Disclaimer: Nopes, still owns nothing.
ATTENTION! ATTENTION! READ BELOW FOR EXPLANATION!
Author's Note: Since the last chapter, I've left a lot of my readers confused with the Teddy issue.
Since the war ended ten years ago, why is Teddy only one year old? That's the question that was brought to my attention by one of my readers. I admit I didn't think of Teddy when I wrote this chapter (I hardly think about anything, really. Truth be told, I just go along with whatever's come to mind. I don't do outlines or rough drafts. Does that make me a bad writer?) Anyway, I've come up with a lot of reasons why Teddy is only one year old.
Since Remus was a werewolf and Tonks a Metamorphagus and their genes and natures are passed onto their son, combined with the age progression of wizards (which takes considerably longer), added in with Harry's blood in his veins which is infused with phoenix tears and basilisk venom when he was blood adopted by Harry, Teddy really isn't a normal child, let alone a child who grows as we mere mortals do. But I'm not gonna go through with that explanation as it takes too much to explain a little deeper and I'm kind of lazy so I'm gonna go through with my other option. And if you'll just read on a little further, you'll see which it is.
P.S: It's unbeta'ed so all mistakes are mine. I don't think betas like me; I don't blame them. I take forever.
It's a Bloody Way to Live, That's For Sure
Draco's announcement settled heavily within the two families. There was not a sound made and Ron quickly tired of the monotony of the atmosphere. He leaned a little closer to Hermione and whispered in her ear, "How long is this going to take? Because I'm hungry and I promised Shacklebolt I'll finish the paperwork by tonight."
Hermione elbowed him in the ribs as Rosalie glared at him. The vampire practically spewed venom as she snarled. "I don't know who you think you are but you are not being remotely funny. Just because you are magical doesn't give you the right to be so flippant about everything."
Ron rolled his eyes. "Really, Rosalie, you are the most hilarious thing I've ever encountered since that idiot Lockhart. You two are about on the same level, I should say."
"Ron," Hermione scolded. "Now is not the time."
Carlisle looked up, anxious to get back to the matter at hand. "I'm sorry but finding you are immortals is a bit farfetched."
"Like apparently vampires are real?" Neville raised an eyebrow in question. "And yet, here you are."
"That is a vastly different comparison," Carlisle argued. "We can die whereas immortals, as I have read, lives forever."
Draco scoffed in irritation. "Yes, immortals lives forever but who wants to do that? Who wants to live in a world where good and evil are constantly fighting with no thought whatsoever of others? Who does?"
"What do you mean?" Alice asked in a quiet voice.
"It is not as grand as people makes immortality out to be," Luna said softly. "Being immortal is very painful and full of hurt but, we wouldn't want it any other way. It was the only way."
"The only way for what?" Esme asked.
"The only way to be with me," Harry answered, tearing his gaze from those of Edward's.
A confused look crossed the vampires' faces. Harry sighed; it would have been better to not reveal who they are but he had never been able to refuse Luna anything.
"I am Death, Master of Death, and all that nonsense," Harry explained. "In addition to that vicarious position which enables my ability to live forever as it is, I also have basilisk venom and phoenix tears in me. I'm not going to go through that with you because I am just a little bit tired of explaining myself to those who I felt doesn't exactly deserve my time nor the knowledge of our nature. Maybe someday I'll feel just a little bit better about you but as of now, you are really at the top of my 'Most Bloody Hated People' list and really, congratulations on passing Voldemort and Fudge. I didn't think anyone could surpass those two in being my enemy."
Ron was cackling into a pillow while Draco smirked evilly at the vampires. Ginny, Neville, and Luna grinned widely. Hermione just sighed and wondered just what she did to deserve such friends with smart mouths. Then she remembered all they had been through and she amended that thought. Well, she thought, maybe I did something good to be rewarded with them.
She glanced at the family they had come to tentatively call friends and wondered why they could not find friends who would not end up trying to make their lives complicated. Finding true friends, real friends, was hard especially considering who and what they are. That didn't mean they didn't give up hope of finding such friends. And whether the others liked it or not, the Cullens' had become that kind of friend. But maybe Luna had been right; it would be a while before both families would truly appreciate each other for they who are.
Much like Harry earlier, her simple "Enough" had done the trick of bringing her family down. She gave them a look for extra measure.
"You have to understand this isn't fun nor is it simple for us, Dr. and Mrs. Cullen," Hermione implored. "You are already on fragile ground as it is. To be honest, I agreed with my family on never letting you know of our immortality. But given the fact that my brother is your son's mate and Luna is our Seer, we really had no choice but that also doesn't mean we have to give you every detail. You will have to make do with what little we tell you. Like Harry said, until you have returned to our good graces, you will never know anything beyond the simple and necessary explanations. Do you understand?"
"Yes, Hermione," Esme quickly answered, not wanting to further alienate these young people she had to come to accept as friends. "We understand."
"Good," Hermione said shortly.
"As for the rest of us," Luna spoke, turning eyes her way. "We had come across a book of Harry's ancestor talking about the possibility of immortality. Combined with Hermione's knowledge, Draco's resources, and Ron, Ginny, and Neville's heritage, we succeeded in turning ourselves to ageless young adults. I must admit, I was a bit easier to work as I already had Harry's blood coursing through my veins when he adopted me as his sister."
"How did his blood interact with yours just by adoption?" Jasper asked.
Neville said, "In our world, there are two kinds of adoption: the muggle one and then there's the blood adoption. The parties involved will undergo potions and rituals for the adoption to be completed. When this happens, the one being adopted will, in addition to their own blood and genes, will gain whoever's bringing them into their house. Harry and Luna did the same for each other as brother and sister just like Harry did for Teddy."
"Speaking of Teddy," Carlisle said, apprehensive and confused. "You said the war ended ten years ago, correct?" A nod from Neville was his answer. "Harry also said that his second godfather, Teddy's biological father, died when he was seventeen. How is Teddy still a baby when his real father died ten years ago?"
A grudging look of respect crossed Ron's and Draco's faces when the vampire caught the crux of the matter that stumped most.
Ginny smirked. "It would have been difficult to explain why a seventeen year old has a ten year old son now, would it?"
The dropped jaws were the reactions to her answer. She giggled in delight at how they continually surprised the vampires. It was a pity, however, they couldn't die of heart attacks.
"Ginny, that is enough," Luna said. She had a slight frown on her fey-like face. "You are being mean; stop it."
The red-head stopped laughing, sending Luna a sheepish look. "Sorry."
Luna nodded, appeased. "We must not make light of the situation. They will arrive soon."
The Weasley daughter nodded silently. Alice, much like her family, was sitting in complete confusion. Draco just sighed and snapped, "Are we done here yet? That joke of a wolf has caught our scent and I want to be long gone from here before he finds us."
"Honestly, Dragon, I don't know why you keep skirting him. You know as well as any of us that it is inevitable. Seriously, I think moving here made all your brains addled," Ron snapped back, irritated. He stood up, glaring at Harry and Draco. "I'm leaving but I will be back in two days. I want this mess settled by then. So help me, Draco, if you don't just accept this and move on, I will banish you to Azkaban and don't think I won't. You're giving me a headache with all your whining. And Harry, I don't care if you don't tell all of the vampires but you and your boyfriend needs to get your affairs in order. Ginny, get your arse back to Egypt immediately. I'm not liking your childish attitude any more than I like your current boyfriend. Luna and Hermione have more pressing things on their minds to be saddled with your attitude as well."
He glared at the vampires watching with awe and surprise on their features. "I'm warning you, Cullens', if anything like what happened to Luna ever happens again, I'll show you the reason why I am worse than Harry when it comes to vengeance. I don't like my family in danger and you are the danger. Rosalie and Emmett, I'll skewer you myself if you ever disrespect my sister in any way again. She's worth more than you two will ever be. Don't make me regret my decision to let you live."
The Lions' sat straight in their respective seats, recognizing the commanding and harsh behavior of their brother. There are only two instances where Ron takes hold of his commanding and harsh nature: when he's commanding an army of wizards against the dark forces (he was the reason for many of their battles won in the war) and when he's furious. Even Harry daren't go against him when Ron was in his dark zone.
Ron turned to Neville and Hermione, both of whom were looking at him with small smiles of respect. "You coming with me or are you planning to spend the night?"
Neville stood, shaking his head. "I'm coming with you. I have papers to grade and lessons to plan. Minerva was kind enough of to grant us the last few days off but I don't want to push my boundaries. She's been through enough."
Hermione nodded but said to Ron, "I'll be home by tonight. Don't wait up."
Ron kissed her on the cheek in acquiescence. "I'll see you tonight then. Harry, don't dawdle," he turned to Luna, kissing her on the forehead. "I'll tell mum to send up Teddy. I'll see you all in two days. Draco, behave."
With that, he followed Neville and a red-faced Ginny out the house. Silence followed their exit.
"That was.." Alice trailed off, not sure whether to be horrified or extremely amused. Having never confronted a pissed off Ron before Alice was surprisingly calm after facing a furious Ron.
A few minutes passed in blessed silence before Edward said, "You don't have to tell us everything, Harry. What you have told us already is more than enough. I don't want to put you through a trying time again."
Esme, sending her son a grateful smile, agreed. "We don't want to push you more than you allowed us to. We are sorry for what happened with Luna and I assure you, I'll make sure it does not happen again."
Harry, Draco, Hermione, and Luna exchanged looks. Luna nodded. Harry sighed. He said, "Thank you for the apology, Mrs. Cullen. Despite the fact that I wanted it to come from the Hales' themselves, it seems Luna is ok with it coming from you. It will not happen again."
The last sentence was stated flatly and matter of fact as if it was a vow.
Then Harry said, standing up, his siblings following him, "If you want to meet my son in his true form, I invite you to dinner in our home in two days. We will explain him then."
There was a flurry of action when the vampire family realized that the wizardry family was taking their leave. There were farewells but it was quieted when they realized Harry and Edward weren't among them.
The two men in question had disappeared in to the hall when Harry came up to Edward wanting to talk. A silencing charm went up around them when they escaped into the hallway. They both stood, looking at one another silently. It was a long time before Harry spoke.
"In the last couple of weeks, I've tried to tell myself that I don't like you," he said, ignoring Edward's wince. "I've tried to convince myself that I don't need you in my life; Merlin knows I have enough complications in my life. I've tried so hard and so long to convince myself but I just couldn't escape the truth."
He looked straight into hazel eyes. "I need you, not to mention I want you in my life. I don't know why but apparently I do. And I realized that we still don't know each other as well we should and I know that's partly my fault but I will do better. I came to accept the fact that we will be together but you should know that I won't change for anyone, not even for you, so you'll have to accept me as a whole. And if you accept me, you will also have to accept my family. I go where they go; they are mine as I am theirs. Don't come between that and I won't come between you and yours."
Harry took a deep breath, realizing he was rambling. He took one more breath before taking hold of the stunned handsome face before him once more.
"Edward, will you go out on date with me?"
*Well, there it is. Finally there's a glimpse of Harry and Edward coming together. I explained this in the first few chapters and I have some awesome readers that accepted my decision to let the romance between the two men progress slowly. I've read a lot of really great fics but there are those that rushes into the relationship so early in the story that it just turns me off entirely. Romance should be meaningful and rushing in fast and furious with only lust and sex in the brain is not romance. That's what I'm doing with the story. And I hope you forgive me for this really short chapter but my brain is currently on the edge of falling into a deep pool of darkness so I thought I should send this out to you folks before my brain leaves me. Enjoy! And thank you all so very much for the lovely and most appreciative reviews.
I've only ever had a single flame and I am eternally grateful there are no more. :]