Characters: Andromeda, Teddy, Ted, Dora
Summary: The epilogue gave us hints of Teddy/Victoire and Rose/Scorpius. This is the development of those relationships through the eyes of Andromeda.
“So what did the Healer say” Teddy asked me anxiously as I entered the house.
“What on earth are you doing here? Aren’t Dora and Reg getting home today? Shouldn’t you be at King’s Cross with Vicky?”
“The Hogwarts Express isn’t due for at least another two hours, and you’re avoiding my question, Gran.”
I sighed reluctantly.
“The Healer said that I have about one year left; not that I couldn’t have figured that out myself.”
“Lower your voice dear,” I told him as I headed towards the kitchen to put on a kettle of tea.
“A year left to what, Gran?”
I could tell by the tone of his voice that he already knew the answer. I stared him down for a minute, waiting for him to admit that he knew exactly what I was talking about.
“You never told me it was fatal,” he said in a low angry voice, “I know that you’ve had this illness for quite a number of years, but you never told me that it was fatal. Did the Healers just fail to mention it when you were diagnosed?”
“Oh no, of course not dear, they told me it could be fatal if left untreated.”
“And what?-They just let you skip on home?”
“Well they can’t force treatment upon an unwilling patient if that patient is in their right mind at the time if diagnosis. It’s all in St. Mungo’s guide to Healer ethics.”
“Let me get this straight; you knew that this thing would be fatal if you left it untreated, and you decided not to treat it. Am I correct?”
“Yes dear, that is perfectly correct,” I told him as I handed him a cup of tea.
“Why the hell would you leave something like that untreated?” he asked me, completely ignoring the cup of tea I was holding out to him.
I merely stared at him. He was a smart boy. He would understand, eventually.
“It was on purpose,” he said staring at me blankly. “You left it untreated on purpose.”
“But…why? Are you unhappy? What—? I don’t understand.”
“There’s nothing to understand, Teddy. I knew, when I was diagnosed, that I would be ready to go by the time it became serious.”
He continued to stare at me uncomprehendingly. I sighed once more and sat him down at the kitchen table.
“I’m tired, Teddy. I’m tired. I lived through more in the first twenty five years of my life than most do in their entire lifetime. All of my closest friends are dead. Most of my family is dead; my daughter, my husband, Sirius, Bella; they’re all gone. I only-I only kept going when the war was over because I still had responsibilities to fulfill in this world. I had an orphaned three-month-old to raise, and a sister to reclaim…” here I tapered off, trying to reclaim my thoughts. “And I did all of that. I raised you into a happy well-adjusted adult, I got my sister back…but now it’s done, you’re done. I’m done, and soon I’ll be gone.”
“There are no ‘buts’ Teddy. I’m done, I’m tired. I want to see my husband again. I want to see my little girl again. I want to see my cousins and my old friends again. I’ve done all I can, and now I’m ready for it to be over.”
Teddy let me finish my explanation, and continued to stare at me for a full minute. He then stood up rather abruptly and stormed out of the house. He hadn’t even touched his tea.
I sighed to myself; I had known that he would be upset by my choices, but he’d come around eventually.
And he did. While he certainly wasn’t happy with my choices (he informed me of this in a voice that had the most adorable authoritative inflection) but he understood my motivations.
I spent most of the remainder of that year spending time with Narcissa, my great-grandchildren, and mediating the inevitable disputes over the great-grand children that were constantly cropping up between Narcissa and Molly. When I wasn’t with family or friends, I was alone, looking over photos from the old days; from the past that no longer felt so completely out of reach.
There were Marlene and I making ridiculous faces at the camera while Alice struck a silly pose behind us. There was Dora, Ted, and I on holiday in France, and there were all of us Black children standing together for one of Aunt Walburga’s ridiculous family portraits. Further down the page Dora and Ted stood proudly in Frank and Alice’s wedding, and Sirius had Remus forever trapped in a headlock.
I snapped the album shut, and wiped a small tear from the corner of my eye.
“Not much longer,” I whispered to myself as I climbed into bed. “Not much longer.”
It was early in the morning in late November, if she recalled correctly. She had been rather suddenly awakened by what she could have sworn was somebody saying her name, or perhaps it had been a gentle tug on her arm that had awoken her. She sat up in bed, blinked, and scanned the seemingly empty room. Just as she had convinced herself that she had neither heard nor seen anything, she heard it again.
“Andy,” she looked in the direction the voice was coming from, and was startled to see Ted standing there clear as day and looking not a day past twenty five years of age.
“Ted?” Andromeda asked, knowing that it was impossible that this man who she had not seen in over thirty five years to be standing in front of her clear as day.
He walked over to the bed and tenderly stroked a strand of her hair off of her face.
“Yes, love. It’s me. I’m really here.”
She felt his fingers threading through hers, and registered—rather dreamily—that she hadn’t felt anything half so wonderful as that for longer than she could remember.
“C’mon love. It’s time to go. Everybody’s looking forward to seeing you.”
Without giving Andromeda time to respond or wrap her mind around anything he had just said, Ted gently pulled her out of the bed and into his arms.
He kissed her then. She would never be able to aptly describe just how wonderful that kiss was; words wouldn’t do it justice. When the kiss broke, all she was really concerned with was when the next one would begin, but as she leaned in for it, something on the bed caught her eye.
She turned towards the bed and was shocked to see herself lying there, looking as though she was merely in a deep sleep. She hardly thought that she looked—
There her thoughts tapered off as the reality of the moment began to dawn on her.
She turned to Ted who had been watching her face carefully.
“Is this a dream?”
“No, Andy. This is as real as that body lying there on the bed.”
She blinked in comprehension.
“I’m dead?” she whispered.
Andromeda was rather shocked; she had known that death was coming, but she hadn’t expected it to arrive so quickly, and painlessly.
She turned back to him, only to see that they were no longer standing in the bedroom. They were instead standing in a lovely, grassy meadow surrounded by trees with a lovely little cottage sitting a little ways away.
“She’s here!” an excited voice cried out across the distance. Ted grinned knowingly, took his wife by the arm and led her towards the cottage.
They had barely taken three steps before a half-sobbing Dora threw herself into her mother’s arms; the impact was so great that Andromeda nearly lost her balance.
As she held her daughter tightly against her chest, she looked back over at the cottage, and could distinctly make out more and more people flooding out of its door.
Sirius was striding towards her with a wide smile on his now youthful, handsome face. Regulus lingered a little ways behind him, and even farther back stood Marlene, Gideon, Fabian, Frank and Alice—both of whom had passed away in St. Mungo’s about five years after the war ended—Remus, James, and Lily; all waving to her joyfully.
She paused for a moment as she glanced towards the trees, positive that she had seen Bella lurking amongst them (but she was gone before Andromeda could take a closer look), and then turned back to her friend’s and returned their greetings.
“Come on Andy,” Sirius told urged her impatiently as he pulled her into a tight embrace, “Lily’s about to put dinner on the table.”
She grinned at him and followed her two lost cousins across the meadow with her husband in one arm and her daughter in the other towards the cottage to what she knew was going to be a series of joyful reunions.
In his home nestled in the heart of Cornwall, Teddy Remus Lupin sat up in bed rather rapidly as he awoke from a very strange dream. His sudden movement managed to wake up his wife as well.
“Teddy, what’s wrong?” Victoire murmured sleepily.
“Sorry love, just had an odd dream. Something involving Gran, and a cottage in a meadow…” he tapered off, the details of the (astonishingly vivid) dream flying away from him in the way that the details of dreams had an annoying tendency to do.
He glanced back over at Victoire; she had fallen back to sleep.
Shaking his head and muttering to himself, he threw an arm over Victoire and promptly rejoined her in her slumber.
The next morning, he wasn’t surprised when his grandmother wouldn’t wake up.