Father's Word

A HariPo oneshot

by mew-tsubaki

Note: The Harry Potter characters belong to J.K. Rowling, not me. Ah, it's lovely adding to the collection of TeddyLily fics… Read, review, and enjoy!

- ^-^3

"Uncle Harry… I love Lily."

Harry James Potter had actually been expecting to hear this. Of course, he'd once thought he might hear it from Lorcan or Lysander; both of Luna's sons thought of him as an uncle, and both were only a year older than his daughter. Also, Lily Luna got on well with them. However, Lorcan was enamored with George's daughter, Roxanne, and Lysander had started dating Bill's younger daughter, Dominique, a few years back. Seeing as Scorpius Malfoy didn't know Harry very well and also was with Rose, yet another of Harry's nieces, and Harry didn't know anyone else who'd call him "uncle" that he wasn't related to… Harry ended his jumbled thought there. Only one person would be telling him this.

"Uncle Harry?"

Harry lifted his head and tore his eyes away from a Quibbler he wasn't really reading. His green eyes met—well, Teddy's eyes weren't staying one color. That always happened when Teddy was really excited, really nervous, or both—which he probably was right now.

"Uncle Harry?" Teddy repeated.


The Metamorphmagus stared at him, confused. "What do you mean?"

"You said you love my daughter. I say no."

Teddy almost gaped at him, judging by the hippogriff-in-the-wand-light look on his face. Obviously he had been expecting a different reaction. Harry already loved Teddy like a son, but he didn't quite wish he was saying something positive. "How can you say that?"

Harry shrugged, not in the least nonplussed. "Easy. It's only one, two-letter syllable."

Teddy dropped his eyes to the floor in shock. "But…why?"

The elder wizard sighed and stood up. "Teddy, take a walk with me, will you?"

Teddy lifted his head up and, though he looked hurt, he followed Harry anyway. The two of them exited the Potter residence at Godric's Hollow and went up the street. Harry held an arm out to Teddy and they Disapparated, Apparating to a familiar house that was much too big for one person. "Grandma Meda's house?" the turquoise-haired male asked.

Harry nodded. He walked up the short walk and knocked. Andromeda answered, greeting Harry with a soft smile. "Hullo, Andromeda. Mind if I borrow a book or two?"

"Of course," she said, and her face lit up more when she saw her grandson. "Oh, Teddy!"

Harry left them to exchange words, since he knew Teddy had been more involved with the Auror Office since moving out and into his own apartment a few years back. The Potter marched down the hallway and took a slightly right into a study-like room. Books lined shelves and were piled in haphazard stacks that littered the floor. The sight of them amused him; Harry could imagine a young Tonks not being allowed in here for fear of her crashing into the tomes which would most certainly topple and bury her. But Harry concentrated on the task at hand. He knew which shelf he needed, and which suede-bound album was the one. With it in hand, he rejoined them at the door.

Andromeda gave Harry a look. "What, you can't stay for tea?"

He suppressed a chuckle; Andromeda was too kind for her glare to be intimidating like her sister, Bellatrix's. "Maybe another time, Andromeda."

She let them go after hugs, and they returned to the Potter house. They went into the living room and after shucking their cloaks, and Harry grabbed another book with similar binding before he sat on the couch with his godson. He cracked open the one from Andromeda first. "What's with the pictures?" Teddy asked.

"Here's the very first one," Harry said, his voice wistful. Though he had not been there right after Teddy's birth, it was… He couldn't explain it, but Harry's heart jumped as he watched the picture, a moment literally snatched from the past. In it, someone was passing a little bundle to Tonks and Andromeda was pushing Remus into the frame. Tonks was laughing, and it was hard not to, considering how vulnerable Remus looked in the presence of a baby…his own son. "This is the very first picture of you. Your father took another picture after he'd composed himself, and he shared it with me when Ron, Hermione, and I were on the run." Harry opened the other photo album, and there was said picture.

Teddy stared at the one with his parents. It was not as though he was a stranger to these images; he'd seen them plenty of times. But that had been when he was younger. As he'd grown, Teddy hadn't looked at as many pictures and he hadn't asked friends and family for as many stories. It wasn't as though he'd shut that part of him away—he'd merely buried it a bit.

"And here," Harry continued as he pointed to another image from Andromeda's collection, "is when you came home for the first time. Your mother hated putting you down in your crib; she wanted you in her arms all the time."

Teddy pursed his lips as they continued through the albums. Both Andromeda's album and the Potters' had so much for nearly every aspect of Teddy's childhood: his first steps, his first birthday, his terrible-twos, the triumphant look on his face after he'd mastered the loo (Andromeda had foisted that one onto Harry's shoulders), his first broomstick and flight (which had happened at home, not at school), his Hogwarts letter, buying his school supplies and robes—there was even a photo and scrap of the letter he'd sent to both Andromeda and to Harry announcing that he loved Hogwarts and Gryffindor House. Andromeda had cried when she heard that Teddy wasn't in Hufflepuff like his mother and grandfather…but she cried harder when Teddy's letter said that the Sorting Hat had debated for almost a full five minutes between making him a lion or a badger.

There were other pictures, too. Teddy at home on break, little James and Al in the background. Teddy holding baby Lily Luna for the very first time. Teddy helping Lily with her first steps. Teddy making his hair red and doing a very good impression of Ron while Rose, Hermione, and Ginny try not to laugh. Teddy trying to wrangle all the Potter and Weasley kids into one picture, though by that time Teddy wasn't a kid anymore, and he stuck out like a sore thumb. Teddy's O.W.L.s and N.E.W.T.s were in Andromeda's book, and countless pictures of his graduation and then, just a little while later, his first day of Auror training were in the Potters' album.

There were random moments, too. A younger Teddy with James after Ginny had found they'd gotten into the Christmas candy. Victoire and Dominique snickering after doing up Teddy's hair one time when he'd fallen asleep on the couch during a lazy summer day; Teddy looked oddly adorable with pink bows in his hair. There were three pictures of Teddy and Ginny: one of Ginny holding toddler Teddy, one of preteen Teddy standing beside Ginny with his arms around her waist as though she was his mother, and another showing a tall, strong Teddy holding Ginny in his arms and kissing her cheek, eliciting a great laugh from her. Sure, there was no audio to accompany these three, but Harry knew them well, since he was the one who'd taken them. Just as Harry had been "Uncle Harry" to Teddy, Ginny had been "Aunt Ginny" to him, and even before Harry and Ginny had married, they had served as parental substitutes for the Metamorphmagus, because Andromeda wasn't young enough to keep up with her grandson all the time.

Harry's hand rested on the last picture he and Ginny had taken of the two of them with Teddy before James had been born. Teddy had been six—almost seven—then, and he looked as though he had the whole world in the palm of his hands. Harry had done good by him so far. But today? The wizard frowned.

"Again, what's with the pictures?" Teddy inquired a second time. "I mean, I know you and the others like taking trips down Memory Lane, but…"

"Teddy," Harry interrupted. He looked at his godson and placed the open photo albums on his lap. "I've known you nearly your whole life. I helped raise you. I fed you, changed you, clothed you, bathed you, gave you everything a kid could want. You're like a son to me."

The turquoise-haired lad gave him a look. "So what? Because I'm like a son to you and Lily is your biological daughter, me loving her is tantamount to incest?"

Harry sighed. "No. That's not it at all."

"Then what is it? I'm not some pervert. I admit, I starting liking Lily when she was fifteen, but I said nothing to her until she told me she liked me back, last year before her seventeenth birthday. I know…" Teddy gritted his teeth. "I know there's a ten-year age gap, but it's smaller than the gap between my parents. And I've known Lily her whole life."

Harry shook his head. "It's not the age gap."

"See? So—"

"But you were heading in the right direction."

Teddy shut up. "Wait…what? I said…" He thought back on his words. "Wait, 'I've known Lily her whole life'—that's what bothers you?"

"'Bothers' isn't the word. And you're almost there." Harry took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes. "Teddy, Lily is a lot of what you've known in your life. And you're…you're all she's ever known in hers. How can either of you two breathe or know how you feel or what's good for either of you when you've blinded yourselves to the rest of the world?"

"But… I've dated other girls… I was with Vic for a little bit. I even went out with Molly for a while, and I've had a few girlfriends at the Ministry."

"Because you fancied them? Or were you waiting for Lily?"

Teddy paused and opened and shut his mouth several times. By the looks of it, he hadn't considered this before. He dropped his eyes to the floor as he dwelled on his godfather's words. "I…I did like them…"

Harry leaned into the couch. "Teddy, if you truly love Lily, give it some time. Wait for her to grow up some more—and do some more growing up yourself."

They sat for a while, quietly. It was a good thing Ginny was out, coaching the new Harpies, otherwise she might've entered the room and taken the seriousness out of this conversation. The same could be said for Al and James, though they were both probably working or Al was spending time with his best mate, Scorpius, and James was at home with his spouse and daughter.

The Boy-Who-Lived reached for The Quibbler, the same one he'd discarded earlier, and resumed reading until Teddy reacted.

"I know…," Teddy began, "that you're not yelling at me or being mean." He lifted his eyebrow and looked at Harry. "What you're trying to do is impart some words of wisdom."

The comment made Harry smile. "Funny, I always thought that Hermione, McGonagall, and Dumbledore did that better than I ever could."

Teddy sat up straight in his seat and pushed the Potters' album back into Harry's lap. "But I have something to say, too." Harry raised his eyebrows, and Teddy continued, "Just go with me, here."

Harry shrugged and put the newspaper aside as Teddy flipped back to the beginning of the book, where an eighteen-year-old Harry stared at the camera, hair stuck up in the back as usual, glasses freshly broken (and subsequently repaired by Hermione), and a baby Metamorphmagus in his arms.

"I've also known you my whole life," Teddy finally said. "I remember that day when you insisted on taking me to a Muggle amusement park when I was five, and Aunt Ginny nearly had conniptions because I couldn't control my shifting hair color that day. I remember the jealousy I felt when you told me that you two were going to have a baby of your own, because—because—because I loved being your son. I miss my real mum and dad, of course, I miss them every day; but you, Grandma Meda, Aunt Ginny, and the rest of the Weasleys—you all raised me. You took care of me. I was one of the family." He smiled, though his eyes were wet. "I did get over my jealousy of James, you know."

"I'd hope so," Harry gently joked, and he rubbed Teddy's shoulder.

His godson kept flipping through the Potter family's moments. "Of course I was there for James', Al's, and Lily's childhoods. How could I not be? I knew them every step of the way. Like here," Teddy said, pointing to a picture of him hold little Lily up to a crabapple tree. "I knew that Lily wanted the crabapples to throw at the local crows in the neighborhood, not at her brothers as you and Aunt Ginny thought. She hated how the crows harassed Turnstile, the family owl. And here," he added, flipping to a picture of a grumpy Lily in a dress who smiled when Teddy walked into the picture and draped his cloak around her shoulders. "She didn't want to go to Scorpius' party, but she went because Rose asked her to and you and Aunt Ginny thought she should get out of her room and take a break from reading her comics and dragon magazines."

Harry rolled his eyes. "Yes, remind me to thank Al's girlfriend for getting Lily into American comics."

"And then here," Teddy continued with a gentle smile. He was pointing to a picture taken of Lily, who was holding the best O.W.L.s in her family. "See how her nose is crinkled as she hides behind the marks? She didn't want James and Al making fun of her—which we all know they did anyway—but she also told me that she couldn't help it. She had tried, but Lily…actually loves studying."

The father bit back a remark. Thinking of a child of his and Ginny's that loved school…it was a little funny and hard to believe.

"And I know this not because she wanted to shut you guys out, but because Lily told me everything. Well, almost everything. I doubt she thought I should know the real girly stuff. But my point is that Lily tried talking with other people. Some worked, some didn't." Teddy flipped through several other pages. "But every time, Lily could tell me and know I'd listen. I didn't think much of it at first until we took the O.W.L.s photo and I thought, 'I ought to kiss that girl.'" Teddy blushed as Harry gave him a look. "Eh-heh…chastely, of course, Uncle Harry…" He pointed to one of the most recent photographs, one of Lily twirling on Platform Nine and Three Quarters with Teddy before getting on the Hogwarts Express for her final year of schooling. "But…I see it here. She's fancied other blokes in the past, I know—even Luna's sons," he added when Harry looked doubtful, "but she never sounded so…Lily when she told me she liked me."

"Just liked."

"Loved," Teddy corrected himself.

Harry stared at the picture. "And…are you sure you're not just hearing what you want to hear, Teddy?"

"Interrogate Lily yourself! Well, actually, don't, because then she'd get mad at me for suggesting the idea, and I really hate it when she's mad at me, because she's doesn't just ignore me, she talks right through me as though I'm not there, and I can't stand not talking to Lils—"

"Teddy, shut it." Harry closed the albums and suppressed a laugh. "I think I get it a little bit better now."

"Really?" He looked so hopeful.

"A bit. It does a lot better than just saying, 'I love Lily.'" Harry met Teddy's eyes. "But I would still like you to heed my advice and grow some more. Please. If not for me…for Lily."

Teddy nodded and stood. He hugged Harry tightly and then smoothed his jacket. "Well, I wanted you to know, since your opinion matters to me. But, Uncle Harry?"


"I might grow some more, but beware that my love for Lils will, too." He nodded and left the house, leaving Harry to ponder his words alone.

Quite honestly, Harry had already figured as much, but he thought he should've had a say to at least have Teddy seriously thinking. But who was Harry kidding? Teddy was a headstrong lion just like him.

- ^-^3

:] I've wanted to do this kind of fic for a little while now. So many people harp on about Teddy being similar to his real parents, but there's likely a lot of Harry in him, too, if Harry and Andromeda raised him. And I wanted some true consideration to that fact and to what things might roam through Harry's head if Teddy did love Lily. I really just wanted something familial and fluffy…so how did I do? ;)

Thank you very much for reading—and please review!

-mew-tsubaki :3