Note: For Messer-Moony-sezs-awhoo and riggsby, because if you ask me, chances are I'll write it!

YAY for Tom bashing! =) So I might have gone a bit over the top and the end...but I don't care!

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, nor am I making any profit form this piece of writing.

16: Epilogue

"And then, this bludger can flying, right out of nowhere! And Lockwood swerved to the side, like....whooooosh! And then, then BAM! He scored! And the crowd was like....aaaaaaaaaah!"

Remus stared, somewhat blurry eyed at the turquoise cannonball that was bouncing around the living room at a dizzying speed.

"Sounds like it was a good match." he observed from his seat in one of the squishy armchairs, glass bottle of an alarmingly green liquid balanced upon one knee.

Teddy came to an abrupt halt before his father, arms spread wide as he cried:

"It was AMAZING!"

"Teddy!" he heard Tonks call from somewhere out in the hallway. "You think you might like to turn it down a notch or two, love? You're dad's a bit hungover!"

As she appeared in the doorway, Remus told her:

"You're funny, you know that?"

"Yep, I'm hilarious." she agreed as she padded across the room towards him, reaching to ruffle Teddy's hair as she passed, causing him to grumble:

"M-um!"

"So, you going to drink that or just stare at it all day?" Tonks asked, gesturing to the bottle as Remus tapped his fingers upon it absentmindedly. At her expectant look, he unscrewed the top of the bottle and, after a deep breath, downed the concoction in one.

"There, Teddy." Tonks announced cheerily, taking the empty bottle from Remus' hand with a smile at the disgusted look upon his face. "Few more of those potions and Dad'll be right as rain by tonight, it'll be like the full moon never rose!" she shot her son a grin as she headed for the kitchen door. "Then you can shout at him as loud as you like!"

Teddy could have sworn that he heard his father mutter Merlin, give me strength! But before he could make any sort of apology for his rather inconsiderate behavior, Tonks called:

"You've left Dad's book out front, Teddy! You know he's had that in pristine condition for what...thirty years now. You're gonna trash it in under thirty minutes!"

Teddy shot his father a fleeting look of remorse before dashing out of the room and towards the front door, just as Tonks reappeared from the kitchen to return to the living room.

So consumed by his rather guilty musings about his father's poor condition was he, that Teddy didn't notice the man stood at the end of the garden path until he had practically run into him.

"Hi Ted." the intruder greeted. "Back from your dad's house, huh?"

Teddy took a small step backwards and simply stared.

In the the past day's euphoria, he'd quite forgotten about Tom.

At the frosty silence, Tom glanced down at the book that Teddy had left balanced upon the garden wall.

"The Collective Writings of Adalbert Wallfling. Gosh, that's a pretty impressive read, isn't it? All those...theories and...and stuff."

Well you would call it stuff, wouldn't you? A rather vicious voice observed from somewhere inside Teddy's head. Because you're too thick to understand even the most obvious of things. Here's one for you: My dad's back with my mum now. So you can just get lost. Is that simple enough for you? Or shall I draw you a diagram?

"So..." Tom mumbled, shoving his hands in his pockets and glancing over the top of Teddy's head as the child silently glowered at him. "Is your mum around?"

Teddy finally managed to suppress his anger long enough to say in what he thought was a relatively calm voice:

"She's busy."

"Yeah? What's she up to?"

Teddy attempted to conjure up the most infuriating story he could muster before giving a shrug.

"I dunno," he said, smothering a grin with the most innocent expression he could muster. "She told me to play out here for a bit, because she and dad are busy with something upstairs." He frowned a little as he said: "Dad said I'd just get in the way."

The boy watched with no small amount of pleasure as the intruder digested the lies with wide eyes.

"Oh..." Tom mumbled, rocking back on his heels and glancing over Teddy's head again as his hands shifted uncomfortably in his pockets. "Well..."

He was cut off by the sound of a loud voice calling from a few houses up the street, and Teddy immediately smiled.

"Oi! Teddy!" it shouted, causing Tom to jump in surprise. "Is your Dad still in bed? Only I could use a favour..."

Maggie was making a rather slow, stumbling progression towards them, dark hair in disarray and robes a mess as if she had attempted to dress herself whilst both of her hands had been tied behind her back. As she drew closer, Teddy's smile faded a little at the sight of her sickly face and rather lifeless eyes. She looked to be in no better state than Remus did. It was a miracle, the child thought, that she still managed to shout so loudly.

"Hi Maggie," he greeted, stepping around Tom to get a better look at her, much to the wizard's irritation. "Dad's just..." he just about stopped himself from saying in the living room, "...with Mum. They're busy."

"Who's your friend?" Maggie asked, offering Tom a remarkably bright smile for one who was so pale and sickly looking. Teddy had a feeling that her smile would not last for long.

"This is Tom." he informed his father's friend flatly. "We're not friends."

Maggie's smile disintegrated.

Back inside, Tonks had come to perch upon the arm of Remus' chair, one hand upon his knee to steady herself as she began:

"I was thinking..."

"Shocking." Remus interrupted automatically as he stared into the blacks of his eyelids.

"Oh shut up!" She gave him a sharp slap upon the arm, only to let out a little gasp at his wincing, she grabbed hold of his hand. "Bugger! Sorry! Sorry love, I forgot." She bent down to press a series of gentle kisses to his arm, to which he opened one eye to observe:

"Mm. You should resort to domestic violence more often."

Her forehead came to rest against the crook of his arm as she giggled.

"Are you really so sore?" she asked, concerned after a moment, struggling to sit upright again, arm slung around his shoulders to keep upon her perch. "Because I'll go make another potion, if you're that bad..."

It was only when he finally looked at her properly and realized that she was being serious, that he admitted:

"I'm not really sore. Not that sore, at least."

"So it didn't hurt?"

"Nope. Just wanted a kiss."

At his shameless admittance, Tonks' eyes widened in realization.

"You GIT!"

She had no chance to berate him further, for they were both distracted by a loud shout from outside.

"Maggie!" Teddy's voice cried desperately. "Don't!"

Remus and Tonks exchanged brief glances, before she launched herself to her feet and he pulled himself up, out of the chair as quickly as he could manage. They hurried to the front door.

They arrived in the front garden to find Teddy, Maggie and Tom frozen in a somewhat dramatic tableau, Maggie's wand directed directly at Tom's throat as Teddy stood looking on, expression an odd mixture of horror and delight.

Remus immediately shoved his hand into his pocket to retrieve his wand, only to discover that he'd left it on the coffee table back in the living room.

"Wand, Dora!" he breathed into Tonks' ear, before taking a step forward and demanding: "For the love of Merlin, Maggie, put the wand down!"

Beside him, Tonks did not move a muscle.

She was too busy taking in the somewhat petrified expression on Tom's face, and she felt a sudden urge to laugh at him, mock him, watch him fall down and see how he liked it when nobody helped him up again...

She reached to push the wand deeper into her pocket.

"I mean it, Mags!" Remus called when Maggie appeared to ignore him. "Put the wand down! We don't need any of this, so just put it down." He glanced back at Tonks and noted the lack of wand in her hand. Oh for Merlin's sake....

Maggie drew in a deep, calculating breath as she considered her next move. Of course she wanted to curse the bastard into the middle of next week...but she probably ought not do it in front of Teddy...but he deserved it...and nobody was making any real effort to stop her, Remus hadn't even bothered to draw his wand...secretly he probably wanted her to do it as much as she did...

"Dora...?" Remus whispered, only for her to tell him:

"My wand's in the kitchen."

Teddy held his breath as his father made his way slowly down the path, attempting reason as he went.

"You know, Maggie, if anybody has the right to hex him into oblivion...it's Dora, not you."

"She's welcome to give it a go after me." Maggie offered, as if offering to share a bar of Honeydukes' Finest. "Or you, Remus, if you want..."

"Teddy is right next to you." Remus pointed out, mere steps away now. "Don't be stupid."

At last, Maggie took a step backwards and lowered her wand.

"Fine!" she grumbled, shoving it back into the pocket of her robes. Calm seemed ready to descend upon the scene, only for her to suddenly step forward and, in one swift movement, grasp the hefty book still sat upon the wall firmly in both hands, raise it up above her head, and bring it swiftly back down again, knocking Tom upon the head with an audible crack.

Teddy watched the intruder crumple under the blow, falling to his knees and reaching to clutch his head with a loud groan of pain. Remus instantly reached to grab Maggie around the waist, pinning her arms to her sides. As the two werewolves began to struggle, muttering and cursing at one another, Teddy couldn't quite help himself. He started to laugh.

Over by the doorway, Tonks attempted to keep a straight face as she watched Tom slowly lower his arms from his head.

And when she saw his fumbling hand reaching for his wand, she immediately reached for her own and took precise aim at his head.

"If you even think about drawing a wand on my family, Tom," she called, causing him to freeze again, eyes slowly looking round at her and widening at what he saw. "If you even think about cursing anybody, I swear I'll make you wish you were a Squib!"

Maggie and Remus stopped their squabbling.

"Not again..." Teddy heard Remus complain under his breath, only for Maggie to whisper:

"Ten galleons says she hexes the crap out of him!"

Teddy waited for the immortal words: Be quiet, Maggie, but instead Remus replied:

"Fifteen says I'd hex him worse."

"Wand's in my pocket." Maggie offered, and Teddy was shocked to see Remus reach and take out her wand.

"Look..." Tom said, voice an octave higher than usual as he found a second wand, this one almost prodding him in the chest. "I...I'm just going to...go..."

"I think that would be a good idea." Remus agreed pleasantly, grip upon Maggie's wand visibly tightening.

"Yeah," Tonks agreed, taking the smallest of steps forward as Tom got hurriedly to his feet. "You better hurry up, Tom. Because in a second I'm going to admit to Remus that I lied about our little row in the cottage. In fact you should probably start running, because I'm going to tell him the truth and he's got that wand pointed pretty close to your face right now. I'd not want to be where you are when he knows what really happened, would you?" As Tom began to back away, off up the street, she said: "Guess what, Remus?"

"What's that, Dora?" Remus asked, following Toms' progression with the tip of Maggie's wand.

"Well," Tonks said, causing Tom's pace to quicken considerably. Teddy slipped back towards the house, keen to be out of the way. "You know how I said that the other day I tripped down those stairs?"

"Yes?"

Tom abandoned all caution and began to run.

"Well the truth is, love," Tonks said, as the tip of Maggie's wand continued to follow the intruder's escape. "I didn't trip at all. The truth is, Tom pushed me."

Bang!

A burst of light shot from the end of Maggie's wand and streaked off up the street, just as Tom reached the apparation point. Teddy just about saw the spell strike the intruder in the back before he disappeared with a somewhat distorted crack.

"Good shot!" Maggie praised, clapping her hands together in glee.

"I don't think he's going to come back, do you?" Tonks grinned, hurrying forward to throw her arms around Remus, who sounded shockingly pleased to observe:

"I think I might of just made him splinch himself."

And with that they all began to head towards the front door, Teddy staring in awe at the casualness of Tonks':

"So who wants a cup of tea then?"