Table of Contents and Summary So Far
"I can't see where they're coming from yet," Lee said, taking up a broomstick that was leaning against the wall and handing a second to George. "They may not be showing up."
George slid down from the window sill and took the other broom. He bent over the Map, and Teddy could see that he wanted it to be the key as much as Teddy himself did.
Teddy bit his lip and looked out over the grounds. The silver-gray of the moonlit grounds was wrapped in curving patches of black where the deep shadows fell. Beyond the turrets of the castle, wrapping around the east part of the grounds in a shallow arc, was the Forbidden Forest.
Watch the shadows.
Holt's voice from his dream came back to him, and awake, he knew it. Of course he knew it. He'd lived his father's memories for nearly two years, had spoken in that voice inside his mind. He trusted it. He didn't know whether it was Dad speaking from beyond or his own brain coming up with something and giving it Dad's voice, but either way, he trusted it.
He peered out at the shadows of the Forest, beyond the places where he had gone. It was shapeless black. He needed more light, better eyes. He wished he'd thought to ask Ruthless for some of her Clear-Eye Concoction. If it could turn her horrible eyesight normal, perhaps it could help his normal eyesight, make it more like...
His eyes went to the line of owls perched above the windows. Several of them were peering down into the shadows on the floor, looking for mice and voles foolish or depressed enough to take up housekeeping in the Owlery. Their eyes were huge, with pupils that nearly stretched the whole length of them. He looked back over the Forest and morphed his own face, letting his eyes grow, widening the pupils. The world flooded with eerie gray light. His eyes ached, stretched, then, out of nowhere, seemed to snap into something new. Lines took on great clarity, and he seemed to be able to see each tree in the Forbidden Forest. To the south, he could see one of them trembling, then another, then another.
"They're coming up from the south!" he yelled.
Lee and George ran over. George frowned out into the night. "Where are they--" He stopped. "Nice morph."
"Over there," Teddy said, pointing at the moving trees.
Lee and George trusted him without question. They mounted their brooms and dropped over the wall of the Owlery. "Send word!" Lee called.
Teddy sent his Patronus to Aunt Ginny, then leaned over the Marauder's Map. He saw Lee and George flying over Gryffindor toward the edge of the forest. The first sprinkle of red was starting to seep into the areas Teddy and the Map knew. A single dot appeared, not enough to account for the size of the red cloud. It was labeled Pierre Deschain, a name that meant nothing at all to Teddy. His eyes, still morphed, saw the Map in fantastic detail, its cracked parchment, even a kind of shimmering energy that seemed to infuse it. This seemed to leap, then the red cloud surged forward in a bounding leap, three more dots appearing inside it (Teddy knew none of the names; neither Greyback nor Mathilde was with the raiding party). They were moving too quickly, even for leaping wolves.
He sent his Patronus again, this time to Lee and George, with the message, "They're spelled. Magic movement. Watch out."
He looked back down at the Marauder's Map frantically, watching for any more spots of red. None seemed to be appearing, but the original ones were spreading out, ducking from what he hoped were nasty spells raining down on them. They ran up alongside Gryffindor Tower, slipped to the front of the castle, ran at the door--
The Great Hall was still crowded, everyone gathered around the dot labeled "Donald M. Duke," but now the dots at the edge were moving. Fleur Weasley. Andrew Stephens. Professor Sprout. Hagrid. Dennis and Angelina Creevey.
Ruth Scrimgeour. Victoire Weasley. And, following them like a faithful puppy, James Potter.
Teddy swept up the Marauder's Map and ran.
He passed the door knocker of Ravenclaw Tower and saw Franklin Driscoll poking his head out. He shouted something, unsure of what it was, and didn't wait to see if Franklin went back. He barreled forward, down too many staircases. He was at the first floor when something caught him across the chest like a blow from the Whomping Willow. He fought against it.
"Teddy, get back to the Owlery!" Aunt Ginny said. "I don't have time for this!"
"James!" he said. "He's headed for the door in the Great Hall! And Ruthless and Victoire!"
Aunt Ginny whipped her wand in his direction, then hissed in frustration. "I can't bind you to the wall, in case they get in. Get back to the Owlery!"
Downstairs, the great doors shook, and glass shattered.
"NOW!" Aunt Ginny yelled again, then ran downstairs. Teddy heard a dozen voices raised in spellwork, repairing the broken windows. Slowly, he turned toward the stairs, feeling worse than useless.
"Hold him, Gawain!" Kingsley Shacklebolt yelled, then swore at the top of his lungs. Something warm rushed by Teddy, then there was something gray and snarling on the stairs, blocking his way. A long runner of saliva dripped from its sharp tooth.
Teddy drew his wand. His hand knocked the Marauder's Map out of his pocket, and Dad's wand followed it. He grabbed it and held it beside his own, which had also been Mum's. "Petrificus Totalis!"
The werewolf, which had been leaping toward him, froze in the air. Teddy jumped out of the way as it crashed to the ground. It was already starting to recover, even from a double spell. It whimpered, crept forward, its claws scrabbling along the floor.
He sent his Patronus again, with just the word "BLOCKED."
The werewolf pushed itself up on its forelegs, snarling and growling. Teddy leveled the wands at it again. He could hear his heart beating in his ears. His eyes had started to revert, but he could still see every hair on its pelt standing out in perfect relief. A flea crawled in the thin hair under its ears.
There was no time for a spell. Teddy remembered what Dudley had said about not letting something bigger than he was get hold of him, and he dove, rolling under the arc of the leap, coming to a stop against the stairs. A sharp pain in his shoulder told him that he hadn't done it exactly right, but he was untouched. The wolf turned on him again.
Teddy ducked, and two brooms swooped down from the upper floors. Lee and George bent low over the handles, wands raised, and suddenly, a net fell over the werewolf. It looked like simple rope, but Teddy's eyes were still changed enough that he could see the tensile strength as the werewolf fought against it. George and Lee circled back around and the net flipped over, turning into a giant sack. The werewolf howled in fury.
"Is that all of them?" George asked Teddy.
Teddy couldn't imagine what he was being asked. Then his eye fell on the Marauder's Map, and he remembered. He ran for it, grabbing it up like a lifeline. The wolf here beside him, surrounded by a blood red haze, was called Konrad Altbusser. Downstairs, surrounded by guards, was Pierre Deschain, and just outside the Great Hall, in the midst of crowd of seventh-years, with Fleur at their head, was a third, named Lazlo Kalman. There were no more on the Map.
"That's it," he said.
"Don't suppose any of them turned out to be Greyback?" Lee asked, without much hope.
Teddy shook his head.
Footsteps clicked up the stairs, and Aunt Ginny appeared, looking furious. "Teddy Lupin, don't you ever do that again! Ever!"
Teddy shrank away from her.
"You were told to stay where you were! What were you doing out here?"
"I saw... er..."
"Oh, I know you have the bloody Marauder's Map. No, Harry didn't tell me, I just know. And I know you were worried about James. But dammit, Teddy, did you really think we'd let them out of there? You didn't need to leave the Owlery. You'd have been perfectly safe there! Do you really think I'm less worried about you?"
"And you!" she turned on George. "You had one simple job...!"
"Yeah," he said. "It was keeping watch, and Teddy did right well at it. If we hadn't driven them away from the Great Hall, those are the windows they'd have broken, and we wouldn't have got there in time without Teddy."
She took a deep breath, and pressed her hand against her forehead. She looked at Teddy, then looked away. "I'm sorry, Teddy, but you didn't belong down here. You know you didn't. What were you thinking? I told you to go back!"
"There was a werewolf on the stairs," Teddy said, bewildered. There was a strange, high color in Aunt Ginny's cheeks, and she seemed not to be entirely here.
Quite out of nowhere, she hugged him fiercely, then pulled away, wiping at her face. "Come on," she said to George. "Let's get this filthy thing downstairs with the others. Kingsley can get them back to Azkaban. Teddy, you... you go back to Gryffindor Tower. Come down to the Great Hall before curfew to say goodnight. Lee, get him there."
Aunt Ginny and George Levitated the werewolf and headed away.
Lee put his hand on Teddy's shoulder. "Come on," he said. "I haven't had a chat with the Fat Lady for years."
"I shouldn't have left the Owlery."
"No. But Ginny's not one to talk."
"I guess she embraced her inner hypocrite, too."
Lee sighed and stopped. "No, Teddy. She's just thinking of someone else she begged to stay put in the middle of a battle. Someone who didn't come back."
Teddy looked down. "My mum."
Lee nodded. "Yeah."
They didn't talk the rest of the way to Gryffindor Tower. Teddy's head was starting to hurt from the amount of light getting in through his eyes, and he couldn't seem to get them to morph back. He had a sinking feeling that he'd have to go to Madam Pomfrey about it. They reached the Fat Lady.
"You know I can't say the password in front of you," he said.
"Very good," Lee told him.
"Guess I didn't do so well."
Lee smiled. "George wasn't kidding. You did just fine. As to running down--probably stupid, but we all know why you live in this Tower. And I always sort of wondered why your mum didn't. You come by it honestly enough. Just... be careful. And we're still on for pipes and poker this summer, if you want. Though I think we'd best tell the Dear Lady that you're helping with inventory at the store." He winked.
Teddy nodded weakly, then heard a buzzing that told him Lee had cut off his own hearing for a moment.
He said the password and the portrait hole opened. The buzzing stopped. Lee waved to him solemnly, and waited for the portrait to shut behind behind him.