A/N: I'm back! I know I promised this a few days ago, and I would have updated before that, but my good friend was visiting, which took up my time. :) Also, I ran into some issues regarding what date, exactly, I should have Teddy travel to. Writing the exact date in a HP story is always difficult, and though the Lexicon has a very useful timeline, I was still unsure of when exactly Ted Tonks went on the run. While this becomes more evident in the next few chapters, we're going to say that the Tonks family redid their protective charms after the Death Eaters broke in, keeping them safe for a while and Ted at home long enough for future Teddy to meet him. More about that later.
This is a filler chapter, but I will update soon! Teddy meets Tonks in the next chapter, so look forward to that. :)
Harry was not the only person confused by Teddy’s sudden change of mood. Truth be told, Teddy didn’t understand his own change, either. He’d left on the Hogwarts Express the same happy boy he’d always been and had returned with a temper fiercer then a Hungarian Horntail in heat.
Fourth year had not been an easy one. Academically, it had been his most difficult year yet. The teachers had never missed a chance to remind them of their O.W.L.s next year, and as he struggled with his Potions grade, Teddy began to face the very real possibility that he might not qualify for the N.E.W.T.s classes required for an auror. Never mind the fact that the minister was as good as his uncle and his godfather was the head of the entire auror department. Teddy wanted to be an auror on his own merit.
His relationships with his peers had changed, too. Teddy’s best friend, Ellis Green, had begun dating a Ravenclaw in their year, and he had less time for Teddy. Even Victoire had begun acting strangely. Her second year friends had begun giggling whenever he entered the room, and Vic had become surly around him, as though he was egging them on. He had never understood Victoire before, but he understood her even less now.
He’d spent most of his free time in a spare classroom, attempting to teach himself the Patronus charm. Teddy knew the story of how his own dad had taught Harry the charm, and he couldn’t wait to see Harry’s face when he saw a silvery wolf appearing out of Teddy’s wand. Still, finding good memories had been more difficult than he’d anticipated. He had many good memories from childhood, but the fact that it was Harry and Andromeda who were featured, instead of his parents, significantly dampened them. Finally, he gave up. He was not as good of a wizard as Harry, and he never would be.
He found himself wishing that he could pause the world and return to the simplicity of being seven or eight. Everything was changing, when he wanted nothing more for things to stay the same.
Now, Teddy examined the Time Turner by the morning light. It very much resembled an ordinary watch, except tiny boxes, right next to the “15” of the watch, where one was to set the date they wanted to travel to and the dials on the back that controlled them. There were eight tiny boxes: two for the month, two for the day, and four for the year.
He wasn’t stupid. He knew that stealing the Time Turner had been an uncharacteristically reckless move, especially as he had no idea whether it would even work. Sooner or later, the Unspeakables would notice the Time Turner was missing, but he didn’t plan to be around when they did. No, instead he would be in another time entirely, finally meeting the people he had heard so much about.
His grandmother knocked at his door, and Teddy responded by setting the watch under his pillow. “Teddy?” she called. “I’m going over to Cissy’s now. Is there anything I can get you?”
“I’m fine, Gran,” Teddy said. “Don’t worry about me.”
She opened the door, anyway, and surveyed him with her brown eyes. “You sure?” she said. “I can make you some breakfast if you like.”
Teddy forced himself to look as normal as possible. “I’m fine. I’ll just grab a biscuit later.”
She sat on the foot of his bed. He was startled when she reached out and smoothed back his hair, in a familiar gesture she had not done since he was a little boy. “Did you have fun with your godfather last night?”
Teddy shrugged. “It was okay. He took me to investigate the Department of Mysteries after a break-in, so that was interesting.”
Andromeda nodded. “Yes, he left me a note to tell me about that. It sounds like quite an adventure.”
Teddy swallowed. “It was.”
She continued to scrutinize him. Teddy found himself surveying her too, taking in her strong jaw, round face, thin lips, and the other traits that made up his gran.
“Teddy,” she said, a bit abruptly, “I’m sorry for our disagreement. I know that being fifteen isn’t easy, and as hard as Harry and I try, I know we can hardly take the place of your parents. I sometimes fear we haven’t come close.”
“It’s okay, Gran,” Teddy said, surprised to hear this. “You and Uncle Harry have been great. I wouldn’t want anyone else.”
She cupped his chin. “It’s sweet of you to say that. All the same, the truth of the matter is that we aren’t your parents, and we never can be. I hope you know that I wish they were here, too.”
Andromeda glanced at the framed picture on Teddy’s nightstand, which had been taken when Teddy was only a few days old. His mother, her hair pink and spiky, was holding him, and his father was grinning, looking so happy and alit with life despite the many age lines and scars on his face. Little Teddy was morphing his hair so that it went from turquoise to his mother’s shade of pink.
“I remember how your hair always used to turn pink whenever she held you,” Andromeda said. “You had different colours for different people. Nymphadora was the same way, too. She used to turn her hair purple whenever she saw me and blue for your granddad.”
“What colour did my hair turn whenever I saw Dad?” Teddy asked.
“Green. It was always black whenever you saw Harry. I think you were trying to morph yourself to look like him.”
Teddy took this in. He understood Andromeda had had her issues with his father, but he still didn’t appreciate how she always turned the subject away from him.
She kissed him on the forehead. “Promise you’ll be all right, you hear? I don’t want to hear that that you’ve been moping. I know those books of yours are interesting, but you’ll need some fresh air.”
“All right, Gran,” Teddy said. “Have fun with Aunt Cissy.”
She blew him a final kiss. Then, she closed the door.
Teddy hadn’t truly realized what being an orphan meant until he left for Hogwarts. Oh, he had heard about his parents before, of course. Everyone had always told him all about his parents, and he had several photo albums full of pictures of them.
Before he had turned eleven, though, being an orphan hadn’t meant anything. He had so many parental figures in his life. True, he had realized that his situation was atypical-most boys didn’t have three younger siblings, who weren’t related to them by blood-but he also didn’t think much of it. He did have a family. It was just a unique one.
That all changed when had he boarded the Hogwarts Express for the first time. Suddenly, everyone was abuzz with questions: “Were your parents muggles or wizards?” “How can you change your hair like that?” and “What’s it like having Harry Potter as your godfather?”
Worst of all was when they had asked Teddy about his parents. Apparently, Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks were featured in several books on the Second Wizarding War. He didn’t mind verifying that his parents had fought in the war, but he did mind when people asked him what it was like to be an orphan. He didn’t know what it was like to be an orphan. Aside from a few short weeks that he could not remember, he had never been anything else.
As each year of Hogwarts passed, he became more and more resentful of his situation. He loved Hogwarts, but it was hard learning at the same place his parents had been taught. He hated looking out at the Whomping Willow and knowing it had been planted for his dad.
By the time his fifteen birthday arrived, Teddy resented his situation more than he ever had before. He spent hours studying the card the Potters had sent him, observing how carefree the children seemed in their messages. Harry’s and Ginny’s messages, though heartfelt, bothered him, too. For once, he didn’t want a card signed, Aunt Ginny and Uncle Harry. No, he wanted a card signed, Mum and Dad.
For the most part, Teddy was much more well-behaved than his parents had been. He had used the Marauder’s Map to sneak out of bed a few times, but aside from visiting the Room of Requirement, he didn’t have anywhere to go. He was grateful to live in a safer world than his parents had, but the Gryffindor side of him longed for adventure.
Going back and time and visiting his parents would be an adventure. It probably wouldn’t be the safest adventure to start with, but it was the only risk Teddy had ever wanted to take.
Teddy took advantage of his grandmother’s absence by setting his trip in motion. He packed spare clothes and a photo album in a muggle backpack and put his wand in the pocket of his jeans. Though he wasn’t sure whether the Ministry of a different time period would be able to detect the Trace on him, he did know that where he was going, there was a good chance he would need to use underage magic to defend himself.
He took a good few moments to say goodbye to his room. Tacked up on the blue walls were pictures of him with various people: him and Uncle Harry, him and his grandmother, him and the entire Weasley family, him with just the Potters, and him with Victoire and Ellis at Hogwarts. He was smiling in all of them.
He would see his room again, he knew. If the Time Turner worked the way he thought it would, he would have the opportunity to see what the room was like sixteen years ago, back when it had been a library and not any sort of bedroom at all. Still, he knew he would miss his bedroom as it was now. The familiarity gave him a sort of comfort that his room in a different form would not be able to.
Shaking this thought aside, he left a letter for his gran on his bed. He would have his parents back in that time, and that would be comfort enough.
Teddy had decided on going back in time to August twenty-fifth of 1997. He had picked the date for a variety of reasons. For one thing, he wanted to go back to a time his parents were together, and since he didn’t want to inadvertently screw up his own birth, he decided it would be better if his mother were already pregnant with him. Also, he had heard something about his grandfather not going on the run immediately, and he wanted to meet his namesake, too. Otherwise, the date was random or as random as it could be in such a situation.
While Teddy still did not know exactly where the Time Turner would transport him, he had guessed that he would end up in the same place he had started. It was for that reason that he decided to transport himself in his backyard. Randomly appearing inside the house would give everyone a right scare, after all, and though he was not completely sure whether his parents would be there, he figured his grandparents could give him a lead.
Outside, he transfigured himself to disguise his true appearance. He chose black hair, a shade lighter than Harry’s, and blue eyes, like his friend Ellis’s. He also increased the size of his nose and transfigured his face’s shape so it was no longer heart-shaped like his mum’s. Though he did plan to reveal his true identity eventually, he didn’t want to scare his parents by coming clean too early on.
He took a deep breath and clutched the Time Turner tight. Everything was in order. It was time now, and Teddy had never been as frightened or as exhilarated in his entire life.
His hands shaking, he moved the dials of the clock to read 25/08/1997