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H'okay.

So I've got the introduction written, only because of the three-day posting thingy on FFN, I can't post it yet.  So, I figure, I can post it here, and we can work any kinks out (i.e. "You have GOT to be kidding me.  This is NOT Teddy Lupin, you fool!") before actually posting it.  Also, title is currently tentative, though I like it a lot.  Tell me what you think.

(Note:  I went freakin' insane with the parentheses.  I'm terribly sorry, I just couldn't help it.)

(Oh, and someone needs to elaborate on Teddy's theory about Nymphadora.  As in, in a oneshot.  Like, now.  That smacked me as I was writing, and I went, "awwww, Teddy, you poor thing.")

..chasing.angels..

INTRODUCTION
of blame and talking hats
by cupid-painted-blind

Teddy Lupin was born in April, exactly one month, seventeen days, fourteen hours, and thirty-three minutes before his mother died, and one month, seventeen days, fourteen hours, and forty-six minutes before his father died.  His grandmother tells him that neither of them knew the other was dead, and that his father never even knew she was there.

All of his life, Teddy thought that was unbearably tragic for his mother, dying alone in a place that had always meant happiness.  And for most of his life, he blamed his father for not saving her, even though he knew that Remus Lupin wasn't to blame at all.

It made it easier, in a way, to think that it was somehow someone's fault.

As a child, he thought this made him a bad person, blaming his mother's death on his oblivious father and his father's death on anyone he could.  Uncle Harry used to tell him that blame was just part of grief and that he was the best godson a man could hope for, but Teddy never quite believed Uncle Harry, even though Uncle Harry never knew his parents either.  Harry never hated anyone else for what happened to his parents, except maybe the people who really were to blame.

And that's always okay, because if you kill someone, you should be blamed for their deaths.  But not if you just didn't run to their rescue.

The day his Hogwarts letter came in the post, he was sitting outside underneath a tree, watching birds and thinking about flight.  Not like on brooms, but real flight.  Arms-open-wide-and-falling flight.  When he was very young, he saw a Muggle man jump out of one of their machines (Aunt Hermione called them "airplanes" but the word meant nothing to him, and for a long time, he wondered why his broomstick didn't have giant wings and men with big mushrooms on their backs leaping out of it.  Aunt Ginny thought this was the funniest thing she'd ever heard.  It wasn't until he was a little older that he figured out why.)

Grandmama called him into the house, wearing a big smile - Teddy always liked it when his Grandmama smiled, which wasn't so often nowadays.  He always thought it made her look so pretty - and handed him the letter.  "Looks like you're going to school after all, Teddy!  Congratulations!"

(She was referring to, of course, the fact that Uncle George had convinced him several months ago that any Metamorphmagi were automatically squibs and couldn't go to Hogwarts.  He didn't really think that through, or he would have seen the crucial flaw - his mother went to Hogwarts - and so spent three months in sobbing terror, willing magic to pour out of his fingers.)

(Teddy had a lot of Aunts and Uncles, none of whom were actually related to him.  Actually, that was a lie - he did have one real great-aunt, but Grandmama never talked about her very much, and Teddy never asked.)

Part of him really wanted to jump for joy, part of him really wanted to hit his Uncle George, and part of him didn't want to leave Grandmama and Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny.  But he grinned as big as he could and ran for the fireplace, shouting to his grandmother that he'd be back really soon, he just had to do something really fast.  He threw a whole handful of Floo Powder into the grate at the same moment he jumped in and shouted out Uncle Harry's address.

James was really mad at Teddy twenty minutes later, when Aunt Ginny finally told him to stop shoving that letter in her son's face.

He couldn't help it.  Well, really, he could, but the younger boy was always better than him, so taunting James seemed like a good idea at the time.  And it was worth it, sort of, only then James was so mad at him he wouldn't talk to him for days, and while being better than your best friend is great, having a best friend is better.  But Teddy was nothing if not stubborn, and so refused to apologize.

And since Albus was only a few years old and Lily did whatever James told her to do, Teddy suddenly found himself alone, three weeks before going off to his first year at Hogwarts, and all of a sudden, he realized that he'd be alone for a while.  After all, he was the oldest of his friends - he'd be going to school without anyone he knew.

Scared, Teddy had gone to the only person who might be able to help him - Bill.

Bill - who was not an Uncle, because Teddy didn't see him enough, but was too interesting for Mister, and so was just Bill - understood him more than he probably should.  While Uncle Harry was telling him that blame was normal, Bill was telling him that he was above blame.  Uncle Harry was nice to him; Bill challenged him.  You really think your father deserves your hatred?, Bill told him once.  The man died for you, Teddy.  He was one of the best people I ever knew.  You owe him more than that.

(Plus - and he would rather eat his own hand than admit it - seeing Bill meant seeing Victoire, who was two years younger than he and seriously, honestly believed that he placed the stars in the sky.)

(Not in small part because he told her he did.  But Victoire had the strange ability to make people around her lie.  It was like she wore a big sign that said "Lie to me, because I'll believe it."  He felt bad for telling her stories, but he'd decided several years before that if she was willing to swallow them, he'd tell her whatever she lies would listen to.  Bill's Wife - who had a pretty French name that Teddy loathed, and so never used - scolded him every time she caught him lying.  Bill never caught him lying.  Teddy never let him.)

Bill laughed when Teddy said that he'd made James mad at him, and told him that James would get over it.  "Besides," he said, taking a huge bite of scone, "James is probably just as lonely as you are."

But by the time Teddy went to King's Cross with Grandmama, James still hadn't forgiven him, and Teddy had no intention of apologizing.  So he got on the train and promptly met no one he even slightly enjoyed the company of, and spent the entire six-hour train ride in a compartment with five very rowdy boys who were under the firm belief that Teddy dyed his hair ("Like a Muggle girl!  You're a little Muggle girl, aren't you?")

Later, Teddy found out that those boys were older, and a bunch of trouble-making Gryffindors.  The moment he set foot on the platform at Hogsmeade, he decided that he would not be a Gryffindor.  Gryffindors were like his father, and like Uncle Harry's parents, and Gryffindors died young, in pretty blazes of glory.

Teddy didn't want to die in a blaze of glory.  Teddy didn't want to die at all.

So he decided he would be anything but Gryffindor (and Slytherin, but only because Grandmama was a Slytherin, and never ceased telling him how much she hated it, and he knew that Grandmama would be awfully disappointed if he became a Slytherin.)  But he wasn't really smart enough to be in Ravenclaw and had never considered himself hard-working - in fact, he was quite possibly the laziest person in the entire universe - so that nixed Hufflepuff.

What would they do, he wondered, if he didn't fit in anywhere?  He could change his appearance, he supposed, and claim to be someone else.  Waltz back into wherever they'd be sorting them, and say he was Dumbledore's long-lost son (grandson.  Great-grandson.  Whichever.)  They'd have to let him try again and then he could make up something else so he'd be sorted somewhere.  Even Gryffindor.  Anything was better than not being sorted at all.

It sounded pretty good, really, he thought, to erase Theodore Remus Lupin and magically become someone else.  He always wondered if his mother ever thought about doing that.  And for several happy moments, he indulged in his old fantasy - that his mother had simply changed her appearance and her name and walked out of the Battle of Hogwarts eleven years ago, and would show up any moment now, proclaiming adoration for her son and regret for leaving him.

Once, he told his Grandmama about his theory.  She had smiled very sadly and said that it would be wonderful if it were true.

Teddy never told Grandmama any more of his theories after that.

At any rate, when he walked into the hall, he was bitterly disappointed to find a hat on a stool (Uncle Ron had sworn that he'd have to fight a troll with nothing but his wand and anything he could lay his hands on and attack with) and was even more disappointed to find that it simply yelled out houses.  It seemed so random, and that meant that he wasn't going to go where he wanted.  He was just going to get thrown into some house that a freaky talking hat seemed to think was good for him.

And then Teddy thought about that, and figured that freaky talking hats should not be left up to deciding where real people would spend the next seven years of their lives.  Hats, after all, weren't even supposed to talk, let alone think.  When they put it on his head, he was incredibly annoyed to find that it was so big - or he was so small - that it fell all the way over his eyes and tickled his nose.  For a few moments, he wished he was back at home with James and Lily and little Albus.

Freaky Talking Hat then laughed at him and said that he was a clever boy.  Teddy jumped - visibly, he thought, which was mortifying - and wondered where it kept its mouth.

You're a difficult one.  Brave and clever.  Good Gryffindor traits.

But Teddy had no intention of being a Gryffindor.

Most people would love to be in Gryffindor.  Harry Potter was one.  But you know, he would have been good in Slytherin as well.  What do you think?

Teddy thought that Uncle Harry never would have fit in Slytherin, and he knew very well that that was not what the hat was really asking him.  He just didn't care.  He was annoyed and hungry and sleepy, and felt like he'd been sitting under the hat for fifty years or more and just knew that everyone was staring at him, wondering what this stupid First Year was doing under the Freaky Talking Hat.  Then he wondered if it had a real name.

No one's ever given me a real name, it said in his ear, reminding him that it was there, and you've only been here a few seconds.  Don't fret.

I'm not fretting, he thought.  I'm curious.

Curiosity, eh?  Very Ravenclaw of you.  But I don't think you'd fit in there.  You don't want to be a Gryffindor, and I don't think Slytherin would be good for you.  So that leaves Hufflepuff.  How does Hufflepuff sound?


Hufflepuff sounds like the House for Rejects, Teddy thought.  I can come back as someone else.

Your mother was a Hufflepuff, and a good one.

His mother was a Hufflepuff?

HUFFLEPUFF, the hat cried, and Teddy was suddenly blinded by bright light and candle smoke as someone took the hat off his head.  What had just happened?  He stumbled down from the stool and stared around in abject horror.  What was he supposed to do now?  Did he sit down?  Where?

And then a very pretty blonde girl stood up and waved him over to a table underneath a big yellow banner that he hadn't seen until right that very instant.  Feeling stupid and blushing to the roots of his hair (bright blue today, his absolute favorite color, because Grandmama told him it wouldn't be very good if he stood out too much on the first day), he shuffled to an empty seat next to a fat, sniffling boy and a huge redhead who only glanced at him.

Teddy Lupin was at Hogwarts, and hated it.

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
cuban_sombrero
Oct. 29th, 2007 05:39 am (UTC)
That's really good cupid, I love the way he thinks of his aunts and uncles. How long is it???
andromeda3116
Oct. 29th, 2007 10:03 pm (UTC)
According to FFN, 2135 words, counting A/N and title and all that jazz.

Thanks! I can't wait to see what's next.
ashwinder_eggs
Oct. 29th, 2007 05:42 am (UTC)
i like it. He's a little.......... cranky for my tastes, but i still like him.

Gah, now i ahve a plot bunny for "the freaky talking hat" permission to steal some text (the hat's responses) if i do so write it?

Dizi 85
andromeda3116
Oct. 29th, 2007 10:08 pm (UTC)
Just credit, and it's cool. And I know he's a little cranky, but he's young and scared and alone for probably the first time in his life, so it's natural that he'd be angry out of sheer nerves.
frayed_misfit
Oct. 29th, 2007 07:44 am (UTC)
bravo!
Oh! That was a brilliant beginning!

I really love the way that you have begun to develop his character, especially the lonliness, this was my favourite line: "and all of a sudden, he realized that he'd be alone for a while."

The first paragraph is just sensational and wonderfully sad. I can see him thinking in facts like that, and lying to Victorie! Ha ha! That was so cute, I can just see her getting him back for that when they are older.

I also like the relationship you have given him with Bill, the distinctions you make between Harry and Bill are really amazing.

Overall, well done! This leaves me a little scared as to how on earth I will write my chapter to this standard :)
andromeda3116
Oct. 29th, 2007 10:09 pm (UTC)
Re: bravo!
Psh. You'll do fine. Thanks! I'm glad you like it, and I enjoyed the little Victoire bit too. It's like at the Quidditch Cup in book 4, all the guys crowding around the Veela, making up all sorts of B.S. And Teddy's not immune to Veela...

:D
frayed_misfit
Oct. 29th, 2007 07:46 am (UTC)
Oh and I forgot to say, 'Chasing Angels' is a wonderful title :)

Because Teddy really is looking for something isn't he? He just isn't sure what it is yet.
laundrylove
Oct. 29th, 2007 01:39 pm (UTC)
Oh, cupid, it's fabulous!

I love his thoughts on his parents, and his theory about Tonks is so wonderful and sweet, just the sort of thing a child would dream up, you know?

The little bit about Victoire, and him lying to her, was just so cute, sort of a prologue to their closer relationship, in a way :)

Chasing Angels is a lovely title, btw :D

andromeda3116
Oct. 29th, 2007 10:11 pm (UTC)
Oh, the theory about Tonks breaks my heart. You know he had to have thought like that. Most kids in that sort of situation do.

I was thinking about drawing a parallel between him and Neville, kind of the same way Harry and Hagrid bonded, only with the Herbology teacher instead. But it's not up to me. :(. Oh well. I can't wait to see what Paddy comes up with.

By the way, um. Summary?
huffle_the_puff
Oct. 30th, 2007 12:00 am (UTC)
Oooh, this is interesting. I love your characterisation of Teddy here, and when he explained his theory about Tonks I was on the verge of tears, especually when he told Andromeda. There is something wonderful in reading the perceptions of a small child as opposed to facts.

However, I laughed so hard at the Freaky Talking Hat. Don't ask why, but I can laugh for hours at something mildly amusing =/. The whole lying to Victoire thing was awesome too, and the fact that he has that bond with Bill because Bill isn't afraid of upsetting him and is blunter than Harry.

I thought the fact that he didn't want to be in any of the houses until the hat mentioned his mum was very touching. And of course it doesn't take a genius to work out that I have a soft spot for Hufflepuff ;).
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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