Chapter 7 : Back to school
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It was nearly midnight and Harry still needed to read over his lesson plans. Tomorrow was the first day of school. It looked as if his parents would be making it safely to Hogwarts. Teddy and he had staked out the Carrows’ home several times over the past month, but saw no one suspicious.
Picking up the parchment that had his lesson plans for sixth and seventh year students, Harry started to revise what he had written. There is so much ground to cover with this lot. Only four people last year received an O on their OWLs. Ironically, it was his dad, Sirius, Lupin, and Snape. He may be here for only one year, but he wants the students to learn enough to help them survive the upcoming war, particularly his mother.
Lily Evans had not signed up for Defense classes. She had received an A on her Owls. Harry had always assumed she was a good student, but evidently not in Defense. He had a talk with the Headmaster just two days ago to get her placed in his class.
“You certainly are different from all the previous Defense Professors, Professor James,” said Professor McGonagall from the open doorway.
Harry had jumped slightly at the sound of her voice. “I hope that it is a good difference.”
She walked into his office and looked down at his desk. She was the Deputy Headmistress and it was partly her responsibility to ensure proper teaching methods were being followed. She looked much younger now, but she still had her hair up in the tight bun and dressed the same way. The largest difference between the young Minerva and the one from Harry’s days were the depth of her wrinkles. She had them but they were not as noticable and when she pressed her lips together her face didn’t get the deep creases.
“Yes, indeed it is,” she said heartily. “Most of the Professors we get either teach straight from the book or think so highly of themselves that they don’t bother with lesson plans. I am happy to see that you are taking the time to develop a lesson plan. I have found them most useful.”
“Thank you, when I took this position, I was determined to get the students up to where they should be. Only having four students receiving O’s on their Owls is a little embarrassing. Don’t you think?”
“I most certainly do,” she said haughtily.
Harry picked up a large pile of parchments and looked up at the Professor. “If you would excuse me, the Headmaster wanted to see my lesson plans. I may be up late rewriting the plans. If I don’t see you again tonight, I shall see you tomorrow as we anxiously await the children.”
“It will be a long wait, tomorrow,” replied Professor McGonagall. “The students don’t arrive here from London until almost seven in the evening.”
Harry let out a long whistle. “Even the students who live up here?” he asked her. He knew this but asked the question anyway to keep his cover of being from Australia.
“If we let the students arrive at all hours then we would have no control of them by the time the rest of the students arrived,” the elder Professor stressed.
Harry smiled at her. She had always been one to insist that the students move about in neat and orderly fashion. He grabbed his hat off the side of the desk and plopped it onto his head.
“Well if you will excuse me. I must see the Headmaster,” he said holding up his lesson plans for the six and seventh year students. “Must get these approved before tomorrow,” he stated firmly.
The Deputy Headmistress left his office. He followed close behind her ensuring that the door was locked, before walking to the Headmasters office. When he first moved in here in July the place was practically barren. He was the only Professor here. As the month of August wore on more Professors arrived and started preparing for the upcoming year. The last week Harry had to be careful seeing Teddy, who was hidden away in the Room of Requirement, or talking to Ray. He wanted no one but Professor Dumbledore to know what he actual mission was.
Harry walked past the gargoyle that normally guarded the Headmaster’s entrance. It had been deactivated to help expedite impromptu meetings and conferences necessary to get the school operating smoothly. He walked to the top of the stairs and pounded on the door.
“Headmaster, Professor James to see you,” he shouted through the oak door.
With a soft creak, it swung open allowing him entrance. He stepped into the office and sat down in a chair in front of Professor Dumbledore. He was dressed in nightclothes with a heavy robe and a pointy flannel nightcap. They were both a plum color. Harry couldn’t help but smile at his appearance.
“I see you are admiring my night wear,” Professor Dumbledore said without looking up from the parchment he was reading.
“It’s… well… it looks very warm,” he replied without laughing. “I brought you my last set of lesson plans to peruse. These are for the six and seventh years. Hopefully, they will be able to pass the NEWTs at the end of the year.”
Harry placed them on his desk so they didn’t interfere with the parchments that he was presently reading. The Headmaster glanced at them, and then without speaking returned to reading the parchment in his hand. Harry looked around the office as he waited. He was hoping that Teddy would be here. They have always met here to discuss any progress he has made on the locating the NDE’s and also getting the Time Turner operational.
There was a tapping on one of the stained glass windows. Professor Dumbledore pointed his wand at the window. It opened allowing an owl to fly in. It landed on the desk, but looked at Harry. He leaned forward in the chair and untied the scroll attached to it left leg. As soon as the bundle was untied, the owl took flight again. It slammed into the window twice before the Headmaster could open the window to allow it to leave.
Harry watched the bird fly away, before he unrolled the scroll. It was from Ray, because it was magically sealed with the standard Auror Security Charm. He found several sheets of parchment rolled together. There was a one sheet letter from Ray, and three additional sheets of parchment with pictures on them.
Reading the letter, Harry became hopeful. Ray had been noticing three people who seemed to be taking turns entering the Three Broomsticks. They never were there on the same night, but each one would sit and watch out the window towards the Carrows’ house. She had also heard through the grapevine that the Carrows had taken an extended vacation. No one has seen them since 20 July.
Harry put the letter down and looked at the three pictures. They weren’t moving like most magical pictures do. These were created as an etching; a picture etched onto parchment using someone’s actual memories. He pulled the three etchings and looked at them intensely. He wanted to notice every detail. As he was looking at them, one picture was bothering him. It looked familiar as if it was someone he had met but couldn’t remember who it was.
“Professor, did Teddy leave the scrolls with the NDE’s initials on them?”
“Yes, I am looking at them now,” said the Professor looking over his half-moon glasses. “Why do you need to see them?”
“Ray sent me three pictures of people who might be NDE’s. I was wondering if I looked at the pictures while hearing the initials it would jar my memory.”
“Well it certainly would be worth a try. I’ll just read you the initials of the teams.”
Harry listened to the initials of the team they theorized was already there. One set of initials seemed to jump out at him. He must have reacted to it, because the Headmaster dropped the parchment and watched him. The initials GR caught him. He looked at the pictures again. For some reason GR seemed to be sticking him, but he couldn’t’ place a name with it.
“This is ridiculous, I can’t figure out who GR is. I know it is important, but I can’t think who it could be. I don’t remember arresting anyone with the name GR.”
“I was trying to match names with the initials when you came in. The only person that I know with the initials of GR is Gordon Ridgebit. However, he couldn’t…”
“Bloody Hell!” shouted Harry. “Of course, now it makes sense. I bet that Gordon Ridgebit is working on the Time Turner project right now in the Department of Mysteries.”
“Gordon Ridgebit, a Death Eater!” exclaimed a shocked Albus Dumbledore. “I find that hard to believe.”
“He isn’t a Death Eater. His son, Walden, is serving life in Azkaban for a series of rapes while attending Hogwarts. Gordon had to leave the country. Walden revealed that he had learned how to do this from his father. Gordon had to flee or possibly go to Azkaban for life.”
“Gordon Ridgebit was a student here while I was the Headmaster. I can’t believe I allowed him to get away with things like that.”
“They would Obliviate the victims after they were finished. I stopped Walden before he could actually rape my wife.”
Harry had to stop as the bitter memories came back to him. He had wanted to kill Walden that night, for what he tried to do to Ginny. He had controlled his emotions and walked away from the slime. Harry looked up at the silent Headmaster. He looked deep in concentration about something. His face was pale and his forehead was heavily creased. He looked as if he was in a great deal of pain. Harry watched as the Headmaster wiped blood away from his upper lip as it seeped from his nose.
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“Have yourself a wonderful year, my dear,” said Mrs. Evans. Her voice was filled with false enthusiasm.
Lily had been out of sorts the entire holiday, but she couldn’t tell her mother about what was happening in the magical world. Her mum would literally worry herself to death thinking that her daughter might be killed for having non-magical parents.
A set of strong arms enveloped her, as her father hugged her goodbye. “You will do brilliant my dear Lily,” he whispered in her ear.
Lily returned the strong hug. His hugs always helped give her strength.
Her father pulled away and smiled at her. “If you ever need anything, or someone to talk to, I am a willing listener,” he said while looking at her with his intense green eyes.
“I will Dad,” she said while suppressing a sob. It hurt to be prohibited from telling them the troubles she was having. “I must go. I don’t want to be late.”
Steeling her emotions Lily grabbed the trolley loaded with her trunk and headed to Platform 9 ¾’s. She turned to wave a final good-bye to her parents before disappearing into the crowd. This year was going to be a difficult one for her. She will have no one that she can confide in anymore. Her room mates were boy-obsessed gossipy girls, and she couldn’t trust to say anything to them. Now that she could no longer trust Sev, she was feeling truly alone.
The feeling that she was being watched crept over her again. She had been having that feeling all summer. She was beginning to believe that she had gone aound the twist.
A person to the right caught her eye. He looked out of place among the Muggles, but he didn’t look like many of the wizards that passed through here. He was wearing a silk suit of sky blue. It was snug fitting showing that he was rather fit. He had a hat of the same material that sat of to the one side of his head. It had a small feather stuck in the band. He was pulling a trolley loaded down with a trunk, a long box that could have held a broom, and a cage that was covered, but large enough to hold an owl.
He was walking a parellel path to her. Lily started to feel paranoid about this peculiar wizard walking beside her. She took one more glance at him before picking up her pace. It was odd, but he reminded her of Remus Lupin. They looked enough alike to be brothers.
She kept up her hurried pace until after she had passed through the barrier and had loaded her trunk in a compartment on the train. She had no other choice than to sit with her room mates, but she quickly excused herself to go to the Prefects meeting in the front car.
The room was almost empty, because she was forty minutes early. Her nerves were building up again as she waited. Sev was a Prefect. She will be seeing him again at this meeting. She could not be friends with someone who thinks like he does. He seemed to be falling in line with the rest of Slytherin and becoming a pureblood fanatic.
She silently sighed to herself. Was she such a bad judge of character that she didn’t see Sev turning out that way?
“Hello Lily, enjoy your holidays?”
Lily looked up at the other sixth year Prefect, Remus Lupin. “It was fine. How was yours?”
“I had a good time,” he said smiling, an act that at times seemed foreign to his face. “I spent most of my time at James’ house.”
At the mention of Potter, she scowled at him.
“He isn’t a bad person, Lily.”
“Tell that to all the people that he has hexed. He needs to grow up, Remus. Sometimes, I can’t figure why you are friends with him?” She said acerbicly.
“He makes me laugh. He is the best friend that I have ever had.” Remus said harshly. He stopped talking and glared at her before sitting down and staring out the windows of the train.
Lily felt terrible for upsetting Remus. She didn’t want a strained relationship with him. They would be going on patrols together. “I am sorry that I insulted your friend, Remus. He is just too much at times, blimey, most of the times.”
“I guess I could understand that coming from you. James is a very caring person, once you get past his showy and sometimes childish behavior.”
“Well that can be a lot to get past. I just wish he would leave me alone.”
“He is in love with you, Lily.”
She scowled at his comment. Having someone shout out in the common room that they loved you and wanted to marry you was not in the slightest bit appealing to her. At times he was almost obsessive with her.
“I wish he would control some of his behavior, which reminds me. Was he following me this summer? The last month I could swear someone was watching me.”
“I said that I was with him. He rarely left his family’s pitch. He really wants to win the Quidditch cup this year. Could it have been someone else?”
Lily knew who Remus was referring to. At that moment, Sev and his fellow Slytherins entered the car. He glanced her way, but quickly turned his gaze away. The tension in the car had increased a hundred fold. It wasn’t just because of Lily’s discomfort with Sev, but the entire Slytherin group seemed to try to intimidate all of the other prefects.
The Head Boy, Kevin Spivey, stood up to speak as the train left the station. Lily focused on what he was saying and ignored her former best friend and his cohorts. It was a speech similar to last year’s Head Boy. The Head Girl also spoke, but again it was a rehashing of the Head Boy’s. The patrols on the train were divided up.
Remus had volunteered to walk the first hour. Lily decided that she would join him. They left the car and started back the train together. They ran into dozens of first years still looking for compartments. She and Remus spent most of the time sorting them out. After they had run out of all the compartments that held only first years, they started telling various students that they had to accept the first years in with them.
They had just sorted out the last of the first years. There was only a few minutes left of their patrol. As they were walking back to the front of the train, a large explosion could be heard. They rushed forward running through two cars to find the third filled with black smoke.
They started to open windows to clear the foul smelling smoke, but it seemed to refuse to leave the car. As they were walking through the car looking to see if anyone was hurt. Thorfinn Rowle, a surly seventh year Slytherin, grabbed Remus’ robes. He and his fellow Slytherins all had soot covered faces.
“You and your friends will pay for this, Lupin,” Rowle shouted into Remus’ face.
“Why? We didn’t do anything? I have been on patrol,” countered Remus.
“This is definitely Potter’s handywork. You were probably watching out for him,” accused Snape.
“Yeah, my stupid blood-traitor brother also had something to do with it. Didn’t he,” snapped Regulus Black.
Lily glared at him and was going to say something, but Thorfinn responded first.
“You have something to say, Mudblood?” asked Rowle.
“Lets go Remus, these idiots probably had a spell backfire on them,” spat Lily. She didn’t even wait for Remus to respond. She took off walking. As she had suspected, the entire car was filled with sooty faced Slytherins. The next car was clear. She looked and saw Remus emerging from the smoke.
“I think I am done with my patrol. I am going to my compartment,” she told him.
“Lily, are you all right?”
He didn’t say anything more to her, but she knew exactly what he was referring to. “I can’t help what other people think of me, Remus.”
“They are wrong,” he said with conviction.
“Thank you, you are a good friend.” Lily walked away feeling a little better. It still didn’t help sooth the pain of being called a Mudblood and have Sev not even flinch or try to defend her. Having Remus to go on patrols with at school will help her. It is strange to have a friend like him who was a friend of her bane.
She slid the door back for her compartment. All her room mates turned and smiled at her. She knew something was up by their annoying smirks. It was then that she noticed a bouquet of lilies lying on the only empty seat.
“Let me guess, Potter,” she said sardonically.
“Lily, he is so sweet,” gushed Francine.
Lily ignored her, and picked up the bouquet. It was beautiful, but it was from Potter. She opened the card that was attached.
Accept this as the first gift of many leading up to our date in Hogsmeade. Do not worry I have the entire day planned for us. You will enjoy it. I promise.
The love of your life,
“I don’t believe him,” she hissed. “Must he always be so bloomin’ arrogant? Does anyone want these?”
She held up the bouquet. All the girls looked at her stunned. When they didn’t respond to her, she walked over to the window and threw the bouquet out. It irritated her to do that, but she wouldn’t accept gifts from him if he thinks he can buy her affections.
If only he didn’t write that stupid card.
The rest of train ride went along normally. She didn’t see Potter. The conversation in the car was spent mostly about various boys the girls had or wanted to snog. Several of them even asked her if she would mind if they went after Potter. The only time the subject of school came up was when they tried to guess who the new Professor of Defense would be. Lily listened half heartedly to the subject, because she wasn’t taking the subject this year.
When the train finally stopped at Hogsmeade, the weather matched her mood. It was cold, rainy, and miserable. She was able to find a carriage without Potter or Slytherins in it for the ride up to the castle. The sight of the magnificent castle helped her mood lighten a bit. Here she would be able to occupy her time with scholastic challenges.
Fighting with the other students to get into the great hall, she wasn’t able to get to the Gryffindor table, until almost very last. She was surprised to see the young wizard in the sky blue suit and hat. He now wore a plain black robe over it. He was sitting at the Gryffindor table. Lily looked and saw there were only openings near him or close to Potter. She chose to sit beside this student.
“Hello, you are new here,” she said to this new student.
“Oui, I am Theodore Lefevre. My parents moved to England from France so here I am,” he said with a slight French accent.
“Have you been sorted into Gryffindor?”
“Oui, Professor Dumblydore did zat during ze summer.”
“Welcome to Hogwarts and Gryffindor house. I am Lily Evans, sixth year prefect.”
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“Who’s the git talking to my Lily,” shouted James.
“He looks new,” said Peter.
“He looks like a nancy boy, James. I think we need to welcome this bloke to Gryffindor.”
“I agree Sirius. If he is new, how did he get sorted into Gryffindor?” questioned James.
“Maybe the Headmaster sorted him during the hols.”
“True Peter, very true, it doesn’t matter, tonight we have a discussion with the bloke,” stated James as though it was a royal edict.
Peter and Sirius both shouted. “Here, here!”
“James, do you think that is wise. We will be watched after what happened on the train,” warned Remus.
James turned and looked at his good friend. His smiled showed his pleasure at beginning the school year with a prank on Slytherins. “What do you mean, Remus? What happened on the train?”
Sirius let out a loud barking laugh as he looked over at the older Slytherins’ soot covered faces. Peter sniggered and even turned around to look at them, making it obvious that they were laughing at the Slytherins. Even Remus couldn’t help it. He smiled at the scowls they were receiving from the other table.
“I am just saying that everyone is going to suspect you two, and you don’t want to go Hexing anyone in our own house the first night,” advised Remus. “Besides, Lily has often stated that she doesn’t like you because you are constantly Hexing people.”
James turned and looked at his love. She wasn’t speaking to the new boy, but was in conversation with a girl beside her. She was so beautiful. He even loved her strong will. Once he had started noticing girls in his second year, she was the only one that he noticed.
“To Hex or not to Hex that is the question?” Sighed James dramatically.
“Actually mate, I though it was to Hex and not get caught was the objective,” teased Sirius.
“True, very true,” laughed James. “Remus, my dear friend, I don’t think any Hexes need to be cast tonight, unless that bloke starts the fight. I just want to let him know the basic rules of Gryffindor house. Lily is mine and don’t ever side with a Slytherin.”
“Here, here,” said all four of them.
Just then the side door opened and the first years entered. Professor McGonogall led them up front by the head table, and placed the Sorting Hat on the stool. As it started to talk, James tuned it out. He was now looking at the Professors. His father had told him that the Headmaster had recruited some foreign Auror for the Defense position. This new Professor was rumored to be as good as or better than any of the Aurors at the British Ministry.
He saw the new face at the table. If this is the new Defense Professor, then he must be the youngest Auror ever. He barely looked any older than the students. He was sitting at the table beside Hagrid. He had long flowing black hair that rested on his shoulders, a trimmed beard, and he wore glasses. He wore a wide brimmed pointy wizard’s hat. It looked similar to the Sorting Hat. The hat’s brim shaded his eyes so James could not see the color of his eyes. This new Professor reminded him of someone, but he couldn’t place who it was.
“Is that a new Professor or the Head Boy?” asked Sirius.
“I think that is the new Professor. He looks very young,” said Remus.
“My father told me that he is a foreign Auror. Dumbledore bragged to the Wizengamot that he may be the most qualified Professor for Defense Against the Dark Arts Hogwarts has ever had,” stated James.
“Does he look like anyone we know?” asked Peter.
“I think he looks like Sirius,” stated Remus. “At least the hair looks almost identical.”
“Remus is right, Sirius. He does have almost the same type of hair,” laughed James.
“If the birds go after him because of his hair, like they do me, then this will be an interesting year.”
“All right now, a teacher/student fling that should liven things up,” laughed James.
“You know, James, Lily has often commented about how nice my hair is.”
James snapped his head around and scowled at his best mate. Sirius held his laughter for about two seconds before he started to howl out loud even though the Sorting was still goin on.
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The barking laugh echoed through the great hall. Harry could hear the scandalized whispering of the Professors and various other students. There was one more student to be Sorted, Trevor Weatherbee, but Professor McGonagall stopped with the hat dangling about six inches from the child’s head while she fixed an icy stare on Sirius.
Harry had been trying to nonchalantly watch his father and mother. He saw Teddy enter the great hall first and sit down before his parents had entered. His dad went to a distant section to sit with his friends. His mum ended up coming in late and of all the luck sat down and started a conversation with Teddy.
As Weatherbee walked to the Hufflepuff table, Professor McGonagall placed the Hat and stool off to the side and quickly walked around the table to sit beside him.
“That man who laughed during the Sorting,” whispered Professor McGonagall. “That was Sirius Black, the other three he is talking to right now are his friends. The one is a Prefect, but that doesn’t stop them from trying to break every rule at the school on a daily basis.”
Harry tuned out Professor Dumbledore’s speech. He was still thinking about his father, and how much he reminds Harry of his name sake. During his son’s fourth and fifth year, Harry made an appointment with Headmistress Sprout to talk about James’ dicipline every month. James had befriended Fred Weasley who was in the same year and together they had reached their famous name sake’s level of trouble making.
“…all products from Zonko’s are strictly forbidden…”
His dad and friends all booed at the Headmasters comment. Harry felt a lump form in his throat. He was used to hearing about Weasley Wizard Products being strictly forbidden. It was difficult not to imagine there not being a joke shop like that.
He started to miss his children. It had been six weeks since they landed in this time period. He realized since his children all attend school he didn’t see them much. That wasn’t the reason why he missed them so much. It was the fact that he can not see them. If he fails then they may never exist.
“Professor, you need to stand up,” whispered Professor McGonagall.
Harry had missed the Headmaster calling his name. He stood up to a smattering of applause, but there was more whispering and even a few girlish giggles. He only stood for moment before sitting back down. He was glad that was over.
With clap of the Headmasters hand, the food appeared in front of everyone. Harry grabbed a few things to eat. He was too busy watching the teenaged versions of his parents.
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Teddy Lupin, or as everyone in Gryffindor calls him now Theofranc, was wondering if he had done the right thing. He had heard so many stories about how nice and considerate his father had been, but he looked like just another prankster.
He was begining to wonder of he was holding his father in too high of reguards. All Harry talked about was how kind and gentle his father was. He should give everyone some time, to see their good and bad sides.
He left the loo and proceeded to crawl into his fourposter. Pulling the curtain around him, he laid there and started to think about everyone he saw today. He thought he could handle the emotional aspect of the job. Now he wasn’t sure about his ability to stay emotionally detached.
A noise outside of his canopy drew attention away from his thoughts. It sounded as if someone was trying to whisper instructions. His auror training kicked in. he could feel where his wand was. He could even start to cast defensive spells silently, to prepare for the attack.
He started to think about where he was and probably who was out there. It was probably the Marauders planning something. Teddy wasn’t sure if they were trying to sneak out or if they were planning something against him. He decided to lie there and take his chances that everything would work out.
“Now!” someone shouted.
Four bodies flew through the curtains and landed on top of Teddy. He had to contain his laughter at them yelling “now”. If he had wanted to they would have all been immobilized by now. Instead he was trapped under the weight of the four Marauders.
“Good evening mate, welcome to Gryffindor sixth year boy’s dorm,” said a smiling James Potter.
He was lying across Teddy’s chest and arms smiling at him.
“Bon jour,” said Teddy.
“Yes, now Theofranc, we have a few rules for you to understand. First, you see us doing nothing and you tell no one what we talk about in this dorm. All right there mate?”
“Oui, I zee nothing. I hear nothing. I know nothing.”
“You are a smart one, Theofranc. Now rule number two, Lily Evans is mine. You may talk to her, but if I see or hear that you are chatting her up to try to snog her; you will be very sorry. Understood!”
“I am amazed that you didn’t make that rule one through five,” said Sirius.
“I didn’t want to give this fine young man too many rules to memorize. Last rule here mate, never side with Slytherin house. Gryffindor first, then there is a tie between Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff, but never cheer for Slytherin.”
“If you do, I will get you,” growled Sirius from over top of James.
“Oui, Gryffindor good, Slytherin bad, I will not like any Slytherins,” said Teddy. He was having a difficult time not smiling at them. He started wondering if he was like this in school.
“Good, now we have places to go and things to do,” stated James, as he pushed himself off Teddy.
The rest of the Marauders got off of Teddy allowing him to sit up. He watched from the edge of his bed as the four of them all went to their beds to collect somethings. Three of them went to the dorm door. He noticed his father seemed to be acting funny as if he didn’t’ want to go along.
“You ready, Remus?” asked Sirius.
“I’ll be along shortly, go on ahead.”
“All right, but we have a time limit here,” shouted Sirius.
The three Marauders left the dorm. Remus was looking through his trunk, until they left. He walked over and stood by Teddy.
“We are not that bad Theodore. We just like having fun. We don’t want to harm anyone, so don’t worry about the threats,” his father assured him. “Well, except about snogging Evans. I think James would do someone serious damage, if they did that. Have yourself a good night sleep, see you in the morning.”
“Bonne nuit, monsieur,” said Teddy. The tone of his father’s voice and the look in his eyes left no doubt about the stories he had heard about his dead father. He was a nice man, a good man. Teddy watched as his young father left the dorm to have some fun in his life before the darkness overshadows his life.
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