My goodness, this turned out to be a long chapter section!
Table of Contents and Summary So Far
Vivian listened while Teddy tried to explain Honoria's position as well as he could.
"I didn't mean to bring you into it," he said. "I only wanted to do something because that"--he stopped himself from using the word she'd already used--"girl brought Dad into it. I don't think he'd like that. Only when I went, she said I wasn't the eyewitness. Will you talk to her?"
"Oh, yes," Vivian said absently. "I'll get the others, too. I know Blondin's practically spitting. Alderman's not in an entirely priestly frame of mind, either, and Coral had to restrain Evvie to keep her from going after that stupid little twist. She's the one sitting up with Neil."
"You think they'd all come?" Teddy asked. "Honoria can't leave Hogwarts--"
Vivian cut him off. "They're not about to let anyone into the Sanctuary just now, anyway. I'm sure I can get at least Blondin, Evvie, and Alderman. They were the ringleaders in the escape. Hagrid, may I use your fire?"
Hagrid nodded, and she went to the fireplace. While she was talking to someone in France--Teddy wondered how exactly that worked across the Channel, and thought he'd ask Kirley Duke the next time he visited Donzo--Professor Longbottom sat down across from Teddy and said, "This is all very interesting, and not a good way to take the target off of you."
"I don't care about that."
"Your godfather does. And your parents would."
"Yeah, 'cause all three of them were smashing at keeping the targets off them."
Professor Longbottom shook his head. "I'm going to let Harry handle that."
Vivian finished her call, and announced that her three friends, and--to her surprise--the author, Hamilton, would show up on Thursday after school hours. Teddy would need to arrange to have Honoria here at Hagrid's at six-thirty. He wouldn't be able to stay for the interview, as he'd have his lesson with Uncle Harry that night, but he'd heard it before.
Thursday was only two days, but it seemed, when Teddy got back to the castle, like it would be forever. The Auror Williams, on guard duty, had cornered a Ravenclaw fourth year trying to get out, and when Teddy came in, the fourth year was demanding to know if Williams intended to drag him off screaming. Williams looked less than pleased. Teddy stayed out of it.
He was less able to avoid the subject in History of Magic the next day, when Geoffrey Phillips, a Ravenclaw who had hated everything about Hogwarts since he arrived but for some reason hadn't left yet, began to quote Mathilde's article, and rhapsodize about the Ministry reaping what it had sowed. To Teddy's annoyance, Franklin Driscoll, who was normally perfectly sane, seemed inclined to agree. To his even greater annoyance, Geoffrey appeared to expect that Teddy himself would be going along with it.
"What they did to your dad--must've been rough, mate," he said with deeply fake sympathy.
Donzo jumped in. "I'm sure it wasn't ideal, but Teddy's dad was against these murderers."
"What was he, brainwashed?"
"Civilized," Teddy bit out.
"But what kind of false consci--"
Teddy stood up, knocking his chair backward, and drew his arm back. Donzo caught him and sat him back down with a stern look, then turned on Geoffrey. "That's enough, Geoff," he said.
Binns, who was floating at the front of the room looking distraught, resumed his lecture about the Centaur war of 1153. After class, Teddy walked out with Donzo.
"Thanks," he said. "I don't really have time for a detention this week."
"Don't mention it," Donzo said.
"I almost forgot about Geoffrey. He's been so quiet lately."
"Yes, well, he's got a little audience now. Bunch of little girls who were reading about the poor ickle orphan werewolves."
Teddy felt queasy.
Donzo stopped, and reached into his book bag. "My dad sent you something when he saw that article."
"Sent me something?"
"He noticed the bit about getting through Apparition barriers. He wasn't the only one, a lot of people are talking about it. But he wanted to give you these." He held out four sparkly black cubes.
"What are they?"
"Concentrated Floo powder. You can keep them in the pocket inside your robe. I guess my grandfather used to keep them." He smiled sheepishly. "He said he dragged you back behind the Floo at Christmas."
Donzo looked at him disbelievingly. "All right. He's very impressed with himself for teaching you something, anyway. Feels quite responsible for your well-being."
Teddy shook his head in wonder.
Donzo grinned. "Don't worry," he said, "I'm sure someday, you'll learn to tie your shoes and walk across the street all by yourself."
"I don't know," Teddy said. "Without seven or eight guardians, I might forget to look both ways."
"Anyway, carry that. For Dad. So he believes that if bad guys come for you, you'll be able to get to a fireplace, light a fire, and escape, and it will all be thanks to your mum's favorite band."
"I think if that happens, your grandfather'll become her favorite Floo repairman."
Donzo looked uncomfortable, and Teddy realized he'd just talked about two dead people in the present tense. They went on to lunch uncomfortably, and Teddy was glad when Victoire pulled him into a prank in the other direction.
On Thursday afternoon, he ate dinner quickly and went over to the Slytherin table. Corky waved to him, but he shook his head and went straight to Honoria, who was eating by herself (she appeared to have broken up with Brendan, who was currently splitting pudding with a brown-haired second year). She was quite untroubled and unhurried. She even let Teddy see the list of questions she meant to ask. "Professor Slughorn has already told me that if I write fairly on this, he'll let me back with no prejudice from before. Which is only fair, as I was only a first year last time."
She didn't rush herself through the rest of the meal, eating delicately while she made a few quick adjustments to her questions. Teddy sat idly at the Slytherin table, looking up at the enchanted ceiling. Corky and Maurice finally came over and entertained him for a bit. He didn't realize until he was on the way out, side by side with Honoria, that people were looking at him and whispering behind their hands. Ruthless was craning her neck, looking at him with disbelief. He shook his head helplessly, and she nodded, looking relieved.
"I have some pictures my dad drew of them when they were kids," he told Honoria as they walked down to Hagrid's. "Would they help?"
"All right. I'll bring them back."
"I'm surprised you're not staying."
"I'm meeting my godfather."
"Yes... you've been meeting him. Private lessons?"
"Do you want the pictures?"
They went on without talking any more, going faster to keep warm in the chilly late January night. Uncle Harry was waiting with Hagrid, Vivian, and the others. Teddy performed the introductions. He didn't think Honoria could ever have gone into a room where so many people were happy to see her. She was just sitting down with the werewolves when Teddy left with Uncle Harry. They practiced the Patronus a few times, and Uncle Harry introduced him to a new defensive spell that was intended to unbalance an attacker. They spent the rest of the lesson disarming each other, though Uncle Harry said that Dad had got on his case about using that too often. "Worked in the end," he said, "but that was because of a lot of other magic that had been done. I reckon your dad was right about normal battles. Don't be predictable. And in Greyback's case, disarming him may actually come down to taking off his arms, as he doesn't exactly do his biggest damage with a wand. Expelliarmus!"
Teddy blocked it with a Shield Charm, but the Charm wasn't strong enough to actually bounce back and disarm Uncle Harry. "Do you know yet how she got through the barriers?"
"No," he said, then Teddy's wand went flying from his hand.
"Hey! I don't know nonverbal spells!"
Uncle Harry handed the wand back to him and sat down on the threadbare old sofa. "Unfortunately, we can't count on people always using spells we know."
"Has anything happened because of that article?"
"Oh, about two hundred letters demanding that I censure Ron, and Kingsley's got a similar number about censuring me."
"Has anyone written nasty letters to Mathilde Dubois? I haven't seen anything in the Prophet."
"The Prophet has some problems of its own. I was talking to Dennis Creevey--he was in Dumbledore's Army, he lost his brother. He's on their editorial staff. They've certainly received letters, but they haven't decided what to do with them. I told them to hold off. I'm looking into it. Interesting idea you have with the school paper."
"I don't want Vivian to lose her job."
"Hermione's working on that, but of course, everyone's saying she's using her status as a war hero to get special dispensations for a friend. It's a mess, politically. I hate politics. Have I mentioned that?"
"Once or twice."
They finished up the lesson, then worked on the living room wallpaper for a little while. It had been shredded, and a huge section above the mantel had simply been blasted away by magic. Uncle Harry didn't know how it had happened, but Teddy had once caught a reflection of it one of Dad's memories. The memory itself was of walking through Granny's garden with Teddy in his arms, but all sorts of things that happened had been bound up in his mind that day, and one of those things was remembering the day he and Mum had been evicted from the Shrieking Shack. They'd sent all of their furniture to Granny's, and proceeded to put everything back to the way it was. Or that had been the idea. A portrait Dad had drawn of Mum had been hanging there, and in the fray, it had fallen, and the frame had broken and torn the parchment. In a fit of fury, Mum had blasted the wall. He'd had to drag her out before she tore the whole place down. She finally calmed down, saying over and over that they'd come back, it was theirs, the goblins couldn't have it, and so on. Dad had got the portrait fixed (it was in the corridor at Granny's now), but it had never moved properly again. Teddy didn't think Dad had meant him to get that memory, so he hadn't told anyone about it.
They finished up at last. The room still looked old, but it wasn't shattered and torn anymore. Teddy took down the drawings of Alderman, Blondin, Evvie, and Hamilton, and brought them back through the tunnel. Honoria was just finishing up when they got back, and was happy to get them.
The Charmer ran on Wednesday mornings, so Teddy had to wait nearly a week to see what came of it. Students were looking anxiously around for Vivian, wondering if "that creepy werewolf woman" had been sent home. The newspaper was usually unheralded--a few people read Roger's column on all things Muggle, and Franklin Driscoll had started drawing a comic strip called "Hoggy Warty," in which various members of the staff and student body were represented by animals (Slughorn, of course, was a giant slug, while Professor Longbottom was an anthropomorphized lion), but mainly, it was something that only the people who worked on it read.
Until the Wednesday that Honoria rejoined its ranks, anyway.
That morning, a copy magically appeared with each student's breakfast. On the cover were the five pictures Dad had drawn, set next to current photographs of Vivian, Alderman, Hamilton, Evvie, and Blondin. Vivian's was in the center at the top. Two went down on either side. In the box they made, the headline was "GROWING UP WITH GREYBACK."
Teddy saw people open the fold with vague curiosity, then start to read, becoming more deeply engrossed as they went. The sound of breakfast that morning was the sound of turning pages.
Teddy knew the stories, of course, but no one else did. Honoria didn't hold back. She'd taken unforgiving pictures of Vivian's scars, and talked about the murders she'd witnessed before she was ten. Blondin talked about being taught to hunt by smearing human blood on rabbits. Alderman had got Hermione to Vanish the caps her parents had long ago put on his sharpened teeth, at least long enough for people to see them. "It was our souls Greyback was after," he said. "It was Lupin who got them back for us."
Honoria entered the Great Hall fashionably late, and Teddy stood up and applauded her. So did several other people. She manufactured a flustered expression and dropped a curtsy.
There was no talk of Vivian leaving after that. Students wrote to worried parents, and sent along copies of the article (the Charmer had curiously printed enough copies for every student and the full staff, and still had many extras). The Aurors were also applauded on their arrival that night, and the next night, at his lesson, Uncle Harry told Teddy that they'd been getting owls all day from parents congratulating them on the raid and offering help. Better still, the Wizengamot had been inundated with even more owls, and these had been demanding that Vivian retain her post... and that the laws preventing her from holding it be permanently repealed. "According to Hermione," he said, "the longest and best ones were from your dad's students. Oliver Wood and the entire Puddlemere team made up posters that they've got all over Diagon Alley. Oliver's holding your Dad's picture in one hand and his Defense N.E.W.T. score in the other. They just say, 'Isn't it about time?'"
Teddy laughed. "I think Dad would like that. Am I right?"
"Oh, I think he'd bluster about and say that he really didn't deserve it. But he'd like it just the same. And he does deserve the loyalty."
The euphoria lasted a few more days. The Daily Prophet, chastened at being scooped by a school newspaper, ran Honoria's article, and the fervor increased. But the moon was waxing as they entered February, and people who had signed their names to petitions and letters were looking nervously at their own protection. The madly swinging pendulum started to go in a new direction altogether as they remembered Mathilde's threat: toward terror. Letters to the Prophet started coming in, insisting that calamities were coming, that Greyback would be able to get anywhere while the Aurors were busy guarding Hogwarts.
Within the school, life went on, as it always had and always would. The nine minute wonder of a Charmer article making it into the Prophet had faded within a week, and when the moon was three days away, most of the school was back to its regular studies, much to Honoria's annoyance. She was sullen in Defense Against the Dark Arts on an afternoon three days before the full moon, re-reading her article instead of listening to Robards.
Teddy also found the speed of the whole thing disorienting. He'd wanted it to last longer, somehow, than a particularly interesting Quidditch scandal. Robards had got through the regular textbook early, as he usually did, and had moved on to his own particular favorite Dark Creatures. Today, he was talking about revenants, which resulted from a sort of accidental, botched ghost-forming. "It's rather like a piece of the soul gets caught on something and snags," he said. "It's aware of itself, but all it feels is anger, trying to rejoin the rest of itself. Most Muggle ghost stories are really stories about revenants. They're not really hard to deal with. They--" He stopped. "Mr. Potter?"
Teddy looked up. Uncle Harry was standing in the door of the classroom, looking serious. "I'd like to speak to Teddy, if I might, Professor Robards."