and the Forest Guard
Teddy thought there was quite a crowd at the station--along with Uncle Harry and James, Granny had come (he hugged her this time without worrying that anyone would see), and Hermione with Rosie, and Marie Weasley tagging along (her hair back to its normal wild red), and George, carrying a cooing little redheaded bundle who he introduced--to Teddy and several Muggle passers-by--as his son Fred. They had to take two taxis back to Grimmauld Place, and both were full.
This was nothing compared to the house itself, where all of Aunt Ginny's brothers' families were hanging about. Uncle Harry had hired two free elves to help, but they were apparently under strict instructions to take their orders from poor old Kreacher, who was pointing arthriticly at various cloaks that needed to be picked up, and directing the decorating that Victoire, Fleur, and Aimee were doing. Teddy made a point of going to say hello to him, as Uncle Harry had always insisted (even when Kreacher was in one of his foul moods), and got a distracted "Happy Christmas" in return.
"Where should I put my cat's things?" he asked.
"Cat? The shapeshifter has a cat?" Kreacher looked at him helplessly, then said, "Mr. Lupin is sharing Master James's room."
James made a great crowing sound, then swept Checkmate's basket (where she was still in her enchanted sleep) into his arms and announced "Teddy's home!" to the various people in the parlor. He ran upstairs, carrying the basket and repeating, "Teddy's home, Teddy's home, Teddy's home!" Doors began to open, and cousins started to drift downstairs.
"He's missed you," Aunt Ginny said, coming up from the kitchen with Lily balanced on one hip. She kissed Teddy and gave him a one-armed hug. "I think he's entirely forgotten that you don't live here when you're not at school. You're in all of his stories now. You'd be amazed at the number of dragons the pair of you have fought over the past few months. It's usually to rescue Al, but I think you may have seized a treasure or two in the process."
"Oh, well, that's always good."
A warm arm came around his shoulder and then Granny was leading him into the parlor. "James isn't the only one to miss you," she said. "That old house is so big and empty with just Bludger and me in it!"
Teddy submitted to a solid cuddling until she ran out of it--Granny occasionally had cuddling moods, but they passed quickly--then told her all about his friends and his classes and his teachers, trying to think of things he'd left out of letters. If he accidentally repeated himself, she didn't seem to mind. By the time he'd finished, Percy's son Gideon had wandered in and was listening with great interest, and Victoire had curled up in the chair across from him, holding baby Muriel's basket in her lap, her face avid with curiosity. James thundered back in as well, Al in tow, and asked if Hagrid had shown Teddy any good monsters yet.
"Er, well, not since the kappa, really, and that wasn't Hagrid's..."
Fleur, who had finished hanging holly boughs around the fireplace, gave them a shrewd look and said, "Weasleys and Potters, we ought to 'elp Aunt Ginny set ze table, no? Let Teddy and 'is grandmère say 'ello."
The children griped for a minute, but left good-naturedly, as soon as Teddy promised to play with all of them later.
"Thank you, Fleur," Granny said.
Fleur nodded and left, closing the door.
Granny smiled and hugged him again, then let him go. "I'm sorry. I know you're big for this, but I'm so happy to have you back!"
"I missed you," Teddy told her. "I'm, er... sorry I stole the wands. But they work. Both of them."
She sighed heavily. "I was disappointed in you when I saw that you'd taken them, but I suppose I pushed you at Ollivander's. I want to go back and talk to Berit and old Mr. Ollivander about it, though--I'd like an expert opinion. I thought we could go after Christmas Day."
"All right," Teddy said, then dutifully added, "What've you been doing?"
"Oh, this and that. I've been working on a family history. It would serve Auntie Walburga right if I'm the one to do it." She grinned sharply, and in it, Teddy could see the mischievous girl she had once been, though her eyes were deep and sad now. "It started out to just be about Sirius and Regulus, but you can't talk about them without talking about everything that made them. It's kept me busy. Lots of things I didn't know before. I've been talking to Daffy--he works over at Whizz Hard Books--and he thinks it could really be published. Would you like to read it?"
"You're not remotely interested in it, are you?"
"I like stories about Sirius and Regulus," he said, thinking of the pictures that were in his suitcase at the moment, still in their box. He'd need to ask Uncle Harry for a good way to explain them to Granny, but he meant to give them to her. "Do you know why they all spoke French?"
"What a very odd question," Granny said, narrowing her eyes.
"Well, the family motto and all. And I... heard somewhere that they spoke French."
Granny didn't look like she believed him for a moment, but said, "It was an affectation. French was the world language for a long time. Everything sophisticated was in French. So the Blacks spoke French."
"Is that all?"
"I don't know, Teddy. I never thought to ask. We all just learned it." She looked at him with deep curiosity. "Why on Earth is that the first question you've asked?"
"Should there be another one?"
"I thought you might like to know if the Lupins came into it. They don't, not that I've found, but I thought you might ask that before asking about French. There's something you're not telling me, Ted."
"Is it dangerous?"
"Are you sure?"
She raised her eyebrow at him, then shook her head. "All right, then."
Aunt Ginny called everyone to dinner a few minutes later, and Teddy was jostled from Weasley to Weasley, introduced formally to baby Muriel by Bill, who'd just got in from work and ate with Artie on his lap. Molly Weasley, who'd been buried in the kitchen when Teddy arrived, fussed over whether or not he was eating well at Hogwarts, and Arthur asked after the teachers they knew. Percy and Ron joked that Teddy at least knew he'd be a prefect. Hermione turned on her husband in a frustrated way and said, "RON!" but Teddy didn't mind them making jokes about his only-Gryffindor status, and pointed out that it also got him a huge room all to himself.
"I can think of times that'd come in right handy," Charlie said, only to get a glare from Granny. He adopted a pious sort of look and said, "You know, when you're trying to finish your homework in peace, of course."
Victoire, sitting across from Teddy, steered the conversation back to schoolwork, anxious to know what she'd really, really need to learn in the next year to be prepared, then on to the question of friends, with which she was greatly concerned, as she really only played with her sisters, her cousins, "And of course, you," she added. She gave him an awkward, pained sort of look, as if pointing out that Teddy wasn't actually related to anyone here other than Granny was a huge social gaffe that would end her Hogwarts career before it started.
After pudding, he offered to help Aunt Ginny clean up, but she winked and said, "No, thank you, that's why I have five brothers. If you could keep James and Al entertained with something other than the flying dishes, though, I would be very grateful."
So Teddy took the Potter boys upstairs and made up a game for them, in which they were hunting for treasures. James insisted that it should be at Hogwarts, and really ought to involve a kappa, so Teddy put the treasure in the lake, and gave it a whole colony of kappas guarding it. Several of the littler cousins joined in, then, to everyone's delight, Uncle Harry left the sisters-in-law in the drawing room (where they were all having tea with Arthur and Molly, on Ginny's orders, while the original Weasley siblings did the clean-up). He jumped in, Conjuring little golden fish to fly around them, and hiding leprechaun gold in the sofa and chairs for them to sneak past the imaginary kappas. Teddy, as eldest, decided that he ought to help, and so morphed himself into something resembling a tall kappa for them to fight. James promptly declared him a "nice kappa," though, and said he ought to have a piece of treasure as well. Uncle Harry shrugged and grinned.
The Weasley brothers finished up in the kitchen and gathered their families in a big rush of activity. The ones who lived in town wrapped themselves in heavy cloaks, as Percy's son Telemachus had begged until George's wife Sophie agreed to get them all home by Muggle bus, and the ones old enough to understand this novelty were nearly dancing with excitement. The others shooed the children downstairs to the kitchen fireplace for Flooing. Once all of the children had left, Molly, Arthur, and Charlie all Apparated back to the Burrow, promising to be back on Christmas Eve, and the house was left to Teddy, Granny, and the Potters until then.
Kreacher and the two hired elves, apparently eager to prove themselves better than the humans at such things after the Weasleys had taken care of the dishes, made fast work of magically cleaning up the chaos while Teddy followed James up to the room they were to share. A camp bed had been set up, which James tried to insist on taking while he gave Teddy his own bed. Teddy made up a story on the spot about how sleeping in a camp bed was a very great treat, to which he'd been looking forward, and James nodded solemnly and allowed him to take it, as guests ought to have the best things. He changed into his pajamas and climbed under his covers (decorated with a new comic character called Neddy the Kneazle, about a kneazle detective). He smiled at Teddy, his eyelids drooping. "I wish you were always here," he said.
"Well, I'm here now."
Teddy rolled his eyes and kissed James's cheek. James closed his eyes, and, with astonishing speed, dropped off into sleep, snoring lightly.
Teddy opened his suitcase to get his own pajamas, though he wasn't especially tired yet. On top of everything, his father's wand rested beside the Marauder's Map and the Keys to the Castle. He picked them up and looked at them thoughtfully, then tiptoed out of James's room and closed the door.
He passed the parlor, where Granny and Aunt Ginny were talking about some sort of political thing, and went to a small study on the second floor, where Uncle Harry kept his work papers. It was his own little spot, and Teddy guessed he'd be there, recuperating from the crowd. The door was ajar, and, sure enough, Teddy could see the glint of candlelight on Uncle Harry's glasses.
Uncle Harry looked up from a stack of papers and smiled. "Hullo, Ted. Not enough company yet?"
"Could I talk to you? Or are you busy?" Teddy pointed at the papers.
"It can wait. Just paperwork."
"Good," Teddy said, and held out the Map, the Keys, and Dad's wand. "Because I, er... solemnly swear that I need some help."
Uncle Harry smiled, looking a little puzzled, and Summoned a chair over from the other side of the room. He Banished several stacks of papers from his desk (they landed neatly on top of a file cabinet) and took the Map, unfolding it onto the newly cleared surface.
"You said you'd learned to use it," he said, then raised his holly wand and started the incantation.
Teddy held up his hand. "No, wait. Look." He raised his father's wand, then smiled sheepishly and said, "Well, maybe you should. Here." He handed Uncle Harry the wand.
Uncle Harry looked at him quizzically--using another wizard's wand was a bit personal--but took it and said nothing except, "I solemnly swear I'm up to no good."
The animals appeared and dragged the Map out, and took their places at the compass points.
"They must have tied it to their wands," Teddy said. "Tap the wolf and say 'Revelo Lupinus.'"
Uncle Harry did it, and saw the wolf jump down from its spot and leave its sole remaining paw print, in Robards' office (Robards was there, in the residential quarters off to one side, walking in a looping path close to the paw print). "What is it?" he asked.
"It finds things they lost. They had a place to hide things in Gryffindor Tower, and I found a lot of things of Sirius's, and your dad's Quidditch book..."
"Does it work for the others?"
"I don't know. I didn't think to try. I only have Dad's wand."
"I don't imagine they'd mind being able to find one another's things," Uncle Harry said thoughtfully, but Teddy could see a kind of hunger in his face as he let the wand hover over the deer. He understood. "Revelo... Potterus?"
The deer looked at him comically, but nothing happened.
"Potter's a real English word," Teddy suggested. "Perhaps they used the real Latin word."
"I'll need to get a dictionary for that one. But I'm willing to bet..." He touched the dog and said, "Revelo Nigellus."
The dog leapt up eagerly, wagging its inky tail, and started to leave prints around the Hogwarts grounds. There were a few more up in the third year dormitory, one near the Whomping Willow--Teddy guessed it was something dropped in the tunnel, quite possibly another loose button--and another near the Gryffindor fireplace.
"This is amazing," Uncle Harry said.
Teddy smiled and handed him the Keys to the Castle. "It's out of date."
"All the construction. There are walls in new places, and not in old places. And some of the tunnels have fallen in. And I can't get into it to fix it. There are all sorts of protections." He put the Keys to the Castle down. "This was in their dormitory. It has everything--same incantation." He waited for Uncle Harry to do it, and when the spells appeared, he said, "I don't even understand most of it. But I know that you have to be bonded, and I can't figure out how to be bound to it, because I think they have to do it, and they can't do it, because I don't think they thought they'd be dead."
Uncle Harry was reading the spells, his eyes wide and appreciative. "I'm sure they didn't," he said. "I doubt they thought they'd lose it."
"Well, one of the things I found was a replacement they'd started, but not finished."
"Hmmm. I wonder... That would have been after they lost it, and so would whatever was in the Defense office... I wonder if your dad updated it when he had it again, or if it just kept finding things." Uncle Harry smiled, and Teddy thought he looked very much like his own son for a moment--excited and imaginative. He didn't remember seeing this exact look on his godfather's face before. Uncle Harry tapped the Keys idly, pointing at one spell after another, shaking his head in admiration when the detailed theory appeared. Finally, he looked back at Teddy. "You know, Teddy, I'm not sure it can be updated, if you need to be bound to it. They may have made it so only they could."
"But they could bind more. When you don't use their wands, it says it's an aid to magical mischief makers. They must have meant to give to--" He stopped before saying, "us," as that probably wasn't true, then shrugged and said, "To younger students. Before they left school."
"But Filch took it before they had a chance," Uncle Harry agreed.
"They could have done it. There's a riddle, if you ask the map nicely how to update it."
"Ask it nicely?"
"You know... be polite. Don't tell it. It only insults you if you order it around. Though that's always fun."
Uncle Harry tore his eyes away from the Keys and the Map and said, in disbelief, "You've been deliberately making your father insult you?"
"You're a strange child on occasion," Uncle Harry said. "What's the riddle?"
"'What binds is bound to the bonded. The bonded may bind more,'" Teddy said. "It's in your dad's handwriting, if you want to see it."
"It's one of Sirius's spells, I think," Teddy said. "But all of them need to pass your father's Identify spell. And it identifies me as Ted Lupin, even when I'm using Dad's wand, so it knows I'm not him."
"It's a whole different sort of security," Uncle Harry told him. "At least that's my guess. I'd think that they originally bound it to their wands--to open it to their own view, add enchantments and so on--but the further they got, the more they were able to tie it into the spellwork they'd already done. They relied on the fact that the Marauder's Map never lies."
"Can we get around it?" Teddy bit his lip. "I don't think it should be out of date. And... and I sort of want to be bound to it."
Uncle Harry stared at the Keys again, then cleared both pieces of parchment and looked at Teddy. "I'm not sure how yet. But if I can't find a way to think around four teenage boys, it's quite possible that I oughtn't be head of the Auror Division. Do you mind if I hold it while you're here? I'll give it back before you go to school."
"No secret blank parchments and pretending not to pass it on?"
"I'm not passing it on anymore. It's passed on. All of the choices are yours, and you chose to come to me." He sighed. "As your godfather, I have to be an authority figure, and not give you this dangerous item--you know. That's why your dad kept it when he was my teacher and gave it back when he wasn't anymore. That's why I shouldn't know when you give it to James. But for this? We're working together. This isn't about me being your godfather. This is about both of us being their sons. We'll figure it out. You've already got quite a long way. I'll take the next part."
Teddy felt himself smiling so widely that his face ached. "There's one other thing," he said.
"Could you Summon something for me?"
"Sirius's pictures in my suitcase."
Uncle Harry, curious, picked up his own wand again and said, "Accio Sirius's pictures in Teddy's suitcase."
Teddy heard the wooden box thump around a corner, then it came zooming through the study door. Uncle Harry caught it neatly and handed it to him. Teddy opened it and pulled out the stack of pictures of the Black brothers. "It was hidden in the wall, jammed back there. The Keys were behind it."
Uncle Harry took the pictures and looked through them, his face growing sad. "They seem so close. They could be James and Al."
"I want to give some of them to Granny--she's writing a book about them!--but I can't exactly explain that I found them with the Marauder's Map and snuck them out of the wall of the third year dormitory."
"Oh, that's simple enough," he said, still looking at the photos with a strange, choked expression. "We'll tell her you found them behind a loose skirting board. We just won't specify exactly where. If she happens to assume you found it during your visit here, so be it."
"Would you like any of them before I give them to her?"
"Yes, thank you." He pulled out four from the stack, most of them showing Sirius grinning, teasing Regulus (who seemed not to be too damaged by it, as he was giggling happily), even kissing his brother's cheek in one. He was careful not to take ones that were unique--there were other pictures of them doing the same sorts of things to give to Granny--but he seemed quite delighted to have them. He tucked three of them into the frames around the glass squares in his book case. The last, in which Sirius was making finger bunny-ears behind Regulus's head and Regulus was pretending to pummel him, Uncle Harry propped up beside a picture of James and Al, who were, in fact, doing almost exactly the same thing. Both sets of brothers looked very happy.
"I wonder if brothers are always like that," Teddy said.
Uncle Harry sighed. "I don't know, Teddy." He shook his head sharply. "Come on," he said, "let's see if we can find a Latin dictionary around here. See if my dad conveniently dropped a letter explaining what to do if they're not available."
They scoured the study for a Latin dictionary, and tried Summoning one from elsewhere, but finally had to give up. Apparently, no one had thought it necessary to get one. Teddy decided to get Granny to go to Diagon Alley before Christmas. He knew what he meant to give Uncle Harry this year.
Granny agreed that it would make more sense to go to Diagon Alley before Christmas rather than after, and gave Teddy four months worth of pocket money--for which he'd had no need at Hogwarts--to shop with. "We'll take care of the shopping in the morning," she said, "then go to Ollivander's. I called to reschedule our appointment, and he could only see us this afternoon."
Teddy agreed to this, and put both of his parents' wands--along with the willow wand he'd bought in August--into his book bag, along with a quill, ink, and his Christmas shopping list. James and Al wanted to go with them, but Teddy told them they couldn't--"How could I buy you Christmas surprises if you're right there?"
James perked up a bit at the mention of a present and promised to be very good until Teddy came home--Aunt Ginny, who was trying to feed Lily her breakfast, looked skeptical--but Al claimed that he could pretend to be surprised, if he could go with Teddy. "It's not fair," he said. "James gets Teddy in his very own room and I barely get him at all!"
"But I'm asleep when he's in my room!" James protested. "Mummy, tell Al he gets Teddy as much as I do!"
Aunt Ginny pursed her lips and narrowed her eyes. She looked extraordinarily like her mother, but when she spoke, her voice was soft and dangerous: "James, did you just order Mummy to do something?"
James blanched, realizing his mistake, and was entirely distracted from the issue of Teddy's time by the necessity of talking his way out of it. Teddy and Granny took the opportunity to slip out, grabbing handfuls of Floo Powder from the mantle and going off to the public pavilion in Diagon Alley, which let them off in the middle of a plaza, in a specially built outdoor fireplace not far from Knockturn Alley. The first time Teddy had made this particular trip, Uncle Harry had warned him to be very, very careful not to go a grate too far.
He spun out of the fireplace off balance and fell directly into a Nativity scene in front of someone's shop, knocking down a wooden Mary, who gave him a less than beatific oaken glare before getting back up to tend the Baby. Fairies decorating a nearby tree chittered at this, and one of the wooden lambs ran for the tracks of a toy train. Teddy scooped it up--less to save it than to keep it from derailing the train--and set it back down in the dried grass that was serving as hay.
"Have you done quite enough damage?" Granny asked, her voice wryly amused.
Teddy shrugged. He'd never figured out how she could come spinning out of a fireplace at top speed and still have the slightest idea where her feet were.
Granny led him away from the pavilion, toward the proper business district. Since August, there had been more changes. A curio shop had opened in one of the empty storefronts, and the "Play" shop had been abandoned (though a poster on the boards in front said it could now be found on a side street). Another empty store had been converted into a theater, where a troupe of actors was putting on a play version of A Christmas Carol, but the yarn shop had closed, and was replaced by a shop called Smoke and Mirrors. The windows were full of all sorts of mirrors and pipes and barrels of tobacco. To Teddy's surprise, Bernice Fletcher seemed to be arranging a display.
Granny was also looking at the place, her nose wrinkled distastefully. "It's Dung Fletcher's new place," she told Teddy. "Probably bought with money he made selling off Sirius's things."
"That's my friend Bernice," Teddy said.
"She must be his cousin's child; I understand they're in business together." Granny gave Teddy an awkward sort of smile. "Well, I'm the last person to judge someone by her family, but I think we'll visit her outside the shop if it's all the same to you. I'd rather not look like I'm giving Dung any business."
Teddy, who hadn't meant to visit Bernice anyway, agreed. He just knocked on the window to give her a quick wave, then followed Granny to Flourish and Blotts.
A young woman wearing a shop smock came forward, smiling. "Hello, Mrs. Tonks," she said. "Did you want the study room again? I don't think Mr. Blotts has put your books up yet; they should be right where you left them."
"No, thank you, Angelina. I'll get back to my subscription work after the holidays. Teddy and I are just shopping."
The woman turned to Teddy and her large, dark eyes changed somehow, and Teddy knew without asking that she'd been one of Dad's students, even though all she said was, "Hello, Teddy."
"How's Dennis?" Granny asked.
Angelina moved her eyes away from Teddy and smiled more normally at Granny. "He's fine. At least until the next time he makes a joke about his sophisticated older wife. After that, I may have to send him out to sleep in the snow."
"That sounds quite justified," Granny said, giving Angelina a grin. They exchanged Happy Christmases, and Teddy and Granny went upstairs to the hobby books, as Teddy's easiest item of business was getting Frankie a new Muggles and Minions guidebook that gave all the game stats for computer skills. On a whim, he also bought an introduction to the game for Arthur Weasley, thinking he might find it funny. He wanted to buy a paperback of Hogwarts, A History for Victoire, since she asked so many questions, but Granny reminded him that he wouldn't be able to buy presents for all of the children, and it would be better to buy the same thing for all of Bill's children to share.
He went downstairs, into a dusty and little used corner of the shop, and found a Latin dictionary for Uncle Harry. Granny thought this an odd present, but didn't question it. She went off to the spellbook section and found a new book of charms for Aunt Ginny and a history of Magical Law Enforcement for Hermione, who'd finally given in to the pressure and transferred to that department. Teddy decided to spend all of his money for the Potter children on one very large book of fairy tales with lovely illustrations that popped up and ran about. He could read to them while he was here, and reckoned that James might like to take over when he left. By the time they left Flourish and Blotts, they had a respectable number of presents; Granny charmed them feather-light and they went back out.
Before lunch, they made it to the Magical Menagerie, a new toy shop (Teddy bought a second present for the Potter children, a board game about Merlin and King Arthur), and Weasleys'. They didn't buy anything there--there was nothing the family would be surprised by at George's--but they did have lunch with George and Sophie, who let their shop girl take over for an hour. Sophie said that baby Fred's lunch would be a bit later, and in private. Teddy was allowed to hold the baby for a few minutes, which he hadn't done since Lily was born. He still didn't know exactly what he was meant to do with a baby, which couldn't talk and didn't seem to like stories, so he gave it back to George quickly.
Granny checked her watch while they had tea and said, "Oh, dear, we'd best run to Ollivander's, we're nearly late!"
Goodbyes were quick and perfunctory, and Granny set a very quick pace down the crowded street, cursing herself for losing track of time, "...like some spoiled princess who thinks everyone's time is hers, just like always..." Teddy followed her, keeping a hand on her bag so he didn't lose her. They got to Ollivander's only three minutes late, but Granny apologized profusely, and Mr. Ollivander accepted it formally, as though she'd wasted an hour of his day. Once this was over, however, they seemed to get along capitally. Teddy looked at Berit, who seemed as confused by it as he was. At Mr. Ollivander's instruction, she went to the door and turned the sign, closing the shop to customers for an hour during a consultation.
"All right," Ollivander said to Teddy, Summoning four chairs and a table into the center of the room. "Let's have them."
Teddy reached into his bag and pulled out all three wands. He'd put the new wand back in its box. "I... I hope I didn't take someone else's wand," he offered.
"Most wizards can be chosen by more than one wand," Berit said. "I'm sure that no one went without."
Ollivander looked at her oddly, then said, "You knew this wand hadn't chosen you?"
"I felt like I was wasting Berit's time," Teddy said. "I'm sorry. I knew that Honoria Higgs was waiting, though I didn't know her name then, and I had already taken up two hours."
"And it didn't occur to you that the wands belonging to an orphan's parents may have already attached to him?" Ollivander asked Berit.
"It occurred to me, Grandfather."
"She asked," Teddy said. "I told her I hadn't used them. I hadn't. I'd handled them, though."
"Mm." Ollivander picked all three of them up, discarded the new one by Banishing it to a set of dusty shelves in back labeled "Used but clean," and said, "We'll discount this consultation by seventy-five percent the cost of that wand," he said. "It's clearly of no use whatsoever to young Mr. Lupin. Berit, I'd like you to get these wands." He gave her a list of numbers, and she went to the shelves and started picking them up.
"You don't think I should use my parents'?" Teddy asked.
"Try them for me," he said. "And don't worry--I have to sell wands to Hogwarts students; there is a minor lifting of the ban on underage magic in the confines of this shop, though I ask that you attempt to not destroy anything."
Teddy picked up Dad's wand. "What should I do? Lumos?"
"Too simple. I've found Hermione Weasley's bluebell flames to be a good test--have you learned that charm yet? I believe it's in the first year book, though of course Mrs. Weasley has made vast improvements on it."
"I've learnt it," Teddy said.
Ollivander summoned over two boxes. "Try the one on the left. Keep the flames in the box, if you please, Mr. Lupin."
Teddy said the incantation and used Dad's wand. The blue flames appeared inside the box, casting a warm glow over the table. Berit, who had returned with an armful of wands, set them down and watched the process with interest.
"All right. Try the other."
Teddy switched to Mum's wand and pointed it at the box on the right. With a rushing hiss, blue flames leapt up from it, curling into patterns.
"Quite amazing," Ollivander said, and his tone suggested that he didn't mean Teddy's magic, which he'd certainly seen bettered over the years. There was an avid sort of look in his silver eyes that Teddy wasn't at all sure about. He turned to Berit. "Berit, please explain to Mrs. Tonks and Mr. Lupin just why we don't use experimental cores."
Berit sighed. "They're too specific, and they almost never choose anyone."
"My grandfather told me that," Ollivander said. "He wouldn't allow experimental cores in the shop, and eventually, I grew to agree with him. But there was a time--oh, perhaps not in my youth, but certainly closer to it than I am now, when I, like my granddaughter, thought to revolutionize my craft. I wouldn't try different cores, but different sorts of wand wood. Berit, the wands you brought--all of them ought to have dates on them. How long have they sat unclaimed?"
She glanced at them, then frowned. "Close to forty years, some of them."
Ollivander nodded solemnly. "All trees have some trace magic in them," he said. "Even Muggles have noticed. But some, of course, are a bit more magical than others. I used the Peregrine Pine, whose forests wander, and the great winding olive tree from the Mediterranean, and the Wh--"
"The Whomping Willow," Teddy guessed.
"Right in one. Professor Sprout brought me a limb she'd been forced to cut when the tree attacked a student, and I made it into twelve wands. Only one of those experimental wands ever chose a witch, and by then, I didn't care to share my youthful folly with customers. It was, of course, still willow, so there was no lie involved. Merely an omission, if Mrs. Tonks will forgive it."
"Why on earth would you have thought to try it with her?"
Ollivander launched into an explanation involving Mum's status as a Metamorphmagus and being worried about possible difficulties, and Granny seemed interested, but Teddy didn't listen. Dad's wand worked, but it was only Dad's. Mum's wand was Mum's... and made from a tree that had been planted to hide Dad's transformations--to protect him. It tied him to both of them.
Berit nudged him. "Would you like to try the others from the tree?"
"No. This one is mine," Teddy said, and smiled. "You were right the first day."
Teddy chanced a glance at Ollivander, who'd managed to steer the subject to why wandmaking was not an art for the experimentalist and was quite involved with this, then leaned over to Berit. "Would you like to try Metamorphmagus hair? I can always grow it back."
Berit waited until her grandfather was fully involved in his discourse, then did a quick severing charm and came away with a handful of Teddy's hair. Teddy had never had a haircut in his life, and was interested to see the lock she'd taken first fade from its Gryffindor scarlet, then turn light brown, then curl slightly. It had never occurred to him that his hair might be naturally curly. Berit pocketed it.
"He can obviously use both wands," Granny said, finally managing to drag Ollivander back onto the subject at hand. "Is it... advisable to keep them?"
Teddy's stomach clenched--it was obvious that he was to keep Mum's wand, but he couldn't give up Dad's. He needed it for the Marauder's Map.
Ollivander said, "There's no harm in it, Mrs. Tonks." He nodded at Teddy. "If Mr. Lupin feels he needs both wands, it is my opinion--the one for which you asked this consultation--that he should have them."
Teddy's mouth fell open. "Really?"
"Unless you feel you'd rather leave one."
Teddy smiled. "Thank you, Mr. Ollivander."
"I don't advise going back and forth on routine tasks. Let your mother's wand bind itself to you more tightly. You have years ahead of you to master a second wand."
Teddy morbidly subtracted his age from the age at which his mother died, and came up with exactly thirteen years that could be stretching luxuriously ahead of him, but chose not to say anything. There wasn't, after all, a war on anymore.
After they finished at Ollivander's, Granny took him to the Leaky Cauldron for hot chocolate--she had a dollop of Madam Mayne's Minted Malt in hers--and said, "Teddy, I'm sorry. I was wrong. Forgive me."
Teddy squirmed. "Er... all right. But it's all right, really it is." He looked around quickly to make sure no one was looking, and said, "I love you, Granny."
She smiled faintly. "Best be careful, Ted. I think the poinsettias may have overheard."
They laughed, finished their hot chocolate, and Flooed back to Uncle Harry's.