Disclaimer - I own nothing you recognise.
Written for the Doctor Who Appreciation challenge : Tenth Doctor. The Candy Land Challenge and The A-maze-ing Race challenge.
A/N Ive left this wide open for when i want to write a sequel, which I will get round to eventually I'm sure. Anyway, I hope you enjoy, please review :)
The bench was cold on his legs as he sat down in the garden, the snow fluttering down around him. Casting a quick warming charm around him, he conjured a comfy blanket and wrapped it around him.
Harry loved the burrow, it was his favourite house in the whole world, but sometimes especially when the whole family was around, it became too much for him.
Bill and Fleur were here, Victoire toddling around clutching a doll, loving the attention she was receiving from everyone. Percy was here with a heavily pregnant Audrey, the twins with Angelina and Alicia were being their usual loud selves. Ron and Hermione sat in the living room being as sickly sweet as normal since they got married two months ago. Ginny was hiding in her bedroom while Dean sulked in the kitchen, a regular occurrence by all accounts from the very volatile couple. Charlie was...somewhere. Harry didn't really want to know where.
Molly was in her element, the whole family home again for the holiday's was a dream come true for the Weasley matriarch. Arthur was dozing in an armchair by the fire, as was his way at family nights like this one, Teddy fast asleep on his knee.
Harry had felt the need to escape the noise for a little while, he was rather used to quiet evenings now, ever since moving into his new flat that was the way it was. He smiled despite himself when he thought back to the cottage on the coast of Devon he once called home, a few years ago now. The place was full of life and love, a large stretch to his rather sparse current home.
Closing his eyes, he could almost feel like he was back there, the fire crackling merrily in the winter, the radio on quietly, whilst he chatted with the love of his life about anything and everything they could think of, laughter filling the living room long into the evening, before they retired to bed.
"Want some company?" a voice from the kitchen doorway asked.
Harry squeezed his eyes before opening them and glaring at the imposing man stood in front of him.
"Not really, but hey, its a free country."
Charlie sat on the bench next to him and turned slightly so he was almost facing him.
"You haven't changed. You never were afraid to tell me when I wasn't wanted."
Harry stood in the kitchen of their shared cottage, his rage visible as he tried to rein in his magic.
"Charlie, get out," he said quietly, his teeth gritted in his effort to keep control of himself.
"Harry, please, let me explain-"
"GET OUT!" Harry screamed, releasing his magic. Charlie was thrown bodily from the room from the backlash. He picked himself up and walked to the kitchen door. Harry had succumbed to tears for the first time in years, and slid down the cupboards to the floor.
"I Hate You."
The words, quiet, flat, but with all the feeling Harry could muster, broke the silence and Charlie's heart as he apparated away. That was the last time they had seen each other.
"I don't want to argue Charlie. Its done. It was done almost three years ago."
Harry sighed and stood up.
"Don't go, please, just, just sit with me a while. I won't bring it up again."
Harry looked at Charlie. He looked broken, nothing like the man that left the cottage nearly three years before. He sat back down in silence, wrapping the blanket more securely around him as though it were a shield.
They sat there in silence for what could have been a minute or a hundred. The noise from inside seemed to have died down. Ron came to the door and called for Harry.
"Teddy want's you."
Harry glanced at the moon and sighed. It was going to be a long night.
He got up and walked into the house without a glance at Charlie. His boy needed him. Charlie had never understood that.
Teddy say on Hermione's knee, tears streaming down his face. The others all sat looking at him in pity, wishing, though not as much as Harry, that there was something they could do to help him.
Harry picked him up quickly and walked out of the room, up the stairs to Ron's old room, hoping to be able to settle him down, even if it was only for a few hours.
When he came back down the stairs an hour later, only Hermione, Ron, and Arthur were in the living room. The others had either gone home, or to bed in their old bedrooms.
"How is he?" Hermione asked quietly.
"Sleeping now. I hope it lasts for a couple of hours, he need's his rest. I just wish..." Harry trailed off running a hand through his hair as he sat in an armchair.
"We know Harry. We'd all like to be able to help."
Harry nodded. He knew given the chance they would all help him, but at the same time, he remembered that they didn't need to listen to his cries of pain one night a month, didn't need to spend hours rocking him in their arms, trying to ease enough of the pain to help him sleep. Of course they had all offered to take him occasionally when the time came, but Harry always refused. Teddy needed stability, and he seemed to take comfort from Harry being near.
They talked for a little while, before Ron and Hermione left to go home and Arthur went to bed. Harry stayed in the living room, not wanting to disturb Teddy by going back upstairs. He closed his eyes, hoping to doze for an hour or so before Teddy woke up. The monitoring charm would tell him as soon as he woke. As he settled down, he heard someone walk into the living room and suppressed a groan.
He feigned sleep, hoping Charlie would just go up to his room. He knew he wasn't that lucky, as Charlie sat on the settee across the room.
"I know you're not asleep Harry," he murmured quietly.
"I might've been if you hadn't come and disturbed me," Harry snapped, before groaning as the monitoring charm alerted him that Teddy had woke up. He got up, stretched then made his way out of the room.
"You don't have to leave, I'll go if I really bother you that much," Charlie muttered.
"Don't flatter yourself, Teddy's awake, I need to go get him."
Harry picked Teddy up from the conjured toddler bed and cuddled him to his chest. His small body racked with sobs as sharp pains shot through his muscles. Harry's heart broke as he carried the poor child down the stairs. He got one of the special bottles he's had made for Teddy, with extra durable teets, and filled it with luke warm hot chocolate.
"Here you go little man, drink that down, it'll help," Harry coaxed softly, gently pushing the bottle into the small hands. Teddy was almost six, but on nights like this one, Harry treated him like a baby. It seemed to help.
He walked into the living room with Teddy still in his arms, and sat down with the child on his knee, tucking him into his side so he could rock him slightly while he drank his chocolate.
Charlie watched the two for a while.
"Is this because of the full moon?"
"He goes through this every month?"
Harry nodded again, this time glaring slightly at Charlie.
"I'm sorry. Truly. For everything."
Charlie came into the cottage, excitement evident on his face.
"Harry! I've got the job. A year touring the world for dragons! We'll have such a good - Whats wrong?"
Harry sat in on the floor in front of the fire, his face pale as he stroked the face of a sleeping Teddy Lupin.
"Andromeda, she um, you know she got took to St Mungo's three days ago? She died today. They think it was dragon pox."
"Oh my, Harry I'm so so sorry. And here's me going on about a job. How is he?" Charlie asked, nodding toward Teddy.
"He doesn't really understand what's going on. He's only two, well three next month, but still, he's only a baby."
"What's going to happen to him. I mean, who'll take care of him?"
Harry glared at Charlie. "I will."
"Harry, um, we're not, I mean, I'm not, we're not ready to raise a child. We're going around the world. Maybe mum and dad can take him for a year or so, until we come home."
Harry's mouth dropped. He could feel the rage building up inside him, that Charlie could be so selfish!
"I'm going to drop Teddy with Ron and Hermione for a few hours. We will talk when I come home. While I'm there, you need to decide what you want Charlie, because there is no way am I leaving my godson to go to strangers, or an orphanage, or anywhere other than with me."
End flash back.
Harry shook his head to get rid of the assault of memories, the argument they had when he had returned without Teddy was the worst Harry had even been involved in. At first he had given Charlie the benefit of thinking it was just excitement at the opportunity, but that he would come to reason when he thought about it. But when he returned to the house, Charlie still wanted to go on the tour, had tried to convince Harry that Molly and Arthur would look after Teddy until they returned. Harry had been beyond reason at that point. Then he had let go of his magic in temper, and that was what led to this awkward silence between them. Harry, and Harry alone was to blame for him being alone, and he wasn't going to push that onto Charlie, no matter how easy it would be.
"It was more my fault than your's in the end I think. We would have still broken up, we wanted different things, but it could have ended better than it did. I apologise for that. I was out of order, the only explanation I can offer, is losing you after Andromeda was too much all in one day for me to handle. It's not an excuse, I just, I wish things could have been different."
Charlie nodded. He was silent for a little while, and Teddy seemed to have fallen back asleep with his Hot chocolate, though how long that would last was anyone's guess.
"I've quit my job."
Harry looked up, startled out of his thoughts. "You've what?"
"Quit my job. I'm moving home, well, here anyway, I start work at the magical zoo in London next week."
"Congratulations. I guess we'll be seeing more of you then," Harry replied, trying to keep his voice even. He didn't know how he felt about Charlie being there every time he came to see Molly and Arthur, or when he dropped Teddy off while he worked.
"Yeah. I'll be here, or, I will until I get a flat. I don't think I could cope with living with mum for too long. I love her, of course, but, man can she be over bearing."
"You think I don't know that? You should have seen her after you left. When me and Teddy moved into the new flat, she was in the floo every hour."
"I miss the cottage. I loved that place."
"So did I. I just couldn't stay there after. It felt empty."
"I miss you too, you know. More than anything. I screwed up, if i could do it over..." Charlie trailed off. He glanced at Harry. Once again, it seemed Harry had succumbed to tears. Apparently Charlie had the talent of making him cry.
"I'm sorry. I said I wouldn't bring it up," he whispered.
Harry wiped the tears off his face.
"It's fine. I knew tonight would be hard as soon as Ron told me you would be here. I miss you too. A lot. But, I can't go there again Charlie. I can't, it's not fair to Teddy, to me, or to you. I was a real mess for a long time after, I'm still a mess now, but I'm holding it together to be what Teddy needs. I miss you, I love you, but I can't do this. I'm sorry. I'm taking Teddy home, tell your mum and dad I'm sorry and I'll see them next week when I drop him off."
Harry stood up, gently shifting Teddy to his shoulder, and walked out of the door before Charlie could even process what had happened.
Charlie jumped off the sofa and followed Harry to the back door. He was already at the apparition point.
Harry looked back for a second.
And he was gone.