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Teddy Lupin and the Legacy of the Marauders



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Old January 7th, 2008, 9:12 pm
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Teddy Lupin and the Legacy of the Marauders

Everyone, as promised, this is the fanfic I'm dedicating to Teddy Lupin and his journey to Hogwarts. My thinking is that Teddy is the first of the generation of children whose parents fought Voldemort the second time. In his case, he was orphaned by the battle. The legacy of the Marauders is something to live with. As always, these characters belong to JKR and I'll try to do her justice. With no further ado:

Teddy Lupin and the Legacy of the Marauders


Chapter 1 – The Letter

Every June 23rd, the office of the Transfiguration Professor at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was a place best avoided by the casual passer by. The long time occupant of the office was a stately witch, adorned with fine green robes and a tall, pointed hat. The lines of age and experience gave her face the appearance of a magnificent monument, weather-worn, but standing tall against the ravages of time. Minerva McGonagall paced about the room with a calm, measured demeanor born of the countless times she had performed this task. In her hands, she held a long, yellowed scroll that was adorned with the seal of the Ministry of Magic. Specifically, she would receive a parchment very much like this one every year on the twenty first of June. Some of the names on this particular paper had given her pause, yet warmed her heart as the cycle of renewal was beginning and life, indeed, was moving on.

The only person who would have the audacity to interrupt Professor McGonagall during this date was the Headmaster for the school. Despite his position, Horace Slughorn made a vain attempt to enter the room as quietly as possible. The heavy oak door squeaked loudly as its wrought iron hinges protested the movement of the door swinging open. Slughorn sighed and maneuvered his considerable bulk into the room. He looked around. At the desks normally reserved for the various Transfiguration students, several feather-tipped quills were scratching away on pieces of paper of their own volition. Professor McGonagall was calling out names from the scroll she was reading and gave a noticeable look of irritation when the Headmaster entered. Slughorn chuckled and smiled his best politician’s smile.

“How goes it, Minerva?” Slughorn paced the room, his hands behind his back, his ample stomach protruding as he scanned the letters being written.

“It won’t go any faster if you insist on interrupting me, Horace.” Professor McGonagall had been the Deputy Headmistress for the school for decades and had assumed the role of informing prospective new students of their acceptance to Britain’s foremost institution of learning for the Wizarding community. These selfsame quills had been the instruments that had crafted the letters for Lily Evans and James Potter, Sirius Black and Cedric Diggory, Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, and Ginny Weasley and Harry Potter. McGonagall took this responsibility very seriously, ever since the day a one time new Headmaster named Albus Dumbledore had asked her to perform this rather innocuous task. On the same day, every year, she conjured the magic that crafted the letters and then signed each one personally to ensure its authenticity. Upon reflection, based on what would happen to the school’s alumni, it was the least she could do.

Horace Slughorn nodded at her brusque retort, really not taking offense. After almost ten years as Headmaster, he’d learned to accept Minerva McGonagall’s acerbic personality with grace and humor. He nodded his head and glanced around.

“This is the class, isn’t it?” His question struck her to the core and she found herself fighting back a small tear on the edge of her eye. She looked at him, a small crack in her armor exposed as she looked around the room.

“It’s been eleven years, Horace. Teddy Lupin will be the first child of those that fought and fell at the Battle of Hogwarts to attend the school. All those buried at the memorial outside, and he is the first to come of age. I can’t help but feel a little sad.” Her thoughts drifted to punctiliously thoughtful face of Remus Lupin who had been a model student and a model friend and his wife, the belle of Ravenclaw, Nymphadora Tonks. Both had been slain fighting the Dark Lord and their one and only son was now due to receive one of Minerva’s missives.

“I understand what you’re feeling Minerva. Would you like me to care for his letter, just this once?” Horace looked over to her. Her spine straightened noticeably and her shoulders drew back as she stood tall and proud.

“Thank you, no, Horace. This is my honor. It’s only right that the person who crafted his parents’ letters should be the one who has the pleasure of inviting the boy here. It is only right.” Minerva McGonagall was back in full form and she started to stroll methodically around the room, correcting a spelling here and there among her rapidly scraping quills.

Horace Slughorn smiled and turned to leave. Just before he reached the door, her voice rang out to him. “Horace?”

He turned to face her, a single eyebrow raised in a question, waiting for what she had to say.

“You’ve done a remarkable job with the school. You’ve always had a knack for bringing different people together, but I must confess the way you’ve united this school has been masterful. Albus would have been proud.” Her voice had been steady, the sentiment sincere. Slughorn smiled and gave her a wave of thanks, and then he walked out and shut the door behind him.

***

“Teddy!” The stern voice of Andromeda Tonks rang through the large house as she searched for her grandson. She was still a strikingly beautiful woman, reminiscent of the stark good looks that were reflected on her family, including her sisters, Bellatrix and Narcissa. Sirius Black’s “favorite” cousin had withstood the loss of her husband, her daughter and her son-in-law as best as she could. Their deaths at the hands of Voldemort, with the willing assistance of her family had been a trial for her. Still, she’d focused her entire being on raising Teddy to be the man his parents would have expected. Harry, his godfather, and the Weasleys had played a vital part in helping her with that task. But now, as always, Teddy was an eleven year old boy who did not want to do something he found distasteful.

She looked around the large foyer of their house. She’d always intended to move to a smaller dwelling, but could not bring herself to selling the family home. The memories of Nymphadora (she refused to accede to her daughter’s wish to be called “Tonks”) were too strong for her to let go. The problem was that when Teddy didn’t want to be found, there were too many places to name where he could hide. Her eye caught sight of large, brass umbrella stand near the front door and she smiled inwardly.

“Theodore Remus Lupin, stop this nonsense right now.” Miraculously, the umbrella stand began to change its form into the crimson haired vision of her grandson. His cheeks were garishly red, to match his hair which changed color with his moods when he wasn’t thinking. Like his mother, Teddy was a metamorphmagus, a decidedly rare wizard who could change his form at will. For the most part, he was still learning to control his powers and had limited himself to animal forms. Recently, he’d found that he could mimic the shapes of inanimate objects, like that umbrella stand.

“Aw, come on Grams, how did you know it was me?” He was scrunching up his face as he tried to figure out how his grandmother had found him.

“Now Teddy, an umbrella stand is absolutely no good without umbrellas in it and who would want one made of brass? If you put one wet umbrella in there, the rust would be all over the place. Besides,” She gave him a wink. “I’ve never seen a stand with tennis shoes before.”

He shook his head and then realized she was pulling his leg. She strode up and began to fuss with his hair.

“Now come on, it’s time to get you a haircut.” He frowned and tugged at his wildly growing locks that had fallen over his ears and almost to the collar of his shirt.

“Do I have to? Uncle Harry doesn’t seem to get his hair cut all that often.” He stood adamantly, with his hands on his hips.

Andromeda smiled at her grandson and wet her fingers, trying to keep one recalcitrant cowlick to stay down on the top of his head. “When you are the savior of the wizarding world and the head of the Office of Aurors, I’ll consider it. For now, you are going to the barber, young man.”

His scowl deepened as he relented to her argument. With a sigh, he began to tie his shoe as they made preparations to leave. Just before they entered the floo, the doorbell rang, indicating a visitor outside the door. Exasperated at the intrusion, Andromeda went and opened the massive front door. She instantly recognized the man standing outside. He was tall, with a messy mop of ebony hair and a pair of thin, wire rimmed glasses perched in front of a pair of dazzling emerald eyes which danced in merriment. He had a wayward smile as she ushered him inside. He was dressed in comfortable khaki slacks and a navy blue oxford shirt and he embraced Andromeda carefully and kissed her amiably on the cheek.

“Uncle Harry!” Teddy bounded out of the study and hugged his godfather in a smothering embrace. Harry Potter groaned a bit.

“Easy there, you’re going to squeeze all of the air out of me.” Harry smiled at the boy, taking in his godson’s growth. “You behaving all right, rainbow breath?”

Instantly, Teddy’s hair turned a deep shade of red and Harry looked over at Andromeda who rolled her eyes. With a laugh, Harry ruffled Teddy’s unkempt hair, erasing all of his grandmother’s efforts at fixing it.

“If you don’t have any plans, I’d like to take Teddy with me, Andromeda.” Harry looked over at the woman and saw a momentary flicker of panic cross her face.

“Does he have to, Harry? We’ve been able to keep him relatively isolated. This will just expose him to the public.” The worry in Andromeda’s voice was evident, but Harry smiled to reassure her.

“He’ll be fine, Andromeda. The war is over and quite frankly; this is a long time coming. It’s the law and it’ll be for his protection.” She tried to give off a confident look, but the worry lines still pervaded her face.

“Very well, if you think it’s best.”

“I do. Don’t worry. It’ll be fun.” Harry turned to Teddy and gave him a grin. “Let’s go squirt, we’re going on a trip.”

Recognizing that he’d just got out of his haircut, Teddy let out a small, triumphant whoop. Before he could enjoy his victory, his grandmother’s voice echoed in the foyer. “Harry, while you’re out, would you mind taking Teddy by Mr. Castavan’s?”

“The barber?” Harry looked as Andromeda nodded. “Sure thing. His mug does look like it’s a trifle out of control.” He took Teddy by the hand and led him to the floo. Teddy’s hair had turned a decided shade of black as he’d been thwarted, yet again.

***

The main atrium of the Ministry of Magic was a bustle of activity and Teddy clung tight to Harry’s hand for fear of being swept away by the eddying tide of humanity and beings that was whirring around the place. Harry walked with a determination and smiled down at Teddy.

“It looks like everything is pretty much back to normal.” The war with the Confederation of Wizards had been resolved with heavy losses to the wizarding world. Harry still walked with a decided limp from the injuries he’d suffered at the Second Battle of Hastings. Still, he was one of the heroes of the battle and the crowd seemed to part as they walked towards the bank of lifts on the far side of the atrium. Harry waved and acknowledged the greetings that came his way and eventually found his way to the lifts. Pulling Teddy along with him, the entered the first available car and allowed himself to be whisked away towards his destination.

They exited on the Second Level of the Ministry, the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.

“Are we visiting your office, Uncle Harry?” Teddy was excited about visiting the Aurors. He was well known to most of them and he loved reveling in their stories.

“No, we are actually here on business.” Harry counted off the office doors until he came to the one he was looking for. Teddy scanned the brass plate affixed above the door. In simple scrawl, it said “Registration of Magical Abilities.” His hair became a nice shade of lavender as he gave Harry a confused look.

Harry smiled and bent down, bringing face level with Teddy’s. “You’re metamorphmagus, Teddy. We’ve got to register you, so that you’re powers are known to the Ministry.”

“I thought only Animagus had be registered.” Teddy’s voice had a slight tremor, but he held kept up a brave front.

“Any shape shifting ability has to be registered, Teddy. You’re grandmother is afraid that if your name goes into the government register, anyone can find you, but I think it’ll be alright. That way, you’ll be able to use your power at home without setting off the alarms.” Teddy grasped Harry’s hand tightly and allowed himself to be drawn into the office.

A tinny, light voice greeted them as they entered. “Harry, how are you?”

“I’m fine Parvati. I’ve come to register Teddy here as a metamorphmagus.” Parvati Patil stood behind the counter, her almond eyes alit with humor. She smiled down to Teddy, who blushed at the attention.

“That’s splendid. Hello, Teddy! How are you?” She giggled at the boy’s mumbled reply. “This won’t hurt at all. It’s simple, really. Ready?”

Teddy let go of Harry’s hand and stood tall.

“Excellent. Full name?”

“Theodore Remus Lupin.” His voice was firm, especially when he spoke his father’s name.

“Registered ability?”

“Metamorphmagus.” His tone was stronger, more confident.

“Can you please perform one transformation? It doesn’t have to be a full one, just something that shows you can perform a task?”

Teddy thought for a moment and then his face fused itself like a liquid in a mold into the face of a dog, leaving his body and clothes whole.

“Splendid!” Parvati Patil giggled and then finished writing in her ledger. “That’s it! See, it wasn’t painful at all.”

When they exited the office, Teddy let out the breath he’d been seemingly holding for the entire time he’d been in there. Harry chuckled and pat him on the back.

“See, that was painless, wasn’t it?” Teddy nodded and smiled back at Harry.

“Can we go home now?” The relief in Teddy’s voice came back to Harry.

“Well, we’ve got to stop at the barber’s, then we’ll take you back.”

“Do we have to?” Teddy’s pained voice indicated he’d thought he‘d outwitted his godfather and failed.

“Of course, everyone knows that Mr. Castavan’s is right next door to Florean Fortescue’s. What good is a haircut without ice cream after?”

Teddy beamed and followed Harry back to the lifts.

***

Back home, Teddy endured the questioning his grandmother had over his visit to the Ministry. Still not completely convinced that her grandson’s anonymity was fully protected, Andromeda finally relented and the pair sat down for cozy dinner. The summer was just beginning and they were making plans to take a trip with Harry and his family to the shore. Teddy loved the beach and was looking forward to testing out some of his aquatic transformations. Reading his mind, his grandmother began to lecture him on restraining himself from overly exerting himself as he tested out his powers. She’d been through a similar ordeal with Nymphadora and resigned herself as she saw her daughter’s own rebellious streak reflected in her grandson. The peal of a small bell indicated that someone had dropped a letter in the mail shoot.

Teddy bolted from the table and ran for the front door. He’d been waiting for this letter ever since he’d turned eleven. He ran to the door and picked up the tightly sealed letter with the waxed insignia of Hogwarts. His hands shook as he walked back to the dining room and he smiled at his grandmother, who’d placed her hand over her mouth. She’d been anticipating this day with a sense of dread, knowing the letter would mean that Teddy would be going away and she’d be alone.

Teddy tore open the seal and glanced at the letter.

“Theodore Remus Lupin
Tonks’ Estate


Dear Mr. Lupin,

It is with great pleasure that I extend an invitation to attend the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for this upcoming term. Enclosed you will find your list of materials and books that you will need for this school year. First year students are reminded that the retention of personal brooms is prohibited.

Please use the enclosed ticket as your confirmed passage aboard the Hogwarts Express that will depart promptly at 11:00 AM from Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station on September 1st. I look forward to meeting you and again congratulations on your acceptance to Hogwarts.


Sincerely,

Minerva McGonagall
Deputy Headmistress
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry


List of supplies

List of books:

The Standard Book of Spells by Miranda Goshawk
The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection by Quentin Trimble
One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by Phyllida Spore
A History of Magic by Bathilda Bagshot (Revised Edition edited by Xenophilius Lovegood)
Magical Drafts and Potions by Arsenias Jigger
A Beginner’s Guide to Transfiguration by Emeric Switch

You will also need:

One Wand
One Standard Size 2 Pewter Cauldron
One set of brass scales
One set of glass of crystal phials
One kit of basic potion ingredients
One telescope
One set of plain black robes
One plain black hat
One pair of protective gloves
One black winter cloak with silver fastenings
Five sets of uniforms (please ensure all uniforms contain the wearer’s nametag)”



Teddy allowed his breath to finally return. He looked at his grandmother who smiled wistfully and then he ran up the stairs to compose an owl to Harry. As Andromeda Tonks stared at the letter, her sadness bubbling to the surface, Teddy yelled in excitement. Theodore Remus Lupin was going to Hogwarts.


***A/N: This fic is written in parallel to my other fic, so the main historical events will mirror that one. I WILL NOT be writing this with the pace I am writing the other one, so please, bear with me. Also, as with my other fic, I absolutely need feedback on this one so that I can craft the story in a palatable way. I hope you like it.

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My Fanfics:
A History of Magic: Part II - Beyond the Epilogue
Teddy Lupin and the Legacy of the Marauders ; A History of Magic: The Harry Potter Era (on hiatus); You Are Cordially Invited... (First Attempt)
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  #2  
Old January 9th, 2008, 4:23 pm
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USNAGator91  Male.gif USNAGator91 is offline
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Re: Teddy Lupin and the Legacy of the Marauders

Chapter 2 – As the Summer Passes

Once the letter confirming his acceptance to Hogwarts had been received, the anxiety of the passage of the summer became almost overwhelming for Teddy and even more so for Andromeda. Teddy was becoming more and more excited over the prospect of leaving which compounded the ever growing sense of despair for Andromeda. It was the weekend dinners at the Weasleys which helped assuage her growing fears. Andromeda had grown close to Molly Weasley and Petunia Dursley as the three women had gone into business together as wedding and party planners. Summer, obviously, was a busy season for the women and the work helped to divert Andromeda from the prospect of Teddy’s departure for Hogwarts. In addition, the Sunday dinners at the Weasleys introduced another component to the equation, in the form of Victoire Weasley, the fair-haired, precocious daughter of Bill and Fleur Weasley.
Growing up in the Weasley clan, Victoire had assumed many of the traits associated with her Veela mother. She was prim and proper and spent a good amount of time cultivating her image as a lady. If there was one chink in Victoire’s façade, it was her weakness for Teddy. She wasn’t quite old enough to think of him as her “boyfriend”, but the two children were closest in age to each other among the extended Weasley clan and had bonded based on that relationship. Ever since Teddy’s eleventh birthday, she’d felt uneasy that her constant companion would be going away and now, the realization was beginning to hit her. Like Andromeda, Victoire looked upon the end of the summer with a certain amount of sadness.

The summer sun extended its warmth to the people gathered around the double rows of tables that had been set up in the orchard outside the Weasley family home at the Burrow. A few years ago, as Molly Weasley realized that her family had begun to grow up and start building families of their own, leaving her and Arthur alone. For years, the Burrow had been a hub of exciting activity, as could be expected when there were seven children to care for. The death of her son Fred had made the reality of losing this closeness as a family even more stark. In order to help maintain the bonds of family, Molly had instituted the idea of a Sunday dinner, where the extended family, including Teddy and Andromeda, among many others, would be invited to share each other’s company.

Over the years, these gatherings had become an emotional foundation that became the mechanism that allowed the Weasleys and their friends to connect in ways that their hectic daily lives would not allow. For Molly, the dinners were also a way for her to see her growing horde of grandchildren all in one place. Andromeda loved the dinners. She felt completely accepted by the people around the table, and Molly was one who made sure that Andromeda was treated more like a sister than a visiting friend, as both women had the shared reality of loss, both through death and from growth. Of all the people around the table, Andromeda knew that Molly was best suited to guide her through this time, as Molly could relate in many ways to what Andromeda was going through.

For Teddy, the Sunday dinners were exceptional for two very important reasons. First, Ginny Potter had taken it upon herself to teach young Teddy how to fly a broomstick, especially as it related to playing Quidditch. Teddy was a complete Quidditch fanatic, with posters of Oliver Wood and Puddlemere United plastered on his bedroom wall. He was ecstatic to learn that Harry’s wife was an accomplished professional Quidditch player who’d been a champion seeker for the Holyhead Harpies. Ginny’s contacts through her job as the senior Quidditch correspondent for the Daily Prophet had garnered Teddy tickets to matches and even a meeting with his favorite player, Wood. Every Sunday, Ginny and Teddy could be found streaking on brooms at the back of the orchard, using the makeshift pitch Ginny and her brothers had played on when they were young. Teddy was a daredevil, unafraid to try any move that Ginny threw at him. In many ways, his style and demeanor in the air mirrored Ginny’s and the two had become peas in a pod as they streaked through the sky.

The second reason Teddy loved the Sunday dinners was that it provided an opportunity for him to get even with George Weasley. Ever since he was a small boy, George had taken it upon himself to be Teddy’s chief tormenter. For his part, Teddy had deep admiration for George and his partners, Lee Jordan and Dudley Dursley. The three were the innovative minds behind the Weasley’s Wheezes business that specialized in practical jokes, which held a particular appeal to a boy of Teddy’s makeup. Still, getting back at George had become an obsession for Teddy, especially after George had decided to teach Teddy how to play poker, because the boy had not yet learned to control his hair color when his emotions were high.

“There’s no way he can bluff.” George was snickering to Lee as he reached for another roll. Lee shook his head woefully and then glanced at George, whose face was frozen.

“What is it?” Lee stared at his friend carefully. The aroma of burning rubber began to waft across the table. Suddenly, George leapt up from his seat with a yelp and bounded across the orchard, heading for a small fish pond near the perimeter. As he ran, a trail of white smoke emanated from his shoe, which was on fire. Lee watched as George yelled the entire way and then dipped his foot into the pond, while the hiss of steam could be heard. Lee looked around the table and then dipped his head down and looked underneath the white table cloth that hung over the side. He caught a quick flash of pink hair as Teddy exited the other side of the table and laughed to himself. It was a good thing Teddy was going to Hogwarts, because Lee didn’t think that the Burrow would survive the battle of wits that was sure to erupt between Teddy and George.

***

Teddy snickered to himself as he made his way to his favorite stone bench that sat beneath the apple trees of the orchard. In his hand, the charred cinder of a spent matchstick still smoldered from its use on George. Dudley had taught Teddy that sometimes the best pranks had nothing to do with magic and in this case, the self striking match had done its job well. Of course there would be retaliation, but today’s small victory was well worth whatever George could throw at him. He sat down heavily on the bench and allowed himself to smile at the sight of George standing with one leg in the fish pond, howling.

“That wasn’t very polite, Teddy.” The small, lilting voice of Victoire interrupted his reverie. Teddy turned and shrugged his shoulders at the girl with the long blond hair and piercing blue eyes. Victoire stood with her arms crossed, her nose slightly raised as if passing judgment on his juvenile prank. “A real gentlemen doesn’t stoop to such levels.”

Teddy was used to her scolding. For years, they found themselves spending more and more time together mostly because they were the only two children in the Weasley clan that were relatively close in age. The next oldest child was James, Harry’s son, who was still only three. While James absolutely adored Teddy, Victoire was the only person who he could relate to. At first, when she was small, Victoire had been infatuated with him, but as they began to get a little older, they began to be more civil, more friendly. Now, she was visibly displaying her disappointment in his behavior. Yet, Teddy could tell, there was something more behind her stern face.

“Aw, come on, Vee, he’s been hounding me for months and I finally was able to get him back.” He held up the matchstick in triumph.

She huffed and shook her head. “Mother says that a real lady learns to ignore the rudeness of others.”

“Well, as you can see, I’m no lady.” While he talked, his brow was furrowed in concentration and he transformed into a miniature version of George Weasley, in a dress.

One gift that Teddy had was that he could make Victoire laugh. He could make her drop her armor of propriety and she giggled at the sight, despite herself. Quickly, though, she regained her composure.

“You shouldn’t do that, Teddy. Mother says we’re not supposed to do magic ‘cause we’re kids. We’re underage and Grandfather might have to send Uncle Harry’s people after us.” Victoire had a strong sense of right and wrong and was a stickler for the rules.

“Hah! I’m registered now, because I’m going to Hogwarts. Besides, I didn’t perform magic, really, I’m metamorphmagus! I have mad skills.” One of Teddy’s favorite things to do was to go to muggle movie houses with Dudley. Much to Andromeda’s chagrin, some of the colloquialisms of popular culture had begun to rub off on him. Teddy smiled to himself as he congratulated his choice of words, but when he looked at Victoire, he noticed that her eyes were tearing up.

“You okay, Vee? What’s the matter?” He guided her to the bench and bade her to sit.
“I want to go to Hogwarts, too!” She was mad at herself for crying, but the frustration of his leaving was too much for her.

“You know you can’t go, Vee, you’ve got to be eleven!” For someone that was such a proponent for the rules, Teddy was puzzled at her reaction. Why couldn’t she be excited about this, like he was?

“I know, but you’re going and well, I don’t want to be by myself. I’m going to be all alone.” Teddy looked back to where dinner guests were mingling. His hair turned a curious light blue.

“What do you mean, Vee? Look around you. It’s almost impossible to be alone here.” Girls! Why can’t they see the obvious? Teddy watched Victoire’s face and wondered what was going on. It would be so much easier if all girls could be as understanding as his Aunt Ginny.

“That’s not what I mean, Teddy. Who will I talk to? Who will I play with? You’ll be at Hogwarts with all those other kids. What if you forget all about me?” Slowly, understanding dawned on Teddy. His hair turned red then a bright gold, then white, almost the same shade as hers.

“I won’t forget you, Vee, I mean it.” He did mean it and he hoped the seriousness of his voice conveyed the sentiment. “In fact, I’ll write as much as I can. I can bring an owl and I’ll write you and tell you all about it.”

“You promise?” Her eyes were wide with an almost puppy dog quality. When she looked at most of the Weasley men with this expression, her father Bill, Arthur, George, Charlie and Ron especially, they typically melted in complete submission to her will. One thing she liked about Teddy was that her plaintive azure eyes had absolutely no affect on him, yet she was willing to try.

Teddy chuckled merrily. “That was a good one, you almost had me. Of course I promise, I said I’d write didn’t I? Tell you what, we’re going to Diagon Alley tomorrow to get my school supplies. Why don’t we ask your mom if you can come? You can help me pick out an owl and I’ll even let you name it. Okay?”

She smiled and nodded. She stood and the two walked back towards the party. As they neared the gathering, Teddy stopped suddenly and then turned and bolted for the open gate at the far end of the orchard. Before she could say anything, Victoire spotted her Uncle George running at full speed, one foot without a shoe, his toes protruding from a hole burnt in the sock, after the fleet footed (both of Teddy’s feet had shoes on them) boy. In his hands, George carried an old-fashioned, hand cranked fire extinguisher that Arthur had picked up as part of his collection of muggle artifacts.

“It’s not over Teddy! Come back and take your medicine!” George ran in a loping gait, as only a person with one shoe could do.

“George Weasley!” Molly’s voice rang out across the orchard and George stopped and looked at his mother. “What in Merlin’s name are you doing?”

George had a determined look on his face. He pointed the nozzle of the extinguisher at Teddy, who had stopped a fair distance away and was hiding behind a tree. “He started it!”

Molly stared incredulously at her son, who was twice Teddy’s size and more than double his age. “You can’t be serious.”

George straightened his shoulders and looked at his mother seriously. “Mother, this is war.” Then George turned and continued the chase, the sounds of Teddy’s giggling goading him on along the way.

***

The recent war with the Confederation of Wizards, predicated by the plot led by Narcissa Malfoy had left Diagon Alley in ruins. Thanks to the tireless efforts of the Ministry, led by Arthur Weasley and ably assisted by his Exchequer, Dean Thomas, Diagon Alley had roared back to life. The only real change from before had been that Gringott’s had been slowly turned over to the wizards and witches who worked there. The goblins had disappeared after the war and had left the bank to its own devices. The goblins were becoming more and more of a problem, relations between them and the Ministry were at their lowest ebb based on the goblins’ actions during the war and a thaw didn’t seem to be in the near future. Nonetheless, the rest of Diagon Alley was thriving and more businesses had opened shop.

Teddy and Andromeda came through the Leaky Cauldron, on their way to the Alley. Behind the bar, Hannah Abbott, the owner and proprieter was chatting amiably with Neville Longbottom, who was becoming a frequent visitor to the establishment. Teddy nose wrinkled, like he’d inhaled the odor from a sewer as Hannah leaned over the bar and planted a kiss on Neville’s cheek. Neville looked over and spotted Teddy’s expression and laughed.

“Well hello, Teddy. Hello, Andromeda. What brings you down here?” Teddy looked warily at Hannah who was grinning at him as well and then turned to Neville.

“We’re meeting Uncle Harry and we’re picking up my school things.” Teddy was standing tall and spoke the words with confidence.

“That’s splendid! Don’t forget to pick up ‘One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi’ book. I’m sure Herbology will be your favorite class.” Neville was the Herbology professor at Hogwarts.

Teddy doubted that playing with roots and shrubs would be his favorite subject, but Neville had always been nice to him and he was one of Harry’s dearest friends. Plus, it didn’t hurt that he knew some of the professors before he went to the school, so he tried not to show his skepticism.

“We won’t forget. Gran, shouldn’t we be going? Uncle Harry will be waiting for us!” The last thing Teddy wanted to do was keep talking about some exotic fungus. Andromeda nodded and the pair wished Hannah and Neville a good day and then walked into the Alley.

They stood at the entrance to the Alley, taking in the sights and sounds. Here and there other children were being led around to pick up their supplies. Every once in a while, Teddy would notice a child and his obviously muggle parents being led around by a wizard or witch as they ordered their supplies. When muggle children were identified to be a witch or wizard, a staff member from the school would deliver their acceptance letter in person. Another part of the transition process would be for the staff member to guide the parents and their child through Diagon Alley in order to understand the process. Perhaps that was why Neville had been at the Alley. Surely he wasn’t here just to see Hannah? Ick!

“Well, hello Teddy!” Harry had been waiting for them. At his side, Victoire smiled at Teddy in greeting. Harry greeted Andromeda. “Are you ready?”

Teddy nodded and the quartet set about purchasing what he’d need for school. As they passed Eeylop’s Owl Emporium, Harry pulled Teddy back. “Trust me, Teddy. You probably want to leave the owl for last. They can be a little messy. Let’s get your robes first, since you have to get fitted and then we’ll get your books.”

Teddy nodded but then his eyes were drawn to a large storefront with the latest Firebolt Supreme in the window. Quality Quidditch Supplies was bustling with children standing five or six deep to get a glimpse of the wondrous broomstick. Andromeda grasped Teddy by the ear.

“You know you aren’t allowed a personal broomstick, young man. We’re here from for the items on your supply list. There’ll be time enough for Quidditch later.”

Disappointed, Teddy’s hair turned a dark shade of gray, but continued to follow Harry into the crowd. The shopping went relatively smoothly as they gathered what he needed for school. First, he was fitted for a brand new set of dark, ebony robes and five complete sets of school uniforms. Flourish and Blott’s was a mad house, but Dudley wife Beatrice was the senior clerk at the wizarding bookstore and had already set aside the books that he needed. They quickly secured the items that were on his list and began to walk back towards the entrance and the Owl Emporium. They walked into the shop, which had the look of a mad menagerie of feathers and sound. All around, owls sat perched on roosts, out in the open and hooted at each other and at the patrons walking through.

“How do you know what to choose?” Teddy reached a finger up to a small brown owl, which took a quick nip at him. “Uncle Harry, how did you pick your owl?”

Harry ran his fingers through his hair and sighed. “I don’t know, big guy. I was lucky, Hagrid took me here when I picked up Hedwig, so he knew what to look for. Maybe someone can help us.” Harry looked around and waved to a man in a full length leather apron who was standing by the register. The man shuffled over towards them. He was overweight, the strings of his apron straining against the pull of his girth. He was an older man, with a long white beard and long flowing hair. His arms were marked by scars from various nips from the birds he cared for and a series of scars dotted his wrist, obviously from where the talons from his charges had penetrated. He smiled as he recognized Harry and bowed slightly at the neck.

“Is there something I can help you with, Mr. Potter?” He spoke in a whisper, pronouncing the word “you” much like an owl’s “hoot”.

“Yes, my godson needs an owl to take with him to Hogwarts, and we were wondering if you could help us with the selection.” Harry glanced around, his eye stopping on a snowy white owl in the corner. A part of him remembered his own friend, Hedwig, who’d been killed by the dark lord so many years ago.

The shop keeper turned and looked at Teddy, whose hair kept changing as he encountered bird after bird. Raising his eyebrow the man smiled. “Yes, certainly.” He whispered. He watched as Teddy took in the birds in the room. “Like most things in the magical world, the owl complements the owner. It becomes almost an extension of that person.” Harry thought about Hedwig and how right the man was, although he also thought about Pig and what that must mean about Ron, which drew a small smile from him.

The man gave a small hooting call and from high in the rafters, a light “who-ooo-ooo-ooo” sounded. Teddy felt a little disappointed, because the call seemed so timid. The man laughed and held up a scarred, torn finger. “You must never judge an owl by its call. See?”

From the room a massive bird floated down to the man. It was dark gray with bars of light gray and white feathers intermixed with its plumage. The bird was huge, with an open wingspan of almost four feet. It landed lightly on the man’s arm and gratefully accepted a treat from him. Its body was turned towards the man, but it swiveled its head around and focused its bright, yellow eyes on Teddy, who was standing in awe of the magnificent bird. Teddy reached up and nestled the owl under the chin.

“What kind of owl is it?” Teddy’s voice was quiet.

The man smiled. “She is a great gray owl, one of the largest out there. They are gentle and loyal and can fly great distances. What people see on the outside is usually completely different from how gentle they are in the inside. They live for almost fifty years and this one is only three. Muggles call them gray ghost or specter, but this one doesn’t have a name yet. What do you think?”

Teddy walked around the bird and it preened as if it knew it was on display. He looked at Victoire, who was nodding her head vigorously, impressed by the regal stature of the bird. Harry seemed to smile and looked over at Andromeda.

“I don’t know Teddy. Is there a cage large enough for that bird?” Andromeda couldn’t imagine how she’d be able to care for the animal in the two weeks before Teddy was due to leave.

“Oh no ma’am, but these aren’t common barn owls. They are quite timid and will not leave their chosen owner’s side unless told to. The trick is that she must find the boy acceptable.” The man rubbed the top of her beak. “What do you think, young lady? Is this boy the one for you?”

The owl seemed to turn her regal ahead away and lifted her beak in the air. The reaction drew a giggle from Victoire, who admired the sheer propriety of the action. The man laughed and cooed at the owl, then he turned to Teddy.

“She wants a name. If you can come up with a good name for her, I think she’ll choose you.” There was a small twinkle in his eye. Teddy thought hard but was at a loss. He turned to Victoire for help. Victoire allowed a smile cover her lips. Her mother was a huge proponent of education and Victoire was studying Latin, as all young ladies should. She knew immediately what the owl’s name should be.

“Her name is Phasma.” Teddy looked at his friend.

“What does it mean?” Victoire laughed and reached up to stroke the back of the owl.

“It means, ‘ghost’ or ‘spirit’.” The owl let out a soft coo and jumped in the air. Carefully, she alit onto Teddy’s shoulder, mindful to not grip the flesh with her razor sharp talons. The shop keeper nodded in agreement.

“Phasma it is.”

***

Shopping done, the quartet headed for the exit to the Alley. Teddy looked slightly off center with the huge owl perched on his shoulder, but the smile on his face and the color of his hair, dark gray with white flecks, showed his satisfaction with the purchase.

“Signor Harry!” A velvet voice sang in the alley. A tall, voluptuous woman in a white sun dress with a red sash cinched around the middle called out to them. Teddy blushed as he recognized Captain Adelina Baretto, commander of the Ministry ketch, Discooperire. Baretto was a Brazilian, a trusted friend of both Minister of Magic Arthur Weasley and to Harry. Over the years, her ship and her crew of equally exotic women had fought beside Harry on countless adventures, as detailed in the revised History of Magic in the Harry Potter section. She had long flowing black hair and light, brown eyes contrasting with her rich mocha skin. She was tall, with toned, muscular legs, let exceedingly feminine. Teddy had been on an adventure with Captain Baretto and he smiled as she neared them in her unique, exuberant manner.

“Signor Harry, como esta voce?” She leaned forward and kissed Harry on both cheeks, then turned and greeted Andromeda in the same manner. Seeing Teddy, she ruffled some fingers through his hair.

“Que maravilha, Teddy! You’ve grown so tall and handsome, too!” Teddy’s hair turned a deep crimson bordering on purple. Nonplussed, Victoire cleared her throat and extended a dainty hand to the Captain.

“My name is Victoire Marie Weasley, Captain Baretto.” The greeting was accompanied by a slight curtsy.

“It is a pleasure to meet you, mademoiselle. You are Bill Weasley daughter, no?” Victoire nodded slightly, tickled that the beautiful woman knew who she was. “My husband, Raimundo, works with your father at the Gringott’s bank. Your father is so proud of you, and I can see why. Que bonita! You are very beautiful!” A flush of color touched the porcelain skin of Victoire’s cheeks.

Harry chuckled to himself. “What brings you out this way, Adelina?”

Baretto locked her eyes on Harry, her smile at its maximum radiance. “The same as you.” She gestured behind her and waved to two children who were standing to the side. The first was a girl who was the mirror image of Adelina, except her gaze was much more mischievous, like she’d been caught with her hand in the cookie jar and was still going to take her pick of the cookies. The other was a boy, thin and slightly shorter than Teddy. He was shy, holding his head down slightly and as they approached, the girl had to prod him in the back. He had short, raven colored hair and dark skin, like Baretto. When he saw Harry, his eyes lit up and he finally managed a smile.

“Signor Harry, this is my niece, Graciela. She is entering her second year at Hogwarts. Dios mio, Signor Kingsley has said that she is quite a handful.” Kingsley Shacklebolt, the former Minister of Magic was the resident Defense Against the Dark Arts professor at the school. Graciela stepped forward boldly and thrust her hand out. She shook Harry’s hand with a firm grip, confident and assured.

Adelina urged the boy forward. “And this is my son, Carlo. This will be his first year at Hogwarts.” Baretto smiled proudly, and placed a reassuring hand on her son’s back.

Carlo was the first person that Teddy had met that was going to be at Hogwarts with him. His hair turned a distinct shade of yellow. “Me too! I’m Teddy Lupin. We’re going to be in the same year.”

The boy smiled bashfully and shook Teddy’s hand. He looked visibly relieved. “It is kind of exciting, isn’t it?”

Teddy laughed. “You bet. I can’t wait. We’re going to have all kinds of fun. Hey, do you want to share a compartment on the Hogwarts Express? It’ll be nice to actually know someone.”

Baretto’s son was beginning to warm up to Teddy’s infectious enthusiasm. “That would be fun. Sure, why not?”

Teddy was delighted and introduced Carlo to Phasma. So enthralled with making a new friend, someone his age, he didn’t notice the momentary sad expression on Victoire’s face. Nor did he see the sadness in his grandmother’s eyes. For now, he was just happy that he wasn’t going to be alone on this new journey.

Graciela, for her part, mumbled to herself. “Excellent, another minion for my empire.”

Unfortunately for the rebellious girl, her equally strong-willed aunt had heard her. “Graciela! Comportar-se você! Behave yourself! I expect you to have better marks in behavior this year and leave these boys alone. Compreende?”
“Si, titia.” Graciela gave her aunt her most innocent smile, but Captain Adelina Baretto was no fool. Somehow, wherever her headstrong niece went, trouble was sure to follow and now she had Carlo and Teddy with which to plan her mischief. Baretto rolled her eyes and said a silent prayer.



***A/N: Next chapter is the return to Hogwarts. We'll see some familiar faces and some new ones, plus the debut of my own Sorting Hat song. One note, by using some of the same characters from my other fic, I have to still reintroduce them so that folks that haven't read my other fic understand what the context of the character's personalities are. For that reason, at least in the beginning, I'm spending some real estate on descriptions. Hopefully, folks who have read my other fic won't get too bored.

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My Fanfics:
A History of Magic: Part II - Beyond the Epilogue
Teddy Lupin and the Legacy of the Marauders ; A History of Magic: The Harry Potter Era (on hiatus); You Are Cordially Invited... (First Attempt)
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Old January 11th, 2008, 8:08 pm
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Re: Teddy Lupin and the Legacy of the Marauders

Chapter 3 – The Journey Begins

It was a question of perspective really. The days leading up to September 1st passed far too rapidly for Andromeda Tonks, but much too slowly for Teddy. The early dawn light poked through the sheer curtains of his room and he bolted upright and checked his bedside clock. It was 6:00 AM and Teddy was wide awake, the excitement of his new adventure keeping him from wanting to sleep a single second more. Conversely, Andromeda Tonks sat at the kitchen table, sipping on a cup of tea. She’d not been able to sleep at all last night, and she paced throughout the large house, the echoes of her steps reverberating loudly as if to underscore the how lonely the house could be. Part of her reflection centered on Nymphadora, when she was preparing to leave for Hogwarts. Back then, it was a grand adventure and her husband was almost as giddy as her daughter in anticipation. Andromeda remembered how happy she was at her daughter’s departure, how she felt an underlying sense of relief at finally being able to spend some time with Theodore, once their daughter was on her way.

She’d take it back, if she could. In the deep recesses of her heart, a small amount of guilt had built a house for itself because she’d felt relief that her headstrong daughter was going off to school. Now, both her husband and her daughter were gone, and Andromeda lived with the regret she felt on that day, so long ago. He’d be back, she knew that. Holidays and summers, for the next seven years, he’d return home and they’d be a family again, but it would never be the same. She’d raised him. For the past eleven years, it had really had only been the two of them. The problem was, and she knew this from personal experience, once you send a child to Hogwarts, that child never returns. In seven years, the child is of age, and most move on to live their adult lives. It’s a grand adventure if you’re the student as a new and wondrous world is opened to you. They never speak of the parents or the loved ones. Essentially, once you place a child on the Hogwarts Express for the first time, the parents are saying goodbye to that child, forever. How in Merlin’s name do the muggle parents handle it? At least from Andromeda’s point of view, this was life as she knew it, but for muggle parents with newly identified little wizards and witches, do they know what they are doing? Do they know that once their child returns from Hogwarts, that child is gone for good?

That’s what happened with Nymphadora. It was a beautiful day when Theodore and Andromeda brought their daughter to King’s Cross Station. They were confident and proud when they placed her in the compartment and waved madly as they said goodbye. She was gone for seven years and then went right into Auror training, as her skills were in great need. It was a small passage of time before she was dead. A blink of an eye, really, no more than a matter of moments in Andromeda’s mind passed between when she put Nymphadora on the train and when she was burying her daughter alongside her son-in-law. Now, Teddy was leaving. It was a hard day, indeed, for her.

“Grams?” His voice brought her back to reality. She turned and found him standing in the doorway in his Puddlemere United pajamas clinging tightly to his official Oliver Wood action figure mounted on an authentic Firebolt Supreme. He was still a child. Sometimes, she missed Theodore and Nymphadora so much, she lost sight of that. It didn’t help that Teddy was very bright and very sensitive. The circumstances of his life made the boy act so much older than he was, sometimes, but he always managed to go back to being who he was, a playful, little boy.

“You’re up early.” She said and rose from the table to begin putting breakfast together for him.

“Isn’t it great? Today’s the best day in the world! I wonder what House I’ll be in, I wonder if they’ll let me play Quidditch in my first year? What classes will be the most fun?” He barely took a breath as his mind raced from topic to topic.

“That’s nice dear.” She’d grown accustomed to his stream of consciousness ramblings. They were far more sedate than Nymphadora’s very frenetic outbursts. “I wouldn’t worry about all that right now. Just concentrate on what is in front of you, everything else will come in its own good time.”

“Yes, Grams.” He cut himself off and sat at the table. She smiled at him and hummed a tune as she readied his breakfast. Soon, a huge plate of eggs and beans with cuts of sausage was placed in front of him. Only then did he realize that he was hungry and for a few minutes at least, he forgot all about Hogwarts. Andromeda was an excellent cook.

***

The honk of a car horn was quickly followed by the stomping of feet as Teddy flew down the stairs and threw open the door.

“Uncle Harry!” His godfather stood in the door and smiled as he greeted Teddy with his customary hug.

“You ready to go?” Teddy nodded emphatically. “You’ve got everything packed?” Again, Teddy nodded. Harry looked at him skeptically. “Are you absolutely sure you haven’t forgotten anything, Teddy?”

“Come on, Uncle Harry. I’ve checked and rechecked everything. I’m ready.” Teddy gave his godfather a petulant, know-it-all look. Harry simply smiled and then reached into his coat pocket. He pulled a long, slender chestnut box and waved it in front of Teddy.

“I guess I should just take this back to Mr. Ollivander, then.” Teddy’s face dropped and his hair turned bright purple. How could he have forgotten his wand?

The previous year, Harry had embarked on an adventure where he managed to come across a very unique artifact, which Mr. Ollivander incorporated in the wand for Teddy. The result was a splendid wand and Harry carefully opened the box and held it out towards his godson.

“Do you remember what its characteristics are?” Harry asked gently.

Teddy drew the wand from the box and held it in front of him. His voice almost a whisper, he repeated the words that Mr. Ollivander had used, the day the wand chose Teddy. “Teddy Lupin, eleven inches, strong and agile, poplar, werewolf hair.”

Specifically, this werewolf hair was a strand cut from Remus Lupin during one of his transformations. Remus had taken great pains for the hair to be collected, so as to leave something for his son. Now, it was the core of a very special wand, very different from most wands, in that, it could only be for one person, Teddy. Harry smiled at him and reflected on how his own wand had been special. It was imbedded with a phoenix feather from a very specific phoenix, Fawkes. True, Voldemort had been blessed with an identical wand, but Harry related to the feelings that Teddy was having right now. This wand was truly special.

Harry mussed Teddy’s hair and the boy ran to show off his prize to his grandmother. Harry walked into the foyer and started wrestling with the single large trunk that lie there. He maneuvered the luggage out to the car and opened the boot. At first, the space seemed way too small for the large steamer trunk and the one, battered leather suitcase that Teddy was bringing, but Harry had charmed the car and both pieces of luggage fit easily.
The recent war with the Confederation had been terrible, but one of the positive aspects had been a closer relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom. Harry and the American Ambassador had met on several occasions and during one of the many victory parties, had presented Harry with a rather interesting gift. The Ambassador was an aficionado of what were called “muscle cars” in America. These were overpowered, gas-guzzling dreams of muggle ingenuity and the Ambassador wanted to show his appreciation for Harry’s dedication. The gift was a 1969 Pontiac GTO convertible. According to the Ambassador, it had bucket seats, special exterior trim, 350hp 400ci engine with Ram Air and chrome valve covers and air cleaner, dual exhausts, and 3-speed manual transmission with Hurst floor mounted shifter. Harry hadn’t the faintest idea what any of that meant. All he knew was that the car was almost more fun to drive than flying a broom.

It was colored in its original matador red with goldenrod yellow trim which reminded Harry of the Gryffindor House colors. It had rich, tan leather seats and air conditioning, which they wouldn’t need today as Harry had elected to drive with the top down. He slammed down the boot cover and waited for Andromeda and Teddy to make their way outside. Overhead, a shadow passed over the sky as Phasma swooped down from her perch on the second floor and landed softly in the back seat of the car. Soon enough, Teddy was shuttling his grandmother outside. Harry strode to the passenger side, which was on the right side of the car, considering it was made in America and opened the massive door, holding the seat forward to allow Teddy to climb in. He then pushed the seat back and held out his arm to assist Andromeda in entering the car. He shut the door with a flourish and walked around the front of the car.

“All set? Make sure your seat belt is fastened, Teddy.” Verifying that all was secure, Harry turned the key in the ignition. The engine came alive with a throaty roar and Harry gunned the engine. Ostensibly, he told himself that he did that to make sure gasoline was coursing through the valves, but really, it just sounded completely masculine to hear the car sing. Engaging the clutch, he pushed the shifter into first gear and sped off down the road.

As the drove, he could hear Teddy giggling as the wind raced through his hair, which alternated through the entire spectrum of colors. Harry loved taking his family for rides in the car. That summer, they’d moved to a larger house in Godric’s Hollow, near his parents’ house. The rolling countryside of Ottery St. Catchpole afforded him a very pleasurable driving experience and riding in the car wasn’t at all unpleasant, either. Harry could swear that he saw a small grin on Andromeda’s face as her long hair blew in the wind. Arthur Weasley had been beside himself when Harry brought the car home and Harry noticed that the well-respected Minister of Magic had taken to coming up with most obsequious reasons for showing up at his door in order to cajole Harry into taking him for a ride. Harry couldn’t blame him. The only real downside had been that Ron was an atrocious driver, and had not mustered enough skill to pass his licensing test. Still, his friend was still insistent on being allowed to drive.

The ride went smoothly as the day was absolutely gorgeous. The sun beat down without any real venom, the first day of September being mild. The sky was a deep blue without a cloud to be seen and traffic was relatively light for the time of day. Harry turned the car onto York Way and drove down to King’s Cross Station. After a few minutes to find a spot to park, they exited the car and Harry towed Teddy’s trunk into the station. Dudley had rigged a harness which had a roost post that fit snugly onto Teddy’s back. Phasma took her spot on the post, looking more like a feathery back pack than an owl. Still, this manner of carrying the bird was far better than letting her sit on his shoulder, which completely kept Teddy off balance.

For some reason, September 1st seemed to find King’s Cross Station relatively light in muggle traffic, especially the area between Platforms 9 and 10. Andromeda, carrying the small suitcase, grasped Teddy by the hand and led him seemingly towards a stout concrete pillar. In an instant, they both disappeared, enveloped by the barrier that shrouded Platform 9 ¾ from sight. Harry followed right behind them.

When Teddy walked through, he was greeted by the impressive sight of the Hogwarts Express. The platform on this side of the barrier was bustling with activity as Hogwart’s students and their families prepared for departure. Clouds of steam billowed from the large, crimson locomotive and an old conductor meandered through the crowds rendering assistance where needed. Teddy stood still as he took in the sight.

“Hey, Teddy!” Carlo Baretto bounded up to him and clapped him solidly on the back.

“How are you Carlo?” Teddy watched as Adelina and Raimundo Baretto sidled up to them, closely trailed by Graciela.

“Hello Teddy, ah, hello Signor Harry!” Captain Baretto smiled at them and greeted Andromeda warmly.

“Are we going to sit together?” Carlo asked Teddy enthusiastically. Teddy nodded and looked to find the entrance to the train cars.

“I’ve got to go, Grams.” He reached up and gave his grandmother a kiss and a tight embrace. He stopped. “Is everything all right, Grams?” Teddy had noticed that Andromeda’s eyes were welling with tears and she hadn’t spoken in quite some time.

Andromeda offered her grandson a brave smile. “I’m fine Teddy. I’m going to miss you, that’s all.”

“I’ll be home for Christmas, Grams. It’s right around the corner.” Teddy assured her, and gave her another hug.

Harry stood off to the side and probably, for the first time, realized how troubling this was for Andromeda. She was going to be alone. He’d have to talk to Ginny about ways that they could check up on her. He glanced over at Adelina Baretto and noticed that she, too, had tears welling in her eyes. He’d never seen the woman display that type of vulnerability, and he wondered how he’d react when it was time for his kids to leave home.

The goodbyes were complete, just as the conductor called for boarding. Teddy gave a jaunty wave and started pulling his things on board. His efforts were halted by the sound of a voice calling his name.

“Teddy! Wait! Teddy!” He turned and saw Victoire running down the platform, her father Bill trailing behind. She pulled up to him and smiled, slightly out of breath.

“Hey, Vee. What are you doing here?” Teddy handed up his trunk to Carlo, who pulled towards and open compartment.

“I wanted to say goodbye. I won’t see you until the holidays.” Victoire had regained her composure. “And I wanted to give you this.”

She handed him a thin, rectangular box. He looked at her in askance. “What is it?”

“Extra parchment and quills, so that you can write me. You promised you’d write.” Her voice had the faint trace of panic, like he’d forgotten what he’d said.

“I did, and I will. Thanks for this, Vee. I’ll write you tonight, after the sorting, okay?” She nodded and smiled. He waved to her and bounded on the train. Behind her, Andromeda walked up next to where the young girl stood and grasped her hand, kindred spirits in the sadness of watching leave. He cast them one of his patented smiles and gave a jaunty wave. With a whistle and a loud release of steam, the train began to move from the station, taking its charges on their way to Hogwarts.

***

Teddy followed Carlo back towards the compartment that he’d placed their luggage. Graciela was already seated and looking out the window, as they passed through the city proper. Teddy hunched his shoulder and Phasma hopped off her perch and took the seat, nearest the window and began to preen in the late morning sunlight.

“That is one big bird.” Graciela said pointedly once the boys had settled themselves in.

“She’s great, isn’t she?” Teddy tossed a treat that he pulled out of his pocket over to the owl in the corner.

“If a flying elephant is your idea of great, than so be it.” Phasma let out a loud hoot and tilted its beak to the side, studiously ignoring Graciela’s side of the compartment.

“I’ll say one thing for her, though, she has attitude.” Graciela chuckled and then turned as a small tap on the compartment door drew their attention. The door slid open and a small, chestnut haired girl peeked inside.

“May I join you? All the other seats are taken.” Her voice was squeaky and she looked down when she talked, as if anticipating rejection.

“Sure, come on in!” Teddy ignored the dirty look that Graciela gave him. With him and Carlo sitting on the side with Phasma, the only open seat was next to Graciela. The girl overcame her surprise at her success and pulled an ungainly pair of trunks into the space. Carlo and Teddy helped her stow her things and then they sat back down for the ride.

Close up, the girl seemed even frailer than she’d appeared outside the compartment. She had a thin face that was dotted by a sea of freckles and a tiny mouth with narrow lips. Her hair came down to the area between her shoulder blades and she had it braided in one long pony tail and tied together with a dark green ribbon. Her clothes hung on her limply, as if there simply wasn’t enough of the girl to give them shape. If anyone had stopped there, they would have missed her most extraordinary feature. Her eyes were a deep violet and seemed out of place for such a seemingly plain little girl.

Teddy leaned forward and extended his hand. “My name’s Teddy, Teddy Lupin. This is Carlo Baretto and that ray of sunshine in the corner is his cousin, Graciela.”

She took Teddy’s hand and grasped it lightly. She gave a small smile. “I’m Janet Higgs, and this…” She reached into the bag that she’d carried on her shoulder and pulled out a tiny, dark black cat. “This is Pansy.”

The cat looked out at them, its green eyes wide in wonder at its surroundings. Janet dangled her finger in front of the cat’s face and it immediately forgot its fear to start playing with the finger with its front paws.

“That’s a magnificent owl.” Janet reached up and touched Phasma on the her wing.

“Thanks. She picked me.” Teddy beamed at her admiration of Phasma. He turned back towards Janet. “You’re a first year, like me and Carlo, aren’t you?”

“Oh yes. I can’t wait to get there. I can’t wait for the sorting.” She was warming up to the group.

Carlo fidgeted in his seat and shifted the box on his lap. Teddy eyed him curiously and finally broke down. “Carlo, what’s in that box?”

Carlo blushed and smiled. He opened the lid of the box. “It’s my toad, Horatio. Mum got him for me from Brazil. He’s a Cane Toad.”

“Don’t you take that slimy thing out the box, I’m warning you Carlo.” Graciela lifted her legs up onto her seat.

“Don’t be such a baby, Gracie, Horatio’s harmless.” Carlo stroked the tan back of the large amphibian.

“Why Titia let you keep that thing is beyond me.” Graciela glared at Carlo, who shrugged his shoulders and put the lid back on the box.

A voice rang out in the compartment. When Janet had entered, they’d inadvertently left the door ajar and it had slid open during the halting jerks and motion of the train. Outside the cabin, in the passageway, three people who looked to be in their third or fourth years stood, jeeringly outside. They were still wearing their street clothes, but the toughs seemed to fit the mold of what Teddy had heard Ron describe about Slytherins. They were surly and rude. Two of the boys and were large. The one on the left had long, curly black hair that fell about his shoulders. He had a nasty sneer on his face and his black eyes seemed to rove about the room, looking for trouble. The other large boy on the right had dark, ebon skin and short, well trimmed hair. His brown eyes bristled with hate and he looked menacingly at the four people in the room.

The most interesting of the group was the one in the middle. Another boy, he was short, very short for his age. His head barely reached the upper torso of either of his companions. He had coffee colored skin and interesting gray eyes. His hair was combed neatly and his clothes radiated contemporary style. When he spoke, his voice was uneven, like someone was slamming on his foot every three or four words.

“Well, look what we have here. It’s that cow, Grazer. Moo, moo, Grazer.” He laughed and his two companions laughed with him.

Graciela, instead of being intimidated, stood up and stared at the boy in the middle with a vicious grin. “How’s the rash, John? Did it finally go away?”

The boy she called John turned a decided shade of red. “You were lucky you did that at the end of the year, or you’d be sitting detention still.” He entered the room slowly while his boys wedged themselves in as they tried to squeeze in together.

“I’m going to get you back for that, Grazer. You’re going to pay.” He pointed a long, bony finger at Graciela, who smiled sweetly.

“Who, me?” With a quick swipe, Graciela grabbed John’s finger and twisted it, the shock and the pain driving him to his knees. Graciela stood over the boy and nodded up to his friends. “Get something straight, my friend, if these are the only ones you have backing you up, then I’m not sweating you getting back at me.” She released his finger and he scrambled up to his feet. She stood in the center of the cabin, daring the boys to escalate the encounter.

John stood for a moment and contemplated action, but by this time, a small crowd had gathered outside the compartment to watch the action. Teddy, for his part had slowly risen and moved behind Graciela, followed closely by Carlo. He waved his head and the three turned to leave. He stopped just before he left and looked at Graciela one last time.

“Hey Grazer, you ever been mistaken for a boy?” He snickered as his friends laughed.

Graciela smiled a sweet smile and spoke loud enough for the rest of the car to hear. “No, have you?”

The resulting derision from the rest of the crowd hastened the boys’ departure. Graciela watched as they exited the car and then shut the door to the compartment.

“Whew, what was that all about?” Teddy sat down heavily and looked at Graciela.

“Oh them, they’re just bullies. They don’t like a girl besting them at things. They’ve been trying to pick on me since last year. They’re no problem. I can take care of myself.” She sat down once more and looked out the window pensively.

Teddy looked at Carlo. “I bet they were Slytherins. My Uncle Ron says that they pick Slytherins because they’re slow and stupid.”

“That’s not true. My dad was a Slytherin and you have to have a keen mind. I hope I’m a Slytherin.” Janet crossed her arms, her feelings hurt by Teddy’s comments.

“I’m sorry, Janet. I didn’t know. Wait. Your dad? Your dad is Terrence Higgs?” His hair turned a bright shade of light blue and he rifled through his pockets.

“Yes, so?” She eyed him closely.

“I have one of his cards. He played chaser for the Appleby Arrows for a while, until he got hurt against the Wimbourne Wasps.” Teddy was a voracious collector of All-Star Quidditch Cards and he whipped out a thick deck and flipped through until he found one with a light blue border with a silver arrow on the top. “See, here he is. He was pretty good.”

Her hurt seemed to fall away and Janet stared at her father and smiled. “You can keep that one, if you want.” Her eyes widened at the gesture and she smile grew wider. Teddy turned his head down. “Look, Janet, I’m sorry about what I said. I didn’t mean it. Things are different now, and there’s nothing wrong with being a Slytherin. I just hope I can be a Gryffindor.”

“Pshaw!” Graciela looked over from the windows. “You two are so silly. Houses don’t mean anything anymore. You’re in a tizzy about something that makes no sense.”

“What do you mean?” Janet looked at Graciela. “There have always been the four great Houses. The sorting hat is still a rich ceremony.”

Graciela looked at the waif of a girl. “Yes, there are four Houses and yes there is a sorting ceremony, but it isn’t the same. It’s hard to explain. You’ll just have to wait and see for yourselves.” Graciela stood and walked to the door. “I’m hungry. I’m going to see if I find the teacart.”

“Um, Graciela, you want us to come with you?” Teddy’s mind was on the recent encounter with the bullies.

Graciela smiled and placed her hand across the door, barring them from following. “Just take it easy there, rookies. Those boys are not a problem for me. I can take care of myself.” She gave them a wave and headed up the passage.

The three watched her go in silence. Waiting, seemingly until she was out of earshot, Janet leaned forward and whispered. “I don’t care what she says, I still want to be Slytherin.”

Teddy and Carlo nodded. Then Teddy began to work his hands through his deck of Quidditch cards. “Say, do you want to see the one with Aunt Ginny? She was on the Holyhead Harpies!”

The three began to get acquainted as the Hogwarts Express chugged along towards their destination.


***A/N: I'm soooo sorry, there simply was too much in this chapter for me to get to the sorting ceremony. I PROMISE it will be in the next chapter.

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Last edited by USNAGator91; January 11th, 2008 at 8:22 pm.
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Old January 14th, 2008, 9:02 pm
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Re: Teddy Lupin and the Legacy of the Marauders

Chapter 4 – Hogwarts for a New Age

The sun set slowly over the horizon as the Hogwarts Express continued its journey. With the onset of full darkness, the anticipation by the passengers became palpable. Teddy and his new friends donned their black robes and sat talking in excited whispers as the general sense of expectation made them nervous. Graciela had returned and sat with a smug look on her face as the three first year students expounded on their desires of House placement and looked forward to the Sorting. Soon, the loud wheeze of the train’s whistle reached their ears and the prefects were wandering through the cabin, shouting directions.

“Leave your luggage where it is, it’ll be brought up to the school for you! Those of you with owls, take them out of their cages and bring them with you!” Teddy elected to leave Phasma’s harness in his trunk and allowed the large bird to sit atop his shoulder as he followed Carlo and Janet out the compartment door. He became part of the crushing crowd and managed to work his way off the train and join the mass of students waiting on the platform. Over the din of greetings and general milling about as the prefects tried to get everyone going, Teddy heard a familiar voice.

“Firs’ years! Firs’ years over here!” Rubeus Hagrid towered over the covered platform, his voice echoing down the ramp. As one, the first year students began to gravitate towards where he stood.

“Well, what ‘ave you there, Teddy?” Hagrid’s hairy face beamed in amusement as he held out his arm towards Phasma. The fickle owl practically beamed and half hopped off Teddy’s shoulder and came to rest on the half-giant’s over large forearm.

“Tha’ is an impressive bird.” Phasma preened, puffing out her feathers and basking in Hagrid’s admiration. Looking right at the owl, Hagrid cooed and then whispered to the side of Phasma’s head.

“Now, now, pretty lady. There’s a nice owlery at the castle. Jus’ head on tha’ way and make yourself at home, now.” From somewhere, Hagrid pulled out a treat and tossed it in the air, allowing Phasma to snap it with her beak. She hooted softly and then jumped into the air, her massive wings beating at a furious clip, to allow her bulk to rise to a comfortable flying altitude. Soon, she was out of sight and on her way to the castle.

“Good job pickin’ tha’ one out, Teddy. She’s a good one.” Hagrid gave Teddy a wink.

“Thanks, Hagrid. Uncle Harry helped pick her out.” Teddy was grateful for the sight of a familiar face.

“Did ‘e now? A fine judge of owls, Harry is. Anyway, go on now. Start headin’ down that path, I’ll be along shortly.” Hagrid shooed him on and Teddy stopped and looked over at Graciela.

She smiled at him. “Don’t worry about me. I’ll see you after the sorting. I get to ride the carriages this year!” With that, she bounded off and caught up to some other of her classmates.

Teddy looked over at Carlo and Janet, both with the same looks of anxiety. Together, the three started working their way down the path that Hagrid pointed out to them. After a few minutes, the path began to slope downward, and in the darkness, footing was particularly treacherous. Teddy caught himself from falling completely on his face on a couple of occasions, but managed to stay upright and relatively unhurt. The trail worked downward and then made a sharp turn as it neared the bottom. Teddy made the turn and got his first glimpse of his new home.

Amid the oohs and ahs of his fellow students, Teddy stood dumbfounded at the sight. They were at a small landing, on the shores of a serene lake. Across the lake, in the half moon, the spires and walls of Hogwarts rose majestically, its reflection perfect on the surface of the smooth waters. Torches twinkled in the night, like fireflies in formation, marking the windows and entrances of the castle and Teddy felt the breath rush out of him as he contemplated the school.

“No more than four’n a boat, now. You there!” Hagrid pointed to a large boy who seemed to be lost. “Get in wi’ those three there!” The boy followed Hagrid’s hand which had stopped at the boat that Janet, Carlo and Teddy had boarded. He gave a simple shrug of his shoulders and walked towards the boat.

Upon first glance, the boy seemed too big to be a first year, in fact, he was taller than many of the fourth or fifth years and when he kicked his long leg over the side of the boat and entered, the craft dipped low in the water at the sudden shift in the center of gravity. Momentarily taken aback, Teddy gripped the sides of the boat tightly until the boy managed to settle himself down and find a comfortable sitting position inside.

“Right. Everyone in?” Hagrid had managed to board a single boat, which he had to himself. “Good, then. Forward!” As if propelled by some invisible hand, the fleet of boats left the shore as one and floated along the glassy lake, a cool breeze blowing from behind.

Teddy momentarily forgot his awe of the sight and gave their fellow passenger a quick once over. The boy was tall, gangly and not very talkative. His eyes were black and constantly darted from side to side, as if expecting a surprise to pop out at any minute. He had a large, high forehead and a menacing mouth and he slumped forward in his seat, looking like he was going fall forward at any minute. Garnering the courage to speak, obviously as a result of his excitement of the moment, Teddy put forth his hand and smiled.

“I’m Teddy Lupin. What’s your name?” His hand hung out in the air as the boy studied it closely. Then he raised his own big paw and engulfed Teddy’s hand with his own. A gapped tooth smile could be seen in the moonlight and when he spoke, his voice had a high pitched tone and a very slow cadence.

“I’m Lunastus Rookwood. Nice to meet you.” Somewhere in the back of Teddy’s mind, the boy’s name seemed familiar, but he could not quite place it. Noticeably relieved that Lunastus was at least willing to be friendly, Teddy smiled back.

“Nice to meet you, too.” Teddy introduced Janet and Carlo to the boy and the four watched as the boats neared the high, rocky wall below the castle. They passed through a curtain of ivy that masked a cave entrance and floated into a dark tunnel that led to a small, protected harbor. Slowly, the boats beached themselves on a shore covered with sand and pebbles and they exited meekly, congregating around a wide stone stairway which led to a huge, oak door.

“Make way, now.” Hagrid walked amid the students and climbed the stairs to the door. Grasping his large hand into a fist, he pounded three times on the door.

The door swung open and the prim, green-robed figure of Professor McGonagall could be seen as her hawk-like eyes surveyed the students.

“The firs’ years, Professor McGonagall.” Hagrid gave a slight bow with his massive head.

“Thank you, Hagrid, I’ll take it from here. You’d better take your place in the Great Hall.” For a brief moment, Professor McGonagall’s eyes lingered on Teddy and then kept their roving as she led students into a massive entry hall. The din of hundreds of voices could be heard from behind a set of large, oak double doors. McGonagall seemed to ignore the doors and led the students to a small chamber off the main entry hall. The students were crowded close together as they faced her and Teddy could feel Lunastus’ warm breath on his head.

“Welcome to Hogwarts,” said Professor McGonagall. “The start-of-the-term banquet is about to commence, but before you can take your seats in the Great Hall, you will be sorted into houses. I don’t know what you’ve been told and I’m sure a great many of you have an expectation about this process, I must start by saying that this isn’t the Hogwarts your parents’ attended.” She seemed to be speaking directly at him. “When You-Know-Who was finally defeated during the great and terrible battle here at the school, the houses united to face him down. The spirit of that unity was in the finest traditions of the founders, all four of them. That spirit has been infused in how the school now runs. About four years ago, the Headmaster retired the House Cup. Hogwarts no longer serves to divide its students along their character lines because all of us are stronger when we work together across the Houses.”

There were several gasps as the first years were bewildered by what they heard. McGonagall continued, “That is not to say that the Sorting is not special. You will be sorted into houses, each having its own noble traditions and each producing outstanding witches and wizards, however, house points are no longer awarded. The only competition between houses is in Quidditch where the Quidditch Cup is awarded to the house that wins the round robin.” She looked around and saw the disbelief in their faces. “That is not to say that the spirit of friendly competition does not abound. Instead, you will compete as a class. Look around you.” They did, making eye contact with the strangers all around. “Any rule breaking will result in class points being deducted from your class total and any triumphs are awarded to your class total. Triumphs come in a variety of forms, whether distinction in studies or in sports achievement, but the most totals are given when you do something noteworthy for others, without thinking of one’s self first. You are therefore, all in this together and as the first year class, you are at a distinct disadvantage to the older students. Work together regardless of house, and you will find that you can overcome anything. That is the spirit and the legacy of Slytherin, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Gryffindor and their heirs.” This time she made no attempt to hide her gaze into Teddy’s eyes, as if conveying that this legacy also belonged to his parents.

“One last thing, each class is associated with a class mascot, an creature or magical being that will be the name the class is associated with. This year’s seventh years are the Dragons while the second years are the Lions.” She flipped through a large tome. “Let’s see, this year, this year…oh my.” Silently, she berated herself for her outburst and Teddy could see the faint trace of color come to her cheeks. She cleared her throat and closed the book. “Yes, well, your class mascot is the wolf. From now on, you will be known as the Wolves.”

***
Professor McGonagall left them alone as she went to ensure that the Great Hall was ready for the sorting. She’d reminded them to smarten themselves up and after the blind walk down the muddy path, several of the students could see that they needed to dust off a bit.

“What do you think about all that?” Carlo whispered over to Teddy. For his part, Teddy simply shrugged his shoulders and looked at Janet, who seemed noticeably bothered.

“What’s wrong, Janet?” Teddy kept an ear open for McGonagall’s return.

“It’s not fair. My dad has always taught me to work hard to win the House Cup for Slytherin and now it’s impossible.” There were several murmurs of agreement from the group, many having been raised to cherish House over school. Teddy looked around and saw that Lunastus was positively happy at the news.

“What about you Lunastus? What do you think?” Teddy watched as the lumbering boy seemed confused that anyone would ask his opinion and then he found the words, in his own, slow style.

“It’s brilliant. You see, my dad was a Death Eater and a spy in the Ministry. He made our name bad and now, I don’t have to worry about that. If I’m Slytherin, it don’t matter. No offense, Janet. If I’m Hufflepuff, it don’t matter. All that matters is what I can do for the class. Besides, I like wolves.” He grinned again and his response made Teddy see the boy in an entirely new light.

“Lunastus is right. Now, it’s all about us, here, together. Merlin knows we’ll be outnumbered, but if we can stick together, we can make our own legacy, our own history. What do you say?” Many of the voices replied in agreement, and even Janet seemed a bit more mollified. Teddy smiled and listened as McGonagall’s muffled voice rang through the door.

“Come on now, students, it’s time for the sorting, now sit by Houses!” Her command was followed by muffled groans and dozens of shuffling feet as the students, who’d become accustomed to sitting mixed together, saw sitting by house as rather drab, a chore really. After order was established, the door to their chamber was opened and McGonagall was back.

“Let’s go, now. Stay together. It’s time for the Sorting Ceremony. Form a line and follow me.” She led them out of the chamber and through the double doors to the Great Hall. It was large, open room that seemed to open to the night sky. Arrayed in the center were four long tables with thousands and thousands of lit candles suspended in the air. The students were seated at the tables, the house colors flying at the head of each table. At the front of the hall was another long table, running the length of the room where the teachers sat. McGonagall led them down the center aisle amid the snickers of the upper class students who seemed to judging them. She called a halt to the procession.

Silently, she went to the side of the room and then returned with a four-legged stool which she placed at the head of the line of students. On top of the stool, she put a frayed and dirty pointed wizard’s hat. For a few seconds, there was complete silence and Teddy wondered if something was wrong. Then, the hat moved and the lip of its brim began to move, like a mouth and then the hat began to sing:

Oh you may not think me pretty,
But don't judge on what you see,
I'll eat myself if you can find
A smarter hat than me.

You can keep your bowlers black,
Your top hats sleek and tall,
For I'm the Hogwarts Sorting Hat
And I can cap them all.

There's nothing hidden in your head
The Sorting Hat can't see,
So try me on and I will tell you
Where you ought to be.

It matters not in this day and age,
Into which House that you go,
Hogwarts is united like the beginning,
The Houses are one, and our school grows.

I’ll try my best, so why don’t we start from the top.
You may be Slytherin, home to the hero Snape,
Although no one really found out until the end,
The heroic colors of his cape.

You might be Ravenclaw, with wit beyond compare,
Home to heady heroes who answered when there was strife,
Luna Lovegood was among the best there was,
And Nymphadora Tonks gave her life!

You could be Hufflepuff,
Like Cedric Diggory, stalwart and true,
He raised the standard very high,
In the fight against You Know Who!

Then there is mighty Gryffindor,
The House of the brave and strong!
There are too many heroes to name,
But the house of Harry Potter can’t be wrong!

This will be the only time this old hat separates who you are,
Because Hogwarts is a different place,
A school of heroes through and through,
We work and play together at very wizarding pace!

Come one, come all, and listen to my song
My friend, to every rhyme and reason.
A new century has dawned on us,
For every winter, a spring season!

So put me on! Don't be afraid!
And don't get in a flap!
You're in safe hands (though I have none)
For I'm a Thinking Cap!
The room burst into a huge round of applause and Janet leaned close to Teddy. “I still want to be Slytherin and why didn’t the hat mention my dad?” Teddy shrugged his shoulders and watched as McGonagall approached holding a long, rolled parchment.

“When I call your name, you will put on the hat and sit on the stool to be sorted. Aaron, Wesley!” So the age old process began and as the names of the house selections started rolling, the applause began to get louder. Age old traditions died hard, even at Hogwarts and the excitement of the Sorting was still in the air.

“Baretto, Carlo.” Carlo pulled on the hat and sat silently. There was a moment’s pause.

“HUFFLEPUFF!” shouted the hat and Carlo looked visibly confused as he turned to join the Hufflepuff table, amid the cheers.

The names and the sorting continued and Teddy wondered to himself, did it really matter what house he was sorted to?

“Higgs, Janet!” Janet leaped in her shoes and walked unsteadily towards the stool. Pulling on the hat, Teddy swore that she had crossed her fingers and was whispering the word Slytherin. The pause seemed to go on forever and then it happened.

“RAVENCLAW!” Janet’s face seemed even more pale than usual and Teddy’s heart sank for his new friend as he saw her dream dashed. After a few moments, she had not moved from her seat. Teddy walked up and whispered in her ear.

“It’ll be alright, Janet. Remember, you’re a Wolf.” She looked at him with tear-streaked eyes and smiled at him. She removed the hat and walked to the Ravenclaw table, to a smattering of applause.

The names began to roll off…”Hofstra.”…”Ickles”…”Jones”…”Jones”…”Kappa”…”L andon”…”Loundes”.

“Lupin, Theodore!” He jumped at his name and then strode up to the chair. Gamely, he placed the hat on his head and closed his eyes.

A small voice tickled his head. “Oh my, a difficult choice, to be sure. Parents were Gryffindor and Ravenclaw, a fine couple, but you are a different person all together. A faithful friend, a good Hufflepuff candidate and a clever fellow, so Slytherin is a match. You’re brave and smart so what to do, what to do?” The voice murmured a bit. “Well, boy, where do you want to go, where does your heart lie?”

Teddy wondered himself, where should he go? The hat seemed to be giving him a choice. His brain wracked through the choices, and truthfully, he really couldn’t decide. From the outside, the onlookers laughed as his hair changed to the different house colors as he worked his way through the choice. Finally, he made up his mind and thought deeply. The hat paused another moment and then declared its choice.

“GRYFFINDOR!” A tumultuous roar went through the crowd and Teddy waved at the other tables as he made his way to the Gryffindor side. He sat down and sighed heavily, receiving pats on the back.

Teddy watched the sorting progress and waited for the one name he’d wanted to hear. Soon, it came.

“Rookwood, Lunastus!” A silence descended over the room and Teddy looked around as the son of the notorious Death Eater was recognized. For some reason, Teddy’s eyes were drawn to the head table, where Kingsley Shacklebolt sat, his hands in a steeple in front of his face and his eyes narrowed in silent contemplation. Beside Kingsley, a dark haired man with piercing blue eyes watched as Lunastus took his seat. The man had a thin smile on his face and Teddy wondered who he was. The silence seemed deafening and time seemed to drag on as Rookwood sat beneath the hat. Finally, a voice sounded.

“GRYFFINDOR! POSTIVELY GRYFFINDOR!” Gasps filled the room and Rookwood looked pleased with selection. Teddy waved him over, but the applause did not follow the boy. Suddenly, from the head table, Teddy heard clapping. He turned and saw Kingsley and his dinner companion, the dark-haired stranger, both standing and clapping for all they were worth. Teddy joined them and shook hands with Lunastus as he sat down next to him.

The sorting continued until the last name was called and then the students sat down for their welcoming feast. The Gryffindor table was boisterous and loud, but aside from Teddy, most avoided Rookwood as the boy started eating. Teddy decided that he really didn’t care. The thing was, regardless of his parents, Lunastus Rookwood was a Wolf, and right now that’s all that mattered.


***A/N: OK, there it is. You now know about the "new" Hogwarts. I'd really like to hear what you think, because this is a radical change. I'm hoping I can pull it off and we'll see if I can.

HELP! FEEDBACK IS CRITICAL FOR THIS CHAPTER!!!


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Old January 17th, 2008, 3:53 pm
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Re: Teddy Lupin and the Legacy of the Marauders

Chapter 5 – Backlash

As dinner began to wind down and the tables of students began to evolve into a dull roar of conversation, Horace Slughorn slowly rose from his seat at the center of the head table and walked around to stand before the small dais in front of the student body. His mind went back to watching Albus Dumbledore give this speech and even though he’d been Headmaster for what would be his tenth year, he still felt inadequate in standing before the students. For official school functions like this, he’d taken to wearing dark, navy blue robes with a peaked wizard’s cap on his head. His relatively short stature combined with his ample stomach, made him almost two inches too tall from being perfectly round. As he approached the podium, a hush fell over the students.

“Welcome! Welcome returning students and welcome to the new members of the Hogwarts family. I know the changes we have tried to bring to this fine school shock a good many of you. I understand, but we can not afford to be divided! The walls between the Houses made for an environment of hate and distrust and the Dark Lord made his move, provided a way for a great man to fall.” Slughorn paused for a moment and standing in front of the teachers, he could not see how Kingsley’s eyes narrowed at his words. After a moment, Slughorn continued. “Be that as it may, we are a new Hogwarts and I have some announcements. First, our Deputy Headmistress, Professor McGonagall has decided to step down as the Head of House for Gryffindor. In her stead, Professor Neville Longbottom will now be the Head of House for Gryffindor!” Neville rose and bowed his head slightly as shouts and applause rang from the Gryffindor table. Neville caught Teddy’s eyes and smiled, then sat down.

Slughorn continued. “In addition, with Professor Sprout’s decision to take full retirement, a new Head of House for Hufflepuff was needed. I can only think of one person to hold that position. We are fortunate to have among us one of the most accomplished Hufflepuffs in history. I present to you, the new Head of House for Hufflepuff, Professor Kingsley Shacklebolt!” This time, the roar was deafening. Teddy stared at Kingsley, very surprised that the former Minister of Magic had been a Hufflepuff. His feelings must have been visible as Graciela, who was sitting next to him leaned in and whispered in his ears.

“Come on, Teddy. Ernie Macmillan, Susan Bones and Cedric Diggory were Hufflepuffs. They are a solid house.” Teddy nodded and then turned his attention back to Slughorn.

“As for me, I have found that in my advancing years, serving as Headmaster and Potions teacher and Head of House for Slytherin has become very difficult. To that end, I will just stick to being Headmaster. To replace me as Potions teacher and Head of House for Slytherin, we have a new teacher.” He raised his arm and pointed to the tall, dark-haired stranger sitting next to Kingsley. The man rose and smiled as Slughorn called out his name. “May I introduce you to Professor Theodore Nott!”

A smattering of applause went out. For the second time that evening, the surname of a notorious Death Eater rang through the hall as the son of one of the Dark Lord’s minions was introduced to Hogwarts. Kingsley had risen and was clapping enthusiastically. Slowly, the applause from the Slytherin table began to build, joined by the rest of the students in the Great Hall. Soon, it reached a crescendo as Theodore Nott received his welcome.

Slughorn turned once the applause died down and faced the students. “Our groundskeeper, Mr. Filch, asks me to remind students that the use of magic in the hallways between classes is strictly prohibited. Also, whoever paralyzed Cory Oliver to one of the stalls in the second level girls’ bathroom will be caught, even if Moaning Myrtle refuses to testify.” For some reason, Slughorn seemed to be staring at Graciela, who was attempting her best innocent expression.

“This looks to be a grand school year. Prefects, please take charge of your first years and let’s get them settled in.” With that, the students began to shuffle off, the first years being led out the doors by prefects from their houses. Teddy waved over to Carlo, who was heading off towards the kitchens. Janet, still seemingly troubled by her placement, didn’t raise her head when he called out to her. So, with Graciela on one side and Lunastus on the other, Teddy filed off with the other Gryffindor first years. Just as he reached the doors leading out of the Great Hall, a tall, rather thin Ravenclaw boy wearing the badge of Head Boy walked up to him.

“You’re Teddy Lupin, right?” The boy smiled and offered his hand to Teddy.

Subconsciously, Teddy ran his hands through his hair after shaking the boy’s hand. He’d not been concentrating on keeping its color steady and it had run through the prism of colors in reaction to the events in the Hall. “How can you tell?” Teddy smiled sheepishly.

“Just a wild guess.” The boy laughed, setting Teddy immediately at ease. He continued. “I’m Carter Sigismund. My mother works for Harry Potter.”

“You’re Leonora’s son!” Teddy spied the badge once again. “You’re Head Boy?”

Carter smiled and nodded. “Yes sir. I just wanted to introduce myself. My mother asked to look out for you. If you need anything, just ask, okay?” Teddy nodded and then Carter drew closer to him. “Look Teddy. You’re going to have a House meeting after you find your rooms. Listen to the seventh years, okay? It’s important. If you have any questions about what you hear, don’t hesitate to ask me. Now, get going, you don’t want to miss what the password is.”

Puzzled by what Carter had to say, Teddy ran up to where Lunastus and Graciela were waiting for him. They brought up the rear of the rest of the first years who followed the prefect up the moving staircases to the seventh level. Soon, they were stopped in front of a painting of fat lady in a pink dress. She stared at them haughtily and the broke into a round of giggles. The girl prefect snorted and then spoke to the rest of the group.

“This is the fat lady. She is the keeper of the entrance to our common area. You must know the password to enter, so don’t forget it. Right now the password is ‘valorous’. Everyone got that?” She was met by head nods and the frame on which the painting hung, swung open to reveal a round tunnel. The newly appointed Gryffindors followed their prefects into the opening. Once they navigated the tunnel, they found themselves in the comfortable environs of the Gryffindor common room. All around, the upper classes were congregated, sitting in chairs or simply standing. An older girl with brown hair stepped forward. She addressed the female prefect.

“Laina, you and Thomas hurry with showing the newbies their rooms and then get them back here, straightaway.” She turned and faced the curious first years. “My name is Deanna Odom. I’m one of the seventh years. Laina and Thomas will show you to your rooms, but don’t get comfortable. Once you see your dormitories, get back down to the common room. Everyone got it?” They nodded and Deanna looked over to the two prefects, who began to separate the first years by gender and then lead them up through separate passageways to their dormitories.

Teddy and Lunastus were led to a round room near where the rest of the first year dormitories could be found. In the room were five, four-poster beds, each with dingy scarlet curtains hanging from the bed’s frame. At the foot of one of the beds, Teddy found his trunk and saw his robes hanging in a cabinet adjacent to the bed. Lunastus’ bed was right next to his and three other boys soon joined them, taking up the beds nearby.

Teddy approached the boy standing near the bed next to his, opposite of Lunastus. “Hi, I’m Teddy Lupin.”

The boy was of medium height and build. He had reddish-blonde hair that was closely cropped into a flat top and an easy smile. “I’m Martin Peake, from Norfolk.” Martin looked around. “This is amazing. I do still not believe all this. My parents and I only met Professor Slughorn a couple of months ago, but to actually be here. It’s unreal.”

Obviously muggle born and unaware of the history of Rookwood’s name, Martin had no problem reaching out and shaking the large boy’s hand. The other two boys in the room were polite to Lunastus, but it was readily apparent that they knew who Lunastus’ father had been. Still, they had no problem with the introductions.

One, whose bed was next to Lunastus, was almost as tall as Rookwood, but thinner, frailer. Nonetheless, his grip was firm. “I’m Alan Bass, from Tinworth. My parents own a shop in Vendira Alley. We sell cauldrons and potions supplies.”

“That’ll come in handy, someone who knows potions, that is.” Teddy smiled again and faced the last boy of their dorm. He was the smallest of the five, looking almost two years younger than the rest. He’d been quiet up to this point and Teddy thought his nervousness around Lunastus was more due to their size disparity than any real fear of the larger boy’s past. Teddy stretched out his hand. “I’m Teddy.”

The boy carefully took Teddy’s hand and gave a weak squeeze. Before he could speak, a sneeze escaped from his face and he pulled out an embroidered handkerchief and blew his nose soundly. “There is a lot of dust in here, isn’t there?” He sniffed rather pointedly and wiped an imaginary mote of dirt off his shoulder. “I’m Richard Leveille, from London.”

“Nice to meet you Richard.” Teddy looked at the little boy carefully and for the umpteenth time, wondered if the sorting had meant anything. It certainly seemed that what had made a Gryffindor in his father’s time seemed to have changed.

“Hey, look at this!” Martin had wandered towards the door to the staircase that led down to the common room. On the back of the door was a battered, wooden plank. The plank was held to the door by an old rope. Carefully, Martin flipped the sign over and studied the back. “Someone carved some letters on it.”

“What’s it say?” Alan walked over, followed by everyone save Richard who was spraying disinfectant he’d pulled from his trunk, on the curtains hanging over his bed.

Martin read aloud. “Scalawags Begone! This be the Marauders’ Den!”

“What? What does it say?” Teddy shouldered his way in front of the others and grasped the sign. Martin had been right. Teddy turned and studied the room. “The Marauders’ Den.” He laughed to himself, much to the puzzlement of his new dorm mates. “This is perfect.” Before Teddy could explain himself, the male prefect, Thomas, poked his head in the room and beckoned them to get back down to the common room.

With a sigh, Teddy replaced the sign on the back of the door, with words facing out. Then, he led his classmates onto the staircase and out of the Marauders’ Den.

***

A quiet murmuring had descended over the collected Gryffindors as the first years filed into the room. Deanna Odom stood in front of the massive fireplace and held her hands on her hips as the last of the new students found places to stand. After everyone had been assembled, she held up her hands for quiet.

“I wanted to talk to you first years before our new Head of House decided to take a peek in at us.” She looked at each of the first years somberly. “What you heard about the new school culture can be confusing. Why go through the sorting if it didn’t mean anything, really? What would keep the upper classes here from picking on you first years just to get points?” Her words were met by several head nods. Teddy looked over at Graciela, whose eyes were focused on Deanna, hanging on every word.

“The point is, we understand why the Headmaster has done this, but that doesn’t mean we agree with it. Merlin knows that life here leading up to the Battle of Hogwarts was hard. They were dark times indeed. Students and teachers died as a result and that bloodshed was helped by the divisions among the houses, but this is not the answer.” Teddy felt on edge, the same feeling he would get when he was doing something wrong and he knew it. “The seventh years got together at the end of last year and decided that we’d had enough of this new system. The Head Boy came up with a plan that we agreed with and have decided to follow. The administration may have retired the House Cup, but it is not dead. We, the students of Hogwarts, have decided to resurrect it. As of now, this second, we are competing with the other houses for house points.”

“How does it work?” Amazingly, Teddy looked around for the first year that’d the courage to speak up in light of the news. He was shocked when he realized, he was the one to ask the question.

“The system we have is pretty simple. Quidditch matches count a lot towards the overall total. But we have a points system for obvious wins in competition with the other houses.” She pointed at the first years. “You are still taking classes in conjunction with another house, so grades will count towards points. The hidden factor is winning the less than obvious competitions. One upping someone from another house counts, and losing a gag or a prank to a member of the other house counts. However, the most important thing is that none of the teachers find out.”

Teddy thought for a moment and on the surface, it seemed like a good idea, but then for some unexplained reason, his mind went to George and the idea of gags or pranks. “Isn’t there a chance that a dispute will arise from a disagreement as to who one something? Won’t that cause a problem which will lead to someone getting hurt?”

“Teddy Lupin, right?” He nodded. “You’re right, but there’s no other way. We want Hogwarts to be united, and we are. All of us are united in the idea that inter-house competition is healthy and necessary. Look, everyone, the houses didn’t become divided because of something inherently wrong with our system. They became divided because of what was happening on the outside. The pure-blood rubbish, the dark lord: All these led to the animosity that sprang up, especially between Gryffindor and Slytherin. You had the children of the Order of the Phoenix on one side and the children of the filthy Death Eaters in Slytherin. Oh, no offense, Rookwood.”

Lunastus waved his hand. “None taken.”

Deanna smiled at him and continued. “The point is that society was divided, so the houses were divided. Our society is more united, so the school is united, exclusive of the houses. What helped make Hogwarts strong was the competition between the houses, based on our traits and characteristics. There are good people in Slytherin. I’m even dating one, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to beat them, and he wants to beat Gryffindor. It’s what makes us unique that helps drive us together. Any other questions?” There were none. “Good, remember this talk and keep it to yourselves.”

The crowd began to disperse amid a cacophony of sound as they talked about what they’d heard. This had been news to everyone save the sixth and seventh years and an excited buzz was rippling through the room. Teddy walked up to Graciela.

“What do you think?” He asked.

“This could work, if done properly, but we’re relying on the ability to determine a point versus another point. This could get ugly.” Her mind wandered to her antagonists from the train. John Marshall was a Hufflepuff while Casey Fleming and Cory Oliver were Slytherins. She was already planning a way to get points, but also knew they’d never acknowledge the wins without obvious proof. She also saw a lot of detentions in her future.

Teddy nodded and started walking for the boy’s dormitory entrance. For a second, he thought he saw some movement near the entrance to the tunnel leading back to the school. The flicker disappeared and Teddy decided he’d been seeing things. Instead, he followed Lunastus and Martin up the stairs, intent on exploring the Marauders’ Den further.

***
“Well?” Kingsley was sitting at his desk in his office. He looked up as Neville walked in and joined Nott and Flitwick in chairs in front of Kingsley’s desk.

“It was like the rest. Part of the unity of the school is that all of the Houses have collectively decided to resist our Headmaster’s plan. The Gryffindors are in as well.” Neville sighed. “I have to say, Teddy surprised me. He picked up immediately on the potential for harm and escalation based on what they are planning to do.”

“I can’t say that I blame him. Still, the real question is what do we do?” Professor Flitwick’s squeaky voice filtered through the room.

“That is the question, isn’t it?” Nott spoke for the first time. “As I see it, we have three choices. We could actively move to stop it, which knowing children would increase their resistance. We could ignore it, in which case our concerns about escalation would follow. Or…” Nott looked over at Kingsley, who nodded slowly after a few moments of reflection.

“Right!” Kingsley stood and started walking for the door. He paused and looked back at his colleagues. His smooth, silky voice drifted through room in an earthy bass. “Well, are you coming with me?”

They scrambled up and followed him out the door.

***

“Preposterous! I’ll put a stop this nonsense right away!” Slughorn’s face was red and he almost choked on his words.

“Horace, stop and think, please?” Kingsley’s voice seemed to soothe the Headmaster. Slughorn settled back in his chair.

“I won’t have us become the way we were, Kingsley. It cost us too much. It brought too much pain.” Slughorn’s face fell as the memories from the past flooded through him.

“I know you partially blame the house system on Albus’ death, Horace. I know you feel that if your system were in place then, the Slytherins, your house, wouldn’t have been a fertile recruiting ground for the Dark Lord. But Horace, you can’t change the past.” Kingsley stood and paced the room.

“The kids seem to be more intuitive than we are. The House Cup and the Sorting didn’t make divided, what was going on in our society, on the outside is what divided us and what brought them together.” Kingsley’s brain was working and he shared a glance with Nott who seemed to nod imperceptibly.

“We need the House Cup, Horace. It’s a tradition that helps provide the students with an identity and strengthens bonds throughout. If you are looking to draw the school together, then we should do what was done to unite them before.” Kingsley stopped and stared at the Headmaster.

“What, resurrect the Dark Lord and get some of them killed?” Kingsley shot the Headmaster an angry stare.
Before Kingsley could say something that he would regret, Neville spoke up. “Not exactly, Headmaster. What we need is something external to draw them together while keeping the sanctity of the inter-House competition.”

Horace turned to Neville. “And how do you propose to do that?”

This time Nott spoke up. “Inter-school rivalries. We need competitions with other schools, Horace.”

“Hold another Tri-Wizard Tournament?” The anxiety in Slughorn’s voice had lessened, replaced by careful contemplation.

“Possibly, maybe later. We’re thinking smaller to begin with. Quidditch tournaments or dueling tournaments; anything that requires the members of the houses to root for Hogwarts.” Kingsley could see that Slugworth was considering the plan.

Horace turned and faced the portrait behind him. “What do you think, Albus?”

“I think you’ve been holding on to the events of my death for far too long, old friend.” The smiling image of Albus Dumbledore tried to reassure the Headmaster.

“I didn’t want the rivalries to turn into hate. I didn’t want Slytherin to be known as the bad house. I wanted to make it up to you, Albus.” Horace’s shoulders slumped down and the kindly face of Dumbledore nodded at him.

“You have, Horace, in spades. These are children. They need to understand winning and losing. We can’t force them to like each other or even to respect each other. They need to learn that for themselves, much in the way the founders had to learn it about each other. That’s the real reason for the House Cup, Horace, so that different people with different abilities learn to accept and respect each other based on winning and losing. It was that way with our founders and it is that way in life.” Dumbledore watched as Slughorn resolved himself on a course of action.

Slowly, he reached behind him and extracted a rubber tube capped by an inverted metal funnel. “Could you ask Professor McGonagall to join me in my office?” A muffled voice responded in acknowledgement. After a few minutes, Professor McGonagall entered the room and nodded to the rest of her colleagues.

“Minerva, I want you to tear down the class points indicators and put the House points glasses back up. I’ll need a few minutes at breakfast, we’re reviving the House Cup.” McGonagall looked around the room and then allowed a small smile creased her normally severe face.

“I will see to it, Horace. May I ask what changed your mind? I thought you were trying to promote unity with your program.” She watched as Slughorn chuckled and pulled out a bottle of aged mead and six glasses.

“It would appear that I have succeeded in promoting unity.” She gave him a questioning look. “The students had united to rise in insurrection unless we went back to the House Cup system.”

He poured each of his teachers a glass of mead. He raised his glass to the portrait of Albus Dumbledore who nodded back and then toasted his teachers. “To Hogwarts!”

They repeated his words and then they drank back the sweet liquor. Slugworth drained his glass and placed it on his desk. “So, Kingsley. Theodore. Who should we challenge to a competition?”


***A/N: As you noticed, I've decided to bring back the House Cup for several reasons. A lot had to do with the feedback, to be sure, but mostly I was not comfortable, myself, with the change. It seemed like change for the sake of change, and I really didn't have a good idea what the alternative would be. Also, the changes seemed to be distracting, both for me and the readers and I have a plan for this story which made the changes at Hogwarts minor to what I want to do. I decided to get out quickly, based on good advice from some of my friends (Thanks to vigneshnimbus, GIG, CYB, Miggy-A and D-Muggle). Now we can get back to Teddy.

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My Fanfics:
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Teddy Lupin and the Legacy of the Marauders ; A History of Magic: The Harry Potter Era (on hiatus); You Are Cordially Invited... (First Attempt)
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Old January 18th, 2008, 7:53 pm
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Re: Teddy Lupin and the Legacy of the Marauders

Chapter 6 – Freedom of Information Act

Just outside Tinworth, a predominantly wizarding community located in Cornwall on the southwest tip of England, there is a lonely stretch of shoreline dominated by high, peaking cliffs where the waves of the Atlantic Ocean can be heard in the silence of the isolated landscape. On one particular finger of land, high above the roaring seas, a small, quaint cottage sat with a breathtaking view of the sea and where the sound of the waves emanated throughout the house. Shell Cottage was home to a small family of wizards, a mother, a father and a small, eight year old girl, who was walking the perimeter of the garden in the back of the house.

Victoire Weasley was wearing a pale green dress with a matching pair of comfortable leather shoes. Over her dress, she’d donned an off white apron with embroidered roses on the pockets. She carefully made her way to the end of the garden, her platinum blonde hair flowing in the strong sea breeze as the fall wind off the ocean tried to drive the last remnants of summer away. In her hands, she carried a bundle of daisies she’d picked from a box in the front of her parents’ house. She hummed an old French tune to herself, something she’d picked up from her mother’s father during her many visits to their home in the south of France.

She came to a stop at a small mound of red earth, which looked like it had been carefully tended for quite some time. The grass around the mound had been carefully cleared and a white tombstone set at the head of the grave. Carefully, Victoire laid out a small blanket on the side of the mound and daintily kneeled beside the grave. She gently placed the fresh daisies atop the acme of the mound of earth and then began to pull the weeds that had popped up through the earth, marring the pristine resting place of a dear family friend. Every so often, Victoire would stop and stare at the tombstone, and its simple, heartfelt inscription.

“HERE LIES DOBBY, A FREE ELF”

Victoire never tired of the story and she often prodded her parents to tell her again and again of how the house-elf had defied his own masters and at the cost of his own life, had made it possible for her Uncle Harry, her Uncle Ron and her Aunt Hermione to survive the clutches of the Dark Lord. On special occasions, when Harry was around, she often pressed him to tell her about Dobby. His way of telling it was so beautiful, so raw, that even though she’d heard it before, the story still brought tears to her eyes. So, she’d resolved herself to caring for Dobby’s final resting place. Every week, she’d bring fresh flowers and would clear the windswept detritus that gathered around the grave, ensuring that the house elf had a peaceful rest.

Her chore soon done, she stood and collected her blanket. She folded it carefully and held over her outstretched arm. It was only a few steps to a breathtaking overlook so she walked over and gazed out to the deep blue ocean. The sound of the waves reached her ears and she marveled at the white caps out to sea. A phalanx of sea gulls fought the air currents above, their exhaustive movements barely keeping them in place against the strong wind. Momentarily, a large figure easily cut through the air, its wings beating effortlessly as it made its way towards her home. A smile came over her and she turned to run back to the cottage. As soon as she started running, her sense of propriety overtook her and she slowed down to a leisurely pace. A lady never runs or acts desperate, she thought to herself and Victoire Weasley was definitely a lady.

She reached the cottage and walked in the back door into the modest kitchen. The house was small, with three small bedrooms on the second floor and only a kitchen and a living room on the main floor.

“Hello, Mama.” Victoire tried to keep the edge of excitement from her voice while she greeted her mother Fleur. “She is starting to show, isn’t she?”

Fleur was standing at the kitchen sink, also wearing an apron which did little to hide the small bulge in her stomach. She laughed at her daughter.

“Why do you inseest on calling zis one ‘she’, Victoire?” Fleur dried her hands and smiled at her daughter.

“I just know, besides that’s what Rose said and she hasn’t been wrong yet.” At one of the last Weasley family gatherings, Hermione had regaled the family with the story of how her three year old daughter had predicted that her unborn child would be a boy, and sure enough, young Hugo Weasley was born a few days later. Young Rose had taken to referring to the bundle of joy in Fleur’s stomach as “she”.

Fleur laughed again and looked out the front window. “It looks like that ‘uge bird belonging to Teddy is here. It looks like he sent you a letter.”

“Oh really? Imagine that.” Victoire feigned indifference and Fleur smiled, knowing her daughter was dying to run outside and tear open the letter.

“Well, if you are not interested, I will just have to go out and read it myself. After all, poor Teddy is by himself at Hogwarts, and I would not want him to think we were rude.” Fleur pretended to head for the door.

“Wait, Mama, you shouldn’t be exerting yourself. I was going outside to water the daisies, so I’ll just check into it myself, since I’ll be out there anyway.” Victoire walked rapidly to the door.

“Well, if it’s not too much trouble, cher.” Fleur was sure that Victoire hadn’t even heard her.

Once the door was shut behind her, Victoire abandoned all pretenses and ran to the gate of the white picket fence that marked the boundary of their property. Phasma sat perched on the fence, right near the gate and hooted merrily as she came down the flagstone path. Victoire reached into the pocket of her apron and pulled out a treat for the owl and then gently tugged the wrapped letter affixed to her leg. Her prize secure, the little girl walked to the porch and sat on the bench-like swing, her legs dangling daintily over the edge as she tore open the seal on the letter. The sound of the surf and the cry of the seagulls muted themselves as she read Teddy’s letter.

“Vee,

I’m sorry I wasn’t able to write you my first night here, but it was kind of crazy here. I was sorted into Gryffindor, but Carlo got Hufflepuff. At first, it wasn’t supposed to matter, because they had done away with the House Cup and we were divided by classes, but when we got to our common area, the upper classes were setting up something that would let us compete with the other Houses. It sounded exciting, but it looked like it would be trouble. Then this morning, Professor Slughorn told us he was bringing back the House Cup. There was a lot of clapping and then Professor McGonagall showed us the new House points glasses. It was pretty fun!

The first day of classes was fun. Most of my classes are with the Slytherins, but I have Defense Against the Dark Arts with Hufflepuff and Carlo is in my class! Professor Shacklebolt is all business in class, but he let’s us try things, so that’s okay. History of Magic is so boring and I don’t know how I’m able to stay awake. Professor Binns is so BORING! I have Astronomy tonight, but we don’t have to go until midnight. My Gran NEVER let me stay up until midnight.

Tomorrow, I have Potions with Professor Nott. Did you know his dad was a Death Eater? Professor Shacklebolt says he’s a good guy, and from what I’ve seen, he’s okay. He’s the Head of House for Slytherin. Speaking of which, guess who our Head of House is? Professor McGonagall stepped down so they gave it to Uncle Neville, I mean, Professor Longbottom. I have his Herbology class tomorrow, too. I hope it isn’t too boring. I’d hate for him to tell Uncle Harry that I’m not good with weeds! I’ve got one other class tomorrow. It’s called ‘War Studies’. They haven’t said who the teacher is, but we have to take it with Slytherin.

Graciela has been kind of weird. She doesn’t get along with these older boys who always want to pick on her, but she’s always trying to get them back. I don’t blame her, they can be right gits, but with the House Cup back, and them belonging to other Houses, I’m trying to keep her under control. But, she is Captain Baretto’s niece, so I think that may be a hard thing to do.

My dormitory mates are a group of good guys. So far my best mate is Lunastus Rookwood. His dad was a Death Eater, too! Don’t worry though, he’s a solid guy. He’s big too! No one seems to want to cross him and he’s always looking out for me. This morning some older Ravenclaws tried to pick on me, but Lunastus just stared at them and they ran away. That was good for me, because I’m trying to keep my metamorphmagus powers secret, for now. The other boys in the dormitory are keen. Alan Bass is from Tinworth. He’s pureblood, but he doesn’t make a big deal about it. Martin Peake is a muggle and a funny person. We’re going to get into some trouble together, I think. Last is Richard Leveille. He’s an odd one. His mother is a muggle, and he has some strange habits. He’s always wiping things down and he sneezes a lot. He’s not big on shaking hands and it looks like a strong Shell Cottage wind would blow him down!

Well, I should be going. I hope they let me try out for Quidditch. Our team captain is a girl named Deanna Odom. Her ‘boyfriend’ is the Slytherin team captain. Anyway, I can’t wait to try out. They’re talking about us playing other schools in duel tournaments or Quidditch. All kinds of names are being thrown out. Beauxbaton and Durmstrang were mentioned, but we already do the Triwizard with them. There’s also the Witches’ School of Salem from America and something called Ateneu Magica from somewhere in South America, Brazil, I think. Still, nothing is set, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed.

Rats! I’ve got to get moving. Professor Sinistra wants us to meet on the lawn tonight and Richard can’t find his allergy mask. He keeps complaining about something called ‘dander’, whatever that is, but we’d better help him find it or he’ll be completely out of sorts and I don’t want him costing us points on the first day of classes.

Take care and I’ll write you soon!

Teddy

P.S. Don’t feed Phasma too many treats. They seem to give her gas.”



Victoire carefully folded the letter and placed it in her apron pocket. She looked out at the fence and smiled at the massive gray owl.

“Can you wait for a few minutes, Phasma? I want to send a response.” The owl cooed and Victoire rose from the swing and walked into the house.

Without a word to her mother, she went upstairs to her room. In the corner was a small, roll top desk. Inside the desk was a cherry box inlaid with mother of pearl and silver. Inside, the box was lined with soft velvet and only contained a couple of Teddy’s All Star Quidditch Legends collector’s cards. One was of her Aunt Ginny from her days with the Holyhead Harpies and one was of her Uncle Harry from his time with Gryffindor. She eased Teddy’s letter from her pocket and slid it into the box for safe keeping. Gently, she eased the lid shut and replaced it in its secure place on her desk. Then, she pulled out a sheet of lilac scented parchment and began to compose her response to Teddy.

***

The second level of the Ministry of Magic held the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. The woman exited the lift and deftly avoided staring down the hallway towards the Office of Aurors. While she had every right to be there, she didn’t want to draw unwanted attention to herself as she went about her business. She was dressed less garishly than usual. In fact, those who knew her would say she was muted in her attire. She wore a pair of navy blue slacks with black high heels with a matching blue waistcoat and a white blouse underneath, the picture professionalism. Two articles of clothing distinguished her with the casual observer. One, she had a pair of cats eye spectacles suspended from a silver chain with the bridge of the glasses perched on the end of her hooked nose. Secondly, she wore a navy blue bandanna, tightly wound around her forehead, almost like a turban, which covered her hair and the skin of her front lobe.

She looked at the plaques above the doors until she spied the one reading “Registration of Magical Abilities.” With another quick glance around her, the woman pushed open the door and stepped in. Parvati Patil looked up from her desk and rose to greet the person who entered.

“Hello. Can I help you? Oh, it’s you.” The bile in Parvati’s voice ran contrary to her normal soft lilt. “What are you doing here? Have you decided to come clean about being an animagus?”

Rita Skeeter’s face flushed for a second before the veteran reporter regained her composure. “Ah, Ms. Patil. Parvati, isn’t it?”

Parvait nodded. “What do you want, Ms. Skeeter?”

“Is it true you’re dating Seamus Finnegan, the chief of security at Gringott’s Bank?” Skeeter’s voice was syrupy.

“I’m not dating him, not that it’s any of your business.” Parvati was beginning to get annoyed and her finger dangled on a lever that would summon a Hit Team member to throw the woman out.

“Pity. That must be your sister, it’s so hard to tell you apart.” Skeeter glanced around the room and reached for the large registration ledger in the center of the reception desk.

Parvati clamped her hand down on the book’s cover. “What are doing here, Ms. Skeeter?”

“I’m a member of the press, dearie. The law says I can view any official document I want.” When Arthur Weasley had become Minister of Magic, one of his many reforms was to pass a sunshine law, allowing the press access to government records to help eliminate the graft in the system.

Parvati was not persuaded. “I know for a fact, Rita, that the Daily Prophet sacked you after your last attempt to defame the Weasleys and no one, not even the Quibbler will take your material. Judging from your turban there, it looks like you should remember what happened as well. So, unless you can produce some credentials, I’m going to have you removed.”

Unconsciously, Rita’s hand immediately went to her cloth-covered forehead. A few years back, she’d attempted to expose the Weasley’s government corruption, but had run afoul of one Ginny Weasley Potter. The result was that her false story had been uncovered and her reputation ruined. On a personal note, Ginny had managed to hit her with a curse that had caused her hair to recede from her forehead and the word “LIAR” was etched on her pate in purple acne. Rita became incensed at Parvati’s temerity, but slowly, her story more important than revenge, she calmed herself and reached into her beaded purse. She pulled out a small press card and handed it to Parvati.

“Truth and Consequences? I’ve never heard of it.” Parvati handed back the official looking card.

“It’s my own magazine, darling. I made a lot of money with my interview with Harry Potter and my biography of Albus Dumbledore, the paperback is in its fifth printing. I’ve started my own little magazine, and I wish to peruse the Registration book for background. You’ve seen my credentials, should I call the Minister’s office?” Skeeter’s smug look infuriated Parvati, but there was little she could do. She sighed and removed her hand from the book.

Skeeter reviewed the book for a few minutes, murmuring to herself as her Quick-Quotes Quill scribbled furiously on a floating pad of paper. Soon she was done and she closed the book with regal aplomb.

“Thank you so much, dear. It has been most satisfying.” Rita practically skipped from the room, her quill trailing behind her as she composed her thoughts.

“I need a title, something catchy. Hmmmmm.” She strolled down the hall and punched the button by the banks of lifts. Her eyes widened as inspiration hit her. “The Marauders: Hogwart’s Heroes or the Dark Lord’s Terrorists, by Rita Skeeter.”

Smiling to herself, she climbed onto the lift and pressed the button for the atrium. She chuckled and took out a small compact from her purse and began to liberally apply some makeup.

She paused and spoke out loud. “Perfect!”

The doors of the lift closed and sound of the bell carried off with the sound of her laughter.


***A/N: Have a pleasant weekend. She's not the main story, so don't worry, but she'll help kick things off.

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Old January 22nd, 2008, 3:08 pm
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Re: Teddy Lupin and the Legacy of the Marauders

Chapter 7 – War Studies


Teddy slowly rose as the second day of classes arrived. He opened one eye than the next and turned his head to the rustic, hand wound alarm clock on his bedside table. It read six twenty five and he groaned. His alarm was set for six thirty and recently, he’d picked up this habit of waking precisely five minutes from the time it was set for. Teddy was an early riser, but had learned quickly that most of dorm mates were not. He calmly reached a hand over to the clock and switched off the alarm. He sat up and looked around the room and listened to the gentle snores of the other boys. Teddy noticed that Richard’s bed was already empty and its bed clothing tidily made up. Richard was the exception to the rule, but the boy was more concerned with reaching the showers first and making sure that his exposure to the harmful bacteria that the other boys might be spreading was limited.

As if on cue, Teddy heard the tell tale clip clop of his other dorm mate returning up the stairs. Richard was dressed in a full length bath robe and shower shoes that covered his feet. On his head was a plastic covering, designed he said, to protect him from dust mites that inhabit the halls of the centuries old castle. He nodded to Teddy as he entered and then walked to the space next to his bed. With a swipe of his wand, a plastic curtain flew up around him, allowing him a hermetically sealed space to change into his clothes in privacy. Dressing hurriedly, Teddy could hear the tell tale sounds of more plastic being torn open. Each and every article of Richard’s clothing was individually wrapped in vacuum sealed bags. His dirty laundry was deposited in another bound bag, much like those found at hospitals used for used syringes and such. Every morning, the bag was collected by owl and sent home. Every evening, his things were returned by that self-same owl post, sealed and ready for use. Despite his quirks, Richard was friendly enough and Teddy thought to himself, who didn’t have their own foibles? Teddy scratched his rainbow-colored hair and rose from bed. Quietly, he grabbed his own robe and toiletries and made for the showers.

When he returned, the rest of the residents of his dorm were awake and putting the finishing touches on their daily preparations. Lunastus was fumbling about his trunk, trying to find his Potions book, while Alan was busily scribbling on a piece of parchment. Alan had run afoul of Professor McGonagall, making fun of the ability to transfigure objects. Alan had the dubious distinction of being the first student to have House points docked under the new system and he was now finishing the essay he’d been assigned.

Martin was sitting on his bed, fumbling about with his wand, practicing his “lumos” charm. Teddy giggled as the muggle-born wizard delighted in making his wand light up and turn off. In the back of his mind, Teddy marveled at Martin’s keen sense of wonder at the simplest things of their world. Teddy had been immersed in the magical world from the day he was born. His constantly changing hair color and the friends and family he’d grown up around had made magic second nature to him, but for Martin, every spell, every wonder was a new experience and when Teddy tried to look at things through his room mate’s eyes, he could see the how incredibly fortunate he was to live this world.

“Teddy?” Martin was causing tiny sparks to spout from his wand. Teddy was finagling with his tie and grunted over to Martin. “Do you need your wand to make your hair change? I mean, when I was little, things would happen when I didn’t have my wand, but is it absolutely necessary?”

Teddy thought about the answer and gave it his best try. “Wands help direct the magic. Not many people can cast proper spells without them. My godfather is really good at wandless magic, but he’s the only one I know. My hair changes because I have some of my mother’s powers, so I don’t need a wand, but as you can see, it’s real hard to control.” Teddy’s hair started a mad dash through the spectrum of colors. Martin laughed out loud.

Alan was putting the finishing touches on his essay. “Done! That was hard, maybe next time I’ll just keep my mouth shut with McGonagall.”

“That’d be the best choice, Alan.” Teddy finished dressing and tidied up his section of the dorm.

“What do you think this War Studies class is? Who’s the teacher?” Alan was gathering up his books for the day. There wasn’t a textbook for War Studies.

“Maybe they’ll teach us battle tactics or something like that.” Martin seemed enthusiastic. He’d had no idea about the war between the Ministry and the International Confederation of Wizard and was constantly plying everyone for details. Teddy had noticed that Professor Shacklebolt and several of the returning seventh years stayed very quiet during discussions of the recent war. He knew that Kingsley had let a battalion of volunteers drawn from the then sixth and seventh year students. Many had not returned and those that had were a lot more morose, a lot more solemn about the experience.

“I haven’t a clue, but I suspect we’ll find out soon enough.” Teddy gathered up his things. “You guys ready to head down to breakfast?” Lunastus, Alan and Martin joined Teddy by the door. “Richard, you coming?”

“You guys go ahead, I’ve got to gargle first.” The plastic curtain came down and Richard was standing with a glass of cloudy water. “You have no idea how old the germs are in this castle, I’ve got to make sure my throat doesn’t dry out.”

The other four boys shared humorous looks and walked down the stairs.

***

As he made his way into the Great Hall, Teddy caught sight of Janet. She looked a bit better than when he’d seen her at the sorting. “Oi, Janet! How are things?”

“I’m okay. My dad said that he was proud that I was in Ravenclaw, that it meant that I had a very keen brain. I thought he’d be upset, but his letter said he was happy.” Janet’s voice was upbeat.

“That’s good, right? Are you doing all right with the rest of them?” Teddy pointed to a place at a nearby table. Despite the resurrection of the House Cup, the students had developed the habit of sitting more by class than by House, much to the delight of Professor Slughorn. Carlo had saved Janet, Teddy and Lunastus seats together so they could catch up.

“Everyone is pretty nice, although a few are a little off. They talk like their heads are in the clouds sometimes, but mostly, they’re nice, except for a couple of the fourth year boys. You remember the ones that were trying to pick on Gracie on the train? There’s more of them, all fourth years.” Teddy nodded and Janet pointed out the two hulking brutes standing next to the John Marchall. “That’s Reggie Hall and Ervin Young. They like to pick on the younger ones and seem to really hate Graciela. It looks like our friend John Marshall has himself quite the following. They’re not your average thugs, either. These guys are smart, or they wouldn’t be in Ravenclaw and for some reason they do what Marshall wants to the letter.”

Teddy nodded and kept a wary eye on the cluster of boys surrounding John Marshall. Janet was right, Marshall had collected an assortment of bullies, ranging in size and shape, but drawn from various Houses. The irony was rich. Every once in a while, they would take turns staring over to the place where Graciela was sitting with some friends. For her part, Gracie studiously ignored them and went about eating breakfast. Soon the meal was winding down and it was near time to get to class. As the students began to disperse, Teddy told his friends to go on and shouldered his way over to Graciela.

“Gracie, how are things?” Teddy was keeping an eye on the eight or so boys surrounding the diminutive Marshall.

Graciela snorted in contempt. “I see you’ve noticed my fan club.”

“What is it with you and them? What happened?” Teddy noticed that Marshall suddenly directed his attention on him, causing Teddy’s hair to go black.

“It’s a long story, Teddy. It’s not really worth the trouble. I’ll tell you about it later, but I’ve got to get to class.” Graciela continued to walk through the crowd and Teddy noticed that three of Marshall’s brood had risen and were walking behind them.

“You want me to walk with you?” Teddy’s voice was a little cracked, but he offered still the same.

Graciela smiled, the gesture reminiscent of her famous aunt, when she was preparing for battle. “You’re sweet, Teddy, but you better get going yourself. Besides, I told you, I can take care of myself.” With that, Graciela turned to the three boys who were following her, winked at them and then blew them a kiss. “These pussycats are no trouble at all.” She turned and walked up a nearby staircase to catch up with one of her friends.

Teddy stood at the bottom the staircase and the three boys trailed after Graciela, rudely pushing past Teddy on their way up. Teddy shook his head in disbelief and made his way to class.

***

Teddy walked into the room assigned to the War Studies class. He was surprised to find all four Houses had their first years in the room. Lunastus raised his hand and Teddy walked over to where the large boy had saved a seat for him near the rest of his dorm mates. A hive of excited conversation hovered over the room and the anticipation of learning about battles and fighting seemed to be the theme for the day. The room was long and they sat on long tiers of benches instead of desks. At the front of the room was a simple slate board and a podium. It looked more like a chapel than a classroom. As the assembled students began to fidget from inactivity, the entry doors slammed shut and the sound of booted feet could be heard coming up the aisle between the seats.

Teddy turned and his hair immediately turned pink with excitement. As the students noticed who was walking up to the lectern, a collective gasp and whispers rang through the hall. The man was dressed in the black robes of the Ministry, a silver shield affixed to his left breast with stars and comets in perpetual motion on the shield. He wore knee length black leather boots polished to a high gloss with black pants tucked into the top. Underneath the robes, Teddy saw a white button down shirt and a Gryffindor tie knotted neatly in the collar. His robes swayed with the steady, easy pace of his gait and a battered, leather satchel hung loosely across his shoulders. The most striking thing about the man was his eyes. Great, viridian orbs shone intently through the thin, rectangular glasses perched on his nose. As he walked, he spotted Teddy and gave him a friendly wink. His hair was raven black and hung loose and wild, without any semblance of control. Teddy waved and settled back in his seat as Harry Potter, Head of the Office of Aurors stepped to the podium.

“All right, settle down now.” Harry held his arms up for quiet and glanced around the room. “My name is Harry Potter. I work for the Ministry of Magic.” Teddy chuckled, as if Uncle Harry needed to introduce himself; he was probably the most famous person in the wizarding world.

Harry continued. “You are here for the War Studies class. Now, the War Studies curriculum is a series of lectures that will be conducted by several guest speakers invited here at the behest of the Headmaster. Let me start by telling you what War Studies is not. It is not a battle and tactics class. You have a very capable Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher who will teach you those things. War Studies is not a history class, although history is very important to its content.” Harry looked around the room, his green eyes seemingly fixing each student individually. “War Studies is designed to look at conflicts of the past fifty years through the prism of what it did to the unity of this school.”

Teddy sat up, his room mates seemed to not be breathing. All were wondering where Harry was taking this.

Harry’s voice rang out in the silenced room. “Look around you. This is unlike any other class you will have here. All four Houses are here. You are all tied together by this institution. You are competitors, true, but in the depths of your hearts, you are Hogwarts first, House second. In my time, it was not always like that. In my time, events outside these walls impacted the environment within. Gryffindors and Slytherins hated each other, Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws could barely stand each other. The House Cup became a proxy war for the battles being fought in the real world. This class will explore aspects of that struggle.”

“But why? Wasn’t that long ago? Haven’t those days gone away?” The voice came from a boy dressed in Slytherin green, the only person who seemed to have the nerve to ask what they were all thinking.

“That is an excellent question. What is your name?” The boy paled at being asked, but Teddy thought, in for a penny, in for a pound.

“S-simon Lewis, sir.” The boy named Simon Lewis sat down immediately, wishing he’d not spoken.

“Simon, I appreciate the question and it is a good one. Ten points for Slytherin!” Harry smiled as the room relaxed. “Simon, it took fifty years of blood hatred and for the rise of Lord Voldemort,” There were several shudders at the mention of the Dark Lord’s name. “to drive a wedge between the Houses. It was a generational shift of monumental proportions. In the end, when things were at their darkest and Hogwarts needed her students to stand together, they tore each other apart. The suffering was almost too much for this grand school to take. Our objective with this class is to analyze the underpinnings of hate and to find ways to come together, to ensure that outside events won’t destroy what you are building here. Fair enough?”

There were nods around the room and Harry smiled once more. “Good. The roster of guest speakers will remain a secret. We’ve got to keep you engaged, after all. As it is my honor to be the first one to speak to you, why don’t we start with my first year at Hogwarts? Let me tell you about the Sorcerer’s (Philosopher’s) Stone and what I found class relations to be at that time.”

***

Harry regaled them about his first year at Hogwarts with a special emphasis on his interactions with Draco Malfoy and the Slytherins. As he summed up the story and the encounter with Lord Voldemort, Harry noticed that the entire room was enthralled, but Harry was watching the Slytherin students. He noticed how uncomfortable many had been with his descriptions of his interactions with them.

“I want to say one thing. The reason we are having several guest lecturers is that everyone has a bias, including me. We do not cast judgment on anyone based on someone else’s actions. We will not point fingers at any class or House. We are looking at the underlying factors that caused the reactions we observed. Now, this is a class, and like all classes, there will be homework.” Harry ignored the groans that rippled through the room. “I’d like you all to write an essay, let’s say about a half inch thick. You will deliver the essays to Professor McGonagall for review. The question I want you to answer is simple: What would have happened if I had been civil to Draco Malfoy when I first met him on the Hogwarts Express? Remember, by that time, I’d already been told how foul the Slytherins were. I’d like to see what you think would have happened.” Harry folded up his parchment and placed it in the inner folds of his robe. “Right, have that turned in by the end of the week. I will not be here next week, but I will be here for the odd lecture from time to time. Class dismissed. Teddy Lupin? Stay a moment, please.”

Teddy bid farewell to his friends as the room slowly emptied, many of the students trying to catch a last glimpse of the famous Harry Potter. When the last child had exited, Teddy walked up and Harry hugged him tightly.

“What’d you think?” Harry pulled back and tousled Teddy’s hair.

“It was brilliant, Uncle Harry. I am glad they brought the House Cup back, but I can see why they wanted to get rid of it. It seemed pretty tense in your day.” Harry gave a hurt look to his young godson.

“My day? You make it sound like I’m eighty. How are things going? Your grandmother wanted me to check in on you.” Teddy felt a small pang of guilt. He’d barely thought of his grandmother over the last couple of days.

“It’s okay, Teddy. I remember the first week being a whirlwind. It’s only the second day of classes, she understands.” Harry fixed Teddy’s eyes in his own. “But do me a favor, owl your grandmother tonight? She needs to hear from you. It’s a big transition for her, too.”

“I will, Uncle Harry. Are you staying for lunch?” Teddy and Harry began walking to the exit.

“I can’t, Teddy, but I’ll be in and out all the time. When are Quidditch tryouts?” They left the class hall and walked towards the main entry hall.

“They haven’t posted them yet.”

“Are you going to try out? You should, you’re pretty good.” Harry stopped by the set of stairs which would take him to the Headmaster’s office and its floo.

“Thanks, Uncle Harry, I had a good teacher.” Harry beamed with pride.

“Why thank you, Teddy, I did my best.”

Teddy laughed and started walking towards his next class. “I meant Aunt Ginny. See you later, Uncle Harry.”

Harry Potter stood and waved to his godson, shaking his head from side to side.

***

Ginny Potter left the offices of the Daily Prophet and joined the bustle of Diagon Alley. She was meeting Hermione Weasley and Luna Scamander at Plimpton’s Eurasian Fusion Bistro, the new hot spot on Diagon Alley. George Plimpton was an eccentric wizarding chef who delighted in experimenting with different recipes from around the world and was renowned for having the sartorial flair of a blind monkey, his garish outfits sometimes detracting from his fine cuisine. Still, his food was to die for and once a week, Ginny would meet her friends for lunch.

As she wound her way through the shopping Mecca, Ginny saw a couple of boys standing near an intersection, hawking a bi-fold newspaper at the top of their lungs. Being the senior Quidditch correspondent at the Daily Prophet, Ginny did not recognize the banner or the style of the newspaper.

“First Issue! First Issue! Truth and Consequences! Rita Skeeter brings you what you’ve been missing! Come and get it! Truth and Consequences! The real truth of the dark lord’s rise!” The boys were clamoring at the top of their lungs. Ginny heard the name Skeeter and immediately felt the bile rising in her throat. Loath to read the foul woman’s material, Ginny knew that she’d have to review it, if only to protect her family. In the years since the Battle of Hogwarts, Rita Skeeter had made several attempts to take down Ginny and her family by publishing half truths and innuendo. The last attempt had cost Skeeter her career at the Daily Prophet and a blistering set of scars from Ginny’s wrath. Despite hoping for the best, Ginny figured that if Rita Skeeter had her own newspaper, the Potters and Weasleys would be in her sights.

“How much?” Ginny asked the newspaper boy.

“Two sickles.” She paid the boy and walked off to the side of the Alley to view the masthead.

“The Marauders: Hogwart’s Heroes or the Dark Lord’s Terrorists by Rita Skeeter

Who were the Marauders? Harmless pranksters? Warriors of the Order? Minions of the Dark Arts? Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, Peter Pettigrew and James Potter started a so-called harmless society as students at Hogwarts, but did it become something more sinister? And what about their legacy, the children and heirs of these men? This series will expose the shocking truth behind the group that may have led to the rise of the dark lord. Could the mayhem and death have been avoided if these four men had been less rash and less arrogant? What about their children? Harry Potter and Teddy Lupin are the only direct descendents of this mysterious cabal. Are they the seeds of another dark tragedy? Keep reading and find out!”


Ginny crumpled the paper in her hands. All she could see was red, and if Rita Skeeter was in front of her, Ginny would have turned the foul woman into a toad. As it was, Ginny stormed down the Alley, intent on finding Hermione and Luna and start the process for revenge.

***

The Black Forest was located in the far southwest corner of Germany bordered by the Rhine River and nestled in the mountains. Covered by pines and firs, it can be a remote region, an easy place to hide. But its remote nature made being a fugitive a hard life. Disconnected from any news of the outside world and living hand to mouth, life in the Black Forest for those on the run could easily be construed as a prison term.

The stooped man trudged between the green boughs of the trees. There was a whiff of winter in the air, despite the warm September day. The man shuddered. Years of life on the run, including the warren among the caves made even the slightest hint of winter to be met with a sense of dread. Still, there was no other choice, and the man continued his trek high into the mountains.

The cave entrance was well-hidden behind a mask of tree branches and spells. He gave the required countersign and walked into cave under the watchful eye of Hans, who was on guard duty. He walked back into the cave and into a large cavern where the rest of the followers sat cross legged in front of a roaring fire. The man dropped the bag of supplies and then walked over to a large thrown hewn from the large rocks of the cave floor. When he got near the throne, the man knelt and offered up the newspaper he’d had tucked inside his coat.

“There was no copy of the Daily Prophet, master, but there is a new publication with an article I think you’d appreciate.” The copy of Truth and Consequences was snatched from the man’s hand and he kept his head down, as he heard the paper rustle from his master’s reading.

“Excellent. Excellent, indeed.” The deep, throaty voice seemed genuinely happy for the first time in years.

“Nigel.” The voice was commanding and the kneeling man started shaking as his name was called. “Look at me, Nigel.” Frightened to stare into the face of his master, but terrified of not obeying, Nigel looked up into the eyes of his master and blanched from the experience. Not because his master was angry or hateful, because the look on his master’s face was far more sinister. His master was happy, and that did not bode well.

“Nigel, I want information about the Hogwarts School and its surrounding area. We have a mission and my goal is attending that school. Get me information, Nigel, about the school and about one student in particular.” His master wrapped his hand against the newspaper. “Find me everything you can about one Theodore Remus Lupin.”

***A/N: I'm not going to keep the identity of the hidden dude much longer, but I wanted to get your creative juices flowing. I also want to keep this focus on Teddy and the school, so while a throwdown cage battle between Ginny and Rita might be fun to do, I might keep it for the other fic. Let me know your thoughts on that.

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My Fanfics:
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Teddy Lupin and the Legacy of the Marauders ; A History of Magic: The Harry Potter Era (on hiatus); You Are Cordially Invited... (First Attempt)
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Old January 25th, 2008, 4:40 pm
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Re: Teddy Lupin and the Legacy of the Marauders

Chapter 8 – Secrets

As classes ended, Teddy found himself walking with Carlo, Lunastus and Janet back towards their individual common rooms. It was a beautiful day, the sun hung high in the bright blue Scottish sky and the four friends bathed themselves in the rejuvenating warmth of the afternoon. They sidetracked to the edge of the grand lake and took turns skipping stones across its placid surface. Soon, they decided to head back to the castle, idly discussing their dorm mates and their perception of the first two days of class.

“Can you believe that we saw Harry Potter?” Janet was positively gushing at her War Studies experience. Teddy smiled to himself, knowing full well that anyone in the world, his godfather was least receptive to idol worship. Janet didn’t seem to notice Teddy’s reaction. “I’m positive he looked at me. I saw his eyes looking right at me. It was incredible.”

Lunastus grunted. “He’s alright, but he still gave us homework.”

“I know.” Carlo kicked his shoe at a wayward pebble on the path. “Do you guys have any idea how to answer that essay question? It seems kind of strange, considering what we know now.”

Janet looked at Teddy, who’d been relatively silent during the conversation. “You know something, Teddy, don’t you? You’re pretty close with Harry Potter.”

Teddy blushed and his hair turned a deep shade of red. “He’s my godfather, so I spend a lot of time with his family, yes. Plus, my grandmother is Draco Malfoy’s sister, so I’ve heard all kinds of stories about that family, too.”

“So, what do you think would have happened?” Carlo glanced excitedly at his friend, ecstatic at having some sort of unique leg up on the essay.

“It doesn’t matter, Carlo. The essay is about judgment calls, there isn’t a right or wrong answer. Don’t you think it would be strange if we all came to the same conclusion?” Teddy saw the disappointed look on his friend’s face.

“Okay, Carlo. Personally, I think that what was going on in the world outside Hogwarts would have made anything that happened here at Hogwarts irrelevant. The Dark Lord was on the rise, and whether Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter were blood enemies or best friends, there still would have been the suffering that happened. Even if Uncle Harry had been nice to Draco, and Draco had reciprocated, Draco’s parents are gits and would have gotten in the way. The hate was just too strong.” Teddy stopped and watched as his friends worked through what he’d said.

Janet smiled a bit and then spoke up. “You know, though, if Harry had been friendly with Draco on the Hogwarts Express, he might have not been so turned off about being in Slytherin. Remember, Mr. Potter said that the sorting hat was very close to sorting him to Slytherin and if he were friends with Draco, that might have been enough to make the difference.”

Lunastus laughed. “That would have changed everything! Harry might not have been friends with the Weasleys and Hermione Granger. He wouldn’t have spent time with them and he might not have been able to get through the fight with the Dark Lord.”

“He wouldn’t have met his wife.” Janet spoke in an almost dreamy fashion, then giggled. “Can you imagine Harry Potter dating Pansy Parkinson or Millicent Bulstrode?” Carlo and Lunastus laughed with her, but Janet noticed that Teddy wasn’t laughing. In fact, Teddy had stopped walking with them and the three walked back to where he stood.

“I’m sorry, Teddy. I didn’t mean to offend you.” Janet looked at Teddy, who was gazing to an area outside the castle walls. The sound of his name snapped him out of his reverie. She followed his gaze which rested on a well kept cemetery fronted by a massive monument commemorating the wizards who’d fallen at the Battle of Hogwarts. Suddenly, Janet realized that both of Teddy’s parents were in that cemetery and she placed a hand on his shoulder.

Teddy nodded his thanks and looked at his friends. “You didn’t offend me, Janet. I just think that no matter what happens, sometimes people are just destined to be together. Even if Uncle Harry had been a Slytherin, he and Aunt Ginny would have found each other, because it was supposed to be. Sometimes, two people are just supposed to be.” His three friends knew he was talking about their essay, yet somehow, his gaze and his tone told them that he might have been thinking of another couple, buried up in that cemetery in the distance, a couple that was supposed to be.

Teddy shook his head and sounded off an apology. Together, they walked up the path and into the main Entry Hall. Once they came in, they saw a crowd of students huddled around a space in the corridor. There was a buzz and curiosity bade them to take a look. Martin Peake was standing at the edge of the crowd and he raised his hand to Teddy.

“What’s happened?” Teddy stopped by Martin, who was bubbling with excitement.

“Three fourth years were tied up and glued to the wall over there. Professor Flitwick is trying to get them down and Filch is fit to be tied.” Teddy looked over at the wall. The three boys who’d been following Graciela were hog tied together and then suspended from a hook, upside down, with gags in their mouths. Teddy looked around and spotted Graciela looking at the three boys with a self-satisfied grin on her face, then she turned and started walking up a nearby staircase.

“Excuse me, let me know how it turns out.” Teddy made his way through the crowd of students, as Flitwick’s voice filtered to him as the diminutive professor calmed the three boys. Teddy ran up the stairs and followed Graciela up. When he caught up to her, he stopped in front of her, causing her to halt her progress.

“What’s going on, Graciela. Why are you and those boys always after each other?” Teddy was a little out of breath, so he stopped talking and looked at his friend.

She stared at Teddy, her eyes sharp, as if she were getting ready to lash out at him. Slowly, she calmed herself down and her features softened a bit.

“It’s nothing, really, Teddy. We just don’t like each other.” She tried to sidestep him, but he refused to move.

“This is more than just not getting along, Gracie, someone is going to get hurt.” Teddy was focused on the fact that the number of boys Marshall was sending after Graciela kept growing. Eventually, they’d overwhelm her. “What happened between you guys?”

“John Marshall is an evil little git. I think he was put into Hufflepuff because he was too stupid for anything else, but he’s a nasty, evil boy.” She huffed and sat down on a nearby bench.

“What did he do?” Teddy sat next to her.

She sighed and took a deep breath. “Last year, just before the Winter Holiday, I was walking about and saw Marshall and his two thugs, Cory and Casey, standing in the corner of one of the courtyards. The first snow had fallen and it was pretty frigid out. They had a second year with them, a small boy named Garrett Calter. Garrett was a Ravenclaw, really smart, but really lonely. He was an only child of muggle parents and was desperate to be part of something, to have friends. We didn’t have the House Cup back then, so you really couldn’t rely on your house to be your family. All these little cliques began to form and Marshall’s clique was the strongest and Garrett wanted to join.”

Her eyes were welling with tears, the first time Teddy had seen a crack in her armor.

“Anyway, they were outside, in the courtyard, but they had stripped Garrett down to his underthings. They said that it was part of his initiation. When I’d got there, his skin was already blue from exposure and they were making him stand in a bucket of water.” She shuddered and then continued her story. “I said something to them. There were only three of them, well, two and a half if consider how short Marshall was and I hit them pretty hard. They ran and I had to levitate Garrett to see Madame Pomfrey. Garrett fell into a coma and died on the day before we left for winter holiday.”

Teddy blanched. How could this happen and why weren’t the boys punished? “So, what happened to Marshall and his thugs?”

Graciela practically spit out her response. “Nothing.”

“Nothing? How is that possible? They caused a boy to die.” Teddy rose and started pacing.

“I told Professor Slughorn what happened, but when they brought the three of them in, they denied everything, of course. The problem was Madame Pomfrey spoke to Garrett before he slipped into a coma and he’d said he’d done it on his own. No one forced him to. Apparently, his desire to be part of their group was greater than any sense of justice. I think Professor Slughorn believed me, but lacking any real proof, he had to let them go. Of course, getting away with something like that has only made Marshall more arrogant, so now, they’ve been trying to take me down for even thinking of turning them in.”

Teddy stopped his pacing and stared at her. “This is insane! You’ve got to say something, get the administration involved. Someone could get killed.”

The confident Graciela had returned and she stood, no sign of her tears anywhere. “I already said something, and look where it got me. Marshall’s an idiot and his moron followers barely have one brain between them. I can take care of myself, Teddy.”

“Well, well, well, it looks like Grazer has a boyfriend. You guys trading smoochies, Grazer?” Teddy turned around and saw Marshall sneering at them. Being Marshall, he wasn’t alone. In fact, he was surrounded by ten boys, all with menacing glares on their faces. Marshall gave Graciela a derisive laugh. “You made my boys look silly downstairs, Grazer. Why can’t you accept your medicine like a good little girl?”

Graciela smiled back, standing with her legs slightly apart. Teddy noticed her wand slip into her hand from the sleeve of her robes. She stared at the diminutive Marshall and laughed. “John, you should know better to send your idiots after me. If you want something done, you should do it yourself. Of course, I’d be more than happy to wait for you to get a step stool so we can fight eye to eye.”

Marshall’s face turned red and he snapped his fingers. The boys drew their wands and began to advance on Teddy and Graciela. She tensed, they were in a small alcove with no means to escape. Teddy watched her eyes and saw concern in them. He turned and faced the boys, walking out in front of Graciela.

“I’d move on if I were you.” Teddy spoke with more confidence than he felt. His challenge drew a derisive snort from Marshall.

“Why, what are going to do, freak? Change your hair color to something scary?” The boys around Marshall shared a laugh with their leader. “Give it your best shot, twerp. You parents were freaks anyway, so what could you do to us?”

Teddy’s hair turned black and his face grew taut from anger. He smiled and concentrated and his body began to meld into a different form, that of a dark, black wolf, which snapped its jaws and howled at the boys. They froze and then ran. Seeing them flee, Teddy transformed back and looked down at Marshall, who’d been left by his henchmen. “You were saying?”

Marshall scrambled to his feet and turned to run. “You are a freak! I’ll get you back, Lupin, you’ll regret this!” Marshall ran around the corner and Teddy turned towards Graciela, a triumphant grin on his face. Instead of thanks, Graciela seemed extremely mad at him, her eyes thinned and her lips pursed.

“Why’d you do that?” She grit her teeth and looked at him harshly.

“I was helping you, I thought that would be the best way to drive them away.” Teddy was puzzled, hadn’t he done a good thing?

“I told you, Teddy, I don’t need any help. Now, you’ve made an enemy out of Marshall, and frankly, I don’t have the time to keep watching out for you. No one asked you to interfere.” Graciela turned on her heel and stalked off down the hall, leaving Teddy standing dumbfounded. Eventually, he shook his head and began to walk towards his common room. As he turned the corner, he walked right into Professor McGonagall, who had a stern look on her face.

“Come with me, Mr. Lupin.” It never was a good thing when Minerva McGonagall addressed him by his last name, especially since for most of his life, she’d been Aunt Minerva. She definitely was not pleased.

***

They walked into McGonagall’s office and she had him stand in front of her desk. She sat down and remained silent for a few minutes, an uncomfortable silence descended on the room. Finally, she sighed and gave him a withering stare. “Mr. Lupin, did I see you use your metamorphmagus powers just now to threaten other students?”

“Yes, ma’am, but…”

“I’m not concerned about ‘but’ or ‘why’. Did I not inform you that using your powers were against the rules here?” He nodded, unable to speak. “You could have hurt one of those boys. This is unacceptable.”

Teddy didn’t know where his defiance came from. His hair was a dark crimson and his voice came out louder than he expected. “Those boys were going to hurt me and my friend. They’d already gotten away with killing another student, so I stepped in!”

If McGonagall was shocked by his outburst, she didn’t show it. In fact, his tirade had no visible impact on the stern witch and she looked at him closely. “Mr. Lupin, the facts of Mr. Calter’s death are in dispute. We know what happened, but we cannot prove it. Be that as it may, that does not give you license to threaten other students with powers you have not been taught to control. It’s reckless and dangerous. Two wrongs do not make a right, Mr. Lupin.”

“But they were threatening me and my friend. I had to do something.” McGonagall’s expression softened ever so slightly. She leaned back in her chair and lowered her voice.

“Mr. Lupin, as you should know by now, Ms. Baretto is quite capable of taking care of herself. The teachers know that. Why do you think she hasn’t stood a single day of detention? We know what’s going on. All you’ve done is escalate matters. Now, you are involved and that’s not a good thing.” She stood and walked around the desk. “I must ask you not to transfigure yourself again, Teddy, not without proper instruction.”

He nodded. “Yes, ma’am.”

“Good, now, that’ll be thirty points from Gryffindor and ten days detention, with me. Be here at six o’clock tomorrow night to start. Understood?” Teddy groaned and nodded. He turned and left McGonagall’s room and walked up to his common room.

When he entered the Gryffindor common room, there were clumps of students huddled around in different groups. It seemed his presence made them stop whatever they were talking about and when he passed by, they seemed to whisper behind his back. Apparently, he thought, the news of his exploits had already made it back to the dormitories. His shoulders slumped down and he walked up the stairs to his room where the rest of his dorm mates were already there.

“You all right, Teddy?” Lunastus gave him a concerned look and Teddy smiled weakly.

“McGonagall wasn’t too hard on me, ten days detention.” Teddy plopped on his bed.

Alan looked Teddy with a curious look. “McGonagall? We were wondering if the article bothered you.”

Teddy sat up. “Article, what article?”

Martin walked over and handed a well used newspaper to Teddy. “I think its rubbish, of course, but it’s all around school about the Marauders and how they might have aided this Voldemort chap and how you and Harry might be their evil legacy.”

Teddy began to peruse the first few paragraphs of Rita Skeeter’s article. His hair began to go from white to gray to black. As he made his way through the half-truths and the outright lies, he felt a flicker of anxiety and anger building within him. Finally, once he finished the article, he tossed the newspaper down and laid out on his bed. What had started as a wonderful day had ended in disaster.

Alan had gone down to the common room and had just arrived back. “Someone got us docked thirty points!” He turned and looked over at Teddy. “Oi, what’s this about detention, anyway?” Teddy pulled his pillow over his head and groaned.

***

Nigel walked back into the cave, a bundle of scrolls tucked underneath his arm. His heart thumped in anticipation. His master had been more animated than he’d seen in all the years they’d endured their exile in the Black Forest. He stalked around the lair, issuing orders and making plans. Now, Nigel had the materials his master needed.

Nigel entered the cave and walked back towards the rear cavern. In the firelight, he saw his master prowling about. His master was a big, rangy man with matted gray hair and whiskers. He had dirty hands with long, yellowish nails. His master seemed to sense his arrival and whirled about, speaking in his low raspy voice.

“Ah, Nigel, you’ve returned. Good.” There was a smile on his master’s face, his teeth sharp and pointed, feral.

“Master, if I may, you’ve been to Hogwarts before, why do you need to know about its layout?” This was as far as Nigel was willing to go in challenge to his master, whose temper was legendary.

“Fool! I haven’t been there in over ten years. Things change! Hidden tunnels are collapsed, new ones built. I want to be sure we know how to get in when we need to.” His master tore the scrolls from Nigel’s grasp and spread them around the cave floor.

His master let out a low, bark-like grunt and then a throaty laugh. “This is excellent, Nigel. I will be able to take my revenge and restart our war on the wizards. Remus Lupin thought death could defeat my curse, he was so wrong. I’m ready to come back stronger, and I’ll use Lupin’s son to do it. Those fools in Britain thought they were rid of Fenrir Greyback. I’ll show them how wrong they were. You know how much I like the children.” Fenrir Greyback let out a howl that turned into a long, maniacal laugh.


***A/N: Of course it would be that guy! Who else could it have been?

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Old January 29th, 2008, 4:10 pm
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Re: Teddy Lupin and the Legacy of the Marauders

Chapter 9 – Detention

Teddy Lupin was angry. The Skeeter article was replete with innuendo and interviews with people who’d obviously had agendas against his father and his friends as well as against his Uncle Harry. Most of all, especially considering that he was at Hogwarts, there was an implication that he was part of some sort plan to create a new Marauders, a group that would carry on his father’s “Reign of Terror” as Skeeter put it. The past day had been frustrating, to say the least, with half of the student body asking if he were King of the Marauders and the other half asking to join. The only solace he’d had was when he was with Janet, Carlo and Lunastus and when he was with his dorm mates. The biggest disappointment had been Graciela, who after sharing her story with him, had made her self scarce. It was if she was avoiding him and he had no idea as to why. As he made his way up to his dormitory after dinner, he turned the events of the day over in his mind.

The rest of his room mates, save Richard, were already lounging around, talking about the news of the day, the article by Rita Skeeter.

“Why not start up a new group of Marauders? It sounds like they ruled the school!” Alan was busy buffing the Marauders’ Den Sign on the back of the door. “In fact, I think we should hang this outside the door, just to let people know who we are.”

Martin stared over at Teddy. “Was your dad really a werewolf?” When Teddy nodded, Martin was positively giddy. “Really? Are you? Do you transform into a werewolf during full moons?”

Teddy’s face grew dark and his hair turned a blackish purple. “It wasn’t a gift, Martin. It was a curse. My father was bitten by a wizard named Fenrir Greyback when he was a boy. Greyback wanted to replace all wizards with werewolves and rule England. The man was a Death Eater. It was not a good thing, and no, I’m not a werewolf.”

Alan’s voice grew soft. “I heard Greyback developed a knack for biting into people when he wasn’t transformed, that he loved the taste of human flesh.”

“I don’t know about that.” Teddy sat down on his bed in a huff. “I just know that Rita Skeeter is a certified liar and she has something out for the Potters and the Weasleys. My father and Uncle Harry’s father were not heels like she said. You have to take everything with a grain of salt.”

“What about all that stuff in there? How about the interviews with the students who said that they picked on Snape and other Slytherins and were cruel to them? And what about the fact that Peter Pettigrew was a Death Eater too? And Sirius Black was a convicted mass murderer?” Martin spoke in an excited, hushed whisper.

Teddy rolled his eyes. “Sirius Black was framed by Voldemort. It’s as simple as that. Peter Pettigrew was a traitor. James Potter died defending his wife and son and my dad died fighting Voldemort at the Battle of Hogwarts. None of that rubbish is true.” He was on the verge of tears. If this was the reaction of his friends, what about the rest of the school.

Lunastus stood and gave a menacing scowl to the other two boys. “I believe you Teddy, and I believe Harry Potter. You watch, he’ll give that woman the what for. Although…”

Teddy looked at his friend. “Although, what?”

“Although, I wouldn’t mind being a part of a group like that. It would be kind of fun.” Lunastus smiled and sat down.

Just then, the door swung open, and Richard walked in, holding a piece of paper in one hand and a handkerchief in the other, covering his nose and mouth. The hypochondriac in him saw traversing the dusty and moldy stairs to the room as a passage through the jaws of the death and he celebrated every time he made it into the room safely.

“Hey everyone! Great news!” He looked around and saw everyone in modes of concentration. “What is it?”

“We were talking about the article about Teddy and the Marauders.” Martin sat up. “What’s your news?”

Richard looked at them. “What article? Never mind, you can tell me later. They’ve announced Quidditch tryouts for Saturday!”

That perked Teddy up. “Tryouts?” Richard nodded and handed the flyer over to Teddy.

“Why are you so excited, Richard? Don’t tell me you’re going to tryout for the team?” Alan snickered at the notion of the slightly built, asthmatic boy flying around above the rough pitch.

“As a matter of fact, being outside is great for my sinuses. I figure that I can give it a go. Anyone else?”

Teddy smiled, momentarily forgetting the Skeeter problem. “I’m trying out. I’m a fair flyer and a pretty decent Seeker.”

Alan didn’t seem surprised. After all, Teddy knew the famous Ginny Potter and Harry Potter. He had to have some experience. He turned to Richard who was beginning his nightly decontamination ritual. “What are you going to try out for?”

Richard said absently, “I think I’ll have a go at Bludger. I like cedar bats, they keep the bugs away.”

The boys in the room shared a laugh and then Teddy sat up. “Oops, I’ve got to go to Professor McGonagall’s. I’ve got detention.”

“You never told us why you got detention, Teddy.” Martin’s ears perked up as he watched Teddy rush out the room.

“I can’t tell you now, maybe later. See you guys!” Teddy ran out the door and down the stairs.

***

Teddy made his way down to Professor McGonagall’s office. He knocked on the door and stepped inside. The severe looking woman was seated behind her desk reviewing some essays she’d collected from her third year students. She looked up when he entered and rose, pointing her arm to a nearby desk. Meekly, he made his way up the rows of desks to the one she indicated and sat down. She stared down the length of her pointed nose, over the rim of the eyeglasses.

“You know why you are here, Mr. Lupin?” He nodded and barely was able to bring his eyes up to meet hers. She pursed her lips. “Tell me why.”

“I used my metamorphmagus powers against other students.” He hesitated and gauged her response. Her gaze was even more piercing, indicating that she wanted to hear more than that. “Um, transforming into other forms is against the rules?”

“That’s not it, Teddy.” Her tone softened and she took a seat in one of the adjacent desks. “Being a metamorphmagus is an extraordinary power. It is very rare among wizards. I can count on my hand the number of metamorphmagi I have encountered and the last one was your mother. You need to know how to control that power. Yes, using the power in front of your fellow students was unwise, but my concern was what would you have done if you couldn’t control the transformation?”

“I don’t understand. What do you mean by that?” Teddy’s ears perked up.

McGonagall stood and began to pace at the front of the room, in full professorial mode. “Let me put it this way. What do you feel like when you have transformed into another figure?”

Teddy looked puzzled and thought back to the times he’d become a creature or some object. “I don’t know.”

“Think, Mr. Lupin. Mr. Potter told me about the time the Frustro attacked the Burrow and took you prisoner. You changed into a werewolf, if I remember correctly.” He nodded. “What did it feel like?”

Teddy’s brain went back to the fight. Some of Frustro’s henchmen were threatening Victoire. He’d changed into the werewolf out of pure instinct. “I remember doing it. I was mad and it seemed easy. I remember feeling as if I were floating outside my body, kind of up in the air and watching everything happen.”

“What about other times?” McGonagall stopped her pacing and leaned her arms on the top of his desk, watching his eyes.

“Sometimes I see things from by body, through my eyes. When I change into a thing, like an umbrella stand or a piece of furniture, I’m just there.” He looked at his professor and wondered where she was going with this.

“What about when you changed into a wolf yesterday?”

“I was floating up in the air. I remember being scared and mad at the same time.” He watched her stand straight and walk back to her desk.

“The problem, Mr. Lupin, is that when a metamorphmagus transforms, part of them becomes the creature they transform into. It depends on the complexity of the creature. I’m an animagus. I only have one form, so I don’t lose control of who I am. The cat form is merely my own body changed on the exterior. That’s why my cat will have bands around its eyes that look like my spectacles.” She frowned at Teddy’s outburst of giggling at the thought.

“But you, Mr. Lupin, are metamorphmagus. When you transform, part of you essentially becomes the creature you emulate. When you turn into an inanimate object, you are not becoming a creature of will. Smaller animals like a dog or a cat don’t necessarily overpower you, but when you start changing into something more, like a werewolf or a dragon, creatures with magical properties, the risk is greater. Unless properly trained, you may lose yourself to that form.” She walked back to her desk and sat down. “For your detention, we are going to work on controlling your transformations. Let’s start with your hair.”

***
A couple of hours later, Teddy was walking down the corridor. The lesson had been pretty basic, concentrating on well, concentrating. Professor McGonagall kept emphasizing the point that the problem with his transfigurations was that he made them in highly emotional and stressful situations, which subdued the rational part of his brain. Teddy chuckled, considering his friends would hardly call his brain rational. Still, they focused on his hair, because of its tendency to change colors with his moods. McGonagall emphasized that there was nothing inherently wrong with that, but it was indicative how much emotion controlled his powers as much as his control and if he could control his hair color, he could begin to grasp control of his transfigurations. Not to mention, he’d finally be able to beat his Uncle George in poker, which was a bonus.

“Teddy!” He turned as the deep baritone of Kingsley Shacklebolt caught his attention. The former Minister of Magic and current Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher was walking up the corridor to meet him.

“Hello, Professor Shacklebolt.” Teddy stopped and waited for Kingsley to make his way to him.

“I see you’ve come from Professor McGonagall’s detention. I hope you understand why she had to meet with you.” Teddy nodded.

“I do now. It’s kind of interesting, once you think about it.” There was a hesitancy in Teddy’s voice which Kingsley picked up on.

“You’re bothered by the Marauders article, aren’t you?” Kingsley placed a reassuring hand on Teddy’s shoulder. “You shouldn’t be. In some parts, a hit piece by Skeeter is a mark of true distinction. Harry was the recipient of some extraordinary features by that infernal woman.”

“Thanks, Professor. I appreciate it.” Teddy seemed somewhat mollified, but the doubts lingered.

“Look, Teddy. Your father was one of the noblest men I’ve ever known. He and Sirius fought to the bitter end to take down the Dark Lord and I was proud to call them friends. James Potter was the best of us all. Both Sirius and Remus swore by his loyalty and kindness. If there was a flaw in any of their characters, it was their true allegiance to their friends. Their loyalty to Peter Pettigrew was key in the Potters’ murder, but it wasn’t a mark of evil or malice. When they were students here, the Marauders were notorious pranksters, not mean, well not all the time.”

Teddy looked up at him questioningly and Kingsley sighed. “They did not get along with the Slytherins, especially Snape. I have to say they had a long running feud with Severus, but that was more personal than anything else. I never knew why, but whatever it was, it could get a bit over the line, as it is with all kids. You can’t let what students do here reflect on the men they became. Your father was a kind man, a gentle man and one that I would have gladly placed my life into his care. You remember that, and everything else will take care of itself.”

“Thanks, Professor. That means a lot to me.” Teddy shook hands with Kingsley and headed back to his dormitory.

***

As he rounded the staircase that led up to his room, Teddy noticed that the Marauders’ Den sign was prominently displayed on the outside of his door. His emotions ran through the spectrum, but this time he found himself concentrating on keeping his hair from changing to other colors, randomly. He took a deep breath and walked into the door. His room mates were huddled around Alan’s bed, engrossed in something.

“What’s going on?” They stood up abruptly, as if caught doing something against the rules. Martin, as usual, seemed the most energetic.

“It’s amazing, Teddy! You won’t believe this!” They parted from their group, and Alan stood and smiled.

“I definitely think it’s time to restart the Marauders. They were awesome!” Alan was twitching in excitement.

“Hold on for a second, what are you guys talking about?” Alan, Martin and Lunastus turned and nodded towards Richard, who’d been standing with them, but still a little off to the side. The meek looking boy had on a pair of white, plastic gloves and was holding a large, leather-bound book.

“I read the article. I decided to check it out for myself.” Richard shrugged and held the book forward.

Martin couldn’t contain his excitement. “Richard went digging in the library and found this!” He took the book from Richard and handed it over to Teddy.

Teddy took the book and opened the front cover. The words were handwritten in a small, careful scrawl and the first page jumped out at him.

“The Legends and Adventures of the Marauders, by Remus Lupin” Teddy’s eyes grew wide at the title and he turned the page to the Forward written by his father so long ago.

He spoke aloud as he read it. “Professor Dumbledore took me aside and recommended that I capture what myself, Padfoot, Prongs and Wormtail had done during our time at Hogwarts. Padfoot was ecstatic, but Prongs was a little more careful. I begin this ledger by writing about random adventures, but I’m sure my friends will have something to say about the final edit…”

Teddy looked up and Alan spoke up. “There are pages torn out. Those are probably things that his friends didn’t want out there. But, some of the stuff I’ve read have been really interesting. Did you know that they taught themselves to be animagi?”

Teddy nodded and continued on. “The Marauders are more than just a club or a group of friends. It’s a bond that will last forever. Padfoot may think this is silly, but the Marauders will always be together and thirty years from now, we’ll still be together…”

His throat tightened at reading that, his voice became a little unsteady. “We all bring something different. Prongs is loyal and strong, there’s nothing that phases him. Padfoot is reckless and brave, he’s the rebel of the group. Wormtail is sensitive and quiet, he helps balance the wildness of the group. And me? What does old Moony bring? I’m a stickler for the rules. I think I help set the boundaries that we work under. Apart, we’d just be students making our way through school. Together, well that’s an entirely different thing. The others may laugh at how lofty I am with this, but I truly believe that the Marauders are a cause. We’re free to choose and free to live. Voldemort’s power is growing. Dumbledore says that our bond of friendship will be needed to fight his evil, regardless of our weaknesses. Together we are strong, together we are united, together we are formidable…together we are the Marauders!”

Teddy clapped the book shut and sat down on his bed. There was such optimism in the words his father wrote. A sudden thought hit him and he flipped back to the very last page that his father had written on. The handwriting was much more adult, and significantly less positive. The date was scrawled at the top of the page.

“June 1st, 1995

Well, I’ve tendered my resignation to Professor Dumbledore. I fear that bleak times lurk ahead. The revelation that it had been Peter all along and not Sirius who’d betrayed James and Lily on that dreadful night almost fourteen years ago has rocked my core. Peter had been the quiet one while Sirius had been the hothead. Since leaving school seventeen years ago, the Marauders had been dedicated to defeating the Dark Lord and we had fought as hard as we could. The deaths of James and Lily rocked us to the core. When I’d heard that Peter had been killed and Sirius was a traitor, I was filled with despair.

The events of the past year have given me a glimmer of hope and a tinge of despair. It’s good to have Sirius back in the fold. A void has been filled in my heart where I no longer feel alone. Harry is the best of James and Lily, something to behold, indeed. Even Peter is still around. For all intents and purposes, the Marauders are back, but we’ll never be the same. Now, it’s about the Order and what we can do to fight the Dark Lord. I actually feel pretty confident, now that Sirius is around and I’ve seen Harry in action. Maybe that’s what I take out of all of this. Even though James and Lily are dead, they live through their son. Harry is their legacy. Perhaps its time I think of my own legacy, maybe it’s time that I stop closing myself off from the world and look to the future. Maybe the legacy of the Marauders is what we leave to our children. I’ll definitely have to think about that. I close this journal, reinvigorated about what we did and what we will do, in the hopes that the legacy of the Marauders will live on in future generations.

Remus Lupin”

Teddy caught himself. He had not been breathing for quite a while. These were his father’s words and they resonated in air. He looked over at his friends and smiled.

“I guess we should take a look at this whole Marauders thing. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to see if it makes sense to bring them back.” He caressed the front cover of the book and nodded. “It’ll have to be different, though. It can’t just be us, we have to look at other years and other houses. It has to be like things are today, not back then.”

The other four boys smiled and nodded. Then Alan chuckled out loud. “I agree, but we still get to do all the practical jokes and stuff like that, right?”

Teddy looked at him sternly, his brows knitted together. Suddenly, a bright smile came over him and his hair turned a dark shade of hot pink, his concentration faltering a bit. “Of course, what good would being a Marauder be if we didn’t cause a little bit of mischief? Besides, my Uncle George would absolutely die if I made it through Hogwarts with causing Mr. Filch some trouble.”

The core of the newest version of the Marauders began to layout their plans for the future.


***A/N: A couple of things. The Lupin journal is kind of contrived, I know, and it's incomplete. Padfoot and Prongs tended to tear out the items that would reveal some things they didn't want revealed (i.e. the Marauders' Map and some of the more bullyish antics), so it's not necessarily a roadmap of what the Marauders did. The main reason is that I'm not as up on the canon behind the Marauders and I wanted this story to be more about Teddy and less a fic about the Marauders themselves.

(My favorite fan fic about the Marauders Era is Auburn Pride and a Chaser's Persuasion. I highly recommend it.)

Secondly, when the bad stuff happens, the whole idea of a Dumbledore's Army is kind of taken. Remember, in the other fic, Harry still leads the alumni of Dumbledore's Army and this generation really doesn't have an emotional tie to Dumbledore. The concept is that this new Marauders fills that void and becomes the engine that helps Teddy and his friends fight whatever comes along.

I know, long winded, but I thought you'd like to know how my twisted brain works.

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Thanks to cybobbie for the awesome sig pic!
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My Fanfics:
A History of Magic: Part II - Beyond the Epilogue
Teddy Lupin and the Legacy of the Marauders ; A History of Magic: The Harry Potter Era (on hiatus); You Are Cordially Invited... (First Attempt)

Last edited by USNAGator91; January 29th, 2008 at 4:19 pm.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 2:39 pm
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Re: Teddy Lupin and the Legacy of the Marauders

Chapter 10 – The Gryffindor Quidditch Team

Friday evenings in Hogsmeade were typically subdued affairs as the village denizens prepared for the next day’s onrush of upper class students. Into the evening, most of the shops were closed and the only establishments showing signs of life were the pubs and restaurants that dotted the main road. The stooped, broken man limped along the main thoroughfare and turned off a small side alley which ended in a weather beaten, dilapidated building. Hanging loosely from two rusty chains was a wooden sign which proclaimed, in faded letters, the name of the out of the way establishment, “The Hog’s Head.” The man pushed open the thick oak door and walked into the pub, sidling up to the bar.

The inside of the Hog’s Head made the exterior look like the entry way to the Taj Majal. The room was dark and musty with a layer of pipe and cigar smoke coating the ceiling, as if it had always been there. The large rock fireplace was streaked with black soot marks while a large, black cauldron had a viscous black liquid bubbling on the fire. The bar was high, made of roughened oak planks pockmarked with knots and cracks which seemed to resist any and all attempts to wipe down. Behind the bar, a tall, white-haired man with a long, stringy beard and piercing blue eyes wiped down glasses before putting them away. The barman took a quick glance at the pitiful man who’d walked in and immediately dismissed him as nothing more than another customer. Thankfully, the man nodded and Aberforth Dumbledore placed a freshly drawn stein of ale in front of the new arrival and continued about his business. Nigel smiled gratefully and took a pull on his drink, listening to the conversation floating around the pub.

“Gryffindor tryouts are tomorrow mornin’.” Two men at the bar were sharing a couple of pints and talking Hogwarts Quidditch with Dumbledore, the owner of the Hog’s Head.

The man’s friend shook his head pitifully. “I’m tellin’ you Amos, they’ve lost too many players from last year. Slytherin is the class of the bunch this year, I tell you.”

“Yer drinkin’ too much of Aberforth’s swill. It’s goin’ to yer brain too fast. Gryffindor’s got some talent. They stayed true to the original competition even after Slughorn changed out the House Cup and besides, Deanna Odom is the captain an’ she’s got a mean streak.”
“I ain’t denyin’ that Odom is good, but she only has one other 7th year playin’, that idiot Hough who fancies hisself a Seeker and he couldn’t find his own backside with a roadmap.” The man belched out loud and turned towards Aberforth, who seemed to only be half-listening to the conversation. “What do you think, ‘Forth? I say Gryffindor ain’t got a shot.”

The tall, rough looking bartender chuckled. “Well, I tell you boys. The last time I saw Gryffindor in such straits, the Captain was Oliver Wood and you know what he did, don’ ya?” They shared blank stares with the big man. Aberforth grunted in disgust. “They got themselves a first year Seeker named Harry Potter who turned it around. I happen to know there’s a couple of real talented first years tryin’ out tomorrow and if Odom is half the Captain we think she is, she’ll pick ‘em out real fast.”

“Yeah? Who?” The man who’d been supporting Gryffindor piped in, more enthusiastic.

Aberforth refilled the mens’ glasses. “One’s a right nasty bludger who’d smack his mum with a bat then let someone score and the other is Teddy Lupin.”

“You mean the boy that woman Skeeter wrote about? He’s a good player?” The man was skeptical, but knew that Aberforth always had supreme sources of information.

“The same. He’s Harry Potter’s godson and I know on good authority he’s been taking private flying lessons from both Potter and Potter’s wife.” One of the patrons let out a low whistle.

“You mean Wild Woman Weasley? From the Harpies?” Aberforth nodded.

“Yep, that’s who Potter’s married to, and that’s who’s been teaching Lupin about Seekin’. So, I wouldn’t fret too much, boys.” Both men let out sighs of relief and began planning their day for tomorrow in order to allow themselves the chance to watch the tryouts. At the end of the bar, Nigel was making his own plans to attend the tryouts as well. He was finally going to get a good look at Teddy Lupin for his master.

***

Saturday morning brought the anticipation of the team tryouts. The five boys in the dormitory momentarily forgot the notion of Marauders or school or anything as they began to dress for the upcoming tryouts. All dressed relatively quickly and scurried down to the Great Hall for breakfast. Soon, the time drew near to meet with Deanna to begin the tryouts and Richard and Teddy rose and bid their friends farewell, and began to slow walk to the Quidditch Pitch.

They were similarly dressed, in maroon and gold flying leathers, with borrowed goggles and gloves. Neither carried a broom, as broom ownership was against the rules for first year students. Richard’s uniform looked crisp, freshly pressed, as if it had just been removed from the plastic (which undoubtedly, it had) and he kept to the center of the path, careful to avoid disturbing the grass on the edges for fear of sending pollen and dander into the air. When they arrived at the pitch, there was already thirty or so Gryffindors milling around the central dais, waiting for Deanna. Soon, the appointed time arrived and Deanna Odom walked up and stood in front of the assembled boys and girls.

“Welcome to the tryouts for the Gryffindor Quidditch Team. First, if you made the team last year, you are NOT guaranteed a spot on this year’s team. The only spot secure is mine. Everyone else is up for competition, period. Second, every spot will be filled according to my evaluation. Mine is the final and only vote and I do not play favorites. If you are a seventh year and a first year beats you out, that is that. Thirdly, I play to win, so I do want to hear about fouls or lack of fair play. If you want fairness or rules, go play chess. So, here’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to have everyone do some basic flying drills and begin to weed you down until I have two teams of Chasers, Beaters and Seekers. Once we do, we will have those two teams play each other for me to evaluate individuals and make the final selections for our team. Any questions?” Deanna looked around at each person and saw none. “Then let’s get going.”

The next hour was as grueling as any Teddy had had on a broom. It didn’t help that the Nimbuses he and Richard were forced to use were hand me downs and slow. Still, they managed to work their way through the drills impressively and at the end of the hour, Odom had managed to whittle away the numbers to a final twelve players for the open six positions. She had the remaining players divide up into two teams, and invariably, it was a case of the older kids versus the younger ones.

Teddy shook his head as he lined up with his team in the Seeker position. Opposing him was the only other seventh year returning from last year’s team, Jacob Hough. Hough was a large and had an intimidating, yet smug look on his face. Teddy couldn’t be sure why, but perhaps Hough thought he had the Seeker spot locked up. Teddy turned and looked over at Richard who was carefully pulling the cellophane wrapping off of his new bludger bat. Next to Richard, a surprising Graciella hovered, clinging to her own bat. She and Richard would be opposing a fifth year returning starter named Wilhelmina Justice and a fourth year named Stephen Fry. The Chasers were also divided into younger versus older, with three 2nd years matching up against a 4th year and two 3rd years. A pair of Deanna’s friends had taken up spot duty as fill in Keepers, as Deanna herself would be the starting keeper when the season started.

Richard idled up to where Teddy waited. “How come keepers are always Captains?”

Teddy smiled. He’d asked Oliver Wood that same question one time and the answer, while easy, was never truly obvious. “Keepers are the only players that see the whole pitch. They face out and get a full view while every other position has blinders on. That’s why they make up the majority of the captaincies.” Richard nodded in understanding while Teddy smiled over at the nearby Graciela. “Hey, Gracie. Good luck, okay?” Barreto smiled her trademark smile and whatever traces of vulnerability she’d shown in revealing her secret to him had disappeared and for that, Teddy was glad. Instead, he turned and waited for Odom to get things started.

“This isn’t a winner take all moment. I don’t care about the outcome of this game. You are being evaluated at your position and how you act as a team member. This is your one shot. Ready? Begin!”

As one, the players rose into the air, taking their respective balls and heading out to play. Teddy shot up into the air, closely paralleled by Hough. Teddy peeled off to the side and hovered above his goal, his eyes scanning for the snitch. Down below, the Beaters and Chasers were in a vicious battle for dominance. The older team had tried to seize the early initiative, with 4th year Chaser James Wray passing the quaffle ahead to 3rd year Chaser Matthew Reynolds, breaking ahead of the three 2nd year chasers. Just before Reynolds could get into position to score, Richard sent a bludger careening into the Chaser’s chest, knocking the quaffle loose, and sending the hapless boy flying. Miles Quincannon, one of the other 2nd year Chasers scooped up the loose quaffle, but looked like a helpless target as Wilhelmina Justice raised her arm to send a bludger his way. The missile flew true, but at the last second, Graciela swooped in and deflected the bludger shot away, creating an opening for Miles who snuck the quaffle into the goal.

The contest was fast and furious with neither side conceding a second’s worth of advantage. Remarkably, Richard and Graciela was a remarkable pair. They combined equal parts of ruthlessness and skill and managed to deflect every attempt to hit their chasers and knocked the opposing chasers for a loop. The match was slowly devolving into a slugfest and Teddy knew that he had to find a way to break it open. He made an attempt to calm his racing heart and slowly scanned the pitch perimeter. There! Hovering in an almost nonchalant way, the snitch was just above the main grandstand. Teddy dove from where he had been positioned. Hough caught Teddy’s movement and followed him down, the two boys converging on the same spot from opposite sides of the pitch. Something that Ginny had taught Teddy was that if your opposing Seeker didn’t know where the Snitch was, don’t tell him. Instead of diving for the spot he’d seen the Snitch, Teddy had been pointed towards a location away from the Snitch, luring Hough into committing towards an objective away from the Snitch. Once Hough was so committed, Teddy suddenly swerved and took an inside course towards where he’d seen the Snitch. With a roar, Hough realized, too late, that he’d been snookered and he bellowed at his Beaters for help.

Wilhelmina Justice and Stephen Fry began to pelt Bludger shots at Teddy and for a second he felt and heard the proximity of the bludgers to his back. In the next moment, Graciela and Richard were there, returning the shots with better accuracy. One of Richard’s shots splintered the handle of Fry’s broom while another sent Hough veering wildly off course as the older boy tried to catch up with Teddy. There was a maniacal look on Richard’s face as he kept blocking and hitting the bludger around the pitch, only matched by the ferocity on Graciela’s face as she matched him, shot for shot. For his part, Teddy’s face was calm and focused on the Snitch. The winged golden ball seemed to sense his approach and took off. Teddy bore down, ignoring flying bludgers and bumping Chasers. He extended his arm out and felt a brief tug on his broom, as if it were slowing down and then he felt the hot breath of Hough, who’d somehow managed to catch up. Both boys extended their arms and the larger boy elbowed Teddy sharply and made one final, desperate lunge, grasping his hand around the Snitch and holding it up in triumph. The match was over, and Teddy had lost.

The twelve applicants glided down to the center of the pitch and landed next to where Deanna stood. Hough was vigorously pumping his chest, holding the Snitch aloft and shouting to his mates. Teddy stood silently, his head drooped down towards the ground.

“All right. Let’s get this over with. The Chasers were a mixed lot. I liked both sides on this.” Deanna pointed to a 3rd year. “Matthew Reynolds.” Then she pointed at two of the 2nd years. “Miles Quincannon and Jamie Peters. You three are the Chasers.” Then Deanna smiled a wicked, mean smile. “I have to say, I think the Beater spot has to have people who aren’t right in the head. You two,” She pointed right at Richard and Graciela. “You two are definitely not right in the head. You two are mean, nasty and downright evil, and I like it. You two are my Beaters.”

Deanna turned to face the contestants for Seeker. Hough smiled triumphantly and held the Snitch between his fingers. Deanna rolled her eyes and shook her head slightly. “My new Seeker is Teddy Lupin.”

“What? What are you saying, Deanna? I’m a 7th year and I caught the Snitch!” Spittle sprayed out of Hough’s mouth while Teddy began to comprehend what Deanna had just said.

“Blagging is cheating, Jacob and I won’t have cheaters on my team.” Blagging was a foul where one player tugs on the broom tail of another to slow him down. “Teddy had you beaten. You fell for his feint and he had the Snitch in hand until you cheated. He flew better than you and he won the spot.”

“That’s ridiculous! That’s my spot. I got the Snitch!” Hough snorted and gripped the Snitch tightly. He walked up to Deanna and towered over her, his teeth in a snarl.

Deanna, for her part, gave him a disinterested, almost bored look. “Crying about it won’t change my mind.”

“Oye! I think you might want to move on.” Graciella was standing to the side, twirling her Bludger bat with the distinct look in her eye saying that she wouldn’t mind using Hough’s head as a bludger.

Hough stared around him and then fixed his stare on Teddy. “You haven’t heard the last of this, freak! All of you haven’t heard the last of this.” The tall boy stormed off the pitch.

Deanna sighed and smiled at the rest. “Everyone who tried out, thank you.” Then she turned to the students who’d gathered in the stands to watch the tryouts. “Fellow Gryffindors! May I present this year’s Quidditch Team!” A tremendous roar rippled through the stands and Deanna smiled. “Remember, our first match with Slytherin is in six weeks. We hope everyone will be there!” Again, the crowd roared and Teddy’s chest swelled as he joined Richard and Graciela in the walk back to the castle. As they walked back, Richard seemed to fidget.

“What’s the matter Richard?” Teddy studied his friend, confused.

“Nothing really.” Richard rubbed a spot on his shoulder. “I wonder what kind of dye they used on these robes?”

“I don’t know, probably the maroon kind?” Teddy shrugged his shoulders. “Why?”

“I hope they didn’t use any red dye number five. Mother says I’m allergic to red dye number five.” Graciella smacked her hand to her head and mumbled under breath as the three walked to catch up with the rest of their friends.

***

Nigel sat back in the visitor’s section of the stands. The supporters from the village had sat together and were abuzz about the youth of the team and excitement of the training match. Nigel had not really bothered with the match. He’d been watching Lupin and smiled at the boy’s youth. His master would be pleased with his report. Young Lupin would be easy prey.

***

“Dear Aunt Ginny!

You won’t believe it! I made the Gryffindor House Team. In fact, there are two of us First Years on the team. I’m the Seeker and it’s all because you taught me what you did. The match was unbelievable and I didn’t think I made it at first. In fact, I didn’t get the Snitch, the other guy did, but he cheated to do it, so I made the team.

Thanks so much for all your help. I used the Wild Weasley Feint to draw him away from the Snitch and then turned inside of him. It worked great!

Anyway, both my friend Richard (the other first year) and I got broom waivers. I sent it with Phasma. I love my grams, but she doesn’t know the difference between a Nimbus and a Nimrod. Could you help her send my good broom to the school? I’d ask Uncle Harry, but you’re a much better player than he is. He still thinks the Firebolt XL is top of the line.

Thanks for your letter of encouragement about the Skeeter article. It bothered me to begin with and it still hurts a little. Vee said that you were really mad about it and I hope you don’t get in trouble trying to get back at her. She’s not a very nice person and I’d hate for you to waste you time on her. Still, if you get a chance, I would love to hear what you do to her. Uncle George says that you’re the one person he’d never want to cross. He says you don’t get even, you get ahead.

Don’t forget my broom! Maybe you can come for our first match against Slytherin? Talk to you soon.

Teddy”


A/N: Believe me, it wasn't writer's block. I'm still recovering from a bad bout of the flu. I wanted this part out, but I forgot how to spell certain words in my Nyquil induced haze.

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Old February 11th, 2008, 6:59 pm
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Re: Teddy Lupin and the Legacy of the Marauders

Chapter 11 – The Duel Team

War Studies proved to be harder work than they’d expected. The trip down memory lane for the four Houses of first year students was provided by a wide variety of guest lecturers and speakers who laid out the events of the past three decades in a way that wasn’t exactly complimentary of those that followed Dumbledore and not exactly demeaning of those who fell under the spell of the Dark Lord. Everyone seemed flawed in their own way, whether paralyzed by fear or loathing or jealousy. What Teddy could scarcely believe was that for a series of guest lecturers, there was an inordinate amount of writing involved in analyzing what had happened during the Voldemort wars. Uncle Harry’s assignment had only been the tip of the iceberg. When Percy Weasley came to speak, he asked for essays about the need to follow the law and the ministry, even if the dark lord reigned. Another time, John Dawlish, the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement came and discussed a fantastic story about the time he and Kingsley Shacklebolt had been forced to try to take Dumbledore into custody and how sick he’d felt about denying the Dark Lords existence, if only to make Harry and Dumbledore appear weak. Dawlish’s assignment was particularly hard, because it asked the students to compare the moral choices that Dawlish and Shacklebolt had to make. Dawlish followed the directives of the Minister, while Shacklebolt pursued his conscience by being a closeted member of the Order of the Phoenix. Who was right?

There was a buzz in the room as they awaited the arrival of their new lecturer. The Houses had started the first steps of self-segregation, where Hufflepuffs sat to on side, away from the Ravenclaws and the Slytherins sat apart from the Gryffindors. At a sort of “no-man’s land” Teddy sat in a place where Carlo, a Hufflepuff, sat on his right and Janet, a Ravenclaw, sat exactly one seat behind him.

“Ahem, excuse me?” A small voice sounded behind Teddy, who turned and found himself staring at a Slytherin boy of medium build and rich, golden blonde hair. His skin was pale and he had piercing blue eyes sunk into his head, traced by dark circles.

Teddy smiled and nodded. “You’re Simon Lewis, aren’t you?” Simon had been the Slytherin boy who’d spoken up to Harry during the first War Studies class.

Simon smiled sheepishly. “Yes. Look, Teddy, I was wondering, if only for this class, since we are all supposed to kind of get along, I was hoping I could sit next to you and your friends.” Teddy looked surprised at the request. He looked over at Carlo who shrugged his shoulder, and Janet, who smiled. Lunastus and the rest of his dorm mates were right in front of him, so Teddy pointed to an empty seat nearby.

“I don’t see why not. Won’t you’re House be upset with you for sitting with us?” Teddy snapped off a quick wink at a one of the larger Slytherins who’d seemed to take on a deep interest in their conversation.

“Nah, they won’t mind, “ Simon smiled at Teddy and gratefully took the empty seat. “I wonder what we’ll talk about today?”

Teddy shrugged his shoulders and heard the faint ringing of the faint bell. Behind him, the steady clip of booted feet and the simultaneous slamming of the shutters covering the windows followed a dark cloaked figure of a man as he made his way down the center aisle. The man looked self-assured, his shoulders thrown back. He practically stalked to the front of the class and firmly stepped to the podium and gazed about the room. His eyes, like Simon’s were blue, but darker, and colder. His platinum hair was slicked back and he seemed to stare at every student simultaneously. Teddy felt the hairs on the back of his neck as Draco Malfoy surveyed the scene.

“Well, well, well, isn’t this all cozy? Here we are, sitting together in one big happy moment of unity. Isn’t this special?” Draco’s voice dripped with contempt. “Mr. Potter asked me to speak to you about the war, and I will, but if any of you brats think you know what really happened, then you’re sadly mistaken.” He started pacing behind the podium.

“I, for one, believed in what the Dark Lord had to say. He was preaching sanctity, pride and above all, the preservation of our blood lines. As a pure blood, that appealed to me.” Draco stopped his pacing and grabbed the sides of the podium, his knuckles growing white from the strain.

“But the Dark Lord was an unforgiving task master. He commanded his followers to do unspeakable things. I will admit, there were those of his followers that relished the opportunity to do his bidding. Belatrix Lestrange, my aunt, Barty Crouch, Jr., Macnair, Goyle and yes, even my father, were willing pawns Voldemort’s schemes.” Draco began to slowly unravel the arm of his sleeve and slide it up past his elbow.

“Even I was a death eater.” Draco held up his arm with the Dark Lord’s mark. “I was accepted and I followed blindly, if not for anything but to take the luster off those arrogant fools, Potter,
Weasley and Granger. I honestly felt that I would do anything and I convinced my self that the Dark Lord’s path was the way to go. I did everything I could to prepare for my opportunity, because the Dark Lord had entrusted me with a very important task, one none of his other followers could accomplish, and one that it proved that I was not able to perform.”

He had them riveted. They were sitting on the edge of their chairs and Draco smiled inwardly. “I was given the assignment of killing Dumbledore. Think of it, a lowly sixth year like me was entrusted with the assassination of one of the greatest wizards of my age. I let the Death Eaters in on that fateful night and I helped them fight. I found Dumbledore, lying weakly in his office. I was prepared to do the deed. He was weakened. I’d spent a year building up to this and when I was finally faced with my opportunity, I froze. I couldn’t do it. Dumbledore knew. Dumbledore felt that I wasn’t a murderer. He was right. I wasn’t. You know the story. Snape had to bail me out, fulfilling his obligation to Potter or to Dumbledore or even to my mother. The thing of it was, I was not a murderer, no matter what the Dark Lord wanted.”

It was one thing to hear these things from members of the Order or from Dumbledore’s Army, but it was quite another to watch a pureblood, a Death Eater, the one person who was wholly representative of Slytherin during the Harry Potter era at Hogwarts, come out and admit something like this. “Why am I telling you this?” Draco returned to his pacing, his eyes seemingly locking with every Slytherin in the room. “None of us are preordained or predisposed to feel and act in a certain way. If you are blind and stupid, then becoming what your House dictates is simply the lazy way out. Not every Gryffindor is brave, nor is every Slytherin evil. Not every Hufflepuff is kind, nor is every Ravenclaw counter-dogmatic. You are all individuals with choices. We always have choices and then we live with them.” Draco’s voice tapered off and he had a faraway look in his eyes, as if his mind had drifted off with other people in other places, as if choices he’d made had made their plight a reality. Eventually, Draco came back to the room he was in and looked out over the students.

“I know you’ve been given essays with questions of great importance by the others who’ve come before me. I’ll do nothing so pedantic. Besides, I hated doing essays when I was a student.” For a brief moment, there was a sensation of elation in the room, but Draco held up his arms. “That doesn’t mean that you won’t have something to do. My business is import/export, and doing so, I have made many contacts across the world. Professor Slughorn has asked me to use those contacts to set up a unique experience for Hogwarts. You will have the distinct privilege to engage in the first inter-school dueling tournament. The Waverly Hills Academy of Magic and Sorcery from Louisville, Kentucky will be sending a team to Hogwarts to participate in the tournament. The Howarts team will consist of a representative from each year from each House, a total of four per class year. Tryouts will begin after class today and will be run by Professors Shacklebolt and Nott.” Draco smirked as a rush of excitement worked its way through the room. He held up his hands once more. “I know why Professor Slughorn asked me to set up this tournament, and it is a very noble cause.” Draco began walking towards the doors. “Of course, I expect the Slytherins to sweep every year being the superior House among equals.” Draco snorted and walked out the door, leaving the room in a general tumult over the news of the upcoming tournament.

***

“Of course I’m going to try out, who wouldn’t?” Teddy walked with Carlo, Janet and Simon, as Lunastus brought up the rear. “This is exciting. I wonder how they’ll choose the participants.”

“Who knows? It’ll probably be left up to each House to have a tourney to select their champions, or something like that.” Carlo seemed to be skipping down the hall. Normally quiet and reserved, he was grateful for a chance to try out for the tournament.

Janet shook her head. “I don’t see what the fuss is about, it’s just some silly duel. I doubt very seriously anyone is going to make a big deal about all this. What kind of school is Waverly Hills Academy, any way? Kentucky? They can’t be that good at dueling.”

A soft, deep voice came from behind them. The tall, slender figure of Theodore Nott had approached them. “They are an excellent school. Many of the American volunteers from the war came from that school. Waverly Hills was a sanitarium built in Louisville to treat tuberculosis, but is much more renowned for being haunted. It has many ghosts about and the Secretary of Magic for America decided to turn the grounds into a school, much like Hogwarts. It’s not as old as Hogwarts, but its founders are well known. They have four “houses”, but instead of calling them houses, they are called “fraternities”. They are named for the school’s founders, Einstein, Patton, Monroe and Borden.”

“What kind of names are those, professor?” Lunastus chuckled, and Nott shook his head.

“Think about it this way. The founder reflects the quality of the houses we have. Gryffindor the Brave, for example. Well, Waverly Hills’ founders are the same way with their fraternities. Einstein was a great wizard who believed in the power of the mind, so his fraternity is dedicated to more cerebral pursuits. George Patton was a brave warrior who also was prone to acts of pique and rashness, so his fraternity is about the warrior. Marilyn Monroe was an actress dedicated to the arts and the loving side of the human spirit, so her fraternity is composed of more “feeling” side of the school.” Nott hesitated as the students absorbed his lecture.

“What about the Borden fraternity, Professor?” There was always one in the crowd. The student that managed to find the unspoken question that would cause problems. This time it had been Janet who’d brought up his admission.

“Well, that is Lizzie Borden’s fraternity. She embraced the wilder, some would say madder, side of human nature. Her fraternity deals with qualities of emotion. Their representatives will be interesting, there is no doubt.” Nott stopped as he reached his office door.

Simon looked at him. “Professor, how will the participants be chosen, any way? Will there be a tournament?”

Nott smiled. “No. We will use the class cups to pick your champions. Wait until supper, and Professor Slughorn will tell you all you need to know. Now run along to class, don’t be late.”

***

Supper time arrived with a general stir permeating the air. Very subtly, the students began to congregate by house, the four long tables, for the first time since the sorting ceremony, filled exclusively with students from the same House. Teddy walked in with Martin and Alan and the three boys found spaces to sit next to Richard and Lunastus. At the head table, Professor Slughorn sat with his head next to Kingsley and a younger, fresh-faced man with russet brown hair and a matching goatee and mustache. He wore plain, dark brown robes over light tan smocks with a dark black leather sash tightened around his waist. Hanging from the belt was round, metallic cylinder roughly a foot long. The man couldn’t have been older than twenty or twenty one, yet his eyes bespoke a maturity and a general weariness that belied his apparent youth.

Slughorn rose and the room drew silent. The rotund head master cleared his throat and raised his arms up. “Students! As we discussed, we will look to foster greater school bonds by promoting external competitions. As you have no doubt heard, thanks to the efforts of Mr. Draco Malfoy, we have created the first of these competitions!” Slughorn offered an arm to the visitor at the head table who rose and walked silently to the podium. “My I present the headmaster of the Waverly Hills Academy of Magic and Sorcery, Mr. Stanley Greenburg.”

The man stopped short as the older kids erupted into a bout of tremendous applause. The seventh years, especially, stood on their tables, regardless of House, and roared in approval at the slightly built man who stood on the dais.

Martin leaned in and whispered into Teddy’s ear. “I don’t get it. How do they know him? He doesn’t look like much to me.”

Teddy nodded. How would Martin know about Stanley Greenburg? Greenburg was standing there looking no older than the kids at the table, wearing an outfit straight out of one of George Lucas’ films, a self-styled Jedi Knight, who had found a way to bring hundreds of volunteers from America and Australia into England to assist the Ministry at its hour of greatest need. The older kids knew him because his contingent of Jedi Wizards had stood their ground, despite terrific losses and turned the tide of evil, a debt not soon forgotten. Teddy wondered how he could explain all that to his friend.

Instead, Teddy leaned back and whispered in Martin’s ear. “Stanley Greenburg is a true friend, Martin. He’s one of the best.” Put that way, Teddy thought, was the best way it could be said.

Greenburg blushed at the attention and then raised his arms. The tumult continued so he grasped the metal cylinder at his waist and held it up. A bright, purple light whooshed from the device, followed by a characteristic hum of energy and magic. The act caused the crowd to quiet down a bit and Stanley tapped on the cylinder and doused the light.

“Thank you, Headmaster. I just wanted to say that our school was delighted to accept your kind invitation to our first annual dueling tournament. We promise to be fair and resolute in all our attempts to win the Transatlantic Dueling Cup!” Greenburg chuckled as hundreds of faces looked at him blankly. “Of course, the cup is new, created for this competition.”

Greenburg waved his arms and a platform hovered in from the massive doors at the rear of the room, bearing a giant platinum and golden chalice which practically crackled with greenish-white energy. “This is the Transatlantic Dueling Cup. Of interest is that fact that it was crafted by human hands. It is the first post-goblin metalwork in the world. Professor Slughorn and I foresee a day where many schools from many lands will compete for this cup, but for now, the inaugural tournament will be Waverly versus Hogwarts!” Again the crowd broke into applause and Greenburg smiled, allowing the students their day in the sun.

“Now, the cup shall remain illuminated in this hall for seven days. Place your names on slips of paper and deposit them in the top. Remember, one name from each house for each class year will be selected. If a house does not have sufficient nominees, the cup will refuse to select a team until each house has its allotment of players. The cup’s decisions are final. Good luck!” Stanley smiled and whirled away, leaving the kids to scramble to start putting their names in the cup.

Teddy scrawled his name carefully and nearly ran into Richard as he approached the cup. Teddy tossed his name in the top and watched Richard do the same. “I thought you didn’t like these duel competitions. You said it exposed you to too many germs.”

Richard scratched his head thoughtfully. “I hadn’t thought of that, but then again, there are no germs if I can take them out early.”

Teddy couldn’t find an argument in that logic and so he watched with Richard as the rest of his friends tossed their names in for consideration. Only seven days until they found out who would represent Gryffindor in the tournament. None of them could sleep a wink that night, but sometime after midnight, slumber finally found them as the Cup churned through the applicants. Every one of the boys in the Marauders’ Den found themselves hoping against hope that they would be selected as they slept through the night dreaming of light sabers, wookies and bright golden cups.

***A/N: Just a recap. We have Fenrir Greyback out there somewhere, some sort of bully intrigue with Graciela, Richard and Teddy made the Quidditch team and Obi Wan Kenobi is the headmaster of an American wizard's school. Hope that covers it.

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  #12  
Old February 13th, 2008, 8:59 pm
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Re: Teddy Lupin and the Legacy of the Marauders

Chapter 12 – Selections

“Let’s have your report, Nigel.” The stooped old man lay prostrate before the wild-eyed visage of his master. Fenrir Greyback reclined lazily in his makeshift throne made of the bones and skulls he’d collected in his decade of exile. The region of the Black Forest where he made his domicile was fast becoming known for its mysterious disappearances and the strange creatures that roamed the area during the full moon. Life on the run had only served to drive Greyback further into madness. His features, even in his untransformed state, had taken on the appearance of a wolf, with long sideburns and wild hair. He’d long ago filed his front teeth to that of canine and he’d developed a taste for human flesh. That taste had to be fed, and every evening, his minions would file out and bring him back some hapless victim for him to feed on.

He watched with mixed feelings as one by one, his old Death Eater allies were bagged through their own incompetence and lack of vision. Greyback, however, had always looked at his association with Voldemort and his cronies as more a marriage of convenience than of any real allegiance to the Dark Lord’s megalomaniacal cause. Greyback had his own agenda to follow, that of subverting the traditional human wizard community with werewolves, so he could afford to be patient. He could afford to wallow in these barrens and hollows followed by the score or so afflicted wizards he’d been able to gather over the years. The story about the Lupin boy had been interesting. The story of Lupin’s father had been a particular sensitive subject for Greyback. Remus Lupin had been bitten by Greyback as a punishment to Remus’ father, John. The story of why that punishment came about was a closely guarded secret for Greyback. Thoughtfully, he rubbed the discolored scar tissue on the side of his skull. John Lupin had been a fool, and his son had paid the price for his defiance. Now, his grandson would be harbinger of his new legacy. Theodore Remus Lupin would provide the mechanism that would allow Fenrir Greyback to realize his dream, thwarted almost thirty years ago.

Nigel bowed low and seemingly spoke to Greyback’s foot. “Master, the Lupin boy is fully ensconced in life at the school. He is a Gryffindor and has been named to the Quidditch Team. The school will also be conducting a duel tournament with an American school in the next few weeks. My sources assure me that the Lupin boy will want to participate.”

“Sources? What sources, Nigel?” Greyback’s voice was raspy, rough with an edge of impatience. Nigel quivered at the sound.

“I have made contact with several students and one or two of the townspeople. Any would make excellent additions to Master’s army.” Nigel still hadn’t bothered to look up at Greyback.

“I’ll be the judge of who is worthy of my bite, Nigel. What about security and access to the school?” Absently, Greyback reached an elongated, pointed nail to pick some wayward offal from between his teeth.

“None of the secret passages you have shown me are in existence, Master. All have been blocked. That is not to say that subsequent generations of students haven’t opened others, but they are not known. The school has changed many of the protective charms since the Battle of Hogwarts and the staff seems a bit more formidable with the addition of the Shacklebolt, Nott and Longbottom.” Nigel cringed as Greyback snorted in contempt.

“So you are saying that this boy is protected from me? By these idiots? Bah, I thought you had some backbone in you, Nigel.” Greyback leaned forward and bared his teeth.

“No, Master. Much has changed, that is true, but part of that change is the desire by the Headmaster to introduce interschool competitions to the place. The duel tournament is just the beginning. Other schools will be invited and the Quidditch matches are open to visitors. There are vulnerabilities to exploit, if we are looking for them.” Nigel could feel Greyback’s eyes on his neck, could feel the warmth of the man’s breath.

“I see. Then there is no choice but to move our operations to England. Are you prepared?” Greyback rose from his chair and strode back and forth.

“Yes Master, I have found the ideal location just outside of Hogsmeade, within walking distance of the border of the school.” Nigel remained prostrate before Greyback as he heard the man pace.

“You have done well, Nigel. It is time, I think to reward you with the bite.” Nigel was the last of Greyback’s followers to have not been granted the gift of the werewolf’s bite. “Tomorrow, the moon will be full, and I shall reward your service to me. After the moon’s cycle is complete, we will move our camp to England. We have a date with the wizards there, and I have a debt to keep with heir of John Lupin.”

Nigel didn’t know why, but the warmth he’d been feeling with Greyback’s granting of the werewolf’s bite was tempered by the chilling cold of his master’s laugh.

***

The week passed as more and more students placed their names in the cup for consideration. There were no age lines to consider because the competition would pit all years against their counterparts from the Waverly Hills School. Soon, the evening arrived where Professor Slughorn gathered the students together to announce the participants in the challenge. Stanley Greenburg stood alongside Slughorn as the diminutive Headmaster walked to the cup, who would make the selections.

“Now for the time you’ve been waiting for. The cup will cast out the participants in reverse class order. First up, the seventh years!” Slughorn held up his hands to the cup and flash of light and smoke spit out a slip of paper, which Slughorn easily caught.

“From Ravenclaw, ah yes, our head boy, Carter Sigismund!” A roar went through the room as Leonora Sigismund’s son was announced. In short order, the names of the other participants from the seventh year class, including Deanna Odom from Gryffindor were announced.

Slughorn went through the roster rapidly. Notable names included John Marshall for the fourth years, a name that surprised the gathering. When the final second year name was announced, the tension was palpable.

“The final second year participant, from Gryffindor, Graciela Baretto!” Slughorn’s voice was drowned out by a mixed chorus of boos and cheers. Like her famous aunt, there were no ambiguous feelings when it came to Graciela.

Teddy sat on the edge of his bench. The first year selections were next and he could scarcely hold his breath. Richard sat beside him, blowing silently into a brown paper bag, while Lunastus, Martin and Alan sat with crossed fingers, hoping their names would be called.

The selection flame spit out a name. “From Slytherin, we have Simon Lewis!” A roar came from the Slytherin table as Simon stepped forward to accept the challenge. Teddy found himself clapping as loud as the rest. The cup continued to froth and roil from its selection magic.

“From Hufflepuff, Carlo Baretto!” This time Teddy stood up and cheered his friend as the small, tanned boy shook his head in amazement. Carlo gave a thumbs up towards Teddy and returned to his seat.

“From Ravenclaw, Janet Higgs!” It was looking good, in Teddy’s eyes. His friends were being selected, maybe the cup knew that comrades worked best together and now he felt a charge of excitement as he shared a wink with Janet. The room drew silent as the cup churned through the final selection. The delay seemed interminable and Teddy rocked back and forth in anticipation. The only sound was Richard’s quickened breaths in his paper bag as the excitement covered the room.

Finally, a smoke shot in the air and Slughorn snapped a small slip of paper from the air. “Finally, the last selection for the first annual interschool dueling competition, from Gryffindor, the participant is…”

Slughorn gave a dramatic pause, eyeing the Gryffindor table up and down, a slight grin on his face.

“Lunastus Rookwood!”

The Gryffindor table exploded in bedlam, both in surprise and delight for the large boy with the Death Eater name. For a moment, Teddy felt a small pang of jealousy and then remorse as his dorm mates clapped Lunastus on the back.

“Our participants have been chosen! Professors Shacklebolt and Nott will supervise your dueling training as you prepare for the tournament in three weeks. Congratulations, players. I know you will do our school proud!” The Great Hall burst into spontaneous applause as the Houses gathered around their fighters. Once more, the small hint of jealousy clouded Teddy’s face, but it disappeared as he saw John Marshall staring over at the Gryffindor table, ignoring the congratulations of his own House. Teddy followed Marshall’s hate filled gaze, which was directed right at Graciela, who noticed the stare right away and returned it with equal venom. Then, as if knowing it would ire Marshall even more, Graciela winked at Marshall and blew him a kiss. Teddy watched the exchange and shuddered. Sometimes there were enmities that even school spirit could not douse. No matter what Graciela said or how much trouble he got into, this bore some watching in the future. For now, Teddy allowed himself to be sucked in by the general euphoria of the new experience and followed his House back to the Gryffindor Common room for the post-selection celebration.

***

“Vee,

I’m sorry it’s been so long since I’ve written, but so much has happened here. I made the Quidditch Team as a first year. I’m a Seeker, like Uncle Harry. The move back to the House Cup was a great idea and I can’t wait to beat Slytherin in the first match. But first, we are having a duel competition against the Waverly Hills Academy. They just selected the team, one player from each house from each class. Carlo, Janet and Graciela got picked. I didn’t. They picked Lunastus, instead.

I’m happy for him, he’s a good friend, but part of me is really sad that I didn’t get picked. Is that wrong? I mean, I’m a good duelist and everyone knows who I am, so why shouldn’t I get picked? Anyway, I know it sounds like I’m a sore loser, and I don’t want to be. I guess I’ll just have to make up for it in Quidditch.

I’ve been doing detention with Professor McGonagal, but it really isn’t detention. She’s been teaching me how to transfigure using my metamorphmagus power. It’s harder than I thought and it can be scary because I can get really lost in the change. She doesn’t allow me to become really hard creatures like a centaur or a wolf, because she says that part of me becomes the creature I turn into. That scares me, because remember when I turned into a werewolf when those bad men came after us at Uncle Arthur’s house? I think I remember wanting to bite those men, over and over. Maybe that’s what she means?

I heard that Rita Skeeter got sent to Azkaban. That’s good, I guess, although I don’t think her article was that bad, I guess. My friends thought that the Marauders were cool and we’re thinking about starting them up again. We found a journal my dad wrote and it was pretty interesting what they did. Maybe I can write Uncle George about some free samples? Okay, you’re right. I’ll ask Uncle Dudley instead, Uncle George hates giving out free stuff.

Was it as bad as I’ve heard out there, when the article came out? Did Aunt Ginny get in trouble? What’s this I hear that Dean Thomas is angry with Isabella? Did it have something to do with Rita Skeeter? That woman is nothing but trouble. I sure hope they can work it out.

Well, I’d better get going. Professor Binns has assigned us an essay on the “Ramifications of Unicorn Mane on the Deliberations for the Third Council of Utrecht.” Believe me, it’s more boring than it sounds.

Take care,

Teddy”

***

“Teddy,

I have three words for you. “Get Over Yourself!” You are a good guy, but you seem to believe all that stuff everyone says about you. If you are a good friend to Lunastus, you should be happy for him and helping him get ready, and not feel sorry that you weren’t picked. Come on!

Aunt Ginny and Uncle Harry had a little bit of an argument over Rita Skeeter. Uncle Harry was upset that Aunt Ginny broke so many rules to get back at that foul woman. They seemed to be okay now, but Dean and Isabella are having some trouble. Isabella helped Aunt Ginny and Dean thinks the rules are important too. We haven’t seen them around so I don’t know what is going on.

I’m glad that you made the Quidditch Team, but you’d better be careful. You aren’t as good as Aunt Ginny, not yet, anyway and you should take better care of yourself. Speaking of taking care of things, are you feeding Phasma? She seems to be losing weight. You better take care of your owl or she won’t bring you the goodies that I enclosed with this letter.

Uncle Charlie is in town. He’s working with Uncle Ron and Uncle Harry on something. He seems to be very popular. I think he’s in some sort of club that has lots of girls in it. He’s always talking about going to the club with a different girl every night. I wonder if they play games or if they talk about dragons?

Anyway, take care and write more often. You know, it’s only a eight more weeks until the winter holidays. Have you started picking out my Christmas gift? If you need help, I’ll send you a list of what I want next time.

See you soon,

Vee”



***A/N: I think it's time to start bringing all these elements together. What did John Lupin do to Greyback, anyway?

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  #13  
Old February 20th, 2008, 10:50 pm
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Re: Teddy Lupin and the Legacy of the Marauders

Chapter 13 – The Waverly Hills Academy of Magic and Sorcery

The month progressed and a sense of excitement overwhelmed Hogwarts as the designated duelers prepared for their upcoming competition. Despite a small tinge of jealousy, Teddy did his best to help his friends prepare for the test. The issue was that the younger the student, the smaller the repertoire of spells available for use. The first, second and third year students spent an inordinate amount of time with Kingsley Shacklebolt and Theodore Nott learning basic defensive spells. As for offensive spells, Nott and Shacklebolt decided to concentrate on a few and ensure that the duelists could perform them well. Anything outside that basic knowledge was left to whatever extra learning the students could do by themselves. In addition to the core instruction the school was giving, the Houses decided to perform cram sessions in their own common rooms, led by the upper class students. The seventh years were immensely helpful in this role, given the fact that many had volunteered to fight in the recent war with the International Confederation of Wizards. So, after the supplemental instruction the teachers gave, the students would have a quick meal and the seven members from each house would meet in their common rooms for further, more customized instruction.

At first, students would hang around the perimeter of the common rooms, watching the practice unfold, hoping to pick up a tidbit of information, however, training devolved to what the seventh years had learned during their army instruction, which was monotonous repetition of basic skills. To be sure, complex spells were offered, but the main purpose was to look at how to use basic spells like “Stupefy” and “Petrificus Totalus” in the best sequence. As the practice continued, Teddy noticed that of all the Gryffindor participants, Deanna aside, Lunastus and Graciela were the most proficient at combinations, with Graciela, her skills tempered by her persistent run-ins with Marshall’s bullies, had a deeper set of spells to draw on and knew how to use them. In fact, Graciela also seemed to have something that the rest did not, which was a decided nastiness to how she deployed her spells. There was little subtly in her approach. She went for victory quickly and with a decisive flair, which surprised most of those watching.

Teddy wasn’t surprised, given her history with the Marshall gang. He was more concerned that the deeper into the training regimen she got, the more she seemed to enjoy her ability to best even the older students. There was an underlying anger in her actions that frightened him and he immediately knew that he was ill equipped to help her through her difficulties. The last training session before the arrival of the Americans was decidedly testier. The professors had brought the students together to have one final training duel, and matched the contestants up based on ability and less on class standing. In the end, that pitted Lunastus against one of Marshall’s lieutenants, Casey Fleming, a third year in Slytherin and, to no one’s surprise, Graciela herself, against John Marshall, who received the pairing with a decided glee.

The matches displayed how far the students had come and how creative they could be. Deanna Odom used the aguamenti spell to finally send Carter Sigismund flying, and disarmed him after sending him flying through the air with a stream of high pressure water. Lunastus had a particularly spirited bout with Casey Fleming. Both were large boys, who, on the surface, seemed slow and dull. When Shacklebolt set the match in motion, both boys circled each other warily, trying to find an opening.

“Stupefy!” Fleming’s assault was clumsy and well telegraphed.

“Protego!” Lunastus easily deflected the attack. Fleming was the more bull headed of the two and he walked forward, his teeth clenched tightly. He launched another stun spell which missed altogether.

Lunastus smiled. “Impedimenta!” The ground around Fleming’s legs started to roil and thicken, causing the bull headed boy to fall over to the ground. “Expelliarmus!” Fleming’s wand flew from his hand and into the crowd eliciting a tremendous response from the student body as Lunastus held up his hands in triumph. Fleming’s face turned beet red and he let out a low, throaty growl. He snapped to his feet and started charging down the duel ramp, his shoulders aimed at Lunastus’ back.

“Levicorpus!” Fleming’s body flew into the air, as if an invisible hand held him by the ankle He dangled above the tittering faces of the students, who were laughing uncontrollably at his plight.

“Mr. Lupin!” Kingsley’s voice boomed throughout the room. Teddy looked over sheepishly, his arm extended, his wand pointed at Fleming. “That is quite enough. I’m sure Mr. Fleming is aware that being a sore loser will not be tolerated. Put him down.”

“But, Professor…” Teddy stammered.

“I said put him down.” Kingsley’s face would brook no further argument.

Teddy nodded. “Yes, Professor. Finite.”

As if the invisible hand holding him suddenly let go, Fleming fell to the ground in a heap. Kingsley stared down Teddy with a glare.

“But Professor, I was trying to tell you that I don’t know the counter spell.” That brought another round of guffaws from the crowd.

The stage cleared for the next match, the one most anticipated by the students. Graciela stepped up onto the dais facing a sneering John Marshall. She was almost a whole head taller than him, despite the fact that he was two years her senior. His face was wrinkled in a mix between a grimace and a smile and he tapped the end of his mahogany wand in his opposite hand. With a flourish, he pointed his wand at her.

“It’s about time someone taught you a lesson, Grazer.” He chortled and was joined by the ten or so boys that comprised his pack.

Graciela smiled sweetly. “When you find someone good enough, you be sure to let me know, Marshall.” His face flushed as her comments drew more laughs from the crowd.

Nott stood between them and raised his arm. “Remember, no spells to injure. I will terminate this contest and expel the first person to violate the rules from the competition.” He looked at them both and they nodded. “All right, bow, salute, count to ten and begin.”

Silence hovered over the room as the two students faced each other down. They gave the bare minimum of the ritual greeting and started a loose count. At ten, Marshall flicked his wrist.

“Expulso!” The ground beneath where Graciela had been standing exploded, but she had already moved forward.

“Protego!” Her shield extended and pushed Marshall back towards the end of the ramp.

“Foul!” Several of the Gryffindors cried out their displeasure at the explosive charm, but Kingsley held up his hand, after a quick, shared glance with Nott.

Graciela watched as Marshall twitched again, and dove to the side as he cried out his next curse.

“Furnunculus!” The boils charm would have severely incapacitated her, had she remained in place, but she had a knack for anticipating his moves and Teddy marveled at how quickly she’d avoided the charm. In fact, he noted, she had a wicked smile on her face, an expression he’d only seen on her aunt’s face when she was engaged in battle.

Her leap had drawn her closer to where Marshall stood. Quickly, he yelled, “Ferula!” A large, wooden staff appeared in his open hand and he brought the edge down, slightly hitting her shoulder with a glancing blow. She fell to the ground and rolled out of the range of the stick.

Quickly, she flashed her wand and the jelly fingers charm caused him to drop the staff. Graciela jumped up and raised her wand quickly.

“Langlock!” Her charm landed squarely on Marshall’s face, leaving him with a shocked look on his face. His tongue was firmly planted on the roof of his mouth, preventing him from speaking any charms. His jellied fingers flailed away and Graciela smiled fiercely.

She set loose a bat bogie hex and finally disarmed Marshall after a very pronounced and very deliberate motion. The duel was over.

The room burst into applause and Graciela held her hands up in triumph. Marshall stood stock still as Madame Pomfrey healed the various afflictions he suffered and he picked up his wand and stomped out the door.

“He’s not going to forget this.” Carlo had walked up to his cousin, Teddy and Janet in tow.

“I sure hope he doesn’t. I kicked his backside in front of the entire school.” Graciela beamed and ruffled Carlo’s hair.

“That’s not what I meant.” Carlo pushed her hand away.

“I know what you meant, and I’m glad I did it.” Graciela gave Carlo a meaningful look and he nodded at her.

Suddenly, the sound of a canon echoed throughout the school and Kingsley’s voice again could be heard. “They’re here. Our guests have arrived!” The students filed out of the school and made their way to the front gates.

***

In the 1840’s the Yankee clippers crossed the world’s seas in a testament to their uniquely sleek designs. They moved cargo and people in a manner unparalleled, marked by their speed and their beauty. The Sea Witch was such a vessel. Built in 1846 and launched in Manhattan, she set a sailing record, traveling from Hong Kong to New York in seventy five days. She was the pinnacle of sailing technology and was revered among sailors.

Remarkably, that self-same clipper ship was approaching Hogwarts, its sails full, her decks lined with the students from the Waverly Hills Academy. What set her apart as a magical vessel was the fact that she was floating in the air, easily swaying among the cumulous clouds above. She was canted gently to the right, her rigging propelling her along as the Scottish winds drove her towards her destination. Shouts of awe came from the assembled Hogwarts students and they watched in delight as the Sea Witch floated down and easily slipped into the waters of the great lake below. Not bothered by the transition from sky to sea, the ship continued on its course, making a bee line for the long dock at the end of the landing, near the entrance to main hall.

The vessel’s helmsman brought her in and her sails furled, as if compelled by magical hands. She slid to a halt by the dock and a small ramp lowered from the side of the ship onto the pier. A loud, bellowing noise roared from within the ship’s hold. It started off as a single growl, but was soon joined by a cacophony of others, like a pride of hard of hearing lions roaring to each other on the veldt. A cloud of smoke appeared as the rattle grew louder and the students on the shore started clasping their hands over their ears. Suddenly, a bright light appeared on the ramp, followed by several others and the tell tale roar of a dozen Harley Davidson soft tailed Road Kings drove down the ramp and onto the Hogwarts dock.

Stanley Greenburg led the pack of motorcycles. His tan cloak covered by dark brown robes. He had a russet colored goatee and a pair of old fashioned goggles over his eyes. He smiled and led his troop of “HOG” riders onto the grassy plain and spun about in a large circle, the loud sound emitting from their tailpipes. He spun to a stop, followed by the students he’d allowed to ride bikes in their entrance.

Professor Slughorn walked up to Stanley and offered his hand. Slughorn’s voice was louder than usual, brought about by the riot of noise given off by the bikes, which were now silent.

“Welcome!” Slughorn cleared his throat as realized he was shouting. “I mean, welcome to Hogwarts. Your school is most welcome here, Professor Greenburg.”

Stanley removed his leather gloves and pulled the goggles up from his eyes, leaving them resting on his forehead. He had the look of a reverse raccoon, black soot covering his cheeks and a pronounced white spot where the goggles had been. He took Slughorn’s hand and shook it firmly.

“We’re proud to be here, Professor. May I present, the students and faculty of the Waverly Hills Academy of Magic and Sorcery.” He held out his arm and his students began to file off the clipper ship. The sound of heavy metal music with a deep percussion accompaniment followed the students off. Teddy looked on the quarterdeck of the ship and saw a band playing, cranking out the music.

The students wore similar tan smocks. The older students had dark leather vests and longer, wilder hair. The younger students wore their simple smocks and had their hair cut short, except for the long, narrow braid at the back. Each younger student was paired with an older one and followed along with their assigned mentor’s lead. Greenburg smiled as they passed and turned to greet the familiar face of Kingsley Shacklebolt.

“You sure have a sense of style, Stanley. Nice entrance.” Kingsley’s low baritone held a hint of admiration.

“Nice to see you, Kingsley. Our padwan’s gave us a hard time on the trip over. They all wanted to ride the HOG’s too, but they’re too young.” Stanley pulled his goggles off and ran his fingers through his hair.

“Padwans?” Slughorn asked curiously.

“Yes, the young ones. We pair a first year up with a fourth year student. The younger one becomes an apprentice to the older mentor who is graded on how well he or she guides their pupil. They stay together, second year to fifth year and finally third year to sixth year. The sixth year student is actually graded on his own performance as well as on the performance of their padwan. If they either fails, the sixth year may not move to their seventh year.” Greenburg waved at several of his students. “We find it creates bonds of friendship and trust and teaches the older students a good deal about leadership. It’s worked quite well.”

“Fascinating.” Slughorn shook his head. The interaction with other schools was turning out to be quite a learning experience.

“Forgive me, Headmaster, I don’t mean to be rude.” Greenburg pushed down his kickstand and dismounted the massive machine. “I’ve been looking forward to one of your patented feasts. I hope you laid out a spread.”

Slughorn laughed and guided Stanley by the shoulder. “Of course, where are my manners? We wouldn’t want to disappoint our guests. The feast awaits.”

Together, the students from the two schools mingled and walked up the hill towards the Great Hall.

***

The sun was beginning to set over the western rim of the mountains surrounding the lake. Nigel sat and watched the arrival of the Americans for their duel with Hogwarts. He peered out carefully and finally picked out the multi-hued hair of Teddy Lupin. Nigel smiled and peered eastward towards the darkening sky. A full moon was expected tonight and Nigel had finally received his master’s gift. Now, he smiled as the first tinges of pale yellow began to crest in the distance. Tonight, he would be able make his first hunt, and below him on the Hogwarts plain, there was so much to choose from. His mouth watered in anticipation.


***A/N: I'm trying to get meaningful chapters out. I'm sure I'll get one more out before the end of the week.

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  #14  
Old March 11th, 2008, 6:46 pm
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Re: Teddy Lupin and the Legacy of the Marauders

Chapter 14 – Duel in the Sun

The welcome feast for the students of Waverly Hills Academy was in full swing and the Great Hall echoed with the deafening sounds of merriment and music. There were many things about Professor Slughorn that have been raised as to his ability to be an effective Headmaster, but there was one singular thing he was good at. Horace Slughorn knew how to throw a party. The food on the tables was delicious and the mood was raucous with the Hogwarts students crowded around their guests. Kingsley and Neville sat locked in conversation with Stanley Greenburg, every so often stopping to explain an anecdote from the war to Theodore Nott. Because the hall was alive, no one, including his own hangers on noticed when John Marshall snuck out the door.

Marshall was fuming, still smarting from the rather thorough beating he’d suffered at the hands of Graciela. Madame Pomfrey had made short work of his physical ailments but the hatred he had for that girl was building to unprecedented heights. Who did she think she was? It was one thing entirely for her to keep eluding the fools she sent after him, but another altogether to humiliate him in front of the school. She’d obviously cheated, yet with the backing of Shacklebolt, Longbottom and even Nott, she was getting away with it, again. He pulled his robe tighter against his body and continued walking down the hall.

One of the legacies of the Battle of Hogwarts was that most of the so-called hidden passages around the school had been identified and blocked. There were rumors, of course, that some had not been found and that there was even a magical map that displayed where these tunnels were. Still, without the map, it was left to some enterprising students to begin a program of creating new ways to get out of the school and cause mischief. One such passage was now located near the base of the owlery and that was the destination that Marshall had on his mind. He walked carefully along the castle wall until he found the telltale black stone in the wall base. He depressed the stone and a hinged door broke the surface of the lawn, revealing a dark hole. Without hesitating, Marshall walked down into the hole.

It took him a second to draw his wand and illuminate the passage. He followed it along carefully, some places narrowing to where he had to turn sideways and others where he had to duck down. He followed it along until it began to slope upward and finally he reached a trap door. A few years back, one of the students who helped dig this particular passage was a muggle-born whose parents were huge “Hogan’s Heroes” fans. The television show detailed the comedic exploits of a group of allied POW’s during World War II who made use of an extensive tunnel system to get in and out of their camp. One of the tunnels exited through the base of a tree stump and this enterprising student had taken this as his inspiration for this exit. Marshall pushed the trap door open, and found himself exiting the tunnel through the base of the tree stump.

He looked around and noticed that the last vestiges of the dusk sky were dropping to the west. There was a heavy overcast, casting dark shadows all around. He stopped and listened for a moment and then walked off towards Hogsmeade.

***

Nigel waited at the end of the alley. His heart beat with anticipation as he contemplated the moon rise. He felt a slight irritation at the cloud cover, which obscured his vision of the full moon, but that was well and good. Greyback had been quite specific, indicating that it was not yet time to lend his bite to the students he had cultivated as agents within Hogwarts. If his contact did not arrive soon, however, Nigel would have to head deeper into the forest and miss speaking with the student.

There was a crack of a branch nearby, and Nigel turned to face the approaching figure clad in a Hogwarts robe.

“You’re late. If you had been any later, you would have suffered greatly.” His voice was agitated and he felt the blood rushing through his body as the cloud cover began to clear.

“I’m sorry, it was difficult to get away.” The voice was familiar and the student smiled apologetically.

“No matter, what news do you have?” Nigel prompted the boy, but his eyes kept searching the night sky.

“Lupin will not participate in the duel. He’ll be in the stands with the rest of the students during the competition. The only time I see him relatively alone will be during Quidditch practice and games.” The voice was bitter and Nigel’s eyes focused on the boy in front of him.

“Take no action, do you understand. Our master will reward faithful service, but does not appreciate those who make moves without his permission.” Nigel stared at the angry face of his contact and saw the fear he was looking for. Good.

“I understand. There may be one more thing. Every night, he leaves the common room at the same time. Right around seven. I don’t know where he goes, but it may be an opportunity. I can follow him if you wish.”

Nigel thought for a moment. “Yes, follow him, but don’t be seen. This is vital. I will meet you back here at the same time next week. Now go. Run, if you know what’s good for you.” The boy looked at him curiously, but then turned and ran down into the woods.

Nigel turned and ran in the opposite direction, hurrying as the cloud cover broke revealing a bright, full moon in the night sky. A knowing smile covered Nigel’s face as he stopped and allowed his body to perform its ritual.

***

Marshall walked back to the stump and pulled it open. The moon had broken through the clouds and made it easy for him to find his way back. As he put one foot down into the passage, he loud, baleful howl rang through the night, sending a shiver down his spine. He looked around and then carefully crawled down the passage and headed back for the school.

***

The next day, classes had been canceled in preparation for the duel tournament. The Quidditch Pitch had been transformed into an arena. The student bodies of both schools were seated in the stands, letting loose roars of excitement and anticipation. It was decided that the competition would be segmented into four pools where a house from each school would face another house from the opposing school. Patton would take on Gryffindor, Einstein would take on Ravenclaw, Monroe would battle Hufflepuff and Borden would fight Slytherin. The initial matches would pit class against class, first years against first years and so on with the winners moving up to challenge the next available class. If there were no one available from the opposing school at the end of the house battles, the tournament would be reseeded to ensure that the schools opposed each other. At the end, points were awarded to the school’s total for each victory. If opponents from the same school battled, the points automatically went to the school represented. There would also be a tournament champion, the number one duelist of them all, which bore an individual prize as well.

The grounds of the pitch had been transformed to reflect terrain that widely varied, providing obstacles and barriers for the combatants to use in their duels. Unlike the duel club that had been initiated at Hogwarts so many years ago, the duelists did not face each other on a narrow strip. The dueling grounds gave each person a variety of ways to move about and use their better combat skills to overcome their opponents.

Teddy made his way into the stadium seating, followed closely by Richard, Alan and Martin. His other friends were part of the duel teams and could be seen hanging out in the players’ pavilions erected at either end of the stadium. Looking over and waving at Carlo and Lunastus, Teddy couldn’t help but feel a tinge of jealousy, which was quickly overcome by Richard, who was spraying the bleacher section with a can of disinfectant.

“Come on, Richard! It’s going to make me sneeze.” Alan held his hand over his nose as the Richard coated the seats with liberal amounts of the spray.

“You’ll thank me later. A Jamaican boll weevil carries all sorts of diseases and they simply love boring into the wood at athletic stadiums.” Richard said as he carefully placed a long, plastic tarp over the seating area.

Martin sighed. “Richard, how on earth would a Jamaican boll whatever get to Hogwarts? I mean, seriously, where did you learn this stuff?”

Richard was not deterred. “You never know and it says in the Royal Allergy Guide that Jamaican boll weevils could become a problem in the future.”

Teddy chuckled. “How far in the future, Richard?”

His friend hesitated and then smiled. “They say within fifty years or so.” The incredulous stares of his friends suddenly became raucous bouts of laughter. “Well, it never hurts to be prepared.” Finally, Richard sat down, the seating area sanitized.

Martin wiped a tear from his face and shared a glance with Alan. Together, the pair leaned in to Teddy’s ear. “So, Teddy, we’ve been thinking, we’d really like to bring back the Marauders. You haven’t said much about it, but Martin and I think we could have some serious fun.” Alan looked at Teddy eagerly, visions of practical jokes running through his head.

“You think so? We could get into all sorts of trouble, you know.” Teddy’s heart wasn’t in the argument, still there was a part of him that felt awkward in trying to emulate his father and friends.

“Yeah, isn’t it cool?” Martin’s mouth was practically salivating. “We could try to up James Potter and Sirius Black. It’d be historic. I bet we’d even surpass the Fred and George Weasley Exit Episode.”

Richard’s nasally voice piped up. “There’s not Delores Umbridge here, I’m afraid.”

“It doesn’t matter, that’s what makes it so challenging. It’s easy to do stuff when you don’t like the professors, but you have to be truly creative when you do.” Alan was slowly building up the enthusiasm. The three roommates stared steadfastly at Teddy, whose mind wrestled with the idea.

Finally, Teddy gave a slow nod. “All right. Let’s do it, but we can’t just restrict to the four of us.” He looked at them steadily, his face serious. “I mean, if we have to be so creative, we’re going to need a lot of help.” In the back of Teddy’s mind, he thought that Graciela wouldn’t ever want his help with Marshall and his cohorts, but it wouldn’t hurt to have the Marauders around to help her out. That’s what tipped the scales.

Their excited conversation was interrupted by the amplified voice of Horace Slughorn. “Students and guests! It is my pleasure to commence the first annual Transatlantic Dueling Cup! The first match will start now! Now entering the arena, for Waverly Hills, from the Einstein House, Heidi Boehringer.” A wave of hoots and applause greeted the small girl as she stood tentatively on the entry ramp to the platform. Slughorn continued, “And from Hogwarts, representing Ravenclaw, I present Janet Higgs!”

The roar was deafening and Janet seemed a bit ill at ease at the attention. The two girls entered the competition platform from opposite sides and bowed to each other as Slughorn readied them for the match.

“Now ladies, no spells to injure or maim the other. You may use anything on the competition platform for cover or as a weapon. The match will commence when the cannon fires. Play well and fair and may the best duelist win.” He nodded to the pair and walked back to his box to sit. With a wave to Filch, the gun was lit and the match began.

The match ended rather quickly, as Janet seemed to take a lesson from Graciela and attack quickly, instead of trying to feel out her opponent. Before the boom of the signal echoed away, Janet snapped her wand up and sent out a quick “Expeliarmus” which caught her more timid opponent unawares. The small girl’s light saber wand flew from her hands and into the stands.

“Match to Ms. Higgs!” Slughorn roared triumphantly and a point was added to the Hogwarts scoreboard. The crowd reaction was restrained. There was a good amount of applause, but the quickness of the victory left many disappointed.

Slughorn and Greenburg had chosen to pit their cerebral houses in the first matches because for lack of a better term, the contests tended to be more civil. Their choice was shown to be correct as the Ravenclaws and Einsteins tended to be more thoughtful in their approach. Aside from Janet’s uncharacteristic first impulse, the rest of the battles went through in a relatively calm fashion. The final match was a showcase of intellectual prowess between Carter Sigismund and his nearly perfect match from the Einsteins. The crowd was treated to a bout with less action and spectacle and was more akin to a chess match. Carter fought hard, but in the end, was hamstrung by the fact that he was one of the few seventh years that had not fought in the recent war, while his opponent was a veteran. In the twentieth minute of the match, Carter found himself suspended atop one of the box-like obstacles and summarily disarmed.

When the Ravenclaw and Einstein round was complete, the Waverly Hills team found themselves leading 4 to 3. Slughorn stood up and held his hands high.

“We have been treated to an engrossing morning of matches. We’ll break for our picnic and then recommence the bouts. On tap for the next round, we will see the Slytherins versus the Bordens.” He thrust out his hands and ushered the guests in his box out the back.

Teddy sat with his friends, allowing the mass of students to walk out. Out of the corner of his eye, he caught a stooped, older man seated in the visitor’s queue, seemingly staring at him. When Teddy looked over, the man had disappeared. Richard tapped Teddy on the back, bringing the boy back to reality and the four dorm mates rose to leave.

“I can’t wait for the next round. Slytherins versus Bordens? I honestly don’t know who to root for.” The four laughed at Alan’s words and walked towards the pavilions where the noon feast was being offered. Teddy took one more look back towards where he thought he’d seen the old man, and then shrugged his shoulders and followed the crowd.


***A/N: Guys, I apologize for the four week hiatus. I might have bitten off more than I could chew and when work encroached, I kept the other story going. I have not given up on this one, in fact, I did take some time to review some character backstories and the like. Again, sorry for the tardiness.

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  #15  
Old March 19th, 2008, 8:05 pm
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Re: Teddy Lupin and the Legacy of the Marauders

Chapter 15 – A Lesson in Fighting Dirty

The noon feast completed, the stands filled back to capacity as the students awaited the battle between Slytherin and Borden. Aside from Simon Lewis, Teddy had no real friends on the Slytherin team that he was inclined to root for. In fact, Casey Fleming, one of Marshall’s toadies was on the team and that fact alone made him want to root for his Borden opponent. The first match featured Simon versus a very slight, timid looking first year girl from the Borden House. She stood in the center of her runway with a decidedly nervous expression on her face and her face moved back and forth, as if she wanted to be anywhere but where she was.

Simon stood at the ready and bowed to the official’s box when the time came. The bout began and Simon seemed to hesitate as the girl’s eyes grew wider and a look of sheer terror came across her face, until it disappeared. In a split second, her doe-like eyes narrowed and a twisted smile came across her lips and she extended her arm forward, propelling a bolt of lightening from the tip of her wand-saber. Simon barely dove to the side and avoided the explosive meeting of her bolt with the floor where he’d been standing. There was a cacophony of boos and whistles from the stands as his opponent leapt forward and followed up her strike with another. Fortunately, Simon had been able to duck down behind one of the barricades that littered the arena floor.

The girl seemed to stalk towards where he was hiding. He snuck a peek around the corner and noticed that her entire manner had changed from the meek, quiet little girl to that of a feral lioness on the prowl. He took a deep breath and began to assess his surroundings. The thing about Slytherins was that they were supposed to rely on cunning and guile to get things done. He looked around to find something to get the advantage on his pursuer. He fixed a plan in his mind and then leapt from this cover, away from his foe.

She caught a glimpse of movement in the corner of her eye and brought her wand up, unleashing another bolt towards his fleeing figure. She noticed that his wand came up and a spell came at her in a haphazard manner, making it easy for her to evade. She laughed in a mad cackle and started taunting Simon.

“Is that the best you can do, little boy? Is that all they taught you at this silly school?” Her pace quickened as she followed his track to another box. She saw the tip of his wand come around the corner and another weak charm come her way, landing near her feet. “This has to be some sort of record. I’m going to have you finished in thirty seconds flat.” She aimed her wand at the box and let fly another bolt of lightning.

The crack and the sizzle of her spell told him that he’d been right. His last two spells had been quick bursts of water, designed to land on the spots she was standing on. When the Borden girl fired her last bolt, she’d been standing in a pool of water. Her final blast lit off, hitting his box, but large tendrils of energy were drawn to the water at her feet, speeding to ground and drawn by the liquid. The impact sent her flying through the air and made her hair stand on its end. Simon stepped forward and disarmed the stunned girl quickly. He raised his arms in triumph and turned to the dazed girl.

“You’re right, it was some sort of record.” He smiled and walked back to his team pavilion.

“Slytherin wins!” Slughorn’s voice held a hint of pride, especially considering Simon had used his guile and cunning to allow his opponent to defeat herself.

The matches continued through the day, with the Slytherins finding themselves on the defensive, faced with opponents who seemed to have little regard for their own or their adversaries personal safety. Two of the matches, including Fleming’s, ended with Madame Pomfrey’s attentions required. Teddy, for a split second, actually felt sorry for Fleming, whose foe had sent him reeling with a conjured axe that took a piece of his leg. The moment passed, and Teddy’s compassion wasn’t that large. He shook his head as the lumbering boy was carted off the pitch on a stretcher. The round ended with Slytherin losing four and winning three, leaving the Waverly Hills team with a two point, 8 to 6 lead. The stands began to empty as the students returned to the castle. The rest of the preliminary round would pit Hufflepuff versus Monroe and Gryffindor versus Patton. The sun was setting in the western sky and the matches would continue in the morning.


Teddy followed his fellow dorm mates up the myriad of staircases, through the portrait hole and into their dorm. The five boys slumped down on their beds, excited by what they’d seen, but exhausted from an entire day seated in the stadium. There was rattle of movement and a terrific horn-like noise from the corner.

“What are you doing, Richard?” Martin asked.

Near his bed, Richard’s face was a bright red from the effort he was putting into blowing his nose into an oversized tissue. He stopped for a moment and looked at them, allowing the color to return to his face, except for his nose which remained deep shade of purple from his activities.

“You have no idea what kind of dander is in that stadium. I thought the mask would help me, but you can’t be too sure. I think I’ll take a shower before dinner.” He padded over to his trunk and removed a hermetically sealed bag containing a change of clothes and toiletries. With a wave of his hand, he walked off to the bathroom.

Alan plopped down on his bed and looked at Lunastus. “So what do you think, Lune? Those Waverly guys look pretty good.”

The large, quiet boy shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know. Our guys made a lot of mistakes. Most of them lost because they underestimated their opponent. I won’t make that mistake.”

“Can you believe it? We get to miss another day of classes for tomorrow’s matches.” Martin seemed positively joyful at the prospect.

Alan snickered. “That’s because you still have McGonagall’s Transfiguration essay to finish.” Martin blushed while Alan looked over at Teddy. “So, Teddy, were you serious? Should we start our own Marauders?”

Teddy hesitated, then smiled. “Yep, I think that would be a good idea. I would love to get a crack at John Marshall and his thugs.”

“See, that’s what I mean.” Alan yelped for joy. “This would be a great way to even the odds around here. I’m going to start making a plan. We need supplies. We have a target. We have to start ramping up the excitement around here.” He jumped up and joined Martin near their shared desk and began to plan their campaign of fun.

Lunastus leaned over and whispered to Teddy. “You’re doing this to help Graciela, aren’t you?”

“Partly, but the more I think about that article and read about what my dad and his friends were all about, I think I like it. Still, it doesn’t hurt to get back at Marshall. He’s a right git, that one.” Teddy crossed his arms and Lunastus smiled. After a few minutes, Richard returned, looking chipper and refreshed.

“Hey, let’s go down for dinner. I want to talk to Simon and see what it was like.” Alan led the way, and paused as Teddy had not gotten up.

“Save me a seat, I have an errand to run first.” Teddy smiled and Alan shrugged his shoulders and followed the rest of the boys out. Teddy cinched up the front of his robe and walked out of the room. He made his way down into the main Entry Hall and cast a wary glance towards the Great Hall, where the sounds of the evening meal cascaded down to his ears. His stomach rumbled and he hurried out the door in an effort to finish his task. He walked along the side wall and made his way to the wrought iron gate that led to a small cemetery located on a small rise overlooking the Great Lake.

He held his breath and took a tentative step inside. Every night, this was the most anxious time. His eyes took in the various monuments chiseled with familiar names he heard from his childhood. He walked deliberately towards a pair of markers, in bright ivory, that were topped with moving statuary that depicted a couple holding hands. The names were written in finely scripted red and gold letters.

“Here lies Remus and Nymphadora Lupin, together in love forever.”

Teddy carefully cleared the area around the graves of his parents and then knelt down in front of them. His hair turned a deep black and his face turned a bright red, more from emotional tumult in his heart than any unconscious transformation. He fixed his stare on the image of his mother, making note of how her hair changed and the loving glow on her face for her husband. He felt a familiar tremor building in his chest and his face finally burst from the pain.

“Why did you leave me?” His voice echoed in the night. For several weeks, he’d found himself coming down here and trying to resolve why his mother chose to leave him and go to Hogwarts to die. Was it because she didn’t love him? Was it his fault that she didn’t love him? For some reason, he could understand that his father would go, that was his nature, but his father had begged his mother to stay behind and watch after their son, and she’d ignored that plea and she died with him.

Sometime, during his detention with Professor McGonagall, she’d mentioned how much alike Teddy was with his mother. While Teddy was certain that Minerva had meant it as a compliment, Professor McGonagall had once said that his mother would have been proud of his progress and that she probably loved him very much. It was on his first trip to the cemetery when those words resounded in his head. If his mother had loved him, why did she leave him alone?

The pain was something that he hadn’t been able to share with anyone. He tried to pen a letter to Victoire about it, but he lost his nerve. Tonight, as every previous night, his body wracked with the sobs that overcame him when he tried to resolve the issue. After a few minutes, he began to feel the rumbling in his stomach and he stood, wiping away the tears from his eyes. He took a deep breath and turned to leave.

Graciela was standing there by the entrance to the cemetery. She looked strangely sympathetic, the armor of her toughness seemingly worn away by his suffering. She reached out her hand and placed it on his shoulder.

“Are you all right, Teddy?”

He smiled wanly. “I’m fine. What are you doing out here?”

“I was looking for you. You’re going to miss dinner.” Graciela looked over at the markers of his parents. “You know, if you want to talk about it, I’ll listen.”

“Thanks, Gracie. Maybe I will.”

“If don’t want to talk to me, you should talk to someone.”

Teddy smiled. “I know, and I will, I promise. Come on, I’m hungry.” He led her back towards the Hall. Both failed to notice the eyes on them, which disappeared as they neared the entrance to the school.

Once they entered the Great Hall, the sneering voice of John Marshall hit them. “Outside with your boyfriend, Grazer?”

The old Graciela returned and she smiled at Marshall. “Why, you jealous, Marshall? I’m sure anyone of your other boys would be happy to be your boyfriend.”

“You got lucky last time, Grazer. You and I have got some unfinished business.” Marshall’s face had turned red as her last remark caused a ripple of laughter from the nearby students.

“Oh, I don’t know, Marshall, I seem to be doing pretty well against you and bully boys.” Graciela was feeling a lot better and she smiled at her nemesis. “You boys had better get a lot tougher, it’s getting boring kicking your rear ends all over the place.”

She turned abruptly and followed a laughing Teddy towards a couple of seats being reserved by his dorm mates. Teddy’s friends had heard the exchange and when Graciela and Teddy sat down, Alan looked at Teddy with a question on his face.

Teddy was confused for a moment and realization dawned on him. He snapped his fingers and turned to Graciela.

“Gracie, Alan had a pretty good idea and we were wondering if you’d like to join a little club we’re forming. I think it may make Mr. Marshall’s life a little interesting.”

The Marauders were born.

***

Later that night, Teddy sat at his desk, writing furiously onto a long piece of parchment. Every once in a while, a small tear would fall onto the paper, blurring the ink from his quill. He paused and then signed the letter in haste and walked to his window where the large, gray owl waited patiently. He rolled the parchment up and affixed it the bird’s leg. He offered Phasma a treat and rubbed her head.

“Don’t wake her, Phasma, you can wait to give it to her in the morning.” He looked down and saw his own messy handwriting on the outside of the parchment.

“Victoire Weasley, Shell Cottage”

It was high time he told Vee about his pain. She was going to be upset he waited, but she’d be positively put out if he didn’t tell her at all. Her Veela side was something he hoped he never would see in his life. With a soft hoot, Phasma spread her wings and drifted out into the night.

***A/N: A while back, Vignesh offered some really good character elements about the folks in this story, so I've decided to incorporate some of them here. Thanks in advance to Vignesh for his insight. I'm going to ramp it up some more, so be patient.

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Old March 22nd, 2008, 2:50 pm
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Re: Teddy Lupin and the Legacy of the Marauders

hi dad i luv the fa fic
love nick


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Old May 20th, 2008, 5:33 pm
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Re: Teddy Lupin and the Legacy of the Marauders

Chapter 16 – The Rise of the Gryffindors

The morning rounds were marked by a rather more sedate series of contests. The Hufflepuffs and the Monroes were remarkably evenly matched and the duels went apace roughly even for the first six matches, three to three. Carlo Baretto stood awkwardly on his platform, awaiting the Monroe participant, who turned out to be a small boy, who seemed far to too young, even for a first year. The Waverly student smiled at Carlo sheepishly, his replica Jedi costume seeming too big for his small frame. Carlo looked out into the crowd and spotted his friends, Teddy, Martin, Richard and Lunastus as well as his cousin Graciella and waved. His eyes passed the main viewing box and he saw Kingsley Shacklebolt smiling with an approving nod. Carlo took a deep breath and prepared for the start of the match.

Slughorn raised his hand and called for the match to begin. As if a light switch had been turned on, the small Monroe duelist leapt into the air and drew his wand-saber. The snap hiss of the blade made Carlo flinch and the young Hufflepuff barely moved out the way before a stun charm impacted on the platform where he stood. Carlo jumped off the platform and down onto the obstacle strewn match floor. The Waverly boy had gained the immediate momentum, leaving Carlo to dodge and parry a persistent flow of blasts. Carlo felt himself tiring and knew that he had to regain the edge. Extending his body horizontally, he dove for a long valley that bisected the center of the duel range and fell into the hole, momentarily lost from site. His antagonist followed close behind.

“Oppugno!” Carlo pointed his wand at a pile of rubble and rock and his spell sent the entire mass flying towards his opponent, giving the small boy a pause.

The boy lost his footing and fell down to the dirt floor of the valley. Carlo could hear the roar of the crowd and felt a lift in his energy level. Carlo started climbing up, out of the valley, back to the main level, leaving his opponent in the dust behind him. He topped the crest, just as another blast impacted the wall nearby and propelled himself out of the hole. Now he had the advantage of the high ground. In his haste, his opponent had chased Carlo down and surrendered what ever momentum he’d had. Carlo waited for any sign of his diminutive opponent and was rewarded by a small hand rising from the pit. Carlo hesitated, unwilling to throw a spell at someone with such a disadvantage.

The Waverly boy’s head appeared at the crest and he stared wide-eyed as Carlo stood, waiting for him to rise. The boy appeared defeated and braced himself for the spell that would send him reeling down into the canyon, yet nothing happened. He looked at Carlo, who raised the tip of his wand, indicating that he was allowing the boy a chance to get up. The crowd was yelling. The Slytherins were jeering Carlo, calling him weak, yet the boy refused to hit someone so exposed. Once the boy clambered out, the stood in front of Carlo, unwilling to believe that the Hufflepuff would surrender such a sure advantage. After a quick glance at his headmaster, the little boy waved his hand and the bright light of his wand dimmed and cut off. He held out his wand in front of his body and calmly laid it on the ground.

“I submit.”

The match was over. The crowd roared in approval and Carlo looked back up at the box and saw Shacklebolt clapping like mad. Carlo walked over to his opponent and picked up the wand-saber, handing it back. The two shook hands and walked to the pavilion. After the morning contests, it was now 11 to 10, Waverly. The afternoon Gryffindor matches against Patton would decide the thing.

***
As with the day before, lunch was a picnic affair on the main lawn, both schools intermixed, enjoying the unseasonably warm day. Teddy ran up to Carlo and clapped him soundly on the back.

“Well done, Carlo! You showed some real class there.”

“I would have zapped the little twerp.” Graciela had joined them and Carlo saw she was smiling, and he breathed a sigh of relief. She ruffled his hair. “You’re a better person than I am, Carlito.”

“Stop calling me that, Gracie!” He blushed slightly and basked in the win. Janet approached, followed closely by Alan, Martin and Richard. The friends huddled together. Everyone knew about the Marauders, except for Graciela, which caused a bit of concern for Teddy. The problem was that she’d already told him that she didn’t welcome any help with her bully problems, and the first task the Marauders wanted to handle was backing her up. He cast a warning glance over at Alan, who nodded and then tapped Martin on the shoulder.

“Me and Martin have to head over to the castle for a bit.”

“Don’t be late, Gryffindors are next.” Graciela said. She didn’t notice the quick exchange between Teddy and Alan. The two ran up towards the castle and met up with Lunastus, who was standing in the Entrance Hall, just outside the Great Hall.

“What’s the word?” Alan asked quietly.

The large boy grunted. “Marshall brought his lackeys into the Great Hall for lunch. They’ve just been standing around doing nothing.”

Alan nodded. “You’d better get going. You’re dueling. Martin and I will make sure they get back to the tournament.” Lunastus nodded and walked away, leaving the other two Marauders to their job of keeping an eye on John Marshall and his minions.

***

The crowd from town was starting to reassemble and one member hadn’t left his seat. Nigel stared out, trying to find Teddy and the one who was the traitor. Tonight, he thought to himself, he would bite the traitor. There was a full moon tonight, and it was time for the hunt. His master was firmly emplaced in a cave out in the Forbidden Forest. It had been difficult, with that moronic groundskeeper about, but the tournament had allowed them time to sequester themselves deep in the forest. They’d been forced to keep low. In addition to Hagrid, there was the occasional centaur patrol to worry about. Nigel could feel his body tensing with excitement. His master was firmly committed to carrying out his promise to that fool Lupin. Remus Lupin’s father had betrayed his master. Lupin himself had betrayed his master. Now, Fenrir Greyback would have his revenge. He would ensure that the Lupins would be permanent fixtures in the werewolf culture or their line would end with this brat.

Nigel watched as the contestants made their way to the pitch. He picked out the Lupin boy in the crowd, surrounded by his sycophants. Teddy Lupin was arrogant, like his father and grandfather, and clueless to the power that was arrayed against him. They would find out soon enough.

***

Teddy waited anxiously for the match to begin. He’d even forgotten all about Marshall as Deanna Odom stepped to the podium, facing a large teen with a crew cut and a sneer. Slughorn stood in the grandstand box and called for order.

“The score is 11-10, Waverly. The Gryffindor/Patton matches will determine who plays in the finals.” Slughorn gazed out into the crowd and raised his hand. The contestants saluted each other and the Headmaster. “Begin!”

The battle was terrific, both combatants forgoing guile, trickery, caution and fear. Both were battle tested and didn’t even bother to worry about evasion. There was a narrow bridge that connected the two platforms and they stood, toe to toe, trading shots and spells, one after the other. It was a test of strength and endurance and for a brief time, it seemed as if Deanna would be overwhelmed by her opponent’s superior strength and size, but Deanna Odom was a fighter and she refused to submit. She warded off a powerful spell and cast an Expelliarmus of her own, while her opponent did the same. The charms met each other at the center point and a tug of war started. The Waverly’s green light would seem to push past the center line, and then Deanna’s red light would beat it back. Neither seemed to have a decided advantage as they pushed and pull, using their full exertion. Sweat poured down their faces, and it was like a gigantic game of chicken. Deanna stood and started walking forward, forcing the issue. Her spell began to grow brighter, and her opponent realized he could not break free. He would win or lose here.

He began to walk towards her, fighting her back. Slowly, they approached each other, their spells getting more and more bright and fierce. The crowd gasped as the sparks flew. The officials seated in the official box covered their eyes from the glare. After a few seconds, there was a tremendous blast and both students were sent flying backwards to their platforms. A cloud of smoke and dust covered the arena and for a moment, no one could see either person. A breeze blew in from the lake and carried the smoke away. There, standing on her platform, was Deanna, a bit bruised, but at the ready, her wand out. On the other platform, her opponent lie on his back, knocked out, his wand off to the side. Deanna had won. The crowd burst into applause and she raised her hands to accept the praise. Now it was tied up.

***

The next four matches split. The Gryffindor fifth and sixth year students were soundly trounced, but the Quidditch team members, Stephen Fry and Matthew Reynolds took their matches. That left the matches all square and only Graciela and Lunastus to fight. Graciela walked up to the platform and stood casually, awaiting her opponent. Her fight was with another girl, this one was tall for her age and seemed very capable. She one was supremely confident and looked down her nose at the crafty Gryffindor. Her aunt always told her to never give into her own weaknesses. When in doubt, attack, and that’s what she did as soon as Slughorn’s hand came down. Graciela sent a water spell that knocked her opponent back. Unfortunately, the power of the water propelled the girl off her platform and out of sight on the floor below.

Graciela ran across the connecting bridge and jumped down after the Waverly girl. For her part, the Patton had recovered her senses and sent a blast outward that barely missed Graciela. Graciela rolled to her right and then upward, sending a flight of birds out towards her opponent, followed up by a Impedimentia charm, which caused the Patton to fall. As she fell, the Patton sent a charm that dislodged bits of rock and rubble that fell down towards Graciela who easily dodged it.

The pair circled each other warily, breathing heavily. In this fight, something had changed. While the Patton was capable, she began to realize that Graciela was stronger, more able. They exchanged charms. Gracie’s shield stopped the blast easily, but the Patton staggered as Gracie’s blast hit her shield. Graciela smiled to herself. This match was just about finished. Just as she raised her wand, Graciela felt something hit her and, her legs turning to jelly. She fell. The Patton seemed surprised and sent a quick disarming spell out that knocked Graciela’s wand from her hand. Graciela had lost.

Teddy looked around and turned towards Richard and Alan, who were equally stunned. Teddy looked around the crowd and spotted some movement from John Marshall. The boy seemed to be putting away his wand and had a smug look on his face.

“He cheated! Marshall cursed Graciela.” Teddy stood, but felt Richard’s hand on his arm.

“Wait, Teddy. We can’t prove it.”

“But he cheated, Richard. We’ve got to do something.”

Alan rose. “We will, Teddy, but not now. We’ve got no proof.”

Teddy sat down in a huff. “So he gets away with it!”

“For now, Teddy. For now.” Alan’s brain was working. The Marauders would take care of this. The friends watched as an angry Graciela was carried off towards Madame Pomfrey’s tent. Most of the crowd had been stunned, and then applauded the Patton victor, unaware of Marshall’s interference. Teddy’s hair turned a dark red and he stared over at Marshall.

“For now.” Teddy thought to himself.

***
The final match of the day pitted Lunastus Rookwood against a first year from Waverly. Lunastus towered over the other boy. Lunastus stared over at his opponent and saluted, awaiting Slughorn’s signal to begin.

“Begin!”

The match started with a flurry of spells as the two felt for each other’s weaknesses. Lunastus had seen Graciela’s defeat and didn’t want to wait for some surprise. He decided to attempt a spell that no first year should be able to do. He stood straight up and faced his opponent.

“Expecto Patronum!” Suddenly, a large, ethereal dragon leapt from his wand and flew with amazing speed at the startled Patton. The Jedi-clad wizard held his hands up in a vain attempt to halt the power of the spell. Lunastus had grown up alone and burdened with the name of a traitor. He didn’t think he’d find the happy thought that would allow him to generate a suitable patronus, yet in his time at Hogwarts, he’d found one. He was thinking of the little meetings in this dorm room, with his friends. He was thinking of the feeling of being a part of something. Gryffindor, the Marauders, where people accepted him for who he was, where he had friends. That made for a powerful patronus.

The Patton fell back, stunned by the power of the dragon. Before he could react, Lunastus had disarmed him. He’d won. The crowd erupted into thunderous applause. No one had expected such a quick and remarkable spell.

“Less than thirty seconds! Amazing!” Alan was cheering with the rest, while Teddy shouted.

“That’ll teach them!” Richard momentarily forgot his allergy to the pine resin of the benches and whooped out loud.

They watched as Slughorn and Neville walked down and clapped Lunastus on the back. “Well done, boy. Excellent display, you’ve done us proud.” Slughorn smiled out to the crowd and raised his hands. “The tournament is tied, 14-14! Please join us for the feast!”

The crowd dispersed and headed back to the school. Again, Nigel watched with interest as Teddy and his friends wandered back to the school. His eyes settled on the back of one of the boys, his target. The feeding would begin soon enough.

***

A full moon hovered over the castle as the feast celebrating the tournament commenced. Graciela walked in and sat down, noticeably irritated with the results of her match. She elbowed her way between Carlo and Teddy and refused to speak. There was a burst of laughter and she looked over and saw John Marshall sitting with his retinue, pointing at her and laughing. Her face became red with fury and she rose. Teddy reached a hand up and pulled her down.

“What are you doing, Teddy? He had something to do with me losing. I’m going to make him pay.” She spoke with her teeth clenched and gripped the table tightly.

“I know, Graciela, but just wait.”

“Wait? I can’t let him get away with this, Teddy. I’m going to finish this right now.” But Teddy kept his grip on her shoulder and held her down.

“Will you just wait? Watch.” Teddy nodded over at Marshall. As he laughed, his face began to turn a dark purple and his friends stepped back, shocked.

Richard leaned in and whispered. “This is my favorite part.”

Marshall’s clothing began to balloon up and his skin turned a deep shade of purple. Soon, he was round, like a ball, and yelling hysterically. Richard snickered and whispered in Graciela’s ear. “My favorite movie is Willy Wonka. I think Marshall just got the Violet treatment.”

The school staff was in an uproar, and the Marauders did their level best to keep their expressions neutral, but finally broke down in laughter with the rest of the school. “Get him to Madame Pomfrey’s!” Slughorn directed and Marshall’s friends proceeded to wheel out the door.

Graciela turned and looked at the rest in turn. “You did this?” Her gaze finally settled on Teddy, whose hair was as purple as Marshall’s. Teddy gave a sheepish smile and nodded.

“We were going to tell you about it, honest, but you were so mad, we didn’t know if you’d accept the Marauders’ help.”

“The Marauders?” Graciela looked around the table. “You?”

Alan broke in. “Sure, why not? Someone needs to even the odds, and we’re the ones to do it. Besides, it was fun spiking his butterbeer.”

Graciela looked like she was going to be mad, but then smiled widely. “I guess you’d better fill me in.” The Marauders had a new member.

***

Jacob Hough was a forgotten student. That idiot Lupin had taken his rightful spot on the Quidditch Team and Deanna had stolen his spot in the tournament. He was better than either, and they knew it. He was strong, and aggressive, yet he kept getting the raw end of things. He looked around and walked down to the hidden harbor below the castle. The boats nestled quietly in the water. He still thought this guy was crazy, but he spoke about getting Jacob his rightful status back, so here he was, missing the feast, meeting this old man.

“You came alone?” The voice hissed from the darkness, startling Hough.

“Yes.”

“Good, come closer.” Hough walked towards the shadows and finally settled on the figure of the man standing there. The man walked forward, into the torchlight. Nigel stood there, grinning at his new recruit.

“You still desire the power and position that is rightfully yours?” Nigel asked.

Hough looked puzzled. Usually the old man kept asking him questions about Lupin. “Sure, everyone knows I’m better than all of them.”

“Of course you are, but are you ready for real power?”

“Why not?” Hough looked confident. The old man drew his wand and pointed it at the ivy curtain covering the harbor entrance. The strands of ivy parted, revealing the night sky. The full moon hung in the air. When he turned back, Hough saw his eyes streaked with flecks of yellow and his teeth beginning to taper into fangs.

“Wait, you’re a…you’re a…” Hough didn’t finish, he turned to run, but found himself bound by a quick spell from Nigel.

In a raspy voice, as the change began to take full effect, Nigel grunted. “I’m a werewolf, and after tonight, so are you. Tonight, the hunt begins.” His body quaked violently as he transformed into the image of his master, as he transformed into a werewolf. No one heard Hough’s screams in the darkness.


***A/N: I've finally found time to revive this puppy. I'm going to move it quicker, it's time for old Fenrir to make his presence known.

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Old May 22nd, 2008, 8:14 pm
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Re: Teddy Lupin and the Legacy of the Marauders

Chapter 17 – The Fear of the Full Moon

Richard woke from a fitful sleep, angered at having had those last three glasses of pumpkin juice. He rose and slipped his feet into his slippers, and pulled on a robe. Silently, he padded out of the room towards the bathroom. Coming back, he stopped at a window overlooking the grounds. The moon hung high in the night sky, blinding out even the stars nearby. It was a bright yellow, and cast a pall of shadows as it hung over the Forbidden Forest. Richard marveled at its beauty and turned to head back to his room. Just before he could, his eyes caught hold of a flicker of movement on the grassy lawn below. He focused in. It looked like an animal, more so, it looked like two animals, bounding across the lawn and making for the forest, just beyond where Hagrid’s hut lay. From this distance, they looked like dogs, yet ran as if they were more bipedal than quadrapeds, placing weight on their forearms every four or five steps.

He wiped his eyes and refocused on the figures. In an instant, they were gone, lost in the Forbidden Forest. He stared out for a few more minutes and then turned. Perhaps he’d imagined it? As he made his way from the window, he could swear that he heard a long, baleful howl in the distance.

***

The Forbidden Forest occupied an entire quadrant of the grounds. Off to the north, past the boundary wall, was more rolling farmland and small copses. Emil Parker had the first farm off of the school perimeter. He was a widower, his wife having passed several years past and his son having gone off to make his fortune, sailing the seven seas. He worked the land with a passion. He was a wizard, but enjoyed the manual aspects of the till and plough. He started in his bed and looked over at the ancient clock hanging from the wall. It just past midnight and he looked around, wondering what had woken him. There was a bustle of activity and noise coming from the henhouse. He rose quickly and put a jacket on over his pajamas. He grabbed his wand and a candle from the bedside table and walked out into his main courtyard.

He stopped at the stoop for a moment and listened. Again, the cackle of his hens came out into the night. He cursed to himself. From time to time, Parker had run ins with some inquisitive foxes and this time, he’d have to run them off again. He trudged wearily to the hen house entrance and pushed open the door. In the burning ember of his candle, he looked around. All he saw were feathers cascading all around. He raised his wand and turned his candle towards the dark corner of the structure.

He stopped. Looking back at him were two sets of glowing yellow eyes. His ears barely heard the rumble of the low growls emanating from the corner. One of the pairs of eyes looked at the other and there was a snap and brief yelp. The second set of eyes narrowed and then started getting better. Emil took a cautious step back and knew, once the massive creature came into view, that he was about to die. Gamely, he raised his wand, but he was far too late. His screams echoed out into the night.

***

Fang stopped in mid-stride, holding his head up, as if sensing something in the distance. Hagrid had been murmuring to himself, looking about the grounds, searching for moonstone, a clover-like plant that only blossomed during the full moon. If he didn’t like Neville so much, he wouldn’t even bother, but considering what a friend Neville was, Hagrid was happy to help. He walked along the forest floor, his eyes fixated on the ground. He paused, sensing rather then seeing Fang’s halt.

“What’s yer problem, boy?” Hagrid watched as the massive dog’s back tensed. The half-giant stuck his nose in the air and sniffed. Through the trees, a low howl echoed in the night. He gripped the stock of his crossbow.

“Tha’s not a good sound, boy. Tha’s trouble, to be sure.” Hagrid zeroed in on the source of the noise. “Come on, boy, tha’s comin’ from old Emil’s place.” He stomped off in the direction of the Parker farm.

As he neared the site, he felt his forearms tense as he gripped his weapon. He’d loaded a silver-tipped bolt in the sleeve. Werewolves were troublesome beasties. They weren’t elegant like dragons or noble like the acromantulas. They were a perversion of nature’s basic being, magical or not. He left the wood and made his way to the front of the house. The door was ajar and a sense of forboding sent a chill through his body. Fang sniffed the ground and made a straight line for the nearby hen house. He stopped just outside the door and whimpered slightly.

Hagrid’s eyes narrowed and he walked over to the door. Ducking down, he pushed his massive bulk inside and peered around. His eyes were drawn to a small clump in the corner of the room.

“Oh dear.” Hagrid shook his head and walked back outside. The howl rippled through the air, off in the distance, joined by a second, and then a third. Hagrid looked down at his crossbow. He only had one silver-tipped bolt. He looked back to the castle in the distance and started walking in its direction.

“Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.”

***

Teddy rose with his friends, the prospect of another day of dueling on the horizon. He showered and dressed and joined his friends as they made their way down to the Great Hall for breakfast. The faculty was not yet at the head table, which was odd. There was always someone there, it seemed. John Marshall was absent from his place at the center of his retinue. His followers seemed angry and glum and when Graciela entered the Hall, they gave her sneering glares. Teddy nodded over to Alan and then pointed at the table. Alan nodded slightly and whispered to Martin and Lunastus. For the time being, a Marauder would keep watch on the group of bullies, if only to make sure Graciela had another pair of eyes watching her back.

The friends sat down and for a moment, the sun was blotted out as Phasma soared through the window and alit on the table. Teddy apologized to the small boy whose orange juice was overturned by the giant bird and removed the letter from the bird’s leg. Teddy fed a sausage link to the owl, which hooted and then lifted off, making for the owlery. Teddy unrolled the parchment and nodded grimly to himself. It was from Victoire.

“Dear Teddy,

Let me begin by saying, you are an idiot! It’s pure rubbish to think that your mother left you on purpose! She was doing her duty, to her husband and to herself. She was an Auror, just like Uncle Harry and you make her seem small by thinking that way.

Honestly, I don’t know what kind of blow you took to the head that makes you think like you do. There’s far too much happening out here to worry about such things. Uncle Ron and Uncle Harry have disappeared. Aunt Ginny and Aunt Hermione are worried sick. Everyone is thinking that something dreadful has happened, but little Rose is convinced that they are all right.

So, snap out of it. Aunt Ginny and Aunt Hermione need our support. Stop being such a ninny and understand that both your mother and father loved you very much.

Write back soon.

Vee”

Teddy’s face reddened. “What is it?” Carlo asked between bites of egg.

“Something’s happened to my Uncle Harry and Uncle Ron.” Teddy said, looking around the table for a teacher. Was that why the head table was empty? As he considered going to the Headmaster’s office, Professor McGonagall entered the Hall, her face looking more severe than usual. She walked straight over to where Teddy was sitting.

“Mr. Lupin, the Headmaster would like to see you in his office. Please, come with me.” McGonagall extended her arm. Teddy looked around the table and nodded. He got up and started walking out of the Hall, McGonagall close behind.

***

Nigel’s pulse had not stopped racing. This had only been his second hunt since being turned. His master sat on a throne made of skulls, some animal, some not. Greyback leaned forward and sneered.

“Well, Nigel, speak.”

“Master, the Hough boy has been turned. He feasted last night. I have returned him to the school.” Nigel reveled in the events of the previous evening. He’d not expected to remember anything, but something about accepting who he was, becoming like his master allowed to do things and remember things. It had been exhilarating.

“Did you do what I asked you to do?” Greyback asked.

“Yes, Master.”

“Good. Now we wait and see what those fools do now.” Greyback hissed in delight. The plan was in motion.

***
Teddy walked past the gargoyles and up to Slughorn’s office. Slughorn was sitting behind Dumbledore’s desk, the portrait of the former Headmaster sat looking down at Teddy, a serious look on his face. Theodore Nott, Kingsley Shacklebolt, Neville Longbottom and Hagrid stood nearby, their faces ranging from fear, to anger, to disappointment.

“You wanted to see me, Professor?” Teddy asked.

“Yes, Teddy, sit down, please.” Horace Slughorn was decidedly subdued. There was no banter, no handshake, just the simple command.

Teddy sat in one of the chairs facing the Headmaster’s desk. “I think I know what this is about, Professor.”

“You do?” Slughorn looked surprised and held out a hand asking Teddy to continue.

“This is about Uncle Harry and Uncle Ron, isn’t it?” Teddy looked and saw surprised expressions on their faces.

Kingsley cleared his throat, his dulcet baritone echoed in the closed space. “No, Teddy. Did you leave the dormitory last night?”

The question took Teddy by surprise. “No, Professor.”

“Are you sure, Teddy? This is very important.” Neville tried to offer a smile to the boy, but there was an underlying fear in his face.

“Yes, Professor, positive. My room mates were there, ask them.” Teddy felt an uneasiness permeating the room. He fidgeted quietly in his seat.

“We will, my boy, we will.” Slughorn said and then leaned his head towards Kingsley to share a few whispered words.

Teddy looked around the room. There was real suspicion in their eyes, even in Hagrid’s. Was this about the Marauders? He adjusted the knot on his tie and leaned in. “What’s this all about, Professor? I’ve done nothing wrong.”

Slughorn sighed and nodded to Neville. The herbology professor swallowed and turned to Teddy. “You see, Teddy. There as an incident last night. Four people were murdered in the outlying farms, by what appears to be a werewolf attack.”

“Appears nothin’, Neville. They was werewolves out there.” Hagrid grumbled grimly. “Emil was a good friend.”

Teddy looked at each teacher, in turn. “You think I did it? I’m not a werewolf. I’m metamorphmagus, but I’m definitely not a werewolf.” Well, that explained the fear in the room.

“You might not know if you are one, Teddy.” Nott spoke up.

Teddy threw up his hands in frustration. “I’m not a werewolf! My friends would tell you.”

“Maybe not, Teddy. Remember how your father’s friends protected his secret?” The voice was Dumbledore’s, the portrait recounting the reason why the original Marauders came together.

“Professor, I’m not a werewolf. What makes you think it was me anyway?” Teddy rose and then sat back down when Kingsley through him a warning glance.

Slughorn leaned forward, resting his arms on his desk. “Teddy, each of the murder sites had a word written in the victims’ blood. The word was ‘Lupin’.”

Teddy felt the air leave his lungs. “I’m telling you sir, I am not a werewolf.”

“That may be true, Teddy, but we can’t afford to be wrong. I’m afraid we’re going to have to confine you tonight, just to be sure.” Slughorn’s voice was weary, clearly not relishing the task. “There are too many students at risk, including our visitors. We need to be sure.”

“This isn’t fair. Uncle Harry knows I’m not a werewolf.”

“Harry isn’t around, Teddy. We can’t take a chance.” Slughorn said grimly.

“This isn’t fair. You’re locking me up, when there’s a real werewolf on the loose.” Teddy said.

Hagrid grunted. “Per’aps more than one.”

“What? There’s more than one? Doesn’t that eliminate me?” Teddy asked.

“No Teddy. Maybe you’ve bitten others, like your room mates. We’re going to have to confine them too.” Slughorn rose and nodded to McGonagall. Graciela! If Teddy, Alan, Martin, Richard and Lunastus were locked up, who’d watch out for Graciela?

“I’m sorry, my boy. Please come with me.” Neville led Teddy by the shoulder from the room. They didn’t speak as she led them into the Gryffindor Common Room and up the dormitory steps. When they reached his room, he saw his roommates were already inside, as puzzled as he was.

“Professor?”

Neville turned and smiled at Teddy. “What is it?”

“There’s been some boys picking on Graciela Baretto. We were keeping an eye out on her. If we’re locked up, we can’t help her.” Teddy said, pointed not mentioning the word Marauders or the others in the school in the group.

“You want me to look in on her?” Neville asked.

“Please, Professor.”

“Okay, Teddy, I’ll do that. Anything else?”

“Yes, sir.” Neville turned and Alan stood up.

“What about Lunastus, sir? He’s supposed to duel today, in the finals.” Alan pointed to the sullen boy in the corner.

“I know. I’m sorry, but he has to stay here.”

Teddy looked up. “That’s not fair. Even if we are werewolves, we wouldn’t turn into them until moon rise, anyway. Why can’t Lunastus compete?”

Neville sighed. “It’s not fair, but you’ve got to understand. Fenrir Greyback was at his most dangerous when he wasn’t transformed. We can’t take the chance.”

“My dad was good when he wasn’t transformed.” Teddy was defiant. They were judging him based on Greyback and not his father, assuming the worst.

“I know, Teddy. Truly, I do. I liked your father, he was kind to me and he had a good heart. We just have to be sure. One night, that’s all we’re asking.” Neville turned to leave. “There’ll be someone outside the door at all times. If you need anything, just knock.” He shut the door, leaving the friends inside. The finality of the door being locked struck them like a thunderclap.

The room was quiet, each of the boys looking at each other and then at Teddy. Richard reached over to his bedside table and drew a tissue from the box to blow his nose. He made a loud honking sound and discarded the used tissue. He sighed heavily.

“There’s no way I’m a werewolf. I’m allergic to dog hair.” The friends burst into laughter. Outside, they heard the roar of the crowd as the tournament continued.

Teddy sighed once more. “I’m not a werewolf.”

***A/N: Bit by bit, I'm bringing this in line with HOM. Then we can get to the juicy stuff.

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  #19  
Old June 27th, 2008, 8:04 pm
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Re: Teddy Lupin and the Legacy of the Marauders

Chapter 18 – Yankees Go Home

The room mates took turns gazing out the window towards the arena where the Duel Tournament Finals were being held. They speculated on the meanings behind the various cheers and roars emanating from the field across the way. Teddy didn’t join them in their reverie. For most of the previous night and the following morning, he’d remained morose, reclining on his bed and not really looking at anyone. One tremendous roar from the crowd forced him to look up and he spotted Lunastus seated on his own bed, looking despondent.

Teddy rose and approached his friend. “I’m sorry, this is all my fault.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Teddy.” Lunastus stood up and cuffed Teddy on the ear. The larger boy’s mild blow sent Teddy staggering. “This has nothing to do with you. People are scared and they’re taking it out on you. If anything, I’m irritated at Slughorn and Longbottom and all the rest of them. They should no better.”

Richard had turned from the window. “Lune’s right, Teddy. After all they’ve been through, you’d think they’d know not to let fear cloud their judgment.”

Alan and Martin joined the conversation. Alan nodded his head enthusiastically. “Besides, we’re not thinking of the big picture.”

“What’s that?” Teddy asked.

“We’ve been singled out as a group. The Marauders have their first detention!” Alan positively beamed, the idea of being the bad boy stirring him up.

“They don’t know we’re the Marauders.” Martin said.

“Of course not, but we do.” Alan refused to be deterred. A massive groan came from the stadium and the five friends watched the window.

“I wish we knew what was going on.” Lunastus said wistfully.

As if in answer to his request, Phasma alit on the edge of the window sill, the large bulk of his form blocking out the frame of the window.

“Teddy, get your bird out of there, she’s blocking out the light!” Martin made a shooing motion with his hands. Teddy walked over and saw a slip of parchment affixed to the bird’s leg. He pulled it out and unrolled it. His eyes widened a little and he handed the message to Richard, who was standing nearby.

“What is it?” Martin asked.

“It’s from Graciela.” Teddy said. Martin looked over and read the message from their friend.

“Teddy,

It’s completely unfair, how they are treating you guys. Anyway, I snuck over to the owlery to give you an update. They forfeited Lunastus’ match, so we started a point down. Right now, it’s 23 to 21, for the Americans, with three matches left, including mine. We have to win them all to win the tournament.

Marshall is behaving. Professor Longbottom keeps hovering over me, so they haven’t been able to get near me. Was that you’re doing? Between the Professor and Carlo and Janet, I can’t seem to get a moment alone, which is keeping Marshall and his goons off of me.

I’m sorry they locked you guys up. Everyone is pretty freaked out about the stories about werewolves and there’s a rumor that Jacob Hough is missing. You guys keep safe.

Graciela”

“Wow, that’s a tall order. They’ve got to win three matches.” Alan whistled out loud.

“Who cares about the matches, what about the werewolves?” Richard asked.

“I don’t know. All this is happening and we’re stuck here.” Teddy mumbled.

Alan had a look on his face, as if his mind was going at a mile a minute. He walked back to the window and looked out, not at the stadium, but at the Forbidden Forest. “You know what? This is exactly the thing for the Marauders.”

“What is? The Duel Tournament?” Martin was fumbling with a dated copy of the Quibbler.

“No, silly, the werewolves. Just think about our reputation if we could figure out what was going on.” Alan eyes were wide with excitement.

“What are you talking about, Alan? We’re kids, first years, there’s no way we should be messing with this.” Richard absently pulled out a disinfectant spray and spritzed around the area where Phasma had perched.

“Hear me out. Who cares if we’re kids? Harry Potter faced down the Dark Lord when he was first year and Dumbledore’s Army fought in the war, they were all kids. We can do this. All we need to do is set our minds to it.” Alan held out his arms, trying to sway his friends.

“I don’t know, Alan. Isn’t this something for the Ministry and the Aurors to handle?” Lunastus asked, even though he was sitting upright in his bed, obviously turning the proposition around in his head.

“Have you seen any Ministry people around here? That’s the thing, Lune, why hasn’t the Headmaster called in the Ministry? Why are the professors holding us here? It seems to me that they are trying to handle this themselves.” Alan glanced over at Teddy, who had not spoken for a while.

Teddy shrugged his shoulders. “It makes sense, but what can we do while we’re stuck in here?”

There was a rattle at their door and it swung open, revealing the revered figure of Professor McGonagall. “Professor Shacklebolt convinced the Headmaster that you five didn’t pose a threat. You’re free to go. If you hurry, you can catch the last few matches.”

As one, the five sprung up and filed through the door. Teddy paused and looked at Minerva. “Thanks, Professor.”

McGonagall nodded and then whispered in Teddy’s ear. “I want you to know, Mr. Lupin, that I was opposed this course of action. We’ll get to the bottom it.”

Teddy nodded and raced over to catch up with his friends. As they walked down the path to the stadium, Alan was keeping an eye out and when they were out of earshot of anyone, he looked around the group.

“So, that’s one obstacle out the way. What do you think?” His voice bounced with energy.

Teddy nodded soberly. “I guess it wouldn’t hurt to check things out. It’ll be ten days until the next full moon and we can talk to Hagrid and see if he knows anything.”

“That’s the spirit, Teddy. I’m telling you, if we figure this one out, we’ll be more famous than the original Marauders.” Alan giggled in delight, but Teddy raised a hand in warning.

“One thing, we are looking for information that we turn over to the Aurors. That’s it. My grandmother would have my skin if we did something rash.” All of them stopped and stared at Teddy with open mouths. Teddy shifted in place and then smiled meekly. “All right, if we did anything noticeably rash.”

They all laughed and continued their journey to the stadium.

***

Graciela won her match easily, her opponent lacking any real imagination or talent. The final match to determine the winner of the tournament came down to Carter Sigismund and a tall, wide bodied seventh year from Waverly Hills Academy. The battle see-sawed for the better part of an hour, with both opponents unable to find leverage or gain an advantage. The outcome came down to a contest of wills, stupefy charm versus stupefy charm, with the spells meeting in the middle. Once the charms were interlocked, the superior physical strength of the American told the tale. He began to press forward, shortening the distance between the two. Carter strained with all of his might, but as the behemoth approached, he overwhelmed Carter, sending the Ravenclaw flying across the pitch. The Waverly Hills Academy had won.

The students were noticeably disappointed, no one more so than Lunastus, who considered the defeat his own fault. Despite the best efforts of his friends to dissuade him, he kept to himself for most of the afternoon. By mutual consent, the awards ceremonies were kept short and the Americans decided to cast off, the events in the surrounding area having convinced both Headmasters that the safety of the students should be paramount. The entire student body of Hogwarts came out to the lawn to watch the Jedi-inspired wizards march down and onto their Clipper ship. When the last of the American students had boarded the ship, there was a rattle and roar of an engine and Stanley Greenburg came ripping through the castle gate and careened down path to his ship. He did a slide turn and held up his hand in salute.

“Next year, you must come and visit us!” He shouted over to Slughorn, who waved a hand in salute. Greenburg revved his engine and drove his motorbike onto the gangplank. The Hogwarts students shouted in earnest and stayed to a witch and wizard as the Americans pulled out of sight. The Americans had gone home.

Slughorn stood off to the side, Shacklebolt, Nott, McGonagall, Longbottom and Hagrid standing around him. The Headmaster patted his ample stomach and turned to face them. “I think we need to get to the bottom of these events. It’s bound to cause some consternation.”

Kingsley shook his head. “We need to tell the Ministry, Headmaster. This is beyond our ability to handle. If there are werewolves about, they need to investigate.”

“Who says they’re werewolves, Professor Shacklebolt? For all we know, these are isolated incidents, best left to the local authorities.” Slughorn’s voice had a high pitch to it.

Hagrid grumbled in disapproval. “Headmaster, I know what I saw. If it was anythin’, it was a werewolf.”

“You don’t know, Hagrid, no one knows. I’m not saying we should call the Ministry, but we need more information. With all this mess about Harry and Ron, the Aurors are pretty busy right about now. Besides, there isn’t a full moon tonight. We have at least ten days before the next one. By then, we should have an idea what’s going on.” Slughorn was thinking about the Board of Governors and what they’d think about the notion of a werewolf prowling the school environs, not to mention the frightened parents. Everything he’d built would come crashing down.

“You’re forgetting one thing, Professor.” Shacklebolt muttered, Horace looked at him in askance, beckoning him to continue. “The missing student, Jacob Hough. We don’t know what happened to him. Suppose he’s been killed by a werewolf? Then what?”

“Then we’d know for sure. We need facts, not speculation. Kingsley, you and Nott handle the Hough matter. Interview his friends, and see if he’s not running around Diagon Alley on some lark. Hagrid, you and Neville check out the grounds. See if you can find concrete evidence of your suspicions. Until you do, I don’t want to hear anything about a werewolf.” Slughorn turned on his heel and began walking to the castle.

Kingsley uttered an inaudible curse and tossed his hands in the air.

“What?” Neville asked.

“Maybe it’s the Auror in me, but something’s not right. We’re missing something around all this. “

“Do you think the Headmaster is involved?” Neville glanced up at Slughorn’s retreating form.

“No, but Horace has been doing fine job with the school. He desperately wants to put his mark on this place, for him and his House. Something like this would destroy that.” Kingsley ran a hand idly across his bald pate.

“I remember the circus that came with this place during the whole Chamber of Secrets incident. He might have a point.” Neville turned and looked back at his colleagues. “What do you think?”

Kingsley studied the passing students, a pang of guilt washed over him. “I think we’d better find out what happened to those farmers. Horace is right about one thing. The next full moon isn’t for ten days. We should have some time to work with.”

Just then, several owls swooped down over them. One landed on Kingsley’s shoulder. The tall man reached into his pocket and pulled out a treat. He fed the owl and then tugged on the message affixed to its leg. With an audible hoot, the owl flew off, making a bee line for the owlery. Kingsley read the message and shook his head.

“What is it?” McGonagall had seen that expression before. It had been bad news.

“The Ministry is declaring Ron and Harry dead. They want to hold a memorial service here, tomorrow. This is all we need. “ Kingsley looked around and saw Teddy standing with his friends. “You’d better tell Teddy, Neville. I have to go inform Horace that the Ministry is coming, whether he wants to tell them or not.”

***

The next day, the Memorial Service was one for the ages. Considering they were burying Ron Weasley and Harry Potter, everyone who was anyone had come. It wasn’t the flowers or the eulogies that set this one apart. No, it was the fact that the two men who were being honored made a sudden appearance at their own funeral that set it apart. Lost in the euphoria of the heroes’ miraculous return was the anxiety over the potential fact that werewolves were prowling the campus.

Teddy was ecstatic about his godfather’s return from the dead. (***A/N: The events around Harry and Ron’s disappearance was told in A History of Magic: The Harry Potter Era***) He reveled in the good news and was lost in the excitement of the time. Considering that nothing had happened over the course of the next couple of days, Teddy almost forgot that the Marauders were going to become werewolf hunters. That is, until the day Jacob Hough was found.

He’d been found wandering the foothills of the nearby mountains. Hagrid and Neville had taken to spending their days following up reports of the boy’s disappearance. They found him huddling in a cave, trying to find shelter from the elements. His clothes were in tatters and his face looked beaten and worn. He had no recollection of how he’d gotten there or why he’d left. Neville was shocked at the boy’s appearance and from what he could gather, Hough’s sanity was borderline, at best. Neville and Hagrid transported him to St. Mungo’s for more observation, hoping that the healers there could shed some light on what had transpired.

The rumors of Hough’s condition ran through Gryffindor Tower like a wildfire and brought into clarity the Marauders’ mission. The boys were convinced, based on the descriptions that Hough had run afoul of a werewolf. Their suspicions were only enhanced as they read the journal left by Teddy’s father. The memory gaps, the torn clothing, the mindlessness: they were all symptoms that Remus Lupin described in his journal. Fortunately for Remus, he had his friends to see him through, but Jacob Hough had been a cad. He had no friends, really. All the same, the Marauders decided to try and find some real evidence. As Teddy looked at the calendar, they still had a week until the next full moon. He only hoped that was enough time.

***

Nigel scampered through the entrance to the cave, mindful of casting the obscuration spell to hide their lair from prying eyes. The school’s patrols, led by that boundless oaf of a groundskeeper, cast a daunting web of detection around their perimeter. The brood had taken to staying in the cave, avoiding detection as best they could. Nigel found himself craving the return of the full moon, relishing the transformation that made him so powerful. He entered the antechamber where the brood spent most of their time. Most were sleeping or lolling about, saving their energy. There was a flickering light from his master’s cavern, deep in the recesses of the cave. Nigel had gone on a reconnaissance mission and turned to report in.

He heard voices coming from the cavern and he paused outside, not wanting to disturb Greyback. His master’s voice seemed agitated and he peeked around the corner to see which of his brothers was tempting fate. He was surprised to see a well dressed man standing calmly in the center of the room. He had a black mourning coat and tails, the very picture of a butler. His master was pacing in front of his throne of skulls, his fangs flaring from anger.

“What did you say your name was again? I like to know who it is that I kill.” Greyback walked back and forth, grunting and growling.

“As I said, my name is Kobayashi. Certainly, you may kill me, but that does not change the facts as they are. My employer has need of your services and is willing to give you what you’ve wanted for all these years for your loyalty.” Nigel was amazed that the man was completely unfazed by the brooding nightmare he was talking to.

Greyback jumped near the man, placing his face against the even-keeled butler. “You will give me the son of Lupin?”

Kobayashi didn’t even start, he simply waited until Greyback drew back and pulled a handkerchief from his breast pocket and daubed the spittle from his face. He returned the hanky and clasped his hands in front of him.

“Come now, Mr. Greyback. Your highest ambition can’t be something as crass as simple vengeance against a long dead rival, can it?” This man Kobayashi must have a death wish, Nigel thought. He savored the effete man’s impending doom.

“Bah, I’m tired of this idle chatter, I think I’ll kill you now.” Greyback turned towards the offending man. Kobayashi calmly reached into his trouser pocket and pulled out a small pendant affixed to a rawhide strap. The pendant consisted of a small, opaque marble in a silver mounting. He took the trinket between his forefinger and thumb and shook it. The marble went from a colorless gray to a bright, yellowish white hue. Nigel stared in awe as Greyback grabbed his abdomen and screamed. Suddenly, Greyback began to transform, his body mutating into its alter ego, deadly in all ways, except it couldn’t move. Kobayashi held the stone in front of him and walked towards the writhing animal. Greyback was yelping and whimpering, pain coursing through its body. The butler held the stone close to Greyback’s face and the fur and the whiskers near its snout began to burn. The smell of toasted flesh caused Nigel to almost gag.

His point made, Kobayashi calmly tapped the pendant and put it back in his pocket. He placed his hands behind his back and waited as Greyback transformed back into his human form. He was as before, save for the residual burns on his cheek. Once fully returned to form, Greyback touched a hand to his face, shock radiating in his expression.

“How did you? I mean, what did you?”

Kobayashi made a show of studying his fingernails and then looked at Greyback indifferently. “My employer has his ways. We can control your transformations, Mr. Greyback. I’ve only demonstrated the painful way we can handle this, but this power can be yours for you and your minions. You’ve always wanted a world for werewolves, my employer can give you a way to see that happen. Granted, it won’t the whole world, only a small part, but you will have the means to transform into a werewolf at your whim, no more waiting for the full moon. That is what you want, is it not?”

Greyback was stunned, all he could do was nod his head.

“Excellent. My employer is not an unreasonable man, Mr. Greyback.” Kobayashi reached back into his pocket and pulled out the pendant. He tossed it over to Greyback, who flinched from it, the pain of his earlier contact still vivid. “All you need to do is put it on and shake it. You will have the ability to change your form. I will return in seven days for your answer, Mr. Greyback. Think on it.”

Greyback looked at the stone in his hand and then back at the retreating form of Kobayashi. “Wait. Who is your employer?”

Kobayashi stopped and gave a smile. “You have no need for that information. Let’s just say he’s a man whose goals happen to coincide with yours. Be thankful that he has decided that you can be of use to him. Those that are obstacles will find that my employer is a very dangerous man.”

“Who are his obstacles?” Greyback asked.

Kobayashi chuckled. “Why, the Ministry of Magic, of course. Good day, sir. We will talk in a few days. Enjoy the taste of power.” He bowed slightly at the waist and turned to leave.

***

“Well?” Slughorn sat behind Dumbledore’s old desk and stared at Kingsley and Neville.

“It’s confirmed, Hough was attacked by a werewolf. All signs point to it. They won’t really know until there’s a full moon.” Kingsley and Neville had just returned from St. Mungo’s with the news.

“That’s not confirmation; we have to wait until the full moon.” Slughorn was digging in his heels.

“Professor, that might be too late. We must inform the Ministry.” Neville blurted.

“Inform them of what?” Slughorn took a deep breath. “Look, I share your concern.” Horace sighed heavily, the reality of the situation taking hold. He wasn’t a necessarily vain man. “All right, I’ll owl Dawlish of our concerns.”

“Thank you, Headmaster.” Kingsley said.

“Yes, yes, of course.” Slughorn looked out as the sun started to set in the western sky. “Thank Merlin that we still have a week until the next full moon. Hopefully, we can sort this out by then. I’d hate to think what a werewolf would do among our students.”

“I hope you’re right professor.” Kingsley watched as a bright crescent moon rose in the sky. “I hope you’re right.”


***A/N: As promised, I'm tying this to the HOM storyline. Please forgive me if it seems a little jumpy, I'm trying to make up the ground, but as you can see, I kind of unceremoniously dumped the Duel Tournament. Sorry.

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Old June 30th, 2008, 4:30 pm
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Re: Teddy Lupin and the Legacy of the Marauders

Chapter 19 – Predator and Prey

“Well, Mr. Kobayashi, your report, please?” The prim and proper butler stood impassively before a long table within a large study with dark gray stone walls and large, regal chandeliers. There were seven men and women seated at the table. At the center, a thin, balding man with a hooked nose sat idly watching his every move. In his fingers, the man fumbled with a gold cigarette lighter, and blew smoke rings into the air.

“Yes, sir. Mr. Greyback has been left with the item. It is my opinion that he will attempt to use it. Most likely, he will make a direct attempt at Mr. Lupin.” Kobayashi clasped his hands in front of his body, reveling in the aura of power in the room. These were among the seven most fantastic criminal minds in the world, collected together for the sole purpose of taking what they could from the world. It was exhilarating.

One woman, off to side, shook her head slowly. “Impetuous. This Greyback fellow would use such a gift of power to feed some personal vendetta. That could be dangerous for us. Remember who the Lupin boy’s godfather is.”

The leader nodded his head slowly. “I’m counting on it, actually. Although, the death of the Lupin boy is something that would be more trouble than it’s worth.” He turned towards Kobayashi. “You did give him the orb with limited power, I assume.”

“Of course sir. It has less lunar magic and more of the coercive element. I just wanted to give him a taste, hook him, so to speak.” The man smiled and nodded his head.

“Well done, Mr. Kobayashi. I believe that it is time for me to introduce myself to Mr. Greyback. I’m sure he’ll have questions for us.” He rose, as the rest of those seated at the table stood. “Things are going as planned, ladies and gentlemen. By dawn tomorrow, the wheels will be in motion.”

***

There was a feeling of depression mixed with anxiety as the student body returned to classes. The depression came from the fact that they’d been excused from studies while the tournament was going on. The anxiety came from the fears and rumors that pervaded the school from Jacob Hough’s disappearance and the notion that werewolves were on the prowl in the area. When evening meal had concluded, Teddy and the Marauders walked out of the Great Hall and down onto the lawn. Carlo, Janet and Graciela followed along with the roommates as they worked their way down the path towards Hagrid’s hut.

The sun was setting over the Great Lake, the walls of the castle casting a shadow over them as they made their way to the small hut at the bottom of the hill.

“Do you think he’ll help us?” Carlo asked.

“Why not, we’re just asking questions.” Teddy said as they crossed the final few meters to the door of the cabin. Teddy reached up and rapped on the door with his fist. There was a flutter of movement and then the mighty portal opened, revealing the genteel and furry face of the ubiquitous Hogwarts gamekeeper.

“Well, now. What are you youngin’s doing out and about?” Hagrid had a kind expression on his face and he pulled the door open all the way, allowing the kids to enter. “I was just brewin’ some tea. Come on in!”

They filed into the one room shack, a large, black pot sat on the fire. Fang, Hagrid’s dog,, sat by the fire, asleep, as if he didn’t notice the company. The Marauders found places to settle as Hagrid went about serving the tea. Once he’d poured his own piping hot mug, he settled heavily into his comfortable chair and looked at them expectantly.

Teddy and Alan exchanged quick looks, then Teddy took a sip from his cup and took a deep breath. “Hagrid, what can you tell us about werewolves?”

“You should well know, Teddy that werewolves are complex creatures. The bite from a pack leader is what can turn a man into one. Most are victims, but some are downright evil, like Greyback.” Hagrid’s gaze washed over them, staring at them each, in turn. “Now wait a minute, why are you asking me about this? You kids are thinkin’ about chasin’ down the one around here.”

“Well, not exactly.” Teddy said, guardedly.

Graciela interjected. “It’s just that we figured if we understood what was out there, we could help with the investigation.”

“Gracie!” Carlo admonished his cousin.

“What?” Graciela bristled, she hated her nickname. “We’re not going to lie to Hagrid.” She turned towards the half-giant. “Don’t get us wrong, Hagrid, we’re not trying to bring them in or anything, we just want to help the Aurors.”

“If they ever get here.” Martin snickered.

“What do you mean by that, boy?” Hagrid’s voice had a tone of warning in it.

Martin shrugged his shoulders and tried to duck down behind his cup. Alan raised his head defiantly. “Have you seen any Aurors around, Hagrid? We haven’t. Some people have been killed and one of the students goes missing, you would think Hogwarts would be crawling with Aurors. We haven’t seen one, except for those people that came to Harry Potter’s memorial service.”

Hagrid nodded soberly and then broke into a big grin. “That was some fun, wasn’t it? Anyway, you eight are thinking about working together? What are you, some werewolf fan club?” He turned and nodded apologetically to Teddy. “No offense, Teddy my boy.”

Teddy smiled, his hair turning a bright shade of pink. “None taken, but we wanted the Marauders to stand for something except practical jokes.”

“Marauders?”

Alan stood up. “That’s us!” He waved his arms around to the group. “We’re the new Marauders!”

Hagrid chuckled heartily. “Well, that’s nice. No practical jokes, eh?”

“I didn’t say that. I meant that we don’t do just practical jokes. We don’t want to be boring.” Teddy said.

“Well now, if you put it that way.” Hagrid tugged thoughtfully on his beard. “These attacks are not the usual werewolf pattern. They were more violent, more bloody. We haven’t had a loose werewolf in these parts since…” He looked meaningfully at Teddy.

“I get it, since my dad.” Teddy finished the thought.

“Right. Anyway, whoever attacked Emil and the others went after them, in their homes. That’s not the usual pattern. As far as the Headmaster is concerned, he is bringing in the Ministry. He gave us his word.

Richard stood up, his nose contorted as if he’d smelled something rotten. “Hagrid, if we suppose there was a werewolf, or werewolves, prancing about, what would we look for.”

“Werewolves work from a lair, like a cave or a tunnel. They like to hide before they pounce. They don’t like attention.”

Suddenly, a loud, piercing howl rang out from the direction of the Forbidden Forest. Fang jumped to his feet, his face contorted in interest and anger. Hagrid stopped and held his ear to the sky, listening. “I know that call. I heard it just before I found Emil on his farm.”

Hagrid stood and grasped his crossbow in his massive hands. He reached into a burlap bag hanging from the wall. Inside he pulled out two silver quarrels for the crossbow.

“That can’t be right, it’s not even a full moon.” Everyone was on their feet and Fang was pacing in front of the door.

“I’m tellin’ you what I heard. Something ain’t right.” Hagrid pulled open the door and held the crossbow out into the chill of the night. Fang leapt out and stood on the lawn, his nose in the air. Hagrid followed, trailed closely by his guests. The Marauders had drawn their wands and held them out, at the ready.

“You youngin’s, stay behind me.” Hagrid shuffled out to where Fang waited, testing the air. Then the dog started growling towards an opening in the woods.

“There! I think I saw something move!” Graciela said, pointing towards a spot in the woods. Their eyes followed her arm. There was movement, coming at a frenetic pace towards them. Hagrid raised his crossbow and fired.

The bolt missed narrowly and now they could hear the creature start to howl as it picked up speed towards them. Calmly, Hagrid loaded another bolt and fired, again, the creature evaded the blow. The werewolf leapt the last few feet in front of them. Charms were fired, but they either missed altogether or deflected off the creature’s side, telling them that this was a fully transformed werewolf and not some animagus.

“Don’t let him bite you!” The creature was among them and Fang jumped in and attacked. The werewolf stood on its rear haunches and tossed the large dog to the side. He began to run around the group, knocking them senseless, all save for Teddy and Hagrid. “Well, I’ll be! It can’t be. Greyback!” Hagrid recognized the infamous werewolf from his coat. Greyback stopped and stood over Graciela and pulled her up by her lapel.

“No!” Teddy ran forward and transformed into a ram. The large sheep lowered his head and struck Greyback in the side, tossing him out, away from his intended victim. Teddy turned into a large, brown werewolf form, himself, and began gnashing at the interloper who had cursed his father. The battle was vicious, with both forms sinking their teeth into the other. Then Greyback screamed, an almost human scream. He began to run away. Teddy watched him go, switching back to his human form. Amazingly, as he ran, Greyback seemed to be turning back to human form, although slower. His growls became more audible and Teddy watched the retreating figure of Greyback turn back fully to human before disappearing into the forest.

“You all right, there Teddy?” Hagrid walked up and pat the boy on the shoulder.

Teddy nodded. “I remembered that dad’s friends were animagus and could not be turned when in their forms. I figured that it would work for me.”

“Good thinkin’ Teddy. That was Greyback all right. This changes everything.” Hagrid mused and looked up at the twinkling light in the Headmaster’s office.

“Teddy!” Hagrid and Teddy turned. Graciela was standing over Lunastus. The large boy was pale and a bright stream of blood poured from a wound on his shoulder. “He’s been bitten!” Teddy’s heart sank as the gates of the castle opened, and the faculty came out to investigate the sounds.

***

“Can you help him?” Teddy asked frantically as Madame Pomfrey hovered over his friend.

“That remains to be seen, Teddy. I’ve never seen this before. Usually, one can stop the process before the next full moon cycle. Kill the sire before the victim feeds and they should be all right, but this is different. There was no full moon. This can’t be a natural thing. I have no idea what the bite will do.” Madame Pomfrey shook her head, slowly.

“We are on a strange cycle to begin with.” Kingsley Shacklebolt shook his head. “Normally, full moons are once a month, but we were in the middle of a strange occurrence where it happens within a ten day period. Still, we should have been fine until next week.” Kingsley placed a reassuring hand on Lunastus’ head and then looked at Madame Pomfrey. “I’m sure you’ll do what you can.” Kingsley turned and walked out of the infirmary and into the hall where Neville, Nott, McGonagall, Hagrid and Slughorn stood.

“Well?” Nott asked.

“It doesn’t look good, Theodore. That is a nasty wound.” The former Minister of Magic looked up at Hagrid. “Are you sure it was Greyback?”

“Positive, Professor. I know his markings, it was him.” Hagrid rumbled in anger.

Kingsley ran his hand over his smooth pate and looked over at Slughorn. “Headmaster, we can not deal with this on our own. With Greyback in the picture, we have no choice.”

“Not to mention the minor detail of his ability to transform without the full moon.” Neville added.

Slughorn looked ashen and lost, his gaze was far away.


“Headmaster? Headmaster!” McGonagall’s voice pulled him back to reality.

“Yes, yes, of course. Kingsley? We may not have time for an owl. Would you be so kind as to go to the Ministry and see Dawlish yourself? I’m afraid we’re over our heads, here.” Kingsley nodded.

“What about the students, Headmaster?” McGonagall’s worried expression was evident on her face.

“Institute a lockdown, Professor McGonagall. If this keeps up, we may have to send them home. Until this threat is eliminated, we may have to shut Hogwarts down.” Horace nodded to them and walked off alone, heading for his office.

***

“There’s not much you can do for him. He needs rest and they’re too many of you here as it is. One of you can stay.” Madame Pomfrey shooed the Marauders away.

“I’ll take the first watch.” Janet said, her face pained from the experience. Teddy nodded and followed the rest of his friends out the door. His fists were clenched and he barely noticed John Marshall standing in the hallway, with a couple of his thugs.

Marshall sneered at Graciela. “What’s the matter, Grazer, you put another boyfriend in the hospital?”

Before Graciela could respond, Teddy ran up to Marshall and grabbed him by the neck, tossing him up against a wall. “I’ve had about enough of you, little man. What say I hang you out there and leave you for whatever is roaming the forest?”

The rest of the Marauders had drawn their wands, and were facing off with Marshall’s retinue.

“Teddy!” Neville’s voice echoed through the hall. Teddy blinked and then released Marshall from his grasp. Neville walked up. “Mr. Marshall, I’m sure you can find something to do? I’d hate to add a detention to your schedule.”

“But he attacked me!” Marshall protested.

“Mr. Marshall, don’t test me. “ Neville had a hard expression on his face and Marshall backed down. He left, taking his friends with him. Neville looked at Teddy’s friends. “You all go on. Go back to your common areas. Go on now.” Grudgingly, they left, leaving Neville and Teddy in the passageway.

“Teddy, you can’t take on the world by yourself. Hagrid told me what you were doing out there, and it was laudable, but foolish.” Neville didn’t seem disappointed, really. “That’s not to say I haven’t been involved in some foolishness, myself. Not too long ago, me and Harry and some others tried to take on a bunch of Deatheaters in the Department of Mysteries. It probably wasn’t the DA’s finest moment.”

Despite his anger, Teddy chuckled. “I don’t suppose so.”

“The point is, Teddy, that we are not alone in this world. You are not alone. I know what Greyback means to you, personally. I felt the same way about Bellatrix Lestrange. I wanted to avenge my parents on her, myself. It would have been suicide, of course, but I still felt that way.” Neville placed a hand on Teddy’s shoulder. “You have people who care about you, Teddy and fortunately, they are people who will be willing to help you. Why don’t you let them?”

“You mean people like you, Professor Longbottom?” Teddy’s anger was subsiding.

“Of course I’ll help you, Teddy, but I was thinking that this might be a good time for you to catch up with your godfather, considering he’s back and all. This type of thing may be right up his alley.” Neville smiled knowingly.

Teddy laughed and then started walking down the hall. Neville watched him for a few minutes, long enough to see that he wasn’t heading to his tower and he wasn’t heading out the castle gates. No, Teddy was heading in the right direction, towards the owlery. Neville nodded. Good, maybe Harry could help them shed some light on the mystery. He prayed that Harry would get here in time to make a difference, before it was too late for Lunastus, before it was too late for them all.

***A/N: Almost there!!! We'll get some clues as to our mysterious power players and then string them back to HOM.

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