Sleep couldn't be attained. Theodore had risen early in the morning's birth, laying straight along his bed, his setting still lacking in light and happiness. He'd sparingly doze off during the night, sometimes so close to falling into deep slumber, but would always seem to recollect the conversation in The Three Broomsticks, blocking him repeatedly. The boy was clutching his friend's necklace tightly throughout the entire night, almost certain that deep red marks were embedded in his skin because of that. The moments that he shared with Louise were flashing in his head, scaring him as he could barely remember the sound of her voice. She felt… surreal. As if she never existed.
He rolled over to his side, taking the necklace in his other hand as he stared through an opening in the tapestries. Everyone must've left already, as the only person who he heard coming through the door last night, was Ron and nobody else. His attempt to speak to Harry about what happened was less successful than Theodore's, and he didn't even try to console the hazel-eyed boy as well, taking the closed curtains as a sign. Just the three of them, best friends; they didn't speak to each other.
The night hadn't fared him well, and the day wasn't getting any younger. Theodore finally hauled himself off his bed, expecting his eyes to burn from the overexposure of the sun, upon realising that it wasn't present. He slid Viripin's breakfast under the bed, got himself clean and entered the empty common room. The boy felt an urge to snuff the crackling fire in the corner; it broke his train of thought. It flickered and moved unnaturally in the fireplace, oddly spitting out a shower of sparks whenever the Parselmouth would think about the day before. He sighed dismally, dropping on his back against the sofa whilst trying to think about anything else. Anything other than her.
'I should get back to bed, I barely caught a wink last night. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to light my wand in my face for nearly two hours straight… I wonder how she'd react to all of this. Imagine telling her that I'm a wizard, and that magic was real! Louise would probably love it, and freak out at the same time! Well… maybe she'd love it. Haven't spoken to her in months… What the hell is wrong with you, Theo?'
"Good morning *yawn* Theodore." Theodore watched Elvira swaying down the stairs tiredly with his head upside-down, unbothered by the appearance of her hair which fell all the way to her feet in an orange heavy-looking braid. The boy positioned himself on the sofa properly so that he could speak to the Metamorphmagus, keeping his misery to himself.
"Hey," he replied dully, pocketing Louise's necklace away. "Didn't know that you were staying here for Christmas."
"Well, why not? It's beautiful here, the decorations are lovely, and I know that the food will be just splendid!"
"What a way to have high expectations. But what about your family? Are they… I don't know, okay that you're spending Christmas without them on your first year here?" Elvira's lips quivered for just a second before she wandered over to where Theodore was sat as her hair changed into curls that seemed to be an amalgamation between Hermione and Louise's.
"Oh, they're fine with it. There's only four other people in my family anyways."
"Five people in a family doesn't seem that large," returned the boy, vividly remembering her saying such statement during their first Divination lesson. He half-expected her to come up with a dubious excuse, but she didn't, supposedly.
"I don't share the same mother with my older siblings. My father remarried and had me, along with my younger brother and sister." Elvira explained while she ran her fingers through her thick locks, smiling at the boy as her lips quivered once more. His eyes were too fast to not see her masked agitation through her lips. What she said could've been a lie. After all, her presence in the castle wasn't something that happened so often. In fact, Theodore was confident that such a thing never happened in Hogwarts ever, a student being transferred from outside Britain. It was unheard of.
"So, you're staying because you want to see Hogwarts at Christmas time? It doesn't really get wild or noisy around here, since everyone's gone back home. Unless you prefer it like that." Theodore spoke as he turned to the fireplace.
"Was it like this last year?"
"I'd rather not talk about last Christmas."
"Why not," queried the girl, seeing something similar to regret seeping from his eyes before it vanished again. The Parselmouth left the question unanswered, lifting himself from the sofa whilst twisting his neck, which had grown rather stiff in a short amount of time. Theodore then turned to the portrait hole, an urge to walk off everything suddenly overtaking him until Elvira called out his name again.
"Where are you going? Aren't you going to wait for Ron, Harry and Hermione? They're the only other people here."
"They'll be fine," replied Theodore as he neared closer to the portrait. "We don't have to spend every second of the day with each other. If they ask about me, then tell them that I went to breakfast early."
"Are you going to breakfast early?"
"See you later, Elvira." Theodore left the Metamorphmagus behind in the common room, and proceeded to go… well, he didn't know where. As long as he was moving, he didn't care where he'd go. Following his dulled instincts, the boy began to trek through the emptied castle again, feeling that every passing Christmas had been robbed of its spirit. Of course, that's what HE thought. He hopped onto and waited on several moving staircases, descending from floor to floor as he failed to keep his mind off his mother. So much for walking it off.
'Ms Padalin and Erveris must've known about this, that is, if any of it is true. What 'good woman' kills an entire family off, betrays their own family and has a child with a genocidal tyrant? Ms Padalin knows who my father is, there's no denying that. Her being schoolmates with him and seeing my face, instantly knowing my surname when I said something different… Makes me wonder if everybody else knows about her… Snape, Dumbledore… Wouldn't even be surprised if Draco knew as well-'
"Goodness gracious, be careful where you are stepping, Riddle!" His hands instinctively reached and clutched the stone bannister as he didn't feel the sole of his foot coming into contact with anything below. Theodore clumsily walked off the stairway and faced his Head of House, who seemed to be balanced between disappointment and relief. "The castle may be enchanted to relive you of a fatal fall from up here, but it doesn't mean that you can waltz around aimlessly! Do I make myself clear?"
"I didn't know that we couldn't die if we fell over the edge…" Theodore muttered as he looked behind his shoulder, and down below where all the other various stairways were constantly moving.
"That's not the point. I expect caution from every student, wherever you go in the castle, especially from you, Riddle. Eyes UP."
"Yes, Professor," replied Theodore quickly as he started to walk off. McGonagall's hand suddenly halted him in his step, causing him to groan internally, but he still kept a straight face. "Yes, Professor?"
"I'd be a little more cheerful, Riddle. The Headmaster has requested to see you, and it is not a choice. You shall arrive there shortly, although I doubt that it is anything urgent."
"Seems quite convenient that it's always the same thing when we meet, huh Professor?"
"Quite. Now, off you go." The Parselmouth gave a simple nod and turned back to the stairway (looking before he stepped), journeying to Dumbledore's office for the first time this year. Theodore couldn't possibly imagine what the old man wanted to speak about. He was doing fine in class, he wasn't blacking out or prowling the castle with a Basilisk, nor was he possessed by a diary. Knowing him, however, their conversation could fall into a completely different category. It was always like that with Dumbledore.
"Shit. I didn't ask her for the password…" Theodore was standing right in front of the gargoyle that paved way for the Headmaster's office, which was staring at him coldly, seeming almost lifelike to the boy. "Surely, you wouldn't have a password that you've used previously? It has to be a different sweet… Sugar Quill!"
"Umm… Apple Rings!"
"Alright then. Upping the difficulty, I see. Fizzing Whizbee!" Nothing.
"Chocolate Frog!" The gargoyle remained still.
"Jelly Slug?" Theodore felt that if the statue was sentient, it'd be mocking him thoroughly with his unsuccessful trials. Sweet after sweet, he tried almost every single one that came into mind, but it didn't budge. He even delved into dishes and drinks, knowing fully well that he had no chance with them, until he gave up.
'You've got to be kidding me. Not a single sweet is the password? I've tried literally everything except-'
"Sherbet Lemon…" The gargoyle sprung back to life, twisting around as it raised the spiral staircase from its bottom. Theodore sighed heavily before walking up the steps after the gargoyle stopped moving, wondering if it was Dumbledore who was foolish to have the same password for nearly three years, or him to not guess it on the first try. He pushed through the office's door, re-entering the wonderfully bizarre quarters that belonged to the old man. Dumbledore was sat by his wide desk table, a quill in hand that looked too flamboyant for anyone to use, scribbling on an excessively long roll of parchment, not even twitching at the boy's entrance.
"Professor Dumbledore, sir? I'm here." Dumbledore lifted his head instantly, his grey wizard hat tipping slightly to the left as he beamed brightly at the Parselmouth. He set his quill aside and motioned the boy to take a seat, which he did without question. "Sir, I think you ought to be a little more creative with your passwords. It was so easy that even I overlooked it." The old man gave a chortle as he leaned back slightly in his chair.
"Well, I guess that my age is starting to show itself in the smallest of ways. One cannot hang onto youth forever, no matter what you do."
"Then I'm guessing that you've excluded yourself from this rule then, huh?" Theodore returned with a slight smile.
"I admire your flattery, but that isn't the reason why I called you here today. My apologies for being quite silent recently. With Harry's incident against the Dementors and Sirius Black's presence around the castle, my focus needed to be directed elsewhere." The mention of Black's name flooded Theodore's thoughts from the previous day, spawning question after question to ask the old man. But he kept them contained within himself.
"My sources, or should I say source, has told me that you have stopped attending a certain duty inside of the castle. Care to tell me why," asked Dumbledore as he leaned on his elbows against the desk, eyes twinkling like it always did.
"I… don't follow."
"Then perhaps I shall be clearer. You've stopped attending Professor Snape's apprenticeship program, Theodore. For nearly a month." The Parselmouth broke eye contact with the Headmaster, glancing over to Fawkes who was gently nipping at his wings. He didn't want to speak about that. Anything but that. Of course, Snape would go complain to Dumbledore instead of saying anything to him directly. Who else was he supposed to turn to when Theodore would go off the Potion Master's tangent? Theodore kept quiet as Dumbledore continued, the air of happiness soon thickening with tension as the old man became serious.
"There's no doubt that you stopped going for… personal reasons involving Professor Snape, no? Reasons that you don't wish to disclose with anyone."
"Theodore, silence at times may be a good thing. It allows us to think more freely than when we are speaking. But then, some thoughts become useless if we never speak at all."
"Professor, have you seen his classes," seethed the boy, his anger towards Snape being suppressed as much as possible. "Like actually seen the way he treats students, or the way he 'teaches'? Have you?"
"Severus is not the most amiable teacher around, I know. But-"
"He's a bully, Professor! Harry, Ron, Hermione and Neville especially! All he ever does is pick on them for the pettiest things and… It's not fair. Far from it." Theodore still kept his gaze away from the old man, afraid that if he looked at him, he'd be forced to go back to Snape's again, and that was the last thing that he wanted. Dumbledore procured his handkerchief from thin air without a wand, cleansing his spectacles before laying them on the mahogany desk. Theodore was oddly reminded about the man he saw in Hog's Head, when he saw the old man like this.
"I've expressed my concern with Severus's teaching methods during the past year. I understand that he is more than overbearing… I will have words with him, but until then, you are to not speak out during his lessons."
"Professor, how can you say-"
"Theodore," spoke Dumbledore in a hardened voice, his face still emptied of his usual bright self. "Please, do not make this any more difficult than it has to be." The Parselmouth fell silent once more. This sounded more like an attempt to avoid the situation, than to solve it. The man was Neville's literal worst fear, yet all he was going to get was words. How pathetic. Theodore was suddenly yearning for solitude, wanting to remain on his lonesome to think some more again. Nothing to gain here with the old man.
"Can I be excused, please? It should be breakfast time right about now." Theodore asked in a monotone. Dumbledore simply nodded his head, eyes following the boy as he pushed his chair in and walked towards the gargoyle stairway. He briefly stopped to scratch the phoenix before reaching the stairway, halting only just, when he remembered something. "Professor Dumbledore?"
"Have you, by any chance, been inside Hog's Head Inn before?"
"Only when I'm feeling a little down. Why do you ask?" Theodore shook his head and said goodbye to the Headmaster, whose face seemingly displayed that he was intrigued by the boy's peculiar question. Theodore trotted down the stairs once more with his hands in his pockets, trying to recall what he was thinking about beforehand. At this point, walking it off was just futile. He moved through the castle's corridors, brushing past his fellow students silently, wondering who else knew the truth about his mother's nature. He could've asked Dumbledore, then and there. Asked him if he knew who Valerie Potter really was, but knowing Dumbledore, he probably had all the answers. Answers that he wouldn't share until the time would suit him otherwise.
"Merry First Christmas, Theodore!" Viripin hissed happily in the boy's ear as she draped herself around his shoulders.
"And a Merry First(?) Christmas to you too, Viripin! And I can't forget about you too, Sawer!" The grey owl hooted joyfully in Theodore's other ear as well, his spirits being lifted much higher than the Christmas prior. Theodore didn't mind the owl's excitable nature, given that he hadn't used him to send a letter, meaning that visits to the Owlery was very minimal. But that didn't matter now, none of it did.
Theodore was sat on the end of his bed, peering over the edge to see several brown parcels, and neatly wrapped presents arranged quite disorderly underneath. His arm extended for the closest one to him when he heard his name being called out from across the dorm.
"I see you've gotten up early. Merry Christmas, man," said Ron from his own bed, beaming at the Parselmouth who returned the smile.
"Merry Christmas, Ron. I've never seen this many presents for me before! Wait, hold on. I think this one is from your mum…" Ron walked over with a sleeping Scabbers in his hands. Theodore ripped the brown wrapping off of the sturdy parcel, catching a glimpse of deep emerald green before the contents spilled onto his lap. A woolly knitted jumper was held up in the air by the boy as he twisted and turned it around, looking to see if it held any letter attached to it.
"Mum's jumpers. Reckoned she'd make one for you. I hope she doesn't give me one, especially one that's maroon…" Ron sulked as he sat next to Theodore. The Parselmouth gave up his scouring for the letter and fitted it on top of his t-shirt, looking down on his chest to see a golden 'T' emblazoned on his front.
"I think it's nice. Bit itchy, but nice." Harry's snores drowned his words, and gained the two boys' attention as they faced his bed. They turned their heads to each other, grinning, thoughts being simultaneous to each other as words didn't need to be said. They both grabbed a pillow from Theodore, and hurled it across the room and onto Harry's face and stomach. The scar-bearing groaned lazily as he lifted himself with difficulty, putting on his glasses before he dashed the pillows back at the two.
"Alright, alright, we're sorry! Okay, Harry? We're sorry!" Harry stretched and walked over to his presents, fumbling through them with Ron as Theodore descended to the common room with his animal companions. Sawer fluttered over to the fireplace, with Viripin briefly growing wings to accompany him. He thought that waiting for Hermione and Elvira downstairs would stop the two, or rather Hermione, from barging into the boys' dorm uninvited.
"…nothing like that! He and I are just best friends, not- Theo! Merry Christmas!" Hermione walked out from the archway leading to the girls' dorms, wearing her usual dressing-gown with a grumpy Crookshanks in her arms, while Elvira trailed behind her, her hair worn in a simple blond ponytail. The Muggle-born's cheeks was glowing pink, but soon returned to normal as she set her eyes on the boy, who returned the greeting to the two of them.
"Where's Harry and Ron," asked Elvira as she pocketed a Christmas card in her hand.
"They're awake. Although, we should wait for them down here, so that-" A raucous laughter erupted from the boys' stairwell, enticing the attention of Hermione as she stuck her head through the archway. "Hermione, that's the boys' dorm, you're not allowed up there!" Hermione gave one last look up the stairs and sighed while she walked back out.
"Okay, fine. We'll wait out here. Whenever Ron's too happy about something, it isn't usually a good thing…" Ron laughed again. Hermione raced up the stairs with the cat juddering in her arms, ignoring the boy as she vanished into the room. Theodore and Elvira remained below, listening to murmurs from above, the sudden shrieking from Ron, then the return of the Muggle-born, who was unsurprisingly huffy. The two other boys came bundling down the stairs happily afterwards, Harry clutching onto what looked like a broomstick, as they explained everything to Theodore.
"Got yourself a secret admirer, Harry," jested Theodore as his cousin merely scoffed.
"Like you can talk, Mr I-Can-Make-Any-Girl-Bow-To-Me."
"Hilarious, Harry. You really are."
"Are we going to wait for the girls? I'm starving! I can feel my stomach eating itself!" Harry and Theodore's stomachs wailed in perfect timing, causing them to agree with the red head. "I just hope we get the tables to ourselves. Imagine sharing with the teachers. With Snape!"
"Or Trelawney. I'd hate to sit next to her" piped in Harry before he pushed his glasses back to mimic the teacher whilst waving his hands in such a manner. "This Christmas Day shall be your last, my dear Potter, for you will suffer a painful death by… choking on a wishbone!" The three boys howled with laughter as they returned to the dorm to change for the day, for once forgetting about Black, Valerie and the Christmas before. Just an arrogant boy, a sarcastic one and the famous Harry Potter, all together as the greatest friends that they could ever wish for.
It was safe to say that the current Christmas holiday was exceptionally better than the last. Theodore never felt any better. The food was spectacular (aside from eating with Snape and Trelawney, two people who he was most eager to avoid during the holidays), he had the castle to himself to roam freely without cautiously looking over his shoulder for prefects; the Grim, and he spent it all with his friends, just like how it should've been. And of course, things would never decide to not take a turn for the worst when it included the four of them. Spats and squabbles were the last thing Theodore would expect during this time of year, but this was coming from a boy who… well, look at him! Having a normal Christmas consistently was not exactly his forte, neither was it Harry's, Ron's or Hermione's. Not once could it ever run smoothly without a problem arising between them, and that was the truth.
The Parselmouth, now clothed in his uniform again, was exiting the dungeons to enjoy his free period after starting the brewing process of Wolfsbane in Snape's classroom. It took a great deal of profound reflection, and insistent nagging from Hermione, for him to reach his final decision, a decision that would benefit his goal only, to take the will from Snape's hold. No more infantile constructions of a plan which can easily fall to pieces, no more distractions that included leniency for his friends to tag along, no matter how useful they'd be. Simple aid from them at most, but nothing more. It was for him, and for him only.
Theodore reached and entered the library on the floor above, swinging his bag off his back to finish his Runes homework, which included translating basic manuscripts and completing the essay alongside it. All of his free time that was directed to his schoolwork, had been spent in seclusion in his room, creating and solidifying his motives for gaining the letter, his determination being fuelled to immense levels after witnessing Snape 'discreetly' read the letter from earlier on. Failure was not an outcome, nor a choice in his eyes.
Theodore turned right into the Reference Section, and placed his bag on the table while emptying out his work in front of him. He brought out his quill and dipped it in his ink bottle, the tip of the quill just an inch from the parchment until he ducked his head, feeling something heavy whoosh above him. Theodore glanced to his right, and saw the giant book suddenly halting in mid-air, falling gracefully in the hands of Hermione, who he didn't notice at all.
"Sure, just look away when you nearly decapitated me. I'm perfectly fine," said Theodore as he returned to his work.
"Oh, I didn't see you there! I'm sorry, I'm just really stressed out right now. Can't think straight with this essay, and I don't know why." Hermione called from the other end of the aisle.
"You have a Time-Turner, Hermione. You could-"
"You literally have all the time in the world," carried on the Parselmouth at the same volume. "Plus, since when did YOU start stressing over schoolwork?"
"It's just about Harry's broomstick. They're still not talking to me about it." Hermione muttered back. The obvious cause for the temporary divide within the group. Theodore was left out of the commotion between Hermione, against Harry and Ron, when she had gotten Harry's broomstick confiscated. Although he was, for once, on Harry and Ron's side, he didn't involve himself in the matter; other things required his full attention. And now she was here, taking refuge in the only place that could comfort her other than the common room.
"I don't know why you went off to McGonagall. Why would Sirius Black, a man on the run, buy Harry a broomstick? Did you even consider the fact that there's literally no place in Britain that he can go to, without anyone recognising him?"
"Of course, I did," snapped the Muggle-born as she crossed her arms. "He's a criminal, so I would expect him to steal the broom from somewhere, of course! It makes sense, and you know it."
"Sure, Hermione. Makes complete sense." Theodore returned to busying himself with his essay, his thoughts that revolved around the will held at the back of his mind as he noticed movement from the corner of his eye. Hermione placed her things next to the Parselmouth and sat beside him, not wanting to continue the conversation, judging from the irritation on her face. It was only after twenty minutes of silence between the two, did she speak to him again.
"Can I ask you a question?"
"When we went into the Chamber of Secrets to rescue Harry and Ginny, I remember asking you if you had a photo of your mum. And you said yes."
"I mean, I'm not asking to see it! I just wanted to know… does it still feel the same, when you look at her now? Or is it different?" Hermione asked carefully, cautious in case he wouldn't take to the question so well.
'Sometimes? What does he mean, 'sometimes'? Is it the same, is it different? Maybe I shouldn't have asked him in the first place…'
Lesson changeover arrived with the bells, as Theodore stuffed his incomplete essay inside of his bag, thrown off during the remainder of his free period. Too many thoughts, too much thinking. It wasn't good for the brain at all. He cooled his burning face down with his hands, and exited the library with Hermione walking behind him.
'It'll be here soon. Everything will go according to plan, just like it should be. I can't fail.'
After dinner had been polished off and devoured by all the returning students, Theodore was walking up to the common room with Harry and Ron, who were both still touchy on the subject of forgiving Hermione. This was only a suggestion on Theodore's part, as there was no use into pressuring the two to gloss over the incident and to move on. He doubted that he could even succeed anyways.
The other Gryffindors were happily talking amongst each other about their holidays, from the moment they sat down in the Great Hall, to the second they entered the common room, scattering all over the place in their usual groups. After saying goodnight to a quiet Hermione, who scampered through the room to avoid the other boys' gazes and up to her dorm, the Parselmouth joined his two friends at the back tables. From here on out, he was in motion. No turning back.
"Oh well, would you look at who it is! You've been speaking to Hermione lately, right? Have you used any of that Riddle Charm to make her apologise to us?"
"No, Ron. I haven't used the Riddle Charm on her," replied Theodore as he frowned at the red head. "What the hell even is the Riddle Charm anyways?"
"I think we already established that, Mr I-Can-Ma-"
"Alright, I get it! By the way, Hermione is not going to apologise. You know how she gets when she thinks she's right. Only way to prove her wrong, is to actually prove her wrong."
"Yeah, which is looking like a lifetime away from now," sulked Harry as he leaned back in his chair, sighing loudly. "Doesn't look like McGonagall's giving up the Firebolt any time soon." Theodore's attitude towards Quidditch still remained the same way, ever since he first heard of it. But Harry's Firebolt was exceptional, nonetheless. Being stripped of a professional broomstick whilst being in school must've been a hard blow to the stomach. But that was none of Theodore's problem.
"You have my complete sympathy. But I need to ask something from you, Harry."
"Does it include wiping McGonagall's memories so that she can forget about my broomstick?"
"A bit extreme coming from you, but no. I need the Marauder's Map." Harry brought himself forward towards his cousin, wrinkling his forehead in curiosity and hesitation. Theodore, however, remained completely neutral.
"Why d'you want it for?"
"I've recently grown a crush on Pansy, and I want to track her every single movement in the castle." Theodore admitted sarcastically, earning a face of disgust from Ron. "It's for the 'thing', remember? Will, Potter?"
"Who's Will Potter," asked Ron, eyeing both of his friends as they exchanged glances that looked like they were communicating between themselves. Harry told Ron that it was nothing, and that he'd be back soon, motioning Theodore to follow him to the dorm.
"You're playing a risky game, man," pointed out Harry as he pulled his trunk's contents out to rummage for the Map. "It's not going to be like Hogsmeade, you know. Snape would've surely thought of something to stop you."
"Snape will underestimate me, just like you're doing right now. I've got it all in my head, don't you worry. He won't see it coming." Theodore gloated. He heard Harry sigh again from below, and watched him raise himself to his feet with the Map in hand. "Great. How do I work it?"
"Theo, you know I'm only letting you do this because I know what you're after. I'm not being a pushover or anything. You remember that, yeah?" Theodore only nodded, hand still outstretched in front of him. Harry pulled out his wand and lifted the Map so that they could see it properly in the slightly darkened room. "Alright, you see how the Map is plain? That's because I didn't activate it yet."
"How d'you do it?" Harry pressed his wand against the parchment, and began to mutter something under his breath.
"I solemnly swear that I am up to no good."
It was like Harry's wand was leaking with ink, blotting the parchment with a spot of black liquid until they trailed all across, forming intricate lines and curves, saturating the entire parchment. Theodore looked on with awe, having never encountered such magic since he knew of its existence. A sharp sensation of fear stabbed his brain, wondering if the Map was anything like his father's diary, an object which contained a fragment of one's soul…
The lines finished crossing over each other, the detailed mappings of Hogwarts Castle presenting itself to Theodore as he held his tongue. This was good. This was very good. All he needed to do was to study its true workings, how it detected everyone's position in the school and it would all come into light. His eyes lingered to the top of the Map to see if he could find himself, but instead caught the green cursive words that appeared out of nowhere, reading them aloud:
Messrs Moony, Hookwing, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs, Connoisseurs of Aids to the Collective Conjurers of Calamity, are proud to present THE MARAUDER'S MAP
"And that's not even the half of it," continued Harry, grinning as he used his wand to tap the Map. "You can choose to hone in on a single person, so that it'll be easier to follow them. All you have to do is tap them twice, like this." He did so likewise, and double-tapped a single black dot, labelled 'Argus Filch', which was moving quite slowly alongside another dot that was labelled 'Mrs Norris'. All of the numerous dots on the Map vanished to display Filch alone.
"And you just double-tap again to show everyone?" Harry nodded while Theodore used his wand to reveal everyone. "This is incredible! Moony, Hookwing, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs… Any idea as to who they are?"
"Not a single clue. Fred and George didn't know either. Oh! I forgot to tell you how to make it clear. You use your wand again and you say, 'Mischief managed'. It's not that hard to remember; I'm sure that you know it by now."
"Noted," said Theodore as he turned the Map blank. "I won't lose this, Harry. I promise you that."
"Oh, you better not," retorted Harry as he began to stroll out of the room. He looked like he was having a laugh, yet joking with Theodore at the same time. "There's no way I'm going to Hogsmeade only once this year. You just promise me that you get that letter from Snape, yeah?"
"You have my word." Theodore replied mockingly with a hand on his heart. "I'll even cut you in on whatever I get." Harry gave him a lazy thumb up as he disappeared down the stairs, leaving Theodore alone with the precious enchanted parchment.
"Theodore…? Are you there...?" Theodore turned to his bed and saw Viripin peeking her head out from underneath, flicking her tongue to smell him. From the way she spoke to him, the Parselmouth could tell that she had been sleeping all day.
"What took you so long to wake up?" Theodore asked as he threw himself on the bed, inviting the Adder to rest on his stomach.
"Shedding my skin takes a lot out of me. I could barely move afterwards. And I'm hungry." Theodore moved her off and grabbed his last bag of mice, dropping two at a time in her mouth so that she wouldn't have to go through the trouble of exerting herself. Fed, and even more tired than before, Viripin curled her growing self on the boy's lap, hissing silkily as he stroked her gently.
"Thank you, Theodore. You know, I wouldn't know what I'd do if you left me in the dungeons with torturer."
"Neither would I, Viripin. Neither would I."
Theodore glanced over at his pocket watch, which was glinting as it reflected the exuberant glow from his wand, once again enclosed within the shut tapestries. It read 02:44AM, a clear sign that he had to stop punishing himself with glaring at the Map for too long. But he couldn't. It took him a while for him to realise that him clinging onto an object which displayed everyone's presence in the castle was disturbing, but he didn't care. Its existence was too much of a convenience to throw aside. It was a treasure, the absolutely perfect aid to his plan. Well, almost perfect.
He guessed that no matter how magical one single thing may be, it would always have its faults. A given example would be Ron. Although it was quite hard to notice at first, Theodore could see that something was off with the red head's dot, or rather, name. Ron's name was being obscured somehow, by a different one. It wasn't exactly clear, requiring closer inspection to see the problem, and even that didn't help. Theodore strained his eyes to read the name hidden underneath Ron's until he gave up. If he carried on looking any further, then Harry wouldn't be the only one to wear glasses. He dimmed his wand and opened the tapestry on his right to grab a drink of water before he'd finally go to sleep.
"Maybe it's just Scabbers," yawned the Parselmouth as he filled his glass quite clumsily. "Wouldn't be surprised if he's sleeping next to him." Ron gave a little groan in his bed, and rustled his sheets as he turned. The Parselmouth then sipped on his glass slowly, drank another glass then returned to his bed, until a faint noise of something dropping caught his attention from downstairs.
'Now who can be awake at this time of the night? Let me just take a quick look at the Map and see… Of course, it had to be you.'
Theodore smiled tiredly as he trudged to the common room with the Marauder's Map in hand, almost tripping on his final step as he looked over to the fireplace to see who was awake at this hour, the word awake being relative here. He couldn't see her face underneath her hair, as it was planted firmly on top of a book on the table. Parchments and open books were sprawled all across the table, one familiar big book on the floor, surrounding the girl who was clearly sleeping. Theodore hobbled over to the sofa and sat down, eyes still on the slumberer.
"Hermione?" She didn't reply. No use saying her name twice without doing something. Theodore leaned forward and poked her side, calling her name out again. The girl shot up the second she felt Theodore's hand, spluttering loudly as she ridded her tangled locks that were in her mouth.
"Wha- huh? Where am…? What time is it," she asked sleepily with one eye barely closed and the other completely shut.
"You got a little bit of hair on the right side of your mouth. And it's almost three o'clock in the morning."
"It… it is?"
"Yeah, Hermione. It is." He glanced over to the various books and parchments, recognising the many subjects that the girl was taking. A little Potions over here, a little bit of Astronomy over there, and a whole lot of Arithmancy all over. She was breaking and for some odd reason, Theodore felt a little joy in noticing this.
"Must've… dozed off a little." Hermione yawned as she rubbed her eyes while sitting on the sofa beside him. Faint purple bags were hanging below her eyes when she removed her hands, and a noticeable red mark from when she was sleeping on the book, was on her left cheek.
"A little? What are doing up this late?"
"Clearly, I'm doing my work, Theodore."
"I can see that, but why?" Hermione collected some of the notes in front of her, but most fell out of her hand as she refused to catch them.
"It's just a little clash of work, that's all. My schedule for different subjects went into a little rut, but it's nothing that I can't manage." She yawned as she scratched her head, stretching before she sat cross-legged on the floor again to resume her work. Theodore slid down as well, staring at her as if she were a maniac, which he was seriously considering.
"You know you have bags under your eyes, right?"
"So, maybe you should consider dropping-"
"Of course, I won't," snapped the Muggle-born as she scowled at the Parselmouth, which made her look as if she drank a bottle of lemon juice. "I'm doing completely fine! You can't expect to… get the… grade… if you don't work…"
"Hard! Hard work and… oh, just leave me alone, Theo! I've got a lot work to do."
"As you wish. I'll leave you to torture yourself until you can't take it no more. Goodnight, you lunatic." He stood up and tucked the Map into his pyjamas, having spent too many hours awake in the day. Although he wasn't going to pull it off on the same week, his bed was calling for him.
"Wait, Theo! Could you come here for a sec?" Hermione called from the sofa as he reached the first step.
"Just because you're not going to sleep, doesn't mean I'm not," groaned the Parselmouth. "Goodnight, Hermione. I'll see y-"
"But I need your help!" He reluctantly turned around and remained still, arms crossed. What help could she possibly want from him? He wasn't going to clean up her mess. He was far too tired to even blink right now.
"What is it?"
"Could you help with this," said Hermione as she pointed at her head whilst yawning once more.
"You want me to help you stay awake?"
"What? No! I want your help to tie my hair!" His eyes fluttered wide open as he became fully awake. No girl had ever asked him a question like that before (excluding the numerous advances from Lavender and Parvati alike). Not even Louise, although he never cared for how she let her hair loose. In fact, he liked the way she kept it like that, but that was beside the point. Theodore kept a deadpan expression, frozen at the boys' archway as she stared at him strangely. "Shall I take that as a no, or…?"
"Err… yeah! Yeah, I'll… I'll help with your hair…" stammered the suddenly nervous boy as he walked over to the Muggle-born, who had her back turned to him with several hair-bands in her hand. He dropped down to his knees and took the bands as the girl lifted her hair, she too suddenly trembling at the realisation of her request. She was beyond glad that he didn't see her face; she knew that it was burning with redness.
"Have you… done this before?" She asked quietly as she released her hair for him to hold as gently as possible.
"Um… no. But it can't be that hard, right? It's only just hair." Theodore swallowed quickly for his voice broke on the last word, Hermione giving off the faintest giggle before it became awkwardly silent once more. It took him many turns and quite a lot of time before he managed to tie the girl's hair into a decent bun, always having to restart from the very beginning at every failed attempt. He could barely hear the cracking from the fire with the blood pounding in his head, his hands shaking at every passing second. Once he finished on the final hair-band, he pulled away quickly, hiding his hands behind his back as she faced the Parselmouth.
"Is it alright," asked the boy in a near whisper. She felt the bun with two hands and nodded at him, smiling as they both gazed at each other while the light from the fire danced on their faces, illuminating both their eyes to the fullest extent. It wasn't until Theodore felt a spike in his heart, the fire snapping a little louder than usual in synch, did they break contact. He instantly stood up while the girl stretched again, seemingly returning to her work.
"Well! I think that I'll be going back to bed now. Good luck on your work," said Theodore as he slowly backed away to the boys' archway, unable to return his line of sight to Hermione.
"Thank you. For the hair as well." She replied as she brought her knees to her chest, also looking away from him.
He made his way up to the dorm room, feeling more restless than ever. Theodore couldn't shake the feeling off at all. That felt… more. A poor word to describe it, but how else could he? This felt more than the previous times when they were alone, when it was just the two of them… Theodore always felt that whatever was between him and Hermione was just platonic, just a boy and a girl who were close friends, and nothing more. That's what he thought, but in a split fraction of a second, that infinitesimal moment when they were looking straight into each other's eyes, Theodore could've sworn that he felt something… more. Surely… it couldn't be…?
He was becoming distracted, and he hated that. That was what caused him to fail the first time. So many thoughts, all running rampant in his head, and he couldn't keep them in check. He couldn't find order and peace in his mind, forcing him to fall under the distractions that occurred around him. How was he to succeed, when all he thought about was his mother's horrid reputation? How was he to retrieve his mother's will, when his mind would always bring him back to the week prior with Hermione? He couldn't afford to slip up, no matter what it could cost him. He was so close, so close to knowing what was inside. Until it hit him. Hard.
'Do I really want to know what's inside after everything? What if there's nothing for me? How can you think like that, Theo? She saved you, she's your mother! She gave up her own life to save you, and you should never forget that! The reason why you're still here, is entirely because of her. Don't forget that, Theo. Don't forget that…'
"I wished that it'd never come to this. I love you my boy. Please do not hate me for what I've done…"
"Don't forget… don't forget… don't-"
"THAT'S IT! I'VE HAD IT! I'VE FUCKING HAD IT, AND NOW I'M- ARRGGGHHH!" Theodore, along with everyone else in the common room became struck with something resembling fear as they heard the violent shrieking from the boys' dormitory. He felt his insides turn disgustingly as he recognised the scream of pure anger, somehow one hundred percent aware of the outcome that was approaching dangerously fast. Theodore was sat on the sofa next to Neville, whose Potions grade was crying for the Parselmouth's help, when he heard the screams, then the thunderous steps, and then the blur which raced all the way to Harry and Hermione in the corner, in an instant. It all happened so fast, but he managed to catch every single word. Some shouting from Ron, who was holding a bloodied bedsheet with Crookshanks's supposed hair, a little of shouting back from Hermione as she countered the red head, it was all just spiralling in a disaster. Harry was not doing a good job at calming the situation down as the shouting turned into screams, then silence as the two lividly stomped up to their respective dormitories.
"What was that all about," asked Neville quietly as the room slowly began to pick up on volume.
"I'm not too sure, but I think I have a pretty good idea." Theodore returned, knowing perfectly well on what happened. "Neville, carry on with the diagram. I'll be back in a minute." Theodore left Neville on his own as he aimed towards the stairway with Harry having the same idea. They burst into the room to see Ron on his bed making indistinct sounds, which could've been him cursing or crying. Theodore closed the door behind and walked to the red head, unsure if he'd pounce on him like he did with Hermione.
"Ron? You want to tell us what happened?" Theodore couldn't see his face as he hiccupped loudly before turning around with the sheet still grasped tightly in his hand.
"It ate him… flipping cat ate Scabbers…" muttered Ron sadly as he fluttered the sheet in an attempt to show it to the two.
"Don't you dare try to defend her, Theodore!" Ron snapped.
"I wasn't! I was just going to say…"
"Spit it out then, will you?"
"He was already dying, Ron! There! I said it!" Ron looked completely scandalised by Theodore's words, crawling back in his bed as if he carried an incurable form of Dragon Pox.
"How can you say that?! After everything that bloody cat put Viripin through?!"
"Ron, unlike Scabbers, Viripin would happily kill Crookshanks, not run away from him. He didn't put her through anything." Harry spoke as he stood next to his cousin. "And you have to admit, Scabbers wasn't the prettiest looking rat either."
"You've got an owl Harry, and not only does Theo have an owl as well, but a snake that can turn into anything. All I've got was a stupid rat, and I can't even keep that as well…" Theodore and Harry looked at each other, saying nothing as they couldn't help but sympathise with the mourning boy. Theodore knew that he'd go mental if Viripin or Sawer turned up eaten; killed by somebody else's pet. And knowing Ron's family's money problems, it looked like Scabbers was going to be his first and last pet for a long time. The two boys just hoped that they'd make up soon, fearing that their friendship could truly be over.
Theodore gave them five days to reconcile, and those five days went unfulfilled. Hermione and Ron didn't argue at all, but pretended that they simply didn't exist to one another, whether it be in the common room, the Great Hall, even lesson time when they'd be partnered up in Potions. Snape called Ron a 'mindless twit' when he attempted to brew a potion on his own accord, nearly melting the table as he called Hermione an 'overconfident narcissist' due to letting him do so. It irked Theodore greatly that despite whatever words Dumbledore had with Snape, nothing had changed in the last few weeks, but the two did deserve some of it. They were practically begging Snape to go in on them.
Beyond frustrated that they were forced to be messengers between the two, Harry and Theodore had come to a decision to stop talking to one of the two, Harry stopped talking to Hermione and Theodore stopped talking to Ron, so that the choice for communication came down to one, and that was by talking directly to each other. If they wanted to be petty, then so be it. The Parselmouths were done playing the middle men.
Although this meant that he wasn't dragged into pointless arguments and snide remarks towards each other, Theodore had to live with the consequences of his decision to avoid Ron, no matter how much he didn't want to. Being the only one that would talk with him meant that Harry was around Ron for most of the time, with the same going for Theodore and Hermione. Not to say that he didn't enjoy her company, which he did, but not speaking to Ron as well as having the shortest conversations with Harry didn't feel right at all. In his moments of slight weakness, however, when around the Muggle-born, Theodore often felt the need for another charged moment between them, just to know what it felt like again, to understand what really happened. But it would always be overpowered whenever he'd think about the will. He held it off for so long that he didn't give himself time to go over it again. Days of talking with Hermione alone had made him lose vision of what was important at the time, and he couldn't let it happen again.
"…and he's just going to drag my Potions grade down without a single care in the world! What if I don't pass on to the next year? What then?!" Hermione shrilled as she trotted next to Theodore, face red after a lengthy hour and a half of Charms.
"Hermione, we already had this exact conversation yesterday," said the Parselmouth exasperatedly, rubbing his temples as they walked through the corridors for their free period had just started. "We can talk about anything else, other than Ron. Can we? Please?"
"Alright, fine. I'll stop. I just don't like the fact that he's accusing me, when he was the one who-" She caught the boy's glance and closed her mouth, furrowing her eyebrows as she was forced to bottle her frustration. Theodore was the only person other than Elvira, who would talk to her and it looked like he was starting to lose interest. She didn't mean to vent towards him, her options were just limited. Very limited.
Theodore reached into his robes for the Map when they reached a bend in the hallway, and brought out his wand as well. Gazing at the Map intently, he pictured how everything would go, how his plan could run in two different directions. It all just depended on his gut-feeling. It went against his method of planning and thinking overall, but when did they ever work out like he wanted them to before? Theodore was about to slip away into a well-hidden broom closet when he felt someone tugging at his robes.
"Um, you know that's a broom closet, right?" Hermione asked suspiciously. Theodore hid the Map behind his back and tapped his wand against his thigh repeatedly. He had to get rid of her, or at least, steer her away. If she knew what he was about to do, then it'll all be for nothing.
"Yes, I knew that," replied the Parselmouth as he paced along the corridor, still hiding the Map from Hermione. "Just wanted to make sure that it was there."
"Okay…? So where are we going now?"
"Yes, we. We've got a free period, so we have to spend it somewhere." Theodore smacked his face in false realisation.
"I just remembered! Professor Babbling said that I missed out a number of vital points on my essay! I need to go to the library to finish it off quickly, before the deadline closes."
"Okay! Let's go to the library!"
'Well, you're a fucking genius now, aren't you?'
It wasn't until halfway to the library did Theodore stop to make another excuse that he hoped the Muggle-born would swallow up.
"Wait, is today Thursday?"
"It's Tuesday, Theodore…"
"Shit! I nearly forgot about Snape!"
"Well? What about Snape?" Hermione asked, looking somewhat irritated by the boy's sudden change in choice.
"The guy has been badgering me on about my homework, because I missed out so many of his apprenticeship lessons. I've got to give them all to him now, otherwise…"
"Then I'll come with you."
'Are you being serious?'
"Hermione, I think it's better that you wait in the common room instead," said Theodore after a minute of walking. "I can go to the dungeons by myself."
"But I always walk with you to Snape's classroom…"
"Yeah, only because you're not talking to Ron or Harry. I appreciate you coming with me, but you don't have to do it all the time. I'd rather go myself." Theodore felt a stab in the gut when he saw the Muggle-born's face fall into a hurt expression, which quickly shifted into one resembling anger, but it was all too clear that she took his words to heart. Hermione spun on her heels without saying a word, and soon vanished out of sight as the Parselmouth watched her stilly before walking off to the dungeons. So much for wanting a charged moment again. He knew that he had to apologise to her, sooner or later, but now? He had to ignore her, regardless of the guilt that was building up within him.
"I solemnly swear that I am up to no good," muttered Theodore as he pointed his wand to the blank Map. The lines reappeared and so did the dots as they were spread all over. Theodore squinted his eyes near the dungeons, searching to see if the Potions Master was there, when he saw Elvira's dot in the Great Hall, meeting with Hermione's. He shook it off and moved his eyes back to the dungeons, still no notice of Snape in his classroom. Quickly scouring the other parts of the Map, preferably Lupin's room, Theodore found Snape descending from the third floor, and briskly moving to the direction of his classroom. Theodore wasted no time, and hurried down to the dungeons, darting his head up occasionally to avoid crashing into anyone while tracking Snape's position, and by the time he reached the bottom steps of the marble staircase, Snape was already in his room.
'Oh, I've got you now. Should've stayed in Lupin's classroom.'
"…who is he to say that I'll fail next year? Why can't we get a new teacher?"
"He's probably drugging Dumbledore to keep his position. There's something off about Snape, the smelly git. But don't worry about it, Cormac. You'll pass, I know you will."
"Don't have to tell me something that I already know, Katie. I can easily pass this class with flying colours."
"I take it back. I don't care anymore." Theodore was sneaking around the entrance to the dungeons, listening to the forth-year Gryffindors' discussion as he remained hidden. If Theodore met anyone who was more narcissistic than Lucius Malfoy, then it'd be Cormac McLaggen. Every time he'd speak, Theodore had to fight the urge to use the Pimple Jinx on his tongue. But from where he was standing, Theodore only had to do one thing, and the rest would work out for itself. He slipped through the entrance to get a clearer view of Snape's classroom door, knowing that he had to make it perfect, otherwise everything would crumble.
"…well, it doesn't help when you're chucking leeches around the classroom, does it," scolded Katie as McLaggen put his hands in his pockets as if he couldn't hear a word that she was saying. "He's got a reason to fail you, unlike us."
"Thing is, I won't fail. Not exactly a word that I like to associate with. Potions is easy. You have to have shit for brains if you can't-"
A blinding flash of a green projectile blitzed straight past the forth-years, shooting through the dungeons corridor at such incredible speeds that it took only half a second for a loud bang to occur. The teens peered nervously to the area of contact, not even bothering where the large spark came from. McLaggen was in the front of the group, a mistake that he had to pay for, very dearly. It was all so quick. The sound of a door being opened violently, then a black shadow zipping through the green-tinted smoke was all that it took to terrify McLaggen as he nearly stumbled backwards.
"HOW DARE YOU THROW FIREWORKS AT MY DOOR WHEN I'M WORKING! THIRTY POINTS FROM GRYFFINDOR, MCLAGGEN!" Snape screamed, grabbing the teen boy by his shoulder so tightly, you'd think he wanted to break it.
"B-but it wasn't me! I-I didn't-"
"You didn't just what, McLaggen," spat Snape as he cut the frightened boy off. "Attempt to blow my door off its hinges, did you?!"
"No, P-professor, I swear…" McLaggen squeaked.
"Well, you can swear to your Head of House instead. We'll see what she has to say about this. Come on!" Snape dragged McLaggen by the shoulder as he pleaded with the man to give him a detention, rather than to speak with McGonagall herself. Katie and the others didn't try to defend him, but merely tagged along for their amusement. What they didn't know, or notice, was the smaller boy who managed to pass by them without earning a single eye in his direction. And for that, he felt more than elated by how smoothly that ran. Too theatrical for his taste, but successful nonetheless.
The door closed behind Theodore as he wafted away the green smoke that had entered the room, checking the Map to see where Snape was. They intercepted McGonagall on the fifth floor, relieving Theodore as he pocketed the Map after turning it blank. Theodore then walked to the desk at the front of the classroom, giving his half-brewed potion a quick sniff before searching for the letter again. His gut was telling him that it was there, right in the classroom. Theodore believed that with every fibre of his being, but where? Where could it possibly be? Fortunately for him, the Parselmouth had already thought about everything well ahead. He brought out his wand, and pointed above Snape's desk, hoping that it'd work.
"Revelio…" A faint golden glow formed from the tip of his wand as he swished it over the desk like a metal detector, waiting for something to appear when…
It was like it was hidden underneath a shred of an Invisibility Cloak, suddenly stripped away by a single spell. Theodore lowered his wand as his mother's letter was laying on Snape's desk beneath the cauldron that was simmering without a fire. It was in front of him the whole time, but he never saw it. No matter. He snatched it quickly and carefully stuffed it in his robes, not wanting to damage it any further. He actually did it. It was his. In his hands, for real this time. Theodore brought the Map out from his robes again, and checked to see if Snape was anywhere near the dungeons. Still on the fifth-floor. This was too perfect. Trust Snape to resort to his resentment towards Gryffindors, so that he'd allow a student to waltz in his classroom like the idiot he was. Theodore half-wished that he could laugh in his face, mock him for being so careless. Oh well. He could do that later. He needed to be alone, somewhere private, where he could open it without any distractions.
"The Last Will and Testament of Valerie Potter…"
He closed himself off again, keeping himself to himself. He spoke to Harry about it only briefly, returning the Map to him as he had no further use for it. It served its purpose and his goal had been accomplished. Theodore barely spoke to anyone later that evening in the common room, sitting quietly on the back tables as he observed his Housemates talking, laughing, the usual. It wasn't his fault that he kept silent. Harry and Ron were huddled in the other corner of the room, talking about something private, leaving the Parselmouth alone by himself. Or perhaps it was his fault. Hermione didn't even acknowledge him as she walked through the common room an hour after Theodore had arrived, walking straight up to the girls' dorm with her tearing bag behind her back. His guilt returned, and his guilt had to be suppressed again when he'd open the letter. Of course, he was going to apologise as soon as he knew what was inside, he promised. Only when he knew what was inside.
The night fell across the castle as everyone else in Gryffindor fell asleep, except for Theodore. This time, he didn't even bother to close the tapestries. He knew that nobody would bother him anyways. Theodore somehow managed to keep a ball of light suspended above his head without it staying on the tip of his wand. It wasn't exactly strong enough to illuminate the entire room, but it was sufficient for reading. He tucked his wand underneath his pillow, and brought the letter out in exchange. His fingers were oddly still, but his body was trembling. Just the nerves, he thought. He'd been waiting for this moment for a long time, so it was natural for him to feel nervous. But he had to calm down. Inhale… Exhale…
Theodore made a little tear through the side of the brown envelope, for it was constructed differently compared to the ones used by Muggles. Each rip made his heart jolt a little, possibly fearing that he'd rip straight through the letter itself. But no. He didn't. Soon enough, the tearing halted and the letter inside slipped onto his lap. He discarded the envelope to the side, and took the will in hand, reading it so slowly; that every word could be burnt into his mind for him to recite forever.
THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF
Valerie Avilasa Potter
I, Valerie Avilasa Potter of the Potter family, being of complete sound and disposing mind, declare this document to be my final Will and Testament, revoking all and any previous similar documents made by me.
FIRST: I declare that I am married to nobody, to whom I refuse to refer to as a spouse, and that I have one child who is living under the name of: Theodore Silas Riddle
Birthday: April 6th, 1980
Any reference to 'my children' or 'my child' shall refer to the child, and only the child, above, taking in the account that I have no other.
SECOND: I am executing this will on my own, any will of my child's father being invalid and not applicable. I am not making this will under any contractual means or agreements with him or anybody else, and may be revoked at any time by myself solely.
THIRD: I give, devise and bequeath all of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate, the Potter Residence of Elmbridge, to my child, provided that he is of the age 17. I leave the estate's current conditions under the company name Reaguls' Reality Group, until then.
FORTH: I request that my funeral and final resting place, shall be in the village of Godric's Hollow, in St Jerome's Graveyard, where I frequently visited as a child with my family. The expenses shall be covered by part of my inheritance from my parents Fleamont and Euphemia Potter, and the rest shall be given to my child.
"Godric's Hollow," whispered Theodore to himself. "That's where you are… So is James and Lily…" He kept his eyes peeled to the letter, the ball of light burning a little brighter to aid its caster as he read further, shuddering disturbingly on his mother's final request. "No…"
FIFTH: I have made no provision for my child, for the child's father is not eligible to care for the child. My child's needs and requirements are to be held at Stuggle's Orphanage for Boys and Girls, should I be unable to care for him. Under these circumstances that I shall not survive to care for the child, then I rest my child's needs and requirements in the boy's godfather, Severus Silas Snape, wherever located, should the child's care at Stuggle's meet unsatisfactory levels.
THIS IS THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF
Valerie Avilasa Potter
"Snape… Him…? No…"
Theo is… kind of a dick here, I cannot lie. But when hasn't he had dickish moments in the past before, right? Well at least he got some of what he deserved from the 'jaw-dropping' revelation in the end. I'm sorry that the Christmas part was short because in my honest opinion, PoA had the least exciting Christmas in the whole series, at least for me. At least it wasn't as shitty as the last one. I changed a few things, hinted at a few things, just to keep you thinking but for now, later.