Could things have been different? Of course, they could have. We, as a people could have been less judgmental, more cautious, and more intent on making ourselves great community. Instead, we let our prejudices and our fears get the best of us. We followed those who promised much and delivered little. It is left to us, the survivors, to pay the price. Women like me who have lost so much are the ones who are the hardest hit. I have lost a husband who I loved, a daughter who was my joy, and a son-in-law who was a mystery to me. They are all gone, scarified to the madness that was part of those times.
It was up to me to raise Teddy. Oh yes, Harry Potter was part of his life. One of the last decent things Remus did for his child was make Potter his godfather. I could not see it at first, too concerned that Teddy would have a godfather who had been the catalyst for this misery that cost him his parents. Besides, Potter was not much more than a child himself. What would he know about raising a baby? Would he be able to change the diapers, make the meals, and care for him when he was sick? Was Potter going to be there every full moon to watch anxiously to see if what Teddy inherited was from his father was that dreaded affliction? Would Harry Potter be there to dry Teddy's eyes when other children had made fun of him, as they did his mother? I could not see it to be possible.
Therefore, I went it alone, raising Teddy. I was the one who cared for him daily and watched him grow. I was the one who stretched my arms out to help him walk. I was the one who spanked him when his was naughty. I corrected him when he pronounced words wrong. I was the one who watched as he took his first steps into learning how to be a wizard.
I could see Ted in him. A constant stream of debris seemed to follow the child. A dropped sock, a stuffed toy tossed behind the sofa, crumbs on the floor all announced Teddy had been about. He had his mother's complete lack of grace too, although a bit of Quidditch play in school seemed to help that. The quietness in him surprised me. It did not happen often but I would catch him, staring out a window or contemplating by himself in the garden. Wistful, as if he was trying to discover the secrets of a world in which he had no place in. I would ask what he was doing or what was he thinking about.
Nothing, he would reply as he returned to this world. Nothing at all, Grandmother.
As time went on, questions were asked. Things that Teddy wanted to know but I had no answer for. I could tell him about his mother but when it came to Remus, there was so little I could speak of or wanted to. I only knew Remus as the wreckage of a man whom my daughter presented to us that fall day. He was beaten by his disease by that time, worn thin and drained of fight. I still have a hard time seeing what Nymphadora saw in him. Then, what the heart sees and what the eyes can focus on are two very different entities.
Teddy had the right to know and not from the others who had feared his father or hated him. I certainly could not allow the opinions of those like my sisters to color his perspective. When the time was right, I sent him to Potter. By this time, Potter had married the Weasley girl. At least there would be someone there who had some experience in caring for children, I thought.
Each visit brought a slight change in Teddy. It was if another piece in a large puzzle had been added and the image of the past was becoming clearer to him. He would share some of what he learned each time with me. After awhile I began to learn who Remus Lupin had been and why my daughter may have fallen in love with him. I suppose in a way it was not that hard to do, because I could see Teddy falling in love with him before my eyes.
Over the years, I have watched Teddy grow and mature. He has changed much from the tiny baby I cried over years ago. Each school year I sent off one child only to have another one return to me each spring. Taller, more confident, more handsome each time. I shared his life with Potter, allowing Teddy to spend as much time as he wanted with him and his growing family. Teddy was an only child who came from only children. This can be a lonely existence. In Potter's family, he had the brothers and sisters he wanted and needed.
I see so much of my husband in Teddy. I see Nymphadora too. And I see Remus, something that I would not have if I had not allowed Teddy to spend time with his godfather, Harry. So much of what has been lost to me is reclaimed in Teddy. The ones who I loved and those who I learned to love live in him and never die. He has made them eternal through his existence.
I saw the owl today. Left carelessly on the parlor table by Teddy, it reeked of perfume. A clearly girlish scrawl across the envelope let me know that someone had taken his eye. A Weasley girl. V. Weasley. I am not sure which one she is. For pity's sake there has to be a hundred of them. I am surprised and pleased that girls still mail love letters to their intendeds. A quality makes me believe we are not all going to become rabble in the end. I did not read it, but decided to wait and see what would happen next.
I am sure of the events that will occur. Teddy will perform the same ritual as his mother did so many years ago. On some fall day, he will appear at the door with this girl. I hope it will not be an arrival with that damn floo powder either. Molly was always so keen on using the nasty stuff to get anywhere. He will stand in front on me, blushing, and introduce her to me. She will be polite beyond anyone's imagination. He will behave like a gentleman, because that is how he was raised. He will pull the chair out for her to sit. He will open doors for her to enter. And when they think I am not looking, steal a kiss from her.
It will be unspoken but the feelings will be the same. He will want my approval and my blessings neither of which will make any difference. I learned long ago that when it came to the heart what anyone else thinks is immaterial. I know that from Nymphadora. I know that from my own experiences in love.
At the end of it all, I still live with my memories. They are what tears at my heart and makes me cry late into the night. I have also lived with what is going to be the future. We have not done too badly, Harry Potter and I, in raising this child into a man. From my vantage point, the future seems right and good, with little pain and much happiness. The way it should have been for others and was not. The way it will be for Teddy.