Dinner with the Potters
Outtake from Sometimes It Takes a While
"'Night Ted!" Lily squealed, jumping on him for another hug, and nearly upsetting his dinner plate, before skipping towards the stairs.
"Mum, I don't want to—"
"I don't recall asking if you wanted to or not, Albus," Ginny interrupted. "It's time for bed."
Albus set his jaw and marched towards the stairs. "Goodnight Al," Teddy called. Albus waved his hand in grumpy acknowledgement before disappearing upstairs.
"I can't wait for James to come home," Ginny huffed. "He's been so testy these last few weeks!"
"Only a few more days," Harry placated as one flick of his wand cleared the dishes to the sink.
"Hmm," Ginny hummed in acknowledgement, taking the whistling teakettle from the stove and pouring steaming water into her mug. Teddy's eyes were trained on his fork, still in his hand from dinner, as he drew it across the tablecloth leaving intricate patterns in its' wake.
Only a few more days…
The words rang in his head, because in that amount of time he would have to face Victoire again. And, truly, he had no idea what he was going to say. He already knew what she would say. Her voice still echoed in his head from that day at the Black Lake.
"Trust me, when I say it doesn't matter, it doesn't… You do know the meaning of the word permanent… Do you honestly believe I could kiss you like that had I not already fallen—"
"Ted!" Ginny's voice broke through his musings and he looked up, blinking. "I said do you want any tea?"
"Hmm? Tea? Oh, er, sure." Teddy put his fork down and ran his hand through his hair, which he knew must have morphed a delicate shade of green, given the look Ginny was giving him as she set the cup of tea in front of him.
"Anything wrong Teddy?" she asked, regarding him carefully before eying Harry. Harry, for his part, was whistling obliviously while washing the dishes. Teddy shrugged noncommittally before wrapping his hands around the steaming mug.
"Harry, stop doing the dishes the Muggle way and come talk with your godson," Ginny called out, swishing her wand at the sink and causing the scrub brush to take over Harry's work. Harry looked up from the sink, soap suds clinging to the frame of his glasses.
"Why? What's wrong with Teddy?"
"I don't know," Ginny shrugged, her eyes still trained on Teddy.
Teddy rolled his eyes before regarding the two people who were as good as parents to him. "Nothing's really wrong, I've just had a lot on my mind this past month."
"Auror training?" Harry asked, nodding wisely. "The first year is the toughest, it gets easier after that."
"No, it's not that. It's, well it's…" Teddy grinned ruefully, pausing.
How am I going to explain something I don't even understand myself?
"Is it a bloke thing? Should I leave?" Ginny asked, jerking her thumb in the direction of the stairs and looking as though she were ready to rise from the table.
"No, sit," Teddy said. "Actually it's probably more of a girl thing…"
"Oh, then should I leave?" Harry joked, wiping his hand on his apron. Teddy rolled his eyes.
"Sit down, you idiot," Teddy muttered, cracking a grin at his godfather as Harry tore off the ridiculous, flowered apron he had been wearing and sat in the seat opposite Teddy. "I guess really, it's a werewolf thing."
Teddy paused and regarded Harry and Ginny. He knew that he and Victoire had agreed not to tell the family until they were sure it would work out between them.
Well, now I know, don't I?
Teddy was sure it would work, if he let it. Letting it was exactly the problem though…
How could he do that to Victoire? How could he set up the girl he loved, because he was now certain that he did love her, for a life of hardship? He didn't know and couldn't guarantee that his werewolf blood wouldn't affect their children. And he didn't want that to be something she had to worry about everyday.
"Well, we'll help as best we can Teddy," Harry said in all seriousness.
"Okay," Teddy took a deep breath to steel himself, "so you know in the past I've dated a few witches. And it was always good fun but nothing ever anywhere close to serious. But, I've started seeing someone in the past few months and it's turned into something that I could see having a future. Which, now that I consider it, I should have known from the start."
Teddy saw Harry glance towards Ginny, but Ginny's gaze was focused on Teddy. He thought he saw a glimmer of something, a knowing look perhaps, cross her face but she rearranged features quickly.
"Anyway, now that things are getting more serious, all I can think about lately is 'what am I doing to her?' I mean, it's true that no one knows how werewolf blood is passed from generation to generation, yeah?"
"Well, although it's true no one knows for certain—"
"Exactly!" Teddy interrupted Harry. "No one knows, so how can I be sure—"
"Wait a minute Teddy," Ginny interjected. "How long have you been seeing this girl?"
"Since Christmas," Teddy replied without hesitation. He saw Harry's eyebrows rise.
"And you're thinking about children already, and presumably marriage?" Ginny asked, arching an eyebrow in suspicion.
"We've known each other a while," Teddy answered evasively, clearing his throat. "But that's not the issue, the issue is setting her up for a life of potential trouble. She could never know for sure how things would turn out and—"
"Teddy, no one ever knows for sure how things will turn out," Harry said gently. "But you can't live your life afraid to find out. It seems to me, that's what you're doing. And, what's worse, you're asking her to do the same thing."
"And what you're saying also is that you don't ever want children, is that true?" Ginny pressed. "Because I've seen the way you are with James, Al, and Lily."
Teddy frowned. "I do want children eventually."
"Well, if I remember correctly, you'd need a girl to accomplish that," Harry commented, grinning cheekily. Ginny swatted at him.
"I really care about her though—"
"Well, thank Merlin! I'd hate to have you marry a girl you didn't really like all that much," Harry teased, but there was a knowing look in his eye as he regarded Teddy and Teddy understood. If he wanted a family, a wife and children, he'd have to take that chance with someone. And he knew in his heart Victoire could be that someone. But, wasn't it awfully selfish? Because, all along he had been thinking that breaking up with her would be the far nobler thing to do. If he loved her, wouldn't he want to see her happy, to marry some bloke who could offer her so much more?
"But, aren't I being a tad selfish then? Wouldn't it be better, I mean for her, if she found someone without so much potential for disaster?" Teddy asked, and even he recognized how pitiful and desperate he sounded. Ginny smiled sadly and glanced at Harry for the first time.
"You have no idea how much you remind me of your father sometimes," Harry said softly. "And no, loving someone isn't being selfish. Denying them your love to ensure that you avoid feeling any guilt is selfish. I'm sorry Ted, but it isn't up to you who you love, and it isn't up to her whether or not she returns your love. It just happens and there's no denying it. Your father found that out the hard way, after a year of trying to avoid it. Remus and Tonks wouldn't want you to make the same mistake. I'd never seen your father so happy as when he came to Shell Cottage to announce your birth. Don't deny yourself the same."
Teddy leant back into his chair, only just realizing he had been leaning forward while Harry spoke. It was, he realized, essentially the same thing Victoire had said to him.
"However," Harry continued after a moment of silence, during which Teddy had time to study every groove in the Potter's kitchen table, "if you really are still that concerned with werewolf genetics, we know someone who had those very same concerns. He was bitten and was terrified he'd pass the trait to his children and consequently researched quite a bit about it."
"Well, technically, Hermione did the research," Ginny offered, her eyes now trained back on Teddy.
"True," Harry conceded with a smirk. "But, I'm quite sure Bill would be more than happy to sit down and discuss—"
"Who?" Teddy asked, looking up sharply.
"Bill Weasley," Harry supplied. Teddy choked and then bit back a laugh.
Sure, go to my girlfriend's father and discuss my concerns over impregnating his seventeen-year-old daughter with werewolf pups!
"So, it is Victoire!" Ginny shouted in triumph, pointing accusingly at Teddy. "I thought so!"
"What?" Teddy choked out, eyes wide. "It's, no…"
"It is so," Ginny argued. "See Harry, his hair is green again!"
Damn this treacherous hair! I'm an Auror now, I should be able to control it!"
Teddy scrunched up his nose to morph away the traitorous color.
He looked up to regard Harry and Ginny. Harry's eyebrows had shot into his hairline and he was staring at his godson. Ginny was leaning back in her chair, smirking into her mug of tea.
"Well, it's not really any of our business who it is, Ginny," Harry said after a moment, recovering enough to glance at his wife. Teddy rolled his eyes before he felt a reluctant grin tug at his lips.
"We weren't going to tell anyone yet," he mumbled, shrugging his shoulders.
"Oh," Harry said, appearing at a loss for what more to say. Ginny however…
"I think it's just wonderful!" she gushed. "Of course, she's been mooning over you for quite some time—"
"What? They've been dating for five months now Harry, I'm sure she's told him as much." Harry merely shook his head.
"I'm sorry I didn't tell you," Teddy offered. "We wanted to make sure everything would work out before we let the whole family in on the secret."
"Trust me, that I understand. Dating this one," Harry jerked his thumb in the direction of Ginny, "with all those brothers around… Well, let's just say it's lucky we ever had children."
"Not now, you prat!" Ginny waved her hand at Harry, shushing him. "Teddy, tell us all about it. When did this start and how did…"
Teddy grinned and glanced at Harry under the cover of Ginny's monologue of questions. Harry rolled his eyes but smiled back. Teddy knew he was in for a long night of questioning, but for now, he couldn't find it in him to care. Finally, after a whole month of barely speaking to Victoire, he knew what he was going to do.