Found in the Ashes

Without Regret

Updates: I started grad school soo… maybe? Once a month…

WARNING: Next scene is somewhat graphic. I think it is still T, but I thought I'd give you folks the heads up.

KEYNOTE: I have so much going on in such a small amount of time there are overlapping scenes. These four chapters end within a 12 hour mark. And I apologize for Carlos's flash back… but I got bored with Voldemort and he needed an intro.

Beta: Ahrnberg endless thank yous!

Chapter 4 - Without Regret

Carlos Jourden was a peculiar child. Odd things seemed to happen around him and his dreams were even odder.

His mother loved him very much, and his father loved him not at all. Carlos was as handsome as he was poor. His thick hair was golden blonde, curling around a sharp featured face, framing eyes the color of pale blue sapphires. He was lean for a boy of twelve, however, what he lacked in nutrition, he made up in gracefulness. Had his parents been able to afford it, and had they cared enough to let him; he would have been a terrific gymnast. But alas, Carlos put his skills to use running from thugs down dirty streets, on his way too and from school.

The Jourdens lived in a cramped basement on the outskirts of London. Carlos's father, Shane, was a second-rate mechanic, one who drank far more than he made.

His mother, Sharlet, was a retired prostitute who helped support the family as a hotel door greeter and professional pickpocket.

Carlos hated his parents because he knew, unlike the rest of his classmates, that his family didn't belong in this hovel of the world. Shane Jourden had come from a modest middle class family, and when his parents orphaned him at seventeen, he had pissed away his inheritance on women, drink, and gambling.

Now Sharlet Jourden nee Rookwood, was something else. So posh, so upper-crust it made everyone in this part of the city grind their teeth. What had brought her so low in the world, Carlos could only guess. It might have something to do with her reckless sense of adventure, or her own taste for gambling, but Sharlet had a secret.

A ticket out of this hell hole that she never, ever, used -except for the one time. The one time Shane had caught his wife cheating. Carlos had been nine, cowering in a corner, as his father threated to beat them both to death.

But Sharlet had reached below the bed and pulled out a pale wooden stick.

She had mumbled something in another language and Shane, the muscle man with hands the size of dinner plates, looked dumb for a moment. Then, before Carlos had been able to process the series of events, Shane was helping his wife off the floor and asking for a drink.

The matter at hand, the one that had sent Shane into a murderous rage- gone from his mind, completely forgotten.

Carlos, who in a fit of rage could throw a pillow across a room without touching said pillow, had -for the first time, seen that there truly was something more to this forsaken world. Something more to strive for than class and security and homes that didn't reek of mold.

There was magic in the world.

On his twelfth birthday, when he confronted her about the subject.


"Yes, darling."

"I've seen you use magic," he stated, "How did you do it?"

She threw her wash rag on the table, spun a chair around, straddled it, and faced him. "I'm a witch," she said, smiling.

He had blinked at her, "Can you show me how to use magic too?" Maybe this would be easier than he had expected.

Her smile softened, "I would have, but your letter never came."


She nodded, "To Hogwarts, the most prestigious school of Witchcraft and Wizard in all of Britain."

He gaped at her, "But, why can't I go?" He could leave this place and go to a school of magic? The thought was too much, he felt hope like he had never known before fill his chest.

"Fraid not. You don't have magic, my darling boy," she said it pleasantly, like she hadn't just crushed his dreams and prospects of happiness.

"But I can, Mum, look!" And with all his might and focus, he held both hands out toward the salt and pepper shaker. The salt shaker tipped over but the pepper shaker resisted. Nevertheless, Carlos said, "See, no hands!"

Sharlet laughed, standing and going to him. Tousling his blonde curls, she said jovially, "You would need more than that poultry bit of power to get into Hogwarts, son. But don't worry, Carly, you don't need magic. I certainly didn't," she held out her arms, showing off the room as if were a palace. "We have all we could ever need or want, right here. Nothing is more magical than what we have."

Carlos disagreed. He had always loved his mother, always sunny, always happy, no matter the occasion or circumstance. But he hated her too, because what they had wasn't enough, and if he didn't have enough magic, or power, then he would find a way to get some.

Not two weeks later, the small Jourden family were sitting down for dinner -if you could call stale bread and a weak broth dinner, when Carlos Jourden burst into flames.

Sharlet began screaming.

Shane just stared blankly at where his son had been.

"What, no tears, Father?" a voice asked from the hallway.

His parents turned to face a tall man dressed in carnival clothes framed in the doorway.

"Carlos?" Sharlet asked, recognizing her son, despite his added years.

In answer, he held up a pale wooden wand.

She frowned, "Is that my wa-"

Speaking over her, Carlos sang cheerfully, "Avada Kedavra!"

Sharlet screamed again, as her husband's head thunked onto the table, the broth tipping and spilling onto the floor. There was a loud clunk when the dish rolled off the table.

Carlos clucked his tongue, "Not even a porcelain dish. You had us eating out of pots when you could have had everything."

Sharlet scrambled out her seat, "What have you done? Carlos, what have you done!?"

He smiled at her, stowing the wand in his chest pocket, his cape billowing as he walked toward her. The red and gold cape was short enough to barely brush his knees. Slowly, he began to remove his white gloves.

Sharlet backed as far away from him as the small space would allow and kept asking, "Carly, baby, what have you done?" She squinted at his handsome face, "What did you do to your eyes?"

His once blue irises were now a frightful red.

He smiled down at her, having cornered her against the back wall and the bit of countertop in the tiny kitchen. "They say," he said, tapping the signet ring on his finger. It was antique-gold crafted around a ruby the size of a robin's egg. "-that the eyes are the gateway to the soul. Do you believe in souls, Mum?"

Voice small, she whispered, "What have you done?"

He smiled wickedly, "Achieved power, and so much more."

Tears spilled from her eyes that had once been the same color as her son's, "Oh, Carly, you'll never find happiness. You don't need-"

She gagged, the pain lancing through her, hit her like a frieght train. She fell back against the wall. Looking down she was shocked beyond reason to find her son's hand had plunged a knife into her upper stomach.

"You wanted to be a muggle so badly," Carlos cooed at her, "Now you get to die like one."

Sharlet -realizing it was the end, cupped her son's face in her hands, "Carlos, my lovely, beautiful boy. Magic can take more than it can give."

"I don't know," he drawled, still smiling, "I think I've gotten quite a lot out of this deal. I think being a wizard suits me, don't you agree?"

She smiled up at him, feeling her heart flood with such sadness and love -she wondered which was killing her faster, the blood loss or the heartbreak. "I love you, Carly, don't you ever forget it."

The next morning, 'Sharlet Rookwood, murdered by a muggle in Muggle London', was a footnote of the Daily Prophet.

Albus Dumbledore and Minerva McGonagall stood shoulder to shoulder in the backyard of the Dursley house.

"I told you so," Minerva seethed, "Didn't I tell you they were the worst sort of people? That they would never understand him? Harry Potter wasn't kidnapped, he ran away."

"Black was sighted in the area," Albus said dully.

"Do you think he provoked Harry into acting against his relatives, tricked him somehow? How much does he even know about Black?"

"Harry knew nothing, save only that his mother and father died protecting him," Albus said. He wasn't truly paying attention to the conversation, his mind churning, how had it all gone so wrong so fast? "I suppose the powder is odd. To my knowledge neither Harry nor Black are proficient in potions at least to that extent, nor would they have had the supplies to make such a thing. I'll have Severus look at it."

But Albus didn't think it would do them much good. Harry Potter was in all likelihood, dead. Hope; hope had ended. The Dark had won and Albus did not know if he had the strength to fight another war.

"Mum?" Ron asked, examining Scabbers in the light of an open window. "Does Scabbers look worse to you?"

He certainly looked worse to Ron. Worse than the fat, lazy rat with the missing toe had looked the night before.

In one hand, Ron raised Scabbers even higher into the morning light, squinting his eyes to see if there were any rashes or signs of disease on the depressed thing.

But disease turned out to be one of the rat's least concerns because one moment he was in a thirteen years old's tender hand; the next a peregrine falcon swooped into the window and had the rat in its talons.

Ron, Fred, and George watched the white falcon speed away, as quickly as it had come.

"Does that bird look a bit like Harry's owl?" Fred asked.

"Yeah, but it was definitely a falcon, not an owl, the head was far too narrow," George answered.

"My rat," Ron said, stunned, "Mum, my rat!" He spun around fully ready to beg for a new pet, maybe an owl of his own but- but then he saw his mother's face.

Her expression was one of horror and grief and when his dad looked at what she had been reading, his expression fell into the same grief stricken lines. They both looked like they were about to cry.

"Ron," Molly stuttered, her voice hitching, "Ron, sit down."

Fred and George exchanged looks, "What's up, Mum? Dad?"

"Something's happened to Harry," Arthur said, his voice catching as well.

"Where's Harry?" Ron asked, not asking if he were alright because if his parents' expression were any indication, Harry wasn't alright.

"What happened to Harry?" George demanded when neither adult spoke up.

Arthur shut his eyes and said, "Sirius Black got him."

"Got him?" Fred squeaked.

"They haven't found a body yet-" Arthur said haltingly, "yet-, he's, he's-"

"Harry's gone," Molly finished for him.

Ron suddenly didn't give one wit about his stupid rat. His best friend was gone, and he didn't know what life at Hogwarts would be like without him: didn't know what he would do if- or rather when, Harry turned up dead.

"Harry Potter got himself kidnapped," Draco said contemptuously. "Bet he turns up fine. He is such a dramatic fool. Harry Potter-"

"Honestly, Draco, if I had known you talked about me so much at home, I would have sent your mother a condolence letter."

Draco stood and spun around so fast that he tipped over his chair. Meanwhile, his parents remained seated, completely calm at the breakfast time.

"Good morning, Harry, how was your flight?" his mother asked.

The man who was an older, more attractive version of the Harry Potter smiled at his mother and greeted, "Good morning, Cissa, Luci. My flight was most excellent. Is Andromeda- any word from Andromeda?"

Draco realized he had been gaping -drooling, over this- this stranger, he turned to his mother in outrage, why aren't they kicking him out?

But his mother only answered the man's question, "Not yet. Did the worm see your face?"

Harry gave her a look, "Of course not, do you take me for an amateur? Nephew, pick up your chair and sit down. Your breakfast is getting cold."

Draco opened his mouth to retaliate, but his mother commanded, "Listen to your Uncle, Draco. There will be no more wasting food in this house."

He turned back to goggle at her. He looked towards his father for help, but Father merely took another drink of his morning tea.

Draco could not understand what was happening. It was like his whole world had been turned upside down. First, it seemed like Mother was now in charge of family affairs, which had never happened before. Second, Harry Potter, who had been reported missing in the papers, was now weirdly in their home as a grown man -which no one seemed inclined to explain.

Thirdly, and most importantly -so much so he was compelled to say it outloud, "Harry Potter is not my uncle."

"Yes, sweetling he is. Speaking of which, where are your spawn, Potter? I thought they all woke up at the break of dawn," his mother remarked.

"We got up at three in the morning for hot chocolate and I slipped them all a little sleeping agent. I think they've had enough changes in one night that it called for some extra sleep."

"Did you sleep at all?" Mother asked, sounding honestly concerned.

Harry shook his head and bent down to pick up Draco's chair, by which point manners demanded that he sit back down.

"She'll be here," Narcissa said.

"I-" Harry began.

"I'm here, Harry," a woman who looked like Aunt Bellatrix said as she walked into the dining room. Her long brown hair was loose around her shoulders and she wore a black slip that brushed her ankles. She was wearing flats. It was something his mother sometimes wore around the house before bed, though she wore blue or creme not black for nightwear.

"I told you," Mother said, "Andromeda could never leave you, Harry, not willingly."

"Andromeda?" Draco exclaimed, reeling. "As in-"

"Watch it, Nephew, I am just as much a Black as Bellatrix ever was," the woman -who he had never met before, chided him.

And then the weird beginning of his day got even weirder when Harry Potter followed by Andromeda turned into falcons and flew into the next room. One white, one greyish black.

"They're both animagi?" Draco asked.

"Yes," Mother said. "Now eat your breakfast."

"Are you going to explain any of this?"

"Time travel, dearest, now eat. Your cousins will be up soon I expect, and trust me when I say, you will need the calories."

Time travel? Draco wondered, sending his father a pleading look.

But Father looked only a little less lost than he felt.

Harry flew to Narcissa's study, by far his favorite place in the entire manor, one wall of expansive windows overlooking the grounds, adjacent to a wall of bookshelves.

Transforming so that his first step was effortless, he faced the windows, reluctant to face her. There was still a chance Andromeda had chosen Ted.

And it was killing him.

"Harry," Andromeda called, a few paces behind him, "I chose you."

He turned to her -hardly daring- but the hand she held out to him was bare. Ted Tonks' ring absent for the first time since he had known her.

Harry crossed the space between them, wrapping himself around her and holding on as if she were the last loving thing in the universe.

She rubbed his back, "It's alright, I'm here, I'm here."

Harry didn't say anything, just buried his face into the curve of her neck.

She held him as he worked through his fears in his own mind.

Sometimes insecurities didn't need to be given voice. Sometimes a person needed only the reassurance of a lover's presence, and to be given the benefit of the doubt to be allowed a moment of weakness.

Harry's lack of faith that Andromeda would return to him -however reasonable that fear may have been, was just that; a moment of weakness. And she allowed him time to feel the backlash and the relief without letting it define what they were to each other.

What they had was more beautiful and precious than either believed they deserved. So they held one another, giving comfort without words because none were necessary.

Sirius Black seemed worse in the morning than he had the night before and his grasp on reality was tenuous at best.

When Andromeda had left, Ted had buried himself in work. He told Dora to stay with her... relative while he went searching for nutrition potions. It was both easier and harder to find them. Easy because all of his wife's -soon to be ex-wife's, potions were labeled. Hard because Andromeda had a problem with organizing. This wasn't to say she disliked organizing, quite the contrary, she could spend hours reordering a cabinet or bookshelf rather contently. The problem was that her system of organization changed, often.

Unfamiliar with the latest system it took him nearly an hour to find the four potions he needed. If he had been thinking straight he would have been able to reason his way through it, likely price or rareness or strength of the potions, but he was too- too something to process that.

Returning with the potions he had found Sirius pacing the small space in the living room.

"You can have the guest bedroom down here. And drink this." He waited a minute. "Now this one." Another minute and so on before Ted helped the man to the shower.

Bathing people was something Ted had a lot of professional experience with, something Sirius either knew or he just wasn't strong enough to protest the help. Getting through the man's hair took time, and Ted was just grateful for the distraction. He then proceeded to trim the man's hair to his shoulders and helped him shave away his ragged beard.

Afterward -in a spare set of clothes, Sirius didn't look good, but he looked human, which was a vast improvement over looking like a walking corpse who had crawled out of its grave.

Once he got the man in bed, with a dreamless sleep potion, Ted had gone to the kitchen. Where he spent the rest of the night cooking. He wasn't the best cook, but it didn't take a genius to make soups and broths.

Dora had tried to help, but she was more harm in a kitchen than she was of any use. Blessedly, she had stayed with him the whole night. Talking to him about her work, complaining about Moody, and her soon to be new partner, Kingsley Shacklebolt.

Ted had been grateful for that too. Luckily, she had the day off so she could babysit the criminal. The soups gave her something to eat and gave Sirius something he could hopefully keep down.

As he walked through the halls at St. Mungo's he thought, perhaps, he should have listened to her and stayed home. But home was hardly home without his wife.

"Hey Ted," Lacy greeted him as they checked their patients' lists.

"Hello," he said back with as much enthusiasm as he could muster toward the seasoned healer. It wasn't much enthusiasm at all.

"Hello? That's it?" she asked, "What, no Ted smiles today?" She paused looking over him. "What's wrong?" Her tone was more serious then, but before he could think of a lie she answered for him. "Does the news have you down? Poor boy, so young. But no one could have predicted Sirius Black breaking out of prison. Guess today, deserves to be a day of no Ted to smiles. A world without Harry Potter does seem so sad."

A world without Harry Potter, Ted thought, his heart clenching, who would have ever guessed I would one day hate the Boy Who Lived?

Unfortunately for Ted, Harry Potter was all anyone could talk about during his shift. It was a very long day.

Teddy awoke later than he had in- well later in the morning than he ever had excluding those mornings after the night spent under the full moon.

Careful not to wake his sisters, he slipped out of bed and Mapoppy's guest room. He sprinted down the hall and into the sitting room.

Mapoppy and Grandmama were sitting on the loveseat hand in hand.

He ran at them, Mapoppy pulling him into his arms. Teddy didn't care that he was perhaps too old for this reaction, all that mattered was that his parents were together, his real parents.

"How many kids do the two of you have?" a caustic voice asked.

Teddy turned to see his cousin Draco, a much, much younger Draco. "How old are you?" he asked, trying to sort out the math in his head.

"Thirteen," Draco answered.

"Oh," Teddy said, deflating a little. Draco wasn't a werewolf yet, which was good, at least for him and his parents.

"Who are you? You seem to know me."

Answering the blonde boy, with his white hair much shorter than he was used to, he said, "Teddy Lupin, I'm Harry's godson, and she's my grandmother. And you're my cousin."

"You're Nymphadora Tonks' son?" Draco asked.

"Technically, but she died a month after I was born."

Draco frowned, "With a healer as a father?"

Teddy shook his head, "No, not like that, not because of me. She was murdered."

"By who?"

"Bellatrix Lestrange."

Draco frowned harder, "She's in Azkaban."

"So was Sirius Black," Teddy shot back."

Giving him an appraising look, Draco seemed to not hate him as much as he obviously had wanted to. But if Teddy knew anything, it was how to deal with Slytherins. Three things that made you successful, be honest without oversharing, be logical while also being humble, and above all else, don't make them question their self image. It put them on the defensive. You could ask broad questions about the world but the moment you brought in their personal beliefs they became tight lipped or overly passionate about their views.

How did Teddy know this? He had three Slytherin sisters, the Malfoys, his grandmother, and sometimes even Mapoppy had Slytherin streak.

As if thinking of his sister had summoned them they came running into the room.

"Stop running in my house," Aunt Cissa chided blandly, "Ladies do not run."

Everyone ignored her, even Grandmama would run in the halls, and once he caught Aunt Cissa running with her. It was almost a joke between the two of the older Blacks. Besides, the long halls of Malfoy Manor invited running.

Morwenna took stock of the room, everyone accounted for, she turned on him. "I told you everything would be fine," she said, chin raised.

He rolled his eyes, "Yeah, yeah, you're always right."

"Three?" Draco squeaked, "You had three girls?"

Teddy grinned at Draco's reaction. Obviously, he had grown up hearing the stories about the Black Sisters as much as the rest of them had. And three was an auspicious number.

"Four," Grandmama corrected, "But I had three with Harry. Morwenna is nine, Ophelia is seven, and Persephone is six."

"Hi," Morwenna greeted.

Ophelia and Persephone just goggled at the younger Draco, Teddy suspected they might have thought the whole time travel by burning house was a dream until they saw the proof this morning.

Teddy had been watching Uncle Luci's expression, and he looked like he had just drank down a toad in his last sip of tea.

"Mapoppy, I'm hungry," Persephone announced.

Mapoppy stood to his feet and headed toward the kitchen, "Right this way, my little ladies."

Ophelia and Persephone followed at his heels, Percy grabbing Mapoppy's hand.

Morwenna took a seat between Teddy and Grandmama. Grandmama put an arm around Morwenna, who leaned in closer to her.

"Why do they call him Mapoppy?" Lucius asked, speaking for the first time since Teddy had entered the room.

Grandmama grinned, "You know how most baby's first words are Ma or some variation?"

Lucius nodded.

"Teddy's first word was Ma. As were the girls, but they weren't referring to me."

Draco got it first, he laughed, "They called Harry, Mama? That's rich."

"He is the perfect wife," Aunt Cissa said.

"Mama evolved into Mapoppy, and the girls picked up on Mama from Teddy calling me Grandmama."

"And Harry doesn't mind this?" Uncle Luci asked.

"Harry works part time at Hogwarts, but he's the one who homeschools, cooks, cleans, takes care of the property, in all but anatomy he acts the mother."

Luci's eyes narrowed, "And what do you do, Andromeda?"

"I run a dance studio in Hogsmeade. I work full time, though my shift starts a bit later in the day."

Aunt Cissa put down her teacup, "Well, Lucius and I have an errand to run, I trust you can babysit Draco?"

Draco's face turned bright pink. "I don't need a babysitter!"

"No," Teddy said with a smile, "But you probably need a bodyguard now that you don't know my sisters."

"Why would I need a bodyguard?"

"Good point, Teddy," Aunt Cissa said, then turned to her son, "Give me your wand."

"Mum!" Draco exclaimed.

"Now, Draco."


"Because the Potter Sisters are notorious pickpockets and can do dastardly things with a wand."

Reluctantly, after getting no support from his father, he handed his wand over to his mother, who in turn handed it to Grandmama.

Draco scowled and crossed his arms.

Teddy thought he looked very young in that moment, and not just because he was thirteen.

"Where are you off to?" Grandmama asked.

"To find someone who needs finding," Aunt Cissa said as she left, Uncle Luci following after her like a glum shadow.

Sirius slept all day, much to Tonks' relief. In fact, he was still asleep when Dad got home.

Dad looked bone tired when he got into the house, and so sad it broke her heart.

"He's not up yet," she said.

"Then he'll likely sleep for another few hours. Sometimes sleep is the best medicine," he said.

"You need to get some sleep, Dad."

He nodded, "You're right. I'm going to take a shower." He paused in the doorway to the bathroom, "Thank you for staying, Dora."

She warmed up soup, something even she was capable of doing. They shared a quiet meal together before he excused himself for bed.

An hour later she checked on him to see if he were asleep, cracking the door open just enough, to see that he wasn't in bed.

Her dad was kneeling beside the bed, his body shaking with suppressed sobs.

It wrenched her heart.

Tonks stormed into Malfoy Manor, a place she had never been before and had no desire to be in now. But she was beyond angry and confused and she needed someone to blame.

Yelling at her mother seemed like a bad idea at the moment, but one day soon that too would come. How dare she break Dad's heart for something he hadn't done, at least not yet.

Her own part in the future was too big for her really to wrap her head around. That her son was only eight years younger than her was disturbing on so many levels.

When she did find the living room, or whatever a room with couches were called in a stupid manor, she B-lined for her mum and her lover. And six children that looked at her expectantly, well Draco Malfoy seemed to be half heartedly glaring at her.

"Nymphado-," her mother began, standing to her feet.

"No," Tonks said. "No, I don't want to talk to you right now. I want to talk to him." She pointed at Harry.

He and her mother exchanged looks, Harry raising a brow.

Some unspoken communication happened between them and with a nod, Harry said, "Very well, this way."

She followed him through a series of hallways, she could not shake the feeling that she was being led to a professor's office for misconduct. They walked until they reached a study with a stunning view of the back of the estate.

Being rich must be nice.

"What would you like to discuss?" Harry asked, sitting on the edge of the window sill, looking far too comfortable in the space.

"You're a bloody Bellend! How could you do this to my parents!?"

His face remained infuriatingly calm, "As opposed to you asking for Teddy, Morwenna, Ophelia, and Persephone's parents to be split apart?"

"She is married to my father, not you!"

"Some relationships are stronger than contracts."

"Implying my parents don't love each other!?"

"Of course, not. I'm probably one of the few people who understands just how much she loved him, loves him. But she isn't the same person she was when she was his."

"They belong together! You damned homewrecker!"

"I didn't wreck anything, Nymphadora," he said, his calm cracking a bit. "When I moved in with your mother, her life had already been thoroughly 'wrecked.'"

"Don't call me Nymphadora! And you don't know what you're talking about! My parents love could survive anything, anything!"

"Nymphadora," he said coolly, "Your mother nearly didn't survive losing you and your father. It was her love for you both that almost killed her. She is no longer the person she was. That person died when you did."

Her teeth ground together, and all she wanted, all she wanted was to hurt him, and take the calm, patronizing look of his stupidly handsome face. "You took advantage of a broken woman."

That got a response, and the cold rage she saw in his emerald eyes scared her.

He straightened, as graceful and as dangerous as a predatory cat he stepped closer to her, "I helped her regain her feet, but she's the one who changed, the one who remade herself, and it was she who pursued me."

Tonks tried to look arrogant and show off herself, and not reveal the unease she felt. Cocking her hip, she said, "You sound rather defensive, Potter."

He took a deep breath and looked away from her, leaving her to glare at his profile. He looked as if he were seeing something from the past, something that had nothing to do with the books on the wall.

Finally, he said, his voice neutral again, "After the war, we had all lost so much. I can think of no one who was not touched by grief in some way. What I found in your mother was a partner, and I have no doubt that if we had been closer in age we would have found a way to each other.

"She is the only person to ever make me feel- make me feel like myself. She brings out the very best in me. Andromeda and Teddy are where my life started, the first family -aside for a brief time with Sirius, that I could ever call my own." He met her gaze, "If that makes me an evil bastard in your eyes, so be it. But whatever you feel for me, I urge you to get past it. You have a son- or rather, you have a little brother and three little sisters who deserve the chance to get to know you."

"I don't want to get to know your kids," Tonks snarled.

"They don't deserve your ire, they are your family."

"And what, you want to be my stepdad?"

"I'll be whatever you want me to be, Nymphadora."

"I want you gone!"

He shook his head and sighed, "I'm not going anywhere."

"I hate you!"

"That's alright."

She felt her temper flare and she literally stomped her foot. She was done with him, done with this calm, reasonable bastard.

Turning for the door, she said, her back to him, "I'm going to tell Mum that if she doesn't drop you I will never speak to her again." She knew it sounded childish, but all she could think of was Dad hiding his tears.

He didn't deserve to have his heart ripped out.

Harry's hand prevented her from opening the door, and he was suddenly, very close to her, "You will do no such thing."

"You can't stop me."

"You don't know what you're doing," he shot back.

"I know my father's heart is broken and-"

He cut her off, "'Broken heart' doesn't cover what you and Ted did to her. When you speak to your mother, you will show her respect."

Tonks bared her teeth at him, "Like hell, I will. She-"

Again, he cut her off, "She has been through enough. Ted is a big boy, he can fight his own battles. Whatever is between him, your mother, and I is between the three of us. You are a child."

"I am not a child!"

"You are Andromeda's child and I am the man who raised your son when you went off to play soldier."

"If I died in a war, I died doing what was right."

He didn't even bother comment on that, "Mind my words, Nymphadora, you have caused your mother enough harm."

"She's the one who left Dad!"

Harry's face went distant, "No, he left her. You both did."

"We haven't done that yet! You can't blame us for-"

"We're from the future," he said, voice hard. "We are who we are today because of the choices you and your father made. To say that it didn't happen is to belittle everything we endured. It is to deny that Teddy is a person. You might say the future hasn't happened yet, but Teddy is a product of your choices, whether you acknowledge that -whether you acknowledge him or not."

"But you are all in the past now, and Mum choosing to break his heart now."

"And you think that gives you the right to lash out at her? You have every right to be angry and hurt. But when you speak to her remember this; Andromeda was always angry about Ted leaving, and she never stopped loving him. But it was your death, your passing that broke her. The loss of a child... there are no words to describe that pain. I know you love your parents, but that is hardly anything compared to how much your parents love you."

"So you want me to ignore-"

"I want you to realize that whatever drama, whatever pain traveling back in time has caused, your mother will never regret it. Even if this turns out to be temporary, she will never regret being given the chance to see you alive again."

Tonks had nothing to combat that with.

Harry opened the door for her.

She felt less angry after their talk, now she just felt depressed. Which made her hate him all the more. She left without saying goodbye to her mother.

AN: Over 6,000 words, so two chapters in one :D

Please, please, with caramel and warm chocolate sauce, please review?