He didn't realize Tiresius was his actual first name until he was
He thought his name was Terry, unless he was in trouble, when it was Tiresius Wolfric Boot Stop That At Once. By the time he was three, he had figured out that the last four words weren't really part of his name. It took another two years to realize that the first three were, and not just when he had been "a pain." Especially since he was "a pain" so often. One would think that intellectual parents would have expected an intelligent, curious child, and perhaps they had expected him to be intelligent and curious, but they seemed to have a lot more trouble with child, especially when it came to sticky little fingerprints on first editions.
He didn't really need glasses.
He hoped more than anything he would be sorted into Ravenclaw, but he wasn't exactly sure how the Hat went about it, and he wanted badly to make a good impression. He knew that glasses generally made you look smarter, but his father would never allow him to buy a pair for vanity, so he stole them from a Muggle display in the shopping mall while they were on their way to St. Mungo's for his school vaccinations. At the time, he thought it was silly, but when Dragon Pox hit in his final year, he was grateful. Of course, by then, he'd finally given up the glasses.
He created his first spell when he was 9.
It was just a variation on Nox, changing the structure of it so that the lights would delay a little before they went out, but Noxetis impressed his father so much that he actually took Terry to the Ministry and had him show it off to his boss. Everyone seemed to think it was a very big deal, except for Terry. All he'd done was change a bloody tense, after all. But it was when he decided to go into Charm Development...it seemed the best way to get a lot of attention without doing something stupid. The decision was reinforced heavily by the Weasley twins. Well, except that they managed to still do plenty that qualified as stupid, but then, there seemed to be a rule that possession of a uniform trimmed in crimson and gold nullified possession of any and all survival instincts.
He can't figure out how he feels about Hermione Granger.
First year, he didn't even notice her. By second year, he wanted to kill her, because when they'd gotten their final standings, he'd taken no end of grief to coming in just below a Muggle-Born Gryffindor. This abated a little in third year when he managed to edge past her in a half-dozen subjects, though she beat him in the rest. A tie still wasn't good, but it wasn't absolutely shameful, either. He felt a little bad about beating her in fourth, considering her best friend was in the Triwizard and that probably distracted her some, but not too bad, because she'd been a distraction herself ever since the Yule Ball. When she entered the room with the Durmstrang Champion, he thought his heart had literally stopped. Mike had to take him outside and threaten to throw him into the lake before he embarrassed himself. Fifth year, he was in the D.A., where he discovered she could be more than a bit of a domineering bitch at times, but he also discovered what a turn-on a real battle of wits could be with a girl who was up to it. Sixth year he decided he would try to get her attention, but she didn't seem to care, and so he contented himself with trouncing her in every class before she finally took notice...that he was beating her. She finished the year half of one percentage point ahead in one subject. She didn't come back for seventh year, so he could never quite decide if that was the sexiest or most frustrating thing any woman had ever done to him.
He would never get another tattoo.
He didn't regret the one he had; l'amitie de la connaissance in script around his upper right arm. It was Mike's idea, of course, those sorts of things were always Mike's idea, but it seemed right that they should do something to mark their friendship no matter what happened after school. Or, though neither of them would say it, if one didn't make it. The quote was his choice, though, and it meant more than he had ever admitted, even to the friend who so often shared his most intimate thoughts. Although he knew the traditional way one would apply L'amour vient de l'aveuglement, to him it meant that the ones who loved him never seemed to see him half as much as the brother who technically wasn't blood. The fact that it was meaningful, however, had done nothing to help the fact that it was done with needles. He'd had to put a localized Petrificus on his arm to stop it from shaking too much to get it done right.
He sometimes wished he were gay.
It would have been so much easier if he didn't have to worry about girls at all. Part of that, of course, was the matter of how distracting they could be, how little sense they made, how there always seemed to be something dramatic and complicated involved around them, how you never knew what to do or what you should do. And, of course, although they had tried it once in sixth year and decided never again for several reasons, it would have been great if he could just simplify things by having Mike as his lover as well as his friend. Not only did he already understand Mike better than himself most of the time, but more importantly, that would have solved the thing about girls that worried him so much that twice - once regarding Ginny and once Cho - he had stayed up an entire night using Occlumency to keep Mike from knowing he was crying in fear behind the bed hangings. Mike was funny, he was nice, he was popular and smart, but moreover, he was so handsome that Terry knew it was only a matter of time before a girl came along who would take him away forever. He hated that girl more than he ever thought he could hate someone who didn't even have a name.
He was an accident.
Sometimes he wished he hadn't been told, but even before the lecture about needing to be careful with witches and how a mistake could ruin your life, he'd really known. He didn't think his father meant to imply that Terry had ruined their lives, but he knew he'd certainly put a damper on a lot of things. They had been very happy with their seventeen years of childless marriage, but apparently, an excellent bottle of wine and a few cocktails could muddle even the sharpest minds enough to allow for a son nine months later. A brother or sister, of course, had been absolutely out of the question, and they'd done the best they could to prevent him from throwing their careers off too much. His mother was proud that she'd only lost a month of work, and although six was the youngest any boarding school would take a boy, if one was good enough at surveillance and protective spells and clever enough at charming bottles and diapers, you didn't even have to hire a nanny.
8. He chose his own wand. Or at least, he thought he had.
He had felt the walnut and phoenix start to react to his touch, but he'd forced all his will against it and kept it looking like nothing but a dull, dead stick in Ollivanders. He didn't want a phoenix core, it was too reactive and too tightly elementally bound to fire for truly broad-spectrum spellwork, and he'd asked to try the willow and unicorn again, making it spark and vibrate to the old wandmaker's satisfaction. He left grinning from ear to ear, knowing he had perhaps one of the most adaptive wands in the shop, and he never saw Ollivander chuckling to his father that he'd always expected it would be a little Gryffindor or Hufflepuff who would walk out with the wand that wanted that much pure willpower from its wizard.
a way, he owed his friendship with Mike to Potter.
His first time on the Hogwarts Express, Archie Cornfoot - Stephen's older brother and the Ravenclaw Prefect that year - had come bursting into the compartment insisting that Harry Potter was on the train. He hadn't wanted to insult the older student too openly, and he'd thought he'd kept his comment of "Quisque comodeus est" safely under his breath, so when the dark-haired boy by the window looked up from his Muggle comic book and replied "Non vos," he'd been absolutely shocked. When he flashed that brilliant grin and then leaned over to whisper "Braccae tuae aperiuntur", he'd been near-mortally embarrassed, but he also knew he had found something special. Eventually, he learned that he was right, that the something was called a friend, and that Harry Potter had in fact been on the train. Two out of three.
He thought he had really gorgeous eyes, and he did.
Deep, indigo blue, with little dashes of silver that make them look almost denim when you looked close in the mirror, they were unusual, and he'd had girls compliment them on three separate occasions. Objectively, he knew that he'd never seen anyone but his father with eyes quite like his, and that his eyes were wider and his lashes thicker than his father's, which accentuated the color well. He focused on how much he liked his eyes whenever anything brought up the subject of physical appearance in general. Part of him knew that he wasn't unattractive, per se, but when your best friend was Michael Corner, it was better to just pick a feature you liked and stick with it. Otherwise you'd just hex yourself in the face out of raw despair.
He had a secret love for pulp fiction.
She slipped into his office like a Lethifold, her robes as tight as a goblin's fist. Her body was an Unforgivable, and the look in her eyes said she knew it, but if she thought they could work her charms on him, she had another spell to cast. Jack Cranton had seen everything the dark arts had to offer, and he was tougher than dragon hide. It would take more than a gorgeous bird to Confundus this ex-Auror, but give him a bird in trouble, and it was another jinx entirely. And this one was in trouble, trouble with a capital T that he knew damned well didn't mean Troll. They were trash. He knew it. He had dozens.
He learned Legilimency in fourth year.
After the eighth time in one term McGonagall had caught him passing notes to Mike in class, they knew they had to find a better way to communicate when the lessons became boring. It took them six months to get reasonably good at it, and it was almost two years before they could do it with anyone else, but by that time, they were all but telepathic with one another, and when he realized in sixth year exactly how much Mike really knew about him, it took his breath away that they were still friends. It never occured to him that Mike might feel the same way.
He had a serious potions problem in fifth year. It came back in
Between the pressure he was under to score straight O's in his O.W.L.s and the terror of being expelled for the D.A. - not to mention the extra work there - he started using calming draughts just after the Easter break. It wasn't often at first, just when he really needed to buckle down and study, but they made things so much easier that he just kept brewing them, and it didn't take long before it got a lot more out of hand than he was willing to admit. Mike knew about it, of course, tried to talk to him about it, and eventually took him home for the first week of summer. It was a week of vomiting, sweating, sleepless, jittery hell, but it was also the kindest thing anyone had ever done for him. Well, until seventh year when he wound up using again starting the day after Ernie and Neville were flogged. This time Mike didn't say anything at all, and it was that understanding that replaced the previous intervention as the apex of their friendship.
He knew what Lupin was.
Even before Snape assigned the essay, he already knew. His uncle had been in the same year as Lupin at Hogwarts, and he had started talking about the old rumors the moment their new DADA teacher's name was announced. It made him nervous at first, especially when he saw the man's scars, the state of his robes, all the signs of a life lived at the impoverished fringe of wizarding society, and knew the rumors must be true. But obviously Dumbledore trusted him, and there was Wolfsbane potion, but more importantly, those scars on his arms were the canines of a wolf, and the angle could only be self-inflicted. The implications horrified him, but they also filled him with too much respect to think about saying anything to anyone.
15. He hated school holidays.
While it was nice enough to have time to get through that much reading, Hogwarts had shown him the value of having friends, of being surrounded by the simple bustle and babble of fellow human beings, and the long hours home alone bracketed by the longer hours of silence or stiff, formal conversations and impromptu quizzes were lonely now in a way he'd never had perspective enough to find them as a child. He wrote to Mike daily, sometimes three or four times, at least until his parents began complaining that the owl was always tired. Then he only wrote every other day, but the letters went on for pages.
16. He could read upside down and mirrored, and he could write with both hands at the same time.
He never remembered how he discovered these talents, when he really thought about it, but it proved quite the little parlor trick in Ravenclaw tower, and he even won a couple of bets with it. It didn't even occur to him to use it for any nefarious purposes until 7th year, when he got called into Alecto's office and could see the note she'd pushed aside reflected in the curve of her coffee mug. The parlor trick mattered a lot more when it gave Ernie Macmillan warning enough to leave his Galleon in the dorms when the Quidditch locker rooms were tossed during the next Hufflepuff practice.
17. He was violently allergic to shrimp.
He discovered this at Mike's sister's wedding. When he'd started swelling up and broken out into hives in the middle of the reception, necessitating an emergency trip to St. Mungo's, he'd thought for sure the Corners would never want to see him again for disrupting such an important event. That they were only worried about him and that Mrs. Corner actually laughed when she described it as "memorable" was something he could never understand but very much wanted to. There was a lot about the Corners that was like that.
He was the one who insisted on going back for Neville.
He knew perfectly well what their orders were, and he didn't intend to disobey them. When their Galleons had gone off, he and Luna had started back up from the Potions classroom immediately, but when he heard Snape's voice from the Great Hall and he realized that it was Neville that had been captured, something just seemed to snap. He had stopped halfway up the first flight of stairs and turned back, ignoring Luna's protests. Neville had always been a nice, likable enough bloke, and he was doing a good enough job as leader of the D.A., but it wasn't that. If he was honest, there were several others who could probably take over easily even if Neville were expelled. Later, people would say he'd been brave, loyal, but that wasn't it either. It was that tone Snape used, that icy, superior tone that suggested no one else in the world had the intellectual capacity fit to wipe their arse, and whatever he'd actually said, what Terry had heard was his father's voice. He'd barely needed the Automatic Aiming Charm to drive that Stunner home harder than any spell he'd ever cast.
He didn't want to die.
He knew that it was supposed to be a suicide stand, but he couldn't really believe that they would be allowed to follow through with it. Oh, he knew there would be a battle, he knew that a lot of them would die, but basic logic said that a massive collision of students and Death Eaters would not go unnoticed, and surely the rest of the wizarding world would intervene within an hour at the outside. All he had to do, really, was stay alive until people realized what was going on, and he knew he and Mike were more than strong enough duellers for that, especially as a team. It was like one wizard with two wands when they properly locked up together, and during the last drill, the two of them had held off more than twenty of their fellow students. So they had allowed themselves to make plans, to dream of after, and the thought of going with Mike on a trip around the world - ostensibly to study, but really, Mike had insisted, to properly have a go of being young before they settled into their labs and libraries - was more than enough to keep him going through the darkest times. It was even enough that he didn't wind up nearly as bad with the potions as he had in fifth. Well, adjusting for increased body mass and tolerance, that is.
Until the end.
He saw Mike as they were fleeing back to the castle from their herbacious defense of the wall. He never knew what made that one body among so many catch his attention, but he knew, he knew instantly, even though half his head was gone, even though he couldn't bring himself to stop running and really look. He wasn't even running to safety any more, he was just running, and he didn't remember anything about the rest of the fight except a kind of blind, thoughtless rage and pain that should have terrified his ever-rational mind. There was nothing else until he saw Ernie, pinned on the steps as the lone survivor of the front door's defenders, barely managing to deflect the spells and assaults being flung at him from every direction as such a perfect, perfect target. The Hufflepuff must have been released from his post, because he'd never otherwise have been trying to leave, but he couldn't, and it was Terry who shouted that he'd cover him, that ordered him to take the chance and go and who forgot completely that they were of equal rank as he turned to face the onslaught himself. Ernie had a wife and child, he deserved a chance to live. Terry had nothing, and although he held the doors himself for another ten minutes in the madness of revenge, when the Acromantula came and his spells had no more effect, he closed his eyes, opened his arms, tipped back his head, and the last sound he heard was his own carelessly irrational laugh as they closed in.