The Hogwarts Yearbook, 1972. Every year after the Welcome Feast, he was drawn here, to this book in particular.
Teddy Lupin had always been a thoughtful child. More of his Father than his Mother in that respect, or so he had heard.
He couldn't help it. Every year he came back, morbid fascination bringing him back to this book. The story of how he came to be spanned generations, all bound neatly in this one book.
He pulled the worn tome down from it's dusty perch, and sat, cross legged, with the familiar weight across his knees. They were wizard pictures, so they did move, but since the magic in them was simpler than proper portrait magic they were confined to the same several seconds of movement. A few captured moments of the years before the War.
BELLATRIX LESTRANGE (nee BLACK), was always the first one he came to. She had been a 6th year, and he was always struck by how young she looked. No one else had been able, or willing, he supposed, to produce pictures of Bellatrix from her time before Azkaban. In her Hogwarts photo, however, she looked incredibly young. Her long black hair was up behind her head, but in a careless way, and the tie was already coming apart. She had the posture of graceful indifference, and her face carried the timeless teenage expression of contempt. Bellatrix turned in her chair, away from the camera so study her nails.
Next Teddy always stopped at MOLLY WEASLEY (nee PREWETT) Order of Merlin, 2rd Class. He liked Molly. He was always invited to her massive Sunday dinners, and despite the large crowd of attendees, Teddy had never felt left out. Dinners at Molly and Arthur's were the definition of family for Teddy, because even though only about half of the group was technically related, it was always a family gathering. Except for once when Headmistress McGonagall had come. That had been awkward.
Molly in the picture wasn't yet plump and she wore her red hair longer than she kept it now. She smiled and waved at the camera, cheerily, before looking over Teddy's shoulder as someone in 1972 caught her attention. Teddy puzzled yearly over the conundrum of motherly Molly Weasley being the one to take down Bellatrix Lestrange. It wasn't exactly something discussed at the Sunday meal, not even when conversation did turn to the War.
Flipping through the next year group, Teddy stopped briefly on LUCIUS MALFOY, who in his 5th year at Hogwarts had given the camera a pretentious little bow. AUTHUR WEASLEY Order of Merlin, 2rd Class, was skinnier like his eventual wife, and he had more hair than Teddy was familiar with. He smiled kindly out at Teddy, and gave a little laugh and a shrug, as if someone had asked him if he wasn't going to pose at all.
It was the fourth years that Teddy was particularly keen to check up on every year. ANDROMEDA TONKS (nee BLACK) Order of Merlin, 3rd Class. Grandma Tonks had raised Teddy for all his life. No matter how hard he stared at her picture, he could never reconcile the cold young girl in the picture to the Grandmother her knew and loved. She had always said it was because he was looking at a picture of a different person. Of an Andromeda who had not yet been loved by Ted Tonks. But Teddy was 14 and didn't yet appreciate the sentiment. His Grandmother stared out at him, one eyebrow raised and her hands clasped in her lap. After a moment, her hands ran through her hair, which was tied at the top and down at the bottom. Finding everything to be in order, she returned her hands to her lap. He was older than she was now.
EDWARD TONKS Order of Merlin, 2nd Class. Teddy's namesake was a familiar picture - the house he had grown up in was full of pictures of Ted Tonks, at various ages and surrounded with various groups. Always smiling. Smiling hardest when Andromeda was not in the picture. Those were the pictures that his Grandmother loved most. She told him it was because Ted's eyes only looked like that when he was looking at her. Teddy couldn't detect the difference, but he didn't say so.
Teddy had never met his Grandfather. His Grandma insisted that Ted had loved him though. Teddy had asked once how she knew, if Ted had died before Teddy had even been born.
He could hear her voice as he looked at this small muggle-born boy. "Ted had been ready to fight, fight until his last breath, until we learned that Nymphadora was pregnant with you. He knew we would be safest if he left, an unregistered muggle-born back in those days drew a lot of negative attention, you see. So he ran, instead of fighting. First fight I ever saw him back down from. Ted was ready to die for what he believed in, but he ran and hid in order to possibly survive long enough to meet you." Her eyes misted, and her voice shaking, Teddy's Grandmother had looked into his face and insisted, "Your Grandfather loved you. More than anything."
Ted Tonks, 4th year Hufflepuff, didn't stand out as a self-sacrificing hero, pulling faces at the camera, but sometimes he felt more real to Teddy than his Father ever did.
NARCISSIA MALFOY (nee BLACK) was the only one he paused on in the next year group. She wasn't moving like all of the other portraits. Not because of any flaw in the magic, Teddy had realized after long study, but because she was staying still. It was as if she knew which was her best angle, and had simply refused to budge from it. Teddy had met his Aunt Narcissia a few times. She wasn't a particularly warm person, but he went to school with her Grandson Scorpius who was alright, though he was a lot younger than Teddy. It made his Grandmother happy that they got along decently.
It was the second year students of 1972 that Teddy was most anxious over. Teddy felt that their story was the most tragic, and that was saying something with this bunch.
SIRIUS BLACK Order of Merlin 1st Class was lounging in his chair, which was tipped back on two legs. He grinned at the camera and rocked the chair forwards, so it was back on all four legs, as if the supervising Professor had taken points for such petty misconduct. Sirius Black, Teddy knew, would spend twelve years in Azkaban, falsely accused of the murder of his best friend. He would escape only to die two years later, in defense of his best friend's son. Back in 1972 Sirius was laughing uproariously at something that had happened behind the camera.
LILY POTTER (nee EVANS) Order of Merlin, 1st Class. Harry's Mother bounced happily in her seat. She threw her pretty red hair over her shoulder, and posed for the camera. Muggle-born, Teddy thought, amused, still freezing for the camera. Harry's eyes staring out of an unfamiliar face. Teddy could certainly see why so much of the drama of that era had revolved around this little girl. She had a face that never failed to draw him in.
Teddy took a deep breath and turned the page. REMUS LUPIN Order of Merlin, 1st Class, smiled out at him, emanating the same warmth and understanding out at Teddy that he knew his Father had been known for. Whenever he went to the Potter's house, Harry would tell him wonderful things about Remus Lupin. Teddy knew all the stories. Second year Remus Lupin gave an awkward little shuffle, self conscious under the camera's scrutiny. Teddy knew that second year was when his friends found out about the "furry little problem," and he hoped that the hesitant 12 year old in the picture still had the pleasure of that acceptance to look forward too.
PETER PETTIGREW Order of Merlin 1st Class – REDACTED, came next. It was hard for Teddy to hate Peter. The people he had wronged had all died such a long time ago. Harry said that it was good for Teddy to feel like that, "It's all in the past now, anyway," Harry had said. Even at twelve an eagerness to please radiated off of Peter, as he smiled, over-enthusiastic out at Teddy. It always seemed wrong somehow, knowing what he did, that Peter should have had such prominent dimples.
JAMES POTTER Order of Merlin, 1st Class, was the least complicated member of this cast, in Teddy's eyes anyway. Not that he would ever say so to Harry. James looked as well cared for and loved as Teddy knew he had been. He had the easy confidence of a child who was adored by two living parents. Teddy knew he had been popular at school and that he had married the woman of his dreams. Even knowing that he would die less than ten years after this picture had been taken, it was hard not to be jealous of the James Potter who ran a hand the wrong way through his hair, giving the impression he had just come from a lively, and victorious, game of Quidditch.
SEVERUS SNAPE Order of Merlin, 1st Class, however, was a far more interesting study. Snape positively glared out of the page at Teddy. While it looked a little silly on a child, Teddy had seen the portrait of Snape as Headmaster in the Head's Office, and was well aware that Snape had grown into that glare. He had heard that McGonagall use to be deliberately late for meetings with wayward students, just to let Snape's portrait have a go at them first. And that was just an echo! Everything he heard about the man, hero or no, made Teddy very glad he had not been a potions student back then. Snape in the picture huffed, and crossed bony arms over a skinny chest, greasy black hair falling across a pale face. Bravest man Harry ever knew...
Teddy would have to check a different book for his Mother. He liked pictures of her, but there were plenty of young Nymphadora at home. She made pig snout in almost every one, his Grandma said it was mostly just to irritate her, but she said it in a wistful voice. As an afterthought Teddy checked in on REGULUS BLACK Order of Merlin, 1st class. Regulus was a firstie in 1972, and Teddy thought sadly, a perpetual afterthought. Neither in looks nor reputation could little Regulus catch up with his brother Sirius. He had never been as light as his brother, nor as dark as his cousins. In fact, from what Teddy knew, he had switched sides in defense of a House Elf, rather than any epiphany on the nature of blood purity. The little contradiction sat tall and proud in his seat, smoothing out his robes so everyone could see the Syltherin emblem on his chest.
Overall the pictures just made Teddy sad. He hefted the book back into its place on the shelf and, ritual satisfied, he blew out his candle and crept off to his bed, down the same hallways as so many others before him. On this night, Teddy almost felt as though they were watching him. All their history heavy in the night air, Teddy could feel them, as if they had just turned the corner ahead.
A/N - I've messed with their ages pretty drastically in order to make the story work. Next chapter will focus on the year before this one, I just really love the idea of them all being at school together, for at least one year.
Thanks for reading!