Chapter 20

An End to Innocence

Teddy spent the rest of the summer away from the burrow. Much to George's dismay. Getting her out of the tropical castle had not been easy. In fact he had been nearly eaten alive by plants trying to get closer to her. The long black ink that had come from her hair had made spider webs around her jolting body, racked with tears. Eventually though she had stopped seeing through him in her sadness and looked right at him. He had held her and whispered that it was going to be okay. The words next had stung him.

"It's not going to be okay." It was simple but it had summed it up. She was right of course. Her family was dead and she was all alone.

Taking her hand he had lead her back to Dumbledore. The rest was a flicker of motion. He had apperated George back to the burrow and then whisked Teddy away to god knew where.

She was not on the train ride back either. Fred watched his brother. His eyes lit up every time someone walked by the door, than his face fall when it wasn't a certain little killing machine. He had to admit that he missed the girl too. She was a crazy little thing with a mind for tricks and witty jokes. George hadn't said very much about what had happened when Dumbledore took him. Just that Teddy's family was dead and that she was close to the same.

"I'm sure she's fine." He told his twin. George gave him a doubtful look. "She's probably already back at the castle planning a parade or something."

"Maybe." George murmured.

Dumbledore climbed the stairs to the Astronomy Tower. Teddy, beautiful as ever sat there on a ledge looking out over the country as she waited for the train to come in. He had debated sending her away again but she was about as ready as she was ever going to be to get on with her life and her task.

"Theodore." He murmured making her look up. "The train will be here soon. Don't you want to get dressed?"

She brushed a strand of long black hair from her face. "Soon…I will soon." She told him. There was really very little point though. She might still be labeled a student but there was one thing on her mind now that she had calmed the dark power inside of her. Murder. Her family was gone; Harry's family was gone. Neville Longbottom's family was all but gone. It was time to send them some company…and that was going to be Tom Riddle and any death eater that she could get her fingers wrapped around.

The summer at Hogwarts had given her the time she needed to think about what to do next. Finding a specific person was not a sprint. Finding and killing him would be a marathon. She didn't know where the thought had come from but it seemed like something her father would think. This comforted her. So she had come to terms with what had to be done. She would be a student a little while longer. She would wait until he resurfaced, because one was thing was for sure. He would come to Hogwarts.

Until then she would be doing what she had done the rest of the summer; hunting. Dumbledore couldn't keep her on a leash forever. His guard had been down the first night that she had come back and she had gotten out. Tracking down one of the death eaters that had been at her home had not been hard. She knew his energy. Finding him in London had been like finding the tube for the right tunnel…it had taken a few hours but eventually appeared to her. She'd killed him. It was rage, grief and sadness and really hadn't helped her find the mastermind who had thought the plan up but it helped her get over some of that anger and brought her back down to earth.

Dumbledore watched her face contort as she went over what she had to do again in her mind. She was planning and he knew it. He knew exactly what she was thinking. "The Weasley's will be on that train." He reminded her quietly, waiting for a reaction. If there was any hope of restoring humanity back into her instead of her task it was with the Weasley's. He wished that he could have left her with them over the summer. Human connection would have been good for her but it would have been far too dangerous. Molly and Arthur would not have been able to keep any of the dark tendencies at bay. She was too powerful.

Teddy leaned back against the side of the wall and looked at him. "I know Godfather, but what would you have me do?"

Dumbledore sighed and sat down next to her. "Beautiful, smart Theodore. You are far too dear to too many people to end up like this." He reached out and stroked her hair.

"Three less people." She muttered under her breath.

"I shall be frank with you Theodore. You are not a child. You have hardly ever been one." His stern tone caught her attention. "Your father and your mother knew what they were getting into. Murder is a part of this scenario."

Teddy stood up venomously. "And my baby sister! What was her crime!" She nearly yelled. So he was Dumbledore, what of it? She was the first elemental born in thousands of years.

Dumbledore smiled sadly. "Same as yours…being born." He murmured, noise sad and forlorn. Yes that was Teddy's crime. He stood and put a hand on each of her arms. "Casualties of war my dear. You speak of them yourself. Are you not meant to be one as well?"

"And what of my destiny than Godfather?" He looked at her questioningly. "When shall I turn into what I was made into? Your little murderer?"

Dumbledore rubbed her arms. "In time." Was all that he said.

George and Fred walked through the entrance hall laughing with Lee. George, however, remained distracted. She had to be around here somewhere. Dumbledore wouldn't keep her anywhere else…returning to Hogwarts had to be the only way to keep her safe.

And there she was, walking down the stairs. She was pulling at her tie and collar uncomfortably. George smiled slightly at this. It was just like the first time that he had seen her. She was less of a formal person, beautiful in a rebellious sort of way. She glanced up and around. Her eyes were that unnerving black, inky colour again. She blinked it away as she saw them looking at her and did her best to give a small smile, unable to stand the worried expression that George was sure had entered his face.

"Alright everyone!" Professor Mcgonical shooed them all towards the great hall. "The sorting is about to start! To your seats."

"Can I talk to you?" She asked George after hugging Fred. "In private."

George nodded quickly. "Yeah of course. Come on." He took her hand and led her out of the Great Hall and through some of the hallways, sure that they would not be found by any wandering students or teachers.

"George I'm-" He cut her off, pushing her into a wall and kissing her hard. Her hands gripped his shoulders but she couldn't push him away. His lips were rough but loving at the same time, his hands finding her slender waist and wrapping around them.

"Thank Merlin you're alright." He murmured, breaking away, his nose still brushing against hers.

"George…I…god! Shit! Fuck!" She pulled away from him and ran her fingers through her hair. "I wish you hadn't done that!"

George starred at her for a moment. "Why? Cause it makes that black in your eyes go away?" He gave a little laugh and cupped her cheek.

She pulled away again and made a frustrated noise. "George just stop! I'm not the girl I was a year ago. Please understand that."

"You are!" He insisted. "Teddy, I know what happened to you was horrid but we're going to make them pay for it. We'll find them and put them on trial and they'll get what they desearved and you'll have justice."

"I killed one." She shocked him into silence and he stepped back from her. "I put my hand on his chest and sucked the life right out of him. That's my justice." For the first time she read the gravity of what she had done on his face. "You think I'm all just fun and games and playful magic but I'm not. I'm a murderer. That's what I was breed to be. I'm Dumbledore's little assasin. I kill them before they kill you. That's what I was trained for. That's the girl you think you like. That's what I am."

She looked away as he starred at her. "No." He finally said. "No I don't believe you. You killed a man?"

Teddy licked her lips but still didn't look at him. "You think this is some sort of childish game?" She whispered back. "This is a war. Why do you think that Dumbledore brought me here to start with? It was to clear a path for Harry to Voldemort."

George shook his head. "But it's more than that now. You care for me."

Teddy shut her eyes for a moment. "You know I do. I wouldn't have been your friend if I didn't. But god George, you can't love a murderer."

He felt a soft breath leave his lips. "You're not a murderer. No I can't believe that you are. I've seen you save lives too. Ginny, Harry… You had your reasons."

"Vengeance." She replied simply. "Cold, bloody vengeance. If I didn't suck out his life with my bare hands I would have slit his throat. And I'll do it again." She pushed him away and started to walk back to the hall. "Just leave me be George. This is no game anymore."