Note: Here's a random little story whilst I figure out what to do with the others! It's not AU...SHOCKING!! Enjoy. =)
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
It was a bright, sunny Saturday morning when Teddy Remus Lupin followed his grandmother through the entrance to Diagon Alley, flanked by a horde of rowdy children and a number of their long-suffering parents. As the Weasley-Potter brood descended upon the cobbled street in an excitable rush of red hair and raised voices, eleven year old Teddy could not help but feel that this was all a little unnecessary.
The previous morning he had come down to breakfast to discover his grandmother Andromeda waiting impatiently at the kitchen table, an unopened envelope set beside his waiting bowl of cornflakes. She had beamed knowingly as he had ripped it open and pulled out the letter which had begun:
Dear Mr. Lupin,
We are pleased to inform you that you have a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry...
For a brief moment Teddy had felt excitement erupt through his insides and he had found himself with a mad urge to leap up and jump around the kitchen, to shout to the world that it had happened, he had received his Hogwarts letter.
But then his grandmother had said those immortal words that had knocked the excitement clear out of him.
"Your mother," she had said, her voice a little higher than usual as she continued to smile at him, "would have been so proud of you."
Teddy had sat down and, after offering her a vague appreciative smile, eaten his breakfast in silence, leaving Andromeda to head straight for the fireplace, flooing his godfather Harry and every single one of the Weasley households to proudly announce the news. Within half an hour Harry had owled, announcing that he and Ginny were throwing a full blown party to celebrate the news and everybody was invited.
Everybody meant everybody, Teddy had discovered later that evening when he and his grandmother had arrived at the Potters' home. The place had been jam-packed full of people, all offering him advice, wishing him well and telling him stories about their own days at school. There had been the inevitable discussion about houses, which house did Teddy want to be in? What house was appropriate for the son of a Gryffindor and a Hufflepuff? And which subjects were the most interesting? Which would Teddy enjoy the most?
Throughout the constant discussions and devouring of cake, nobody had noticed that the guest of honour was being unnaturally quiet.
The following day, when Andromeda had told him that they were off to Diagon Alley to buy his school things, Teddy had once again smiled faintly. When told that it was to be a group outing – indeed a very large group outing – he had told his grandmother:
"That's nice, Gran."
At first it had seemed faintly ridiculous to be escorted around the shops by so many different people, but after a while Teddy found that he was glad to have them there. Indeed it was good to have young James Potter around to tell him to buy the turqoise ink to match his hair, or Hermione Weasley who could tell him to buy a decent size bag to fit his books inside. With them around, he didn't have to admit that quite frankly he didn't really care what colour ink he wrote in, nor what sort of bag he had to carry his books around in either. He allowed everybody to make his choices for him, feigning cheer and approval, it was easier that way.
It was not until he had finished his shopping and everybody had dispersed to look at shops of their own choice, that Teddy finally allowed anybody to notice his lack of enthusiasm. His chosen person was his godfather Harry, who had just bought him a large strawberry ice cream, and was sitting beside him upon a bench, relaying yet another story about the weird and wonderful life he had had at Hogwarts.
"...But the thing is, Teddy, you can't tell which one of the steps isn't real, so I was just walking down one of the staircases and all of a sudden bam! My whole leg was stuck..."
Harry paused, mid-sentence and offered the boy a questioning look.
Teddy frowned deeply at his ice cream, watching as it slowly melted in the morning sun.
"What...what if..." his frown intensified and he drew in a deep, almost nervous breath before asking: "Harry, what if I don't want to go to Hogwarts?"
There was a long, uncomprehending silence. Teddy bit his lip, wishing he hadn't asked.
"You don't want to go to Hogwarts?" Harry repeated at last, as if the sentence were a foreign language.
"Are you angry?" Teddy wanted to know, peering up at his godfather worriedly.
"Merlin, no! No, of course not! I'm just...a little surprised, that's all."
Teddy returned to staring at his ice cream It was dripping pink blotches onto the pavement, narrowly missing his trainers.
"Are you nervous about school, Teddy?" Harry asked after another long, thoughtful pause. "Because I'm sure you won't be the only one. Everybody will be in the same boat, being away from home..."
"I'm not nervous."
"Oh. Well...good, that's good." Harry took a large bite of his own ice cream, another moment to think. "Are you worried you'll miss your gran and the rest of us? Because you don't have to worry, you'll see us in the holidays and we'll write to you all the time if you like! You probably won't even have time to write back, you'll be too busy making friends..."
"It's not that. I just...don't want to go."
Harry turned to look at his godson, attempting to keep his expression neutral, to hide his complete and utter bemusement. A boy who didn't want to go to Hogwarts? It was unheard of, completely unheard of, what in Merlin's name could possibly make him decide such a thing?
"Well there must be a reason why, Teddy." he coaxed, intrigued to hear the answer. "Why don't you want to go to Hogwarts?"
Teddy's gaze remained fixated upon the little pink puddle at his feet.
"I don't care if they would be proud of me," he told the wizard beside him quietly, voice oddly strained as if there was a lump in his throat. At last he looked up and looked at Harry, his brown eyes anguished. "I don't want to go to Hogwarts. Not when they died there."
Harry couldn't quite help it, he flinched a little.
"Is that...is that what Hogwarts is to you, Teddy?" he asked when the boy had returned to staring at the puddle. "The place where your parents died?"
"I'm not going." Teddy told him defiantly, voice breaking a little as he spoke. "And I don't care what they'd think of me! I won't go! I won't..."
Harry dropped the remainder of his ice cream to the floor and reached to put his hands upon Teddy's shoulders.
"Your mum and dad, Teddy, wouldn't have thought a single bad thing of you, even if you didn't want to go to Hogwarts. But I don't reckon they'd want you to think of it like this. They'd want you to think of it as more than just the place they died."
Teddy reluctantly met Harry's gaze again, sniffing as tears silently seeped from the corners of his eyes.
"Now I'm sure there are all sorts of things that your gran could tell you about when your mum was at Hogwarts, all the stuff she did that got her into trouble! She was as much a troublemaker as your dad, you know. And the things your dad did at school...Teddy you would hardly believe your ears! He used to say the happiest days of his life were at Hogwarts, when he had his friends around him. Not to mention the year he taught there, he was a brilliant teacher, your dad, there was never a dull moment when I was in his class. I used to have tea with him, in his office, you know, and he always had an endless supply of chocolate in the pockets of his robes. If you ever get a teacher like him, Teddy, keep on their good side, you'd be surprised how much chocolate you can get out of them."
Despite his tears, Teddy sniggered as Harry smiled at the memory.
"You see, Teddy? There is far more to Hogwarts than you first think. Your mum and dad didn't just die there. They lived there, too."
Ans so it was that a few weeks later Teddy Remus Lupin boarded the Hogwarts Express, waving excitedly out the window to his grandmother and godfather, ready to see where his parents had lived.