Mathilde's not the only one doing new magic. To see better, Teddy tried to morph his eyes to work like owl eyes, and something unexpected happened, which improved his vision exponentially, but now he's having a little trouble relaxing the morph completely.
Table of Contents and Summary So Far
The whole of Gryffindor House was in the Common Room, most of the older students with their wands raised, the younger ones, including Kirk Scrimgeour, craning to get a look. Professor Longbottom was going around, organizing them.
"Teddy!" he said. He looked at Teddy's still-morphed eyes, then appeared to decide not ask. "Ginny sent her Patronus. Something about a Streaming Spell?"
"Streaming Spell?" Teddy asked stupidly.
"It allows them to convert to a faster moving form, and reform somewhere else. They shouldn't be able to use it transformed, but--"
"They did," Teddy said. "But we've got all of them that were here. Unless more can Apparate, even after they're transformed."
This was apparently no more comforting to Gryffindor Tower as a whole than not knowing anything had been. Professor Longbottom swore under his breath, then looked abashed. "Staying in here where I belong is a lot harder than going out there."
"Where's my sister?" Kirk asked, elbowing his way up. "She was in the Great Hall listening to Donzo, and--"
"I think everyone's all right. They'd have locked down the Great Hall."
There was a flash of light--Mina Moran screamed--and a glowing lynx dropped from the ceiling. Kingsley's voice said, "All clear, Professor Longbottom. All safe. Three werewolves captured. Continuing patrols. Heads of House to the Great Hall."
Professor Longbottom looked around for a seventh year, and found a girl named Mavis Liu. He put her in charge, and rushed out. The students started to crowd Teddy, asking about the werewolves and his eyes (a first year named Potter Goldman asked if he'd done that to scare the wolves off), but Mavis cut them off self-importantly. "Teddy," she said, "has had a busy evening, and you should all let him be."
Pompous as she was about it, Teddy was grateful. He trudged up the stairs to his room and lay down on his bed. Checkmate jumped up onto his chest and put her wet nose on the base of his chin. He scratched between her shoulder blades, and she started to purr.
"I cocked it up," he told her. She gave him an understanding look, then crawled further up and curled herself on his neck, giving him a faceful of her flank hair. She continued to purr contentedly.
He tried to sleep, hoping he could get back to Tirza's ship and thank Holt, and let Tirza yell at him for being stupid, as he'd been such a pain to her about it, but sleep wouldn't come at all, let alone dreams. It wasn't late enough, and his eyes hurt. Looking into Checkmate's fur, he could individual hairs, and tiny skin flakes stuck in them. Each stood out like a large snowflake. He'd never noticed before, but she had a few pale orange hairs scattered in the white part of her coat. He couldn't see any fleas, and hoped he hadn't picked any up from the werewolf to pass on to her.
For what seemed a long while, he didn't think about anything. He just examined Checkmate's coat with his new eyes and let the world go on around him. Checkmate decided she'd given him enough of a cuddle--at least before he gave her supper--and jumped down with no fanfare, though her back leg thumped against his throat hard enough to bring him up from numbness, rubbing at it. He went to his desk (the smooth writing surface now looked cracked and splintered, though it felt no different than it had before) and looked for a mirror. He found one in the drawer beside The Lost Treasure, and drew both out.
His eyes had returned to their normal size, but were still perfectly round, with wide pupils surrounded by red. They weren't owl eyes. They were hawk's eyes.
He blinked them.
Had he accidentally actually Transfigured them into the shape of his Patronus animal's? He hadn't done accidental magic for a long time, but he remembered the sense of snapping up in the Owlery, the feeling of having done something entirely new. He scrambled for Professor McGonagall's letter, with its list of books. He thought the library might be his first stop after classes tomorrow. He had a feeling that it would be locked down tonight, and a quick glance at the Marauder's Map showed only Madam Pince and Filch, together in her workroom. Teddy chose not to consider this too carefully.
There was a knock at his door.
He opened it to find Aunt Ginny, looking miserable. "I'm sorry I was short tempered with you," she said. "I know you meant well, and were worried about James."
"I was stupid, and made the trouble worse because you had to leave the main battle."
She shrugged and nodded. "You did a lot good first. It evens out."
"Lee told me what you might have been thinking about. About... Mum."
"Yes." She took a deep breath, then shook herself. "Do you need help with that morph? Madam Pomfrey is in the Great Hall."
"Was anyone bitten?"
"No, but there are some glass cuts, and Kingsley took a nasty claw gash when the one got by him."
"That won't make him a...?"
"No. Only bites. But it will scar." She led him down the stairs. "That's quite a morph, by the way. Your mum did pig's noses and dog's ears--just to make us laugh--but I don't think they actually worked like them."
They talked awkwardly as they went down to the Great Hall. Teddy loved Aunt Ginny, but he'd never been as close to her as he was to Uncle Harry or the children. He'd hated her for a little while after Uncle Harry had married her (and gone away), and it dawned on him that his screaming at Uncle Harry not to leave the first few times he'd visited afterward must have made her not like him very well either, at first. They'd got past it, but didn't really have a convenient place to put one another.
They reached the Great Hall, and James ran up to Teddy, then stopped to marvel at the hawk's eyes, which he declared quite better than the old ones. Lily was frightened of them, though, so Teddy decided to see Madam Pomfrey as quickly as he could. She was just finishing up with Kingsley--Story and Laurel were both looking at him with deep admiration--and signaled for Teddy to come up next.
"Hmm," she said, frowning at them in her wandlight. "You know this isn't normal Metamorphosing."
"I'd got that far."
"All right. It's still simple Transfiguration. I'll just do the counter-spell, but I recommend that you speak to Professor Gardner about learning it yourself. With your natural Shapeshifting ability, I'm not sure how safe you'll be once human Transfiguration properly begins."
"Oh, they just hurt a bit..."
She gave him a doleful warning look, and he didn't argue. A moment later, he felt the same sort of popping sensation in his head, and his vision returned to normal as he felt a great deal of pressure suddenly disappear. She moved on to a seventh year who had a healing paste on his face, saying that it was time to remove it.
He looked around as he slid off the table where Madam Pomfrey had examined him. Ruthless was waiting for him, and quite abruptly came to him and put her arms around him, which she hadn't done since they'd broken up. He moved to kiss her, but she moved away, shaking her head.
"They said a werewolf caught you."
"I'm all right." He bit his lip. "I saw you on the Marauder's Map. You were running at the door."
"Er... yeah. That. Fleur Weasley Banished us back. I spent half an hour bound to Victoire and James, back with the babies, as she said she couldn't trust us any further."
"I'm surprised James didn't try to escape."
"Oh, he did." She sighed and sat down. "Victoire threatened to hex him if he didn't stop squirming."
"Your brother was worried about you," Teddy said.
"I know. I went up and told him I was all right. He's not half-bad for a complete waste of oxygen, you know. But don't tell him I said that. Is this really over?"
"We didn't get Greyback."
Professor Sprout clapped her hands smartly. "Hogwarts students, you will now return to your dormitories, unless you have family here. If you have family and choose to remain with them, notify your Heads of House, who will be taking your classmates back."
James and Al rushed up at Teddy, grabbing him by the arms. "You must stay!" James said. "We need you to watch us!"
Al nodded fervently in agreement.
"Well, I'm not really fam..."
A small hand tapped the back of his head in irritation, and he turned to find Aunt Ginny rolling her eyes at him, now back to her usual self, or putting on a good show of it. "We're camped near the conference room," she said. "Really, Teddy."
Ruthless joined Professor Longbottom and the other Gryffindors in the Hall, and a moment later, they were gone. Teddy followed the boys to the Potter family's area, which was staked out beside the Weasley family's. Rose and Hugo ran back and forth between them in excitement.
Throughout the long night, Patronuses flew back and forth. Ron sent one from Azkaban, saying he'd caught a werewolf trying to infect a Muggle near the Leaky Cauldron. Uncle Harry sent two, upon other captures, then a third, frustrated one, when they hadn't got there in time. Greyback had gained back at least one of his losses. Teddy sent his own Patronus to tell Uncle Harry that it was all right, though he supposed that wasn't strictly the sort of emergency they were meant for. Kingsley, who had gone to Azkaban to oversee a quick magical expansion of the lycantrhopic holding areas, sent his lynx to say that it was under control, and given the werewolf activity elsewhere, he thought it was safe for Hogwarts to go onto a less active watch. Some of the guards took the opportunity to sleep, promising to pick up the second shift. Aunt Ginny didn't sleep at all. She just watched. Teddy went to sit beside her, at least for a little while, though he was getting fuzzy-headed from lack of sleep by then. Beside them, Bill and Fleur's children were all sleeping peacefully. Victoire was lying on top of her sleeping bag on her stomach, her pretty hair a tangled mess, snoring loudly.
Teddy himself finally drifted off just as the enchanted ceiling started to get lighter. Deep sleep didn't come, and he fancied himself just a labyrinth turn from the waking world. Voices boomed in and out of his mind. He could feel the motion of a ship beneath him sometimes, but the dream never took shape.
At last, his mind registered the soft voice speaking nearby. He blinked his eyes open to see Uncle Harry, sitting against the wall with Aunt Ginny, his arm around her shoulders. He looked tired and was covered with dirt, but when he saw that Teddy was awake, he spared a weary smile.
"Lee and George told me you did a fantastic job."
"Well, I heard about that, too. And I have every intention of yelling at you about it when I'm not so tired. It's been a long night, Teddy. And we didn't get Greyback or Mathilde Dubois."
"You should sleep, Harry," Aunt Ginny said.
"I will. I just wanted to"--he yawned--"see you and the the children." He pulled himself up and went to James's camp bed. James was sleeping in his customary manner, on his back, with his arms and legs thrown to either side. Uncle Harry pulled his blanket up and kissed his head, then moved on to Al, who was muttering in his sleep. Al got a few words--he liked being talked to more than James did--then Uncle Harry moved to Lily, who actually got a little hug as he leaned over, because she didn't wake up easily on any amount of prodding. Finally, he came to Teddy, and--much to Teddy's surprise--kissed his head, as he had when he was very small, and put a hand on his shoulder to give it a squeeze. Teddy blinked in confusion, wondering if he was meant to return the kiss, as he was awake.
Unce Harry grinned and shook his head. "Don't worry, Teddy. I just needed to do that. I just..." He sighed. "I needed actually touch all of you. Make sure you're real."
With this odd pronouncement, he Conjured a mattress for himself and went to sleep. Aunt Ginny continued to stay awake, watching, and after a while, Teddy's eyes slid shut again, and he fell into a solid sleep at last.