WARNING: Deathly Hallows Spoiler!! If you haven't read the book yet, you should not read this fanfic. Well, you could still read this little story but don't complain later if I spoilt anything for you ;-)
Yes... The Harry-Potter-enthusiasm has gripped me again... It's always the same when the new book is published. I was thirteen years old when I started reading Harry Potter. Now I'm twenty and I'm still addicted to it. Reading the book yesterday felt in a strange way like time travelling... I absolutely loved it. I was SO happy to see that Snape was on the good side. And yet, it was all the more tragic, wasn't it? My favourite scene was Trelawney throwing crystal orbs :D And the scene that really left me shaken was Lupin's outburst... Yes, this little fic deals also with things mentioned in that scene.
I'll stop rambling now. Yes, of course there are so many more things about the book which I yearn to discuss with people... But let's get to the story now.
Characters are: Teddy Remus Lupin, Harry, Ginny and their children James and Albus (I hope I got their age right).
The happiest day of the year for most other children. For all the normal children. Children with parents who gave them great presents like broomsticks, colour-changing ink or lots of the best sweets.
Ted Remus Lupin neither had parents nor had he gotten any great presents for Christmas. He lived with his grandmother and he usually got books and some new clothes for Christmas. So far, nothing had seemed horribly wrong with that. But everything had changed when he had come to Hogwarts. He had learned that it was supposed to be different. Now were his first holidays and he was glad to be home. On the other hand, he hated being home because it reminded him once again how different from everyone else he was.
Today, he would go to the Potters. As it had become a tradition, they had invited him to come the day after Christmas and celebrate with him like the last years. His godfather was the only one who gave great presents to him. To his last birthday, he had given Ted a really nice set of wizard chess. The only problem was, he had no one to play with him. Ted knew his grandmother did not have the money to buy him any great presents. Hogwarts textbooks and school uniforms were expensive enough. What little money his parents had left him, had already been spent a long time ago. So all they had was his grandmothers meagre widow's pension. The Potters, however, were rich and Harry could achieve to buy expensive presents for his godson. Once, he had even offered to give them more money in order for Ted to get decent clothes and good equipment for his start at Hogwarts. Gran had become very angry, had shouted at Harry and had rudely declined his offer. Ted could not understand it. They really needed the money and the Potters had more than enough – so why did Gran refuse? It was unfair, really. Just because Gran was so stubborn, he, Ted had to wear these ridiculous second-hand cloaks. It was unfair.
Angrily, Ted stared at the empty picture frame which hung over his bed. He had removed the photograph of his parents right the day when he had come back from Hogwarts.
Shooting one more angry look at the empty place, he went into the kitchen, grabbed a handful of Floo powder, waved his grandmother goodbye and went on his way to the Potters'.
"Teddy!" someone screamed delightedly when Ted arrived in the Potters' fireplace. Before he had even opened his eyes, the squeals continued. "Mum! Dad! It's Teddy!!"
Stepping out of the fireplace and dusting himself down, Ted saw four-year-old James running excitedly into the next room and continuing with his high-pitched announcements. Not able to keep the grin from his face, Ted moved towards the door of the next room too and almost toppled over James, who came running back towards him.
"Whoa, careful –"
"Teddy, I got a broom for Christmas, a broom!" James interrupted him. "And Albus got one too but it's not as fast as mine and it can't fly very high." He was forced to make a little pause in order to breathe. "What's it like at Hogwarts?" The little boy looked curiously up at him.
Fortunately, Ted was saved from having to answer that question by Harry and Ginny, who appeared in the threshold.
"Merry Christmas, Teddy," Harry said, beaming, and pulled him into a one-armed hug.
"Thanks, to you too," Ted replied. He handed Harry a little packet. "Here, Gran has baked a cake for you. I'm afraid it got a bit dusty on my journey…"
"That's alright, say thank you to your grandmother," Harry said cheerfully, accepted the packet and brought in into the kitchen.
"Hello Teddy," said Ginny, whose belly was already very big again. The third child was on its way. For a moment, Ted experienced that aching feeling of loneliness again. He quickly averted his eyes and smiled down at Albus, who was trying to hide behind his mother's legs.
"Come on, Teddy," Ginny said and ushered him inside the living room. "Are you hungry? We still got lots of pudding left from yesterday."
A magnificent Christmas tree decorated with fairies and icicles stood in the centre of the room. The floor was littered with torn wrapping paper and James's and Albus's Christmas presents. A fat owl was pecking between the wrapping papers, trying to reach some of the cauldron cakes. The whole scenery was so different from the crippled Christmas tree which Ted's grandmother had decorated with old, dusty baubles, and the presents neatly arranged on the table, that it sent a jolt of pain through his chest again.
"Sit down," Ginny told Ted, motioning towards a chair at the big wooden table which was laden with delicious looking food. Ginny sat down opposite him and Albus climbed on her lap. "So what's it like at Hogwarts?" she asked pleasantly.
"It's good," Ted mumbled.
Harry came back with a bottle of pumpkin juice and the cake from Ted's grandmother. For the time being, Ted was saved again from answering questions about Hogwarts. They ate together and most of the conversation was done by James, who kept jumping up from his chair, grabbing one of his presents respectively and showing it proudly to Ted. He could not keep it off forever, that much was sure, and as soon as the two boys had started playing with their screaming yo-yos, Harry came back to that uncomfortable topic.
"So what's your favourite subject at Hogwarts?"
"Herbology. It's nice. Charms is okay too," Ted said truthfully. As long as they spoke about lessons, it was alright.
"That's great, so I suppose you can already do the levitation charm?" Harry asked.
"Well, come on, you must show us!" Ginny encouraged him.
"Erm, right." Ted grabbed his wand, cleared his throat and said, "Wingardium Leviosa." The plate in front of him slowly lifted up from the table.
Harry and Ginny clapped. "Brilliant!"
A proud flush coloured Ted's cheeks. When he, however, imagined what his hair must look like now, he suddenly lost control of the spell and the plate clattered back on the table, landing on his glass of pumpkin juice and smashing it. "Oh no," Ted winced. "Sorry…"
"Don't worry, that's not a problem," Ginny calmed him down and pointed her wand at the broken dishes. "Reparo."
The broken glass mended itself and looked like new again. "Ah, I haven't learned that spell at Hogwarts yet," Ted said.
"Probably next year," Ginny commented good-naturedly. "So, have you already found friends?"
There it was, the question he had been dreading. "Yeah, everyone's very nice." His feeble attempt of cheerfulness did not even convince himself.
"And have you already discovered secret passages?" Harry asked.
"Not yet," Ted said noncommittally.
"That's –" Ginny started but was interrupted by another ear-splitting scream of the yo-yos. "James, Albus, will you please stop that? The noise is really getting on our nerves!"
"But we want to play," James said defiantly. His younger brother nodded vigorously.
"And we already told you that we do not want you to play with the yo-yos longer than half an hour a day," Harry said.
"Why?" Albus whined.
"Because of the noise," Ginny said exasperatedly. "Come on, boys, it's time for you to go to bed."
"But Teddy is allowed to stay awake," James complained. "Why do we have to go to bed?"
"Because you're much younger than Teddy. Come on now." Ginny grabbed Albus's and James's hand and dragged them upstairs.
"But we want to play with Teddy," James lamented.
With an aching longing, Ted watched them go upstairs. Not for the first time, he wondered what it would be like to have siblings. Then he noticed Harry was watching him with a knowing little smile.
"Come on, let's go into my room," Harry said. "I haven't given you your present yet."
Awkwardly, Ted followed Harry into his room. He hoped Harry did not want to talk to him about his friends or his parents. Because Ted had neither of them. He sat down in the big, cosy armchair while Harry, cursing under his breath because he could not find what he was looking for, rummaged his desk drawers. Ted's gaze drifted over the walls. There were several posters of famous Quidditch players but also many framed pictures of people Ted had never met. And yet he knew who they were. He had heard all about them, the great heroes who had fallen in the War. Mad-Eye Moody, Fred Weasley, Regulus Black, Cedric Diggory, Albus Dumbledore, Severus Snape, James and Lily Potter, Sirius Black…and, inevitably, in the end Ted's gaze rested on the picture of his parents. His father, who had an arm around his wife's shoulder, smiled widely at him. His mother cheerfully waved a hand at him, the other hand draped on her big belly.
"They would be very proud of you."
Ted whirled around to see Harry, who had stopped rummaging his drawers, watching him understandingly.
"I don't care!" The words, bitter and vicious, were out before Ted could stop himself.
Harry looked thoroughly taken aback. "Teddy? What's wrong? What do you mean?"
"They're dead. I don't care if they would have been proud."
Harry gave him a sad smile. "You think the dead we have loved ever truly leave us? Your parents are alive in you, Teddy."
"They…" Ted swallowed. And swallowed again. "Don't call me Teddy."
"Don't call me Teddy! I'm eleven years old now, I'm at Hogwarts, I'm not a baby anymore!"
"Yes… Yes, of course, Teddy – er, Ted, I mean."
Ted bit his lip and glared at the picture of the two beaming people. He was screaming inside, How dare you? How dare you do this to me? How dare you leave me?
"You have your mother's ability to change your appearance," Harry continued softly. "And I'm sure you have inherited their talents as well. They were great wizards. You're much like them."
"I don't want to be like them!" Ted protested desperately. "I don't want to be…like them." He spat the last words with contempt directed at the picture, the two people in it completely unaffected by his outburst.
"But, Teddy…Ted… I know you miss them and –"
"I don't want to be like them," Ted insisted, his lower lip trembling. "They're freaks!"
"What?" Harry blinked in shock and surprise. "What?" he repeated incredulously. "What gives you that idea?"
"Well, just look at them!" Ted yelled, angry tears in his eyes. He jumped out of the armchair and stepped closer towards the picture at the wall. "Look at them!" He stabbed his finger furiously at the picture as if he wanted to hurt the two happy looking people for what they had done to him. "It's not normal to have hair like that!" Accusing, he pointed at his mother's dark-violet hair which she turned – as if to prove his point – into a poisonous green the next second. His father laughed at that and patted her big belly affectionately. "And him – look at him! Everybody can see he's a – a…werewolf."
"So what?" Harry asked patiently.
"So what?! Well, do they look normal to you?" Ted asked in an accusing tone.
"They look happy to me," Harry said calmly.
"Happy, fine, yeah." Although he had just told Harry to call him 'Ted' because he was not a little child anymore, he knew that he behaved somewhat childishly when he angrily stamped one foot on the floor. "They are happy, great, but what about me? Did they think about me for a single moment when they decided to have a freak-marriage and have a freak-child?!"
"Who said that?" Harry asked, angry now as well. "Other students at Hogwarts?"
Ted pressed his lips together and nodded. He stared at the floor when he continued to speak, the anger from before gone, replaced by a cold bitterness. "Every time I give an incorrect answer to a question and blush, my hair turns pink. Pink! And everyone laughs and makes jokes about me…"
"Hey." Harry stepped next to him and put a comforting hand on his shoulder. "There are only very few Metamorphmagi. It's a gift. It's really useful if you, for example, want to become an Auror, like your mother."
"But I don't want to be like them," Ted muttered, still staring down at his feet. "I want to be normal."
"Well, I think being normal is really boring. You are special and you should be proud of it."
Ted gave a low, humourless laugh. "I would rather be boring than a werewolf kid."
"What the –" Harry grabbed his shoulders so he could look at Ted. "Do they call you that?" he asked, staring piercingly at him. Ted simply nodded. "Who?" his godfather demanded to know.
"Loads of people," Ted mumbled. "Mostly Slytherins."
Harry shook his head. "You shouldn't listen to the Slytherins, they're –"
"What, before I went to Hogwarts you told me to respect all the other students, even the Slytherins, you said there were many prejudices against them and there were decent Slytherins too, like that Snape bloke."
"Yeah, well…" Harry thoughtfully rubbed the scar on his forehead. "But the students who call you…that…and who make fun of you are definitely not decent. Listen, Ted," Harry he said firmly. "Your parents were not freaks and you are not either. You know, there were lots of people who called me a 'freak' once too. Don't listen to such people. Your parents were two of the kindest and bravest people I ever knew. You don't have to be ashamed of them, quite the contrary."
"Ah yes?" The boiling anger and desperation was back, Ted shoved Harry's hands away, stomped off and dropped down in the armchair again. "They were 'kind', great! To whom? To you? To the other brave warriors? And what about their own son?" He clenched his hands into fists and sent the picture a murderous glare. "Was I just an unfortunate accident? Was I in their way when they would rather have fought for the greater good?"
"Now, Ted, that's enough," Harry said almost strictly. "You know, when I got to know your father, many terrible things had already occurred in his life. He was not a very cheerful person. But I remember the one day when he was completely happy – he was beside himself with happiness. It was the day you were born."
Ted gulped. And sniffed. "Then why…," he said in a miserable, trembling voice, "then why did he abandon me? Why did he have to fight? I would rather have cowardly parents who are still alive than brave parents who are dead."
Harry said down on the armrest of the chair and put an arm around his godson. A single tear slid down Ted's cheek. "I know," Harry reassured him. "I lost my parents too… I understand, Ted. That night Voldemort was defeated, I saw sort of a vision of your Dad. It's difficult to explain but I could speak to him once again. He said he regretted he could not see you grow up. And he also said he hoped you'd understand that he wasn't abandoning you but that he died trying to make a world in which you could live a happier life."
"But I'm not happy," Ted whispered. "I'm not happy without them and without any friends."
"I'm sure you will find friends soon," Harry said encouragingly. "Certainly there are other students in Hogwarts who do not have friends yet either. You've only just begun your schooldays. You're a nice boy and you will find friends, I know it. I mean, your father was a werewolf and he found friends. I told you about them, didn't I?"
"'Course you did," Ted sniffed. "Many times." His godfather seemed to be the one who knew most about his father. His grandmother could only tell him about his mother because she had never got the chance to get to know his father better. Shortly after their marriage, his parents had died.
"Let's make a bet," Harry said. "If you don't have friends after your first school year, I'll give you my Invisibility Cloak."
"What?" His mouth wide open, Ted stared at Harry. He knew the Cloak was his godfather's most priced possession. Harry must be really sure of it if he bet the Cloak... It encouraged Ted somewhat. If Harry Potter, the wizard who had defeated Lord Voldemort, was so sure of something, it had to be right... Right?
Harry chuckled and got up from the armchair. "Now, I still haven't given you your Christmas present." He used his wand to summon and old piece of parchment into his hand, which he handed to Ted. "This might be useful if you don't know any secret passages yet," he said, his eyes twinkling. He lightly touched the parchment with his wand and said, "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good."
Ink lines began to spread on the parchment until they formed great, curly words:
Messrs Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs
Purveyors of Aids to Magical Mischief-Makers
are proud to present
THE MARAUDER'S MAP
Of course, Ted knew who Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs were. And he had heard of the Marauder's Map. Still, it was a strange feeling to see it for the first time and hold it in his hands. Where his fingers touched the parchment, a tingling feeling started to spread throughout his body. A prickling warmth that felt oddly comforting.
"I – I can use it?" he asked uncertainly.
"You can keep it. It is yours anyway, isn't it?" Harry said, smiling. "It's not as if I still need it."
"Thanks," Ted muttered, softly trailing the letters with his fingers, almost in reverence.
"So, as this is not really a present from me but rather an inheritance from your father, a present from your godfather is still due to you. Actually, I couldn't think of what to buy you, so I thought we could go to Diagon's Alley tomorrow and see what you'd like. Do you have any idea?"
Finally, Ted looked up from the parchment. "Yes, there is something…" His eyes moved to the picture on the wall. "Could I have the picture of my parents? I…burnt mine," he admitted, shamefacedly.
"You…burnt…?" Harry said in confusion, frowning slightly.
"Yeah, I…" Feeling really awkward, Ted trailed off, blushing madly. He knew his hair would probably be loud pink by now but he also knew that Harry did not care.
"Oh, right, okay, you can have it, of course," Harry said and went to remove the picture from the wall.
"Thank you very much," Ted said gratefully when Harry handed him the picture. "I, erm, won't burn it again," he said apologetically, speaking more to the people on the picture than to Harry.
"I should hope so," Harry commented, faintly amused.
Ted cleared his throat and gave Harry a sheepish look. "It's good to have you as my godfather." Harry was the closest thing he had to a father. His grandmother had to replace his mother. "The other students think it's really cool to have Harry Potter as your godfather. I'm glad to have a godfather…" But having a godfather and a grandmother was not the same as having parents. Blinking back his tears, Ted stared down at the picture in his lap. His parents were still beaming up at him. His mother's nose was changing from a pig snout to a house elf's nose. His father was laughing again and the big scar on his right cheek looked really peculiar. Yes, they were most definitely freaky but they were also his parents and they had loved him, and that was what really counted. "I wish they were still here…," he breathed, hardly able to speak.
"They –" Harry began but was interrupted by James, who burst into the room, closely followed by Albus and Ginny. The two boys had meanwhile changed into their sleeping clothes.
"We came to say goodnight, Daddy," Albus said sweetly.
"Ah!" Harry lifted him up in his arms and kissed him on his forehead. Albus removed Harry's glasses so he could kiss him back on his forehead. "Goodnight, Albus."
Then it was James's turn. Meanwhile, Albus shyly grinned at Ted and said, "Goodnight, Teddy."
He could have protested that he was not a little child anymore and that his name was 'Ted' but he did not. "Yes, goodnight, Albus. Sleep well," he replied, smiling at the little boy, who clung to his mother's leg.
"Will the baby come tomorrow?" Albus curiously asked Ginny.
"No, I'm afraid it will still need four or five weeks," Ginny replied, smiling in a way that indicated that she was asked the same question every evening.
"How do you plan to call the baby?" Ted asked.
"Lily if it's a girl," Ginny said.
"And Remus if it's a boy," Harry finished.
Ginny looked at her husband in surprise. "Do we? Didn't we agree last week that we would call him Sirius?"
Ted's shoulders sagged slightly. Of course, they would rather name their child after handsome Sirius than after a freaky werewolf.
"Change of plan," Harry informed his wife. "I'd rather have a Remus- than a Sirius-kid in my family. The two boys are already difficult enough to handle."
"But what if he gets bitten by a werewolf?" Ginny said jokingly.
"Better a werewolf than such a troublemaker-rebel," Harry countered. "A werewolf makes only trouble once a month."
When Ted joined in their laughter, he felt a great weight lift from his chest. In his mind, he made a note how to learn to deal with it – by laughter.
"What's a rebel, Daddy?" Albus asked. "What's a rebel?"
"So, what name will we take?" Harry turned to Ginny.
"I really don't know…," she said thoughtfully.
"I know it, I know it!" James shouted excitedly. "You could have twins and then you can name one of them Remus and the other Sirius." He beamed, very proud of his ingenious idea.
"Twins?" Ginny said, aghast. "Remus and Sirius? Merlin forbid, I bet they would turn out to be like a second pair of Fred and George!" There was a brief flicker of a shadow crossing her face but it quickly vanished when she looked at her familiy and laughed together with them.
"Yeah, that would be great!" James continued thoughtfully. "Then we are four and we could play Quidditch two against two…"
"What's a rebel, Mummy?" Albus pulled his mother's hand to get her attention. "What's a rebel?"
"Someone who makes a lot of trouble and always goes against the rules," Harry replied at last.
"Speaking of that, you should really go to bed now," Ginny reminded the two boys.
They left the room, James assailing Ginny with questions why they could not have twins. Harry turned to Ted.
"Listen, if anybody ever calls you something stupid again or gives you a hard time, tell me about it, okay? I can speak to Neville - Professor Longbottom - and he will see for it that they leave you alone."
Ted shook his head in exasperation. Harry Potter might be a cool godfather but there were some things which adults just did not understand. "Please don't speak to Professor Longbottom. It would just make everything worse." Professor Longbottom already treated him a bit like a favourite student and that was something which you had to avoid at all costs. "They would say I'm the teacher's pet and things."
"Hm, they would probably come up with something more creative like the teacher's werewolf cub," Harry said, grinning. A little bit reluctant, Ted finally grinned back. "I can show you some more about the Map now", Harry said. "You need to know how it works. But let's get back into the living room, it's warmer there with the fire."
When they had left the room, a teenage boy said, unheard by everyone else in the house, to his three friends in the picture, "Well, whatever he says, Moony is a freak."
"Hey!" Another boy on the photograph gave him a friendly punch in the side. "I'm not the one who ran away and got disowned because he was not a good boy."
"Oh stop that," a third boy interrupted the friendly banter of his two best friends. "When will you ever grow up?"
"Oi, Prongs, don't be a spoilsport. Just because you're a grandfather now."
"I'm not –! Oh, well, right…"
"I think your son is a really good godfather to my son, Prongs."
"Hey, don't forget, he's also my godson."
"Yeah, okay, okay… So: Your godson, who also happens to be Prongs's son, is a really good godfather to my son."
"Uh… Does that make us relatives, Moony? Because I wouldn't want to be related to a werewolf. I would be disowned ten more times."
"Well, I'm afraid you don't have much of a choice, dearest Padfoot. I mean, I'm already married to Tonks, who is… your cousin?"
"Will you please stop that, guys? You know that's very confusing, don't you?" the fourth boy squeaked.
Author's Note: I hope you liked it! I would be thrilled if you left me a little review ;-) Please forgive me for any grammar or vocabulary mistakes. English is not my first language but I try my best.