Next thing I know I'm lying in a hospital bed. I open my eyes and glance over at the red headed young man sitting up in the bed beside me.
"Welcome to the party." He says dryly as I sit up.
"James?" I ask groggily.
"The one and only. Looks like we both got ourselves in a pretty bad mess here."
"Least I didn't do it on purpose."
James looks around and uncomfortably plays with his bracelet.
"Sorry," I mumble. "We've all been pretty worried about you."
"Same here. Lily and Al have told me they thought Dad was about to have a freaking heart attack this last week."
"Where is she? Is she alright? What about Victoire?"
"You're the only one we have to worry about. The Unspeakables were rescued, Lily got herself back to London and I'm checking out in an hour or so. I just wanted to wait for you to wake up."
"How long has it been?"
"You got in here around eight last night. It's morning now. They told me you should be discharged pretty soon."
I lie back down and turn towards the window, wishing that right now I was asking James to contact my dad to tell him I was alright like I promised instead. I wanted my mom and dad to run in the door and tell me that they were worried about me. Instead, I'm lying here alone staring at the London skyline.
"Teddy!" A voice rings from the hall and rushes into the room. I turn in time to see my fiancée Victoire pull me into her arms. "I leave for five minutes to get breakfast and you go and wake up on me. Totally ruining the moment."
"Love you too, Vic," I say as I pull her close to me and kiss her.
"I'm just going to leave now," James says loudly.
The two of us pull apart. "Did you get out of there okay?"
"Those Heirs people got so freaked out when you attacked them and disappeared, Thompson was able to overcome them and recuse us. We got back to the Ministry and over half the Aurror department embarked on this massive manhunt for you and Lily. It was epic, too bad you missed it."
"Yeah, too bad I missed my own rescue party. Did they find Lily quickly?"
"Yeah. She ran into the street and started shooting birds out of her wand around a bunch of muggles. Overkill I thought, her Trace would have made any magic okay. They had to obliterate them like crazy, but at least she got home quickly. She was great help in finding you."
I thought about that for a second. "Lily's Trace? Why weren't we chased by Death Eaters constantly? We were doing magic around her non-stop?"
"Old Ministery wouldn't have caught the Trace. They put it on you when you arrive at Hogwarts and stand in that little room before the Sorting. That's why home schooled kid's are not arrested. The Ministry just hopes their parents can keep them under control. Anyway, since the spell wasn't put on her yet, they would not have detected it.
"That's good. What's for breakfast?"
"Well, I got two delicious chocolate danishes from the cafe down the street, but since you're sick I assume they're going to make you eat hospital food." She pulls two hot, flaky, chocolate filled pastries.
"I don't care. Give me one," Victoire smiles and hands me the wonderful smelling danish. After the first glorious bite, Lily, now back to her short red hair and stature, walks into the room followed by her older brother Albus.
"You're up!" Lily sequels as she runs over to give me a hug. Al shakes his dark hair out of his eyes and actually gives me a hug too.
"Glad to see you're alright," Al tells me as he lets go and Grandma, Harry and his wife Ginny enter the room.
"Gang's all here," I say with a smile. "Glad you're all so happy to see me."
"Happier than the last time we... met," My grandmother says awkwardly.
"I can't believe you didn't trust me!" I exclaim. "What about me makes me look so villainous?"
"Do we really have to go over this?"
"You gave me Veritaserium! I can't believe you!"
"I was trying to save your mother and the baby, er, you."
I roll my eyes as Ginny and Harry turn to my Grandmother with newfound respect. "It would have taken us a while to find you, Teddy," Harry says. "I'm glad Andromeda told us about a mysterious time traveler who showed up at her house during the war."
"Me too. Otherwise I would have been playing on my own unmarked grave for my entire childhood."
"That's not gruesome," Lily says with disgust.
The eight of us talk for another hour or so until a healer comes by to discharge James. She says that as long as I take it easy for the next few weeks I can be out tomorrow.
"Guess it's desk work for me," I tell Harry as everyone else leaves the room.
"With the report you have to write you're going to need it." He replies. The two of us are alone now. "Remus knew who you were, didn't he?"
"He all but pieced it together. I would have kept my cover if not for that pesky Veritaserum."
"Andromeda told me that she remembers that you fought it. She remembers thinking that if you weren't so sick, they wouldn't have been able to crack you."
"I'd like to think that."
We are silent for a few more moments before I speak up again. "My dad almost threw himself in front of a killing curse when we got into that scuffle with the Death Eaters until I stopped him. He told me later he thought I would be better off without him. I told him he was being stupid and he told me a friend of his said the same thing. He was talking about you, wasn't he?"
"Yes," Harry confessed. "We got into a heated argument and exchanged a few charged words and curses. I'm glad things didn't...didn't end like that."
I thought about how Dad and I argued after he poisoned me, and how if he hadn't come to see me, things would have ended like that for us too.
The warm summer rays beat down on my neck through the trees in the tiny cemetery. I make my way through the battered tombstones until I get to the one that marks where my parents are buried. It's a simple little marker. Not too fancy.
"Hey," I say awkwardly. "I, um, promised I'd tell you how I'm doing when I got back. Here I am."
The light breeze whips my brown hair around my eyes. At the moment I looked more or less "normal", which I honestly don't look like that often. Even when undercover, I chose a different face than my own so no one recognizes me. Earlier today though I had let go of the magic, letting the Tim Grey guise slip from my face, leaving no disguise in it's place. No fancy colors streaking my hair or tinting my eyes. I still had that light, barely pasty, skin and those round eyes that I thought made me look younger than I actually am. I would look like this all the time if I was not a Metamorphmagus.
"I got discharged from the hospital this morning. Eighty percent better. A few weeks of taking it slow and I should be at a hundred percent."
I guess this conversation would be less awkward if my parents weren't dead. They could, you know, actually respond.
"Healer Ray tells me the research done when I was a kid about lycanthropy affecting genetics is wrong. Not totally wrong I guess. Just a little off. It's highly unlikely, probably impossible, that a werewolf would have a child who was a werewolf simply because it's father was one. It turns out though that a few genes slip through the generations though. I should have died hours after taking that potion. It had no effect on werewolves. I guess it hit me somewhere in the middle. Turns out the one thing that you thought would curse me ended up saving my life.
"I also just wanted to thank you for looking out for Lily and me. I mean Lainey. You know, the blond girl who's actually ginger. You really put yourself at risk trusting me and it saved my life. Probably Lily's too, more importantly. Thank you."
I slowly kneel on the ground in front of the tombstone and run my hand over the engraved words before placing my forehead on the top of it. "I just wish you were here to thank in person."
By the time I stand up, I had no idea how long I had been kneeling there. It could have been seconds, minuets or as much as a quarter of an hour. I didn't care. A dead leaf sticks to my pants as I stand up. I pick it off and crumble it in my hands, letting the fragments scatter across the cemetery in the wind. I had never seen anything more like life before. So fragile. So wasted.
I did not know my place in life anymore. Before last week I would have said my life's goal was to be an Aurror, move up the ranks, prove myself to the world. Now, I was starting to think I was meant for something more. Something substantial, not to just be thrown away. It's a new world now, and it's up to us, James, Al, Lily, Victoire, me and everyone else of our generation, to figure out what kind of world it is. We're done meandering around, waiting for another great evil. I've seen the old world. Time to make this one different.
I turn around and apparite to a small cafe in Diagon Alley. The quick transition from the empty, peaceful cemetery to the crowded hussle of the shoppers come as a shock. I stumble back and grab the side of a building. "Can I help you?" The young host asks, giving me an odd look.
"Um, yeah. Someone's meeting me here. They'll be two of us."
The host gives me another odd glance as he pulls out two menus.
"Hey Teddy," Victoire calls out as she arrives, pulling me into a quick kiss. We sit down at the table and start looking through the menus.
"Did you do any wedding planning while I was gone?" I ask as I study the selection of soups.
"I finished planning the rehearsal dinner. Just need something old and we're practically done," She tells me.
"Got that covered," I say, putting down the menu and pulling my mum's delicate silver necklace out of my pocket to hand it to her. "I asked Grandma about it. She says my dad gave it to my mum when they got married. She's pretty sure it belonged to my other grandmother before that."
Victoire stares at the tiny charm in awe. "What happened to her?"
"Er, from what I gathered from third hand sources, she was a muggle who freaked out and couldn't take the whole wizarding thing anymore. She left when my dad was a teenager," I explain. Then I glance at the necklace and realize the fate of it's last two owner's marriages. "You know what? I'm sure Mrs. Weasley or Fluer have something you can use. That thing's probably cursed."
Victoire squints at the necklace and waves her wand over it. Nothing happens. "Doesn't look like it," she says.
"Still, it might be bad luck."
Victoire shrugs and slings the silver chain over her neck. "I'm not superstitious. And even if I was, they say the third time's a charm, right? Maybe this necklace can bring something good to us."
Back at my flat, I grabbed my battered backpack and took out my notes in order to try and write a report for this mess. I threw the notebook on the couch and went in the kitchen to get some tea.
When I returned, I opened the notebook and flipped to the end where I had scribbled that one log entry, which I remembered not useful in the least. I glanced at the entry to see if I had written anything remotely helpful when I glanced on the next page. Someone had written a short note in it, probably Remus. I think I remembered him saying he was messing with my stuff. I fold the notebook over and lie on the couch to read the message.
Tim Grey, or whatever your real name is,
I'm writing this to you right after you basically told me that you're my son. I've suspected for the last few hours, after you confessed to being a Metamorphmagus, showed up to this address and told us you were born the same year my child will be. I don't think your mother suspects anything, at least not yet. I won't tell her your secret unless she guesses too.
I hope that you understand that every horrible thing I've done since we've met, like slipping you Veriteserum and trying to get myself killed, was to protect you. All my life I've been degraded and hated and shown so little kindness because of something I could not control. That's why I've broken your mother's heart so many times and tried to distance myself from you. I'll try to do better, but if I ever hurt your mother or you again because of my "self sacrificial heroics", know that I am truly sorry for any pain I cause. The two of you have every right to insist that what ever absurd notion wanders into my head is wrong.
Whatever happens to you or me in the coming years, know that the man I met this week can handle any of it. I am very proud to be your father.
Author's Note: Yes, I know, it's Monday. So sorry. I was waiting for the Interlude to be validated on another site to submit/post both at the same time so I could keep track of what I'm doing. Yeah, it's not going to be validated any time soon. Especially since they always find a problem with my ratings. First chapter needed a "Strong Language" rating for the word "slut" or something. Next, Chapter 3 needed a "Mature" rating for the word "shit". What the fuck? Seriously, this fic can't be read by under 18s? What? Are we reading the same thing? Whateves. They make the MPAA look lax, you know. Everyone who has Netflix, stop wasting time reading Fan Fics and watch This Film is Not Yet Rated. If you don't have a Netflix, then find a way to see it. It is an excellent documentary.
On another note, thanks to all my readers, reviewers, followers and favoriters. Love you all! Thanks for reading about Teddy, Lily and Remus's exciting story. It makes me so happy to see another hundred views, another heartfelt review or just to see that someone took the time to favorite/follow. Every one of you have put a smile on my face, and will continue to as long as this fic will be read. Also, special shout out to CAWHS, who inspired me to post this. Like Hetalia or Rise of the Guardians? Go check out her stories. They are amazing.
Will there be a se-quel? Maybe. I like writing these characters. I've written a few scribbles for this crew. If I do ever finish it, expect to see Teddy and Vic's wedding rehearsal and reception (where all the drama happens), an onscreen reunion between Healer Ray and Teddy and the story of the mysterious Marta Keel (Chapter 3). Ta-ta for now!
EDIT: I'm Back! And the sequel, Finding Caleb Keel, is now on my profile! If you liked this, check out that!