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Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 14: Speaking Lessons, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 14: Speaking Lessons, pt. 2
Teddy's back at school after Christmas holidays, and is confused by Ruthless's behavior--though not apparently angry in any way, she's withdrawn. He seeks Marauder memories in the ring, and finds nothing other than James being confused about Lily, then tries to magically induce a dream about his mother, only to get no response when she appears. He's frustrated, and decides to ask Uncle Harry. Yes, for girl advice. And here he thought the Marauders turned out clueless.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




Instead of taking the Whomping Willow tunnel to the Shrieking Shack, Uncle Harry led Teddy out of the front gate, and they came to the Shrieking Shack through Hogsmeade. Uncle Harry stopped at the gate and smiled. "It's all yours," he said.

Teddy blinked, then remembered the keys that would let him in. He thought about wanting to get in and closed his fist three times. The iron keyring Uncle Harry had given him for Christmas appeared, looped over one of the rusty spikes of the fence. He picked it up, and let them in. He could feel some other Teddy, some shadow Teddy who lived alongside him, who had always come into this house this way. The windows weren't boarded--or under the illusion of boarding, as some of them were--and the last few Christmas decorations were still up because no one was really in a hurry to take them down. The shadow Teddy glanced up at the window of his bedroom, to see if anyone had been into his things, then ran carelessly up the path, calling for Mum, because he guessed she might have some notion about why girls did things, though he didn't hold out much hope, really...

He blinked, and the Shrieking Shack was just itself again, and he was standing at the base of the path with Uncle Harry. He really did have a question about Ruthless, but only the mice were there to answer it. He sighed and went up the path to the door. The same key that worked on the gate went to the door, and he opened it on its squeaky hinges, unused for nearly fourteen years (if then; he had the impression that his parents had mainly used the back entrance, through the garden, during the brief time they'd been here together). The Shack looked different, coming into it from a level, rather than clambering up from below.

The blood stain in the parlor still drew Teddy's eye. He thought about asking Uncle Harry for help in removing it, but he had a feeling the request wouldn't be taken well. He shook off the mood and tried to think of a way to bring up the problem with Ruthless, but nothing came to mind before Uncle Harry launched into trying to teach him to make his Patronus carry messages.

"This is generally done nonverbally," he said, "but I don't think you're ready for nonverbal spells yet, so I had Hermione come up with a good incantation. She thinks Declamare Patroni will work." He raised his eyebrows and waited for Teddy to repeat it properly, then went on. "The message it carries is a matter of what you need. Try to keep it simple. The Patronus can't carry complex instructions. You can't really use them for long conversations. What I need you to be able to do is have it tell me where you are and what sort of trouble you're in--for instance, 'I'm on the Hogsmeade road. Twenty werewolves surrounding. Get here quickly, I can only handle ten one-handed.'"

"Right, I'm sure that's exactly what it will be."

Uncle Harry smiled. "As long as you tell me where you are and that you need help, I'll get to you."

"How will I know if the message gets to you?"

"I'll show up, wand out."

"What if I'm behind an Apparition barrier?"

"I'll get as close as I can and run. I'll send my Patronus ahead so you know I'm coming."

"Won't that warn Greyback?"

"That's a good point," Uncle Harry said. "But I imagine he'll have heard and seen you send yours anyway."

Teddy nodded. "How does it know to go to you, rather than just flying around, looking for someone?"

"I don't know. But I've never had a Patronus end up misdirected. You just need to imagine the person you're sending it to." He thought for a minute, then said, "Go upstairs. Somewhere. Then send your Patronus down to tell me where you are."

Teddy went up to his room and sat down on the broken old bed that occupied it. It occurred to him to wonder why in the world the Shrieking Shack had been furnished--with broken furniture, no less--but there was no one alive to ask. He hadn't cast the Patronus since the first night, and didn't feel particularly good, but it didn't give him any trouble. When he said, "Expecto Patronum," the hawk flew easily from his wand. He watched it, then fixed his surroundings in his mind and said, "Declamare Patroni." The hawk swooped at him suddenly, racing toward his face. In a flash of white light, it disappeared.

A few seconds later, something white swirled on the ceiling and dropped to the floor. Prongs's jaw dropped, and said in Uncle Harry's voice, "It came, but said nothing. Concentrate on the words."

Teddy did the spell again, then said aloud, "Upstairs, in my room."

The hawk disappeared.

A soft pop in the corridor announced Uncle Harry's presence, but he was a few doors down. He came to the door and leaned on the frame. "This is particularly your room?"

"Well," Teddy said, "it would have been. Mum had started to fix it when they had to leave. I forgot that you didn't know. It had the words, then? Exactly?"

"If the exact words were 'Upstairs, in my room.'"

"They were."

"Then you have it. Well done."

Teddy cast the Patronus again, just to watch it fly around. It landed on top of the dusty old wardrobe where the boggart had hidden in the autumn. "I think it needs a name," Teddy said. "How about Wings? That's my Muggles and Minions character."

"Sounds good."

"I could use it on the Map, too."

"Mm-hmm."

"But no one really calls me that."

"I don't really have nicknames, either," Uncle Harry said. "Just not something my friends did. The Marauders are really the only people I've known who did that."

"McGonagall had a nickname," Teddy said. "It was in my grandmother's book. Sirius's Uncle Alphard called her 'Pallas.'"

"I can't even imagine."

Teddy fumbled for a connection to what he really wanted to talk about, and said, "Do you suppose that Uncle Alphard was going out with McGonagall?"

"What?"

"You know... maybe that's why he called her that."

"Er... I don't know. You'd have to ask McGonagall, because I'm certainly not going to."

"People going out sometimes do strange things, right? Like strange nicknames?"

"Excellent segue," Uncle Harry said, bemused. "What confusing thing has Ruth done?"

Teddy blushed. "Nothing really. It's just..." He bit his lip, then found himself telling Uncle Harry about the last kiss, in the fireplace, and the fruitless search for privacy the first night back, then the week with no kissing at all, and then the cheerful wave across the common room. "She's not angry at me, but I don't know what she's thinking! I looked in the ring, but the Marauders didn't have any idea, and Mum wouldn't talk to me in my dream, and..."

Uncle Harry held up his hand and shook his head. "One thing at a time, Teddy."

Teddy stopped, realizing that he must sound a bit mad. He shrugged. "I just tried a dream spell," he said. "Fourth year divination textbook. Nothing dangerous. It's to help you dream about something if you think you need to."

"I don't think that was in my book." Uncle Harry thought about it. "As far as Ruth goes, you need to talk to her. I haven't got any theories, and I'd guess she knows why she's doing this."

"What if it's because she wants to break up?"

"Is that what you're afraid of?"

"Well... yes. Everyone else has broken up. Roger's already gone out with someone new--Lizzie Richardson--and broken up with her, too."

"Well, you are a bit young to expect to be with her forever. Whatever it is, Ruth is the best person to talk about it with. She's the only one it makes sense to. If I've learned one thing being married, it's that."

"Does Aunt Ginny ever do things you don't understand that don't mean she's going to break up with you?"

"If she broke up with me every time she did something I don't understand, I would be a very lonely man."

Teddy sighed.

Uncle Harry smiled, then fixed a shattered chair and sat down in it. "You're doing fine, Teddy," he said. "If she's not angry, then it's not anything you've done wrong, or that she imagines you've done wrong."

"But how do I fix it?"

"Well... I..." Uncle Harry winced. "I'm afraid I've run out of wise Uncle Harry advice. I don't know, Teddy."

This somehow didn't help. "Oh."

Uncle Harry looked at him for a long time, the good humor fading. "Teddy, you know what I'm going to say next."

Thoughts of Ruthless fled from Teddy's mind. "I'm not dwelling on dreams, Uncle Harry. Just trying to have them. That's all. Honestly. It's stupid. I know."

"No, it's not."

"Did you ever want to talk to your mum about a girl?"

"No," Uncle Harry admitted. "I had Hermione for that. And your granny, later. But the day my James was born, I wanted to show him to my dad. Introduce them. Ask him what I was meant to do next. I imagine he'd say I already had seven years of experience with you, but with you I had Andromeda as a safety net. I wanted my dad when I found myself without one."

"I thought it didn't bother you."

Uncle Harry looked surprised. "Of course it does, sometimes."

"How do you make it stop?"

Uncle Harry got quiet, then said, "It was worst right after the war. Everyone was celebrating, but I just seemed to go to one funeral after another. Your parents' funeral was the worst. There were so many things I realized I meant to talk to Remus about and never did. I wanted to call--" He stopped, seemed to consider something, and shook his head sharply. "But right around that time, Ginny and I were trying to fix things, and Ron and Hermione were getting their lives together. And of course, I fell madly in love with someone new."

"With someone other than Aunt Ginny?"

"Yes. Someone short and chubby with thinning green hair." He grinned. "Every now and then, someone will tell me how generous I am, looking after a poor orphan. They have no idea. It's pure selfishness on my part. Why do you think I used to have your Moses basket on my desk when I was training?"

"Because Granny couldn't find another babysitter," Teddy said, raising his eyebrow.

Uncle Harry laughed. "Right. That's it." He sighed. "Teddy, what I'm saying is that... well, that place where they're not there, it's not going to get any smaller. But it's not going to stop hurting if you gnaw at it all the time. The only way for it to heal is to leave it be a little bit, and concentrate on loving the people you've got around you. Otherwise, it'll drive you mad, because you can't do anything about it. It doesn't mean that you don't care, or you've forgotten."

Teddy nodded. "All right."

"Do you think we've had enough of a serious conversation for the night?"

"Oh, yes."

"Good. Let's see if we can get this floor straightened out. This is pretty bad."

They spent the next hour getting the floor boards in Teddy's room to lie flat, and fixing the furniture. Uncle Harry had bought new fixtures as part of the Christmas present, and Teddy replaced the doorknob while Uncle Harry put up a new chandelier. Teddy was pleasantly tired as they made their way back to Hogwarts, talking about a Quidditch game Uncle Harry had taken James to, and the Gryffindor team's prospects for the cup this year. Part of Teddy's mind was engaged in this, the other part was turning over what they'd talked about earlier. When Uncle Harry left him at the door, he let it turn back again.

It hadn't occurred to him that Uncle Harry still thought about his parents and felt them missing, though he supposed he should have guessed it while they were working on the Marauder's Map together. Professor Longbottom had once told him about saving bubble gum wrappers that his mum had given him. Granny would sometimes break into tears for no reason. His cousin Draco had tried to kill someone to avenge his father. Voldemort had tried to destroy the world over it. And of course, Teddy had his own collection, his box of Marauder nonsense collected over the years, his searching not only for Mum and Dad, but also for Sirius Black, James Potter, and Peter Pettigrew.

Something was trying to come together in his mind; instead of going back to Gryffindor Tower, where it was noisy and crowded, he checked the Marauder's Map for an empty classroom. Professor Firenze was just leaving, and classroom eleven was empty.

He went inside. It was still Charmed to show the forest. There was a pool of water. He prodded it with his wand. "Indicare."

The water went cloudy, and a face swam up from it, muddy and unclear, but recognizable.

Greyback.

He was missing a father as well. He'd become a werewolf to fill the hole. Was he still collecting things? Trying to connect? Going places that would matter, just as Teddy went to the Shrieking Shack?

He went back to Gryffindor Tower, not pausing in the Common Room. He could only think of one person who might know something more.

He got out a piece of parchment and wrote,
Dear Professor McGonagall,
I was wondering about what you said about Astrid Greyback...
44 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
shiiki From: shiiki Date: November 11th, 2007 06:16 am (UTC) (Link)
It's been a long time since I've been able to check in and read and comment, so I've got lots to catch up on. I'm looking forward to several full chapters of Teddy, though. It looks like it's been progressing quite excitingly!

And this part ... Harry's certainly progressed quite a bit, to be able to talk to Teddy so frankly about his own experience. It was so very, very sweet!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 11th, 2007 06:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Not terribly helpful to Teddy, but yes, progression for Harry. :P

Glad you're back!
From: kobegrace Date: November 11th, 2007 06:27 am (UTC) (Link)
I do so love your Harry/Teddy dynamic. It's so... feasible.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 11th, 2007 06:32 am (UTC) (Link)
I like them both a lot, so I'm glad they're close.
From: spitc1899 Date: November 11th, 2007 06:28 am (UTC) (Link)
I haven't commented for a while, but still loving it.

And now I have to go back and check what McGonagall did say about Astrid Greyback.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 11th, 2007 06:32 am (UTC) (Link)
It's in chapter 3. :)
maya_a From: maya_a Date: November 11th, 2007 06:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Still wonderful! I am so happy when I see a new installment, and I am very caught up in both your storytelling and your characters.
A nit to pick: rather than clamoring up from below. I think you want clambering.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 11th, 2007 06:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Oops, yes. Thanks. Stupid homophones.
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 11th, 2007 06:33 am (UTC) (Link)
That has got to be one curve ball of a letter for Minerva, somewhere high up on the list of things she wouldn't expect in a letter from thirteen year old Teddy. It threw me for a momentary loop, although it is the way Teddy thinks. The kid's got a strong streak of empathy that kicks in where I wouldn't expect it to.

Harry did somewhat better on the Ruthless chat than I'd expected but without it being an earthshaking change from where he was on these issues some years ago. So, nicely done.

I'm not sure how I feel about how Harry seems to feel about that patch of blood. Part of me feels that getting rid of it would be too much like erasing and forgetting what happened and all the rather conflicting things that go into Snape's life and death. Another part of me says that life is for the living. Harry's given the house to Teddy but he hasn't really let go of his own claims to it, yet.

As for nicknames, perhaps Harry would remember another person he knew who was into them? Big D?

I'm not sure what earthshaking revelation hides behind that, just that Big D was, obviously, into nicknames. Although his reasons were probably about the same as Dora's reasons for going with Dora.

Ellen
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 11th, 2007 06:35 am (UTC) (Link)
There's also the simple point that Teddy hasn't asked for help with the blood stain. Harry might have mixed feelings about it (or might go with "life is for the living"), but Teddy isn't presenting him with an opportunity to pontificate on the subject.
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 11th, 2007 06:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, and, before I forget, what happened to Lucius? And how was Draco convinced not to curse anyone to atoms?

Ellen
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 11th, 2007 06:36 am (UTC) (Link)
That was a reference to HBP, nothing new. :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 11th, 2007 04:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, sorry. I was thinking Lucius had been killed. Must be careful reading late at night . . . .

Ellen
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 11th, 2007 06:40 am (UTC) (Link)
i wouldn't care if this entire thing was Uncle Harry and Teddy talking for hours and hours

the end of this lost me with the puddle and the letter...
bends From: bends Date: November 11th, 2007 06:41 am (UTC) (Link)
thats me^ apparently ive logged out some time today
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 11th, 2007 06:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Sometimes, it feels like that's exactly what it is. ;p

Hmm. I'll try and clarify in a re-write, or at least in the next section. Teddy's brain is working on figuring out where Greyback is. He finally made the connection with his own experience, that Greyback might be "collecting" as well--that he might be somewhere he'd expect his father to have been.
mrs_norris_mous From: mrs_norris_mous Date: November 11th, 2007 06:53 am (UTC) (Link)

grand as usual.

Two little things "The same key that worked on the gate went to the door, ", I guess you mean worked on the door.

This one is much more of an opinion "Uncle Harry had bought new fixtures a" while fixtures is the right word it doesn't flow very well. About the only time I can think of that word being used commonly in the UK is when you buy a house with the fixtures and fittings. I am not sure what else you could use though.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 11th, 2007 04:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: grand as usual.

Okay. I'll look at those.
marikenobi From: marikenobi Date: November 11th, 2007 07:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Granny would sometimes break into tears for no reason.

right now me too..

sniff...

this is lovely, I do hope Ruthless isn't too much so with my Teddy!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 11th, 2007 04:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think Teddy will find a way to put off a conversation with Ruthless about this for a little while. Which may not be his best choice, but probably provides a buffer. :)
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 11th, 2007 04:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's got to be a weird time for Harry, as it would have been for Remus after the first war. All the celebrating can't be easy when you're mourning.
jedi_chick From: jedi_chick Date: November 11th, 2007 09:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Great connection that Teddy made about Greyback and wanting to connect with the past--I'll be interested to see what information McGonagall is able to add!

I liked the talk Harry and Teddy had, both about girls and about the parent-sized hole in their lives. It was especially interesting to hear about what Harry went through right after DH.

And on a really random note, I got a kick out of Harry and Teddy working on renovating the house, mostly because I was watching a few episodes of Flip That House on TLC earlier tonight. I'm glad they're improving the house bit by bit.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 11th, 2007 04:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
The poor Shrieking Shack needs a little love.

I do want Teddy to apply his mind to problems when he can, so I'm glad the connection works. I also love excuses to drag McGonagall into the mix.
rotae From: rotae Date: November 11th, 2007 10:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh Fern... you made me cry... *huggles*

Peace,
Rotae
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 11th, 2007 04:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. Or maybe Sorry. ;p
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 11th, 2007 04:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, the father quest is a pretty basic one, I think. ;p Psychologically, it's about finding out who you are as a separate person. (Kind of ironic that the search for identification with the father is a search for the separate self, but it makes sense--we begin in symbiosis with mothers, and fathers are the great other.)
amamama From: amamama Date: November 11th, 2007 12:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sometimes Teddy manage to just say things, other times he's thinking too much. Why not ask Harry what he'd say to helping him remove that blood stain? He's clearly very empathic, and the way he understands Greyback, or rather tries to, seems to be a great way to dig up some clues. As long as he don't act on them himself. Loved Harry and Teddy working on the house, and the beginning where he imagined a parallell universe was both heartbreaking and sweet. Another effect of his empathy, I'd say...

Harry admitting that he fell in love whit someone other than Ginny after the war was shocking - for about one tenth of a second, before I realized who you meant. Hope it brings Teddy some comfort to discover that everybody have someone they miss, that he's not the only one who misses his parents, and that the only thing you can do is keep on living and loving.

I guess I'll have to repeat myself, again: Loved it, Fern!

Cheers!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 11th, 2007 04:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think he doesn't talk to Harry about that stain for the same reason he doesn't just ask Ruthless why they're not snogging. He's contemplated what the answer might be, and doesn't much like it.
redlily From: redlily Date: November 11th, 2007 01:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love your paragraph on "shadow Teddy." I mean, probably at the age of 13 he wouldn't have wanted to come home from Hogwarts, unless it was for a homecooked meal. :) Seriously, though, it's beautiful and poignant.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 11th, 2007 04:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
unless it was for a homecooked meal.

And then only if it's Remus cooking, rather than Tonks!

Shadow-Teddy is totally Teddy's imagination, and I think he's overlooking the fact that he wouldn't actually be there during the time he's at Hogwarts. Or that he'd probably find his parents every bit as embarrassing as his friends find theirs.
From: smishli Date: November 11th, 2007 01:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love seeing Teddy and Harry together :). Excellent installment as usual!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 11th, 2007 04:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I like writing them together, so that works out well.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: November 11th, 2007 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
All things considered, Harry didn't do too badly in his talk with Teddy, even if he kind of dodged the main issue by directing Teddy to talk to Ruthless instead. But other than that, he did pass on some valuable tips on how to cope with missing the parents he never knew.

The ending was definitely unexpected--does Greyback's appearance in the charmed pool mean that he's closer than anyone realizes?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 11th, 2007 04:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
even if he kind of dodged the main issue by directing Teddy to talk to Ruthless instead.

On the other hand, the radical suggestion of talking to the girl in question might actually work!
demonoflight From: demonoflight Date: November 11th, 2007 03:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Well... I..." Uncle Harry winced. "I'm afraid I've run out of wise Uncle Harry advice. I don't know, Teddy."

This somehow didn't help.


Ahahahahaha, of course it doesn't, Teddy!

I don't know why, but I love how you worded that.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 11th, 2007 04:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. At least Harry knows his limits!
cheddartrek From: cheddartrek Date: November 11th, 2007 04:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
There were so many things I realized I meant to talk to Remus about and never did. I wanted to call--" He stopped, seemed to consider something, and shook his head sharply.

I really liked that line, but I have to ask... am I missing something? My first thought was that Harry wanted to use the Deathly Hallow to call Remus/Lily/James/Sirius back and ask them. My second thought was phone call Petunia, but then I realized that that HAD to be wrong, and went back to thinking about the hallow. That's my best guess, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something staring me in the face.

Great update by the way. I really love the way you write Harry. The scene here where he talks about the war and the scene from a previous chapter where Teddy sees some of his temper while he's dealing with... was it Mina? Both amazing. There was a great scene back in Shifts or Shades too, where he was interacting with Remus.

Kudos!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 11th, 2007 04:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I meant using the Resurrection Stone.

Harry's an interesting character because he does have this fairly deep anger that he mostly keeps underground, but which occasionally pops up and surprises the hell out of everyone.
lollapulizer From: lollapulizer Date: November 11th, 2007 04:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
The plot thickens. Now I want to here McGonagall's response.

He should add a P.S. with a question about Uncle Alphard!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 11th, 2007 04:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
He should add a P.S. with a question about Uncle Alphard!

I think he'd like McGonagall to answer, rather than get snippy about impertinence. Which is especially likely as he was right.
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: November 12th, 2007 03:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Aaaaaah so good! I LOVE how much Adult Harry you are blessing us with in this story! I laughed out loud at "Excellent segue." Hee!


Nitpick of the Night: He really did have a question about Ruthless, but only the mice were there to answer it.
I think this would be clearer if it said "only the mice were inside to answer" -- my first thought was "what mice, huh?" and then "Harry's right there!" so maybe it would be worth clarifying that the mice are where he was Seeing Dora....?
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: November 12th, 2007 03:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Another terrific post, Fern. I could read your Teddy and Harry interaction for hours. Harry definitely ducked the main question but didn't do too bad with it. And Teddy's idea to find out where Greyback is is intriguing.

I particularly liked the talk about Harry's life after TDH. New opportunities would present themselves, like getting to know Teddy and working for the Ministry. But it would still take a while for Harry to snap out of his funk and obtain a regular happiness. Remus and Tonks death hit him hard and losing Fred couldn't have been easy. After Ron, Fred and George were like brothers to him. Year Eight for Harry would have been interesting on a personal level.

About father's in HP, Stephen King brought up a great point in his review of Deathly Hallows. Throughout the series, Harry is always trying to find the ideal father figure. He looks for it in James, then Sirius, then Dumbledore. He finds that all of them were greatly flawed individuals but in the end, he's finally able to accept that. Then of course we see him as a father at the end of TDH. Fitting epilogue.
44 comments or Leave a comment