to Remus than he was letting on.

"Of course," Harry said. "You and Sirius are more than welcome to come."

Sirius whooped.

"How's it going, Narcissa?" Harry asked, smirking at the two Malfoys in bed.

Lucius wasn't wearing his shirt because Narcissa was wearing it. Both of them were under the covers. Dobby had made Harry wait before allowing him to enter, which Harry hadn't understood until he saw the state of Lucius' hair.

Narcissa hair curled down her back neatly, apparently, Dobby had stopped his wash and groom short at the Lord's hair. Narcissa likely wasn't that bad of a master, it was Lucius that Dobby had a true hatred for.

Harry didn't like Lucius either. He thought the man was a monster and belonged in jail, yet over the years Harry had also grown to love Narcissa as he would have loved any who didn't go by Aunt Petunia or Aunt Marge. Harry had stayed up a few nights with Narcissa when she had broken down about being alone. Narcissa had taken up a permanent residence at the Malfoy retreat home in France. Dromeda, Teddy, and Harry had spent many a vacation there. Yet as close as the two sisters had grown Andromeda could not stomach listening to Narcissa mourn Lucius' imprisonment. Harry had come to understand both Black sisters, and he could not fault Narcissa for loving her husband, even if he was a bastard. The way Harry saw it, he could sympathize and comfort her as long as Narcissa never asked him to break Lucius out of prison.

"I'm fine, Harry," she said, face only a touch red.

Lucius just glared at him.

"Seems you two have been keeping each other entertained," Harry said dryly.

"Go away, Potter," Lucius hissed.

"Oh, I was going to tell you how Draco was holding up, but if you rather I-"

"Stay!" Narcissa almost yelled, "How is he? How is our son?"

"He's doing well. A bit worried about you both, but Snape told me to tell you that the Dark Lord has not acknowledged Draco at all."

"Why not let Severus talk to us himself?" Lucius asked.

"Because while Severus blames your disappearance on me, he doesn't know where I've put you and I think it is best that it stays that way. I haven't even confirmed I have you."

"Severus knows," Lucius said firmly.

"Well unless either of you told him before you got here then no, he doesn't. My occlumency shields are pretty decent," Harry said, somewhat enjoying teasing the other wizard. Harry wasn't the one behind bars, without information, and without a wand. Sweet karma. Sweet, sweet karma.

"How much longer do you think we will be down here?" Lucius asked.

"No idea, would you like me to send the Dark Lord an owl and ask when he would like to die?"

"Don't be smart with me, boy," Lucius snapped.

Harry was quiet for a few beats. "You should know that Ministry has refused to search your house."

"Why?" Narcissa asked.

"I have no idea," Harry said.

"Either tell us something about Draco or something useful or get out," Lucius asked.

Harry laughed, "This is not your room Lucius, this is your prison cell, and you best keep in mind that while I like your wife, I despise you. I am perfectly content shipping you off to Azkaban where you belong."

"I do not belong there," Lucius said, chin high.

"So you don't think giving a cursed book to a first year that led to the opening of the Chamber of Secrets -which released a Basilisk on the student body of Hogwarts as an action deserving of prison? I still have full access to that snake's skeleton."

Lucius looked paler than he ever had as he rather relectantantly turned to face his wife. A very pissed off wife whose glare should have imploded his head.


"Don't. You. Dare," she intoned. She turned to Harry, her face softening, "Is there anything else we can help you with, Harry?"

"Do you know of any other places the Dark Lord might be staying, other than your manor?" Harry asked.

Narcissa shot her husband another glare, he didn't take his eyes off her, like a bird watching the snake that was about to eat him, "Um, Riddle Manor is still in use, and Severus' hovel of a muggle home."

Harry smiled, "Thank you, I'll be back if I have more questions. I leave you to the rest of your day."

The look Lucius flashed him was almost panicked, there was a good reason he hadn't tried to convince his wife to take the dark mark because if he forced her to face everything he did as Death Eater in detail, she might be the one to kill him. "How is Draco doing in your class?"

"Draco and Ms. Granger are quite the power team, best in their year. But Hermione is still the brightest out of the generation."

Harry left then and as he left he heard the very distinct sound of a face being slapped. Never, ever piss off a Black. It seems Lucius Malfoy had forgotten who exactly he had married. Dementors had nothing on either Andromeda or Narcissa when their anger arose.

AN: That took me 9 hours to finish. Reactions and thoughts please?

Chapter 15: Chapter 15

AN: Sorry for the mistakes and missing words, I am honestly proofreading and reading out loud. A beta reader is needed, but I have not found one yet soooo….. I am going to keep posting? Also, I realize Nym and Harry are a little closer than your average couple but a large part is due to Harry having lived with Andromeda for seven years. Harry listened to the stories as much as Teddy did. But remember that they are dating not 'in love' not yet anyway.

Chapter 15

"Get out of my classroom," Harry ground out.

"You have sent four students to the hospital wing in the last two days," Umbridge said to him as if he were the one thick in the head.

"With twisted ankles and a couple of sketches. I could have healed them myself but they were all so excited about their duals I sent to Poppy to be sure I hadn't missed anything," Harry explained back to her in the same condescending tone, mocking her.

"You are not fit touch teach at this school," she said slapping her pudgy hands down on Harry's desk.

"You are not fit to be around children!" Harry exclaimed.

"I wish to take you before the Headmaster," she said.

"That will be a waste of time, we both know he that is never going to fire me."

"I want you gone," she hissed, leaning over his desk.

"I assure you the feeling is mutual," Harry said evenly.

Harry wanted nothing more than to set Fred and George on her, or maybe he could arrange something with Firenze?

"I will make you regret staying here," she threatened.

Harry had enough. He stood, towering over her. "Get in line," he said, gathering his papers and left the pink witch behind. He nearly ran over Neville Longbottom and Theodore Nott. Harry could hear Umbridge's heels clicking towards them. "Are you both waiting for me?"

They both nodded.

"Follow me please," Harry said leading them up to the next floor. Harry walked fast but not so fast that either student had to run to keep up with him.

"I just needed to give you a letter," Neville said, handing him an envelope, penned with a neat script that Harry recognized as not being Neville's.

"My parents and Gran want to meet with you, dinner I think," Neville said with a warm smile.

Harry smiled back at him, putting the letter on the top of his stack of papers. "I would be happy to." He looked between the two students, "You two didn't want to speak with me together did you?"

"Oh, no, sorry," Neville said, slowing his walk, "Bye Professor Potter." He gave a little wave before he turned around and headed back down the steps.

"Can we speak privately?" Theodore asked.

Harry nodded and they found an empty classroom.

Harry put up privacy wards. "What's up?" Harry asked after he'd finished the silencing ward.

"It's my dad," Theodore said.

"Is he in trouble?"

Theodore shifted from foot to foot.

"Are you in trouble?" Harry pressed.

Theodore took a long breath and looking at his feet he said, "My father is the trouble."

"Tell me what you need," Harry said, "And I will do my best to help you."

Theodore looked up, eyes searching Harry's face, "Would you really help me?"

"Yes, because I remember going to the adults for help and remember that people died when they didn't listen to me. Talk to me and I will listen."

"My father is a Death Eater," Theodore blurted.

"I know," Harry said.

Theodore flushed, "He's done bad things and he is starting to do them again."

"Has he done bad things to you, Mr. Nott?" Harry asked.

Theodore looked back down at his feet, hands clenched into fists. He mumbled something.

"I'm sorry, could you repeat that," Harry asked softly.

He raised his head reluctantly, his face lined with anger, his eyes wide with fear. Sweat was beading on his upper lip, "My name is Theo."

"Theo," Harry said gently, careful to stay very still and not move his hands from his side. "Theo, has your father hurt you?"

Rage filled Theo's eyes, "My mum's dead, she killed herself after the last war. I don't have anywhere to go. I don't know what I am supposed to do. What am I supposed do?"

Harry took in a deep breath, "If something were to happen to your father, who would take you in?"

"The Malfoys, but they're missing. I have no one," Theo said. "My dad sent me a letter, he wants me to return home for winter break, but I can't go back there. This summer…" He visibly bit his tongue.

"Draco's godfather is Professor Snape, do you know if you would go to him instead?" Harry asked.

Theo had to think about it for a moment, "By wizarding law yeah, but- but-"

Harry waited for Theo to get through the thought, through the emotions and desperation that had driven him to come to Harry of all people.

Finally Theo whispered, "But Professor Snape is a Death Eater too."

Harry nodded, "That is true, but he's not one who is in the habit of handing children over to the Dark Lord. The Dark Lord knows that all of Professor Snape's actions are overseen by the Headmaster."

"The Headmaster wouldn't help me, I'm in Slytherin."

Harry's lips tightened, "I will help you, and so will the Head of Slytherin House."

Theo wiped his sleeve over his mouth. He was gaining control over himself, though Harry could still make out his student's high level of anxiety. "Why would you help me?"

Harry tilted his head, "Why would you come to me with this if you didn't think I would help?"

"I hoped but I thought it more lucky you would think I was setting up a trap for you or not believe for some other stupid reason."

Harry shrugged, "I have ways of dealing with traps but I trust your word."

Theo frowned, "But what if I did mean you harm?"

"Then I'll be harmed, but I am your professor and it is my job to help you if need it."

"No one else seems to think that."

"Professor Snape saved my life enough times that I know that's not true."

"Snape wouldn't help me."

"Have you asked him to?"

Theo shook his head.

"Ideally, what would you like me to do about your father, Theo?" Harry asked. "I have some pull with the Aurors but with t-"

"No!" Theo almost shouted. "The government can't know! My dad isn't well liked but he has enough pull there. Also, there are too many people working for the Dark Lord for anyone to go after my dad."

"Alright, so then the question is, do you want me to teach your father a lesson or make him disappear?"

Theo paled, and Harry watched the gravity of the situation being fully realized. There were many reasons why children didn't ask for help, some of those reasons were because of whatever strife there was in the family, the prospect of losing a family member was often worse. How was a child supposed to know what the adults in their life would do? How outside forces like the law, or their neighbors, or friends might handle the knowledge? How did they know it wouldn't fall back on them? Once they got up the courage to ask for help, how do they know if they would get it? And worse yet what if help came and failed them making everything infinitely more terrible?

What if Harry somehow failed Theo? And his father hurt him worse than ever before for talking out of turn. What could Theo possibly do then?

"I… don't want him dead. He belongs in jail but…" Theo trailed off.

"But you want him to stay there, not get out before you are of age and forced to take whatever he gives you."

Theo shut his eyes, "I just don't want to go home."

"I promise not to kill him, Theo. I will take care of this."

"What if Professor Snape doesn't want me? What if he doesn't take me in?"

"Then I will. I am Lord Potter and have the means to support more than a few children."

Theo looked back down at his feet, "Thank you, Sir."

"You are most welcome. Do I have your permission to discuss this with Professor Snape?"

Theo looked back up, "Your asking my permission?"

"It's your life," Harry said simply.

"Yes, you have my permission. But don't tell him where you're going to keep my father."

"I promise not to tell him. He still doesn't know where I am keeping the Malfoys."

Theo blinked, "So you did kidnap them? Draco thinks they're dead."

"Unfortunately, it is safer for him to have that belief."

"But you're telling me what you're going to do to my dad, trusting me not to spread it."

"Draco didn't ask me to make his parents disappear, you are. And I would rather risk the truth with you than have you believe that you asked for your father to be assassinated."

"When you let my dad out he's going to kill me," Theo said.

"A memory charm should prevent that, I think."

Theo shifted on his feet again, "I have to get to my next class."

"You're going to be alright, Theo."

Theo headed for the door but turned back before opening it. "Win the war. People like my father shouldn't be in charge of anything."

Harry nodded. Harry stayed in the empty room for a long moment, understanding for the first time why Fawkes might have brought him back to this point in in history rather than earlier. The scars in their society ran far deeper than just Voldemort.

Dora just managed to catch the lift, slamming into Kingsley back. Who grunted but didn't say anything, they had been made partners, Fudge's personal Auror guard or as the rest of the departments had begun to call them Fudge's personal snoops. Fudge had ordered them to investigate within the ministry. Which worked for the Orders benefit as instead of looking for Dumbledore supporters, Kingsley and Dora were given the excuse to look for Voldemort supporters.

It really was a good thing Fudge didn't know that both Kingsley and Dora were Dumbledore's allies.

"Don't you think Fudge ought to have protection right now?" Dora asked. They were alone in the elevator.

"I warded his door, and we will be back in time to escort him to and from lunch," Kingsley answered in his deep voice.

Dora loved having Kingsley as a partner, he was possibly one of the coolest men she had ever met and his dry sense of humor always made her giggle. But then working with anyone other Mad-eye was a step in the right direction. "I still feel like it's a bad idea."

"Fudge is his own worst enemy, the Dark Lord and his followers don't need to help him with that."

"Right…" Dora said. Silence filled the elevator as they pinged through floors.

"Your spirits seem to have risen of late," Kingsley probed. "You have been spending a lot of time at Hogwarts."

Dora flushed, her hair tinted pink, "Family bonding."

"How has that been going? Do you get along with your son?" Kingsley asked.

Dora smiled, "Teddy is incredible. He calls me Mommy. Which is bit odd but I can't help feeling like he's a part of me. A missing part that I didn't know I needed."

"And Lord Potter?" Kingsley asked slyly, "Is he a missing piece as well?"

Dora blushed again but her smile didn't falter, "Harry is pretty incredible too."

"Are you official then?"

"Officially dating, yes but-"

"But?" he prompted.

"Dating someone who lives with your parents isn't all that easy. My mum thinks it is a hoot."

"She approves though?"

"I think I wouldn't mind a little less approval."

"He's better for you than Remus though," Kingsley stated.

She shot him a glare, "Why? Because he's younger."

Kingsley looked down at his young, energetic, hopeful partner and said, "No. It is because you smile more about Harry and you worried more while chasing after Remus."

"Well, Harry isn't much easier than Remus," she said.

Kingsley gave her a sad smile, "Remus is a good man, but Harry might just be a great one."

The elevator pinged open to Arthur's floor. They walked out and right over to Arthur's office because no one in this department was likely to be working with the Dark Lord and Fudge had specifically told them to interrogate Mr. Weasley. Dora grinned between the two wizards. This would be entertaining.

"Hello Arthur," Kingsley said, his voice menacing.

Arthur looked up with a deep frown. "Kingsley, Tonks," Arthur said coolly.

"How has your work been going?"

"Cursed toilet seats, three muggles at St. Mungo's but things have otherwise been quiet."

"And your family?"

"They are fine."

"Even your children in school?"

"They've been fine," Arthur said shortly.

"Even Ronald?" Kingsley pushed.

"Why wouldn't he be fine?" Arthur shot back.

"Losing Lord Potter as a friend must have been hard? They were close, were they not?"

"Ron has been a bit down according to his sister, but nothing that couldn't have been expected."

"Good," Kingsley said.

"Is that all?" Arthur said, "I do have real work to be doing."

"Then we thank you for your time," Kingsley said, turning back to the elevator.

Dora shot Arthur a smile and he shot her a wink in return.

She caught up to Kingsley's long stride.

"Stop skipping," he murmured from the corner of his mouth.

She stopped skipping, her smile not fading in the slightest.

He sighed, "Some days I don't know how you are Dromeda's daughter."

"What's that supposed to mean?" she asked, elbowing him playfully.

"It means your mother and I were friends in school, sorted into the same house, and until she married Ted she was the shining star of Slytherin."

"Meaning?" Dora asked.

"Meaning your mother would never have had to retake the stealth test."

"I am never going to live that down, am I?" she asked.

"Not when you keep-" as if on cue she tripped on the entrance of the elevator, he caught her arm. "-reminding us."

"But I was sorted into Hufflepuff, like my dad."

He smiled at her, "Trust me, I am aware of that."


His Horcruxes, Harry Potter knew about his Horcruxes.

"WORMTAIL!" Voldemort summoned.

The worm scuttled over to him, "Yes, Your Lordship."

"I need you to return to Hogwarts."

"M'lord?" he said worriedly, "I don't know if I am strong enou-"

"Quiet! I did not ask for your opinion and I am not asking you to attack anyone, I know you would only disappoint me."

Wormtail groveled.

"I need you to make it to the seventh floor and walk before the wall at the turn of the corridor three times, repeating in your mind that you need the room that holds Ravenclaw's Diadem. Do not come back until you have found it."

"Yes, Your Lordship," Wormtail said before scrambling out of the room.

Voldemort spent the rest of his day trying to locate his other Horcruxes, damning Lucius yet again for giving away his journal. The wards at the Gaunt house were down and the ring was gone. If Potter knew about the ring, he didn't have high hopes for the diadem.

The journal, the ring, the cup, the diadem were out of his grasp. Nagini was safe and the locket…

Voldemort apparated to the coast Northern Ireland, into a long hidden cave, where none of his wards had been disturbed in over sixteen years.

He waved his wand at the far wall and the rock shuttered and peeled back a skin being cut. A man fell on the hard ground with a soft grunt.

Voldemort watched as the wizard tried to bring himself to his knees, saying nothing as he fell several times.

"Did you enjoy your slumber?" Voldemort asked.

Blue-grey eyes glared up at him, even as the man shuttered on his hands and knees.

"I always liked this spell, it's so close to necromancy it should be outlawed. But then I suppose it's to rare for the law to pay it much mind. Sixteen years you have spent in isolation. Your body frozen, unchanged, unusable, as your mind stays perpetually awake, without the ease of sleep or dreams. An eternity imprisoned in stone, imprisoned in your own mind. It was an avenue I discovered to out run Death, though eventually the spell starts to rot your soul and after a thousand years you do die. Not true immortality. There is a similar spell that the gods were said to use to turn people into trees, but unlike transfiguration, you are aware of your hell."

Those blue-grey eyes filled with fury.

"I've come to offer you redemption," Voldemort purred. "One last chance to prove yourself worthy. If you do not help me, I shall find a much worse punishment for you."

Regulus Black collapsed into unconsciousness at the Dark Lord's feet.

That night Harry went out hunting. He left as soon as Teddy asleep in bed. It was early, maybe eight when he departed from Hogwarts.

The Nott Estate was not much, oh it had been, but from Harry's few there were likely only three rooms out of the twenty that were usable. The building was covered in mold, the paint peeling, and the roof seemed to be sagging in. It was nicer than Remus's apartment but not by much.

The wards were vicious but rather straightforward to dismantle. Dromeda hadn't liked the idea of him coming here alone but she had known about the state of the Nott home and thought it unlikely the Dark Lord, or any Death Eater meeting would take place here. Harry was using his trusty invisibility cloak to sneak onto the property.

He found Nott in what must have been the kitchen judging by the pots, pans, and plates strewn around, all of which were dirty. One short-wicked oil lamp hung from the ceiling, casting the barest amount of light in the dark room.

Harry's only mistake was half tripping over a whiskey bottle. Nott Senior had his wand out and shooting at him mere moments later.

Harry let the cloak drop as spell after spell blasted out of the Death Eater's wand. The multi-colored lights were bright in the dimly lit room. Harry looked like an orchestra conductor whipping his wand back and forth deflecting each spell individually. The fight was quiet, quick, and brutal. Harry remained on the defensive until Nott lost his patience and yelled "Avada-"

Harry's spell had the man paralyzed on the floor before he'd completed that curse.

"Mr. Nott," Harry said smoothly, as he walked over the debris in the room to kneel beside the man.

"Harry- Potter-" Nott Senior said muffled through his frozen lips.

"Yes, Harry Potter, otherwise known as the Dark Lord's worst nightmare."

"Kill- you-"

"No," Harry said, "Not this time around." Harry took the man's wand and pointed it up, "Morsmordre." A green light shot up, and the Dark Mark writhed outside above the house. Harry then proceeded to snap the wand, pocketing the pieces. He would dump them in the ocean.

"NO!-" Nott screeched from deep in his throat, still unable to move, so much as to turn blink his eyes.

"Save your screams, this will hurt much more than your pride," Harry said, grabbing the man's arm and yanking up the sleeve. He pointed his wand at Nott's Dark Mark and proceed to flay it off the man's flesh.

Nott scream was piteous but Harry did not stop. He pulled a burn salve out his robe and rubbed it into the burns. The charred skin healed magically, scarring over, the Dark Mark did not reemerge.

Harry hit the man with a stupify before he heaved the large body over his shoulder. He adjusted the man, walking over to his invisibility cloak, Harry threw it over both of them. He was able to apparate to London and get into Grimmauld Place without alerting Mrs. Black or Sirius. Once inside he apparated to the dungeons.

Lucius and Narcissa were fully dressed this time.

"Hello, Harry Potter Sir!" Dobby exclaimed joyously.

"Hi Dobby, Malfoys," Harry greeted, "Dobby would you mind if I kept another prisoner down here?"

"No," Lucius said.

"Yes, of course!" Dobby said, "Anything for Harry Potter Sir."

"Who is that?" Lucius demanded to know.

"A fellow Death Eater," Harry said, "Do me a favor and don't tell him where he is."

"Who is it?" Narcissa asked, more kindly than her husband had as Harry throw the man into the opposite cell from them. It was smaller and Harry had to help Dobby activate a few of the protection spells.

"He cannot stay here, whoever he is," Lucius said.

"Lucius," Harry said, "Remember how we talked about this not being your room, but your prison? I can use this dungeon for whatever I choose to."

Harry pointed his wand at Nott waking the man back up. He sat up with a roar and ran at the bars. Bars that burned him and had him clutching himself and growling at Harry like some wild injured beast.

"Nott?" Lucius questioned, standing. "You brought Nott here? You fool, you should have killed him."

"Traitor!" Nott snarled.

Narcissa was frowning, she said nothing, but her body language said clearly that a guest, that another Death Eater, was the last thing she wanted.

"You are a fool, Potter," Lucius said. "Nott will summon the Dark Lord straight to us."

"Well unless there is somewhere else you lot put the Dark Mark, I doubt it."

"You burned it off him?" Lucius asked stunned.

"I am not a student anymore, or a baby," Harry told the blonde lord. "I stopped fighting like one a long time ago. I snapped his wand and checked him for anything else."

"You can't keep me here!" Nott yelled.

"Yeah," Harry said. "I can." Harry felt a tug on his wrist. One of his wards had gone off though not the one for Teddy or their rooms. By the severity of the tug, it wasn't a mere student that had fallen into one of Harry's traps. "Oh, good," Harry said. "Another one. Thank you, Dobby. Sorry, Narcissa. I'll visit again soon."

"Potter!" Nott and Lucius called as Harry disapparated.

As soon as Harry apparated to the border of Hogwarts he shifted into his kestrel form and flew for all he was worth to their suite on the second floor. According to his wards, everyone was fine but Harry needed to see that for himself.

"Harry," Dromeda started when he flew into the living room, "What's wrong?"

"Ward went off," Harry said as he strode to Teddy's room, not even mumbling a hello to Dora, Kingsley, Ted, or Severus. Dromeda followed after Harry.

Teddy was sound asleep and Harry ran a hand down his son's back and bent to kiss his head. Teddy shifted but stayed asleep. Harry had been doing this to the boy an untold number of nights throughout his son's life.

Dromeda touched Harry's hand where it rested on Teddy's back. "I'll stay here with him. You go see what you've caught."

Harry nodded and giving Teddy another kiss before leaving.

"You wanted to talk, Potter," Snape stated.

"Soon, but something else has come up," Harry said. He looking at Dora and Kingsley, "Two Aurors," he said with a smile. "I think I might need you."

Kingsley and Dora exchanged a glance. Ted joined his wife at Teddy's bedside. Severus stalked behind Harry in his billowing black robes.

"Well, well," Harry said grinning, "I didn't think I had set a rat trap, but then, there you are."

Wormtail squeaked, magically stuck to where he had walked into Harry's ward, right in front of the broken Diadem.

"Peter Pettigrew," Kingsley said, the disgust in his voice making his deep tone sound like distant thunder.

"Guess we are about to get the trial of the ages," Dora said.

"Amelia is still in her office, she was working late tonight," Kingsley agreed.

"Knock on wood, but maybe Fate doesn't hate me after all," Harry said.

"I'll go get the Veritaserum," Snape said.

They brought Peter in as a group and Amelia called an emergency hearing. A hearing that would shake Wizarding Britain.




Dear Reader/Reviewers:

I have completed writing Voldemort's demise and can theoretically end this fanfiction at any point. I still plan to write out this year and the epilogue. I want to reach 100,000 words. More than halfway there!

Warmest Regards,

Jacob Black

P.S. if I find someone to help me edit I will repost chapters until then thank you all for reading this story that is hindered by my dyslexia! Much Love :D

Chapter 16: Chapter 16 and 1 Half

AN: Short chapter but lots and lots of drama/action.

BETA: DarkSuspense thank you!

Chapter 16

The Dark Lord thought Regulus was still 'recovering' from his isolation and imprisonment in the wall of a cave.

Regulus wasn't recovering. Regulus Black was more than fine, plotting ones revenge, meditating, regretting not listening to his older brother, mentally writing poetry, mentally writing music… he should have become a musician. He had the mind for it, beautiful, beautiful music, songs ringing his ears, imaging thousands of instruments- Okay, so maybe Regulus wasn't alright, maybe he never would be, but he was far more present than he'd led the Dark Lord to believe.

Regulus had not spoken a single syllable since he had been freed. He needed to find a way out of the Riddle Manor before the Dark Lord lost his patience with the silent treatment. Regulus could only hope that Kreacher had kept the locket safe. Was the elf even still alive?

There was one way to find out.

"Kreacher," Regulus's raw voice whispered into the dark dungeon. "Kreacher I summon you."


"Master Regulus?" Kreacher asked.

"Take me home," Regulus ordered.

The elf raised a trembling hand, tears in filling his bulbous eyes, and snapped his fingers.


"Free?" Sirius asked looking at the paper that Harry had brought to him. "Free? I'm truly free?"

Harry grinned, "Yep."

Sirius blinked up at Harry, thinking of all the mistakes he'd made, of the regret and hatred and pain and-


A body landed on Sirius.

"Kreacher?" Harry asked.

The elf had grabbed a frying pan and started blackening his own eyes as he tried to compact his skull.

"Reggie?" Sirius asked, flabbergasted as the man moved off his lap. "Reggie, is that really you?"

"Kreacher, stop!" Harry yelled over the racket the pan was making on the elf's skull. "Stop, I command you to stop hurting yourself!"

The silence was loud as the elf lowered the pan to the floor.

The man who the elf had popped into the kitchen with was staring at Sirius intently, not saying a word. He looked like a younger version of Sirius, hair a tad browner, eyes a lot more grey than blue. But despite looking physically younger the man had the same haunted look that Sirius did. They were obviously brothers.

"Are you Regulus Black?" Harry asked, eyes squinted, skeptical.

"Yes," the man said, his voice sounded like his throat had been ravished by a cheese grater.

"We killed the Horcrux in Slytherin's Locket," Harry said.

Regulus's head whipped around to face Harry. "How?" he demanded, shocked.

"I'm a parselmouth, a simple Open in parseltongue and a basilisk fang and problem solved," Harry explained.

"I- I- it wasn't a waste?" Regulus asked, the words coming unevenly.

"No, Regulus," Harry said, "what you did was not done in vain."

"You're alive?" Sirius asked, still staring at his brother just trying to process that mere fact. He felt so many conflicting feelings he did not know which feeling to act on.

Regulus looked back at his brother with a small smile, "Yeah, I'm alive."

Sirius sat forward on his knees and pulled his little brother into a hug, "I am so sorry, Reggie, sorry for everything."

Regulus hugged him back, clinging to Sirius, "I am the one who is sorry."

"I wasn't there for you," Sirius said. "I should have been."

Harry gave Sirius a smile and a small wave over Regulus shoulder.

Sirius acknowledged Harry's goodbye, mouthing a silent thank you.

Harry back out of the kitchen and caught Amelia's arm as she attempted to enter the room. "Come on," Harry whispered, "Let's go grab lunch."

"Harry…" Amelia warned, "Harry, wait…"

But Harry had already gotten them out onto the street where six Aurors were waiting for them.

"What's this?" Harry demanded, as seven wands were pointed at him, including Amelia's.

Every Auror looked nervous giving Harry enough reason to throw out his senses to the surrounding area. They had warded off the street so that the no-majs walked around them, none of them noticing anything strange.

"Dolores Umbridge has been named the Minister of Magic," an Auror said.

"What!?" Harry exclaimed. "How, how is that even-"

"Fudge resigned last night, Harry," Amelia said from behind him, "leaving Umbridge as the only one to step in on such short notice. Most of those who would have voted against her on the Wizengamot were murdered. I tried to tell you-"

"You didn't try that hard," Harry snapped.

"Minister Umbridge has ordered your arrest for the murder of Harry Potter and the suspected murders Elphias Doge, Ulick Gamp, Brunhilde Stokke, Ellert Hawkworth, Griselda Marchbanks, and Tiberius Ogden." Another Auror announced.

"I am Harry Potter," Harry growled. "Voldemort is alive and you're going to arrest me? Of all the stup-"

"Harry," Amelia said as gently as she was able, "Harry you'll have a trial, no one is sending you to Azkaban without a trial. Just come with us quietly and-"

"What about my son?" Harry interrupted.

"You legally listed your son as Andromeda Tonk's godson, he will stay with her," Amelia said.

"I cannot come with," Harry refused, expression hardening.

"If you fight us, Mr. Potter, you will be sent to Azkaban."

"This has to be some kind of joke."

Kingsley stepped forward in the circle, "I'm afraid not, Mr. Potter. Your luck is just that bad."

Harry sighed, "Where's Nymphadora?"

"She's too close to you, she had orders to take the day off."

"What about my students?" Harry asked delaying as much as possible. Taking on seven Aurors was not impossible but he knew Amelia was right. If he fought them than Umbridge and Voldemort won. He would be helpless in Azkaban, a silver wrapped present with a big bow for Voldemort to slaughter. He'd be safe enough in a cell in the Ministry but he would still be surrounded by Dementors. So many things about this could go wrong, but if he played along he would be alright, at least he hoped.

"I am sure they will be fine," the first nameless Auror said.

"Hand me your wand, please, Harry?" Amelia asked.

They weren't going to search him? Harry wondered. Teddy's Rowan wand seemed to burn against his left arm, if they found it on him later it would be trouble, but he was Harry Potter, trouble was his middle name. Harry flicked out his Holly wand and handed it to Amelia, feeling as though he had just cleaved off his arm.

Amelia and Kingsley each took an arm, a spell tying Harry's hands behind his back. Kingsley bent to whisper in Harry's ear, "I'm sorry."

Harry's response was heartfelt, "You all will be."

"WHAT!?" Dromeda and Dora exclaimed in unison.

Kingsley's tall frame hunched back, "We had to, it was that or fracture the government worse than it already is."

"That cow dares!" Andromeda raged. "Why didn't Dumbledore get rid of her sooner? If she had been dismissed she would not have the clout to convince anyone to vote her in as Minister."

"The Ministry is more influenced than we believed. The Dark Lord losing the support of the Malfoy's money was a huge blow but not big enough. We are sti-"

"My son is in jail!" Andromeda yelled at the Auror. "Innocent, he is innocent, he has done nothing wrong and yet he is in jail!"

"Dromeda-" Ted tried to coax.

"Don't. This is inexcusable. Harry has bent over backward for this community, his life as been uprooted time and time again, he has suffered, bled, even died for all of us. Now he is being arrested for some trumped up reasons? No, no, I refuse to accept this," she said.

"Amelia is Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, she gets the final word about Harry's sentencing. He will be out in no time," Kingsley assured.

"So tell me Harry isn't being treated like a prisoner. Tell me he isn't in a cell right this moment being guarded by Dementors," Andromeda demanded. "Tell me," her tone was sharp and her words clear.

Kingsley met her angry gaze. He had guarded Bellatrix Lestrange for years on his shifts at Azkaban, Andromeda had her same brown, terrifying eyes. Not because their eyes looked mad but because those beautiful brown eyes held an intensity, an intelligence, an ambition that did not include bowing to anyone's misguided interference.

Kingsley had watched Bellatrix eat the poisoned food, and she had watched him as if she had known it would kill her. Of course, she couldn't have known, Bellatrix would never commit suicide, but perhaps she had sensed a challenge, some sort of twisted game she had invented in her mind.

Kingsley and Andromeda had been best friends before she had run off with Ted. Kingsley and Bellatrix had been lovers even after she had gotten married. Kingsley had been forced to call their affair off when she had first revealed her Dark Mark to him. It was right that he should have been the one to execute her. The right action because had he done taken action sooner than he would have spared so many from so much suffering.

Perhaps that was the challenge, perhaps Bella had known the food was poisoned, and the challenge had been her disbelief that he would harm her for the greater good, just as he failed to do in the first war.

"Andromeda," Kingsley said, "Harry is going to be alright."

"You don't know what the Dementors will do to him," she warned shaking her head.

"I don't think the Dementors could do any worse to him than what his nightmares surely do to him every night. The trial is set for the end of the week. One week and he will be back with you and Teddy. Just one week."

"Get out," Andromeda snapped, turning her back on them all. "All of you get out!"

"Mum?" Dora asked.


"Dromeda-" Ted started.

Andromeda disappeared into Teddy's room slamming the door behind her.

Kingsley, Nymphadora, and Ted looked at one another.

"If we give her some space, she'll calm down," Ted reasoned.

Dora threw up her hands, "How is this even happening?"

"Everyone knows the Dark Lord is back, but all it does is cause more fear. No one really knows how to fight someone they don't see, who they are convinced if they do see they will kill them instantly. Knowing a problem is only a half step, it isn't a way to solve a problem," Kingsley explained.

"No," Dora agreed, "Harry's the way to solve it."

"Or the scapegoat to take the blame."

"So you're okay with this?"

"Of course not. But this will be over after Harry's trial."

"Was it you or Amelia who told them where Harry would be?"

"The government has spies, spies who have been tailing us all. They knew we would be on that street even if they can't see the building," Kingsley said.

"Everything is falling apart," Dora said.

"No," Kingsley said, "No, not yet. Don't give up on hope yet, it is far too soon for that."

"Grandmama?" Teddy asked. He had been reading a book in his room when the shouting started. Grandmama came to sit on the bed and wrapped him a hug.

He nestled into her, "Is Daddy in jail?" The question came out soft.

"Yes," She answered honestly finding no refuge in lying to her grandson.


"Because bad people don't like how much influence and power your father has."

"Was it the Dark Lord?"

"Not this time," she said with a sigh and sad eyes.

"Who was it?"


"We should have fed her to the centaurs," Teddy said.

"We should have fed her to the spiders," Andromeda said.

"Is Daddy going to come back?"

"Of course, Teddy, one way or another your father will come back."

"Grandmama," he said, "I want to go back home."

Andromeda was quiet for a long moment, hugging Teddy tighter, "Me too, son, me too."

Ted Tonks who had been leaning against the door sank to his knees, falling back against the opposite wall. As much as his wife loved him, the seven years apart had put a distance between them that went far beyond a simple measure of years. He knew that Harry Potter had taken care of his wife and grandson, gave them a good life and a home, but it hurt, hurt more than he had words for that Dromeda could possibly have had a better life without him.

Their love had always been the stuff of fairytales, star crossed lovers. She had been separated from her family and never complained. Always, always, telling him that he was enough, that she didn't need anyone else as long as she had him. But if Dromeda wanted to return to a future without him then she had lied. Because he had been right, she didn't need him, not like he had always needed her.

He gave into the tears, glad that Dora and Kingsley had left, grateful and heartbroken that Dromeda did not emerge to ask for him or check on him.

Voldemort was furious when he found Regulus's cell empty yet pleased beyond measure to discover that Harry Potter had been arrested. If Potter was sent to Azkaban he would be easy pickings.

All Voldemort had to do was ensure that the sentencing went his way. Half the Ministry was already his, a few more on his side and Potter would be his. And even if the trial went in Harry's favor his son would never be as vulnerable as he was now.

Harry sat curled in the corner of his cell, the Rowan wand was forgotten under the misery the Dementors were putting him through.

Images of the war, walking to his death, the children under white blankets lined up on the floor, Sirius, Hedwig, Fred dying, Hermione and Ron turning their backs on him. Dromeda waking in tears. Teddy asking over and over and over again why his Mommy was dead. The moment the killing curse hit, a moment not of pain but of absence, of failure, of loss, of every dream and hope perishing as the lights went out. And through it all his mother's voice screaming Not Harry! Please... have mercy... have mercy... Not Harry! Not Harry! Please — I'll do anything!

AN: Harry is in a ministry holding cell, he is not in Azkaban. I wasn't expecting such passion from my reviewers. This is red tape, not Azkaban. I did foreshadow Harry getting blamed for this shite. Please don't stage a mutiny. Beta has not looked over this yet but I've been working on these two chapters for ten plus hours and I want to stop receiving 'I failed plotwise' reviews.

Chapter 16.5

"I have a right to visit him," Dora commanded.

"Not with the hot chocolates you don't," the guard said.

"Go turn yourself!" she yelled, "He isn't even aware of us. There is no need to let the Dementors that close to him, he came willingly."

"He was outnumbered."

"Are you kidding me, Harry could have whipped all your butts without trying. I mean maybe Amelia and Kingsley would have stood a sporting chance, but the rest of you would have been screwed."

"Which is why he has the two Dementors as guards," the other guard sneered.

Dora had about reached her limit, "Expecto Patronum!"

A beautiful silver phoenix burst from her wand chasing off Dementors deeper into the ministry.

Dora and the two Auror guards watched in awe for a moment.

"A phoenix?" one asked.

"Why a phoenix?" the second asked.

But Harry was sitting up in the cell and Dora took the guards' distraction as an opening to slip past them. She shoved her arm with hot chocolate through the bars which Harry snatched before Guard One yanked Dora back.

Harry drank the chocolate like a man in the desert having his first drink of water in three days. Dora pushed the hands off her before stunning them both. The temptation to break Harry out and run was real. He did not deserve this.

"How long have I been here?" he asked after coming up for air.

"Less than twenty-four hours," Dora said. "It took me all night to figure out where they put you."

"Why a phoenix patronus?" Harry asked, repeating the guard's question, his voice sounded sleepy.

"Because if it wasn't for Fawkes, I would never have gotten to know you or Teddy," she said. She squeezed her wand, sitting across from him was great, the bars between them not so much.

"How far is the trial?" Harry asked.

"Two more days."

Harry groaned and rubbed his eyes.

"You don't look so good," Dora said, not knowing what to say.

Harry glared at her, his tired emerald eyes sparking with the dimmest of light, "Get me out of here."

She frowned, "Do you want me to-"

"Auror Tonks," Kingsley chided, "what do you think you're doing?"

"This isn't right and you know it," she stated, standing up, shielding Harry from Kingsleys line of sight.

"I agree with you and I come bearing good news as well as dinner," Kingsley said with false cheer.

"I assume the dinner means you're not planning to let me out," Harry said. He didn't move from the spot in the corner, he was too mentally exhausted to move onto the marginally softer cot.

"Sadly, no," Kingsley said, passing the narrow tray to Dora to pass to Harry. "However, I can tell you that the full Wizengamot is voting out Umbridge, she only got in because she was Fudge's temporary second and the Wizengamot members who were here the other night, twelve of them to be exact, seven voted in her favor."

Harry poked at the food with the wooden fork, it was better prison food than he had been expecting.

"Who do you think they will vote in permanently?" Dora asked, never turning her back fully on Kingsley.

Harry answered, "Last time it was Rufus Scrimgeour, Voldemort killed him pretty quick. Followed by Pius Thicknesse who was outed after the war."

"Who ended up being Minister of Magic in the end?" Kingsley asked.

"Nym could you sit back down, please," Harry asked. When he could make eye contact with Kingsley he said, "You became the Minister of Magic. And now that I've told you your future could you do me a favor and ensure the Dementors do not come back?"

"Already done, only the order will be guarding you now," Kingsley said. He revived the two guards who both made motions to attack Dora. "No, go find the dementors and have them returned to the prison."

"You can't be letting him go free!" guard two exclaimed.

"No, but his security level has been decreased, go now," Kingsley ordered.

The guards went.

"Dora and I are covering this shift," Kingsley told Harry.

Harry sighed, letting his head thump back against the wall, "Yippee."

"Ooooh sarcasm," Amelia said as she approached them.

"Just let me out," Harry said, closing his eyes, "I have better things to be doing."

"I'm sure," Amelia said. She turned to Kingsley, "You've been made Minister, get your tush upstairs and see if you can't get this boy an earlier trial."

"I am not a boy," Harry said not opening his eyes.

"Be nice Lord Potter," Amelia chided.

"I. Hate. You. All," Harry said slowly.

"We are trying to get you out," Amelia argued.

Harry opened his eyes to glare at her, "You were the ones to arrest me in the first place."

"Sorry about that," Amelia said. "But this way the public will kno-"

"Leave me alone," Harry said, closing his eyes again.

"Auror Tonks needs to stay with you," Amelia said.


"I'll see what I can do for you, Harry," Kingsley said.

Harry didn't say anything for the rest of the night. Dora gave up rather quickly trying to cheer him up. Anything short of freedom and/or Teddy was not going to lift his mood.

"Andromeda, where are you going?" Ted asked.

"What I should have done two days ago," she said evenly.

"Don't do anything rash."

She didn't acknowledge that with a response.

"Honestly, what are you planning on doing?"

"Can you watch over Teddy for me?" she asked, as she pulled her thigh dagger out and began sharpening it against the kitchen whetstone.

"No, I have to work today," Ted said, standing a healthy distant away. "And what are you doing with that dagger."

"My father gave it to me," she said, tone clipped.

"I have never seen that dagger before."

"You weren't supposed to, my father gave it to me when I was sixteen. Men are not allowed to touch or see it."

"But I'm seeing it now."

She sighed and walked over to him. Pulling up her skirt as she approached him, sheathing the dagger in her ankle sheath in such a fluid movement she didn't so much as break her stride. "I need you to take a day off and watch over Teddy, I already made breakfast and there are leftovers around. Whatever you do, don't leave the apartment and don't let Teddy leave the apartment."

"What are you going to do?" he asked again.

"Just trust me," Dromeda said.

"I will do all that you ask just tell me what you have planned."

She kissed him. He kissed her back, telling her what he was afraid to voice with lips and teeth. That he was terrified he was losing her.

She pulled back, cupping his face. He knew that she saw him, saw his doubts, his fears.

"I am not leaving you, my sweet, sweet Ted Tonks. Not for anything. You were the one who left me the first time. I waited for you and I don't think I ever stopped waiting for you. You are a part of this family. I need you."

He placed his hands on hers, "I don't think you do."

"You're wrong," a small yet forceful voice stated to their right.

Ted turned his gaze to the little man glaring up at him with brown eyes as dark and as rich as Andromeda's.

"Grandmama does need you, she always talks about you and mommy. Grandmama doesn't see other people, Grandmama never thinks about herself. She's happy with you, she does need you," Teddy said firmly.

"But she has you and Harry," Ted said gently.

Teddy lifted a foot and stomped it, "Grandmama is happy here, it's Daddy that's sad. Sad even if he likes my mommy. He's so sad, he hates it here."

Dromeda ran a hand through Ted's soft hair, bringing his attention back to her. "Teddy is exactly right, Ted. I am happier than I have been in near eight years, but no matter how happy I am to be back with you, seeing Harry miserable is- it hurts. I love him as if he were my own son and it hurts to see him hurt. I can't stand it, and I will not stand for it. Voldemort is dead, Umbridge is dead, and if Dumbledore interferes one more time he's dead too."

Teddy tugged on his Ted's pant leg, "Come on, Grandpapa, let's eat breakfast."

"Just tell-"

"No, Grandpapa," Teddy said, giving the pant leg a firmer tug. "Let Grandmama have space."

Ted looked down into eyes that had turned to a shocking emerald green. He'd been living with Harry and Teddy for months now and he still had not grown used to seeing eyes that green in a human face. "Why?" Ted asked the small child.

"Or you will be dead too," Teddy said with a criminally adorable smile; the boy had dimples.

Ted was pretty sure his grandson was kidding but then again… he kissed his wife before he let her go, no further questions asked.

Defenseless? What had the Dark Lord been thinking? The Potter Heir wasn't defenseless. Hogwarts was a virtual fortress against the dark arts and Severus had claimed he was unable to so much as approach the door. Which the Dark Lord had not wanted to believe until Severus said that even Dumbledore was unable to approach, or remember approaching the Potter suite either.

Still, while the boy might not be reachable, the same could not be said for the boy's father.

The dingy muggle apartment had no defenses and the malnourished werewolf was no struggle at all.

Andromeda flicked her wand at the double doors, nearly snapping them off their hinges. She walked into the full court as if she was the queen gracing them with her presence.

The room was full of mutters but they fell into stunned silence at her next words. "I challenge Dolores Umbridge to a duel for falsely imprisoning the father of my grandson."

"You can't do that," someone in the crowd said.

"By wizarding law, I can, Harry James Potter is Lord Potter, and legally my son."

"You cannot prove that little monster you call a grandson is in fact, related to you," Dolores said.

"Teddy Harry Potter, the Potter Heir, is my legal godson. Blood relation, in this case, is irrelevant."

"There hasn't been a duel-"

"In a hundred years," Andromeda finished for Dolores, "because in the last hundred years no one has been stupid enough to try and imprison a Lord without proof, of which you have none."

"Andromeda Tonks," Amelia called, "I understand you are upset, however-"

"However, nothing," Andromeda cut her off, looking up into the stands. "How could you have been a part of this?"

"Because Dolores gave orders to kill if Lord Potter resisted at all," Kingsley shot in. "We were only there to ensure the least amount of damage-"

"You should have told us and Harry would have hidden until Umbridge was de-seated," Andromeda said, her voice commanding the room.

"He's a school teacher," Amelia said. "Where was he supposed to hide in the middle of the week? If he hid, if he ran, if he fought, if he did anything but surrender as he did, then that would have been enough proof to have him sent to Azkaban as things stand in this court."

Kingsley nodded, "I know you wish to react to the hurt this has caused you and your family but this was the proper way to do things."

"Proper," Andromeda scoffed. "My challenge stands and if she declines by our laws it is her that goes to prison."

"If she loses she goes to Azkaban," Amelia said.

"That works for me, in the future I knew she tortured school children and sentenced muggleborns to death and imprisonment, Azkaban is about the right speed for someone like that. I would say she deserves to be Kissed, but then I am not sure she has a soul to begin with," Andromeda said with a polite, humorless smile.

"I stand behind the challenge," Kingsley said. "Lord Potter goes free the moment Lady Tonks wins the duel. Additionally, the false charge of Lord Potter age 24 killing Harry Potter age 15 will be permanently dropped from any future case on account of pure absurdity."

"You cannot do that!" Dolores shrieked.

"Oh but he can," Amelia said. "He is the Minister of Magic, it is his job and mine to validate the law. This challenge is by the book."

"Unlike Harry's capture," Andromeda muttered loud enough for the room to hear.

"Andromeda," Amelia sighed, "this could have been far worse."

"Tell that to Harry's son who believes his dad may never come home again. You put Dementors on Harry's cell, didn't you? Didn't you, you stupid hag!?"

"Enough!" Dumbledore spoke up. "I heard Minister Umbridge's edict, Lord Shacklebolt, and Madame Bones kept everyone involved alive, they-"

"I don't care why they did it," Andromeda said, "I care about the results of them doing it. The duel was just approved so let's get on with it."

No one spoke after that as they watched Dolores Umbridge make her way down the steps, to the polished floor to face a severely pissed off Black sister.

The hallway to Harry's cell was eerily quiet.

"Do you hear that?" Nymphadora asked.

"I don't hear anything, Nymphadora," Harry said, trying to rub the migraine out while massaging his temples. A night of sorta sleep, some food, and more hot chocolate had drawn him out of his funk but he still wasn't happy about being in this cell.

Nym was on edge, jumping at shadows, "Harry?"


"Why didn't you fight back? I know you well enough to know you don't really care what the government decides, my mum never did."

"Let me out of the cell, Nym," Harry said, standing swiftly. "Let me out and I'll tell you."

"What is it?" She asked but she already had her wand drawn. She could feel the hairs rising on her neck, something was very wrong.

"Nym, please," Harry pleaded, palms raised to her.

She undid the lock. Harry unsheathed his Rowan wand, "Can we apparate out of here?"


Harry put a hand on her waist pulling her alongside him, she had to run to keep up with his long strides. "Direct us out," he ordered.

"Harry, what is this about?" she asked without slowing.

"Hunting predators can be tricky, sometimes you have to pretend to be the prey," Harry said as they turned a corner.

Lord Voldemort stood in the empty passageway, Remus Lupin held by a collar and an iron chain, the Dark Lord's wand at his throat. "You are a fine piece of meat, Potter." He licked his inhuman tongue around his lipless mouth. "Pity Dumbledore doesn't keep good care of his pets," his voice as slimy as a vat of oil. He gave the chain a hard shake, making Remus give a weak groan. "It's almost too easy."

Andromeda let Dolores fling her weak as feather spells at her shields. The duel didn't start getting interesting until Dolores started drawing on the Dark Arts.

Andromeda laughed, fully aware as the majority of the room flinched and fiddled in their seats that she sounded like Bellatrix. Which was perfectly fine with her, she had loved her sister once upon a time.

A molten curse nearly set a pue on fire as Andromeda danced out of the way. "There you go Dolores, prove that you deserved to be sorted into the Great House of Slytherin, personally, I always thought you were a squib."

Dolores shrieked, panting as she grew more desperate to land even one hit against her opponent.

"Slow, weak, stupid, really the only Slytherin trait you have is ambition, the rest, well, you were never meant for greatness, were you?" Andromeda taunted as she stalked a wide circle around the smaller woman.

"Crucio!" Umbridge screamed.

Andromeda lazily stepped out of the way. "Game over, little fool."

"No!" Umbridge realizing how big a mistake she had just made in front of the entire Wizengamot, excluding Harry.

She didn't have long to regret it, however, as Andromeda was now on the offensive. Her spell lifted Umbridge off the ground and dropped her on her side. Her wand arm made several sickening crunches. From that point on, Andromeda wiped the floor with Umbridge, literally.

By the time the Wizengamot called the fight, Dolores had several broken bones, her nose and face were a bloody mess. Her hair was a rat's nest and her clothes, her clothes did not hold up to waxing marble floors. She had to be magically lifted to prison. A healer did crude job patching her up, but the majority of the wounds would heal slowly as she wasted away in a high-security stone cell in Azkaban.

Andromeda took Harry's holly wand back from Amelia. No one in that room was ever going to forget how dangerous Andromeda Black Tonks was, no one would mistake her for a mere housewife.

Harry wasn't sure what the Dark Lord was thinking. Perhaps he expected Harry to hesitate, to talk, to beg that he please, please have mercy on his father's dear, poor friend who had suffered enough in his life. Harry didn't do any of those things. He pushed Nym behind him and started throwing spells as he ran full tilt at the Dark Lord.

Voldemort's red eyes went wide and he threw Remus to the side as he fended off Harry's spells.

There was no witty banter, no words exchanged as Harry pressed the advantage. An advantage he realized he had because for whatever reason Voldemort was holding back and Harry was trying to kill him. There was no accidental magic this time, it was just the primal desire of one psychopath versus a man who was willing to kill to survive, to keep his family safe.

Voldemort began to edge backward.

"FIGHT ME! DAMN YOU!" Harry yelled, his voice reverberating off the walls.

The Dark Lord said nothing as he backed further, and further down the tunnels.

Harry spells ate and broke and inverted Voldemort's spells, but without any returning fire, Harry didn't have any opening to hit the monster himself.

"Harry it's a trap!" Nym shouted from behind him.

Harry didn't make the mistake of turning. He roared, throwing so much power into his last reducto that it shattered Voldemort's shield and blew the Dark Lord of his feet into an open room.

The Dark Lord smiled and with a pop he disapparated.

"NO!" Harry yelled as he emerged into the hall.

Nymphadora was hot on his heels, "He was playing you, Harry," she panted, "he wanted to learn your skill set."

Dromeda came around the corner, "Harry!"

Harry looked at her, his expression must have said it all because she asked, "Who was it?"

"No-nose himself," Harry said with a grimace.

"Did you let yourself get captured to use yourself as bait?" she demanded.

He shrugged.

"Dammit, Harry!"

"It was a spur of the moment idea, really," Harry said in his defense.

"Liar! You thought this out, you planned this! You knew he would come for you!"

"Breathe, Horntail, I have been thinking for a while that the only way to get at Voldemort might be to let him come to me. Which he wouldn't do unless I had been put at a disadvantage. I didn't think they would put Dementors on the cell though, at least not while still in the Ministry," Harry said, running a hand through his hair and sheathing the Rowan wand as the others joined them.

"Well if you had talked to me, I could have told you they would put dementors on you," Andromeda said.

"Bloody hell," Nym said. "I need to go get Remus, he's alive but he needs a healer." She ran back the way they had come.

"Too bad," Andromeda muttered.

Harry elbowed her, "Be nice."

She smiled up at him, "I'm always nice."

"Hardly," Harry quipped.

"Here's your wand," she said handing over the Holly.

Harry felt a surge of delight as he took it back. Voldemort might think he'd learned a lot about Harry fighting style but fighting left handed with someone else's wand wasn't really his style. The Rowan wand had been as Olivander had said, powerful, worked only if needed, but the wand had given him barely enough to keep up with the Dark Lord. The wand had not been invested to use for murder.

Harry gave Dromeda a suspicious look as they walked back down the tunnels, "Why are you in such a fine mood? You're practically glowing."

"Umbridge will not be a problem anymore."

"What did you do?"

"Waxed the floor," she said incontinently.

"Dromeda," Harry drawled.

"With her face."

Harry's lips twitched. He just shook his head. "I'm so tired."

"Well, you better not be too tired to make a Death By Chocolate cake, because you know how Teddy is going to be when you get back."

Harry sighed again, "I am going to be in the dog house for this one for a long time, aren't I?"

"Maybe, if you're good we can get you a soft mat to sleep on," she said grinning at him.

"Why do I put up with you?" Harry asked. They had reached Nymphadora and Remus. He was sitting against the world, looking at her as if she were the only star left in the sky. She was holding his hand, her other hand brushing the wisps of hair from his face.

"Because," she said frowning at her daughter, "insanity attracts."

Harry bent down and kissed Andromeda on the cheek, "Love you, Mum."

AN: People ask for action, I pre-plotted action and foreshadowing and you all get pissed at me. Hope I didn't disappoint with this chapter.

ANII: For all of us who are growing up, remember your past is always going to be a part of you, no matter how much you think you've changed it can still hit you like a train on the tracks. It's not bipolar, it's human. We can all be logical, with strong ideas and ethics, but for ninety percent of people, emotions are going to mess up the finest intentions. I come from a family that isn't good handling emotions which is why a lot of my stories have characters whose first reactions aren't always a reflection of who they are. This is my experience that I bring to my writing, you can love it or leave it, but I do hope you enjoy the ride.

Chapter 17: Chapter 17

AN: I like writing action that gives my readers whiplash. I am a firm believer that if a bomb goes off you aren't going to know that until the building is caving in around you.


Last chapter: 16 + 16.5 takes place over three days. Harry goes into the ministry around noon, he gets his dementors guards off in 6 to 10 hours of arriving. It takes Andromeda two nights from Harry's arrest to decide on a course of action. Keep in mind that neither Kingsley nor Amelia understood that Harry's reaction to dementors was so extreme. Even Sirius wouldn't have had that hard of a time with just two dementors. They are one of Harry's greatest weaknesses.

Umbridge has been threatening Harry from day one and has only had a fake job as High Inquisitor. What does she do all day? Plot to take Fudge's job because getting Dumbles's wasn't happening.

Voldemort: he has control over fifty percent or more of the government, yes they are in chaos and Kingsley/Amelia are trying to keep it all from burning to the ground.

Dumbledore: Why is anyone still depending on him? It isn't a bash it's canon.

The duel: I like the idea of Lords having more rights than average wizarding folk because in the books there a lot of hints that muggleborns and half bloods are second rate citizens. I feel that there would be a lot of bogus laws that support this in a corrupt government. Andromeda would know those laws and use them to her advantage.

The Government: They arrested Hagrid with basically no charges. They were, they are broken, dysfunctional, and have just lost six of their most influential and wisest members a few weeks ago. So while the chapter was dramatic, to quote Lin-Manuel, "It was a powder keg about to explode."

Harry: Not in Azkaban. Not perfect. Makes mistakes. He did have the Rowan wand though as well as wandless magic. He chooses to suffer the dementors, rather than break out, which he was fully capable of doing.

Sirius: Where was Lord Black?

Chapter 18… I mean Chapter 17 (Cliffhanger Haters)

"Where were you, Sirius?" Harry asked.

Sirius and Regulus pulled a long hide from under the table which must have been resting on their laps.

"We figured that if Voldy was after you his own hideout might not be as secure," Sirius said.

Harry blinked at the hide and said slowly, "You killed Nagini."

"We were thinking of making boots out of the hide," Sirius said.

"She was in the Riddle Manor," Regulus said, his voice oddly inflectionless. Regulus was in his early thirties, but like the Longbottoms, looked younger. By all regards, he seemed to be healthy and unharmed by his imprisonment, yet there was something stagnant about him as if is reactions to outside stimuli were delayed, as if some part of him was still trapped.

"Why is killing the Dark Lord's familiar so important?" Arthur asked.

"Because his familiar had a way of getting into places she didn't belong and disposing of bodies in a way that shouldn't have been mundanely possible," Snape said.

"A snake her size can swallow a human body," Harry said. "Detable jaws and all."

"Perhaps," Snape conceded, "But the body shouldn't break down in a matter of hours."

"While you were in prison Tom attacked Hogsmeade," Albus said.

"I did read the papers," Harry said dryly.

"For once," Dromeda muttered.

"Several people died," Albus pressed.

"I am aware," Harry gritted out.

The Headmaster opened his mouth, "You-"

"It is not my fault everytime someone dies, Albus, especially not when I am in prison with no help of the likes of you to help me out."

"I helped get you a speedy trial and I would have voted in your favor. For a man who is from the future and won the war-"

"Oh shut it, old man," Andromeda shoot in. "You're lucky we don't pack up our family and leave you to your own failing devices."

"Why don't you?" Snape asked.

"Severus," Sirius said slowly, "I know the concept of family is hard for you-"

"Sirius," Harry chided, "don't pick a fight. Besides Andromeda and I did not stay because of family."

"Then why?" Remus asked.

"Because Voldemort is obsessed with me, no matter where I go he will always follow. I would rather kill him now than wait for him to amass more power and followers."

The room went silent, as the members of the Order of the Phoenix looked at each other. Harry Potter was their savior, their greatest weapon, and their leader. Finding out the main thing that was keeping here was because he was forced to rather than a sense of duty or kinship with them was disheartening.

"Anyway," Harry said, "I didn't see Aberforth's name listed, I am assuming he's alive?"

"Yes," Albus said.

"Rosmerta's funeral is going to be huge," Hestia said.

Harry looked to Albus, "Having her funeral on the school's grounds I think might be wise."

"Perhaps," Albus said.

"Of course, Hogwarts would be honored to host Rosmerta's funeral," Minerva said glaring at Albus. A sullen, dramatic Dumbledore was driving the Hogwarts' staff mad. Everyone had all but openly acknowledged Harry as the new leader of the Order, add that to Harry's students signing a school-wide petition to get him out of prison, signed by every student at Hogwarts, and Albus's jealousy had not gone unnoticed.

"I can spare some Aurors for the event for people coming in and out of Hogsmeade," Amelia said.

"Things at the Ministry that chaotic, huh?" Sirius asked.

Kingsley made a sound in the back of his throat, "Fifteen people were found under the Imperius Curse last week, fifteen. We've started wand checks and about fifty people of been using the Imperius curse as well as memory charms and we can't even arrest them because theoretically, they could have been under the Imperius Curse to cast that curse on someone else."

"Each case is being treated individual," Amelia said.

"Do you need more Veritaserum?" Snape asked.

"Yes, please," Amelia said, relieved.

"So we are going to have to plan more attacks," Harry said.

"You were face to face with the Dark Lord and weren't able to put a scratch on him," Remus said.

Harry glared at him, "And he didn't get a scratch on me either."

"He collared and leashed you, however, Mr. Lupin," Andromeda said sweetly.

"Mum," Nymphadora admonished.

"It's alright, Dora," Remus said.

Andromeda looked like she was ready to rip into both Remus and her daughter when she saw Harry's distant look as if he were drawing away from the emotion of the room.

Hestia kicked Nymphadora under the table. She jumped and gave Hestia a questioning look. Hestia sighed and rolled her eyes.

"Where were you, Albus, when Hogsmeade was attacked?" Harry asked.

"At the Ministry, trying to get you out of prison," Albus responded evenly.

"The Dark Lord attacked alone, right before going to attack you in the Ministry holding cell," Snape supplied.

"I really preferred him dead," Harry sighed.

"Didn't we all," Hestia agreed.

"We should kill him sooner rather than later," Regulus said.

"But how?" Harry asked. "Because he ran away from me the last time I tried."

"I told you he wasn't running away, he was testing you," Nymphadora said.

"He didn't learn much," Harry said, tapping the table with his fingers.

"On the contrary, my dear bo-" Albus started before correcting himself, "Mr. Potter, Voldemort learned you are willing to kill him this time around."

"He may even start treating you as a real threat," Severus said, "rather than a target he's been unable to aim at."

"So what you're telling me is that No-Nose is going to be harder to kill the next time I see him?"

"Yes," Severus confirmed.

Harry sighed, "Well hate to break it to you, but I already knew that because Merlin forbid, it get easier."

Andromeda nodded, "If it got easier I think the laws of physics would rupture, eventually resulting in the implosion of planet Earth."

The Order of the Phoenix went on for another hour. Kingsley and Amelia talking the most detailing which persons were most suspect and which departments would be left severely understaffed.

The subject of finding different prison guards and phasing out the use of Dementors arose in the discussions.

Harry was the one to ask, "But where do we send them? Is it possible to kill them?"

"Dragon fire works," Regulus said, "Taming dragons less so."

"I don't know," Charlie said, "I think we can have something arranged."

"What about the dragon at the bank?" Harry asked, remembering his promise to Teddy.

"Alleged dragon," Bill said.

Harry smiled, "Blind, albino dragon that the bank controls with pain and the sound of shackles."

Fleur and Charlie gave Bill disapproving looks.

He held up his hands, "It isn't my dragon."

"We shall work on this," Fleur told Harry.

"Daddy!" Teddy cried out.

"Teddy!" Harry whined back, scooping the child up into his arms.

Clingy was an understatement to how Teddy had reacted when Harry got back from his stint in Ministry Prison.

"Your son is quite adorable," Fleur's heavily accented French said from behind them.

"Shhhhh," Harry hushed her, "don't let him hear you." Harry pressed Teddy's head to his chest while cupping his ear. "It'll go to his head."

Teddy giggled.

Fleur nearly melted into a puddle on the floor.

"How's Gabrielle?" Harry asked.

"She's doing well. She still talks of you often. Gabrielle was heartbroken when she learned you had grown even older," Fleur said.

"How old is she now, ten?"

"Oui, and how old are you, Teddy?" Fleur asked.

Teddy peaked over Harry's shoulder, playing shy, "Seven."

"Not too far apart in age," Harry pointed out, "Perhaps we should have lunch someday?"

"Oh my family would adore that," Fleur said, her smile dazzling.

"Can we go to France?" Teddy asked. "I want to see the sun."

Harry and Fleur laughed.

"You would be most welcome at our home. My mother is always complaining we do not have enough civil guests over," Fleur said, kissing Teddy's cheek.

"Civil guests?" Bill asked.

Fleur smiled at him, "Guests that don't constantly remind us about our heritage."

"You know, Harry, you haven't been over to the Burrow for supper since you became a Lord," Molly said.

"Molly," Arthur hushed.

"I thought we were all celebrating Yule here in a few weeks," Harry said.

"A little grim for a celebration here, don't you think?" Sirius interjected with a grin.

"Ha ha," Harry said, "but here is still the safest place in Britain, aside from Hogwarts itself."

"I thought this place was compromised," Charlie chimed in.

"The street is, not the building," Sirius said.

Harry saw Remus kiss Nym's cheek before using the fireplace to floo away.

"You know Teddy, you were only five the last time you saw Charlie," Harry said, "I am sure he has a lot to tell you about dragons now that you are older, that is if Charlie has time before he has to get going?"

Charlie grinned, taking Teddy in his arms, "What would you like to know little man?"

Fleur gave Harry a kiss on the cheek, "Bill and I need to be going, lovely seeing you."

Harry said his goodbyes, making his way through Order members to Nymphadora. He saw Andromeda doing the same but Harry caught her eye and shook his head. Andromeda glared but changed her route.

"Nym," Harry began, "may I speak with you upstairs for a moment?"

She looked up at him with a frown, "Is there something wrong?"

"No, but we need to talk."

He didn't take her hand as they went up the steps. He shut the door behind her, in a clean room that had become his bedroom. All the rooms in Grimmauld Place were now habitable, but Regulus had still given up his room to Teddy when he came here on occasion.

"What's this about, Harry?" Nymphadora asked.

"Are we still dating?" Harry asked, his expression not giving a clue to his emotions.

"What? Of course, we are!" she exclaimed, hair flashing to a vivid orange.

"Because we don't have to be if you don't want to date me anymore. There will be no hard feelings. You can still be a part of Teddy's life."

"Where is this coming from?" she asked, stepping forward to put her hands on his chest.

He caught her hands around the wrists, holding her back. "Do you want to be with me?"

"Of course, I do," she said, pressing forward, "You know I do."

"Do I? Because over the last week I think you've seen more of Remus than me."

"He was hurt."

"I was hurt, too, Nym," Harry said squeezing her hands softly with his thumbs.

"You're jealous," she accused.

Harry sighed, "Nym, this isn't about jealousy, this is about who you want to be with. If you don't want to be with me -if you don't want to try to make what we have last than I would rather end things now."

"This is stupid. You are being stupid and egotistical and jea-"

Harry spun, bringing Nym with him so that she ended pressed between the wall and him. "I am not jealous, I am not saying you can't be friends with Remus, but you cannot string us both along."

She glared at him, her hair turning a pale redish-pink, "I wasn't stringing him along I was being nice."

"Nice, Nym," Harry said slowly, "Is checking for a pulse and getting the man a bottle of water. Nice is not-" He started his fingers at her scalp, brushing her hair back from her face, his other hand entwining with hers at their sides. "Nice is not intimate touch between two people who would have a child together," he said the last with his lips against her neck. Her breath caught. "If you don't want me then leave me, I don't like playing games."

She put a hand on his chest and pushed him back far enough that she could meet his gaze, "I am not playing a game. I don't want to leave you."

"Don't fear leaving me because of your mother, I can handle her."

"I want you, Harry. I don't care what my mother thinks," she huffed.

"You want Remus too though. I watched you fall in love with him the last time. He isn't good for you. I watched him tear you up. Yes, you loved him, but he made you miserable. Remus left you when you first told him you were pregnant. In all the years after my parents' deaths, he only came to help me to get away from you. Running from responsibly and happiness is all that man knows how to do."

She frowned, "He's a good person."

"Remus isn't a bad person, but you might want to remember that getting sorted into Gryffindor doesn't make you a brave person, it just means you value the quality of bravery."

"That isn't fair."

"What isn't fair is you playing me. If you want to go back to Remus then go. I don't need you," Harry said, letting go of her hand.

Nymphadora's hair darkened to a deep blue, her eyes filling with tears, "Harry?"

"Remus would need you."

"Are you pushing me to run back to him? Is that what this is?"

"No, you could do better than Remus, and I am not referring to myself. This is me explaining to you that there are different types of relationships," he said coolly. "You can go back to Remus, be in love. He needs you, he was never happy without you. You were the joy in his life. I, however, don't need you, I can be happy without you as mine."

She bit her lip to keep the tears in but the tears fell from her eyes anyway.

He cupped her face in his hands, "I am my own person, Nym. I am complete, I don't need anyone to fill in my holes, to make me whole. But I do want you. I want to share my life with you, the joys and the sorrows. I want to try and be a couple with you. I want to watch you follow your dreams and take risks and live your life and I want to be a part of that."

The tears came down harder as she half laughed, though there was no humor in it. "I want you too. I-"

Harry kissed her, open-mouthed. He tasted her and when they parted her blue eyes were unfocused. He wrapped his arms around her and she hugged him back. He regained his breath back first, "If you want to leave, then leave. But if you want to stay then be with me."

She hugged him tight before pulling back, "Harry. I'm sor-"

He kissed her again and when they pulled apart again her laugh was real.

"Don't apologize," Harry said, "Dating isn't my best thing. I just wanted you to know -as the Americans would say, where 'my boundaries' are."

Her smile faded a bit, "I am sorry, Harry."

He kissed her cheek, "Save it for your mum."

Nym's flushed face went ashen, "She's not mad at me is she?"

"That would depend on how you would define furious."

She groaned.

"How hard did Hestia kick you?" Harry asked.

"You saw that?"

"Sweets, you nearly flew out of your chair."

"I think you should have been an Auror."

"Working for the government isn't really my thing."

"What about the American one?"

Harry laughed, "I didn't move to America because they had a more... foreword government."

"What's America like?" she asked.

"Well the people are odd, they are- well they are all sorts and Ilvermorny takes in students from around the country. But what is always remarkable to me is the land itself. So, so much land. Where we live is surrounded by state forests. There is one trail that takes you from Maine to Georgia. All these people show up with walking sticks and long beards and huge backpacks. It takes them months, sometimes more than half a year to hike it."

"Why would someone do that?"

"You don't like the outdoors?"

"Short walks. All day, not so much."

"I have flown it a few times. It's quite beautiful. And the West. Well, you've never seen trees like those before. I think they might be gods."

"You'll have to take me one day," she said.

Harry smiled, "With pleasure."

Ted was leading the Hogwarts seventh years through St. Mungo's, Harry following behind. At first, the students had been rowdy, after all, Hogwarts doing class field trips was almost unheard of. But as they went through the halls, after the healers and the patients from different wings, as the horrors that magic could inflict started to sink in the class began to grow somber.

Some would ask questions of the healers, but even the most inquisitive students lost heart when too often the response from the healers were, "There is nothing more we can do but hope someone invents a cure," and "No, the damage is permanent and irreversible, nothing can help them now."

By the time they reached Professor Lockhart, nobody thought his circumstance funny.

The group on the walk back to the school had shoulders hunched and heads bowed.

"I thought magic could fix anything," one boy said.

"Some damage," Harry said, "goes too far, too deep."

"But most of that was accidents," a girl said, "just accidents."

"Not the muggles," George said.

"Wizards and witches did that to those people on purpose," Fred said.

"And the muggles they don't take in at St. Mungo's are left to muggle hospitals, where their chances of recovery a slim to none. They never get to rejoin their families, few regain their independence," Harry said.

Several children from pureblood families looked horrified as their minds connected the information. Others looked sad, only a select few tuned Harry's words out.

"You will each write a paper. You will present as a speech to the younger years after I've had a chance to grade them," Harry said, dismissing his gloomy class.

"How did the field trip go?" Pomona asked.

"I think I depressed them," Harry said, eating his dinner. It was the last before winter break.

"Good," Poppy said. "They will be the first group of students to graduate with a clue as to the harm magic can cause."

"It was a very wise idea, Harry," Flitwick commended.

"It may give some bad ideas as to the horrors they can inflict on others," Professor Trelawney said.

"But hopefully it taught them some compassion," Minerva said.

AN: Twenty-Two today so as birthday present please share your thoughts and reactions?

Chapter 18: Chapter 18

KEYNOTE: Harry and Nymphadora's relationship has not developed further than what you've read. Slow, slow burn.

AN: There has been no fluff or major breakthroughs in their dating at all. They are not yet 'in love' nor are they boyfriend/girlfriend. They do have some healthy doses of lust. Harry and Nymphadora are being forced to be more serious about each other due to Teddy. If Harry theoretically dated another woman -if he were to break up with Nymphadora than Harry would do everything in his power to keep Andromeda and Teddy out of it and unaware, even with Fleur. Keep that in mind if your shipping my Harry with other characters.

I love, love, love all of your reviews! They were quite thoughtful and there were some awesome discussions of what people view as healthy relationships and lasting love. I would ask that those of you who are dismissing Nym that you give her another chance with Harry. Even mature people may act rather immaturely with matters of the heart.

Chapter 18

"What do you think you've been doing?" Andromeda demanded. They were back at Hogwarts. Harry and Teddy had stayed a Grimmauld Place to spend time with the Black brothers.

"Working for the Order, doing my job," Dora said.

"So that's why you've stayed at Grimmauld Place? With Remus?"

"Mom- nothing was going on between us. Nothing."

"That sure isn't what it looked like," Andromeda snapped.

"I am not seeing Remus. He's been staying with Sirius. He's been hurt-"

"Harry has been hurt," Andromeda stated.

"He looked fine, he never said-"

"Harry is never going to ask for help, at least not for himself."

"Well, how was I supposed to know that?" Dora asked throwing up her hands.

"He was in prison Nymphadora!" Andromeda yelled.

"I know that!" Nymphadora yelled right back. "I was there. From the moment I found out he had been arrested I looked for a way to get to him. I sat with him for two days and he barely said a word to me."

"He was in jai-"

"Can you be my mother for a moment and listen to me!?" Dora exclaimed.

Andromeda paused, took a breath to speak, and with a long exhale folded herself into the armchair, ankles crossed, hands folded, the perfect lady, something Dora would never be. "Alright, tell me what's wrong. Tell me about you and Harry."

Dora crossed her arms, "We are hardly dating."

"You mean going out to events or something more physical?"

"Both, either, neither, I don't know. But I don't think what we have now is enough. When I'm here, at Hogwarts, it's fine, you're great, Teddy's great, and Harry and I are friendly. But I want to be more than his friend," Dora finished, not at all sure she was articulating his point correctly.

"Have you told him that?"

"Yes, before he was kidnapped by Amelia, I told him I wanted more. I dropped some hints of what I wanted more of."

"How did he respond?"

"Today, he -well he -um well he kissed me…" Dora said, blushing.

"Just kissed you?"

Dora flushed deeper, "Yes, just kissing."

"While you were fighting?

"I've been dropping hints that I um-"

"Sweety, Harry hasn't been active in that way in more than six years," Andromeda said.

"Mum, you don't honestly believe that, do you?"

"I know when he leaves the house."

"Do you? Because he told me that he is a one night stand kind of guy and as long as he got back home before sunrise to take a shower you had yet to catch him."

Andromeda seemed to have to process that for a minute, "Damnit! How did I miss those signs?"

"Because you didn't want to see it. You really did adopt him as your own son."

Dromeda frowned and waved a hand at her daughter, "What did you and Harry fight about?"

"We didn't fight but he said if I didn't want to make this last then he'd rather we break up," Dora said.

"Do you want it to last?"

"Yes, but I want a real relationship, not a pseudo-brother I flirt with. He said he didn't need me."

"He said what?" The shook clear in her voice.

"He said he didn't need me to be happy and that he could be a complete person without me."

"And how do you feel about that?"

Dora flopped onto the couch opposite from her mom. "It sounds great reasonable and mature. He still wants me. He showed me that he wanted me. And he was right I was being overly friendly with Remus and I know we are at war but I want to feel needed even if that isn't the right and logical and healthy-"

Dromeda stood and sat next to her daughter, taking her hand. "There is nothing wrong with your feelings. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to feel needed or to want more intimacy in a relationship. Showing open interest in two men who aren't consenting to a ménage à trois, however, is not kind to either Harry or Remus."

"I didn't mean to -I feel like a child," Dora said rubbing the side of her face, "I know better."

"Yes, you do, but emotions don't always make us act logically. Do you love Remus?"

"I thought I did," Dora said, eyes on their hands.

"He was your first love wasn't he?"

"No, but I thought he was going to be the one. Silly, I mean we hardly… he hardly noticed me. Remus didn't show this much interest until Harry started to."

"Do you love Harry?"

"I don't know."

"What did you see in Remus?"

"He was intelligent and mysterious. He was a challenge, I had to work at it to make him smile."

"And what do you see in Harry?"

Dora just gave her mother a look, "You know what I see in Harry."

"Perhaps but I want to hear you say it out loud."

"Harry is intelligent, strong, kind, witty, fun to be with, he- He makes you happy. He kept you and his son safe. He's independent and resourceful. He's unafraid to take action and he is cunning, beyond powerful, he's- he's-"

"Remus's near opposite," Ted said as he entered the room. He sat on the other side of Dora, taking her other hand in his.

"Remus isn't a bad person," Dora argued, causing Andromeda to squeeze her hand a bit tighter.

"Dora, let me ask you this," Ted began, tone gentle. "Are you defending Remus or are you defending your old feelings for him? Because if it is the latter, may I remind you that you inherited your mother's stubbornness. Don't take your ex-boyfriend back to prove to us he's good enough, that you didn't in some way make a lapse in judgment and let your feelings get the best of you. Your future, your happiness, is worth far more than proving a fictional point."

"I'm so stupid," Dora whispered to herself because her father had hit the mark.

"Not stupid, just young," Ted said, rubbing her back.

"Harry wouldn't have made a mistake like this," Dora said.

"Multiple one night stands and no stable relationship in years would be the image of a young man of his standing," Ted said. "Harry will make his own mistakes, and when he does you'll have to decide -depending on the mistake, if the two of you will grow from the experience or let it break you apart."

"Even your father and I are still learning. You never stop growing up," Andromeda agreed.

"He's always going to be more mature than me though, isn't he?" Dora asked.

"Perhaps, or perhaps he needs someone in his life to teach him how to be young. He missed out on a childhood, on his years at Hogwarts, as his freedom as a young adult," Andromeda said, "Harry understands responsibility, sacrifice, hard work, control, he doesn't need more of that in his life."

"He said he didn't need me," Dora said softly.

"You don't need him either, Nymphadora. I know I pushed you together, but I will love you just the same if you choose to leave him. We will always be your family and Harry is never going to stop you from developing a relationship with Teddy," she said. "You could be happy and whole without a romantic relationship with Harry Potter."

Dora bit her lip, thinking of Harry's green eyes and his belly laugh when she got him going. The way her heart raced when he kissed her. How she forgot where she was and how she wanted time to stand still for them. He was a future, he was a hope, Harry was chance at life that she had neither imaged nor known to ask for. Her patronus had changed for him, for Teddy, for her mother. A mother who had resigned herself to be nothing more than a housewife because the magical world had turned its back on her, for the little boy who thought Nymphadora was a hero, and for the man that had taken a broken family and pieced it back together into the most loving and compassionate family she'd ever met. That they were her family astonished her. She loved them already and more than anything, she wanted to be in love with Harry and be loved in return.

"Dad, Mum," Dora said, wrapping her arms around them both, "I love you both, I love you so much."

"Sev," Regulus said, pulling the taller man into his room.

Severus hugged the younger Black. Whatever Severus's issues with Sirius, he had never taken out those hurts on the Marauder's younger brother, least of when they had been the only two turned turn-coat belong to the Dark Lord.

"Are you alright?" Severus asked, pushing the shorter man away so he could see him.

"I've grown quite good at mediating and my occlumency shields are damn near insurmountable, if I do say so myself," Regulus answered in an almost normal tone.

"What did the Dark Lord do to you?"

"Imprisoned me in stone, freezing my body in time, but keeping my mind awake, aware, without respite."

Severus flinched, "I would not have survived that, even the prisoners at Azkaban sleep. I would not be sane sixteen years later."

"I am not sure that I am," Regulus said, tone robotic.

"Have you slept?"

"A little, dreams scare me."

"Those would be called nightmares," Severus said.

"I can't tell the difference anymore, I sleep, I see the past, a mockery of it, butterfly wings, I hear dripping in the cave, stone, I feel the stone…" Regulus trailed off looking at the far wall.

Severus reached into his pocket, pulling out a vile. "Drink this."

Regulus did it without question. Severus was forced to catch him as the younger wizard fell into a dreamless sleep. Severus laid the man in his bed, hoping that his old friend would recover more of himself as time wore on.

Teddy was asleep on Sirius's chest as Harry made lunch. The full moon had been last night. Remus had spent elsewhere, while Sirius had joined Teddy, Andromeda, and Harry in the Forbidden Forest. The four of them had had a blast.

"Harry, can I have another cup of coffee, please?" Sirius called in a normal tone.

Kreacher popped in with a cup of coffee that he handed to Sirius and popped away.

Harry came out, hands empty.

"House elves love you," Sirius told his godson.

Harry shrugged, "And my son loves to have someone running around with him on four paws."

"He's going to be a menace when he's older."

Harry smiled, "He's already a menace." He disappeared into the kitchen and emerged back out with a plate of grilled cheese sandwiches. Placing them on the table, Kreacher scurried in with floating glasses and a pitcher of water. He placed them on the coffee table before popping out.

"He's a bit skittish," Harry noted.

"Probably because he's afraid he will say something to me to upset you," Sirius said, as he leaned forward to snag a sandwich.

Teddy must have smelled them then because he sprang out of his nap and launched himself over the coffee the table, grabbing a sandwich mid-launch before rolling onto the carpet.

Teddy didn't say anything as he devoured his food.

Sirius barked his approval. "Definitely didn't inherit that from Dory. I never thought this place would feel like a home."

Harry gave Sirius a questioning look, "You're not thinking of staying here permanently are you?"

"Maybe, it depends on what Reggie decides he wants, but this place, it isn't as bad now that I can leave, walk the streets whenever I like."

"You haven't been walking this street have you?" Harry asked, worried.

"No, I meant I can leave, go to Diagon Alley without a disguise whenever I like."

Harry sat on the floor, leaning against the couch. He bent forward to pull Teddy onto his lap as the boy started his second sandwich.

"I've been thinking of buying a house," Harry said.

Teddy froze.

"Oh?" Sirius prompted.

"I don't like teaching at Hogwarts."

"I thought you liked the students?" Sirius questioned.

"I do, but I don't like being at Hogwarts."

"So where are you thinking of moving to? Back to America?"

Teddy turned to look at Harry, eyes full of innocent hope.

"I haven't enjoyed the Time Travel aspect of people not remembering -not knowing me as I know them."


"So if we move back to America, it will be more of constantly explaining the future, how we know people who have never met us."

Teddy put his half-eaten sandwich on a napkin on the coffee table. He held his father's gaze, "I don't want to live in Britain or Scotland, Daddy."

Harry wrapped his arms around Teddy, "Neither do I, Teddy."

"Ireland?" Sirius suggested.

"I was thinking France," Harry said.

"Oh," Sirius said lamely. "Have you talked about this with Dromeda and Ted?"

"Yes," Harry said. "Andromeda mentioned that her father put aside an estate for her dowry. As far as she is aware neither Bella nor Narcissa inherited it…"

"And as Lord Black I should have the deed at the bank, right?"

Harry nodded.

"Of course, you can have it," Sirius said.

"I can pay-"

"Hush, I didn't even know it existed."

"France?" Teddy asked, his voice rising with excitement, "We are moving to France?"

"I need to ward the place first, probably clean it, but yes, if you like the idea, France is where we will go. Will you be terribly disappointed we aren't moving back to America?"

Teddy took on a solemn face, "Is it by the ocean, like Aunt Cissa's house?"

"Of course, it is," Sirius said.

"I thought you said you didn't know this place existed?" Harry asked.

"Harry, wizards have the power to ward off people from entire areas to the extent they don't notice they've walked by dragons. You really think the old, rich, powerful ones wouldn't take prime territory for themselves? Ever wonder why some old maps look super different from the modern muggle ones?"

"So that's a yes to the beach, Teddy," Harry said.

Teddy whooped, an action he'd picked up from his Grandfather Sirius.

Harry made dinner back at Hogwarts for himself, Teddy, and the Tonks.

They ate a happy meal scrunched together at the small table. Teddy went to bed early as did Ted and Dromeda.

Nym helped wrap up the leftovers as Harry did the dishes. The silence between them was not tense yet not altogether easy.

The kitchenette was nearly cleaned when a tapping sound came at the window. Harry let Hedwig into the room. She had no letter or message as she attached herself to his shoulder to snuggle.

"She's a good familiar," Nym said as she came to sit on the sofa.

"She's the best and the most beautiful bird to have ever been hatched," Harry crooned.

Hedwig preened. Nym hesitantly reached her hand out and Hedwig graciously allowed herself to be petted, going so far as to lean into Nym's touch.

They sat down on the window bench, Hedwig glorying in the attention.

"Mum said you're planning on moving to France," Nym said, her voice quiet.

"It will take me awhile to set up the wards," Harry said, eyes averted.

"You set the wards up here pretty fast," Nym said.

"Yes well, as invasive as Albus can be, I didn't ward this apartment for a full-scale attack. Hogwarts and Grimmauld Place have that covered already. My wards here are more 'please avoid' and alarms than shields that can withstand a battering ram."

"Why not just use the Fidelius Charm?"

"I don't- I just can't cast that charm spell. I trust myself to be Secret Keeper, but I don't trust that spell."

"You trust the one at Grimmauld Place," Nym pointed out.

"No, I trust the Black wards, honestly, the Fidelius almost undercuts some of that places better defensives."

"Except for the fact that people like the Malfoys would have had an open invitation there," Nym said, her hand falling back from petting Hedwig, her tone held bitterness.

"Your aunt isn't that bad of a person," he defended, purposely not defending Lucius.

"She didn't show up to anything important in my life," Nym said, crossing her arms.

"Did your mother show up to anything of import for Draco's?"

Nym frowned, "No, but we were never invited."

"Andromeda never sent Narcissa an invitation of any kind either."

"You're avoiding the topic," Nym redirected.

"What topic?" Harry asked innocently. He began coaxing Hedwig to hop down to his lap. She fluttered off his shoulder, nestling herself between Harry's and Nym's legs.

"You, my mother, and Teddy moving to France."

"How is it going with Teddy? Is it weird for you that he calls you mommy?"

"Harry," Nym chided.

"I don't want to talk about moving to France with you," Harry stated, his eyes not rising from Hedwig, who had closed her eyes enjoying the affection, if she had been a cat she would have been purring.

"Why not?" Nym asked, her hair changing from pale pink to dark blue.

Harry flicked his eyes up for a moment, "Do you always let your hair change to your emotions?"

"It doesn't when I focus on it, but I am not as controlled at home, with family."

"I like your freckles," Harry said, briefly making eye contact before looking out the opened window to the cold, clear night sky.

"You've seen my freckles?" Nym asked, raising a hand to her cheek.

"You didn't know you let them show," Harry guessed. "I noticed you cover them up a lot, you shouldn't, they suit you."

"I can't feel them but I rarely let my skin shift back to natural."

"I can no longer remember what Teddy's natural is, I think he had freckles, but he started shifting to look like Andromeda and myself so early. He was always shifting colors as a baby," Harry said, still watching the stars.

"He might not have a natural, the stronger a metamorphmagus is the less active thought goes into the change. How they see themselves, how they identify becomes their physical form. He sees himself as your son, he feels like your son, and so his powers emulate that. You know all metamorphmagi -well anyone of substantial power, are born female."

Harry finally met her gaze. Her blue eyes were as dark as sapphires as he asked, "I know biologically we all start off female, but you're saying in the last trimester their gender can change?"

"First breath of air outside of the womb can flip the babe to being male. Some say if the father is around a lot and his 'masculine' aura touches the babe in the womb and that's what can determine the gender. Most metamorphmagi are women, of course, it is such a rare ability most of the studies are all theory," Nym said.

"I noticed that, though there is even less study material on metamorphmagi in America than here, or so Dromeda told me when I only found three manuscripts on the subject," Harry said.

"Some metamorphmagi never chose or identify as a specific gender. I read this one story about this metamorphmagus that had an identity crisis and shifted between forms so quickly that she/he burned more energy than they could physical consume and ended up wasting away from starvation and sleep deprivation in three days."

Harry paled, "How common is that?"

"Out of hundred documented cases, that would be the only one," Nym comforted, patting Harry's knee.

Harry still looked concerned, his thoughts churning.

"And to answer your question from before, yeah, it is a little weird for Teddy to call me Mommy. If anyone is his mother it is my mum, not me."

Harry's face softened, "You are a fairy book character come to life for. The great fairy queen, a warrior, someone kind and funny with the same sort of powers as him. 'Can you tell me another story about Mommy?'"

"I'm afraid I will not live up to his expectations," Nym said, running a hand down Hedwig's back. The owl seemed to let out a soft hoot and nestle more comfortably between the couple.

"Oh you'll definitely fall short of his expectation," Harry said, "If people still worshipped the Greek gods, you would be the Goddess Artemis, the great goddess of the moon and the hunt."

Nym glared at him, "Thanks, Harry." The sarcasm was dripping off her words.

He grinned at her, "Don't worry, he will forgive."

"Why would he? If he's expecting a fairy queen."

"He will forgive you because you are real. You're alive and a part of his life, Nym, that is far better than any story," Harry told her, leaning forward.

Nym met him halfway, taking the proffered kiss. It was a reserved meeting of lips, but it made her heart sore and her skin prickle.

Harry jerked away, "Ow!"

Nym blinked at him, "What did I do?"

Hedwig hooted nudging her hand where it had stopped petting her, Harry was rubbing his finger where his familiar had nipped him.

"Demanding owl," Nym commented, trying to hold back a laugh.

"That's one way to put it," Harry said, tone grumpy even as he went back to stroking Hedwig's snow white feathers.

She leaned forward and kissed Harry's cheek, pulling back before Hedwig took a bite out of any of her digits.

"I love you, Harry," she said for the first time.

Harry's expression was one she would remember for the rest of her life. He suddenly looked his age, his smile was almost lopsided, and his eyes shone like polished emeralds. "I love you too."

Hedwig hooted her endorsement of these proclamations, hopping into Nym's lap so Harry could pull his girlfriend closer. For a long time, Nym stayed curled against Harry, her head on his upper chest as they enjoyed each other's company, watching the stars move through the sky.

Nym was the one to break the mood, "Harry, I am sorry about my behavior of late."

Harry kissed the top of her head, "I am sorry for being distant. I knew you were feeling… insecure, I should have-"

"You didn't do anything wrong."

"I didn't do enough right, I am still learning."

"You're perfect," she said with a polite smile.

Harry frowned, "No, I'm not and perfect is an illogical word. Nothing is perfect, things are either flawed or they will be or they just are what they are, perfect is idealistic nonsense."

"Okay," Nym said, "So note to self, don't use the word perfect."

"Sorry, just a pet peeve I have, I give my students that lecture a lot."

Being careful of Hedwig, Nym shifted one of her legs to entwine with Harry's, "I wouldn't mind being one of your students."

Harry made a non-committal noise, sort of a hum with an implied please no.

Nym sat up, her back to the window so she could see his face, "What?"

"Nothing," Harry said, collecting Hedwig who had moved to his lap.

"That wasn't nothing, that was something."

"I didn't say anything."

"You hummed."

"You don't like humming?"


"I am not comfortable with the student-professor fantasy, is all. I am a relatively young professor and the issue comes a lot more than I would like," Harry explained.

"That isn't all of it," Nym guessed.

"Are you a mind reader now?" Harry asked, annoyed. They had been having a good moment.

"Why won't you talk to me about moving to France?"

"Because the last time I had the moving countries talk with my girlfriend she dumped me," Harry snapped. "And I really, really don't want you to dump me."

Nym's expression softened, "Who was it?"

"Ginevra Weasley," Harry said, voice clipped.

Nym blinked, "Ginny? Like the fourteen-year-old Ginny, the only daughter of Molly Weasley, and a Hogwarts student, Ginny?"

"She was only a year younger than me at the time."

"She's one your students now isn't she?"


"That must be weird."

"I have barely been able to make eye contact with her. I think she thinks I hate her, but I have memories of her that have nothing to do with her being fourteen," Harry said, fidgeting his glasses.

"Should I be worried that she will steal you away from me?" Nym asked with a teasing grin.

"This isn't funny," Harry warned.

"Have you told Arthur and Molly that you deflowered their precious daughter?"

"Do I look like a moron? I have been keeping my distance from the Weasleys -aside from Bill and Charlie, as much as possible," Harry said. "And for the record she wasn't a virgin, she deflowered me."

"Oooh," Nym said, her grin nearly splitting her face. "Did you wear white? Was she patient with you? Was she gentle?"

"Nymphadora Black Tonks," Harry growled.

She giggled. "You never forget your first. Too bad Ginny get to testify to your skills or lack there o-"

Harry snapped his fingers in front of her face, the bit of wandless magic causing her to sneeze, her hair flashing to light brown, the second sneeze back to silver white.

"She's underaged, mock me when she turns seventeen, until then please drop this topic."

"Well she must have only been sixteen at the time," Nym said still smiling even as she rubbed her nose.

Harry sighed, letting his head fall back against the wall in defeat.

In a more somber tone, Nym asked, "She broke up with you because you moved to America?"

"She wasn't thrilled about me adopting Teddy and moving in with your mother. She put up with it but Ginny, a sixteen-year-old child soldier, didn't have any interest in raising a baby. I can't fault her for that. I made my choices and I knew going into this that she wouldn't fit into the picture. She put up with dating me for the first couple of weeks but when I brought up my applications to every magical school, excluding Hogwarts, she began to realize the way things were headed, and my accepting the job at Ilvermorny was last straw."

"Why aren't you planning on moving back to America?" Nym asked.

"I can't stand the idea of knowing people who view me as a stranger. I don't want to live with the constant reminder that I was removed from my timeline," Harry said.

"Am I a reminder of that?"

Harry shook his head, gazing into her eyes, "When I'm with you, Nym, I'm not thinking about my past."

She smiled, "I'll go."

"What?" Harry asked, confused.

"To France, with you, if you want," she said.

"What about your job?"

"I'll commute, the Continent isn't that far away, especially if I apparate or floo. Besides, my French is pretty good, thanks to my mum, I could always transfer. I will have to go through testing again. Hopefully, their stealth tests aren't too strict."

Hedwig flapped to the window, and with a parting hoot flew into the night sky.

"You would do that for me?" Harry asked.

"I told you, Harry, I love you," Nymphadora said, "and I meant it."

He pulled her to him, kissing her like she was air and he was drowning.

AN: Am I love expert? Nope. But it is my experience that emotions and people are messy. So while Harry and Nym might not have the smoothest relationship, I do aim for them to have real emotions for one another, with all the baggage and none picture-perfectness that entails. One way or another I do promise a healthy relationship between Harry and Nym. Remus will be phased out of this story, showing up for Order meetings and full moons, but he is destined to be something of an uncle or second cousin who sends birthday and Christmas cards but has no dependable role in Teddy's life.

ANII: I do not hate Remus Lupin, but the character took on a life of his own in this Fanfiction, which is sort of the point for us writing fanfiction isn't it? Thank you again to all my reviewers, you made my day.

Chapter 19: Chapter 19

KEYNOTE: Chapter 16 has an extra updated chapter 16.5 in case you missed it.

AN: I was accepted into the University of Chicago Art History Masters Program! Thank you for all the reviewers who cheered me up as I drove myself insane from stress. Much Love!

ANII: I delayed Hagrid's return by about a week or so. In Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix, he doesn't come back from the giants until just before winter vacation. I love Hagrid and I didn't leave him out carelessly. I never made him deal with Umbridge :D

Chapter 19

Nymphadora had resorted to flat out running. When Harry had suggested they practice sparring, she hadn't expected him to take it so seriously.

If Mad-Eye Moody was a crazy dueling teacher than Harry was criminally insane. Her shield charms were barely keeping pace with Harry's offensive spells. What was getting on her nerves was that the spells weren't even complex, reducto and stinging charms. Only the stinging charms left red welts and the reductos blew holes in the floor. They were in the Room of Requirement and the hall left nowhere to hide… beh…

"I need something to hide behind," Nym said between gasps.

A stone wall rose from the ground taking Harry's overpowered reducto without buckling.

Harry laughed, "Good job, Nym!"

He honestly sounded pleased.

"Bloody professors," Nym muttered before rolling behind another pillar, Harry managing to take out the wall with a yellow light that she didn't recognize. She couldn't help thinking that she was glad Harry wasn't on the dark side. Between the Order and the government, neither was equipped to handle him. His short stint in prison must have been his choice fully because if this man had a wand there wasn't a prison cell built in this world that could have held him.

"You'll have to go on the offensive soon, Nymphadora," her mother called from the back of the room. She sounded smug.

Offensive magic. But she doubted her standard auror stunning and binding spells were going to cut it. But the wall appearing as a shield gave her an idea. Transfiguration and charms were her two strongest subjects. Harry's charm work was far superior as was his dueling skills, but despite being an animagus he didn't seem to rely on transfiguration much.

Nym pointed her wand at a pile of rubble and what was once rocks became an angry gaggle of ducks. Loud, honking, flapping, feathery ducks who swarmed Harry. They didn't get by his shields but the ceiling she exploded over his head nearly did. She got a few hexes through his defensive, missing by a hair's breadth as he physically dodged them, kicking ducks as he made his way to her. When he was a yard away from her, one determined duck clinging to his ankle, she caught him with a body bind curse. Her jaw dropped as the frustrating man seemed to shrug the bindings off like a snake shedding his scales.

The back of his wrist knocked her wand from her hand as he stepped into the circle of her arms. He put an arm around her waist and pulled her into a hug.

"I win," Harry said and bent to kiss her cheek.

She brought her arm up to his neck, the tip of her knife pressing lightly at his throat. "Not quite," she said.

Had it been any other man she might have expected him to pout or argue or demand a rematch. But Harry's green eyes shown with pleasure and pride, as if he was pleased to be bested by someone less powerful than himself. And then he winced.

"Can you call off your duck, Ms. Tonks?" he asked.

"I'd need my wand back, Mr. Potter," she said in return.

"I felt you summon it back to yourself already, you're no fool."

He was right of course, she had summoned it back to herself as soon as Harry had knocked it to the floor rather than grab a hold of it himself. She flicked her wand at the duck attached to Harry's ankle, it turned back to a stone and would have landed on his toes if he hadn't taken a step backward. She slipped the knife back into her left arm sheath.

"Well done, daughter," Andromeda said coming towards them. "Though you were both holding back."

"We are not going to try to kill each other, Mum, it is just sparing," Nym said.

"Yes, well, in a year or five years then you two lovebirds will have a bit more to work out between you."

"If I ever tried to kill her, you'd kill me," Harry stated.

"She could do it herself, I always knew some of my Slytherin roots would show themselves in you someday," Andromeda said, grinning at Nym.

"You gave her the knife for a Christmas present one year, didn't you?" Harry asked.

"Every girl born to a Black gets a weapon, usually on their tenth birthday, but I waited until she graduated from Hogwarts."

"My friend got a puppy," Nym said with a fake pout.

"Teddy and Sirius are the closest I ever want to get to having a dog," Harry said.

"Speaking of which, we have an hour before we need to get back to Teddy and take showers. Round two with me?" Andromeda asked.

Harry nodded, stealing a quick kiss from Nym before following Andromeda into the center of the room.

What followed proved to Nymphadora without a doubt that Harry had been holding back and that he was well above her weight class in magic. And her mum, her neat freak, cooking, laundry, grocery going mother who liked reading history books and French romance novels was possibly one of the scariest duelists she had ever witnessed.

Harry had more magical muscle, his spells and shields were remarkable for their strength. But he had a wider array of shield charms and the occasional ward -that would cause her mother to miss a step, than he had with offensive spells -for which he lacked variety, at least compared to Andromeda.

Her mother did not fight with light spells, she used an arsenal of dark magic, and borderline dark curses that Nym had only ever read about. If there were any doubt that her mother was a Black and a Slytherin they were quashed as Nym watched the 'sparring match.'

Her mother was clever and used complex movements that were impossible to predict, though Harry was nearly as creative with his comparatively simple selection of spells. Nym was amazed that in the midst of dueling he was able to lay down wards. Glowing patterns etched themselves in between the fragments of moments Harry had between fending off Andromeda's curses.

At first, Nym thought this tactic was stupid, after all, if she could see the wards her mother sure could, but Harry's wards didn't need someone to walk over them. Some acted as shields, allowing Harry to hold his ground and shoot off one of his own curses, while other wards absorbed power and added a sort of one-two punch to his returning spell. And still, others caused smoke screens that acted like one-way mirrors, making him invisible to Andromeda but gave him a clear view. Nymphadora had never even heard of wards being used in duels, but watching Harry she realized what the next step was from charms, DADA, and Arithmancy. Professor McGonagall and Headmaster Dumbledore had been known as two of the most vicious fighters in the last war. Even Sirius, James Potter, Frank and Alice Longbottom had all been known for their prowess in a battle, their strength Transfiguration. It is why, aside from being a metamorphmagus, Nym had always put the most effort into Transfiguration. Watching Harry she was beginning to realize why Professor Flitwick had been able to reach Duelling Champion.

The entire battle proceeded without Andromeda or Harry saying a word, the only sound was that of spells striking shields or stone. Not once did they land a strike on the other, which with the amount of power they were showing off was more remarkable that they had at some point accidentally scored a hit. They were both so terribly controlled, it was like watching a choreographed dance. Colored lights and shadows weaving between them. Andromeda called the duel off with a shield of sparkling blue light which seemed to be a signal to Harry to do the same. They bowed to each other, both smiling, both sweating, leaving Nym to wonder what would happen if these two ever lost their control on their enemies.

Their enemies probably wouldn't last long.

Harry was still exhilarated from his and Dromeda's duel from the night before. Which was good as it kept his spirits up around the Weasleys. Yule dinner was a chaotic assortment of people at Grimmauld Place. What was especially odd this time around was having Severus Snape at the table as well as Remus Lupin.

Teddy had relaxed around his birth father, finally convinced that nothing short of Fawkes could steal Harry away from him. It was nonetheless awkward between the two werewolves. A few full moons had not fixed the rift between them. Teddy was seven -not stupid, nearly every child knows, at least on some level if they are not wanted. Sure, Remus was beginning to truly admire and like the little boy, but Teddy was never going to trust the man, at least never enough to confide or depend on the man even if one day he learned to love him.

Teddy was far more interested in conversation with Bill and Charlie who told him stories about goblins and dragons. Fleur adored Teddy, but her fretting over him eventually drove the little werewolf to retreat back to Nym and Harry.

Andromeda would be arriving 'late.' She spent nearly three hours having supper with her sister in the dungeon. Stupefying Nott to keep him out of their business. Lucius stayed mostly quiet while he ate his Yule dinner behind bars, watching his wife reconnect with her beloved sister.

Harry found himself enjoying Fred's and George's company, even as Ron and Hermione half glared at them.

"So everything is all set up," Fred whispered conspiratorially to Harry, shooting glances at Molly who was engaged in conversation with Bill and Arthur.

"Do your mother and I a favor and complete your education at Hogwarts, maybe study for your NEWTS," Harry suggested.

Georg raised a brow, "Didn't we the first time around?"

"Last time Umbridge turned Hogwarts into a children's prison," Harry said.

"I'm so glad she's gone," Hermione said.

"I wished I had seen Andromeda take her down," Frank said from Harry's left.

"I told you, you should have gone back to the ministry," Alice said.

"I wanted to be around for you," Frank said gruffly.

Alice rolled her eyes, "You're still treating me like I just gave birth."

Harry frowned, "Wait, I'm sorry to ask, but what was the last thing you remember?"

Alice reached over her husband to pat Harry's hand, "I remember everything up to that night. For whatever reason, Frank lost almost two years. In his head, I am sixth months pregnant, well eight months now."

"Excuse me?" Harry's mind reeled, no way had Snape and he messed up that potion.

"The late night staff gave him something else that night," Ted said sadly, It wasn't on his record but the healers admitted to giving him jasmine tea."

Snape who had hyperfocused on the conversation groaned.

"Apparently," Alice said, "I didn't drink the tea."

"I still can't believe I missed my son's entire life," Frank said sadly.

Alice put her arm around his shoulder. Neville who was sitting across from his dad met his father's gaze, "I am just glad you're here now."

"I know how you feel," Regulus said in his mechanical tone, "I missed everything too."

Frank glared at the little Death Eater, "You don't have children."

"No, I never had the chance," Regulus agreed, "But I had a family, they are mostly dead now."

"You still have your brother," Frank shot back.

"He's nearly as broken as I am," Regulus said, "He spent thirteen years in prison away from his godson."

Sirius patted Regulus back awkwardly, "It's alright, Reggie, we have a future now."

Harry wasn't sure, but the startled somewhat soft look Regulus shot Snape made it seem like the Potion's Professor was holding the man's hand under the table as Snape said, "There will be a future." It was a declaration said with more emotion -well more non-hostile emotion, than Harry was used to hearing from the dour wizard.

"This is not appropriate talk for Yule dinner," Molly interjected, having heard the last bit of the conversation. "How is teaching at Hogwarts, Harry dear?"

Harry forced himself to meet her kind gaze. "It is going well, the students are improving quicker than I had imagined they would. It helps that house tensions seem to be pretty low at the moment."

"That is because of you," Fred said.

George nodded.

"I doubt that," Harry said.

"You have caused changes at Hogwarts," Snape said. "More of my students are coming to me with concerns that don't require dentetions. Little matters that when addressed early do not become disasters. The other Heads of House have said the same."

"Well that is good," Harry said. "But I think that is more to do with other events than with me."

Severus frowned, "You are nothing like James."

Sirius snorted, "He's Lily son's that is for sure."

"Does that mean you will stop sneering at my surname?" Harry asked hopefully.

Severus allowed the barest of curl of the lips, "You have your mother's temper and optimism."

"She did have a terrible temper, didn't she?" Regulus said with a faraway look.

"Daddy doesn't have a temper. He only gets mad," Teddy said, "if someone did something really, really dangerous and might have gotten hurt."

Hermione and Ron laughed.

Harry glared at them both.

Ron grinned at his old friend, "You, no temper?"

"Something dangerous?" Hermione chuckled.

"Yes, ha ha," Harry said.

Hermione giggled.

Nymphadora was smiling at him and he could not help but smile back.

Yule Eve passed with mostly happy people at Grimmauld Place. It was the very best Yule Neville could remember.

Mr. Nott spent the night unconscious. Lord Malfoy and Lady Malfoy were able to celebrate the new addition to their family in relative privacy.

At Hogwarts, Draco Malfoy experienced his first uncertain holiday. No cards, no letters, no secret messages, and no news stories with any leads. He only had Severus's vague assertions that he was sure his parents were alright. But Draco couldn't help wondering if his parents were really safe then why weren't they here? Draco went to bed asking what his future would be. Where were they? What had happened to them? What would keep them from contacting him?

Am I an orphan?

When he woke later in the morning, there were no gifts at the foot of his bed.

His first thought was to blame Potter. His second was to wonder how Harry Potter had handled being an orphan all his life. After all, Harry had only ever gotten letters from professors and in the previous four years had never once gone home for winter break. There had never been anyone waiting for Harry at the train station but the Weasleys.

For all the times Draco had envied the Boy-Who-Lived, he was now praying that he would never have to go through what the famous Harry Potter had. All Draco wanted to do was go home to his parents. He'd have given everything he owned, ever knut in the Malfoy Vault to know if they were alive and well.

Teddy received quite a few books on boxing day. Bill gave him one on goblins and Charlie gave him one on dragons with his personal notes written in the margins.

Remus gave him a novel about a witch who had lived in a forest in America during the 1800s. The cover had an image of a wolf, as apparently the woman had lived and studied a wild of natural, mundane pack of wolves for years. It was one of Remus's favorites.

Nym gave Teddy a set of magical watercolors and colored pencils.

Andromeda had made him a set of new blankets she had embroidered with wolves and falcons.

Harry gave him a letter.

Teddy frowned at the letter but grinned when he opened it up to see the writing was in French. They were all sitting in the living room around a decorated tree, most of the adults were on the couches and in the chairs. The kids, Harry, Nym, Charlie, Bill, and Fleur included, were sitting on the floor. Teddy had quickly become center stage, which may have been due to his age and general cuteness, but it might also have had something to do with his hair turning the color of the wrapping paper he was opening. Metalic Gold and silver stripes being the most impressive hair color.

Teddy shoved it back at Harry, "What does it say?" His grandmama was teaching him French but he was still reviewing basic greetings. As a seven-year-old, he still preferred to be read to than read himself.

"Dear Lord Harry J. Potter,

We are pleased to welcome you to Académie de Magie Beauxbâtons as the new professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts starting in September at the beginning of this coming school year. Your success at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry lends much evidence to your experience teaching at Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the United States. Though admittedly silly, we would like you to take our graduating exams with the seventh years in the spring of 1996 for formal documentation.

We are further pleased to admit your son, Teddy H. Potter into our academy when he comes of age.

Hope you have a wonderful year and we look forward to seeing you in France.

With Much Love,

Headmistress Olympe Maxime

P.S. Please give Albus my thanks for letting you go."

Teddy jumped up and ran at Harry, the biggest of smiles on his face, "We are going to France!? We are really going to France!? You're awesome! Thank you, Daddy! Thank you!"

Harry hugged Teddy tight, "You are most welcome, Teddy/"

The room had a split reaction, pleased for the happy time travelers and an offended silence that Harry would leave them.

"I signed the deed to Andromeda's house over to her," Sirius said.

"It needs a lot of work," Andromeda said, "But I think your new blankets will look good in your new room."

Teddy ran to hug her too, "Love you, Grandmama."

"Ocean view," Harry said with a grin.

"Oh, that is most wonderful!" Fleur exclaimed. "All of it, you will not regret moving to my country."

Bill rubbed his nose trying to hide a frown. Harry might want to move away from his home country but he didn't, he wasn't sure he would move even for Fleur's happiness.

Remus -wisely, kept silent.

Hermione, Ron, and Ginny looked heartbroken.

Molly -not so wisely, voiced her contempt at the idea, "You're moving? You're leaving us?"

"Molly, I love you, you are the closest thing I had to a mother when I was at Hogwarts. But I need to do what is best for my family. The United Kingdom hasn't been our home for a long time and I do not want to try to rebuild a new home here," Harry said calmly.

"But we love you," Molly said, "Home is where the heart is."

"You all broke Daddy's heart. You can't keep him, he's mine," Teddy declared, wrapping his arms around Harry's neck. "We are going to France. You can't stop us."

Molly opened her mouth then hesitated. Not quite sure what to say. Sure she could reprimand the boy for his tone but the boy had a godfather, a grand-godfather, a grandmother, and a grandfather all glaring at her to shut up.

She was saved from coming up with a response due to Hagrid's arrival. Mrs. Black's portrait scowled at the half-breed but held her tongue to watch the living people evolve outside her timeless frame.

Harry stood, Teddy still in arms, to give the big man a hug. The bear hug left both Harry and Teddy gasping for air.

"Look at you, just look at you!" Hagrid was near tears. "What a wizard you became! And look, this must be your son Dumbledore told me about. You look just like your father, you have your grandmother's eyes you know," Hagrid said with a wink to the little boy.

On instinct, Teddy's eyes darkened to Andromeda's chocolate brown, the woman he thought of as his only grandmother. Lily Potter was a very sad tale his father only told him once on Halloween. "Hi, Hagrid," Teddy said shyly. He had known Hagrid from before, but the heavy drinking and somber man that Teddy remembered was not the warm and boustrous person standing before him now.

"Oh, that reminds me, I brought you a gift!" Hagrid said, smiling and reaching behind him. He pulled a cage from his back and inside huddled on the corner of its perch sat a fledgling barn owl. "He's a bit young, to be honest, he will not be able to deliver mail for some time yet. But his parents were lost on duty. He's just old enough to feed himself, he will need a lot of care, but I heard you fancy magical creatures and I thought he-"

"He's the best!" Teddy exclaimed, wiggling out of Harry's arms so he could take the cage. "Thank you, thank you, Hagrid!" He took the cage reverently, gently setting it on the floor and sitting before it waiting for the owl to acknowledge him.

Hagrid laughed, "You know I gave Harry his owl, Hedwig, too."

"She was the best and the first birthday present I ever received. Hedwig was my first true friend."

Ron bit his lip and got up to get a drink of water from the kitchen, Hermione followed him.

"What will you name him?" Hagrid asked Teddy.

"Emma," Teddy said.

"He is a male owl," Hagrid said, his smile unfailing.

"Emma was one of our neighbors," Harry said, "He is a very kind man."

"Ah," Hagrid said in understanding, "I think Emma is fine then."

"Hi, Emma," Teddy said quietly to the owl.

The fledgling barn owl, who still had tuffs of baby feathers, peaked up at Teddy. The owl's blackish eyes taking in every detail of the young wizard, he gave a soft questioning hoot.

Teddy opened the cage door and the owl hopped onto Teddy's arm snuggling into the boy's shoulder. Emma hooted happily, accepting his new human.

Hagrid and Harry smiled at one another. Both understanding that as wonderful and as beautiful as human love and friendship could be, the friendship of animal could teach a you how to be needed and what it felt like to be truly loved -unconditionally and to not question your connection with another living creature. Not everyone felt this way about their pets, but for those who did, they understood that family and love comes in all shapes and sizes. For whatever time they had together their bond would be real.

Harry just hoped Hedwig would like the new addition to their family.

AN: I am running low on what to do. I have one more Voldemort arch and some fluff with the Delacours, a little with Honks, but I have finished the chapter that Voldemort dies in and have started the epilogue. Please tell me what and who you want to see more of before I end this fiction?

P.S. Final battle will be written with both gore and a little silliness because I have twisted sense of humor and this is a fanfiction not a novel. My novels are a lot harsher and I kill my own favorite characters. I want a feel-good ending for this story in which my beloveds don't die. Considered yourselves warned when the end comes.

Chapter 20: Chapter 20

Chapter 20

Hedwig stared at Emma, as Emma waited for judgment. Teddy looked between the two owls worriedly.

Emma took one step towards her on the window ledge, causing her white feathers to bristle. He waited for her to make the next move. She gave one hoot, brushing her wing against his before soaring out the window.

Teddy smiled at his owl, "I think she likes you."

Emma hooted in pleased agreement.

"Ah, Madame Maxime, so good to hear from you," Albus said as he guided the tall woman to a chair. "To what do I owe this pleasure?"

"Oh well, I told Lord Potter to give you my regards, but I had to see you to share the good news in person. Though I suppose it is not as good for you. Of course, you must have been expecting this, you have never been able to hold a professor for that position, have you?" Maxime purred.

It was the first week after winter break had ended and still Albus had no leads in how to handle Voldemort. Maxime's presence was an unwelcome interruption. "My apologies, Madame, I am afraid I am not following you."

"Professor Potter," Maxime clarified, "he listed you as one of his recommendations. You are pleased with him as a professor for the Defensive Against the Dark Arts, are you not?"

Dumbledore frowned, "Of course, Harry has been a most satisfactory professor, perhaps our best for that subject."

Maxime smiled, "Ça c'est bon, I am most pleased. Whatever made you decide to let him go?"

"Let who go?" Albus asked.

"Harry Potter."

Albus blinked, "Pardon me?"

"Harry Potter is coming to teach at my academy this September," Maxime said, her tone smug. "Surely he told you."

"No, he did not," he gritted out.

Fawkes sang gently, cautioning.

Albus ignored his familiar. "When did he apply?"

"December and I accepted him and his son within the week. The name Harry Potter does have weight even on the continent. I suspect it will be quite the blow to your Ministry."

"I think we shall recover," Albus said shortly.

"What reason would he have for not telling you himself, I wonder? Did the two of you have a falling out?"

Albus was saved from a response when a knock came at his door, "Come in, Severus."

Severus came in, exchanging polite greetings with the French Headmistress.

"Severus?" Albus began.

"Yes, Albus?" Severus asked

"Were you aware that Harry had taken a job in France?"

Severus nodded, "The entire staff knows. He has a house in the south of France and they have begun to fix it up."

Albus felt his anger simmering. Harry Potter. His little Harry who had been his devoted follower, been the closest thing he had to a grandson, had cut Albus out of his life. It hurt and it upset the future he had envisioned. Harry and he needed to come to satisfactory terms and him moving to France was unacceptable. Harry was Albus's chosen heir.

Fawkes screeched, the sound slicing through his thoughts. Albus looked at his familiar whose head was turned to the side, one black beady eye was glaring at him. Fawkes flapped his wings angrily.

"Well, I suppose I should be off, you seem to have much to do. Let me know if the Order or Harry needs anything. Merci beaucoup for letting him leave here," Maxime said as she headed toward the fireplace. "And tell Hagrid I say hello." She disappeared into green flames.

Albus turned on Severus, "I did not know about Harry leaving nor did I allow it."

"I don't think he cares what you allow," Severus said dryly.

"Where is he now?"

Severus raised a single brow, "Teaching class, I would presume."

Albus marched around his desk and headed toward his office door.

"Where are you going?" Severus asked.

"I need to speak with him."

Severus caught up to the older wizard's quick steps, "What are you going to do? He's not a child anymore and he's as stubborn as Lily. There isn't anything you can do to force him to stay."

"We'll see," Albus said darkly as he stormed the halls.

Severus was nearly running to keep up, "Don't do anything foolish old man. He isn't your golden boy anymore."

The Headmaster said nothing.

Severus pulled his wand and sent a patronus telling Minerva to go the DADA classroom, immediately.

Again, Albus ignored him.

They reached the doors to Harry's classroom and the doors burst open. Albus almost walked into a shield ward that had activated an inch in front of his nose. The raven haired man himself had positioned himself between his students and Albus, his Holly wand raised.

"Albus?" Harry questioned, "What is this about? What's wrong?" He didn't lower his wand.

"Lower this ward," Albus commanded, "I need to speak with you."

He lowered the ward but not his wand. Frowning Harry said, "I'm teaching a class."

"Oh, my apologies professor," Albus said acridly, "I had thought you preferred French students."

Harry's brows shot up, "Everything Quirrel, Crouch, Pettigrew, Umbridge and Snape has ever done over the last five years didn't phase you but my immigrating gets a public display of angry? Albus, I'm touched."

The pressure in the room seemed to build outward from the Headmaster, the windows creaking. The fifth year students shifted uneasily.

"Cut the crap," Harry said, "What is this really about?"

"This is about you being out of control," Albus snapped.

Harry's nostrils flared.

Hermione, Ron, and Draco exchanged worried looks.

"You mean out of your control. I am an individual, Albus Dumbledore, I am no longer a piece on your board to be maneuvered at your will."

"Why France? Why not go back to Ilvermorny? Did they decline your application?"

"No, I didn't apply for a position at Ilvermorny. I needed to take my family somewhere where the past or rather the future wouldn't haunt us."

"We, the residents of Hogwarts, are your family."

Harry shook his head, "The world is bigger than this school, bigger than Britain and Scotland. You will all go on without me."

"So you'll leave before we've defeated Voldemort?" Albus asked.

Minerva and Filius entered the room at a run, joining Severus as he tried to get the Headmaster's attention without causing a bigger scene in front of the students.

Harry laughed, "You think Voldemort is this society's biggest problem? You think after he dies all the inequality goes away? All the prejudices against no-majs and muggleborns and nonhumans disappears? My son has lycanthropy, even being a baby and the son of the Boy-Who-Lived didn't spare him from the distaste among some here. You think pureblood families who lose their wealth from lack of new income and lose their rights as new progressive laws are implemented take those loses silently? There are reasons why the Wizarding world spawned people like Grindelwald and Riddle. Fundamental things in this society that are broken far below the surface."

"Then stay and fix it!" Albus roared.

"Why!?" Harry yelled back. "Why is it my responsibility to fix yours and my parents' mistakes? I never signed up for this. I never wanted the tragedy or the fame. I followed your insane trail of breadcrumbs because I never believed my life had worth. What did it matter if I died if others lived? The public alternated between worshiping and despising me at a flip of a coin. The first choice that was truly mine was taking Teddy and leaving this place. It was the first choice that led to my happiness in life. At least until your bloody familiar ripped me away from my home."

"This is your responsibility," Albus said. "You are British. Your parents died for you-"

"I am an American. My parents died as all loving parents die for their children. If you think they died for the Greater Good than you have no concept of what it means to love your own child. The world could have been burning down and my mother would have sold her soul to save my life," Harry said, wand pointed to the ground as invisible symbols traced protection wards around the students.

Severus looked pained while Minerva and Filius looked like they would have jumped Albus if they didn't believe it would escalate things further. Harry had been upsetting the old man for months now and everyone has their limits.

"You were meant to stay and be a symbol of good in our society!" Albus shouted with all the disappointment of a broken hearted father whose son has dropped out of school, dropped the family business to join a band and do drugs.

Harry nearly growled. "I am a man not a symbol! I did everything you asked and I lost nearly everything and everyone I loved. Sirius dies, Fred dies, Cedric, Amelia, Emmeliane, Moody, you, Snape, Ted, Nym, Remus, Dobby, Lavender, Colin, Crabbe, Hedwig and so, so many more die for nothing! They died for nothing! I walk these halls and all I see is the rubble and the bodies and remember how our society buckled, afraid of one another, hiding, fear, and animosity. Why should I stay? You pitted children, children against a serial killer and a group of terrorists. You want Britain fixed so badly then stop waiting for a bunch of teenagers to pick up the slack."

"We need you here," Albus said, "That's why Fawkes brought you back."

"I don't care why I was brought back. I'll see these students through this year and I'll take care of the Dark Lord. I'll answer their letters and aid them if they reach out for help, but come September I will not be returning to Hogwarts."

"Coward!" Albus shouted.

"Accio!" Harry roared back, slashing his Holly wand at the Headmaster, summoning the Elder Wand to his left hand. Power rippled through the room. "Funny," Harry said twisting the wand in his hand, "it would seem that the Elder Wand remembers its last master even through time and space."

Albus was wide eyed as whispers rippled through the onlookers.

"You mastered death?" Albus breathed in awe.

"No one can master death, Albus," Harry said, taking the wand between both his hands. "I mastered myself." He snapped the Elder Wand in two.

A rush of energy filled castle and for a moment it was if the world had caught its breath.

"Class dismissed," Harry said to the stunned room before shifting into his kestrel form and flying out the open window.

Harry would fly to the coast, burn the remains of the Elder Wand, and scatter the ashes into the ocean. The sacred three was a thing of the past.

Ron's first thought was that was such a Harry thing to do. What does the man do when he gets a hold of the most powerful weapon in the world? He breaks it so it can't be used for evil, classic Harry Potter.

Hermione was staring at the Headmaster who remained frozen in shock. She had never heard the jolly old man yell before.

"I die?" Lavender asked, breaking the disturbed trance the class had been in.

This pronouncement started a semi-panic. Albus backed out of the room as Minerva, Filius, and Severus took control of the room.

Draco caught up to Ron and Hermione.

"What do you want?" Hermione asked, tone harsh.

"Do you know what he just did, Granger?" he hissed.

"Harry just made an enemy of the Headmaster and left us to deal with a broken future," Hermione said, her eyes were filled with tears of anger. She had always known Harry had had a hard go of things but to leave them, to leave Britain? it wasn't- it hurt her.

"No, I mean yes, but that isn't the important bit," Draco said.

"What is important?" Hermione asked sarcastically.

"Harry breaking the most powerful wand in history is the important bit. The most powerful weapon in the world and he snaps it like a marshmallow stick," Ron said.

"What?" Hermione asked confused.

"The wand, Granger," Draco repeated, "the Elder Wand."

"What does it matter?" Hermione asked.

"It matters," Draco said.

Luna Lovegood appeared around the corner of the hall, Fawkes the Phoenix on her shoulder, she was wearing her radish earrings. The unlikely trio stopped before her.

"Luna?" Hermione asked, "What are you doing?"

"Talking to Fawkes," she answered airly.

"And what has the Phoenix told you?" Draco asked, crossing his arms.

Luna smiled.

Andromeda laughed, "You snapped his wand?"

Ted sank back in his chair as he repeated, "You broke Albus Dumbledore's wand?"

"It was the Elder Wand," Harry said, grabbing a stack of papers and pen with green ink to correct the pile.

"Daddy!" Teddy exclaimed bouncing on the couch nearly spilling the ink.

"Teddy!" Harry said back, bending over to kiss his son's head.

"When are we moving?" he asked.

"Soon," Harry said back.

"How soon?"

"Until butterflies can't get over the property line without out a screening," Harry said, his eyes flicking over the papers. Keywords, correct, order of terms, and full sentences. He underlined two places were the student had copied from the textbook without quoting. It wasn't even a decent quote from that text.

"Daddy," Teddy whined.

"Ted-dy," Harry whined back. "Patience, France isn't going anywhere."

"But you're not happy here," he said.

Harry looked up from the papers, "Are you unhappy here?"

Teddy shrugged, "I want you to be happy."


A loud knocking came on the door and Andromeda stood to open it.

"Hello Severus," she greeted and warned Harry as the Slytherin professor pushed into the room.

"Where is he?" Severus asked.

"Here, Snape, what do you want?"

"You broke Albus's wand."

"You were there," Harry shot back. He stood from the couch.


"Because it was the Elder Wand."

Severus frowned, "That isn't a reason."

"Voldemort goes after it, he kills you and Ollivander and who knows who else in pursuit of it."

"Well Grindelwald and Albus," Andromeda quipped.

"Yeah but he was trying to kill Albus for other reasons," Harry said.

"True enough," she conceded.

"What other reasons did you have for destroying the Death Stick?" Severus demanded.

Harry cast the silencing charm around himself and Severus. Teddy pouted and Harry stuck his tongue out at him before answering Snape, "I survived the killing curse with the three Hallows in my position. Too many people would kill for even the idea that sort of thing."

Severus nodded, "So you destroyed it so no one else could have it?"

"I broke it, I burned it, and I scattered it's the ashes into the ocean. It's gone."

"Can I tell the Dark Lord that?" Severus asked running a hand through his sleek hair.

"Yes," Harry said.

"Thank you," Severus sighed and turned to leave, but Harry stopped him with a hand on the older man's arm.

"The closer we get to winning the more dangerous this becomes for you, doesn't it?"

"Being a spy is always dangerous."

"You should pull out soon."

"I can't simply stop."

"Lucius did."

"So you admit to having him?"

"I admit to nothing," Harry said, "I'm just saying there are ways out that don't end with you in a coffin."

"We all die Potter, besides wouldn't you like a warning before he comes after your son?"

"Snape, I don't like you, you have saved my life on more than one occasions and you were friends with my mother and my father and godfather were pricks to you but none of that makes me like you because from day one you were awful to me."

Severus's expression was very cold when he said, "Your point, Potter?"

"My point is that even if we aren't friends, I don't wish you harm, you have done more for these students than almost anyone. You don't deserve to die a pawn's death."

"And what is a good death?"

"One where you hold back nothing and go out fighting, not hiding in a hole, and not by playing the rules to someone else's game."

Severus stared into those emerald eyes for longer than was polite before saying, "I will think upon what you've said, but as it is I'm late." Harry dropped the silencing ward and Severus left in a swirl of black cloth.

"I need to learn how to do that," Andromeda said.

"You do know how to do that," Harry and Ted said in unison.

"I don't wear cloaks that often," she said.

"No, but you do the same thing with your skirts," Harry said.

She smiled, "So I look cool?"

"Cool and sexy," Ted said.

"And a bit scary," Teddy added, before giving her legs a hug.

Andromeda bent to pick her grandson up in her arms, "Good, I wouldn't want anyone to get the wrong idea about what kind of Grandmother I am."

"The best kind," Teddy said.

She kissed his forehead.

Harry and Nymphadora met up late one Friday night at Grimmauld Place. Sirius and Regulus were out. Narcissa was having cravings which Dobby required money for. The little elf apologized heartily for asking for money and Harry went back out to the bank returning with a sack for Dobby. Harry told him what he didn't need for the prisoners was his paycheck. Dobby cried. Harry pointed out that he wanted some private time with Nym and Dobby popped away, still crying.

"You need to stop getting me clothes," Nym said opening the box.

"I didn't, this is from your mother and she told me to give it you," Harry said.

Nym handed Harry the card which had been resting on a rather familiar baby-blue dress. "The card is addressed to you," she said.

Harry opened the card in Andromeda's beautiful calligraphy. It read simply: For making better memories.

"Why did she sign it 'Wednesday Addams'?" Nym asked.

The last time Harry had touched this dress he'd been throwing it out in a trash bin. Not even magic could fix that much water damage.

"Harry," Nym said, she touched his hand that was trembling ever so slightly. "Harry, are you crying? Are you okay?"

Harry wiped at his eyes, "Yeah, I'm good. I'll leave so you can get changed."

He stood and made for the door but she caught his arm, "Harry, I'm here."

He went to her, kissing her thoroughly before pulling away. "I didn't have as much to lose as your mother did the last time around."

"Sometimes I feel like I don't know her at all, she's more brazen and, well, more powerful than she seemed before," Nym said.

"She died when you and Ted did -if it wasn't for Teddy... I don't think she would have made it through."

"She had you, too," Nym said.

Harry shrugged and kissed her again before saying, "Please change, I have a big night planned for us."

"Harry, it's nearly midnight, the night is almost over."

"Time is all about perspective," he said with a wink, shutting the door behind him.

Nym looked like a movie star or an elven princess in the baby blue dress with her white hair gently curled. The color of the dress brought out the blue of her eyes.

"You look as wonderful as always, and much more beautiful than your mother looked in that dress."

Nym spun causing the layers to spin out. "It's pretty and comfy. Even the heels are nice."

"Perfect for dancing," Harry said with a grin.

"I don't dance."

"Not even the waltz?"

"Okay, I know how to waltz, thanks to my mother, but I am not good at it and I will step on your toes. Besides where do you know that offers waltzing at midnight outside of a muggle fairytale?"

"With magic almost all things are possible."

She opened her mouth to argue.

"Nym, just take my hand. I am wearing a suit and tie for this."

"You look very dashing."

"You are stalling."

She put her hands on her hips, mock scowling at him, "Maybe."

"Are you that afraid of dancing?"

"I am afraid of making a fool of myself in front of you."

"I love you, if you really don't want to go dancing we'll go see a movie or something. I just thought you might enjoy going out and moving your body outside of the gym."

"Will you be mad if I step on your toes?"

"You can stand on my toes as I twirl if you like."


"Just take my hand, Nym, please?"

She did and Harry apparated them West.

Big towering glass and concrete buildings surrounded them as well as masses of No-Majs who did not care about the two well dressed people randomly walking out of dank, deserted alley.

Nym looked around spinning on her heels staring up at the buildings. It was cold but Harry had placed a warming ward on both their outfits.

"Come on this way, Broadway street is horrid but oddly fastaning," Harry said pulling her hand. The Christmas lights were still up and around Rockefeller square.

"We're in New York?" she asked excitedly as she gaped at the lights in the trees.

"You said you wanted me to show you America. I'll take you to the Berkshires in the autumn -unless you want to go skiing, autumn is really their best season."

Nym skipped, literally began skipping down the street, grabbing a hold of Harry's hand and leading him through the crowd as she tried to see everything and everyone.

"That's so weird," she said as they reached Broadway. "It's as bright as daylight."

"Only gaudier," Harry said turning away from a sign the must have been seizure inducing for people with epilepsy.

"Not a fan of musicals?"

Harry smiled, "Oh no, I love musicals, Andromeda and I take, Teddy all the time. He's partial to theTPhantom of Opera and The Lion King, I myself prefer Wicked."

"What's Wicked?"

"A musical about a green and white witch, sort of a spin off of the Wizard of Oz," Harry explained.

"Oh I loved that movie, or my father does, my favorite scene was the scene in the woods with the toucan. A live toucan, I thought it was the funniest thing that none of the characters reacted to it."

"Where in that movie was there a toucan?" Harry asked.

"When she enters the woods with Scarecrow."

"I'll have to rewatch it then. I am glad the French house has electricity, unlike Hogwarts."

She smiled up at him, steps still light as she pulled him through the crowds. "I would like to see this Wicked musical. I'm guessing the green witch is the Wicked Witch of the West?"

"That she is, and it came out two years a-" Harry stopped and recalculated, "I think it comes out in 2003."

"Harry, that's seven years from now."

"I am sure there are other musicals between now and then you would like to see. You do like musicals, don't you?" Harry asked.

"Of course! We'll have to take my dad, he took us to a lot of theatres when I was little."

"Sounds like a great family outing," Harry said smiling and took the lead directing them towards their true destination.

Nym couldn't wipe the grin off her face. When Harry said family, he meant hers.

Once they were past the lights Harry pulled her into another alley and apparated them further uptown. They walked into a group of heavily dressed people emerging from limos. There were three groups of people, really rich old people, the single children of the really rich old people, and the grandchildren of the really rich old people. Most of them were dressed to the nines.

"Harry, all these women are wearing ball gowns," she whispered as they waited in line.

He whispered back, "Yes, and your pretty little ankles are going to scandalize them all."

She huffed at his joke, but he was right, her mother's dress, though form fitting, had several petticoats and reached past her knees, she wasn't as fancy as the people around her wearing diamonds and furs but Harry wasn't wearing tails or cufflinks either. Looking at him, she wasn't sure there was anywhere she would feel out of place if he was beside her. He so self-assured, he was tall with an impressive line of shoulders, he had a narrow waist and it was true his hair was still a mess but his eyes more than made up for his disheveled hair. The glasses made him look more mature. Anyone with an interested in men was shooting them glances, married or no, or maybe they were looking because it was winter and they weren't wearing coats or looking cold.

"Sir?" the Bouncer asked, "I'm sorry, I'm not sure you are on the list."

"You didn't ev-"

Harry squeezed Nym's hand, and began in the most ostentatious British accent -just this side of real enough to be believed, "In the future, I shall be rethinking my annual donations to this establishment if this is how I shall be greeted at the door, in the cold no less, with a lady I aim to impress. There are two tickets under the name Mr. and Mrs. Black." He snapped his fingers at the man's clipboard.

Wandless magic, small, not that impressive, after all, it was just a name on a list, be highly useful.

Flustered the man looked down at his list, "I'm so sorry, Sir, Ma'am go right ahead in."

Harry turned up his chin and led Nym. She hadn't realized how present his American accent was until he switched back to British though- "That is not your Surry accent."

Harry grinned at her, "Course not," he said with the Surry accent, and bent to whisper in her ear, "But put a bit of attitude with the smoother sounding British accents and you can talk your way into almost anything in America."

"I think the Queen of England might take you in with the fake one."

"Who says it is fake?" Harry winked at her, "The Queen has a good sense humor."

She blinked, "You've met the Queen?"

"Haven't you?"


"Coats…?" the coatman trailed trying not to frown at them.

"We gave them to someone in need on our way in," Harry said with the highbrow accent as they entered a room that was all marble floors and Rococo walls.

"Harry this place is-"

"Morbidly pretty and hideous all in one go?" he completed for her.

She laughed, "Yeah, that about covers it."

"Well, we aren't here for the decore, we're here for them," Harry said, indicating a small orchestra setting up off to the side of the dance floor. "There is no country waltz music here, they are the real deal."

"Do you really donate to this place? And why use Black as your surname?"

"On a teachers salary? No. Though I suppose now that I have my vaults back I could but I don't come here often. And even in America, Potter is not an impressive name."

"Harry Potter is one of the most famous names around the world."

They made it to the center of the dance floor.

Harry smiled, "But in the No-Maj world my fame means nothing and I prefer it that way."

The music started, and Harry was absolutely correct about the musicians being worth their conspicuous setting. The music swelled and broke upon the group pulling them all into a dance. It was fast paced as people swirled around on the room.

Harry had to do a lot of work to make up for her dancing skills. He would add an extra step or five when she misstepped or hopped, a move that made Harry grin every time. When she tripped, he swung her into a dip or spun her. He recovered her every mistake and to the outsider they must have looked like two of the best dancers on the floor.

A man tapped on Harry's shoulder and asked to dance with Nym.

Harry gave Nym a questioning look and she shrugged. Harry bowed to them both and they switched partners. Harry stayed close as the blue eyed stranger took Nym's hand, putting the other low on her waist.

She stepped on the man's toes, and nearly kneed him between the legs when he tried to twirl her. "You are a horrid dancer," he told her, his blonde hair falling forward into his eyes.

Harry stepped closer releasing the raven haired beauty that he hadn't given a second glance to.

Nym grabbed him by the lapel and yanked him to her side. "No sir," she tried her own mock uppercrust accent, though not her normal accent it was better than anything the average American could have pulled off. "You are a terrible dancer and have no I idea how to properly treat a lady." She turned to Harry who swept her into the next song.

Harry was laughing.

"Thank you for this, Harry."

He smiled down at her, "You really are a lovely dancer."


"You're not the most graceful person on the floor, but your a really fun partner."

"It's the skirts, they'd make anyone look good."

Harry shook his head, Nym was beautiful and fun and present. "I love you," he said.

She grinned up at him, "Me too."

They danced for three hours and by the end of it they were both sweaty and hungry. They had dinner at a bar and grill. They ate appetizers at the bar and chatted with each other, the bartender, and the random people who sat next to them. One memorable man told them a story about his time on an oil rig and how he had stolen his girlfriend's cat. The man said there was something terribly wrong with the cat because it liked to swim in the ocean. One day sharks came around and he didn't see the cat for weeks. Then right before he was headed back to the mainland the cat showed up.

He named the cat Jonah, saying it was God's will that the cat be regurgitated by the shark for him to tell people the will of God.

As soon as the man left back to his table Harry and Nym broke down in tears of laughter.

They got a hotel room for the night, one bed, and two bathrooms. They finished their showers and came out at the same time in their underthings. They kissed passionately as the struggled to get under the covers and hold each other at the same time. But the moment they were both prone exhaustion and the two drinks they had had overcame them. Their first night in a bed together, they slept, dreaming of each other as they rested in the other's arms.

It was the first time since returning to the past without a potion Harry didn't have a single nightmare.

AN: Sorry that took so long, my family has been using my PC for job applications. Thank you to all my reviewers. A warm shout out to Seprith Li Castia, I like people's reactions and thoughts more than anything else, thank you so much for sharing that with me.

Prequel Note: Three weeks after a war nobody is going to be completely clear headed. I like Ron, but I am not that good at writing him. He has a short temper and has a hard time understanding complex emotions, his own included. That's why I always feel like he comes off as a prick.

A few people commented that Harry was the 'bad guy' with Ginny and the Weasleys, well cannon Harry's major flaws was not opening up to people who cared about him and taking on too much responsibility. Harry would never cross Andromeda's privacy by complaining about how much help she needed. I wanted to write the prequel to show Harry as cannon and how seven years being a dad and a professor helped him grow up into my OOC version of Harry. Did I succeed? That is up to you to decide.

ANII: Let me know if you think the romance scenes are working? I am not sure about how in depth I should be going there. I will only go as far as implying M scenes only as I am keeping this as a T rating. The action scenes are building in the background, but in the story timeline they need a few weeks to boil over.

Chapter 21: Chapter 21

WARNING: I wrote this chapter for myself. I realized a week ago that no ending, planned or otherwise is going to please all 3,000 followers. Some may find this chapter a little silly, a little fast, and a little unrealistic but it is truly how I picture my somewhat jaded, traumatized, and insanely powerful characters responding to the events. Thank you all, especially the reviewers who have helped me through a difficult time in my life over the last two months.

AN: Someone pointed out that I never explained why Nym's hair is primarily white and her eyes typically blue. In an earlier chapter I meant to say that Nym is working on holding one form longer to build up an endurance for undercover work, also it is a comfortable form for her. She doesn't stay in that one form constantly but for this fic it how Harry sees her most often ... mostly ... ;)

Chapter 21

"You look extra perky today," Kingsley said.

Nym blushed, "Harry showed me the house in France yesterday."

"Did he now? And how was the house? Solid walls? Sturdy furniture?" His deep rumbling voice was almost a purring.

She glared at him, her hair turning a rich dark brown. Her face still flushed, she asked, "How can you say stuff like that and still sound cool?"

Kingsley grinned, "My maternal grandfather was a singer-songwriter, my mother said I got it from him. If the stories people tell about him are be believed he could charm his way into any place at any time. But speaking of the sounds a person's voice can make and appearances, does Harry have any preferences? You can be anyone of any shape, right? Does Harry ever ask for anything kinky."

Nym looked away, "Why would I tell you that?"

"So he does!" Kingsley grinned, his white teeth flashing.

"No," she defended, "he doesn't."

"Come now, Tonks, everyone has some kink, and we are friends, aren't we?"

Nym shook her head, "Harry is not the kinky one, comparatively speaking anyway."

"Do tell," Kingsley said, resting his chin on his hands, elbows on his desk, for all the world a teenager waiting for the scoop. Yet his presence was such that in spite of the juvenile act she was not lulled into forgetting that this minister sitting across from her, their containers of take out food between them, was one of the most powerful Aurors to ever walk through the halls of the British Ministry of Magic.

"Well," Nym said not entirely sure sharing with him was the best idea, but over the years her other friends had drifted away. Kingsley was the closest friend she had outside of Harry. "-in the act, my control isn't really at its best and well, I kind of switch between or fluctuate through a number of forms."

Kingsley, noticing that her demeanor was serious, straightened up in his seat. He asked, "Does Harry mind?"

"No but I- um, I-" she could not put it into words her face flaming again, her freckles emerging like a speckled band across her face.

"You what?"

She took a deep breath, "Well we have been intimate for more than a month now and-"

"Is Harry Potter good in the sac?"

She rolled her eyes before meeting his gaze then, a wicked glint in her eyes. Her hair shifting to a deep auburn, she smiled, "Oh he's good, very, very good, but um… as we have gotten to know each other he's gotten even better at hitting my hot keys."

"I'm sorry," he said, "But I do not see the problem with that."

"He got better at going down on me."

Kingsley frowned, "I thought women liked that."

"We do, or at least I do, love it, in fact, maybe a little too much," she said.

"Again, I am not seeing the problem."

"I got too excited."

"It's sex, Tonks, you're supposed to get overly excited," he said.

"I shifted."

"So? I thought you said Harry didn't min-"

"Kingsley," she interrupted, "I shifted genders."

A long pause, and then Kingsley was roaring with laughter, "Did he continue? Oh Merlin, please tell me, he kept going?"

She smiled sweetly at him, "That's for me and Harry to know."

"Tonks," he nearly wined.

There was a pounding on the door and Kingsley's secretary let himself in, sweating and in a panic, the secretary said, "Hogsmeade is under attack!"

"Luna, are you sure this is a good idea?" Ron asked, staring down at the shifting trees through his invisible stead.

"Fawkes said we needed to leave now," Luna sang back.

"But to where?" Hermione asked, Ron clinging to her as she clung to the Thestral.

"We have to stop Voldemort's followers from getting into to Hogwarts," Neville shouted.

"Yes, but where?" Hermione repeated.

"Oh shut up, Granger," Draco yelled as he stayed glued to Neville's back. "I need to find my parents."

"Fawkes said that we were needed-" Luna started.

"Why do we think we will be more good than the adults at fighting Voldemort?" Hermione interrupted.

"Because it is a Friday afternoon and Harry is France with his family and no one else would listen to us," Ron said loud enough to be heard over the wind as they sped over the Forbidden Forest. The lake was a shining disk below them.

"Maybe he hasn't left to the border yet," Hermione said, ever the voice of reason.

"Granger!" Draco yelled, "Potter is not always going to be a hero, he isn't around to help us."

"Or maybe he is!" Luna cheered, pointing to an orange-white-blue-grey speck flying at them.

The kestrel squawked and screeched and tweeted at them as they were approaching the Hogsmeade barrier. Harry transformed landing behind Luna, the Thestral at once taking orders from his leg pressure that directed the skeletal and bat-winged horse back in the direction of Hogwarts.

"What are you five doing!?" Harry roared at them, as all the Thestrals followed his lead. "I saw you through my classroom window, and knew it had something to do with you lot. Thestrals don't fly in the day on their own."

"The Dark Lord is attacking-" Draco started.

"I realize there are only a few weeks of the year left but all of you are getting detention with me for the rest of term," Harry snapped, "I am disappointed in all of you."

Neville looked the most affected by those words, here was the man who had given him back his parents.

"Harry," Luna said, "The Dark Lord is attacking Hogsmeade."

Harry cursed, "You all go back to the castle, I will be paying each of your parents a visit and one hundred points from each of you. If you don't stay in the castle I promise that I will make your lives hell."

Harry started to back up to jump off Luna's Thestral when Draco called, "You can't go to mine, my parents are gone."

Harry shook his head, "They are in hiding Draco, Narcissa is having another baby."

Draco gaped at him.

"Go back to the castle and stay there!" Harry ordered as he flung himself off the Thestral. Shifting mid-fall, he flew with all his might to Hogsmeade where Andromeda had gone ahead of him with Teddy to apparate to the continent.

Hogsmeade was in chaos. Stores were on fire, homes were shambles, and people and Death Eaters were fighting in the streets. Voldemort and his followers had drawn up wards around the town to prevent people from disapparating away to safety.

Aberforth was guarding the backs of a group of elderly and young people running for the hills. He transfigured barriers to stop the unforgivables and shields for other hexes and curses.

By the time the Aurors arrived the battle would likely be decided.

Andromeda was in single combat with Lord Voldemort. Teddy stepping nimbly and keeping quiet as he hid behind her skirts. Andromeda wand flashed like a sword before her, unlike Harry, she was not the best in defensive magic. She knew a few shield charms but in a duel, her tactic had always been throw as many offensive spells and curses in such a way that most would term it as inhumanly possible.

The Dark Lord took more steps backward than forward, barely fending off her attacks. He was not used to fighting people who used the Dark Arts, not on a professional level. The closest he had gotten to this style of dueling was his sparring matches with Bella so many years ago. Except he had trained Bella, it would appear the Black family had groomed Andromeda in the old ways. He narrowed his red eyes at the witch before him that so much resembled his creature, his Bella. It hurt some unnamable part of him that this doppelganger of his Bellatrix opposed him.

"You could have been great Andromeda Black!" he called to her, having to side step a razer blade manifestation of black smoke. "Wondrous even!"

"I am great, Tommy! And I have always been wondrous. It is you who never amounted to anything other than a scar upon humanity!" Andromeda shot back, painfully aware of the grandson she was concealing behind her. She could not let Teddy come to harm and she could not die in front of him. She could not do that to him, not to this little boy who had saved her so many times over.

"But you could have been more, look at you! You are no white witch, you have always belonged to the Dark side, join me and you will be rewarded!" Voldemort offered her.

"I was born to the dark, Tom, I know it intimately and when I was young I let it consume me. But I was stronger than it, stronger than sides, I trusted my own judgment and led my own life away from your butchery!" she said, hoping that she could punch at his ego and keep him talking. If he talked long enough, she might find an opening to get Teddy away from here.

"Bella was the most beautiful creature in this world, you could be her," he simpered.

White hot rage filled Andromeda's veins, "She was beautiful and fragile and you shattered her. You remade her into a monster."

"She was no monster, she was your sister."

"You killed my sister! She was never a good person but the light was as much a part of her as the dark, by destroying the one you destroyed the whole!" Teddy almost didn't step back in time as Andromeda was forced to back up and simultaneously step to the side to avoid a purple colored curse.

"Bella was a work of art," Voldemort said, the barest hint of remorse in his voice. A man losing his favorite toy.

"She was not a piece of art, she was a person!" Andromeda bellowed as her wind curse nearly swept the Dark Lord off his feet. "She never belonged to you or to Lestrange. Bella was never meant to be anyone's, except for being our big sister!"

The Dark Lord stumbled.

And Harry Potter landed before his godmother and godson, wand striking with the ferocity of lightning. Voldemort did no more talking as Harry and Andromeda double teamed him.

Teddy danced behind his guardians, being sure to stay behind Grandmama's skirts so the Dark Lord could not see him. He looked up at his father, prayer to any power that might hear him that they would all be alright. Teddy wanted to call out to his father, to have him comfort him, but Teddy was afraid to distract him.

"I can't apparate out," Andromeda said to Harry as her curses got bolder and deadlier.

Harry was drawing wards frantically between hurling spells at Voldemort. He knew these wards by heart and could have fought and drawn them at the same time if only- he had two wands… Harry unsheathed the Rowan wand and began doing just that. His focus was spliced as he tried to keep track of Andromeda and Teddy, the chaos around them, and the Dark Lord in front of them. His pulse was hammering. Even as Andromeda's and his advantage grew, even as the Aurors arrived and began picking off Death Eaters and calming down the screaming civilians, Harry was hampered from letting loose his full power in his effort to shield and defend rather than simply slaughter the piece of noseless-crap before him.

Harry cursed, "Damn Fawkes!"

Said phoenix flamed into existence between Andromeda and Harry, trilled a pretty song, and flamed away, whisking Teddy off with him.

"Bless him," Andromeda said, her relief nearly stunning her.

As one Harry and she stepped forward their power and their magic bringing the Dark Lord to his knees.

Harry focused on Voldemort's right red eye and from the depths of his being bellowed, "Reducto!"

It was a simple spell and yet there was so much power poured into, the Holly wand feeding on the rage, mutating the spell into something unstoppable and perfectly deadly as it pierced that one red eye.

Tom Riddle Jr.'s brains exploded, his other internal organs frying and boiling instantaneously. The corpse slumped backwards into the green grass

Harry approached the cadaver cautiously. When he could detect no forms of life, he kicked it; repeatedly. Andromeda came over, checked its pulse before pulling Harry back and setting it on fire.

Harry and Andromeda looked into flames for a long moment, neither smiling, before they focused on the world around them. Nymphadora caught her mother's gaze and then Harry's, giving them a signal. A signal that Hogsmeade was in the all clear. There were a few casualties lying in the street, a lot of destroyed buildings, though the fires were being put out, yet the damage was practically insignificant to the toll of the Battle of Hogwarts from their past.

Harry's knees were suddenly weak and he sat on the ground, watching Riddle's body burn. "This better be the last time I kill this bastard or I am going to find a way to kill Death from that stupid Beedle the Bard story."

"Harry," Andromeda said sitting beside him on the side of the road, the grass soft against her fingers. "You can't kill Death."

"I think I've accomplished less logical things in my life," Harry said, running a hand through his hair, "That Buzzard had better have brought Teddy back somewhere safe."

"I think that buzzard, also respectfully called Fawkes the Phoenix, is aware that you would kill him."

"He better be aware," Harry said darkly.

"You can go find out," she suggested.

"I need to see the body be ash and then scatter the ashes. I am glad Ted is a at work."

"Me too," Andromeda said and summoned a bag of marshmallows.

"What are you doing?" Harry asked, giving her an specaltive look.

She summoned long sticks and put a marshmallow on each, before she could roast them over the pyre Harry stopped her.

Grabbing her hands, he said, "You cannot cook marshmallows over a dead body and it is unsanitary."

She pouted at him, "But I what else are we supposed to do while we wait." She held up the bag, "I have marshmallows."

Harry sighed and accioed over a few broken planks from a destroyed building and lit a bonfire a little aways from Riddle's the pyre. "There," he said.

She kissed him on the cheek and handed him a marshmallow stick. For a while that is all they did as they waited for the body to become ash.

Eventually Kingsley, Amelia, Sirius, and Nym joined them, each summoning their own marshmallow stick. Harry had to redirect Sirius too from cooking his marshmallow over Riddle's corpse.

"How many times have you killed him now?" Sirius asked, "Including the Horcruxes?"

"All together at least fifteen times," Harry said.

Kingsley shook his head, "You say that like it's normal."

"What is normal?" Harry asked. "I've died twice or is it thrice? I don't know if what Fawkes did to us counts."

Sirius said, "Well Voldemort is dead now."

"How many casualties?" Harry asked Amelia.

"None, surprisingly. These are lesser Death Eaters and they were more interested in the torture curse than the killing curse. One guy lost an arm and a leg, the rest should recover, at least physically," Amelia said.

"It was good we heard about the attack so soon," Nym said. "Some girl, Luna Lovegood I think her name was, fire called Sirius who got word to the ministry."

Harry wanted to ask how Luna would have known to or how to contact Sirius but then it was Luna Lovegood which was almost answer enough within itself.

"So it's better," Harry said. "Better than it was the first time." He felt strangely numb, strangely distant, he should be ecstatic. But as he watched Riddle's body burn and ate the marshmallow all his worries seem to compound upon him. A part of him felt like he was watching his own funeral pyre burn. If he could be ripped out of time once who's to say it will not happen again?

Their little party was somber and when the ashes had cooled Harry gathered them up and buried some in the Forbidden Forest and the rest he chucked in the ocean. Tom Riddle Jr. would never again walk among the living, his soul, and his remains beyond repair or discovery.

Harry ended that night in his new house, in their home with his family. Teddy smiled and laughed as his grandparents read him a story in the living room. Sirius sat at Andromeda's left adding in funny noises as the story progressed.

Harry sat in a chair alternating his view between Teddy and the was pretty sure he was in shook, it was the only way to explain this non-feeling.

Nym came into the room holding a tray of mugs, passing one out to everyone.

Teddy made an hmmm sound of approval after taking a sip, licking his lips like he might have in his canine form.

Nym came to him with two mugs, one for him and one for herself. She sat across his lap, her heart shaped face smiling at him gently. "Hot chocolate is the one the only thing for which I am competent at making in the kitchen."

Harry took a sip and he nearly repeated Teddy's hmmmm sound aloud. His body began to fill with warmth as he took several more sips of hot chocolate. It was like he was recovering from a Dementor attack.

"Harry?" Nym questioned.

He looked down into her face, her eyes, and saw only love there. Harry looked around the room and realized there was only love here. What had been a ceaseless worry, driving him mad since returning to this time broke in him. Breaking a dam inside him that had been holding back all the possibilities and hopes and dreams that Harry had kept himself from fully acknowledging filled him, flooded his insides.

He had everything he could have asked for and more. His future was bright, his son's future was bright. He took Nym's mug and his own, placing them on the coffee table before he hugged. Hugged her tight, breathing her in, his lungs expanding fully for the first time in nearly a year. She hugged him back.

"Group hug!" Teddy declared, and suddenly Harry and Nymphadora found themselves buried under a pile of bodies. Ted, Nym, Sirius, and Teddy laugh uproariously.

It had been worth this, it all had been worth this. Lily's sacrifice, Harry's first life that had led him to Teddy and Andromeda, and Harry's second life that had given him back a godfather and Andromeda her husband. Fawkes had given them a chance to take back their lives. In just saving Nym's life, the phoenix had given her the chance at a full life, Harry a chance with the love of his life, Andromeda back her daughter, and given Teddy back a mother he had never met.

Harry Potter had suffered, he had been broken, had been made to do terrible things, had made terrible mistakes, and he had died. Yet he would continue his life with a kind heart because he had found every kind of love in his rebirth.

AN: Thank you all for sticking with me! After-war scenes and 19 years letter epiloguelogue will be up by the end of the week to say that I finished 100,000 word plus story in two months :D

ANII: To answer Kingsley's question, yes, he did, because long live pansexuality! (my Harry gets to reflect me)

Please, please share with me your reactions and thoughts?

MESSAGE FROM THE AUTHOR: Much love to everyone, I wish you all happiness and love because you are all deserving of respect and finding a home either within yourself or with a family somewhere in this big wide world.

Chapter 22: Chapter 22

AN: Is the story over? No, we haven't finished the year yet. We have OWLs and Dumbles and Malfoys and Delacours and to France. I know I disappointed a lot of people and I thank you for your time and letting me share my story with you. The following chapter(s ?) will have a much happier, less anxiety ridden Harry. I got surgery on my right arm that is why this chapter took so long to come out.

Writing Point: I write action the way the main characters experience it, Voldemort lasted about twenty minutes, tops thirty from the point of arriving at Hogsmeade to Harry blowing his brains out. This story was never about Harry killing Voldemort, a Voldemort with no horcruxes and almost no allies. A part of the last chapter being so silly was because I don't see Harry's identity as revolving around Voldemort's existence.

Personal Point: I have never fallen in love. So I don't personally know what it feels like to fall in love which makes it difficult to write the falling in love part, even with the number of books I read. That is why I said I wasn't good at writing romance. When I write my own novels I start the characters off in a relationship because I do understand what qualifies as a healthy or unhealthy relationship because I have lived that. My Harry never stuck with a girl because he was more concerned with being a father, however, he is a kind hearted person who is extremely responsible, he wasn't going to be the one to screw things up with Tonks even if he doubted himself.

Chapter 22

Albus sat alone in his office overlooking the Hogwarts grounds.

Tom Riddle had launched a full scale attack on Hogsmeade. Albus knew he had been after Teddy Potter, Harry's glaring weakness. Yet Andromeda Tonks had held the Dark Lord off while Albus's own brother Aberforth kept most of the residents of Hogsmeade safe. A few students had alerted Sirius who had alerted the Aurors who ultimately saved the day. The same students who had alerted Harry to the attack.

Lord Voldemort did not last five minutes against Harry Potter. The whole 'battle' had lasted only twenty minutes.

Twenty minutes. All of Albus's planning and plotting. Twenty minutes. What would have happened had he told Harry the truth about the prophecy? Harry was James's son, brave and he was Lily's son, pure hearted. If Harry had had a good childhood, fame or no would he still have been able to take the Dark Lord? Equals, they had been marked equals. What would have happened if he Albus had fought with Tom more directly? What if he had gone hunting for Tom?

What if I had found a way to remove the cursed mark from Harry without the killing curse?

There was a polite knock on his door.

"Come in," Albus welcomed halfheartedly.

The door opened and Fawkes began singing.

Albus wanted to sink into his chair and hide as Harry said, "Hi Fawkes."

Fawkes trilled happily.

Harry huffed a laugh, and Albus sat very still as Harry sat in the chair beside him. They waited together in silence for the other to speak.

Finally, Harry said, "I don't regret it."

Albus didn't look at him, "What don't regret, Professor Potter?"

"Harry," Harry corrected.

Albus waited.

Harry sighed, closing his eyes he said, "I don't regret any of it, I mean I messed up along the way in both timelines, but I don't regret it bringing me here. If every step I took led me to this than I cannot regret it."

"You don't have to forgive, Harry," Albus said still looking out the window.

Harry reached out and touched the older man's hand, finally, Albus looked at the other wizard. "I can't say you haven't hurt me, because you have, but nothing you have done to me was done out of hatred or indifference, I know that."

Albus didn't move his hand under Harry's, though he wanted to, "I did cause you harm."

"You did and the worst of that hurt happened because I loved you and no matter what happened to me I never gave up loving you, never gave up wanting to make you proud."

A tear spilled from Albus's eye, "I have always been proud of you, Harry. You are a better man than I have ever been."

"Lately, I feel like all I have been doing is spitting at you. I wasn't this angry at the end of the war."

"I was dead, it is harder to be mad at the dead, they have moved on from our lives."

Harry shook his head, "Maybe I didn't let myself be angry. I never truly moved on from your death."

"The damage I caused was too deep," Albus said looking back out the window.

"Was I ever more to you than chess piece?" Harry asked.

Albus whipped his head around to look at him, "You were the closest thing I had to a son, I have always loved you. I kept my distance to do what I felt needed to be done but despite every effort, I could not stop myself from loving you, you and your brave heart."

Harry was quiet for a long moment, "I would have liked to be your son, damaged love and all."

Harry squeezed Albus's hand whose fingers squeezed back. Harry stood, letting go. He left, leaving Albus alone with Fawkes. The phoenix flew to Albus's lap, resting his head on the Headmaster's heart. Albus cried, realizing that despite it all Harry cherished him still.

Draco looked at his mother and his most prevalent thought was focused on how fat she looked. She was really, really fat. She was flat on her back, dripping with sweat in the hospital bed.

His dad giving him a one armed hug snapped him out of his thoughts. "Give your mother a kiss and we can go wait in the hall."

"You know my husband stayed with me," Aunt Andromeda said from his mother's bedside. The two sisters were holding hands.

"Your husband is a healer," Lucius snapped at her.

"I don't want him here to see me like this," Narcissa said between controlled breaths, waving him out.

Draco kissed his mother's damp cheek before hurriedly exiting the room. His father followed and they sat together on a bench outside the door.

"So," Draco started, "I am going to have a sibling."

"Two, actually," Lucius said.

Draco looked up at his father with panicked eyes, "Twins?"

Lucius smiled thinly, "No. Theodore Nott will be moving in with us this summer."

He sighed in relief before frowning, "What happened to Mr. Nott?"

Lucius bent down to whisper in his son's ear, "I killed him."

"You what?" he asked pulling back fast.

"Don't worry about it, no one will find his body and Harry Potter was the only one to see me do it," Lucius said in a low voice.

Draco's face drained of blood.

"Relax Draco, he needed to be put down."

"But you're okay with Professor Potter knowing?"

"I think Potter would have done it himself if I hadn't."

They waited in silence as muffled screaming came from the room behind them.

Five hours later, they were called in.

Narcissa was soaked in sweat, her blonde hair plastered to the back of her neck. In her arms was swaddled a sleeping baby.

"Boy or girl?" Lucius asked coming to her side as Draco stood awkwardly at the foot of the bed.

"Girl," she said smiling down at the babe.

Lucius smiled, "Her name?"

She looked up at her husband her eyes filling with tears even as her smile stayed, "Belladora."

Lucius nodded, "Belladora Malfoy." He put a hand on the baby, his heart swelling.

Draco watched the happy family, his happy family. The baby looked kinda ugly to him. He flinched when a hand landed lightly on his shoulder. He looked up to see his Aunt Andromeda smiling softly down at him.

"It might not seem like it now but you are going to love that little girl more than you knew you were capable of loving anyone," Aunt Andromeda said.

Draco gave her a skeptical look.

She laughed, deep and rich. "It will sneak up, one moment she will be the most annoying nuisance on the planet the next you will not be able to picture the world without her."

The following week every student in the fifth and seventh year were studying for their exams. Harry's classroom had become a sort of free for all. If there wasn't a class than there at least twenty students at any given point practicing their practicals there as it was the only classroom with enough safety processions that they weren't afraid of blowing something up or falling on their butts. Harry, Minerva, and Filius took it in shifts to babysit the room and help give pointers to those practicing.

Ron, Hermione, Neville, Draco, and Luna found themselves cleaning that classroom every night in silence with muggle cleaners.

Harry gathered the lot of them on the last night before the exams started to ask, "What the bloody hell were you thinking?"

Four fingers pointed at Luna.

Harry's response to this was "A hundred and fifty points from Gryffindor and fifty points from Slytherin for pointing at another student. You were all to blame so use your words and tell me what happened."

"Fawkes started talking to me a few months ago," Luna said airily. "He used real words, human words."

Draco muttered, "I don't know why I believed her, birds can't talk."

"Yes," Harry said, "Fawkes can speak in English. What did he tell you?"

"Well, at first he just said the Dark Lord was gathering his forces against you and that we could stop him," she said.

"How exactly?" Harry asked.

"Fawkes showed us the Room of Requirement," Hermione said. "There were so many books so we started training and well we thought we might stan-"

"I thought it might help me find my parents," Draco interrupted.

"You cut us out mate," Ron said to Harry, "To be a part of it all then to be not…"

"To be safe, you mean," Harry said, "I kept you safe, all of you."

"If it wasn't for us the Dark Lord would have gotten your son and Aurors wouldn't have gotten there in time to save Hogsmeade," Hermione defended.

Harry sighed, "I can't deny that."

"Will you give us our points back, then?" Neville asked hopefully.

"No, your reward is saving people and not get yourselves dead. The lack of points if for nearly getting yourselves dead because if I had not caught up with you, you might have been."

"We lost the House Cup because of that though!" Ron exploded.

"Looks like it's between Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw then," Harry said dryly.

"That isn't fair," Ron said.

Harry rolled his eyes, "Ms. Lovegood, how did you know to call Sirius?"

"Fawkes told me, as Dumbledore's familiar he is a sort of an extension of him so he could act as a secret keeper too."

"Did you truly believe you were going to face the Dark Lord?" Harry asked.

"Fawkes said we needed to ride the Thestrals towards Hogsmeade. I think he meant for you to see us. It was odd timing that the Dark Lord knew Teddy would be without you, don't you think."

Harry shook his head, "All he would have needed was someone stationed in Hogsmeade to call a signal when they say Teddy and Andromeda without me."

"But the wards?" Hermione pointed out.

"Those he could have been putting down for months. Some words you can lay out and active much later from their placement," Harry explained.

"Oh," she said.

"Did you really think we would have died?" Neville asked.

Harry shrugged, "Someone did die the last time we tried something like this, but it is true that in the fifth year none of us child soldiers died. Draco wasn't even there."

"If you did it why are you punishing us so hard now?" Ron asked.

"Because speaking as someone who was able to go back and save my godfathers life, I am grateful I was able to undo what I had done," Harry said. "Had I trusted Professor Snape a bit more it would have been alright."

"I wish you weren't leaving," Hermione said.

Harry smiled, "You don't need me as much as you think."

"Yes, we do," Hermione said.

"Look at this way, Hogwarts is still standing and look at yourselves, Slytherins and Gryffindors, and Ravenclaws all getting along. It is up to you if your parents, if the generations that came before you will define your future."

Never in the history of Hogwarts had students passed their Defense Against the Dark Arts with so universally high scores. Not a single student received less than an acceptable.

More remarkable was the Weasley twins not receiving less than acceptable in every NEWT exam they took. They were fully graduated, ready to open their Joke Shop.

Hufflepuff won the House Cup.

Harry and Snape were grudging friends.

Filius, Minerva, Charlie, Bill, the Delacours, and the Malfoys (Theo included) came to every holiday at the Potter-Tonks house. Albus, Snape, and Remus came to every Summer Solstice.

Teddy and Gabrielle were having tea on the window seat of the Delacour home.

Harry, Andromeda, Bill, and the older Delacours were smiling at one another. "They would make a fine match," Mrs. Delacour whispered.

"Well they have some time yet before they decide," Harry said.

"Besides," Mr. Delacour said, "Our daughter his three years his senior."

"They are so cute," Fleur said.

To which, they all agreed.

"How do you like teaching in France?" Bill asked.

Harry was just starting his second month at the academy, "There is a large learning curve and my French is not that good. But I am picking up a few things here and there. The troublemakers are giving me some direct examples of what certain phrases mean."

"So lots of trouble, then?" Fleur asked with a grin.

"It is the good kind luckily," Harry answered back with a grin of his own.

"Who do they have teaching at Hogwarts nowadays?" Mr. Delacour asked.

"Sirius," Andromeda said, "The students like him a lot. Another year of full classes for the sixth and seventh years."

"Severus quit teaching," Harry said, "He opened up his own apothecary in Hogsmeade. Albus got Slughorn out of retirement."

"Andromeda," Mrs. Delcour addressed, "how is your niece?"

"Belladora is too cute for words. Lucius is sweet on her. My sister said he is more involved with this baby because she doesn't cry as much as Draco used to."

"Both my babies were criers," Mrs. Delacour said.

"Teddy was pretty good," Harry said, "A little fussy but he usually didn't cry without a reason."

A bell chimed.

"Come," Mrs. Delacour said, "Le déjeuner is ready."

Neither Teddy nor Gabrielle followed the adults, deep in conversation about Magical Creatures.

Mid-October the trees in Berkshire County were spectacular.

Nym thought it looked the leaves had caught the color of fire. Wild saturations of reds and yellows and oranges swirled around her as Harry led her through the woods.

The trail they were on was called Jone's Nose, which she had had a laughing fit over. They reached a clearing, it was the top of a hill with great white speckled rocks covered in short viney shrubs.

Harry reached down into those shrubs with their petite dark green leaves before turning to her. He held out a hand to her and dropped tiny blueberries into her hand. She plopped them right into her mouth, her eyes widening at the flavor.

Harry grinned, "Amazing, aren't they? Wild blueberries are great."

She found a clear rock and together they spent about an hour picking blueberries, they were sweet and tart and so small it took a long time to feel filled up.

The warm sun that had been keeping them toasty all day was getting low and a welcomed crisp breeze was starting.

Harry brought her to watchpoint that let them see into a fast valley and the mountain hills far away. The fiery colors the vastness of the space took her breath away.

They spoke at the same time:

"Harry, I have something to tell you."

"Nym, I have something to ask you."

Harry dropped to his knee before her.

He looked so nervous but his words were clear when he asked, "Nymphadora Tonks, will you marry me?" He held up a white-gold band with a single white oval stone.

She squeaked and hopped, smiling so hard she thought she would break her face. Her third hop her foot hit a jiggle rock that nearly throwing her off the cliff. Harry lunged forward to catch her before she fell, pulling her back, he fell on his butt and she fell on top of him.

He was laughing as he sat up and asked, "So was that a yes, yes you will marry me?"

She was blushing but still smiling when she, "Yes."

"I love you," he said and kissed her cheek, then pulled her more solidly against him. They kissed until they forgot how to breathe.

When they finally came up for breath, Harry asked, "You said you had something to tell me?"

It was her turn to look nervous, "Yes, I do. Harry, I'm pregnant."

Harry stood, hugging her, and spinning her off the ground. They were happier in that moment than there were words to express to such joy. Their present was bright, their future was brighter still.

AN: 19 years later Epilogue next? If you have questions or suggestions or reactions now is the time for it. 400 hundred pages, hope you enjoyed :D

Chapter 23: Epilogue

Disclaimer: I stole a lot of pairings from Harry's generation with some notable changes.

Witches first and this isn't the complete list but as much as I came up with for twenty-one-year timespan, not nineteen because Teddy and Gabrielle got married before they 28 and 30 something.

Please excuse my French: my French spelling and grammar are barely at a 200 level.

AN: Thank you to all my reviewers! This is a fluffy end because I wanted a happy ending.

Guest List for the Union of

Rosemarie Potter and Lysander Scamander

Nymphadora and Harry Potter

-Johanna Lilian Potter + (regretfully, her twin brother) James Sirius Potter

-Naomi Claire Potter

Gabrielle and Teddy Potter

-Julianna Rose Potter

-Ronan Teddy Potter

Luna and Rolf Scamander

-Lorcan (twin of the groom)

Andromeda and Ted Tonks

Hestia and Sirius Black

-Altair Black

Remus Lupin

Amelia and Kingsley Shacklebolt

-Desta Shacklebolt

Narcissa and Lucius Malfoy

-Belladora Malfoy

Daphne and Draco Malfoy

-Delyla, Belinda, and Lucetta Malfoy (the Triplets or Malfoy Sisters)

Molly and Arthur Weasley

Fleur and William Weasley

-Victoire Weasley

-Dominique Weasley

-Louis Weasley

Charlie Weasley

Audrey and Percy Weasley

-Molly Weasley II

-Lucy Weasley

Angelina, George, Alicia, and Fred ()(they all live in the same estate)()

-And all thirteen of their spawn.

Lavender and Ronald (Won-Won) Weasley

-Guenevere Weasley

Ginny and Dean Thomas

-Alexander Thomas

Hermione and Viktor Krum

-Anja Krum

Hannah and Neville Longbottom

-Alice Longbottom

Regulus and Severus Snape

Hogwarts Professors

Beauxbatons Professors

Ilvermorny Professors

Uagadou Professors

Durmstrang Professors

...other friends and extended families.


It was the biggest wedding of the year. Or the decade, seeing as Johanna and James were only in their third year at the Academy and Naomi was still a year off from entering her first year. Harry wasn't exactly happy that his eldest daughter, Rosemarie, was getting married at nineteen because she was pregnant, but he wasn't exactly upset with the idea of another grandbaby. As Nym so often teased him, he was never upset about more children. Of course, she would know three pregnancies and four children, five offspring in all including Teddy. Nym had had her awkward stages with Teddy, not least of all when he became a teenager, but though Nym was never a disciplinary mother, she truly loved Teddy, as she did all her children. Being a mother was not something she had ever seen herself being until it happened.

Harry had worked a full year at Beauxbatons Academy of Magic until Rosemarie had been born. With the Potter fortune, Harry didn't have to work and became the stay at home dad. He raised his children and eventually babysitting his grandchildren with Andromeda. Ted had a few years left at St. Mungo's still and Nym was the new Head of Magical Law Enforcement, they both commuted from their estate in the South of France. This wasn't to say Harry didn't work, he would go around the world to different magical schools giving seminars. Ilvermorny, Beauxbatons, and Hogwarts all deeply regretting that Harry didn't choose to work full time for them, but Harry had long ago discarded what the outside world desired or thought of him. He was happy and he would fight anyone who tried to take that from him or his family.

Rosemarie and Lysander were a love match, however, they would have likely waited to marry had they not been so reckless.

Lysander was a Magical Creature Habitat Geologist, his twin, Lorcan had become a Master Potioneer.

Rosemarie was an artist and a Magical Creature activist, a passion fostered by her idolization of her older brother, Teddy, who was a Magical Creatures historian. Teddy had whisked her away on his world adventures the moment she graduated. A path which had ultimately led her to meet Lysander.

Rose's hand was trembling ever so slightly where she gripped Harry's arm. Rosemarie was the spitting image of her grandmother, her dark curly hair was woven back into an elaborate braid, her eyes were the deepest chocolate brown, and her features were simply striking. She was taller and her skin had a bit more olive than Dromeda's, in the right climate her skin was almost copper toned. Her white dress contrasted beautifully her coloring, and her long train made Harry think of royalty. Of course, all of his daughters were royalty in his eyes.

Johanna and James looked like mirrors of one another. Both had wild black hair, that could, only after much attention be called curls, emerald green eyes, pale skin, and enough freckles to give the bespeckled Lysander a run for his money.

Naomi, their youngest was the only child to take after Nym and Teddy as a metamorphmagus. Shy and observant, she used her abilities to blend in as much as was possible. Harry was a bit worried about her in school and was glad that he would be -unofficially-officially returning to full time teaching when she entered the Academy.

Rose was not crying, though her happiness was so jubilant her smile looked almost painful. Her gaze was solely for Lysander, but Harry felt her lean into him for support. It was Harry who was on the brink of tears. He had no desire to let her go. Not even to the kind, intelligent, quirky Lysander. Lysander with his gentle hazel eyes, truly ridiculous face of freckles, lanky build, and dirty blonde hair held back with a pale blue ribbon. He was a good kid, a handsome boy, but Harry would have gladly stolen his daughter away from this place. Traveling for weeks on end was different than moving out. Teddy and Gabrielle were their next door neighbors as were the Delacours and they all ended up in the Potter manor for dinners and pop ins.

Harry was terrified that even if Rose stayed in France or the near enough United Kingdoms that he wouldn't see as much of her. The thought broke his heart and he almost hated Lysan-

Rosemarie leaned up to kiss his cheek, "Je t'aime, Papa."

Harry blinked before smiling, "Je t'aime, ma Rose. My dear daughter, je t'aime." Bending down, he kissed both her cheeks, trying hard not lose his composure in front of the mass of people behind him or start throwing spells at boy in front of him.

But he was good and returned to his seat, Luna catching his eye and with a smile mouthed 'thank you' presumably for not killing her son.

Harry took his place between Nym and Andromeda. Teddy was smirking at him, standing a step below Lorcan on the groom's side. Teddy, Rose, and Lysander were close friends, so close they had been deemed the Creature Trio. A friendship that sometimes reminded Harry with a pang of regret of what his own Golden Trio had once been.

Ron, Hermione, and Harry had grown closer, more amiable over the years. But Ron never again was Harry's confidant and though Hermione and Harry sometimes 'clicked' like in days long passed, her job as the Minister of Magic in Britain did not leave her with much social time. She shared most holidays with Viktor's family.

Harry was pulled from his reverie when both his hands were squeezed, Nym's squeeze being gentle, Andromeda's squeeze making him half jerk in the pew. He glared at her, she glared right back.

Ted chuckled and Nym rolled her eyes.

Naomi stood up, walking around her mother, and planted herself in Harry's lap, her hair a deep blue and a pout stealing across her features. Harry wrapped his arms around her and focused his attention back on the happy couple. Johanna was Rose's Maid of Honor. Teddy's daughter, Julianna who was all of five years old, with white blonde hair and dark eyes had eagerly taken on the job of flower girl. She had taken after her veela lineage, while her younger brother Ronan, a three-year-old, had taken after Teddy as an animagus and wolf shifter abilities had acted the part of ring bearer. Naomi had outright refused to be a part of the wedding. She had been sulking for weeks.

Naomi had said that she was losing her best sister.

Johanna had been offended and asked what was wrong with herself.

To which Naomi had answered that Johanna was "half James" which was the equivalent to calling someone an adrenaline junky with an overactive imagination.

Personally, Harry thought it Johanna who was the one to get his twins into the most trouble. Where James could be wild, it was Johanna who could figure out the logistics of accomplishing the most far fetched schemes.

Rosemarie was more centered than the twins, more worldly and empathetic. Though she could also be intense about her interests and however, laid back she may appear, she had no fear before Magical Creatures, a healthy respect, but not fear. She was a bit like Luna in all actuality, she had a nearly impossible time fitting in and despite having no enemies, Lysander and her siblings were her only true friends.

As unique as each of Harry and Nym's children were, they were all equally loved beyond reason and they all knew it. They were also, terribly, terribly French.

"Moi, Lysander Scamander, je te prend, Rosemarie Andromeda Potter,

pour être mon épouse,

pour avoir et tenir de ce jour vers l'avant,

pour meilleur ou pour le pire,

pour la prospérité et la pauvreté,

dans la maladie et dans la santé,

pour aimer et chérir;

jusqu'à la mort nous sépare."

"Moi, Rosemarie Potter, je te prend, Lysander Xenophilius Scamander,

pour être mon mari,

pour avoir et tenir de ce jour vers l'avant,

pour meilleur ou pour le pire,

pour la prospérité et la pauvreté,

dans la maladie et dans la santé,

pour aimer et chérir;

jusqu'à la mort nous sépare."

"Je vous déclare maintenant mari et femme!"

The sound that filled that castle hall of nearly a thousand guests -not all of them human, was deafening.

Harry, Nym, Dromeda, and even Ted where in tears as they all rose from their seats cheering on the newlyweds.

Sirius leaned over the backs of seats to give Harry a hug, "You did good, son. Even if this means you'll be a grandfather thrice over."

"Says you, Arrière-Grand-Père," Harry shot back, giving the grey-haired, bright eyed man a one armed hug in return, Naomi between them as Harry held her with one arm.

"Hey, it's Great-Grandfather or Great-Grandgodfather, none of this Frenchy nonsense, we are Englishmen," Sirius said, mostly joking.

As if to contradict the poor man out of some cosmic spite Julianna and Ronan came running at them, "Grand-Père! Arrière-Grand-Père! Arrière-Grand-Père!"

Harry scooped up Julianna with his spare arm and Ted snagged Ronan. Their group headed for the exit.

Altair, (a boy who looked like a carbon copy of his father, Sirius) and James met each other's gaze and darted for the back exit. No one wasted breath trying to stop them. If they did anything truly dangerous or harmful they both knew Harry would have them doing chores and writing papers for an eternity, that is if they survived Johanna's ire if they got into trouble without her.

"What?" Andromeda ask, "No love for your Arrière-Grand-Mère?"

Julianna gave her adorable, entrancing gaze, "Je t'aime, Arrière-Grand-Mère."

"I like how they don't even make excuses for their favoritism anymore," Nym noted grinning at her granddaughter.

"Arrière-Grand-Père is the best!" Ronan said in English.

"I wish I could argue with him," Teddy said, as they had caught up to the greeting line, "But I really can't." He was smiling at his godfather with the same adoration he had always had.

"What can I say?" Harry asked, "My family is my life and my only reason to be."

Nym kissed his cheek, "And we love you."

They weren't a perfect family, not a family without chaos or mayhem or drama or tragedy. But they were a family that loved and cared for one another deeply, Harry was their rock and for every trouble that arose, he stood firm, keeping his loved ones a float. Harry Potter would live until the next century along with his youthful spirited wife, watching their family grow and honoring each and every one of them.

For a man who had died for the survival those he cherished, he now lived for their happiness.

AN: And that's that, don't know if it what people wanted or not but I enjoyed writing something that had nothing to do with the houses. Again sorry for my spelling and grammar mistakes in French and English.

WANT MORE?: Easier than Falling Asleep is my current endeavor and I have a more even pacing for that one as I am finally getting a handle on third person writing (or my version of it). I quote heavy in the first few chapters but after that, it is original content. Luna/Harry, and I think the romance is working better than my humble attempts in Disorder. Mostly character driven plotline but a more solid story all in all.

I hope you enjoyed reading and I can never thank the reviewers enough, you helped me through a difficult year.

Chapter 24: The Prequel Part One

KEYNOTE: You may skip this chapter if you like.

AN: Trying this out to see if people are interested. I am not the biggest fan of a ton of flashbacks so this is an aside that isn't necessary but I wrote Harry Potter and the Disorder of the Phonix knowing this plot line. Depending on the response to this chapter I have two more parts that will cover the first year of Harry as Teddy's godfather.

ANII: I am having a lot of people asking sequel which will not happen unless someone would like to host me in France. As I know little about what it is like to live there, I simply can't imagine it without way too much BS. My mind is drawing a blank on writing a story set there, my apologies. You will get an epilogue though on who gets married and has kids and what Teddy, Harry, and Nym do for careers and what not.

ANIII: Next chapter will be on track to completing The Disorder of the Phoenix. YOU DO NOT NEED TO READ THIS CHAPTER! FEEL FREE TO SKIP IT! I will not post the sequel as a separate story as it will be less than 10,000 words altogether. I would just like to know if you want me to complete the prequel?

No need to read if you don't want to.

The Prequel

Part One: A few days after the Battle of Hogwarts:

Dead after dead, sorrow after horror.

Hermione had gone to Australia to try to find her parents who didn't know she existed. Ron had returned home with his family. Ginny had stayed with Harry in Gryffindor Tower for a few nights. They had held each other through the night hours and distracted each other with more pleasurable activities. But when she asked him to come home with her to the Weasleys he had refused.

Harry felt like an outsider in their grief. Perhaps that wasn't fair to the Weasleys, the people who had always treated him like family, but looking into George's face, Harry felt distant. This pain, these losses were familiar to Harry. Hadn't every year he had spent at Hogwarts been a war zone. Every year had been a battle, every year had been tainted by death and danger.

Yet Hogwarts was his home because it was the only place he felt like he belonged, the only place that wasn't loveless. Of course, the Weasleys loved him, but -but he couldn't face their pain. The nagging feeling that Fred's death was his fault pressed heavy on him. That this battle being fought at Hogwarts was his fault. The darkness that had followed Harry's years at Hogwarts had spilled over onto everyone else. The professors were hollowed eyed even as they held themselves together out of duty to the families that showed up to collect their children or what remained of them.

The students who had died had one big joint funeral on the Hogwarts grounds for those families who either wanted them there or couldn't afford a private funeral. The Aurors and Order members had their united funeral the following day.

Harry stood over Nymphadora and Remus Lupin's graves, they had two coffins but they shared the same six-feet-deep hole in the ground. The other order members, aurors, and ministry members had already said their peace to the dead bodies and moved on to the next hole.

Mrs. Tonks hadn't shown up, she was probably taking care of her grandson -Harry's godson, Teddy.

Harry cursed Lupin for dying. Dying like Harry's father, his mother, and Sirius had, leaving someone who depended on them behind. Though, hadn't Harry died too? He touched the unfaded bruise on his side where the killing curse had struck him.

He had died.

What did that even mean in the long run? What did it mean now? He had killed himself. He had walked to his own death and he hadn't put up a fight. Why had he done that? Because Dumbledore told him to? How stupid could he be? Harry hadn't known about the extra magic. He had naively believed that sacrificing himself would make Voldemort leave the rest of Hogwarts alone.


And what about the Resurrection Stone? His parents, Sirius, and Lupin had been okay with him going to the Dark Lord like a lamb to the slaughter? Had they been proud of that? His mother who had given her life for his was fine with him dying?

Oh, and Sirius had been wrong; dying wasn't easier than falling asleep. Maybe it hadn't hurt physically, but the change between life and death was monumental even if he didn't have the words to explain it nor the senses to call such sensations pain.

He should take the stone and summon Lupin and Nymphadora to yell at them for leaving Teddy -who must only be a month or two old. Hadn't they understood that there were greater responsibilities than fighting a war? Of course, how many more grieving families would be have been here if they hadn't shown up to fight?

Perhaps the Resurrection Stone was a false trinket like the Mirror of Erised. Perhaps the ghosts were just constructs telling him what his mind wanted to hear. Maybe once you truly died there was no coming back.

But he had.

What was death really?

A vague memory of a misty King's Cross, Dumbledore, followed by an even vaguer memory of his mother telling him to stay in a shimmering field of green sparks, and pain, a phantom pain. He remembered crying and was certain no one had come.

Harry shook his head, perhaps there were things that were best forgotten. He looked up to the castle. A few of the towers and walls had been reduced to rubble. The weather felt like a traitor, the sun was bright and the sky was crystalline blue.

Harry hated it, hated all of this, the castle, the grounds, the people, the stupid bodies in their stupid holes. Hated white sheets and the grieving parents and ministry officials that had done nothing when it counted.

He wanted away. He wanted to go far away and never, ever come back. Someone waved him over, they wanted him to talk to the people dressed in black before the bagpipes played. He couldn't talk, he wanted to fight these people, not console them.

But where could he go? The Weasleys? He wanted to see Ginny and Ron but he couldn't stand the sight of Molly in pain. It should have been him, not Fred.

Harry had nowhere else to go. He looked down at his feet as people approached him. His toes were at the precipitate of the grave.

And he remembered that he still had responsibilities, someone small and abandoned who might need him as much as Harry needed someone.

Harry knocked on the Tonks's house. No one answered. He knocked harder.

A baby began to cry and still, no one answered the door.

He tried the doorknob and he was horrified when it clicked open, not even a muggle lock to stop him. He walked in calling, "Mrs. Tonks? Mrs. Tonks are you here? It's Harry Potter."

He followed the sound of crying. He found Mrs. Tonks in kitchen rocking back in forth, her back to him as she stared out the windows.

Harry walked around her to get in her line of sight. His heart lurched when he saw the empty expression on her face. He instinctively took a step back from her. She looked so much like Bellatrix his pulse began to race. But Bellatrix was dead and this mourning widow was not an evil person. Besides Bellatrix Lestrange was well and truly dead.

"Mrs. Tonks?" Harry asked taking a step forward.

She didn't say a word, her eyes didn't so much as flick in his direction.

The swaddled baby in her arms was crying so hard he hiccupped.

Harry looked around the kitchen. Dirty baby bottles and packages dominated the counter. The dining room table was covered with a thick blanket, baby powder, wet wipes, and clean diapers. The trash was filled with the dirty ones. Harry hesitated between the mess and the crying baby. Obviously, Mrs. Tonks had been taking care of the baby, even if she hadn't taken care of herself. She looked like she hadn't changed closes in almost a week. The only evidence that she had been feeding herself was an open box of crackers and a half full glass of water. So she wasn't starving, but Harry wouldn't call crackers self care.

The baby quieted as he was thinking, so he started cleaning the dishes. He went back to the front door and the back door locking them as well as adding some basic protection charms. He returned to the kitchen and read the packaging on the baby formula. He prepared a few bottled meals.

Mrs. Tonks never acknowledged his presence.

He took out the trash and found a baby care book on how to change a diaper. When he was prepared as he was going to be, he found a bathroom on the first floor that had a shower. He made sure there were shampoo and soap and turned on the water to heat it up. He went back Mrs. Tonks standing directly in front of her. He touched her wrist and as if she were moving a great weight her dull eyes slowly moved to focus on him.

"Mrs. Tonks," Harry said, softly.

Brown flat eyes stared at him, waiting.

He put his other hand under the bundle in her arms. "Let me take care of the baby. You can take a break. I turned on the shower for you."

Her eyes flicked to the bathroom, she seemed to hear the running water, and she took a half step towards it.

Harry helped lead her there, keeping a hand under the baby, his other he placed on her shoulder. When they got into the steamy room she motioned to start taking off her clothes but realized she was still holding the baby. Very carefully Harry brought his arms under hers so that they were both cradling the child.

"It's okay, Mrs. Tonks, I'm his godfather, I'm here to help you and him," Harry said not breaking eye contact with the broken woman.

Mrs. Tonks let go of the baby, the light bundle settling into his arms like it was always meant to be there. She turned her back on him as she began to strip off her sweater and dress.

Harry cradled the baby to him as he left the room. He didn't get a good look at the baby until he was back in the kitchen.

His godson was tiny, with a tuft of black hair on his head and blue-eyes. He stared up at Harry and Harry's whole world swung on its axle as those blue, innocent, patient eyes searched his face.

"Hi, Teddy," Harry whispered.

The baby blinked, which was possibly the most enduring action on the planet.

Harry brought a hand up to stroke the baby's cheek.

Teddy's face scrunched up and he began to cry. Not loud but definitely pitiable.

Harry bent his head to sniff Teddy and it was his turn for a scrunched face. He brought the baby to the table and as soon as the baby was unwrapped he stopped crying, seeming to know that he would be out of his dirty diaper soon. He shivered a bit and Harry used a charm to warm up the room.

He followed the instructions he had read about on how to remove the poo and clean Teddy's tender skin. Getting on the clean diaper was harder than he expected the stupid tabs didn't line up. Teddy was perfect as he learned what to do, patiently observing him through the whole process. Harry began talking to him. Explaining what he was doing and telling Teddy that he had already warmed up his next meal and put the others in the fridge.

He couldn't find a new blanket so he pulled off his second layer of robes to wrap Teddy in. Careful to support the baby's head as he brought both baby and the bottle into the living room.

Harry sat on the couch and brought the bottle to Teddy's mouth. The baby eagerly drank down the formula. Harry thought he was really well behaved for a baby, but then judging by tear tracks and the dry throat sound he was making when he first got in the house he might have been crying for some time before Harry's arrival.

Mrs. Tonks came out of the shower nearly an hour later wrapped in a bathrobe that was three times too big for her. It must have been Ted's.

She sat down beside him, her bare leg was cold against his pant leg. She must have run out of hot water.

Teddy was asleep in his arms and Harry didn't say anything to the woman who looked so much like his enemy. Her tired brown eyes looked huge on her gaunt face, her curly hair was plastered to her back, water still dripped down her face.

"I couldn't…" she said, voice hoarse and cracking, "her, my daughter's-" She choked.

Harry waited for her to get through the thought, waiting for her to put her feelings into words. They were strangers, nothing he could say would comfort her at this moment.

"I couldn't stop her from leaving. I should have never let them go," Mrs. Tonks said finally.

Harry met her eyes his expression saying he understood even if he didn't know what it meant to lose a child or a husband, he knew loss, he knew grief, and he knew regret.

"What do I do?" she asked him, she asked the universe.

"I'm here, Mrs. Tonks, for as long as you need me, I'm here, for you and Teddy," Harry said.

She was silent for a long moment looking him over. "I haven't slept."

"Take the couch, I don't need to sleep anytime soon," Harry responded. Standing so she could stretch out. He imaged the bedroom she had shared with her husband was not what she needed at this point in time.

"Teddy's crib is the second room down the hall."

"I don't mind holding him for a while longer."

She turned away from him, facing the couch back. Harry found a throw blanket to cover her with before returning to the kitchen with Teddy. He held the baby through the night, feeding him when he woke up crying, and he only needed to be changed twice, each time getting easier for Harry until he almost got peed on. Harry put him in his crib when Teddy fell back asleep around dawn.

Harry found sliced bread and eggs in the fridge. He made scrambled eggs and toast which seemed to summon Mrs. Tonks with her wild uncombed black hair, clutching the blanket around her. Harry directed her back to the couch after handing her plate of food. They ate breakfast together in the growing light of dawn in silence.

When they finished Mrs. Tonks said one word, "Stay."

Harry stayed.

Chapter 25: The Prequel Part Two

KEYNOTE: You can keep skipping the prequels if you like.

AN: Why am I writing/posting this now? I am realizing I know way too much more about Harry and Co. than you, the readers. So why didn't I post this first? Because I hadn't written it down and you wouldn't care as much about the characters as you do now that you know about the time travel and the hidden drama Harry hides from everyone. You can still read this story without the prequels but the ending of the Disorder of the Phoenix isn't as rich without knowing Harry's fuller history.

ANII: The Prequels are closer to my novel style of writing, though I still prefer writing in the first person. Why isn't this in a flashback or explained through talking? Because it doesn't have the same impact and I would basically have to filter this material. I hope this helps you all love these characters as much as I do.

Prequel Part Two

"Where have you been?" Ginny demanded the moment Harry stepped into the hotel room. It was a muggle hotel outside of London. Harry had a new aversion to both the muggle and magical parts of his country that he had associations with overly the last seven years.

"I went to go see Teddy Lupin," Harry said as he sunk into the armchair, "He's my godson."

"Oh," Ginny said, her anger falling away as she approached him. "Why didn't you write that in your letter? It's been nearly two weeks since I last saw you."

They had agreed to meet here for lunch after some negotiation through Pigwidgeon.

"I haven't been thinking straight and I was busy," Harry said, letting his eyes shut for a time. He hadn't been getting much sleep both from Teddy, who when hydrated and clean was very demanding when that status changed as well as when Harry did sleep he was chased by nightmares. If Teddy or Mrs. Tonks didn't wake him up then he woke on his own from the violent need to relieve his stomach.

Ginny sat herself on his lap sideways, she leaned into his chest and he held her, relaxing at the feel of her body against his.

"You smell like baby powder and baby oil," she whispered against his neck.

"Better than baby poop," Harry joked kissing the top of her head.

She smiled up at him, "I've missed you."

"I've missed you, too." Even though he said the words without returning a smile he meant them.

Mrs. Tonks hadn't patched together a full sentence since that first morning. She didn't cook, or help clean, or much of anything, she rarely moved unless Harry directed her. It was almost like taking care of two babies, even the Dursleys hadn't been this much work. At least, Mrs. Tonks did try to help with Teddy when he really got crying and Harry was waiting for the formula to heat up. He wasn't worried about leaving the baby in her care. Alright, he wasn't too worried about leaving Teddy with the Zombie Bellatrix.

"Harry," Ginny called.

Harry refocused on her, "I'm sorry, what?"

"Nothing, you just looked zoned out."

"I'm just a little tired," Harry said, and a lot worried.

"How have you been?" she asked.

"Fine, you?"


There was an awkward pause before Ginny took charge. She straddled his lap, placing a hand on either side of his neck, "Are you too tired for this?"

That made Harry grin, "Ginny, I don't think I could ever be tired of you."

She grinned back as she rocked her hips over his, leaning in for a kiss.

Harry groaned and stood up to bring them to the bed.

For a few hours, the outside world meant nothing, for a few hours, they slept, for a few precious hours, Harry let go of his responsibilities.

Dinner at the Weasleys was awful. Molly was determined to act like everything was fine even as she had to run out of the room to cry. Fleur followed her around like a lost puppy. Arthur and Percy looked fifty years older. Ron and Hermione were attached at the hip whispering to each other as if the rest of the room were empty -nothing dirty, but as if they were in the movie theatre and no one else was in their group. Bill and Charlie were quietly depressed.

George looked worse than Mrs. Tonks.

Ginny was clearly the only thing holding them all together. She led the conversation at the table and kept everyone from feeling like they were attending a wake.

Not only did Harry feel like an intruder, he felt like he was invisible. Ginny was so busy taking care of everyone else even she seemed to forget he was there. Dinner couldn't be over soon enough for Harry. He excused himself from the table before dessert, saying he needed to make it to the bank. Which he did, between Mrs. Tonks and himself, even though they weren't eating full-sized meals they were out of food and Harry needed money.

He gave Ginny a quick kiss before apparating away.

He never made it into the bank, the guards at the door didn't let him in that far.

"I need to take money out of my vault," Harry told them.

The goblins sneered at him, "You don't have a vault here anymore, Lord Potter."

"I am not a Lord and technically I have three vaults here."

"Not anymore," the uglier of the two said.

"What are you talking about?" Harry asked.

"You robbed us, you used magic on one of us, so you lose everything," the second said.

"What?" Harry repeated.

"Your money, your heirlooms, even your photos in storage are ours," the first goblin said with a sickly smirk.

"We were at war!" Harry shouted.

"We don't care about your wizard war, you broke our laws and the Ministry of Magic has no power here."

There was a crowd gathering behind them. Harry ignored them.

"So what am I supposed to do?" Harry asked. "Go through your courts?"

"Get a job," said the first goblin. "And our courts have already ruled against you."

"I won the war!" Harry shouted.

"We don't care. Now. Get. Gone."

"What about my godson? How do I reach his inheritance, you know so I can feed him and send him to school and what not?"

The goblins whispered to one another. "Edward Remus Lupin, correct?" Ugliest sneered.

Harry nodded and the second goblin disappeared behind the bank doors. Thirty minutes later -which Harry spent glaring at the little goblin, Harry taking note of the grey hairs growing off the dark warts on his nose, the less ugly one returned holding a little sack and a photo album, handing both to Harry.

The photo album held a single picture of what must have been Remus and his parents. Remus was young and healthy looking, so healthy looking he must not have had lycanthropy yet. The little sac had twenty galleons and three knuts.

"The balance of Mrs. Lupin's vault and that picture is all that was in Mr. Lupin's vault," the less ugly goblin said.

Harry felt his heart sink. There was no way he could keep three people fed and clothed with just this for more than a couple weeks. "What about Mrs. Tonks's vault?"

"Neither Mr. Tonks nor Mrs. Tonks has a vault with us. They come and exchange currency otherwise we have no business with them. You'll have to go to the muggles to see about their accounts," the ugliest goblin said. "Now leave, Thief, you are not welcome here."

Harry wanted to do something rash, but unless you planned to kill a magical creature pulling your wand on them was the incorrect choice of actions. He turned and was greeted with a camera flash in the eyes.

Great, Harry thought, just great, Harry Potter, the Savior, Knutless.

On the upside, maybe Ron wouldn't be jealous of him anymore?

He apparated away.

"Mrs. Tonks?" Harry called. She stood three inches to the left of where he had left her at noon. "Mrs. Tonks, we need to talk." He took Teddy from her arms, the baby sighed in his sleep.

"I don't have any money," he told her with no preamble.

She blinked her big brown eyes at him.

"Did you hear me?" Harry asked, his temper rising, "I don't have any money. I can't feed you both without money."

"I don't have a job," she said tonelessly.

She speaks, he thought sarcastically. "I can find a job," he said, he hoped. He was pretty sure he could find something, he was famous after all. But was he qualified to do and what would pay for two adults, a baby, a house, and a car. Maybe they could sell the car? "Do you have any savings?"

"We donated it," she answered.

"All of it?"

"We can sell the house," Mrs. Tonks said dully.

"Then where would you live?" Harry asked.

"I don't want to live here."

"Okay," Harry said slowly, "Where do you want to live?"

The look she gave him seemed to say, I don't want to live.

Harry sighed. Teddy struggled in his blanket and Harry began to sway back and forth as he tried to come up with a solution.

Teddy settled as Harry thought and Mrs. Tonks focused on thinking nothing at all.

What was Harry qualified for? He hadn't even completed his NEWTs. He didn't have a talent selling things or writing or researching. He had wanted to become an Auror but he couldn't look after a baby and a suicidal grandmother while running around playing copper after a war. Besides he would need to go through more training and schooling which he didn't have time for. Also, the idea of fighting more bad guys and working for the government wasn't exactly appealing.

So what was he qualified for?

Teaching DADA.

Harry physically shuddered at the idea of returning to Hogwarts for any reason, least of all to teach.

Teddy woke then, woke screaming and kicking, his tuft of hair turning fire-engine red. It seemed Teddy took after his mother in that way. Tonks had been an awesome person.

Harry laid Teddy on the dining room table to change him, falling into a comfortable rhythm. He liked this, well not changing diapers per-say, but taking care of someone. Aside from Dudley, Harry didn't have much experience with children. Children were great, babies were cute, they were innocent and they didn't go around trying to kill other people. They were simple, they wanted food, they would eat, they wanted to sleep, they slept, they were dirty, they would tell you, they wanted you to be happy, they cried for you.

Children, teaching. It was too bad he didn't have a muggle education. He couldn't work in the muggle world without one. So what else could he do in the magical world with children without teaching at Hogwarts?

He thought of Molly who relied on Arthur. Would Ginny marry him and let him be a house dad?

Could he even ask that of her? Bloody hell, would she even want to marry him? He had just assumed, after all, they were in love, and she would kick his ass if he broke up with her again. But that didn't really mean she would say yes to marrying him. He hadn't even thought about asking her. He had been so focused on surviving the war the future was just this dim outside thing he sometimes imagined.

Ginny was a year younger than him. She wanted to join a Quidditch team and travel. She hadn't even met Teddy yet. Would she want to be a mother at sixteen?

If Harry had to choose between Teddy or Ginny, who would he pick?

Harry looked down at the baby who was watching him with emerald green eyes that mirrored his own as he drank from his bottle and Harry's heart broke.

Remus had asked him to be Teddy's godfather and he had said yes, Mrs. Tonks had asked him to stay and he had, and this dear child who had no words, no way to ask for help but through tears was asking him now to be there. Be there for him in the way neither of their parents had been, be there in the way Sirius hadn't been. All Teddy has was him and his grandmother, a grandmother who looked like a good draft would knock her over.

Teddy's green eyes were firmly zeroed in on Harry's expression.

If it was a choice, Harry would choose his godson over everyone and everything else.

"Mate, I saw the paper," Ron said, a tad too eagerly.

Hermione smacked him on the back of the head, "Harry, are you okay?"

"I'm fine, is Ginny around?"

"What did I say?" Ron asked, rubbing the back of his head.

"She's out back," Hermione answered, "And it wasn't what you said, Ronald. It was the way you said it."

Ron shrugged, "What do you need to tell Ginny?"

"Oh, nothing big," Harry said offhandedly, "I just thought I would ask her to marry me and then we could shag in the shed."

Ron's face turned bright red.

Hermione laughed.

Ron gulped, "Ha ha, very funny, Potter."

"I wasn't joking," Harry said, straight-faced, "At least not about the shagging bit." He slipped past them to the backyard, Hermione crying from laughter as Ron's face turned different colors.

"Harry!" Ron called, catching up to him.

"Harry!" Ginny exclaimed when she saw him. She ran at him, kissing him thoroughly before pulling back to look at his face, "I didn't think I would see you so soon."

"Ginny," Ron admonished.

She turned her head to glare at her brother.

"What, Ron?"

"Are you two shagging?" he asked bluntly.

In answer, Ginny lifted her feet off the ground and wrapped her long legs around Harry, he had to brace to hold her, though it wasn't difficult, "Yes, though we -unlike some people, have the decency to do it where our families can't hear us through the very thin walls."

Hermione had come up behind them, her cheeks coloring.

Harry kissed Ginny's cheek who took it as the sign it was too return to the ground. "I love you all, but if you two wouldn't mind, I would like to talk to my lover alone please," Harry said.

Hermione dragged Ron away.

Once they were out of earshot, Ginny asked, "What did you need to tell?"

Harry opened his mouth to tell her that he had applied to basically every magical school he could find an address to for a teaching job, but the words stuck in his throat. "I love you," he said instead. Merlin knew, he did love her, her fire, her life, their friendship, but he couldn't tell her he was leaving, not yet.

Her smile stole his heart, "I love you, too."

She kissed him and his heart seized as he kissed her back. He wished he could have her forever. Wished time would stand still.

They spent the rest of the afternoon together, and yes, they did shag in the shed after Harry put up privacy wards.

Harry didn't tell her that he planned to be a full time father. Didn't tell her he wanted to move overseas. Didn't tell her he was planning to buy a house with another woman. Another woman who was twice his age and needed to be taken care.

He clung to her and the moments they had together. Pretending, lying to himself, to her that their love was enough, that what they shared together would last.

Apparently, Mrs. Tonks had a good realtor because the house sold within the week. Said realtor was an annoying peppy woman who reminded Harry of Umbridge and kept asking him when he planned to move out.

Mrs. Tonks sat on the couch with Teddy while Harry packed up her and her family's belongings. Everything Harry owned was already packed in his trunk. Mrs. Tonks wouldn't answer any of Harry's questions about what she wanted to keep or get rid of. So Harry shrunk it all and put a feather weight charms on everything storing it all in a purse he had gotten from Hermione.

Harry received three acceptance letters out of the seven he had sent out. One from Beauxbatons Academy of Magic in France, Durmstrang Institute for Magical Learning in Northern Europe, and Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in North America. All of them, however, required him to finish his schooling. Ilvermorny was the only one who offered to pay him while he finished his last year of schooling, accounting that he would act as teaching assistant to the old DADA professor who was an older woman who wanted to travel the world before she died.

Harry wrote them all back with thank you and only accepting the position at Ilvermorny. The next morning he flooed to the United States for an interview.

It was mid-May and the buds on the trees looked like they were unsure of the whole spring affair. As if they didn't trust -the somewhat frosty temperature of the mountain. For a moment Harry was blown away by the site before him. It wasn't the dramatic Scotland mountains but the rolling peaks of the mountains with their mostly bare trees appeared purple and without end. He walked forward out of the office that opened onto a balcony overlooking the countryside. There were definitely more trees here than people. A little silver slice of landscape rested between mountain rises. It was a lake, a beautiful little lake.

"Beautiful, isn't it?" A man asked.

Harry nearly jumped out of his skin, of course, he had seen the man there, but it was all he could do to keep from pulling his wand.

"That lake you were looking at is stream fed," he said, his voice was warm but not alluring like Dumbledore's had been. "Clean enough to swim in, almost clean enough to drink from. Though I suppose swimmers do swallow more of the lake than they plan, it is still best to drink right from the springs."

Harry felt like his tongue was made of lead. What was he supposed to be saying?

"My apologies, Mr. Potter, I am Headmaster Agilbert Fontaine of the proud school Ilvermorny of North America," he said, "And I welcome you."

"Thank you, Headmaster Agilbert," Harry said.

"I was very pleased to receive your letter and a bit surprised you would want to leave Britain."

Harry answered the unasked question, "Everyday I see articles in the paper of new crimes, of discontent, of fear, the war hasn't really ended even though the Dark Lord is dead."

The Headmaster, who was cleanly shaven with close-cropped brown hair under his black hat, tilted his head. "And you don't want to stay to fight."

"I want to work with children," Harry said.

"A war veteran to a teacher isn't the easiest shift. Why not work at Hogwarts? I can't imagine that they wouldn't want you," he noted.

"I can't," Harry choked. He coughed to clear his throat, "I can't go back there. My whole life has been about surviving, about fighting Lord Voldemort and I want something more than that."

"In that case follow me," Headmaster Agilbert said, walking into his office. Harry followed the taller man.

The castle was astounding, the architecture more streamlined and graceful than the gothic near medieval nature of the Hogwarts castle. The light coming in through the windows was lovely, and there were a lot of windows. Murals and stone covering moved like the portraits at Hogwarts, some of them followed them.

The most eye-catching was the depiction of black panthers under water. Some were peaceful and others looked like they wanted to rip your face off, all of them were pretty.

Harry and the Headmaster came to a circular room that had four house crests on them.

"Stand in the center and the school will accept you into a house," Headmaster Agilbert said.

"Are you sure I'll be accepted?" Harry asked before taking one step more.

"Yes, I have that feeling," he said, "Besides you give off enough power to set off the entire school, it wants you."

Harry looked into the Headmaster's hazel eyes, "Wants me?"

"For every witch or wizard who attends this school the school itself grows in power. You are a good man and a powerful wizard, therefore, you are wanted."

"How do you know I am a good man?"

The Headmaster smiled sadly at him, "Only a good man could survive what you did and come out wanting work with children two weeks after seeing that- that much death."

Harry frowned, "You were there?"

"I was there," he answered solemnly. "Now step forward. Ordinarily, the older students would watch by I would imagine you've been watched enough for a lifetime."

"You're not kidding," Harry agreed. He took a deep breath and walked into the center of the circular room. The images of the house symbols moved, all of them. The bird and serpent caught Harry's eye but the image that compelled him forward was that of a man with a shield. A warm glow filled him, the scent of apple cider and crisp air filled his nostrils.

"Pukwudgie," The Headmaster pronounced, "The House of Heart, known for their healers."

Harry was relieved he didn't use either the word 'brave' or 'cunning' but he couldn't help saying, "I am no healer."

"Perhaps you are the one in need of healing, the other houses are known for adventurers, scholars, and warriors. Which of those do you think you belong to more than that of the healers?"

"Warrior or adventurer," Harry said as he stepped out of the circle.

"Who do you want to be?"

Harry thought of Teddy, of Mrs. Tonks, of the Weasleys, of his classmates, of his professors, of every pain and sorrow he had witnessed in his life.

"Not all wounds, Mr. Potter, are physical, some run far deeper than blood and bone," the Headmaster said, "You can be another type of healer, the kind that touches people's hearts and leaves them better than when you had found them; better for having known and been known by you."

Harry left before the Headmaster could see the effect his words had had, before he could see how much Harry wanted that. Harry may be learning to open up to people but opening up to a headmaster of a magical school wasn't a mistake he wanted to make twice.

Harry found and bought a house on the lake he had seen. He warded the hell out of it. Done the best he could and decided it wasn't quite good enough. So he owled for help.

Professor Flitwick flitted around his new house adding charms at every window, on every square inch of the foundation.

"Quite the move," Minerva commented, as she transfigured the wallpaper to a pleasant plum color with white trim in the living room.

"You aren't disappointed?" Harry asked.

"Disappointed?" Minerva exclaimed, "Harry, you have never disappointed us. Especially now, returning to school, taking on raising a child, and picking up a job. Those are no small accomplishments."

"Even if it isn't Hogwarts?"

"I am not sure I want to return to the castle," Flitwick admitted, charming crystals hanging in the kitchen window to float and reflect light like colored water droplets.

Minerva didn't seem surprised even as she seemed not to agree with him.

"Do you think I can do this?" Harry asked them both.

"Moving, teaching, school, or being a father?" Minerva asked.

"All of it, any of it," Harry said, running a hand through his hair.

"I've seen you do the impossible too often to doubt your capability of it. Moving- moving countries will be an adjustment but one I think you might enjoy. You were always a fine student when you put the work in. You have taught DADA already, though you might find your age problematic when your students are closer to your age but no longer your peers. It is raising the baby that will be the most difficult, but you will not be alone. Andromeda raised Nymphadora, she will help, likely do the brunt of the work," Minerva said, "You will have to be sure to stay a good role model."

Harry didn't contradict her on how much help Mrs. Tonks might or might not be with raising Teddy.

Mrs. Tonks seemed to like the house, she didn't try to apparate back to Britain in any case. She sat in a hard-backed chair looking at the lake. She slept or at least laid down on the bed that Harry had designated for her. He left the purse with all her belongings, aside from Teddy's necessities and the kitchenware on her dresser.

His first week in Berkshire County he spent mostly inside. Infants were a fulltime job and Harry wished he could forget about going back to school in September so that he could just be with the baby and Mrs. Tonks. Both needed him and it felt good to be needed.

Ginny's poor owl had to side along apparate with a witch to get across the ocean. A process for which even the loving Pigwidgeon was flustered about, nipping Harry's hand with more force than she probably ever had. She didn't manage to break his skin like Hedwig had though.

Harry apparated the poor owl back home himself after making sure the stove was off and Mrs. Tonks was settled on the couch with Teddy soundly asleep in her arms.

"Harry!" Ginny shouted when she saw him, flinging herself into his arms. He hugged her to him, kissing her back fiercely, afraid that after today their relationship would be over.

"Where have you been?"

"With Teddy and Mrs. Tonks," Harry said.

"You have been with them for three weeks," Hermione said, pushing Ginny aside so she could hug her best friend.

"Yeah, well they need help," Harry said, as headed toward the house. He needed to talk to Ginny in private but everyone in this home needed to know the decisions he had made. Preferably before it hit the papers.

"Harry," Ron said, concern making itself known by the frown on his face. "You are only seventeen. You are too young to be raising a baby."

"Mum was pregnant with me at sixteen," Bill said as they entered the house.

Molly stormed into the living room, "Ginevra Molly Weasley you best not be pregnant!"

This set off a chain reaction so that every Weasley in the house was gathered around Harry and Ginny yelling questions at them. Fleur was there too, though she was too dignified to raise her voice.

"I am not pregnant!" Ginny out shouted them all.

The room fell silent.

"Then what's happened?" Arthur asked.

"I have news," Harry said.

"And it hasn't reached the papers yet?" George asked, he looked to his right as if expecting a voice to echo his.

"Um, yeah, well only a few people know," Harry said, fidgeting.

"Know what, Harry dear," Molly asked.

"I bought a house," Harry said, "And I am going back to school in September and I got a job."

"Oh that's wonderful!" Molly gushed.

Hermione looked perplexed and Ginny looked hurt.

Ron asked, "With what money?"

"Mrs. Tonks sold her house, she wasn't comfortable living in her husband's home anymore."

"What does Andromeda Tonks selling her house have to do with you?" Arthur asked.

"I'm living with her," Harry said.

"Oh?" His brows raising, crinkling the skin of his forehead.

"I am living with her and my godson, Teddy Lupin," Harry expanded.

"So, you're taking on an active role in his life," Molly said. "It was kind of Andromeda to let you live with her, but you know you always have a bed here, dear."

Ginny winked at him.

"It is a little early to be thinking about going back to school, isn't it Harry?" Hermione asked.

Harry fidgeted as Charlie asked, "What job did you get?"

"A teaching assistant position while I am in school so the following semester I will start as the DADA," Harry evaded.

it was Arthur who asked the question that Harry wouldn't be able to avoid,"Where did you move to?"

"Lanesborough," Harry said.

"Lanesborough in London?" Hermione asked, astonished, "The luxury hotel?"

"No, he means the town in Ireland," Charlie said. "You will like Ireland, Harry, friendly people."

Harry took in a deep breath and said the next in a rush of air, "No, I mean the Lanesborough in Massachusetts, in the United States of America. I am going to finish my last year at school at Ilvermorny."

A dozen astonished, heartbroken faces stared at him. Ginny ran from the house, Harry made to follower her, but Hermione glared at him and she went after Ginny instead.

"You are a fool," Molly said before stomping away into the kitchen.

Molly had spoken and Molly was beyond angry. The rest of everyone else scattered.

Except for Ron who faced him, expression devastated. "America? You're moving to America?"

Harry nodded.

"Why didn't you tell us?"

"I didn't know how. I don't think I could have done it if any of you had told me not to," Harry tried to explain.

"You're leaving us!"

"I can't stay here, Ron, Theodore Nott, our classmate was arrested not two weeks ago for terrorism. Britain isn't safe, not for those closest to me."

"Safe enough for you to leave us behind," Ron snarled.

"Yes, but you can take care of yourself, Teddy can't."

"He has a grandmother, Harry, he doesn't need you."

"Yes, he does."

"We need you!"

"I'm sorry, Ron. But I can't stay."

"Why not?"

"Because I need a job and I need a future apart from my past, from this damned war!" Harry yelled back.

"You are a selfish bastard!" Ron exploded.

Harry glared, "Go turn yourself, Ron Weasley."

"Oh, no, the Great Harry Potter is in trouble, Merlin forbid he ask for help!"

"I asked Minerva and Flitwick for help setting up the house," Harry defended.

"So they knew about this insane, dramatic, rubbish plan before we did?"

Harry didn't have a comeback for that one.

Ron snorted in disgust, "You can't have my sister."

"I know," Harry whispered, shoulders hunching.

"So go break her heart and then go back to Livermourny and your godson who you're going to screw up raising, so he'll be a terrible, cowardly person like you until his grandmother kicks you out for smooching off her wealth."

Harry wanted to cry. Logically he knew Ron would calm down and regret what he had just said. But Harry was hurt and hurting and that his best friend hadn't given him the benefit of the doubt broke something deep and vital inside him. Yeah, maybe, Harry should have told his loved ones what was going on, but maybe he hadn't told them because he was afraid of this reaction, because he knew deep down, that they wouldn't understand, that they wouldn't let him go lightly. Harry left Ron without another word and went to go find Ginny and Hermione so they could complete his chewing out.

Hermione didn't say a word, she ran away from him in tears, which was perhaps worse than anything she could have said or done.

Ginny, Ginny, slapped him. He staggered back from her. He should have expected that, and part of him had, what was completely unexpected was the sensational memory of Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon hitting him.

He was never going to raise his hand on Teddy, no matter what his godson did, Harry was never going to physically harm him or threaten him.

"When were you going to tell me?" Ginny roared.

"I meant to tell you the day after I first came to dinner, but I couldn't get the words out."

"No, you told me you loved me and you made love to me all the while behind my back you were putting an ocean between us, literally, Potter, an ocean!"

"Ginny the last thing I wanted to do was to hurt you."

"Well, you failed," she said, hugging herself, her red hair falling forward to obscure her face.

"Ginny, I still love you, I will always love you."

"Not enough to stay with me, not enough to talk to me, not enough include me in your life."

"Do you want to be a mother, Ginevra? Do you want to get a job overseas? Do you want to live with an infant who isn't yours and a strange older woman who looks like Bellatrix Lestrange?" Harry asked, desperate for her to understand that this wasn't what she wanted.

"Is that what you want, Harry? Is that what you're choosing over me?" she asked.

"I am Teddy's godfather, I have to be there for him. I couldn't live with myself if I wasn't there for him. I could never be the person I wanted to be if I abandoned him," Harry pleaded with her, he stepped closer, hands reaching.

"You are already the man you were meant to be, Harry. You're the man I love, don't abandon that, don't abandon me."

"I am the person Albus Dumbledore meant for me to be, I never really got a choice, not a choice that wasn't evil or survivable anyway."

"So you're choosing him over me?"

"Ginny, please, please understand-"

She looked him dead in the eyes, "Oh, I understand, Harry Potter, I understand that you wanted it all and you're sorry because you know I would never go along with this. You're right I am not going to raise Tonks's baby and live with the sister of the woman who killed my brother. I gave you everything, my body, my soul, my heart, but my future is mine. You can't have everything. You made your choice, go live it."

Harry was crying, tears streaking his face. His chest felt empty and his heart hurt from trying to beat that emptiness into something breathable. "I love you, Ginny Weasley."

"And I hate you, Harry Potter."

She waited until he was gone before breaking down. Her mother came to hold her as she wept away the beautiful life they could have shared. Wept until her heart was a wasted, shriveled, uncaring pit in her gut. Ginny had never and would never love someone as she had loved her Harry.

AN: Reactions? Next chapter is on track with the rest and I am not posting the sequel strategy. It can be skipped while being read but this is the order I finished writing the chapters in and they do coincide. There is a method to my madness.

Chapter 26: The Prequel Part Three


AN: Chapter 20 (next chapter on track) will be up later tonight.

ANII: This is the final Prequel chapter. Please review?

The Prequel Part Three

The letters came the next day, they all bore TransAtlantic stamps so Harry didn't get to see Pigwidgeon.

Dear Harry,

I am so sorry I started with Ginny being pregnant. That confrontation wouldn't have been as bad if everyone hadn't started off yelling. If you need anything let me know, we will always be family.

All the Best,


Dear Harry,

You can't just drop that on us. Why didn't you tell us what was going on? On knew you were having trouble with the banks, but why did you have to leave? We could have come up with another solution. My parents will not come back to England and I can't undo what I did to them. Remember that you can always change your mind, you always have a home with us.

With Love,


P.S. Don't be too hard on Ron, he will come around.

Dear Harry,

Am I happy you broke my daughter's heart and moved across the ocean rather than coming to us for help? No.

Harry, my sweet, you have no idea how much responsibility a child is. You're only seventeen, you haven't had a chance to figure out who you want to be. Andromeda can handle her grandson. Come home, Harry. If you have to take them in then bring them with you but running away from Britain will not help you get away from the nightmares.

As a mother who loves you, I beg that you come back home.

With Love,


Hi Harry,

If you need any help in America let me know. I know some people.

All the Best,


P.S. The Weasley clan will come around, just give them time.

Dear Harry,

You're doing the right thing.

Best of Luck,

Feorge an-

Dear Weasleys and Hermione, Harry wrote back.

I am sorry I sprang the news on you the way that I did. But I need to be here for my godson, I can't abandon him the way I was.

If you still want me to come to a dinner now and then as well as on holidays I'll come.

Love You All,


Summer in Berkshire County was incredible. No wonder there were so many tourists and business people with second homes here. The days were mostly mild and the handful of hot days Harry jumped in the lake that was conveniently located just past his front lawn.

He liked swimming at night while Teddy was asleep. Harry kept the window open, the screen keeping the mosquitoes out but allowing Harry to hear if Teddy when he cried.

The people who lived here were almost abnormally friendly, it probably had something to do with them all having dogs, maybe one out of five houses didn't have a pet of some sort.

Some days Harry would go on short hikes, the forests were endless, trees, huge rocks, rivers, caves, and even waterfalls. Harry didn't bother staying on the path as he could always apparate back home. He saw a lot of squirrels and bunnies, but he really liked finding the deer and the foxes. The variety of birds was amazing, too. Alone in the woods, Harry had imagined it would be quiet, it wasn't. Insects chirped, birds sang songs on top of one another, calling and responding. One day Harry started mimicking them.

The state bird of Massachusetts was the Chickadee, a little beige and grey bird with white markings on their face and black caps. Despite their name, their call didn't sound like chick-a-dee, they sounded like, chick-a-ehn-ehn-ehn. Harry made that sound and the Chickadees fell quiet for a moment then called out to him. He was absurdly pleased with.

Yet with how beautiful Massachusetts was and how much Harry liked taking care of his little family, Molly was right about one thing, the nightmares didn't go away. No matter how hard he fought them or ran from them -the moment he slipped into sleep they swallowed him down. Keeping down food became a problem and he turned into a perpetual insomniac. At this rate, he worried about how he would do in school if he couldn't get more than three to four hours of sleep in a twenty-four hour period.

He began studying to get ahead. Studying helped a lot, focused his mind gave him something to interact with as Teddy the baby couldn't make full symbols yet, more like screeches and 'eh' noises and Mrs. Tonks spent her days communing silently with the lake as if she thought if she just willed it hard enough the water would rise and drown her where she stood.

Harry hid the kitchen knives after he used and washed them.

Harry exchanged a lot of letters with Professor Flitwick and Harry read charms books almost exclusively, tearing through contact at a pace that would do Hermione proud. It was when Harry asked Flitwick about wards that he got into Arithmancy. It was a new subject but it was like finding an old friend. Harry had always been good at math in primary school even as he dumbed down his tests answers because of the Dursleys. Harry enjoyed drawing the symbols and when he felt confident enough he began drawing with his wand the glowing lines were fascinating.

Summer ended too soon, three months pacing in a breeze. Harry accepted a dinner invite to the Weasleys, figuring it would be best to go before school started.

"Don't you have anything pink to wear?" Harry asked Mrs. Tonks as he sorted through her closest.

Ordinarily, he would consider this rude, but he did the woman's laundry, and fed her, and ensured she took showers on a semi-regular basis, looking through her stuff which he had packed and unpacked didn't seem like a big deal.

"I don't own pink," she said in a tone drier than the Sahara Desert.

"Well, I am guessing neither did Bellatrix, and I need you not to look like her."

"Our mother bought her a pink dress once," Mrs. Tonks said.

Harry raised a brow, "I somehow doubt that ended well."

An expression other than utter despair or emptiness almost crossed her face, "Bella almost set the house on fire. Mother would have killed her, but Bella was Father's favorite. She got away with everything."

"How about yellow?" Harry asked.

Harry grinned at the look she gave him.

She stood from her perch on the end of the bed and reached into the back of the closest revealing a baby-blue dress with layered skirts. It was light, airy, and girlish.

"Perfect!" Harry cheered.

Mrs. Tonks laid the dress on the bed and began taking off what she had on. She had absolutely no care if Harry was in the room when she was naked. She seemed to not care about her body, she treated it like it was a thing, a prison retaining and binding her in place.

Harry turned his back on her, looking out the second floor window as she undressed. He would need to get her zipper and brush out her hair so he didn't leave.

At least she wasn't slow about it. A few moments later she tapped his shoulder and he finished zipping up the dress and making sure the tag and hanger bands were tucked in. He sat her on the chair in front of her desk. The chair she used, the desk she didn't. Harry grabbed the brush and worked through her tangled curls. He usually did this when she had just got out of the shower as it frizzed when he brushed or even combed it was dry. But today he planned to braid it so the frizz wouldn't matter, in fact, pulled into a braid her black curls looked shiny Her braid stretched all the way down her back.

"Do you want to put on makeup?" Harry asked.


"Do you want me to try and put makeup on you?"


"You look like Wednesday from the Addams Family," Harry said.

No response. Perhaps she used up her talking points for the week.

Harry sighed and grabbed her hand leading her down stairs. Harry swung Teddy's bag over his shoulder and grabbed Teddy in his bulky baby carrier. He had put featherweight charms on both. Being a parent without magic must have been a pain.

Harry apparated his little family to the Weasleys.

Teddy announced their presence with a wailing cry. Harry let go of Mrs. Tonks's hand who drifted to a corner of the room like a dust bunny slipping under the furniture.

Harry had Teddy in his arms rocking him and rubbing his back when Hermione came into the room.

"Harry!" she exclaimed.

Her loud voice made Teddy -who had been calming down start wailing again.

"Inside voice, Hermione, we don't raise our voices at home," Harry said. He whispered, "Shhhh, Teddy, shhhhh, shhhh, you're okay. You're alright."

Teddy whacked his fist against Harry's chest but he quieted.

"Oh, you're good," Arthur said, smiling, "I was hopeless with the babies."

Molly's smile was more forced than her husband's but she kissed Harry's cheeks and cooed at Teddy. Teddy looked at the woman like she was an alien.

"I am cooking so I'll hold him later," she said, "Andromeda come help me in the kitchen."

Mrs. Tonks did a good impression of vampire, hiding in the corner from light.

"Andromeda?" Molly tried again, "Andromeda, come to the kitchen, tell me what it's like to have a baby again and what it is like raising Harry."

The look Mrs. Tonks gave the other woman was borderline panic. She took four quick steps until she was at Harry's elbow. She looked to Harry, a silent plea for help.

He met her scared brown eyes and Harry understood why she was afraid. Mrs. Tonks had been living like she was the one who had died, and if she were dead, if she was just living in a nightmare, if she didn't have to think, or feel, or face reality, then her daughter wasn't really dead. Nymphadora wasn't dead, she was just away, and Ted Tonks wasn't dead either, he would be coming home from St. Mungo's any day now. As long as she kept the baby healthy everything would be okay, everything would fall back the way it should be. Harry was the caretaker of that dream and if he made her face the truth, if he made her wake up neither of them was sure if she was strong enough to survive it.

"It was a rough night, Mrs. Weasley, Mrs. Tonks stayed up all night with Teddy," Harry lied. He had stayed up all night with Teddy, Mrs. Tonks had gotten her first night of complete sleep on the couch sleeping, her head resting on his shoulder. "I can help you in the kitchen if you like?"

"No, Harry dear, I need a woman's hands. Go sit down," Molly instructed.

Harry had to bite his tongue from calling Molly sexist. In her mind he was just a boy. Though if she was measuring him by Ron than he sort of understood. Ron had exactly zero skills with cooking. He could barely manage to roast a marshmallow without setting himself on fire. Much to Harry and Hermione's amusement during their camping adventures.

Hermione, Ron, Arthur, and Percy were the only ones in the living room. George and Ginny were elsewhere. Bill and Charlie had returned to their homes.

"So," Hermione said in a quiet town, "how's the baby? How's America?"

"The Berkshires are beautiful," Harry said with a smile. "I love living there."

"And the baby?" Percy asked.

Harry's smile was soft and genuine as he looked at the baby in his arms. They had settled to normal baby-blue. Teddy was quietly watching Harry like Harry was the shining star in his world when it was really the other way around. "Teddy is a life saver," Harry said.

Mrs. Tonks, who had attached herself to Harry's side, put a hand on the baby. If she was lost at sea then Teddy was her life boat.

Ron was lost, he had no idea what to say to Harry and no clue what to do about a baby. He felt like he should apologize to Harry, but as Harry was probably moving back to Britain after this year it wouldn't matter. They wouldn't stay in America, Tonks' mum looked miserable.

"Anything interesting going on?" Hermione asked.

"I've been reading," Harry said. "I got into Arithmancy, you were so right that it was a better subject than fortune telling."

Hermione's entire being lit up. Arithmancy got them through the time it took Molly to finish setting up for dinner, Percy joined in the scholarly debate. Ron and Arthur more or less zoned out.

Dinner was terrible. No subject was safe and Harry had to fend off any questions anyone directed at Mrs. Tonks. George joined them for dinner and he spent all of his meal with his eyes glued to his food, avoiding so much as looking in Mrs. Tonks's general direction. Harry had to stop eating his own meal to bottle feed Teddy. Molly tried to intervene which is when the down hill dinner tipped off the cliff.

"Here, Harry, let me do that while you eat your food," Molly said, getting up to take the baby, walking around the table to Harry.

The second Molly lifted Teddy, the baby went from fussing to shrieking. Full out baby sobs, like he was in pain. Worse, far worse, than the cry he used when Mrs. Tonks and Harry tried giving him baths in the big kitchen sink.

"Mrs. Weasley!" Harry shouted over Teddy's screaming, "It's alright I don't mind feeding him."

"No, no you're the guest-"

Teddy reached a new ear splitting octave.

Mrs. Tonks had her wand out pointed between Molly's eyes. "Give back my grandson," Mrs. Tonks said coldly, and it didn't matter that she was wearing a summer dress, or that her hair was breaded, or that she had married a muggleborn, Mrs. Tonks looked like the twin of her sister, Bellatrix Lestrange.

Harry snagged Teddy out of Molly's shocked grasp. Teddy's shrieking turned into sniffling hiccups. It made some sense that Teddy would have separation anxiety, Three quarters of his life, Harry and Mrs. Tonks were the only ones to ever hold him. And no matter what anyone said, losing your mother was hard, whether you were ten-years-old, or two-years-old, or one-month-old. It didn't matter that Teddy would never remember his birth mother. He still knew that the woman who had carried him, the woman's whose smell that had been imprinted on him was gone.

Harry stepped in front of Molly, Mrs. Tonks's wand pressing into his lightning bolt scar. She pulled her wand back, staggering back from him. He caught her around the waist with one arm as his other hand pressed Teddy to his shoulder, his head supported with Harry's hand. He was glad Teddy was still peanut sized. He waited for Mrs. Tonks to catch her balance before ushering her back into the room.

"Harry, wait," Molly called, "Don't go."

But Harry had already grabbed Teddy's bag and was making his way back into the living room for the carrier. He knew he was on a timeline, Mrs. Tonks was one word away from a meltdown and Harry wasn't sure what would happen but he couldn't allow to happen here.

He got the carriage and appreciated them back home, with a hasty bye, to the Weasleys and Hermione.

Mrs. Tonks ran up the steps, slamming the bathroom door behind her.

Harry sighed as he bounced on the balls of his feet trying to quiet the once again crying baby. After a minute or so Teddy had chilled out enough to accept his dinner. After fifteen minutes of eating and another fifteen of burping and rocking, he was asleep long enough for Harry to put him down in his crib.

Harry found Mrs. Tonks in the shower, the water so hot it was nearly scolding. She was still wearing her dress and her shoes and she was curled around herself, pressed into the corner of the wall.

Harry turned down the temperature of the water to pleasantly warm rather than practically boiling and took off everything but his pants. He got into the shower with her. He started on her braid first. He finger combed the strands and once she wasn't clutching so hard to her legs, he turned her back to him so he could shampoo and condition her hair. When he was done. He unzipped the dress and left her to finish up on her own.

Harry got changed into dry clothes in his own room before going downstairs to make tea.

Mrs. Tonks joined him sometime later. He had to remake her a pot of tea. She was dressed only in Ted's oversized bathrobe, hugging herself as if she could physically hold in the pain.

After she finished her first cup of tea and started on her second Harry said, "I start school tomorrow."

She said nothing.

"I'll be here for breakfast, lunch, and in the afternoon," Harry explained. "I am taking DADA, Charms, Arithmancy, Transfiguration, Potions, and Care of Magical Creatures. I am also a teaching assistant. I will not be able to be here every hour of every day. Do you understand that?"

Again she remained quiet.

Harry put Hermione's coin that used from fifth year on the table, he had matched it to a watch he wore and altered the numbers to colors. "If you change the color on your coin, I will see it, and come her admittedly, alright?"

She sipped her tea.

Harry slammed his fist on the table causing the china to rattle, "Damnit, Mrs. Tonks! Teddy needs you, needs both of us. I can't take care of him by myself and put food on the table. Tell me you can take care of him for a few hours of the day alone for five days a week while I am away."

She finished her tea and stood, saying only, "Goodnight, Harry." Mrs. Tonks went up to her bedroom and Harry let his head smash on the table. Harry didn't sleep a wink that night.

Harry's time at Ilvermorny slipped away like sand down a funnel. He stuck his nose in a book and avoided making friends, avoided talking to people, and would actively hide from the people who sought him out to talk about his life in Britain. He became the top student in all his classes with an ease that was beginning to frighten even him. Maybe that whole marked as the Dark Lord's equal had been more fact than poetry. He really didn't want to be the next Dumbledore.

Studying, practicing magic, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of Teddy as well as Mrs. Tonks was the only way he knew how to a teaching assistant involved homework in the form of grading other people's homework and tests. It was odious at times and Harry had to do a lot of research just to fact check ninety percent of the papers. He was appalled by the simplifications and the made up bull shit. He reached the point where he had to memorize the textbook so he could stop wasting time flipping through texts. Hermione would have made a great teacher.

Almost five weeks into his first semester at Ilvermorny Teddy almost gave Harry a heart attack. He had just flown back from school and had gone straight to Teddy's room to check on the baby who tended to wake up from his afternoon nap around this time.

Only in the crib there wasn't a baby, there was a puppy.

Harry screamed, "Teddy!" Reaching into the crib hoping against hope that Teddy was under the blankets.

He wasn't.

Harry grabbed the puppy, "Did you eat my son!?" He shook the puppy, not hard but with some energy, Harry was in full fight or flight mood. "Mrs. Tonks!" he screamed, "Teddy's gone! Someone has stolen Teddy!"

Mrs. Tonks had already been bolting up the steps at Harry's first scream slammed into him from behind almost pushing them into the crib with the puppy.

The puppy yipped, before sinking his teeth into Harry's thumb.

It was Harry's turn to yip. But the pain cleared his head. Harry looked again at the puppy and realized it was a wolf pup. A wolf. A werewolf. Remus had been a werewolf. Had Teddy inherited lycanthropy from his birth father? Tonight was the night was the full moon and even though it wasn't exactly night yet the moon had already risen in the sky.

"Teddy?" Harry asked as Mrs. Tonks ran into him, nearly tipping them both into the crib.

The wolf pup, with its sable-grey coat, yipped again, wagging his tail. His eyes were still baby blue, but one was a few shades darker than the other.

Harry petted Teddy's head, Teddy nuzzled him in return, licking the teeth marks on his hand.

"Oh, no," Harry said. "Do I have lycanthropy now? How am I supposed to stay healthy-"

Mrs. Tonks started laughing, wild and rich, she laughed. Harry gaped at her as she slipped to the floor, scooping Teddy up in her arms as she fell on her butt. Harry knelt by her and he wanted to say it wasn't funny but he had never seen her laugh before. Mrs. Tonks did not have a wide range of emotions, laughter was the last thing Harry would have expected.

Seeing her like this Harry couldn't help smiling too. He sank down to the floor with her. What did it matter if he caught lycanthropy? They would deal with it. Like they dealt with everything else.

"He ate Teddy," Mrs. Tonks managed between laughs.

Harry flushed and petted Teddy's soft fur, it was hard to say which version of him was cuter. Mrs. Tonks laughed and laughed until her mirth turned to tears and she began to sob. Sob as if she was trying to expel her heart.

Teddy wined, curling into his grandmother's lap. Harry wrapped his arms around them both. This was the first time he had seen or heard her cry. He held her as she fell apart. He rubbed her back like he did for Teddy when he cried.

"I'm here, Mrs. Tonks," Harry consoled, "I'm here."

"Dromeda," she said into his chest.

"What?" Harry asked.

"Andromeda, my name is Andromeda," she repeated as she clung to him and Teddy.

"We are going to be okay, Andromeda," Harry told her.

She closed her eyes, acknowledging to herself, to Harry, and to her grandson that neither Ted nor Nymphadora were coming back. That wasn't okay, that would never be okay, but they had each other and the three of them would find a way to make a life for themselves.

Amongst all the death and horror, Harry and Andromeda had Teddy, and if not for themselves but for him, they would live.

Story Notes and Recap:

Harry doesn't become a werewolf and they find a wizard from further West with Native American heritage who tells them that Teddy is Wolf blessed. Andromeda starts pulling her weight, she helps Harry recover from a lifetime of abuse, physically and emotionally.

Harry's fame and British accent, along with newfound height and good looks causes him no end of trouble with the students. He ends up taking a firm stance with being called Professor Potter. His looks do help him when he starts bar hopping in the cities when Teddy is older than two years, 'dating' exclusively No-Maj women.

Andromeda helps Harry get a Masters in Potions, like herself, though Harry is still strongest in DADA, Charms, and with wards. Harry is aware and wary of having the same magical strength as Dumbledore.

Teddy grows up homeschooled, exposed to both No-Maj and Magical children. Andromeda and Harry become falcon animgi when he is about three years old.

Ron, Hermione, and Harry hold on a tentative friendship.

Molly never really forgives Harry for leaving Britain and breaking her daughter's heart.

Ginny and Harry do not talk to each other outside of holidays.

Narcissa and Andromeda rebuild their bridges, during winter vacations in the south of France.

Luna, Bill, Charlie, and George have the easiest friendship with Harry in the seven years after the war.

Harry is one of the most beloved professors at Ilvermorny.

Harry loved his life, his son, and Andromeda before Fawkes kidnapped them.

Thus ends the Prequel.

AN: So that is the last of the prequel. Hope you enjoyed this segway, if you didn't, then I told you didn't need to read it.

Chapter 27: What We Lost

Hello! Lovely Readers,

I am sorry to say there is no more Disorder, however, What We Lost will be an alternative universe prequel. In other words, my Harry, Andromeda, and Teddy directly after the war (DH) if they had stayed in the UK and there was no time travel. It is a stand-alone story but the version of the characters is quite comparable.

And I have confirmed that it will be a Harry x Andromeda pairing -which I got to name because it was never given a fanon name until now: Harmeda.

If it goes well and people show interest I will bring the timeline all the way through to Teddy's first few years at Hogwarts. As always I judge interest by peoples responsiveness, i.e. reviews with people's thoughts and reactions. Hope to see you.

Your Author,

Jacob Apples