I am not giving up on There's No Such Thing as Normal, it's just I dreamt this thing up and the plot bunny wouldn't die, so now I'm writing it...
La di Da
No matter where Harry went, disaster followed. He was used to this, it's been happening since the first day of his existence, but as he sat in the cramped business class of an international airline with his son's hand squeezing his own, he decided enough was enough. Come hell or high water, this time it would work.
Teddy's hair was a sick puke green beneath his cap, having decided on that color for the week since it would turn that shade anyway on the plane. He couldn't bother with his hair when all his concentration was focused on not vomiting up his stomach on the merciless 10 hour flight. The boy did not handle flying gracefully. At least not in a 2,000 ton metal contraption hurtling through the air at Merlin knows what speed. Harry wasn't much better, but Teddy was definitely worse.
At 16 years old, and not giving a damn who saw, Teddy had Harry's hand in a death grip so tight that Harry lost feeling somewhere at the 2 hour mark. He did not complain though, it was his fault that Teddy was subjected to this torture.
He had thought they could hide in Greece, make a home there, set down some roots. He had thought that about Italy, and about Spain as well. Teddy loved living by the water and Harry did everything in his power to give him a sunny home by the sea but not even the thrice damned Savior of the Wizarding world could manage that.
Somehow, in some unimaginable way, the reporters, the politicians, the frothing mob of rabid fans found them each and every time. Even with magic he couldn't hide away from his adoring, obsessive, absolutely insane worshipers. Glamors didn't work on the scar, and the last 3 of his Secret Keepers ended up hospitalized. Anyone who knew of his location either became filthy rich or gravely injured. Not even Neville's title as a hero himself kept them from using illegally acquired Veritaserum on him. The perpetrators were caught and sentenced, but Harry couldn't endanger his friends like that again, the small few that he had left.
The first time he had vanquished Voldemort they called him the Boy-Who-Lived. The final time he killed the bastard they praised him as the Savior, the Champion, Merlin Reincarnate. Statues of his likeness were erected in every park and courtyard, songs written about him blared on the Wireless nonstop, entire sections in bookstores were dedicated to only him, there was even an opera. An OPERA! He was mobbed every time he stepped outside, a camera flashing at him with each blink, questions screamed at him, fanatic witches clawing at his clothes begging to have his babies. They turned him into a God, a wizarding version of the Beatles for Merlin's sake! He literally could not step outside.
How the bloody hell was he suppose to raise a son like that?
Teddy already had enough happen to him, his parents gone before he could even remember them, stuck with a terrified 17 year old boy who didn't have a clue what he was doing as a father. Harry refused to further upset Teddy's life with the fame, but the solution was hardly any better. They had no choice but to hide, disguise who they were, and then run when they were eventually discovered. He couldn't stand the camera's flashing at Teddy, but uprooting him time and time again was killing Harry.
And so, 3 weeks ago when Harry had to pull Teddy out of school to avoid the waiting mob at the gates because someone somewhere let the secret slip again, despite all his bribes, he decided to hell with the wizarding world. All he's ever wanted was to be left alone to raise his family, he had done enough for them to deserve that at the very least. But no, they wouldn't give him the peace he so desperately wanted. So fuck them, fuck them all.
And Teddy agreed with him. Hogwarts had been a disaster. Teddy was a bright, lovable boy at 11 but all they ever saw was the son of the Savior. Every child since the Dark Lord's fall fell asleep listening to the tales of Harry Potter. And of course their parents filled their heads with the idea of being the Savior's son's friend. They drowned Teddy, smothered and suffocated him. They squabbled over him as only children do over a prized toy, or starved wolves over a piece of meat, and no matter what the teachers did they couldn't protect him. Harry had kissed a confident excited boy at the train station goodbye, and got back a nervous sobbing wreck at Yule.
Teddy never went back again. Harry took him to Spain and slowly, basking in the bright sun and white sand beaches, Teddy found his confidence again. Until they were discovered and had to move. He did not do so well in Italy. And in Greece he made no effort to make friends at all.
As wonderful as magic was, it wasn't worth living like this.
So Harry transferred all his vaults into a muggle account, changed their names for the very last time, and bought 2 train tickets to Paris where they hopped on the first plane headed across the pond. Neither one of them looked back.
"One more hour, cub, hang in there. Just one more hour," Harry said soothingly.
Teddy clenched his eyes shut as the plane lurched with turbulence, his tan skin tinged gray turned even grayer. "Yeah...hanging in there...by a thread... thin thread...very thin," he grunted through clenched teeth, "How's your hand?"
"Broken, I suspect, but that's all right. I can't feel it any how," Harry said with the barest ghost of a smile. Teddy tried to loosen his grip only to tighten it again when the plane hit another bout of turbulence.
"Sorry, da." Teddy said. He forced himself to do breathing exercises that Harry had taught him when he was young, slow breath in through the nose, hold, and exhale out through the mouth. In, out, in, out. It helped with his panic attacks back then, and it helped a little now. Good thing he hadn't eaten anything beforehand.
"So tell me where we're going again?" Teddy asked, desperately needing distraction.
"We'll land in Seattle, Washington. From there we'll figure it out." Harry said, giving Teddy a comforting squeeze of the hand. He was pleasantly surprised he could move it at all.
"Washington, Washington," Teddy echoed, as if tasting the word. "Warshingtone. Y'know they call themselves Washingtonians. Sounds like a dinosaur, yeah?"
Harry chuckled, "Yeah."
"Y'know Seattle has the highest suicide rate in all the cities of America."
"And how do you know that?" Harry asked with a raised brow.
"There's this new thing they've just invented," Teddy replied, eyes still closed but looking more relaxed, "it's called the internet. You should try it some time."
Harry chuckled again and shook his head.
"It's got something to do with all the rain, they say." Teddy continued.
"Then it should be just like London." Harry replied.
Silence fell between them. Harry looked out the window and watched the patchwork of lights pass by in the darkness below.
"Da..." Teddy said after a time.
"I kind of miss London." he admitted quietly.
Harry sighed. "Me too."
Above them the lights for the seat belts dinged on as the plane readied for it's descent.
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