Hey! Here's another songfic, because I heard the song on YouTube, and couldn't resist writing about it. It was too perfect for this.
The song is "If Heaven Was Needing a Hero" by Jo Dee Messina.
If Heaven Was Needing a Hero
I came by today to see you
Oh I had to let you know
If I knew the last time that I held you was the last time
I'd have held you and never let go
The bright blue eyes of Teddy Remus Lupin stared into the grief-filled emerald irises of seventeen-year-old Harry James Potter. Tears glistened from the wide green eyes as Harry knelt before the grave. He didn't exactly know why he had insisted on having Teddy with him…it wasn't like the infant would remember the moment. As the young man gazed into the blue irises, guilt tugged at his heart.
He, Harry, had been trusted with this young life, which clutched at the elder's robes as if it were his only concern. But everything was Harry's fault. If not for the war…if not for Teddy's parents' determination and courage to protect what was left of the light…the baby would be grabbing hold of the tattered, shabby brown robes of his father, or maybe the customary Weird Sisters t-shirt of his mother. He would trace the faded scars on his father's pale face, and in time come to wonder why such a good man, a hero, would have to suffer so much for something that he could in no way control. He would marvel at the color of his mother's hair; wonder how easily it could be changed…and in time, learn the same control that she had once harnessed.
But now…because Harry had allowed his friends to die for him…the only scar Teddy would wonder about would be the one on his godfather's forehead, and would eventually have to be explained to him, of course, along with that long-dreaded conversation about why his parents were no longer with him. The only hair he would wonder about would be his own…never quite to understand why he was unlike the rest of those he considered to be his family.
And it's all my fault.
Harry stared down at the headstone, wondering what words he could possibly use o describe Remus Lupin. The man who taught him to stand up to fear. The man who was there when he seemed to be alone. The man…who told him how much of his parents could be seen simply through him. A tear slid down Harry's thin face. And Remus's wife…Nymphadora Tonks. A woman who had always managed to put a smile, however small, on the teenager's serious face. Now she was gone. Barely able to know her son…barely able to recall times before the war…before everything had become dark and dangerous, even for an Auror.
He pointed his wand at the stone, and slowly carved into the granite every important quality he could remember of those he dearly missed.
Remus John Lupin:
Gryffindor, Marauder, werewolf, teacher, husband, father, and hero
Died: May 2, 1998
He looked at his handiwork for a moment, without cracking a smile. He moved to do the next, trying to remember all he could about the young witch who sometimes seemed to understand him more than the others…Sirius's cousin.
Hufflepuff, Metamorphmagus, Auror, wife, mother, and hero
Died: May 2, 1998
He frowned slightly at the simplicity of it, but realized it was just fine as he remembered the type of people that the Lupins really were. Harry stroked the soft, dark hair of the sleeping baby in his arms, wiping yet another tear from his emerald orbs.
"I'm so sorry, Teddy."
Still as asleep as ever, the two-month-old Teddy Lupin did not respond. And despite everything, despite the sorrow and the suffering, the first smile since before the battle graced the young hero's face.
Teddy was evidence of a new beginning…of a new generation. He would grow up surrounded by love and family, the very thing that Harry so conspicuously lacked.
Remus had chosen Harry as his son's godfather for a reason. And as the teenager, barely of age, realized this, he felt something that he hadn't felt in a long time…something he'd not felt since before Dumbledore's fall. Hope.
Harry Potter felt hope for the days to come…and he swore right then…that he would never forget the promise he made.
Never, ever forget.
Oh it's kept me awake nights wondering
Lying in the dark just asking why
I've always been told you won't be called home
Until it's your time
The black-haired young man winced as he heard the quiet, sleepy voice of his godson, barely audible from the distance between them. But as he saw the six-year-old's bright turquoise hair fade seamlessly to a light brown, his eyes remaining the same grey they always were, Harry could already feel his resolve crumbling, and he stepped into the boy's bedroom.
"Teddy, what is it?"
"Why don't…" And he felt his eyes well up with unshed tears and sadness as he recognized the all-too innocent question that plagued the childhood of an orphan, no matter how loved they were. "…I have a Mummy and Daddy?" Harry took a seat on the edge of Teddy's bed and reached out to stroke the boy's soft hair, the colour constantly reminding him of whose son this was.
And in a lot of ways…the reminder was harder on Harry than on anybody else. And no one would exactly know why. How could he admit to the little boy that he swore to love and protect…that it was all because of him? The man that Teddy had simply trusted with his entire life…a traitor to everything that was right in this world, because everything he did made it wrong. A hero to the Wizarding World, maybe, but a traitor, always a traitor…to the last remaining member of the Lupin family.
"Your mum and dad…" Harry sighed heavily and took the little boy's hand in his own. "They were the bravest people I ever knew. They sacrificed their own lives to save mine."
Teddy looked up at his hero with a look of disbelief. "Why?" he asked. And then, as if realizing what he might have implied, his wide eyes bored into his godfather's. "I mean…why did you need…"
Harry's weak smile faded and he took the thin boy into his arms and held him tightly. "I want you to listen carefully, Teddy," he whispered, his voice somehow gentle and firm. "I didn't want anyone to fight for me. I didn't want them to die."
"They were good people, Ted," he said quietly. "You know your father had a…" Harry grinned to himself, remembering his own father's words about Remus's condition. "…Furry little problem." Teddy giggled, his eyes lighting up. Maybe he would grow up to be a Marauder, after all. "But I also think you and I both know that he was a hero, right?"
The boy nodded, and Harry felt himself relax for the first time in what seemed like years. "I know, but-" Teddy stopped himself from yelling at his godfather, looking down at his bedsheets, ashamed. "Why couldn't they come back?"
A sad smile appeared on Harry's face, marveling at Remus's son's innocence. "There is no magic that can reawaken those who have…gone on."
"How could they leave without me?" the little boy asked, tears welling up in his blue eyes that resembled his mother's preferred shade. "Didn't they love me?"
"Oh, Ted…" Harry gathered his godson's small body into his arms and ruffled the light brown hair. "They loved you so much. They didn't want to leave…they didn't have a choice."
"I miss them, Harry," he whispered, his young voice carrying the same pain that Harry himself recognized from his past that seemed so long ago. "I wish…" Teddy never finished his thought, but the young man holding him understood, more than anyone else ever would.
"I miss them too, Ted," Harry said softly, though he knew the young Metamorphmagus whose future he had been entrusted with would not hear him. "I miss all of them." He kissed Teddy's forehead gently, and carefully laid him down, tucking him in.
His mind traveled back to Remus, Tonks, Sirius, and the limited amount he remembered of his parents. Teddy would never fully understand why his parents were taken from him, as Harry still had trouble accepting it. Teddy would never really stop blaming himself, as Harry did for every single one of those who had died to protect him…because he couldn't protect himself.
He smiled sadly at the mop of brown hair that covered his godson's head, that he knew had to be the boy's original form. He stood up and looked down, lightly kissing the side of his forehead before whispering a sincere apology that brought tears to his emerald eyes. He closed the door to the bedroom in which Remus and Tonks had once placed their son, somehow knowing that there would come a time when they would be able to no longer.
I guess heaven was needing a hero
Somebody just like you
Brave enough to stand up for what you believe
And follow it through
When I try to make it make sense in my mind
The only conclusion I come to
Is that heaven was needing a hero like you
A shout from the landing woke Harry Potter from a deep sleep, and immediately, his shocking green eyes opened, alert. The wholly unpleasant noise that roused him had come from a voice he knew all too well: his godson, Teddy Lupin. "Yes!" The triumphant yell of the eleven-year-old allowed Harry a smirk and reassured him that all indeed was well.
But as he wrapped an arm around his sleeping wife's waist, burying his head in her long, flaming red hair, he heard quick footsteps coming up the stairs, and he groaned. Anyone else would know to leave him be. Even his own children knew never to wake their father from slumber.
But Teddy was something special. Not as if James, Albus, and Lily were not, but…in Harry's view, Teddy was much more than simply Teddy. He was a reminder, a memory, a testament…to all those, like Remus and Tonks, who he had lost. A reminder for Harry to simply stay Harry, and not rise to what the press named him, the "Chosen One." Teddy somehow made Harry remember whatever he had done…how many amazing things he had accomplished…he was human. An extraordinary one at that…but no, Harry Potter had never been anything other than human. And if at that moment, this meant anything, it meant that Teddy could easily get his godfather out of bed when no one else could.
Harry rolled out of bed and opened the door, quietly closing it behind him. He barely had time to ruffle his hair and slide on his glasses before a furious ball of turquoise hair collided with him. The force of the blow knocked his glasses askew, and as he fixed them, the bright blue eyes and excited, colour-changing hair of Teddy Remus Lupin came into focus.
Sure enough, as Harry had predicted, the boy was clutching an envelope of yellowed parchment with bright green writing on the front. He could only make out the first line of writing, the addressee, a "Mr. T. Lupin." But even just that was enough for Harry James Potter to know that his godson had gotten his Hogwarts letter.
"Congratulations, Teddy," he said with a slightly amused grin. The wild expression on the young boy's heart-shaped face, if only for a second, reminded Harry of Tonks, and for a moment…it was as if everyone was still alive…and Harry himself was fifteen again.
But then he blinked…
And it was all over. Here he was…in the future…again.
The grin returned to his face as his gaze dropped to the boy's blue hair. "You know…you're going to have to do something about that hair."
"What about it?" Harry chuckled at the boy's indignant tone, again, so much like that of his proud, Metamorphmagus mother, who of course never set much in store by the rules either.
"I can imagine that Professor McGonagall would prefer it were you to keep it in its natural form," he said gently. At Teddy's confused expression, he explained that it might be a bit distracting for the students who didn't have a choice of what their hair colour could be. The boy frowned, but nodded guiltily. He closed his eyes and relaxed, his hair fading to a light brown that limply draped over his forehead. When he opened his eyes, the irises were a dull blue-grey that, though simple, seemed to sparkle, as if the world was open to him.
And to Harry, he was the spitting image of Remus John Lupin.
"How's that?" The words emerged from Teddy's mouth before he could stop them, and he looked up at his godfather with his mesmerizing, innocent eyes.
Harry was overcome with emotion and he wrapped his arms around the boy, even then, the sliver of a tear trailing down his thin face. He didn't realize that the eleven-year-old had even asked him a question. Just Teddy's natural form, a "Mini-Moony," as it were, was enough to remind the elder of how he had failed everyone. He had allowed them to die for him…how could such a young boy, the son of those people he let die…how could Teddy still trust him and love him?
As he realized that Harry was not going to answer, Teddy's smile faded to an expression of confusion. "Harry? Are you okay?" Still in his natural, original form, his grey eyes glistened with concern. His godfather smiled, only slightly, his green eyes rimmed with red. Teddy figured that, even if he didn't understand why, it was the most his hero could manage.
"It's perfect," was the hoarse answer that the boy eventually received. Teddy beamed and Harry was uncannily reminded of Tonks. If for nothing but Teddy's sake, Harry pushed his feelings back to where he had hidden too many secrets and too much pain. And before he could help it, the words poured from his mouth. "You're more like them than you know, Teddy. In time…you'll come to see just how much."
With the boy leaning into his godfather's shoulder, Harry couldn't see the tears that fell from young, grey eyes, and the eventual smile that spread across a heart-shaped face.
I remember the last time I saw you
Oh you held your head up proud
I laughed in side when I saw how you were
Standing out in the crowd
You're such a part of who I am
And now that part will just be void
No matter how much I need you now
Heaven needed you more
James Sirius Potter coughed as he wiped dust of what looked like a large, leather-bound book. Frowning slightly, he cautiously turned back to the way he came…the rickety old stairs that led to the attic of Potter Manor. The caramel eyes scanned the cover, which simply read, "Messrs. Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs: The Hogwarts Years and Beyond." At the names Padfoot and Prongs, the young Gryffindor's face split into a devious grin.
"Yes," he whispered, carefully opening the book, which turned out to be a photo album, mainly consisting of Wizarding pictures that all focused on a group of four boys, all wearing Gryffindor robes, all with huge grins on their faces. With a sudden jolt, the eleven-year-old Potter saw his grandfather waving at him through the portrait. The James Potter in the photo looked incredibly like his grandson, except the glasses, which were not a necessity for Harry's son. He then looked to the left of his grandfather- his arm was around the shoulders of a boy with long, shaggy black hair. "Sirius," James mumbled quietly, lightly running his fingers down the length of the picture. And to Sirius's left was a boy that seemed to be a carbon copy of Teddy, James's godbrother. He smiled slightly, a sad expression on his face. These boys were now dead…even including the traitor, Peter Pettigrew, who, as James's father had told him, had saved Harry's life in the end. Absentmindedly, the boy ruffled his already messy black hair and closed the album, taking it with him as he exited the attic. Teddy Lupin needed to see this.
James jogged down the hallway, almost literally running into his father. Eyebrows raised, Harry immediately assumed the worst of his eldest son. Only back from his first year of school for the Christmas holidays, the boy had already earned at least fifteen detentions for various pranks he had pulled. Being a Potter named after two troublemakers, and best friends with the son of the owner of Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, Minerva McGonagall was going to take no chances.
And with good reason, Harry thought with a smirk.
"What were you doing back there?" he asked, and James's face immediately turned to the innocent expression that his father knew all too well. He noticed the old book that the boy was trying to hide behind his back, and frowned, if only slightly. "You were in the attic, weren't you?"
"No, I wasn't," James answered…too quickly. Harry's eyebrows narrowed and he rubbed his forehead in exasperation.
"In the name of Merlin, James…"
"Fine…yeah, I was in the attic," the boy mumbled, his brown eyes downcast. "But, and Dad…I found this!" He held up the photo album, even though he no doubt knew that Harry had already noticed it. "It's…brilliant!"
Refraining from expressing the fact that none of his children were allowed in the attic purely because the staircase wasn't safe, Harry smiled gently and took the familiar-looking album from James's arms. He flipped it open to the first page, then to the second, and seeing a picture of a furious-looking thirteen-year-old Lily Evans storming towards the camera, which was no doubt being held by James or Sirius. He suppressed a laugh at his younger mother and father, wishing once more that he could've known them as he was growing up.
"Yeah…it is," he said, remembering his son's enthusiasm. Harry ruffled James's already messy hair playfully. "James, why don't you grab Al and go play Quidditch?" he asked, pausing for a moment. "It's a nice day outside."
"A nice day?" James repeated incredulously, folding his arms across his chest. "Dad…it's snowing like hell."
"Watch your language, young man," Harry said on default, though he knew too well that his eleven-year-old son would not heed his words. "Then Floo Fred and plan your next prank." Then he blinked.
Merlin, did I just say that? I must be getting old.
"Er…I mean…" James just rolled his eyes and laughed.
"I get it, Dad, you don't want me around," he said lightheartedly. "And you don't want me to go back in the attic." Harry smiled after the boy until James turned to his bedroom to presumably crash onto his bed in mock exasperation until Lily took the bait and asked what was wrong.
Definitely a Sirius trait, Harry thought wryly. And he doesn't even know it.
He took the photo album and was about to collapse into a chair, when he heard the front door open, and almost immediately, the sound of the coat rack crashing to the ground…again…was heard. The Head Auror allowed himself a grim chuckle as always, knowing that his godson had entered. He closed the album again, but as he noted the photo of a small boy with brown hair that already held the streaks of grey, the only noticeable feature, aside from the scars that were barely visible, that held the secret that Remus Lupin was more than simply a student of Gryffindor House. Harry unknowingly agreed with his eldest. Teddy Lupin needed to see this.
Teddy headed up the stairs, shaking snow out of his typical turquoise hair, and once he saw his godfather, he smiled widely. "Hiya, Harry."
"Hey, Ted." Harry smiled encouragingly and motioned for the eighteen-year-old to sit beside him. "I wanted to show you something." Teddy's smile turned into a curious frown as he took the chair next to the older man.
"A photo album?" he asked. And Harry handed it to him. He carefully read the cover, and a smile graced his features as he lightly traced the name "Moony" with his fingers. "The Marauders."
"James found it in the attic," Harry said gently. "I thought that you'd like to see it."
"You were right," Teddy mumbled, his heart-shaped face turning red. He tried to morph it away, but he was too flustered to control it properly. His godfather simply smiled sadly. Then again, what else had Teddy expected? That's really all he ever got from people. Sympathy. He was Teddy Lupin, son of the dead werewolf and the Metamorphmagus. He was never known simply as Teddy, or Ted. Except by Harry. Harry knew how he felt…and every day, the young man thanked Merlin for his godfather. What would he have done without Harry Potter?
He flipped to the back of the album, and in surprise, found a picture of his father, much older, the grey in his hair much more pronounced. He was wearing shabby brown robes, but he was gazing at a young woman in the robes Teddy knew to be those of an Auror, for he was training to become one himself. He smiled. These pictures were from the Order of the Phoenix in 1995, some-odd years before he was born. In his father, he saw his natural colour of light brown hair, along with the blue-grey eyes that his own girlfriend, Victoire, found "so damn attractive." He smirked for a moment at the memory, and then focused his sight on the album once more. His heart-shaped face he recognized in his mother, while his trademark devious lopsided grin was a mixture of both his parents' smiles. He had his father's nose and the shape of his mother's eyes, while of course he always kept them his natural colour, his father's.
Without even realizing the change, Teddy's outrageous mop of turquoise had faded to his natural light brown, too immersed in James's discovery.
"I miss them, Harry." The quiet admission slipped from the young man's lips before he could prevent it. "I know that I never…really…" He looked up and frowned at his godfather. "How can I miss someone that I've never known?"
Harry's previous smile faded into a solemn expression, knowing all too well the answer to Teddy's question. "You miss what could have been," he said gently. "You don't miss them personally…how could you? I don't have memories of my parents, and I was quite older than you when I lost them." Teddy frowned, nodding, and then proceeding to brush brown hair out of his eyes. "You miss the fact that everyone else has parents…and for some cruel reason…yours were taken from you before you could even talk."
"Yeah…I guess that's it…innit?" The young Metamorphmagus responded absently, running his fingers over the portrait of his father. "I see so much of them in me," he said softly. "You were right, Harry."
Bemused, Harry frowned.
"Right about what, Ted?"
Teddy smiled, if only slightly, but his godfather could see a hint of that lopsided grin. "You don't remember?" Harry shrugged. "When I was eleven…you told me how much I was like them…and that someday…I'd find out how much. I didn't understand it then. Now I do."
Harry smiled slowly, the memory coming back to him. He had never explained the meaning of those particular words, now, had he? "Do you know…why I said that, back then?" Teddy shook his head, curiosity lining his forehead and raised eyebrows. "When I was thirteen…your father told me the same thing. And he was right."
Teddy's previously doubtful face split into a grin as he recalled those words, the summer, that day…when he received his Hogwarts letter.
You're more like them than you know…in time you'll come to see just how much.
'Cause heaven was needing a hero
Somebody just like you
Brave enough to stand up for what you believe
And follow it through
When I try to make it make sense in my mind
The only conclusion I come to
Is that heaven was needing a hero like you
Yes, heaven was needing a hero
What a break from my usual style this is! That first part...absolutely no dialogue...I was quite impressed with myself, at any rate. But I am also under the belief that I'm a tad narcissistic, so... *cough* anyway.
Please leave a review...I'll lend you some of my secret stash of Honeyduke's chocolate. :)
And also...in a little over a week, I'll be leaving for a trip to Florida...to the Wizarding World. Excited!
Next up (hopefully): Long, Long Way to Go by Def Leppard, James/Lily AU
Tell Her This by Del Amitri, Remus/Tonks canon
This is Teddy R. Lupin, signing out...for now. :D