So He Knows: Teddy & Harry Title: So He Knows Author: gryffindorj Prompt #125: Harry's relationship with Teddy-Harry is not yet 18 when he becomes the boy's godfather. What do they do to spend time together as Teddy grows up? Pairing: Not a pairing but mostly just Harry and Teddy with appearances by others. Rating: G Word Count: 6900 Summary: Snippets of Teddy and Harry together. Warnings: Not a one. Disclaimer: I do not own them JKR owns everything. Author's Note: Thanks to my beta S who I swear to her this won't happen again. This is 100% epilogue compliant except Fred is alive in this because I couldn't bare him to be dead. I wanted to somehow show Teddy's bond with Harry and how he learns about his own father through it.
Harry watched amusedly as the baby's fat hands swatted at the bubbles Harry made with his wand. It was amazing anything that drooled and squealed at such a high octave could still be so cute. He took a moment to loosen his tie as it had begun to feel rather restraining. Looking around Harry could see the mood in the room was in complete contrast to Teddy's giggles. Andromeda looked the most grief stricken of all, having lost both her husband and only child in such a short period of time.
The funeral was supposed to be for Tonks and Remus but this wake, funeral, whatever they called it was clearly only for her daughter. Feeling slightly sick and angry, Harry picked Teddy up, took him outside, to walk around the back garden in the twinkling twilight.
Harry held a calmer Teddy in his arms, the fresh air soothing both of them. A hard knot formed in his throat as he thought of his last true conversation with Remus before he died. Harry cleared his throat willing himself to think of something that still felt rather raw.
"I know what you're thinking that this is my first time here," Harry said to Teddy. "But you're wrong. I came here after I left the Dursley's. Hagrid and I crash-landed here almost a year ago. I was hurt a bit but your granddad fixed me up. Hagrid's pretty tough so he was ok. He's also very brave. You know what else?" Harry asked Teddy. Teddy, with acid green hair, responded by blowing bubbles with his mouth.
"Your dad - he was very brave too. Actually, he was a lot of things but-" Harry stopped. Ron had appeared at the back door waving at him to come back inside.
"You're going to stay here with your grandma. She'll love you and raise you better than I could," Harry whispered to Teddy. "Good thing she's around. I know about a thimble full about babies. We'd be lucky to survive a week."
"I'll be around loads. I'll let you have a broom and everything. Andromeda-she'll tell you about your mum, but me . . . I'll tell you about your dad, how he taught me to be brave just like him."
Harry peered in the mirror adjusting his striped tie, not even going to attempt to try and flatten his hair. As he reached for his cuff links, Teddy, hair the perfect shade of cerulean for the occasion, whispered, "Harry?"
"Come in," Harry said turning to face the door. Teddy walked in closing the door behind him. He looked around the room then looked at Harry his expression faltering a bit.
"There are a lot of people here, Harry," Teddy said worried.
"I know. The Weasleys have a big family," Harry replied. "Does that make you nervous?"
"No, I was worried about you," Teddy said.
"Because you don’t have a family. Your mum and dad are dead like mine," Teddy told Harry as if informing him of this fact for the first time.
"I know but it’s ok," Harry assured.
"But your godfather isn’t here either. He’s dead too."
"Who told you that?" Harry asked, puzzled, looking down at Teddy.
"Hermione showed me genieography charts and your godfather and I are on the same chart. We're related, did you know?" Teddy said off track for a moment then continued what he was saying. "But he died and Hermione said that made my dad sad because my dad loved him like I love my friends. Since Sirius is dead, he’s not here to protect you and keep you safe."
"I don’t think I need much protection on my wedding day," Harry smiled.
"Are you going to die before I get married?" Teddy said as his mind made the logical progression as only a four year old could.
"I hope not," Harry said feeling his heart twinge slightly.
"I’ll be your family on your wedding day and you can be mine on my wedding day."
"I like that plan," Harry grinned at Teddy who smiled back.
Teddy’s lips moved very slowly as he tried to read the back of the cereal box. Harry sat quietly across from him reading the Prophet and eating his own bowl of Weetabix.
"HARRY!" Ginny came storming into the kitchen looking frazzled. Teddy automatically sunk in his chair as if to duck the incoming.
"How many bloody times have I told you to hang up your towels?" she hollered. "The sink was soaking wet, the entire bathroom smelled like mildew. I am sick of throwing up constantly. Hang up your damn towels or this child won’t have a father!" Ginny stormed back out of the kitchen. Harry looked at the slamming kitchen door for a minute then went back to his cereal.
"She’s mad at you," Teddy said returning to his own flakes.
"I heard her yelling last night too," Teddy said. "You’re in lots of trouble."
"I don’t think she likes being pregnant."
"I think she’s ready for the baby," Harry said drinking the milk from his bowl. "I am too."
"You'll be a dad."
"Was my dad excited to be a dad?" Any discussion about Harry becoming a father always led to Teddy asking about his own.
"He was very excited when you were born. I never saw him happier," Harry said smiling.
"Tell me something about him," Teddy said excitedly. Harry sighed this was something that he tried with all his patience to endure. He was never allowed to ask questions about his mum and dad when he was little so he didn’t want to discourage Teddy but sometimes it was hard to remember things. Especially when you realized that your own godfather would have been much better at this then you.
"Tell me the Animagus story. And how his nickname was Moony."
"Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs," Harry began and Teddy wiggled with excitement at hearing the story again.
James slumped in the back seat of the car crossing his arms and glaring. Teddy heard him grumble something about a "stupid baby" under his breath.
"Don't worry, James. Babies are really boring," Teddy said in what he hoped was a consoling way. They had just spent the better part of an hour hearing everyone coo over the new baby.
'Oh, look at that hair!' 'Oh he's so precious.' 'He looks just like his daddy!' 'He's a Potter for sure.' Teddy wasn't at all happy himself. When he tried to show Angelina he could look like a Potter too, she he just shushed him and told him to go play.
Harry walked out of the hospital and got into the car. "All ready to go, boys?" he asked putting his keys in the ignition. Teddy nodded and James shot Harry a nasty look.
As they drove away, Harry kept glancing at them in the rear-view mirror. "Everything alright James?" he finally asked. James didn't answer but looked pointedly away.
"He's fine," Teddy answered for him. "Harry, do you think the baby looks like you?"
" I guess. I think he looks like a baby though." Harry shrugged.
"Yeah, he doesn't have a scar like you." He leaned forward and with a bit of concentration added a scar to his own forehead, making Harry smirk.
"Nice," Harry chuckled. "You been working on that one long?"
"No, but check this out!" Teddy said excitedly and changed his hair to match Harry's messy jet black and turned his eyes a brilliant green.
"You're getting better every time I see you," Harry laughed at him. Harry always acted impressed by Teddy's capabilities. Teddy smiled at James who replied with a glare and muttered something about the 'stupid baby' again.
"I can look like you too," Teddy said to James who didn’t answer.
"Who do you think James looks like?" Teddy said moving his attention back to Harry.
Harry thought about it for a moment. "I think James looks like James."
"Who do I look like?"
"You look like anyone you want to look like."
"I know but when I'm not trying," Teddy urged. "When I'm asleep or something."
"What did my dad look like?" Teddy asked pushing the point.
"You've seen photos. You know what he looked like," Harry said.
"It's not the same! You know that, now tell me," Teddy begged.
Harry rolled his eyes and sighed in resignation. "He had, um, he had brown hair. No, not like that a bit lighter- yeah like that. It had grey in it, around the temples, yeah."
"My dad was grey?"
"He was in his thirties when I met him. When he was younger he had light brown hair, just like you do and his eyes were brown," Harry smiled as Teddy's appearance began to morph. "He never smiled broadly. He was kind of shy, I think, and incredibly kind. Would never say a bad word about anyone. Not even when provoked," Teddy didn't know what to do with that.
"I've never met someone who was as kind and forgiving as he was." Harry, for a moment, looked very sad. He met Teddy's eyes in the mirror and smiled half-heartedly. His eyes shifted over toward James.
"Cheer up, James. Mummy will be home tomorrow."
They stopped by the Ministry before they could go on their other errands. Harry told Teddy they had to stop by his office first, then a quick hello to the Minister who wanted to see Teddy.
As Teddy and Harry walked along the purple carpet leading to the Minister's office Teddy couldn't help but think that the Auror department really got the raw end of the deal. These offices had nice plushy carpets and neat book cases and file drawers. The Auror department was always a little messy and no matter what a bit stagnant smelling. There were some things magic just couldn't fix.
Harry nodded his head in greeting to the Minister's outer office staff, none of whom stopped him or questioned his presence. Teddy got a couple of second glances but nothing more.
Harry knocked on the door and a deep voice said, "Enter." When Kingsley saw who it was, he waved them in as he finished signing a few more documents.
"Teddy, it's good to see you," Kingsley said as he set down his quill and stood, taking Teddy's hand in his big firm one and shaking it.
"Hi, sir," Teddy said.
"Sit." Kingsley offered, "Hungry? Should we have some tea sent in?"
"No, we just finished breakfast before we got here," Harry replied.
"What are you two doing today?"
"Nothing really. Have to drop into Diagon Alley. That's about it," Harry replied.
"Are you getting school supplies? Teddy, did you get your letter yet?" Kingsley asked, turning his attention Teddy who was trying to be quiet.
"No, sir. Maybe in a month."
"Your grandmother will probably take you to get your supplies then. When she does, buy an owl, I'll take care of it. Any other pet isn't worth having," Kingsley advised.
"Thank you, Minister."
"'Thank you, Minister'? 'No, sir'? Since when don't you call me Kingsley?" He looked at Teddy and Teddy looked away, embarrassed.
"Hermione read him the riot act last night when Teddy said we were coming to see 'Kingsley'," Harry said. "You know 'respect for the office', that sort of thing." Kingsley laughed and Harry chuckled shaking his head.
"Teddy, you don’t have to call me Minister, ever," he said and Teddy smiled. "Though I'm sure had I told your dad that a thousand times he still would have called me Minister. Your mum she would have called me Kingsley and never anything else."
Teddy smiled broadly at hearing about both his mother and father. Kingsley was that rare mix that knew both his mum and dad well. Teddy liked to visit because of that. And he had the best stories about being an Auror. Harry told stories well enough but he never exaggerated anything. Kingsley did that much better
"Filch still there?" Fred asked Teddy in a hushed voice while Harry prized James away from the rows of fireworks. Teddy nodded in response. "Still a cranky old bastard?"
"The worst," Teddy said.
"Excellent," said George, slipping a few packs of what Teddy was sure were something highly dangerous into his hand. Teddy slid them into his pockets before Harry saw. He wasn't sure whether Harry would disapprove but better safe than sorry.
Teddy never lacked for any Weasley products. Fred and George called him their new 'field tester' when he left for Hogwarts. They gave him a package brimming with more new items than Teddy could possibly remember, with instructions to report how they worked. And if he managed to sell them to any student, he was to make sure to double the retail price.
"No, it's time to go," Harry said to James who was currently getting into something else in the shop. "Teddy?" Harry's head swiveled looking for him, his bright hair always easily found.
Harry tried to pay a refusing George. Teddy held tightly to James's collar. They would never get out of there if James took off again. A woman with a runny nosed child on her hip and another clinging to her hand rushed to the counter.
"Do you have any more of those exploding fake wands?" she asked frantically giving no notice that there was someone in front of her then she turned and shouted, "PUT THAT DOWN!"
"Let me check in the back," George replied. She gave a great huff then finally noticed someone at the counter. She looked at Harry once quickly, then twice, and finally a third time.
"Merlin's beard, you're Harry Potter," she said breathlessly.
"Yes," Harry answered politely. That was one of the odd things about being with Harry, the occasional, or rather not occasional enough, fascinated person.
"You look exactly the same as you do in the Prophet," she said still in awe. "I'm a very big fan of yours. Such a hero."
"Thank you," Harry said then looked away.
"These your kids?" she said looking over at Teddy and James.
"Um, yeah," Harry replied.
"You allow your son to have purple hair at his age?" she said incredulously. This was also another treat, the strangers belief they could make unsolicited comments about Harry.
"It's not purple," Teddy piped in. "It's heliotrope and it took me over an hour to match the crayon exactly. But it doesn't have to be." And with a little concentration Teddy changed his hair to a perfect Christmas green. The woman gasped and Harry had to hide his laughter under a cough as Teddy proudly beamed.
"Sorry. We're out till Monday," George said returning from the backroom.
"Did you know this is Harry Potter?" she said pointing at Harry. "Harry Potter in your store that must be something?"
"I know-wicked scar and everything," George said with mock sincerity and Harry rolled his eyes as he ushered Teddy and James out of the store.
"Harry?" Teddy said his voice cracking in surprise. He closed the door to the otherwise empty classroom behind him. "What are you doing here?"
"I was in the Hogsmeade for work. Then I dropped by to see Hagrid so I thought I'd say 'hi' to you too," Harry replied with a smile that Teddy didn't return.
"Did my grandmother send you?" he said shrewdly.
"No, I really was in Hogsmeade."
"You know it's a right pain having everyone know you and your entire family. And not just know them but they come over for tea and Christmas parties," Teddy said angrily.
"I'm not sure I follow you," Harry said.
"Professor Longbottom. He's a git for running off and telling my godfather that I got in one measly little fight!"
"Stop, Teddy," Harry said shaking his head. "Any time you are in serious trouble, yes, your head of house will send a letter home, which means to your grandmother not to me. Neville sent a letter to me out of concern."
"Why is he so concerned?" Teddy crossed his arms in a huff.
"Says you've been skiving off Defense Against the Dark Arts for a week."
"Did he tell you what happened last time I went to class?" Teddy asked.
"Why don't you tell me?" Harry said.
"Werewolves. That's what we were talking about. Then we started talking about how laws have been more relaxed over the past decade. Then this little Ravenclaw know-it-all started spouting his stupid opinion that werewolves should be rounded up, tagged, and then sterilized so they didn't pass on their 'filthy disease' to some child."
"He didn't know about your dad," Harry said.
"Doesn't matter if my dad was a werewolf or not. You shouldn't say such horrible things about people!"
"You're right," Harry said and Teddy looked surprised for a moment. "So you cursed him."
"Yeah, he deserved it!"
"Put him in the hospital wing for a few days?"
"I went easy on him."
"During class?" Harry replied and for the first time Teddy looked a little guilty. "You should've waited till after class. You might have cooled off a bit."
"Is that what you would have done?" Teddy asked.
"At thirteen?" Harry said. "I'm not sure, probably not. But you need to be smarter than that."
"I'm not going to take any one's rubbish. I'm not soft," Teddy said, standing to his full height.
"No one accused you of being soft. But you could have made your point with out waving your wand about."
Teddy rolled his eyes. "Yeah, sure."
"Really, Teddy. Your dad had a relaxed demeanor about him but he wasn't soft. First time I had class with him another Professor tried to embarrass one of the students. Your dad easily and coolly put him in his place with just a few words."
"Though your dad did top it off by helping the student turn the boggart into the other Professor wearing the student's grandmother's clothes," Harry laughed at the memory and Teddy laughed too.
"Who was the Professor?" Teddy asked.
"You never met him," Harry said waving his hand dismissively.
"He must have been a real jerk."
"He could be," Harry said. "But I think mostly he was misunderstood."
Teddy was quiet for a few minutes. "Were you really in the neighborhood?"
"Honest. I was at the Hog's Head."
"Cool. Were you undercover?"
"No," Then Harry indulged him. "Probably next time." Teddy looked satisfied by that and he must have been because his next thought was about food.
"I'm going to dinner now."
"No more skiving off, don't call Neville a git," Harry said and Teddy nodded, "and don't fight in front of professors."
"I'll try," Teddy said before giving Harry a quick one armed hug. They walked to the door together and down to the Entrance Hall.
"Don't come here every time I have a problem. You know I can take care myself," Teddy said not looking Harry in the eye, Harry sure he didn't not wanting to hurt his feelings.
"I'll never show my face here again if you like."
"I know you can take care of yourself. Next time you write me the letter and don't let Neville beat you to it."
"Ha! You missed me," James sang dancing around the garden. Teddy flung another snowball and James dove to his right, barely ducking out of the way. Teddy laughed preparing another snowball to throw at the showy little git. Thawk! He was hit in the back of the head before he was able to get his next shot off.
Turning around he saw Victoire laughing and running away. He threw the ball at her, hitting her squarely in the back. He got up to chase her when Lily yelled for him.
"Teddy! Teddy!" her little voice cried over the laughter and screams of her cousins.
He found her almost in tears.
"What’s wrong?" he asked kneeling down.
"I can’t find my mittens." She showed Teddy her cold red hands.
"Your grandma has some in the kitchen," he said pointing her towards the back door. She looked hesitantly at the door or rather the path she would have to take. Louise, Freddy, and now James flanked the path making sure all who ventured past would not do so unscathed.
"It’s ok, Lily, I’ll take you. They know better than to hit me." He took her hand leading her to the house and staring down her cousins as he did so. Sitting her on the porch, he went to the back door but stopped when he heard voices.
"He gave it back to Harry ages ago but I know he still tinkers with it," Mrs. Weasley said.
"I never saw it when Sirius had it, I only saw it a few years ago after Teddy told me about it," Andromeda replied.
"Flying motorcycle! Of all the dangerous nonsensical things," Mrs. Weasley huffed.
"That was the Sirius I knew," Andromeda said and Teddy couldn’t help but smile hearing about his dad’s old friend.
"Reckless. I couldn’t ever understand why he and Remus were so close. Remus was so torn apart after he died. Never would say a word."
"I know he pushed my poor Dora away, wouldn’t talk to her about him either," Andromeda said and Teddy’s stomach felt tight. "She came back home after St. Mungo’s to recover and he came to see her once, stayed only a few moments. Dora wouldn’t talk about it but she cried and cried."
"Oh poor dear," Molly said sympathetically.
"I tried to talk to her and she wouldn’t say anything. Then she couldn’t change anymore. Her magic faltered quite a bit. When Dumbledore died, next thing you know she came home, hair bright pink again. She told us she was pregnant and that she and Remus were getting married. Ted and I were not happy in the least. Remus was always polite but still seemed morose. He was so happy when Teddy was born but who wouldn’t be happy about a baby?"
"Oh, yes, of course. He did have fits of the sullens I recall," Molly said. Teddy didn’t want to hear anything else. He forgot why he had gone in there or that Lily was waiting for him. He felt as numb as if he had been in the snow for hours. This didn’t sound like his father at all: distant, sullen, and unloving. What had he said to Teddy’s mom to make her lose her magic? It must have been horrible, horrible. The father he knew, his dad, was kind to everyone and could never say or do horrible such things.
Lily was chasing after him as Teddy walked unseeing through the garden. "Teddy," she said tying to catch up. He didn’t hear her, he didn’t hear the yells of the boys or Lily’s scream, he barely registered her attempt to shelter herself in his legs. The snowball hitting him in the face was what finally broke his trance.
"What’s wrong with you, Teddy?" Freddy taunted and the other boys laughed. Teddy couldn’t answer he untangled Lily from his legs and walked off into the orchard where he could be alone.
Harry knocked lightly on Teddy’s door before pushing it open. Teddy lay sprawled out on his back on his bed. Harry smiled at the gangly appearance Teddy had taken on since his last growth spurt, his legs looking too long for his body.
"I brought you some tart. Ginny said you should have some pudding," Harry said holding a bowl with a spoon for him.
Teddy just looked at him then mumbled, "Thanks." Harry looked at Teddy then put the bowl down on the bedside table, pulled out a chair from the desk, and sat down in it.
Teddy looked first at Harry then looked away. Harry waited for Teddy to speak first; he certainly hated being pushed into talking when he wasn’t in the mood. Ginny would just send him up here again if he went back downstairs too soon. He crossed his legs and picked up one of the school books Teddy had thrown on the desk and began to thumb through it.
It was History of Magic and the subject didn't hold Harry’s attention any more now than it did when he was fifteen. He put the book back down and gave in.
"I know Ginny’s cooking isn’t as good as Hogwarts but you might hurt her feelings if you just push the food around your plate the entire Christmas holiday." Teddy didn’t look up.
"I wasn’t very hungry."
"Not even for pudding? Ginny never lets the kids have pudding if they don’t eat dinner," Harry said and then Teddy looked straight at him his eyes dark and angry.
"Is your hair naturally that color? I forget how much you look like your dad when your hair is turquoise or emerald," Harry continued, suspecting that bringing up Remus might get Teddy to open up.
"How well did you know my dad?" Teddy said sitting up suddenly on his bed.
"As well as anyone, I suppose," Harry said carefully.
"I mean all I hear about him was that he was so nice and smart and you tell me how brave he was. It sounds too good to be true."
Harry looked at Teddy and for the first time noticed he had been crying. Harry stood up, went to the bedroom door and closed it. He knew what an existential crisis looked like having experienced them himself.
"Why are you upset?" Harry asked turning back around. Teddy took a deep breath and told the story of what he overheard earlier that day, the between his grandmother and Mrs. Weasley. Harry nodded and listened knowing all too well how Teddy must have felt.
"I don’t have any idealistic views of parents or anything," Teddy said after he finished the story. "I mean I know no one is perfect and that parents make mistakes and they can be real arseholes. You’re great too, but it isn’t like I think you're perfect all the time."
"Glad to hear it," Harry couldn’t help but reply.
"I knew a long time ago mum and dad were married only eight months before I was born. But I just figured they really loved each other anyway. Now I think he married her because he had to, because of me," Teddy finished, not looking the least bit better but possibly worse.
"Teddy, I know how you feel," Harry began.
"Do you? How can you really know how I feel?"
"It’ll bore your pants off if I tell you how I know. But you know my parents died when I was a baby, too. I would never lie to you, Teddy. You know I know," Harry was relieved that sounded fair enough as Teddy nodded.
"Are the things you tell me about my dad true? I mean was he just this really nice guy who was perfect and brave and was nice to everyone?"
"I have never lied about him to you. He was kind, and very smart, he was-"
"Brave, I know. If I’ve heard it once I heard it a million times," Teddy said standing and pacing the room, looking more frustrated. "Bravery and courage doesn’t mean he was a loving husband. I don’t even know if he loved my mum. Why did he marry her?" Harry ruffled his hand through his hair.
"Remus was a private person. He kept a lot of thoughts and feelings to himself. I’m sure he shared more with Sirius; I was very young myself when he died."
"So you don't really know anything about him," Teddy said pointedly to Harry.
"No, listen. War is absolute shit. There is no glory, there is nothing fun or light about. Voldemort, he and his Death Eaters, they were the worst. They ripped and tore families apart. I can tell you that lots of families were torn apart at the seams. But your dad, my dad, Sirius and Peter-yeah, even Peter-they were a family; they were one another’s family. They had parents and siblings but most of all they had each other. With them, your dad had something he could never have believed: love and acceptance. He never imagined people could love him even though he was a werewolf.
"But Voldemort, he got to them, too. He got to Peter and it destroyed what they had. Sirius and maybe even my dad thought your dad was betraying them, I never found out why. Your dad must have felt confused and cut off not knowing what he'd done. Then in the space of two days your dad lost everything, everyone that he loved and he was the only survivor.
When I met him, years later, he was still sad. Never got over it, I don't think. Then Sirius he came back and I think it helped him to have his old friend back, to make amends. But then Sirius died, just after they had found each other again. Then a full out war began again. Your dad lived during and fought in two wars and that can’t have been easy."
"But what about my mum?"
"The night you were born - I have never seen him happier. I know you were the greatest gift in his life."
"What about when they got married?" Teddy asked.
"I don't know how they felt. But they wouldn't have done anything because they were forced. Sometimes accidents happen and then we try to do our best by them," Harry said.
"Are you calling me an accident?" Teddy stared at Harry, not looking at all amused by the implication.
"James and Al were," Harry said his lips twitching and Teddy cracked a smile, for the first time since Harry came into the room.
"So everything you told me is true?"
"Your dad was all of those things. I suppose you get tired of hearing how much we all liked him. But we did, he was likable. I don’t think I ever met someone who knew him that didn’t like him. I think very few knew him well. Remus had the driest sense of humor and if you asked Mrs. Weasley, or Neville or probably even Ron or Hermione they wouldn’t be able to tell you that.."
"You think so?"
"Yeah. I don’t think he could have loved Sirius or my dad without knowing how to have a laugh."
"Yeah. What about my mum? Would he have been mean to her?" Teddy faced twisted a bit painfully as he asked.
"It would be impossible for anyone to be mean to your mother and certainly it could have never been your father. No one would know their marriage better than themselves. Nothing against your grandmother or Mrs. Weasley but they didn't know any better than I. Teddy, I don't think you could be a product of unhappiness," Harry finished in a way he hoped would put the uncertainty Teddy had to rest for the most part.
Teddy looked around at all the people who had come to his graduation party. He thought that some of his friends must be a little in awe of the guest list but to Teddy it was normal; they were for the most part his family. He could admit it wasn’t common for the Minister of Magic to attend Hogwarts students' graduation parties. But it also wasn't common to have pictures of you and the very same Minister from every birthday party you had ever had.
There was the odd quidditch player that Ginny was friends with, and of course, the famous Harry Potter. What made Teddy the happiest was that his friends were most impressed with Fred and George Weasley. They were legends at Hogwarts and their products were always in demand.
Teddy politely made the rounds, making small talk, and having slips of parchment tucked into his pocket which said money had been put into his Gringott's Account.
As the sun began to set on the garden party, Teddy stood on a chair looking out over the crowd. His guests began clanging their glasses with spoons so that attention was drawn to him. His hair as close to gold as he could manage; he thought perhaps it might give him the look of a halo, though that wasn't his intention. Anyone that knew him would know otherwise.
"I wanted to say a few words before everyone heads out to the pub to continue drinking toasting in my honor," he said smiling and received gales of laughter from the tipsy crowd.
"First of all, thanks for coming. I'm surprised I know so many people. Thanks to my grandmother and Ginny for putting this party together and for having it in your garden, Ginny. I know you went to a lot of trouble.
"So, a few toasts. First to the Weasley family, all of you together because there are too many of you to list separately, I'll never be alone in the world because you. Each one of you has loved me and accepted me as if I naturally had red hair and freckles. The Weasleys!" Teddy raised his glass, the crowd followed suit, and he took a sip of his drink before continuing.
"Next, to my Grandmother. If I have any manners, intelligence, or any redeeming value about me, it's because of her. I imagine it wasn't easy to lose your family and then left a baby boy to raise alone. But I can only imagine it because you never let on that it was hard. To my grandmother!" Once again Teddy and the group raised their glasses and drank.
"When I was a little boy I used to think my parents chose Harry as my godfather because he was an orphan, too. I actually believed that for an embarrassingly long time." The crowd chuckled and Harry smiled at Teddy.
"When I got some sense I actually started to think about why they - more specifically my dad - would have wanted it to be Harry, the quality that they saw in him that they would choose to link him to my life forever. I didn't wonder very long." He paused choosing to look just over Harry's head.
"Harry, there have been a lot of times in my life when you've had to tell people, 'This is Teddy Lupin' or 'Teddy's visiting from his grandmother's house'. You may not have thought about it but I did. You never said, 'Teddy's not my son' or 'He's not mine'. You let people think what they wanted.
"You aren't my dad and I'm not your son. But you have never once made me feel any less of a son to you than James or Al. My parents, they chose you because, well, I can't possibly imagine how any father could have been better than you have been to me." He lowered his eyes seeing that mix of a sheepish and proud smile on his godfather's face as he raised his glass and said "To Harry". Teddy downed his entire drink to keep the tears he felt welling behind his eyes.
Harry sat at a now empty table looking at the streamers, party hats, and a small amount of confetti lying limp and lifeless in the quiet garden. The guests had either gone out or gone home and Ginny was making sure Al and Lily went to bed - not trying to sneak out with James, his friends, or the other older children. She insisted he didn't need to help her; she could sense his pensive mood.
Hearing foot steps across the grass behind him, Harry looked over his shoulder to see Teddy walking casually towards him.
God! He looked just like his father.
"May I?" Teddy asked and Harry pulled out a chair next to him, silently inviting Teddy to sit down.
"You aren't going out?" Harry asked and Teddy shrugged. "Won't Victoire be waiting for you?"
"Sure." Teddy said flatly.
"I hadn't realized you two had broken up," Harry said.
"Quite awhile ago, actually," Teddy said. Harry wasn't too surprised by this. Teddy had the tendency to be private about certain things, and Harry didn't blame him.
"Work going alright?" Harry asked.
"I love it. Kingsley told me tonight he still hasn't forgiven me for not becoming an Auror." Teddy smiled.
"Metamorphmagi are rare and it would have been nice to have one around," Harry said.
"You haven't forgiven me either?" Teddy raised his brows.
Harry smiled kindly at him. "There was nothing to forgive; I always wanted whatever you wanted."
"I didn't want people to think I got a job or anything because of you or because I knew the minister," Teddy replied. Harry nodded he had always thought was the case. "Being a Healer isn't a bad career choice."
"Not at all," Harry agreed. They sat quietly together, Teddy folding a paper napkin again and again till it was roughly the size of a sickle, then moving onto the next one.
"What are you doing out here all alone?" Teddy asked. "Shouldn't a man your age have been in bed hours ago?"
"You're funny," Harry replied and Teddy chuckled. "I was thinking about my son graduating, it's a big deal. Makes me think about the past," Harry said.
"Do you think about the past a lot?" Teddy asked.
"No, not a whole lot. It's better to move forward, look forward. But occasionally something happens and it makes me remember and think."
"What happened tonight?"
"You and James joking around together as friends. He's a lot like how I picture my dad and I know he's like Sirius. It makes sense that you two are good friends," Harry said.
"Jamie's not so bad, he's a nice kid," Teddy replied.
"Jamie? He must hate that," Harry said and Teddy's lips twitched, his eyes sparkling with humor.
"I was thinking about your dad, which I don't do so much anymore. I suppose it's because we don't talk about him as much as we used to," Harry continued.
"I still think about him a lot. I just thought after twenty-four years of questions there weren't many more to ask you," replied Teddy.
"I never mind talking about him with you," Harry said feeling a bit sad, wondering if he had ever given that impression.
"Who don't you like to talk about him with?"
"People who ask too many of the wrong sort of questions," Harry said and Teddy nodded.
"Your dad and I fought once. I was thinking about that tonight," Harry admitted and Teddy looked at him with surprise.
"I never knew that. I can't imagine you two fighting," the surprise registering in his voice.
"It was only the once and we were both very upset," Harry said. "I regret I could never give him a proper apology."
"So it was your fault?"
"It was both of us. I meant what I said, most of it. I think I would say the same things all over again," Harry said.
"Then why the regret?"
"I questioned his bravery and that's what I regret."
"You didn't think he was brave?"
"I thought he was immensely brave and I've always tried to make sure you knew that. I was wondering if you did?"
"I do. I never wondered. I always knew," Teddy replied.
"I shouldn't have said that to him. We Gryffindors can be pretty thick when it comes to being noble," Harry said. "I was angry and said something I knew would hurt him the worst. I did it on purpose."
Teddy swallowed hard looking away from Harry. Harry could see his Adam's apple bob.
"I'm sure he forgave you."
"I know he forgave me. I'm your godfather even after I called him a coward." Harry couldn't help but say dryly.
"You called him a coward?" Teddy said looking at Harry sharply. Harry felt he deserved it.
"Yes," Harry said meeting Teddy's eyes. They looked at each other for a long moment.
"He forgave you, he understood. I know it," Teddy said confidently.
"He was a good man like that, of course, he did. I sometimes don't forgive myself." Harry told Teddy.
"Maybe you can forgive yourself now, it's been a long time."
Harry grinned and nodded, "Maybe."
"What happened?" Teddy asked after several quiet minutes.
"What do you mean what happened?"
"After you and my dad fought what happened?" Teddy clarified.
"You know that rubbish you heard in History of Magic growing up. All that saving the world stuff," Harry said.
"No, I meant right after you said that to my dad?"
"Hit me with a curse so fast I didn't even have the time to reach for my wand."
"He kicked your arse?" Teddy smiled brightly.
"No, he didn't 'kick my arse'. It was one spell. He got me pretty good; sent me flying against the wall."
"He kicked your arse."
"I was seventeen. He was much more experienced than I was," Harry said defensively but still smiling.
"My dad kicked Harry Potter's arse," Teddy laughed loudly.
"Yeah, he kicked my arse," Harry finally agreed and began to laugh.