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This Is Us by _Leo_
Chapter 1 : Defining Family
Rating: 15+Chapter Reviews: 15

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chapter image by kaileena sands @ tda

Teddy Remus Lupin
born April 1998

July, 2008

Light filtered into the room, though the blinds were closed as much as they would go.

The little boy sat up groggily, his head felt like it would love to explode and his legs and arms felt like lead. Teddy shook his head, but stopped abruptly to cuddle it between his hands. Slowly, he remembered the hours before.

He had felt it in every bone. It was the same every month, when his fatherís curse would take hold again. Teddy didnít even need a calendar to know when the moon was waxing; he never slept much in those nights. Although, he couldnít remember a night as bad as last night. Teddy had been tossing and turning, never finding an ounce of sleep. The mattress had been too hard, his blanket that wrapped around his legs had constricted him, but he felt cold removing it. The pillow just wouldnít form into a comfortable position, the odd creaks and noises of his Granís old house doing the rest. His eyes would always pop open again.

His joints would ache during those nights. The healers had given him potions against the pain, saying it was how his werewolf genes made themselves known. Teddy had to do monthly check-ups. He remembered it clearly, the day his godfather and his Gran had taken him aside. It had been after another awful night and a visit to St. Mungoís, when he was much younger.

Harry had sat him down beside himself on the sofa. "Teddy, do you know what werewolves are?"

Teddy had nodded eagerly. "They are like wolves. But only one night in the month, and they are bigger."

"And do you know that your Dad was a werewolf?" Teddyís Gran heaved a dry sob at that.

Teddy looked at her, then at Harry. "Really? But doesnít that hurt?"

"Yes, Iím sure it hurt him. Your Dad never complained, though. It was like your pain from last night, only much much worse."

Teddy had covered his mouth with his hands and his eyes had gone wide. That was Ö He hadnít known words for it then, only that he felt so sorry for his Dad.

Gran had sidled over to him then, cuddling him close. "My poor boy! Poor Teddy! So much sorrow, and it still isnít over yet!"

Teddy didnít know what was wrong, but he guessed she was talking about his parents. True, he missed them a lot, but he had never known them and how it was to have real parents.

Harry had looked on awkwardly, and then turned Teddy towards him again. "So, your Dad was in pain whenever he had to transform into the wolf form. You didnít get this condition from him Ė itís called Lycanthropy Ė but itís why your legs and arms hurt during certain nights."

"I donít have to turn into a wolf, do I?" Teddy had asked half scared, half fascinated.

"Dear Merlin, I hope not!" Gran Andromeda had exclaimed.

Harry shook his head. "No, you donít have to. You are not a werewolf, ok? But you have got a little bit of it from your Dad, just like your natural hair colour. The healer did a few tests today, and he says it will hurt a little at the time when a full werewolf changes, so when we have a full moon. But we also have potions, so that if youíre lucky, you wonít feel anything of it."

Teddy had contemplated this, afterwards Harry had offered to take him and Gran to see Ginnyís brother Bill. Bill had the same problem, and Teddy had talked to him for a long time. He felt better after that, and then little Victoire had asked him if he wanted a biscuit.

If only it would be as simple this time. He wished Vic was here, or anyone really. He could wake his Gran, but she was getting older too and he didnít want to keep her up if he could help it. The potion obviously didnít work today as it should be.

It was times like these that he missed his parents most. Surely his Dad would understand best, even if he would have turned during the night of the full moon. Or he could just crawl into bed with his Mum.

His Gran was the closest thing he had, but he once again thought that she needed her sleep. Harry and Ginny had now a little baby girl, and little Al and Jamie. He tried imagining their last picnic where he had played tag with Jamie, and how tiny little Lily had felt in his arms, and how Al always poked him in his belly. Usually, recalling those memories provided enough distraction for him, but not tonight.

There was another person who could relate to his pain, maybe he was awake?

Teddy slowly put his feet to the ground, careful not to make a noise and not upset his joints anymore than was necessary. Teddy put on his shoes and snuck down the stairs.

He reached the downstairs, successfully avoiding the creaking steps and felt his way through the hallway towards the living room. The shadows seemed darker than usual; Teddy gulped once and carried on, although he didnít feel confident at all. He sighed in relief when he reached the living room, the embers of the fire still giving off enough light for him to actually see where he was going.

Teddy knelt down on all fours, wincing as he did so. He took the fire tongs and started poking around in the still glowing embers, aired it with the bellows. Praise Gran for showing him how to do things the Muggle way. ĎYou should know how to use your hands, your grandpa, Ted, was Muggleborn, after all.í Another family member he'd never meet.

A short time alter, he had the fire blazing again. He went over to the coffee table, took the pen and wrote, "Gone to Shell Cottage, Teddy" on it. As he heard a noise in the dark and gloomy hallway, he turned around rapidly to see what it was. The slip of paper sailed to the ground and under the sofa unnoticed.

Teddy went to the fire, took a handful of floo powder, threw it in and followed suit. "Shell Cottage" he said and was whisked away in a whirlwind of green flames.

Teddy stumbled out of the fireplace when the whirling suddenly stopped. He tried to break his fall but ended up on the floor anyway. His limbs felt even more awful now. It was lighter here, somehow. Then he connected the facts, the full moon was shining full blast through the living room window. Teddy groaned. He had learned the hard way that it never helped the pain if he was directly exposed to the moonlight.

He scrambled to his feet again, and stopped short when he noticed a sliver of light from the kitchen. Teddy stepped noiselessly closer, and peeked around the door frame. The door of the fridge was open, but he could see a glimpse of a pair of feet. Little feet in pink slippers. He just stood there grinning stupidly, as the little girl closed the fridge door and came into view. She let out a squeal, but cut herself off after the first tones as Teddy held his pointer finger to his mouth. The moon must have illuminated him enough for her to recognise him, as the frightened look on Victoireís face gave way to one of surprise.

"Teddy!" she whispered. "What are you doing here?"

"I, eh, I wanted Ö Is your Dad awake?"

"Papa? Non, he is asleep upstairs," she pondered. "Why? Teddy, did something happen? Your Gran?" she added more urgently.

"No, no, I wanted Ö I needed Ö" Teddy couldnít get the words out. He would only loose his face if he did, and somehow he couldnít let Victoire think he was weak.

Victoire nodded in understanding. "Itís the full moon, isnít it?" She took his hand and led him towards the sofa in the living room. "Sit," she commanded.

Teddy obliged her, although he only perched on the edge of his seat.

Victoire came back with a large blanket in her hands. She let it fall down beside him and put her hands on her hips. "I said sit."

She pushed him deeper into the cushioned seat, then spread the blanket and wrapped it around Teddy.

Victoire took another blanket and cuddled down under it, resting her head on Teddyís shoulder. "Is this ok? Does it hurt you?"

"No, itís ok. Just donít wriggle around too much." It felt nice, he had to admit.

"Teddy? Can I ask you something?" Victoire looked at him with those big blue eyes of hers.

"What is it?"

"Does it hurt really bad? Papa says itís not that bad, but I can see him wince sometimes. Maman rubs his shoulders and I think it makes Papa feel better."

Teddy didnít know whether to tell her the truth. In the end, he decided for it. "Sometimes, it does. The potion helps, so I donít feel the pain, but like for me today, itís bad enough so I feel it even with the potion."

Victoire sighed and relaxed against him. "Itís just not fair. Why canít the healers find something to make it better? They should!"

Teddy felt strangely elated that Victoire could be so compassionate about his illness. And her fatherís illness, he remembered. Of course she would not be that concerned for him alone.

"Vic?" he questioned, but received no answer.

He looked down at her form cautiously, she had obviously fallen asleep. Teddy adjusted her smaller form against him and slid down a bit in the cushions. Listening to Victoire breathe, Teddy finally found some rest.

He dreamed of his mother that night imagined her putting him into bed even when he was too old for it, tucking in the blanket around him. She sung to him and her hair shone pink in the lamp light, like she wore it in some of the old photos he treasured, and what Harry and Ginny had told him. "I love you, forever, Teddy," she whispered to him.

His father was there too, pushing his hair from his face in a tender motion, saying, "Teddy, my son, Iím so sorry for putting you through this. I would take those pains for you, if only I could. I will always be proud of you, you should always know that."

Teddy didnít want to leave this dream, he fought to stay asleep, but already his parents slipped away from him, he thought he saw them waving with sad, yet loving expressions on their faces.

The loud voices that had roused him from his dream came from the kitchen. Vic stirred beside him, and gave him a sleepy, questioning look after opening her eyes.

"Thereís your Dad, and Uncle Ron," Teddy told her quietly.

"We have to find him." Teddy could now hear his godfatherís voice. He felt his heart lurch. What? Who was missing? His godfather was always so assured, he didnít like the anxious sound Harryís voice had at the moment.

"We will, Harry, donít worry. Angelina and I go back to Andromedaís, Percy is already at the Ministry and you and Ron check up the neighbourhood. As soon as Billís ready, he will go to check the Werewolf Community for information. The kids will be safe with Arthur and Molly. Weíll find him," that sounded like Uncle George. Teddy and Victoire shared a look and simultaneously peeked over the back of the sofa.

There were almost all of the Weasley adults assembled in the kitchen of Shell Cottage. Harry wanted to say something else, but was interrupted by a hysterical Fleur who had a barely awake Dominique on her arm, followed by Bill with Louis.

"Victoire! We called for her to get up, and found her gone too!" Bill gasped.

"But Daddy! Silly Daddy! Iím here!" Victoire scolded him, now on her knees as she bent over the back of the sofa.

Teddy got up on his knees as well, letting his eyes stray over the round of momentarily nonplussed group.

Harry was the first to jump into motion; he was in front of the sofa in a matter of seconds and pressed Teddy to his chest. "What are you doing? How could you scare me like that?"

Teddy was so close to his godfatherís chest that he felt the shudders that went through Harryís body. "I floo-ed here. What happened? I didnít want to scare you, I swear."

"Oh Teddy, you were gone and no one knew where. Why did you do that?"

"But I left a note, I left it at the coffee table, really!" Teddy pleaded. He pushed himself away at arm length and watched Harryís face, then all the others. The Weasley-Delacours were huddled around Victoire, and his Weasley uncles all stood ready to swoop in and grab him too. And they did, he felt different sets of arms hold him.

"There wasnít a note. Not on the table, anyway. Iím going to floo over, your Gran and everyone else is really worried," Uncle Ron said and vanished a few seconds later in the green flames.

Harry had settled down on the sofa with Teddy in his lap. Teddy felt nearly as safe as he had in the dream.

He had barely time to adjust when the fire flared up again and his Gran hurried out, followed by a several others.

"Teddy!" Andromeda called, the worry and relief obvious in her voice as she enveloped both him and Harry. Teddy started to think it hadnít been such a good idea to come here. He had never wanted to worry anyone. He tried to say as much, but he was overridden by the mutterings and questions of everyone else in the room.

"Oh Teddy! How could you give us such a scare! We thought someone had kidnapped you, or that you were hurt and couldnít call for help! Why didnít you wake me up? How did you even get here?"

"But Iím fine, ok? Gran? Please donít cry! I Ė I didnít mean to upset you, honest! Gran!" Teddy pleaded, with tears in his eyes now. "I left you a note, only I didnít want to wake you!"

"Itís true," Uncle Ron held up the crumbled piece of paper. "I found it under the sofa."

"I still donít understand," Teddy looked up at the voice. It was Ginny and she looked really white in the face. "Why did you come here? Why not us?"

"And of course you can always wake me, I want to know if something is wrong," Gran interrupted.

Teddy felt even more ashamed now and hung his head. He had had them all so worried. He felt something small and warm grab his hand, then he heard a little voice. "Teddyís potion didnít work. So he wanted to ask Papa if he knew what to do. But Papa was asleep as well, and you may think I donít know, but I do. He canít sleep much on one of those nights either. So I made Teddy sit here, and we fell asleep on the sofa. Please donít be angry with him," Victoire bravely faced everyone.

Teddy whipped his head around to look at her with an open jaw. Vic had just stood up for him! She looked determined, despite all the eyes on her.

The fire flared up again to reveal Grandma Molly and Grandpa Arthur plus the rest of his aunts with several more or less awake children. A black-haired little bullet caught him at the waist, and Teddy felt overwhelmed by Jamieís babbling. Teddy felt so stupid now. He had wanted to avoid worrying anyone, and there was the whole Weasley family awake because of him.

Of course he knew they werenít his real family, but he had always referred to them as that.

Except Harry and Ginny. His godfather had explained to him that he could call them what he wanted, but had also recounted stories of his real Mum and Dad. Teddy only hoped the Weasleys wouldnít be too angry with him for disappearing like that.

Teddy had to go through another round of Weasley hugs, started by Grandma Molly. Teddy was overwhelmed and didnít even want to mention that his bones and joints still hurt a little.

"Letís have breakfast everyone. Iím sure that youíre all hungry. Fleur, Angelina, Audrey? Letís go to the kitchen and see what we can do," Grandma Molly said resolutely. Teddy realised he was indeed hungry.

"Should I be insulted she doesnít want me to prepare breakfast?" Aunt Hermione asked the room at large.

"Iíll be in zere, just a moment," Aunt Fleur said as she approached Teddy with Bill.

"Teddy! Do you feel better? Victoire said you were hurting?" Billís warm blue eyes had a look of understanding. Thatís what he had come for. Someone who would understand.

"íere, I make that soothing potion, I found it works well with the potion you get from St. Mungoís," Aunt Fleur handed him a vial with a blue liquid.

Although Gran eyed it suspiciously, Teddy took the vial and chucked it down in one. Instantly, he felt like some cool cloths had been wrapped around his joints. His hair seemed to perk up and turned the same vivid blue as the potion had been. A genuine grin broke out on his face as he looked back at them.

"Thatís better, isnít it?" Bill asked with a smile and ruffled Teddyís newly blue hair.

Gran Andromeda excused herself for a bit to calm down somewhat, her place was taken by Ginny. She pulled him in her arms with one arm, in the other she held the tiny Lily.

"You could have come to us, you can come any time of day or night, you know that, right?" She asked him softly.

"I Ė I didnít want to bother you. You have little Lily, and Jamie and Al," he answered timidly. Teddy didnít even dare to chance a peek at Harry, he felt in this instance that his godfather might feel hurt and think he, Teddy, didnít trust him.

"Do you really feel this way?" Just as he had thought, Teddy heard the hurt in Harryís soft voice.

"No! I mean, I wanted to deal with this myself, without having to wake a lot of other people. I know I would have loved to sleep, but I couldnít, and I didnít want to do this to others," Teddy grew a little frustrated. "I never wanted to hurt you, or scare you. Iím so sorry, Harry," finally, he lifted his eyes a little to gauge his godfatherís reaction, as he felt himself pulled in a tight embrace.

"Donít ever be afraid of that again. Iíd rather you wake me than put me through this again. And Iíll have to make sure James and Albus know that as well," Teddy snorted at Harryís attempt at humour. Ginny squeezed his hand as well.

The rest of the Weasley women arrived with plates and trays full of food, and as everyone grabbed a seat wherever they could, balancing plates and children on their legs, Teddy couldnít help but feel at home. The only one he was related to by blood was his Gran Andromeda, but all the others treated him as if he was one of their own. He was lucky to have them. And if he still sometimes wished to have his real parents like everyone else, that could never be. Teddy vowed to always give his best and make them proud.

He jumped as he felt a tap on his shoulder and Victoireís "youíre it". He looked after her confusedly as she sprinted outside. She was followed by Molly and Roxanne, both giggling hysterically, while Percy shouted after his daughter to be careful and not get her pyjamas dirty.

Teddyís hair changed to red as he clambered off of the sofa amidst the Potters and his Gran.

"Iíll come too!" crowed an excited James, throwing his plate in the air in his delight. Teddy thought generously that he wouldnít tag Jamie just yet, that would be completely unfair.

James ran outside, as fast as his little legs could carry him, with Freddie by his side. Teddy made sure to keep two paces behind them, letting them have some fun.

"Ha-ha, catch me!" Teddy hadnít seen Dominique come outside, she ran past and turned a ninety degree angle to the left. Teddy chased after her now.

He caught her around the middle after a few paces, and Dom squealed as they both hit the ground. Teddy had made sure that she landed atop of him and didnít hurt herself. After all, he had promised to never hurt them again.

"Help! Help!" Dom squealed. Apparently, she had been heard because he felt Jamie and Freddie throw themselves at him too. They all screamed and wriggled around. Victoire, Roxanne and Molly had been drawn by the ruckus and joined in the fray.

After some more tickling, squealing and uncontrollable laughter, the older Weasley kids collapsed in a heap on the ground.

Teddy hadnít felt this good in a long time. The grass was tickling his neck, the sun warmed his face, he was exhausted but unbelievable happy. He felt around with his hand in the grass and caught a familiar small hand. He didnít need to look to know it was Vic.

"Teddy?" That was Jamieís voice.

"Jamie?" He answered him.

"I was weally scared. I don want you be gone. Ďs more funny. Allie does not play like you, and I need a big brother," James said.

Teddy was incredibly touched by those words. Jamie certainly was like a little brother to him. Teddy rolled over and got on his elbows. "I promise Jamie, I wonít go away. And I would like a little brother too."

"Letís shake on this," Victoire suggested. All the assembled Weasley cousins plus Teddy sat up to pay attention. "No one will go away. We tell each other if weíre hurt. We are the Weasleys. This is us."

Each of them put their right hand in the middle. Roxanne had to correct Freddieís hand, who had stretched out his left one. Even Fred, James and Dom had a solemn expression on their faces, as they shook on it.

"This is us."

I don't own any of the characters, only playing around a bit. Liked it, didn't like it?

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