Hello everyone. Long time no write. Managed to get this done over the half-term. I had already started it a while ago so it made more sense to finish it then to start on a Birthdays chapter I'd never have time to finish and be satisfied with it. If that makes sense...never mind. I just really wanted to get something up as it's my Anniversary today! Yep, two whole years of writing. Where has the time gone, eh?
Teddy let his mind wander, absent-mindedly doodling on the corner of the newspaper clipping. The picture on the front was covered up by his notebook, which had yet to have a single word on. Not that he was worried. He had the slight advantage over his classmates, as you tend to have when you live with the man giving the lecture.
Teddy dragged himself out of his thoughts as a note landed on his pad. 'This is so boring! I know all this already!' It seemed that Ben, (who had interrogated said lecture-giving-man several times, wanting to know all about his late mother's job), was in the same frame of mind as him. Teddy glanced up at the clock before hastily scribbling a note back. 'It'll be over soon'.
Ben didn't reply and Teddy wondered if his friend had succumbed to sleep. Not that the lecture was particularly boring (in fact, if he didn't have his mind on other things it would be quite interesting) but he knew his friend had been up all night rowing with Lady. They had been at each other's throats lately, something that was rather odd for the calm couple. Teddy soon found his mind travelling back to the library where he had found the article...
"Oh my Merlin, Ben! I just sorted that pile out!" Lady snapped. Her heels were now surrounded by a small pool of books.
"I'm sorry okay! I was just trying to help, jeez!" Ben retorted bending down to start picking the fallen books up. Lady also bent down, trying not to step on any of them.
"Yeah, well, you know what? Don't!" She spat.
"Fine," He stood back up and flung himself into the nearest chair moodily. "I'll just sit here then shall I?"
Lady opened her mouth to retort, when a voice came from the other side of the room.
"Oi! Lovebirds! Knock it off!"
"Shut up Jack, it's your fault we're here anyway!" Lady yelled back. Jack dumped the pile of books he had carried on to a nearby desk, nearly choking himself on the dust thrown up.
"What? It was your idea to give the OWL students a relaxing environment to study in." He managed to choke out, making air quotes at 'relaxing environment'.
"And what is wrong with that?" Lady seethed, crossing her arms over her chest.
"Oh yes! It was a wonderful idea, the candles were the perfect touch...till the whole bloody library nearly burnt down!" was Jack's sarcastic reply.
"They wouldn't have done if you hadn't been acting such an idiot! They were safe until you started flinging those bloody..." Lady's voice trailed off as she noticed the look upon Katie's face.
"Shut up the both of you!" Katie hissed.
"What's your prob-" Jack began, but then followed her gaze. The friends exchanged worried glances. Sitting quiet and still in the corner was Teddy, only half listening to his friend's rants. His mind was racing, he was staring fixedly at the article gripped in his hands.
He had only read some of it. After glancing down the see the journalist, Rita Skeeter, he had decided for his own mental health not to continue reading. He wanted real answers, not fabricated fantasies.
"Teddy? You okay mate?" Ben asked softly. Teddy looked up.
"What? Yeah, I'm fine,"
"You don't look it," Jack observed, making his way over to stand beside his friend. "You sure you're alright?" Teddy just nodded distractedly, only increasing the worried looks on their faces.
"Did you guys know about the Tri-wizard Tournament being here?" Teddy finally asked.
"The what now?" Lady asked. Sometimes she hated being a muggle-born.
"The Tri-wizard Tournament. It's a competition between three wizarding schools. It took place a long time ago but was stopped because of the death toll." Jack explained. He had an almost excited gleam in his eye.
"Death toll?" Lady's eyes widened. Katie frowned.
"Hang on, that can't be right; I'm sure it was here when my parents were at school," she informed them, puzzled.
Teddy nodded. "1994-95. I think Harry was in it."
"What? I've never heard that!" Ben sounded his shock.
"That's pretty cool!" Jack enthused. He had already leaned in to read the article. He frowned. "Well, except for the crying over his dead parent's thing."
"I doubt he actually said that, it's not something he'd admit out loud, let alone to the press," Teddy told them quickly. He glared at the paper, glad that he hadn't read further. "Wonder why he never told me..."
Jack passed the article to the others to look, before replying, "Mustn't have come up." He clapped Teddy on the shoulder comfortingly. Katie looked up from the newspaper.
"You can always just ask him. All you have to do is wait a couple of hours, after all."
Harry gave a nervous cough. He'd come to the end of his lecture. There was silence in the hall. He glanced at McGonagall, who was standing near-by, and she gave him an encouraging smile in return.
"Right, so, um, any questions?" he asked the hall.
Teddy raised his hand, only half his mind truly focused on what he was doing. Glancing up he saw Harry looking straight at him, a fond smile on his face.
"What was it like being in the Tri-Wizard tournament?"
The smile fell. "I-" A soft murmur started to make its way through the hall, growing louder by the second. It took McGonagall's stern voice to drown it out,
"Well, that's all we have time for. I'm sure you'd all like to show your appreciation before you make you way to out." The hall's population seemed to remember its manners and began to clap. Harry murmured a thank you. Teddy had never seen someone leave a room so quickly.
He felt himself being dragged out of the hall by the current that was his year group. Someone pulled at him, to his annoyance, until he recognized the voice that muttered in his ear: "When I said just ask him, I didn't mean in front of our whole year."
"I wasn't thinking okay?" Teddy hissed back at Katie as they made their way out into the corridor. Ben nudged him. Teddy followed his gaze and could just about make out his godfather standing in the shadowed door way of a nearby class room.
"Hey, Mr Potter, how's it going?" Ben greeted cheerfully once they finally clambered their way over to him.
"It's going good thanks," Harry smiled at them all - he'd long ago given up on getting them to call him by his first name.
Jack gave him the thumbs up and grinned, "Great lecture Mr P. I practically liked the ending!"
"Er, thanks, I think…"
"Ignore him," Katie put in quickly, "he's being him today."
"Hey! What's wrong with being me?" Katie took his arm and slung her other one around Ben.
"Lots and lots of things. In fact, I wrote a list last night; let me show it to you. See you around Mr Potter!"
Teddy rolled his eyes as she practically dragged their friends away, Lady hurrying after them. Harry waved a farewell, his lips twitching.
"Are they usually that subtle?"
Teddy just shook his head fondly. Then coughed much like Harry has done earlier. "That was a good lecture."
"How would you know? You weren't listening." Teddy looked up, but Harry didn't seem to be reprimanding him.
"I had um...other things on my mind," Teddy told him truthfully. Harry sighed then beckoned Teddy to follow him into the room.
"I still can't believe you asked me that," Harry muttered as he close the door behind them, wincing at the squeal it made.
"What's the big deal? It was just a question." Teddy pulled himself up on to a desk towards the front of the class.
"It wasn't even on the topic, it was completely irrelevant!"
"Look, I'm sorry okay? I still don't get what the big deal is," Teddy countered.
Harry wandered over to the window, before saying quite softly, "Teddy, there is a reason, a reason I don't like talking about...about things like that."
Teddy looked down at his shoes. He hadn't meant to upset Harry. But he wasn't about to give up either. "Can you tell me some things? Just the basics?"
Harry looked back at him. Teddy felt like he often did when his godfather gave him that look. The look that made him feel like he was being x-rayed by those green orbs. Harry eventually nodded and took a seat directly in front of him.
"Just the basics. What do you want to know?"
Teddy didn't know where to begin. His mind was bursting with questions. Finally one bullied its way to the front of the queue.
"Who did you compete against?"
"Wait, the coach for the Bulgarian Quidditch team?" Teddy interrupted, sitting up a little straighter.
"Yeah, that's him," Harry confirmed. "Fleur," Harry paused, this time expecting the interruption.
"Fleur? As in Vic's mum?" Teddy tried to imagine his graceful, floaty, girly 'aunt' being in a rough and tough death-encouraging tournament. It was hard enough imagining that, let alone seeing her compete against Harry. There weren't quite brother and sister but the two always seemed to have a certain... understanding between them. One that Teddy never sensed between Harry and his other sister-in-laws. Maybe the tournament was the reason they had that connection, Teddy mused.
Harry simply nodded, unaware of his godson's revelations. His eyes seemed to cloud over.
"And Cedric Diggory."
Before an uncomfortable silence could claim the room Teddy gently prompted, "You mean the Hufflepuff student that died at the beginning of the second war?"
Everyone in the wizarding world knew that Cedric died at the very beginning; after all he was at the very top of every war memorial and shining plaque. Teddy had seen for himself in the ministry, in school (in fact he was pretty sure they were only a corridor away from the nearest one) in several different grave yards–Cedric Diggory was always at the top.
"Yes." Harry said no more and, as curious as he was, Teddy decided to move away from the topic of Cedric, not liking Harry's far off look.
"Hang on that's four. Isn't it supposed to be 'Tri'-Wizard and all that?"
"It was supposed to be like that but- well it's complicated." Teddy had a sinking feeling that they were quickly coming to the end of the 'basics' part of this topic. He tried a different question - "What was the first task?"
Harry took a breath, pulling himself together. "We had to get past a dragon and steal this egg it was protecting."
"Bloody hell! A dragon. That's amazing! How did you do it?" Harry couldn't help a small smile at Teddy's wide-eyed look.
"I flew," was Harry's simple answer. He seemed determined to elaborate as little as possible. But Teddy could still imagine it happening.
"Brilliant! What then?"
"Well, the egg turned out to be a clue. I had to hold it under water to hear the message properly. It was a song in Mermish," he added upon seeing Teddy's confused look. "And it told me that something I would sorely miss would be taken and I would have an hour to find it."
Teddy pondered this. What would he sorely miss? Being upset would be a big understatement if he lost the photo album he had of his parents. He was also fond of his adventure books, but what would he miss the most? He looked back up at his Godfather,
"Was it Ron or Hermione?" Harry smiled, a little impressed (but not surprised) that Teddy had understood so quickly.
"Hermione was already taken. Krum really liked her," he chuckled.
"Seriously?" Teddy didn't know why he was so shocked. There had been a time before Ron and Hermione got together after all. He was just being so used to them being together, the idea of either of them ever being with someone else was quite alien to him. It was as if they had popped into existence as a married couple. He still couldn't for the life of him imagine Ginny with Dean from the DMLE or Harry with Cho, even if the latter had barely lasted a day. He shook his head and gestured for a very amused looking Harry to continue.
"On the day of the task we were taken to the Black Lake-"
"You had to go under the lake? For an hour?" Teddy interrupted, horrified by the thought. He had never liked swimming.
"I took some Gillyweed - a very strange experience I can tell you - and, if I remember rightly, Fleur and Cedric used a Bubble-Head charm and Krum transfigured his head to that of a shark."
Teddy tried to imagine having a shark's head. Yes, Gillyweed did seem a much more preferable option.
"After getting away from some Grindylows and with a little help from Moaning Myrtle I heard some more mersong which lead me to the Merpeople's village. There I saw four people tied to the tail of a stone Merperson. Ron and Hermione were two of them of course but there was also Gabrielle and Cho."
Teddy had only met Vic's aunt a handful of times but she seemed nice enough. He had never met Cho, though and he couldn't help wonder why she was there. Cedric was the only obvious person she could be there for. He told himself sternly that, that didn't necessarily mean they had been an item. He imagined it would be quite awkward if Harry had dated the girl who had lost her boyfriend, which he had competed against, the year before. But all this was none of his concern. He focused back on the story.
"Were they alright?" He couldn't help but ask. Hermione and Ron in particular are like aunt and uncle to him after all. Harry suddenly looked sheepish and rubbed the back of his neck. "Yeah, they were just in an enchanted sleep. They were perfectly fine." Teddy struggled not to burst into laughter.
"You tried to rescue them all didn't you?"
It wasn't really all that funny, he would be pretty panicked too if he saw the people he loved tied up (he imagined Victoire floating unconsciously in the dark water and suppressed a shiver), but it was such a Harry thing to do.
"How was I supposed to know they would be fine when the hour was up?" Harry defended, though he too looked amused at his past naïvety. Teddy just shook his head in bemusement.
"Anyway, Cedric arrived pretty soon after I freed Ron and took Cho. I then helped Krum free Hermione –his shark-head was making things a bit tricky for him - but Fleur never turned up."
Teddy frowned, that didn't sound like Fleur. She was nothing if not very protective of her sister. That's what Victoire had told him anyway.
"The Merpeople weren't too happy with me taking Gabrielle as well as Ron so they tried to stop me but I pulled out my wand and they scattered. I dragged Ron and Gabrielle up to the surface, with the Merpeople following behind and...that was it really. When we broke the surface the task was over," he ended with a light shrug as if he had only been talking about the breakfast he made in the morning.
Teddy couldn't believe he had never heard of this. It sounded like an amazing story.
"Did you win?"
"Well no, I was outside the time lim- oh you mean the tournament?"
Teddy nodded. Harry seemed to hesitate before answering.
"I- guess in a way- I think we tied. Me- me and Cedric." His voice faltered at Cedric's name. He looked down at his hands as though suddenly interested in his wedding ring.
"How's that possible?" Teddy wondered out loud.
"There was this- cup that we both had to get to. In the last task, in the center of a maze. We got there together and I- I said that- that we should take it together..." Teddy was startled and confused by how ashamed Harry sounded as he spoke. He tried to smile comfortingly.
"Of course you did. Sounds like something you would do." Harry didn't seem very comforted by this, so again he tried to navigate away from the topic. "Why did you enter thought? I didn't think you would go in for that sort of thing."
"But you sa-"
"I didn't enter myself. I was entered," Harry explained shortly.
Teddy frowned. Surely Harry didn't have to compete if he didn't want to? "By who?"
"Barty Crouch Jr." Teddy closed his eyes in concentration. That name. Where had he heard that name? His mind decided to go unhelpfully blank on him.
"I've heard of him somewhere. I know I have," he murmured aloud.
"He was a death eater," Harry supplied dryly.
"Hell. Did he think you'd die in a task or something?" Teddy griped the desk underneath him tightly as he asked.
"No. It was a trap. The cup was a port-key."
Teddy gaped. "How- how the hell?" his mind was spinning. His godfather had only been fourteen and yet an elaborate plan was made just to...to what? Teddy didn't want to think about it.
"He was disguised as my DADA professor that year," Harry continued "We thought he was Alastor Moody."
Now Moody Teddy had no trouble remembering. If he had been in the mood he would have smiled, knowing that Moody had been close to his mother.
"Where did you go?" Teddy regretted the question as soon as it left his mouth. Harry stood up abruptly.
"To a graveyard." Harry ran an agitated hand though his hair as he wandered back over to the window. "Ted, I don't – I really don't want to talk about this," he whispered.
Teddy stood too. He spoke just as softly,
"It's when he came back isn't it? You said that he came back at the end of your fourth year."
"Yeah." Teddy barely heard the reply. He walked over to Harry so he was standing beside him.
"And Cedric? Was that when...?" Harry didn't answer. He didn't have to. The wetness of his eyes told Teddy everything. He pulled his godfather into a hug. "I'm so sorry," he whispered. They stayed like that for some time, till Harry spoke, softly but passionately.
"He didn't have to die. He didn't have to be there. He wasn't supposed to be there. He wasn't supposed to touch the cup. It wasn't him they wanted. If only I'd just...I shouldn't have..."
Teddy pulled himself out of the hug.
"Did you know it was a port-key?"
"I wouldn't have touched it if I did, Ted," Teddy gave him a pointed look, but Harry seemed oblivious so he pressed on,
"Did you know it was a trap? Did you know he was going to die?"
Teddy crossed his arms over his chest defiantly. "Well, then none of it was your fault now was it?"
Harry looked just as stubborn, "Ted, I told him to take the cup with me."
"And then you drew you wand and killed him?" Harry stared at Teddy as if he had never met him before, shock delaying his protest.
"What- what no!"
"Then it wasn't your fault!" Teddy reached out and gripped Harry's arm. "What if it had been me? Would you blame me?"
"No. No of course not," Harry was quick to reassure.
"Oh, right," Teddy clapped his hand to his forehead as if just remembering "-but because it's you, it's perfectly alright," his voice dripped with sarcasm. His eyes turned a stormy grey.
"Godric, who do you think you are?" Teddy all but shouted. "How many things do you blame yourself for?" he demanded, not waiting for an answer, "It must be lots. Do you blame yourself for the weather too? It was raining yesterday. I got wet. Of course it's your fault."
"Because of course you saw it all coming; you knew everything, who was going to die, when, how. You were only a kid, but of course, because it's you that doesn't matter does it? You're only human, ah but wait, you're you so you're not allowed to make mistakes. Not allowed to make the wrong choice, or let people protect you-"
"Ted please just-"
"Shut up? No. I'm going to keep on at you till you say, 'I'm a complete idiot, and have to stop blaming myself for things I have no control over' and bloody mean it."
"Ted- you can't – you weren't there, you don't-"
"Don't tell me I don't understand! I may not have been there but I know you. My parents died in that bloody war, and yet you don't see me blaming you, now do you? I don't blame you for a thing." He was breathing heavily. His hair now a vivid crimson. "They wouldn't blame you. No one has the right to blame you, and if anyone tries I'll- I'll-"
"Teddy, Teddy calm down." It was Harry's turn grip Teddy's arm. "You've made your point."
Teddy took a relaxing breath. He felt like a huge weight had lifted from his chest. He'd always hated seeing Harry blame himself for things long past, to let guilt eat away at him like that. "And?"
Harry sighed deeply, looking far older than Teddy knew he was. "And I'm a complete idiot."
"And?" Teddy prompted.
"And I have to stop blaming myself." Teddy hugged Harry tightly, murmuring into his shirt,
"You mean it?"
"Yes. I'll try. I promise." Harry vowed sincerely.
"Good," Teddy told him firmly then smiled widely. That was until he held his watch up.
"Damn! I'm late for class, I missed break too!" He complained.
"Well, don't look at me," Harry smirked. "It's not my fault!"
Help me celebrate and let me know what you think? (I'm trying my best to get less 'cheesy' but I don't see it happening) I hope I get more time to write soon! Sorry for not replying to reviews (Anon reviews replied to on my profile) during my 'disappearance', though I have tried to catch up. Thanks to Dramioneprefected and welcome back to 'Just An Old Typewriter'! Well time to disappear again... -Ami x