The Laws of Life
A/N: Here it is, lovelies – the sequel. This story is loosely based on a lot of things. I'll tell you at the end of the story, because I wouldn't want to spoil you ;)
This will probably be a 5-6 chapter ficlet for all Teddy fans.
WARNING: Read Laws of Attraction first before proceeding, for those who haven't. Or else, you probably won't get the full effect this story was intended to have. It can stand alone, but still. I do recommend you read TLOA first. :D
"It is by going down into the abyss
that we recover the treasures of life.
Where you stumble,
there lies your treasure."
- Joseph Campbell
Try A Little Harder
There's pain everywhere.
Red. All I see is red. Is it blood?
I can't breathe.
I can't see.
A blinding light flashes.
Suddenly, the pain vanishes.
My eyes shoot open. I find myself in a cold sweat, drenching. I sit up gingerly, unfamiliar bed covers sliding off my torso. I expect the pain to hit me, the pain I had felt just moments ago -
Confused, I examine my body. It felt..different. It looked...older?
I'm supposed to be dead. The last thing I remember is Tod's spell hitting me...
The scars from long ago are still clearly visible on my chest. But there's no blood anywhere. Not even a single sign of recent injuries. Just mostly scars...scars that I remember so well.
I remember that I'm in an unfamiliar bed.
Where am I?
I lift my gaze off my many scars, and study the room I'm in.
My surroundings remind me of a futuristic Asian place; everything is either white or black, and seems particularly square or pointy. As much as I feel like I need to be in a state of panic over the fact that I have no idea where I am, it seemed impossible in this bright and innocent-looking room.
Strangely enough, it felt...right...to be here.
As if it were home.
My right hand brushes over something hard. I grope around for it under the sheets, and end up finding a very, very thick book.
I flip it open.
It's filled with potion recipes, all hand-written, and I browse through them in awe.
To my left was a small table, a glass vial filled with some sort of purple liquid sitting on it. There is also a remote control there. I recognize it from Muggle Studies. It opens Muggle Appliances like a television. I glance around me, and sure enough, straight ahead, is a television.
There is also a piece of paper with some writing on it on the table. Beside it is a clock – a magical one – that flickers from being a time piece, a weather forecast, an astronomy reading, and a date.
I look closer, and the magical letters and numbers pop up: September 20, 2011
What the bloody hell? 2011? Is this some kind of sick joke? Yesterday was just 1997!
Something suddenly bounces onto the bed. Startled, I look into the furry face of a cat.
A cat I know too well. But...what was it doing here?
"Mreow," the cat purrs.
I smile, remembering it's owner. Petting its bright ginger fur, I notice another piece of paper dangling from its collar.
OPEN THE TELEVISION WITH THE REMOTE ON YOUR LEFT.
I blink at the scrawled note. The cat nudges my hand, as if saying, go on, do it.
"What are you doing here, Crookshanks?" I ask him.
He just nudges my hand again, as if saying I'll get my answer when I do as the note says.
I reach over to the small table to get the remote control. It was a good thing I paid attention during Muggle Studies. Pointing the contraption to the television,I pressed the "ON" button.
The face of a dark haired boy pops up. His eyes are just as dark, and his eye leans in closer to the screen of the television, as if he was examining me.
"Wait, is this old thing even working?" the dark haired boy says, his matching eyes squinting.
"Yes, it is, Tom," giggles a serene voice from somewhere unseen.
"Oh, really? Alright then."
He backs away, and I can see that he's around thirteen or fourteen years old. He's wearing Muggle clothes: a black shirt, dark-toned jeans, and sneakers. He sits at the edge of a bed, and I realize it's the same as the bed I'm sitting in now.
The boy cleares his throat.
His bangs fall over his eyes, and he brushes it away with his long, ivory fingers.
"Hey, dad. Looks like Crooks got to you. That's good."
Wait. What? Dad? How in Merlin's name did that happen?
"It's me, Tom."
Tom? Tom who?
"Actually, my whole name, the one you gave me, is Thomas Draco Nott. But yeah, you call me Tom."
Thomas? Draco? NOTT?
"Did you have a good night's sleep? Don't forget to take your potion, alright? It's right there, by your left. The horridly purple-looking vial."
I glance to my left. Sure enough, a glass vial was there. All purple and glowing freakishly. No way am I going to drink that.
"Don't worry, it doesn't taste that bad. The potion's for your health, so be sure that you take it. Don't forget to brew a new potion, as well! The instructions are right beside the vial."
Instructions? I lean over to take the piece of paper off the table, and read it. The boy's right; it's a recipe for a potion. A potion I'm unfamiliar with.
"Place the newly brewed one right where the one you'll be drinking is. Wouldn't want you to miss where it is tomorrow, do you?
What is this kid talking about?
"Ah, right. I'm your son, by the way."
What the bloody-
"Don't panic! It's not by blood."
Not by blood? Then how did I get a son?
"You should have seen yourself panic yesterday when I told you that you had a son. I'm betting it has something to do with your love for a certain War Heroine..."
I don't think I like that grin of his. It looked to much like...
"Anyway. Normally I would be right beside you telling you all this, but I'll be in Hogwarts again by tomorrow. Well, my tomorrow, anyway. Whatever date it is for you, there, it's just August 31st, 2011 right now for me. Video tapes don't exactly age, you know?"
I know about video tapes. I know about the process of making them. I know they don't age. So this boy must have video taped this on August 31. Apparently, if the clock beside me is correct, it's September 20...in the year 2011.
If I think about it, it makes sense. Somewhat. The suddenly modern surroundings, my healed wounds, my suddenly aged body...
But it still doesn't answer many questions. Like, why am I alive? And how can it possibly be 2011, if the last thing I remember is being killed?
"Just check that big box on the floor right beside your bed. The one on the right. All my letters for you should be there."
I look to my right. Yes, there's a black box on the white, carpeted floor. I bend over to pick it up and keep it in my lap, my fingers brushing against the lid.
"I'll instruct Apollo – you remember Apollo? Our owl? - to bring you my letters every evening, so that you'll wake up and be able to read them. I'll tell him to drop it by the window sill. The big window, the one beside the bookshelfSo after watching this video, go check if it's there, alright? Yeah, I'll write to you everyday, just to update you on what's going on. Write me back, alright? Just so that I'll know you actually even watched this tape. I wouldn't want to deal with a dad who didn't know me..."
I look for the window he indicated. I see it on my right, and I crane my neck to see if there was a letter outside. I think I see one...
"Before moving on, a re-cap: One, you must drink the potion on your left. The purple icky one. Two, you must brew a new potion. After eating breakfast, of course. Instructions are on your left, too. Three, check the box on your right for my letters. Four, check the window sill for the most recent letter that Apollo should have brought."
The boy was tabulating the "things to do" with his fingers, and I watch him curiously. He claims that he's my son. But if we're not parent and child by blood, then how...?
I'm starting to freak out. There's a big gap in my life – all the years from 17...to 31... are missing.
I can't believe I'm 31. I'm 31, and I have a son.
AND I CAN'T REMEMBER ANYTHING.
"Do all of that after watching the video, okay? Not, like, now."
He grinned, and I can't help but smile. He has a cheerful aura surrounding him, though his eyes convey wisdom far more advanced than his age. Well, what I assume to be his age, that is.
"Alright, now that the "must-do's" are done, here's the dragging part. I've practically memorized what I have to say now, seeing as I do it everyday. It's a good thing my memory's better than yours. Ha- get it?"
"Anyway, so..I'm sure you remember everything up until the day that you...erm...died?"
Pretty much. I know I'm Theodore Nott Jr. Teddy. I have a crappy past. My father was insane. He abused my mother and I, and killed my little sister when she was barely a year old. I was dragged into the Death Eater circle by him, when he threatened me with my mother's and my own life. In the end, he killed my mother, anyway. I thought I killed him when I was in 4th year, accidentally/on purposely, and ran away from our manor to live by myself. And up until my 7th year in Hogwarts did I find out he was still alive, gathering a new army of Deat Eaters. He was powerful, just as I was.
I was Voldemort's secret weapon all those years I served under him. I could have killed him myself, only there was the presence of his horcruxes and the number of his followers to consider. That, and Harry Potter's prophecy. I ended up helping Potter win, anyway, by refusing to place my usual protective charms on Voldemort the day of the 2nd Wizarding War and final battle.
I loved Hermione Granger. I still do. I met her when I was 5, in a Muggle park. She taught me there was still good in the world. She looked at me as if there was something good in me. I found out she was a relative.
My best friend - my brother – is Draco Malfoy. He loves Hermione, as well. And I wish the both of them happiness.
Theodore Nott Sr, also known as Tod, whom I thought was my father, turned out to be my half-uncle. His half-brother, Thomas Nott, is my real father.
Tod murdered Thomas.
And attempted to murder Hermione.
And so, I blocked his spell, a spell he made himself, stronger than the Unforgivables and unblockable, with my body.
That is how I died.
And now I'm here, watching this video tape.
"Well, I know you think you're supposed to be dead right now. And you're probably thinking why you should listen to a kid like me, who you don't even know, but I know you, dad. I know that you actually believe this, because you've analyzed every possible aspect. And I know that you've come to the conclusion that this is the real deal, and somehow, you're missing, what, 14 years of your life? The last think you remember is you dying, I'm sure."
All I can do is blink.
"And knowing you, what I just said probably just convinced you that this is the real deal."
..This is starting to get creepy.
"So I guess it's time to start the explanations. The reason why you can't remember the last 14 years, is because you have short-term memory loss. You've had it since your 'death'. It's a side-effect."
Are you kidding me? Short-term memory loss?
"So basically, each day, you start anew. Whenever you go to sleep, your memory of what happened while you were awake gets erased. So when you wake up, it's as if you're 17, and it seems just like yesterday for you that you 'died'."
That makes sense, but where's the-
"I know you want some proof, and it's in the box of letters I told you about. Your journal's there. You can read it. Make sure you write on it, as well, alright? Write about whatever thing you want your future self to remember. Then place it back inside the box. So that tomorrow, when you forget everything, and you have to watch this video again, you'll read it."
I open the lid of the box on my lap. There were numerous envelopes inside, but below everything was a leather notebook.
"Alright, that explains why you're missing 14 years. As to why you're alive, i'll try to explain it as easy as possible: you were never really dead. The spell that hit you merely shut down all your body's organs, including your heart, for a temporary time. I'm not really sure what happened, but Auntie Luna says she was the only one to see you regain your consciousness a few hours after your supposed death. You were just about to be placed in a coffin – brr, imagine what could have happened if you were already in the coffin – when you suddenly opened your eyes. You made an Unbreakable Vow with Aunt Luna to keep it a secret and never tell anyone. It was fortunate that the 3 elves who were supposedly present in that room to seal your..um...dead body in the coffin were suddenly called to do some other task. Aunt Luna just pretended that your body was already in the coffin when the elves came back, claiming she did it herself."
Luna Lovegood, huh?
"As to why you continued faking death...well, you told me that it was because you wanted to start a new life, and that your presence as Teddy Nott in this world would just cause commotion. That's what Wyou told Aunt Luna, too, so she decided to help you out by offering her place to stay in, which you took."
..yes, I would definitely have said that.
"It was the very next day, right after you spent the night in her house, that you woke up not remembering the day before. Aunt Luna said that you even freaked out when you saw her enter your room."
I imagine I would freak out. I mean, really, what would a man think? Unfamiliar room, a girl standing right there..
"You couldn't really be brought to a doctor, since you're supposedly dead and was still in hiding, so Aunt Luna ended up explaining everything to you. Imagine her exasperation when the next day, you just forgot everything all over again."
I'm pretty pissed already at myself. Luna must be even more pissed, having to explain again and again.
"Well, she bore with you, really, with explaining to you every single day, for almost a month, until you decided to just write yourself a letter, and told her to give it to you whenever you woke up. That's why the first few pages of your journal is a letter to yourself. Then everyday, you wrote in the journal, to tell things to your future self."
I flipped the cover of the leather notebook in my hands. True enough, the handwriting was mine.
"Seeing as the journal seemed to convince you everyday, you decided it was safe enough for you to move to a new house, somewhere where you can start life all over again. You told me, at first, that it was like you didn't want to really live anymore. Aunt Luna said you were always so frustrated, because you thought living became futile. You'd just forget everything, anyway, so why live?"
It's true. Right now, I'm getting more on more frustrated. I'm missing 14 years of my life! Tomorrow, I'll just forget everything all over again! I can't ever remember what I did today. I'd just end up reading about it from a journal, as if I'm reading a novel. It wouldn't seem real, it wouldn't feel real, and i'd have no memories. Nothing. I feel like an outsider to my own life.
So what's the point in not dying? Why did the spell not kill me? Instead, it left this stupid side-effect? It just ended up robbing me of my life. And I had wanted to start over, too -
"But dad, don't give up."
I look at him. At Tom. His dark eyes serious, staring back at mine as if he were in the room.
"I know you must be frustrated right now. You always are, every single day, after knowing about your short-term memory loss. But dad, if you read your journal, you'll know that the you a few years ago, the you that was 17 years old, the you who was just a few months into his new life in Muggle London, living with the memory loss, is telling the you right now to try a little harder.
I know it's difficult to record things everyday, to make sure everything is in order, so that your self tomorrow can know about everything that will happen today. It's hard. It's hard to live as you are right now. But dad, you've been doing it for 14 years. You never gave up. If you did, I wouldn't be recording this tape right now, because you wouldn't have met me. If you gave up, you wouldn't have the amazing life I'm going to tell you about later.
Dad, just keep on trying. I just talked to you awhile ago, right before I started recording this, and you gave me this list of things to say, so that you'll never forget your convictions. For you, it may seem like just reminders for yourself, but I'm learning from you, too, dad. As I read your list that you gave me, I admit I almost cried. And I read it over and over again. Trust me when I say I know them by heart, and I'll always remember it.
The first on your list, is to try a little harder.
Everyday, try a little harder. If you want yourself to remember, if you want yourself to live, then you have to try harder. You have to make sure to leave yourself clues for tomorrow, things that will tell your future self of the past. Create your own memories.
You have to try.
Try and do everything you want today. Then try to make sure your future self remembers. Try to continue with your dream – i'm sure you remember what it is. You want to be really good in potions, and publish your own book on new potions and medicines you discovered yourself.
Dad, you see that thick book beside your pillow? That's 14 years worth of potions and medicines that you discovered yourself. And you still continue to fill it up! That's because you tried. Every single day, you tried harder.
So dad, keep on trying.
Because if you don't, then you're not living.
Always try a little harder."
I reach for the thick potions book, my hands shaking. I can't believe it. All this? All mine? All things I discovered myself?
"Dad, that is what happens when you try a little harder."
A/N: SO? How was it? I'm really nervous about this. The reason I didn't want to post a sequal was because I didn't think it would be good enough, but...I'm hoping this would be satisfactory.
Please tell me what you think? If it's a disappointment, then I guess I'll have to make another sequel with a different story line...
This is dedicated to my two awesome friends, PeriwinkleMoonlight and kaleidoscope1309 ! I apologize; I know I promised I'd send you guys the story before posting, but it's 2AM now and I doubt either of you are awake, and I want this posted ASAP because i've got the next chapter in mind and I need feedback if I should continue or not ASAP (that was a long sentence).
So, awesome people, show me some love and review!