Summary: Cedric Diggory was living a pretty normal life, until he met someone who wasn't even born yet.
Fandom: Harry Potter
Warnings: Underage (16 and 17)
Title, Author and URL of original story: Rise from the Ashes by midnitemaraud_r
Author Notes: Thanks to my awesome beta reddwarfer! LJ cut quotes are from Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett.
"Loser sucks the winner off."
Cedric had no idea where those words had sprouted from, but they were out of his mouth before he could stop them. He tried to stare at his own lips in shock, and had to give up when it resulted in a headache.
Roger Davies was glaring at him, but there was something else in his eyes. Something besides disgust. "Loser sucks the winner off? Do I look like a bloody poof?"
He couldn't take it back; the only way to go was forward. "No, you look like a twat. Scared you'll lose? I didn't know you were such a bloody coward, Davies. Imagine that," he said, lifting his chin defiantly, "a chicken afraid of a cock."
Davies scoffed. "I seriously doubt your cock is so impressive that anyone would have any reason to be scared of it."
"Bigger than yours, I'm sure."
"Well, you'd be the one finding out, because we can beat you with our eyes closed."
"And one hand tied behind your back?" Cedric mocked. "If you're that confident, then what have you got to lose?"
"Maybe I just don't want your spit on my cock."
Hmmm. That was an excellent point, now that Cedric thought about it. Not that a blow job sounded bad, mind you, but when you thought about it hard enough, it was rather gross. But instead of conceding that maybe this was a really dumb idea all around, Cedric found himself saying, "Right. Like it will be me sucking off you. I'll be the one dealing with slobber on my cock, thank you."
"Diggory, even if you manage to catch the Snitch first, which just might happen, there's no way your inept Chasers are going to have the score high enough to matter."
"They will. Your Beaters can barely figure out which end of the bat to hold."
Davies snorted. "If your opinion of the Ravenclaw team is that high, I'm amazed you'd even want me near your bits. Aren't you afraid I'd bite it off?"
That was a point, too. Suppose he lost, which he wouldn't. What the hell were you supposed to do with your teeth during a blow job? Hell, how did you give a blow job? Never having given or even received one, Cedric really wasn't sure.
"Are you saying you wouldn't know how to do it?"
Davies scoffed. "It doesn't look like it's that hard."
"Shows what you know. There's a definite skill to it, from what I've seen. But maybe you're right," Cedric said loftily. "Maybe I don't want you doing that. How about a wank? I'm sure you could handle that."
Davies snorted. "Anyone can do that. And somehow, I expect you're extremely practiced in the area."
"Not as practiced as you. Right, then," Cedric said. "Loser wanks the winner off."
He didn't think about it when the Bludger hit his back or when Cho grabbed the Snitch, but as they were leaving the Quidditch field, Cedric remembered the bet. He glanced around surreptitiously, but the only people near him were his teammates, grousing about the unfairness of the calls and how differently plays should have or could have gone. What had ever possessed him to make such an asinine bet?
And how the hell had he lost?
A shower and twenty minutes of chewing his team out later, Cedric emerged from the locker rooms. And he wasn't really that surprised to see Davies standing there, arms crossed, leaning against the wall. Without a word he turned around and walked back into the room, and Davies followed.
Cedric turned around and cleared his throat, and Davies raised an eyebrow. "Thinking of welching on our bet?" he mocked.
Cedric snorted. "In your dreams."
"Well then. Get at it."
Yes. Right. It wasn't that Cedric didn't know what to do, but it seemed a bit crude to simply open Davies' fly and go to work. However, since he lacked any other brilliant inspiration, that was exactly what he did.
He didn't really want to look at Davies' face, but when he drew in a sharp breath when Cedric's hand closed around his cock, he couldn't resist. And what he saw there- eyes closing, mouth opening, and an undeniable look of pleasure- was more arousing than he would have thought possible. His hand moved with more confidence, and when Davies came, Cedric couldn't help smirking in triumph.
"You're not going to tell anyone," Davies informed him after he'd stuffed his clothing back together.
Cedric snorted. "Don't worry. I'm not looking to hold your hand and pass you love notes."
"Good." Davies turned around and started out the door, and then stopped. Cedric opened his mouth to say something, but before he could Davies had whirled around and pinned him against the wall. Then Davies' hand was down his pants, and oh God turnabout was fair play and before he knew it, he was coming himself.
"Right, then," Davies said, pulling away as Cedric slumped down the wall. "See you." He turned around and walked out.
Cedric waited until he'd caught his breath and Davies would be good and far away, and then pulled himself together. Right. That was done, now time for dinner.
Cedric looked down at his notes and scowled. None of this made sense. He wondered if he was missing some crucial point, but he'd paid attention the entire class. A quick glance around and no one else looked lost. He sighed and picked up his books, and followed the rest of the Hufflepuff fifth years out the door.
Cedric turned around. Professor Lupin was seated at his desk, and Cedric had the distinct impression that it was because his legs weren't going to support him much longer. "Yes, sir?"
"You looked like you were a bit lost."
Cedric hesitated. "Well, yes," he said finally. "A bit. But sir, you…"
"I don't have a class right now," Professor Lupin said.
"That's not it. You look like you should go see Madame Pomfrey," Cedric said, and then cursed himself because surely you weren't supposed to tell a teacher to go see the school nurse.
Professor Lupin smiled grimly. "Thank you, Cedric, but I'm fine. And I can assure you that I'm not contagious." His smile deepened, but it was an intensely bitter expression. "But this spell is important, and it frequently comes up on the O.W.L.s."
He looked so kind and sincere that Cedric pulled up a chair. "I think my problem is I don't properly understand these jinxes," he said, pulling his notes out of his bag and gesturing. "I, well… Professor Lockhart wasn't that clear about them."
"Let me guess. You asked him and got a rambling treatise on the gripping griping grindylow?"
"The blubbering Banshee of Ballyhoe," Cedric said with a smile.
Lupin smiled again, and this time it was a much more sincere expression. He then began to explain the jinxes that Lockhart had left unclear, and by the time he left, Cedric was feeling much more comfortable with the material.
There were ten minutes left for lunch. Cedric hurried to the Great Hall and found his best friend Caleb finishing off the last of the shortbread. "Wanker," he said, sitting down and dumping gobs of potatoes on his plate. "You know those are my favorites."
"You should have been here then," Caleb said around a mouthful. "Where were you, anyway?"
"Talking with Professor Lupin." Cedric began shoveling his food. "He's a lot better than the last two Defense teachers."
Caleb snorted. "No kidding. Although I had my doubts. What is wrong with him, anyway?"
Cedric shrugged. "Maybe he's got a secret bird and he's out all night shagging her." They both laughed at that, because naturally anyone over thirty doesn't have sex when you're sixteen.
"Seriously," Caleb said as their laughter died down, "maybe he's sick or something."
Cedric snapped his fingers. "He did say he's not contagious."
"Maybe he has cancer," Caleb said thoughtfully. "Is that common in the Wizarding world?"
"I've heard of it," Cedric said. "But I've never known anyone with it. But wouldn't he be in St. Mungo's?"
"Not all the time," Caleb said, twirling his fork between his fingers. "My mum had it and, for a long time, she'd just go in for a day or two to be treated. She lost her hair, but Professor Lupin could just use a Charm or something to hide it or grow new hair when he needed to or whatever."
"Bet that's it then." Mystery solved, Cedric resumed shoveling potatoes into his mouth. "Either way," he said after a swallow, "he's still a damn good teacher."
There was something kind of… compelling… about a teacher with cancer. Cedric kept coming back to the thought at odd moments over the next month. Admirable, perhaps. Part admirable, especially since Professor Lupin never mentioned a wife and was probably alone, and part… well, it made you kind of want to protect him. Which was really stupid, because Professor Lupin was old enough to be his father, for Merlin's sake.
Besides, fifth year was well past the age for developing a crush on a teacher. Ahem.
But it was the alone part that Cedric kept dwelling on. He wasn't often lonely, but yet…. Well, that was just it. Sometimes he was just that.
It wasn't that he wanted Davies to be a soulmate or a partner or whatever. That was twaddle of the most ridiculous order, especially since he was only sixteen and could reasonably expect to live another hundred years at least. Who wanted to get tied down now? And it wasn't even the bisexuality aspect. True, he wasn't going to tell the world- or even his best friends- about it but, at the same time, he wasn't losing any sleep over it, either. But maybe that was part of it, that he wasn't even telling his best friends.
And that Davies was such a cunt. Getting all upset because Cedric had dared to playfully pinch his arse. Which would have been far more understandable if they hadn't been getting each other off at the time.
He was actually thinking about that when he ran into Davies in the hall outside the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom one evening. Davies went sprawling, and although Cedric did as well, he couldn't help an inward chuckle. He got to his feet and brushed his robes off, but Davies didn't move. Cedric huffed to himself.
"Merlin's balls, Davies, don't you look where you're going?"
Davies looked up with the oddest expression that Cedric had ever seen on his face, lost and confused. Stupid git. He held out a hand to help him up. Davies actually accepted, and Cedric was beginning to wonder if he'd fallen harder than he originally thought. His hand was cold and felt a little thin, and it lingered too long in his own.
Well, it was classier than Davies usually was anyway, so Cedric grinned. "Oh, like that, eh? Well, come on. But away from here." As they started up the stairs, he grinned. "Besides, Prefects can be a little late for curfew."
"Are we up to no good?" Davies asked. His voice sounded odd, higher than usual and a bit hoarse.
Cedric snorted. "Funny, Davies. Don't know about you, but I'm always good. What's wrong with your voice?"
"Oh, sorry. Dunno, just went hoarse. I don't feel sick or anything. So what's with all the subterfuge?"
"You’re asking me?" Cedric replied. "You're the one with the paranoia issues."
"I am?" Davies asked, and Cedric almost stopped in his tracks due to this utter stupidity. He turned around and gave him his best are you really this big of an idiot? expression. "Oh," Davies said quickly, with a feeble smile. "Guess I am."
Maybe Snape was setting them Befuddlement Draughts or something. That would explain a lot. For a moment, Cedric hesitated, unsure if he really felt like continuing, but other parts of his body made more compelling arguments than his brain, and so he opened the broom cupboard door. "After you."
Davies entered and looked around like a tourist, despite the fact they'd been in this closet twice before. Somewhere, some little voice kept telling Cedric that this wasn't a good idea, but his cock was far louder and he decided to just get on with it, slamming Davies against the wall, pushing his robes up, and thrusting his hand into his pants.
His first real hint that something was wrong was that Davies was not erect at all. Not like him, especially since he was the one to make the offer. But that was soon remedied, although Davies remained oddly still.
"Docile tonight, aren't you?" he said, mocking because for all his protesting, Davies was usually more enthusiastic than this. Much more enthusiastic, as moments went by and Cedric was still untouched. "What's with you tonight? Do you need a bloody invitation?"
He never expected what happened next: Davies grabbed his shoulders, pulled him close, and kissed him. Now it was Cedric's turn to stand still, shocked to his core. But as Davies's tongue moved inside his mouth, he recovered quickly enough. In his previous relationships, he'd always liked kissing, and he was glad to have the opportunity now. But when Davies wrapped his arms around him and his hands drifted down to Cedric's arse, he couldn't ignore the truth any longer. He pushed him away.
"What—what the fuck are we doing?"
"Um, I…was I doing it wrong?" Now Cedric could really hear it, especially here in the dark where he couldn't quite see Davies's face. The voice wasn't just a little off- it was all wrong.
Cedric jumped. "What did you just say?"
"I asked if I did it wrong. I'm, er, well, I'm not really feeling myself tonight, so maybe I should—"
"You called me by my first name, you kissed me, and you touched my arse. I'd say so," Cedric said sharply. It wasn't that he minded so much, but his mind was starting to tick to Polyjuice Potions and the Imperius curse. Something was going on, at any rate.
"Listen, Davies. Um, Roger," he struggled. "I didn't think…. Look, you're an okay bloke and all…well, sometimes. Fine, you're a bloody huge tosser, but the wanking was fun. You're such a bastard at times that, well, I really didn't think you'd ever want to snog. You get tetchy when I accidentally breathe too close to your ear." He braced himself for a blow, or at least a shove as Dav- Roger stormed out. Nothing. "Okay, now I know something's wrong. I just called you a tosser and a bastard and you haven't said a word back."
"I'm sorry. I should go." He took a step towards the door, but Cedric grabbed hold of his sleeve and tugged.
Cedric hadn't pulled hard, but Roger unbalanced, stumbled, grabbed him for balance and sent them both crashing to the floor for the second time in a half-hour.
"Ow, fuck that hurt," Cedric groaned, but he was sure he didn't make that crack he'd heard. Roger mumbled something incoherent, and Cedric rolled off him. "At least you're softer than the floor. I heard something crack. What'd you hit?"
"Fuck. My head. My elbow. And if it's possible to break your arse, I think I've succeeded."
Cedric chuckled. "Hey, what happened to your voice?" he asked suddenly. The hoarseness was gone.
"Never mind. Give me a second." He dug out his wand. "Lumos. Are you—" he stopped mid-sentence, because the boy sitting with him holding his head was not Roger Davies. He was thinner, with a mop of light brown hair, a longer nose, a slighter frame and long, slender fingers. Cedric was also quite sure he'd never seen him before in his life. "What the fuck? Who the hell are you?"
The boy opened his eyes, and instead of the bright blue ones he was used to seeing on Davies, they were golden brown. "What?"
"You're not Roger Davies," Cedric said, narrowing his eyes and clenching his fist in his robe. He was shaking with both anger and fear, his stomach in knots. "Who are you? You looked like him when we came in here. What are you playing at?"
"I'm sorry. I'm not. Playing. Well, okay, I suppose I was. I didn't mean to hurt you though."
"What's your name?"
"Teddy what?" Cedric demanded.
"I—I can't tell you. I'm sorry."
"Why not? Afraid I'll tell the school about your forays in arse banditry?"
"Huh? No. I know you wouldn't. I trust you. I, just…it's complicated."
Understatement of the year. "So, Teddy-whose-last-name-is-complicated, how did you know? About me and Davies?"
Cedric's eyebrows shot up. "So you were just hoping I'd be kind enough to give you a toss?"
"No! I mean… crap. My head is killing me."
That much Cedric could believe. "You cracked it pretty hard," he agreed, sitting back on his heels. "You don't look familiar. What house are you in?"
"Please don't ask me that."
"Your house is too personal a question, too?" Cedric asked incredulously.
"Yes. No. I mean… Look, Cedric, I don't want to lie to you."
Cedric snorted. "You think Polyjuicing yourself to look like Davies isn't lying?"
"It's not Polyjuice."
"Oh, really? Well the way I see it, there are only two ways you could have impersonated him. One is Polyjuice, and the other is if you were a Met—"
"—Metamorphmagus, yes. Can you give me a hand? I need to sit up." Teddy drew up his legs, leaned over and put his head between his knees, and concentrated on his breathing.
"So you're a Metamorphmagus," Cedric said, skeptical.
"Like Dora Tonks was."
"You knew my --" Teddy raised his head sharply and groaned. "Aaah, crap." He grabbed his head and pressed his forehead against his knees, and despite the fact that Cedric was ready to kill him, he wouldn't be human if he didn't feel some sympathy. He sighed.
"Look, whoever you are, you're not well. I should get you to the hospital wing."
"I can't. I just need a few minutes," Teddy mumbled. His face was pale, and Cedric reached out to check his head for himself, trying to remember the signs of a concussion. Teddy yelped when Cedric touched where he must have hit.
"No blood. That's good, I suppose. Hang on." Cedric pulled his wand out, Transfigured a nearby bucket into a cup, and produced some water from his wand. He placed it in Teddy's hands. As he leaned in, he could see just how white Teddy was, and feverishly hoped that there was no internal bleeding or anything nasty like that. At least not before he found out what was going on.
"Thank you," Teddy whispered, sipping gratefully.
Cedric sat back on his heels again. Now that the initial shock was wearing off, some things were becoming more believable. "Are you really a Metamorphmagus?"
"Yes. I really am," Teddy sighed. His brown hair turned blue.
Cedric couldn't help grinning. "That's pretty cool."
"It has its advantages," Teddy said and smiled, the blue fading back into brown. He sipped at the water and regarded Cedric with an open, honest expression. "I am sorry I lied to you. By pretending to be Roger." His regret seemed completely sincere.
Cedric shrugged. "No harm done, really. Besides, you seem decent enough. Not a conceited bastard at any rate."
"If you don't like him – Davies, I mean – then why…"
"Why the messing about? Dunno." Good question, really. "Well, it started because of a bet. Quidditch. I lost. I'm usually a pretty fair sport, but losing to him just…"
"I know exactly what you mean. In fact—Damn!"
Teddy sighed. "Nothing. I just remembered. Quidditch. I missed a match, no big deal."
Teddy hesitated. "For my school," he said carefully.
So, not here. That at least made some sense, although how a foreign student had gotten past the Dementors and what they were doing here now made no sense at all. But Cedric had the feeling further questions along those lines wouldn't be answered. So he chose the more innocuous tact. "What position?"
"Seeker. I'm captain."
"Yeah?" Cedric said, grinning. Whoever Teddy was, Cedric couldn't help liking him. "Me, too. Seeker. And captain."
"I know," Teddy said.
Cedric looked at him and narrowed his eyes. "You seem to know an awful lot about me. How old are you?"
"Seventeen," Teddy replied. "Eighteen soon." He took another sip of water.
"And you don't go to Hogwarts." Teddy choked, and Cedric helpfully pounded him on the back, although maybe not as hard as he would have liked. "I see."
"Please," Teddy rasped, wiping his chin. "It's not that I don't want to tell you, I can't."
"It's complicated," Cedric said, rolling his eyes.
"You've no idea."
They sat in a strangely companionable silence. Cedric's mind was working methodically through the possibilities. This Teddy probably wasn't a threat. He was fairly sure this was Teddy's real face, and a seventeen year old generally wasn't the forerunner of an attack by Sirius Black. And if he was, he probably wouldn't be wasting time groping with a student. Whatever Teddy was here for, it was personal, and Cedric guessed he was running away from something. The thought prompted a little more sympathy. "Where are you sleeping then? I mean, if you're not in a house, and you're not a teacher. Are you staying in the castle?"
"I have a place to sleep. But nobody other than you knows I'm here. Cedric," Teddy said, pleading. "Please don't tell anyone about me. It's really important."
Cedric raised his eyebrows. "Professor Dumbledore doesn't know you're here?" Definitely running away, then.
Teddy's eyes widened. "Merlin, no! I hope not."
The vehemence of that statement forced Cedric to remind himself of just how dangerous blind faith could be. "So, you're hiding in our school and I'm the only one who knows you're here. There's an escaped convict on the loose, allegedly trying to kill Harry Potter, there are Dementors guarding the school against intrusion, and I'm supposed to trust that you're not here for some…some nefarious purpose? How do I know you're not Sirius Black yourself? Or someone who's trying to help him?"
"I'm not Sirius Black," Teddy insisted.
"Can you prove that?"
"Yes. But I'd rather not."
This was getting ridiculous now. "Look, Teddy, if that's your real name—"
"Fine, I'll believe you on that front. Why should I trust you? Just because you seem like a nice guy? I don't know who you are, you won't answer my questions, and when you do, you say some things that sound a bit dodgy. Can you give me one good reason why I shouldn't haul you off to the Headmaster's office?"
"I can give you several, but you won't believe me."
Try me, he wanted to say, but it was too easy to get around. "Okay, then let me put it this way. If you were me, what would you do?"
"Probably the same as you," Teddy admitted and sighed. He swirled the water around in his cup, and finally looked up. "What if I said that I was from the future?"
Cedric's answer was instantaneous. "I'd say you were off your rocker."
"I was afraid of that."
"You're not serious," Cedric spluttered. "Have you got a time-turner hidden under your robes?"
"They wouldn't go this far back. Besides, there are no more time-turners, or so the Ministry claims. They were all smashed in an accident in the Department of Mysteries years—Oh," he said. "I guess that hasn't happened yet."
"I'm supposed to believe that," Cedric said skeptically. "You could make up stories all night, but there's no way to prove any of them."
"You said you knew Nymphadora Tonks," Teddy said.
"She left school after my second year," Cedric said, realization dawning. "Are you going to tell me she's your mother? Lots of people know she's a Metamorphmagus. That still doesn't prove anything." Although it was at least plausible… but anyone could come up with that.
"True." Teddy sighed and reached for his pocket. Cedric immediately raised his wand. How could he have let his guard down just because this guy held the same Quidditch position as he did? "Oh, stop that, I'm not going for my wand," Teddy sighed. He unfolded a piece of parchment.
"What's that?" Cedric asked.
"A family heirloom. Listen, Cedric. We…well, we know each other, where—when—I come from. I know you well enough to know you can keep a secret. What I need to know is whether you will."
Teddy knew him? Oh Merlin, he wasn't his father… no. Teddy never would have let him do anything. But still, how would a teenager know the adult him well enough to know he'd keep a secret? "I can't promise you that until I know more," Cedric said firmly, trying to keep the upper hand.. "You haven't been very convincing."
"I don't exactly carry around identification, and I wouldn't even if I had any. It would only get me into more trouble. This," he said, pointing to the parchment, "it isn't exactly proof either, but I can take you to it, if you're willing to trust me that far."
"As long as you keep your wand in your pocket, I'll come along." He was in too deep to do anything else.
"I need my wand to activate this," Teddy said, gesturing to the blank parchment.
Teddy huffed. "Fine, you'll have to do it."
"That depends on what it is."
"You're not going to make this easy, are you? You have to touch your wand to the parchment and say, 'I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.'"
The words didn't exactly sound like the hex of the century. Cedric tilted his head and raised his eyebrows. "If this thing explodes, it'll take you with me."
"Just do it."
"I solemnly swear I am up to no good," Cedric said, touching his wand to the parchment. Immediately, the lines of the map began to sprout and expand like a rolling wave. Cedric's breath caught, and then as realization dawned, he grinned. "It's a map!" Teddy smiled at him and handed him the parchment. Cedric unfolded it fully and spread it out on the floor before them. "I need more light." He looked over his shoulder and pointed his wand at a spot on the wall. A torch flared to life, casting a warm glow in the small room.
In his hands was a detailed map of Hogwarts. Cedric recognized it immediately. And moving about were little dots that, when he peered closer, were labeled with names. Instinctively, he searched for himself, but got distracted by the cluster of the Ravenclaw Quidditch team having a late night strategy session. Wankers.
"This is amazing," Cedric sighed, noticing that Professor Sprout was currently talking to Filch. "Where did you get it?"
"My godfather gave it to me two, er, when I was fifteen."
Cedric couldn't tear his eyes from the map. "Does this mean you went to school here, too?"
"Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus," Teddy whispered softly.
Cedric glanced up sharply. "Which house?"
"Same as you," Teddy said.
"You know Professor Sprout then!" Cedric exclaimed, finding her dot again. He'd bet anything she was reaming Filch out for allowing Mrs. Norris into her catnip plants again.
"Yes, but she retired a year before I started."
"Then how do you know her?"
"My godfather used to take me here to visit, when I was little. I remember Professor Sprout showed me the Whomping Willow. I've always had a fascination with that tree. Professor Longbottom took over teaching Herbology after she left, but don't tell him that. He's only a third year right now."
"I don't know him to tell," Cedric said indifferently. The map was far more fascinating than the fate of a spotty third year. "It shows all the people. This is incredible. Even the ghosts! Look, there's Peeves," he said, pointing at the Trophy Room. Finally, he found their closet. The name next to his gave him to sort of start of touching something cold when you thought it was hot. "And here's us. Theodore Lupin. That your real name?"
"The Marauder's Map never lies."
Cedric cocked his eyebrow. "Related to Professor Lupin?"
"He's my father," Teddy confessed, finally. "That's where I was, before I ran into you. It's why I was pretending to be Roger. I wanted to see him, in person, and I couldn't very well go as myself. Next time you see Roger, you might want to suggest he do his dark creature essay on werewolves, because that's what we were discussing."
Roger was the furthest thing from his mind right now. "If I see him. Though I don't think it'll be as frequently as before. He really is a prick."
"I don't know him, so I couldn't say. He does seem to bring out the worst in you."
"Oh? How's that?"
"When you thought I was him, your language, hell, your entire demeanor was pretty hostile."
He'd have to think about that, although he suspected it was true. "How do you know I'm not like that all the time?" Cedric asked suspiciously.
Teddy rolled his eyes. "Ow. Shit." He closed his eyes and rubbed his temples.
"And you're talking to me about my language?" Cedric teased. "But yeah. You're right. Lucky guess."
Teddy opened his eyes. "Not luck so much. I told you – I know you."
He was dying to know how, but at the same time, he wasn't sure he really wanted the answer. Cedric turned his attention back to the map. "So where are we going?"
"Here," Teddy pointed, "though it's not on the map. The Room of Requirement."
"Never heard of it."
"I think you'll like it. It's a pretty special place. Very handy in times of need." He glanced briefly at the map to make sure the way was clear, and tried to stand.
"You might want to fix those first," Cedric said, pointing at Teddy's pants, still wrapped around one ankle.
Teddy blushed. "Prat," he said, and reached down, removing his pants and stuffing them into his pocket. He got to his feet and stumbled, and he dropped the empty cup as his face went dead white again. Cedric grabbed him and steadied him as he swayed.
"Easy," Cedric said, putting his arm around Teddy's shoulder.
"Thank you," Teddy replied, leaning gratefully against Cedric and taking long, deep breaths. He was slender, Cedric realized, far more than Davies. Very much like his father appeared. And although the story sounded crazy, there was something about it that rang true. Teddy looked enough like Professor Lupin that Cedric could believe they were related. Something about the way he'd said he wanted to see Lupin in person made Cedric think that Teddy had never seen him before, and that fit, too. Professor Lupin must have died from his cancer before his son was born, or at least old enough to remember him.
"Can you walk?" Cedric asked, trying to get his mind off that depressing thought.
"I'll manage," Teddy said. "But you'd better hold the map."
"C'mon," Cedric said, tugging at Teddy's sleeve, his eagerness palpable as he held the map in front of him, leading the way to the seventh floor corridor. But when they came to the tapestry of Barnabas the Barmy, there was nothing.
"All right," Cedric said. "We're here. Convince me."
Teddy began to pace. Cedric was about to ask what he was doing when a door appeared in the wall. Not that that was a complete surprise in Hogwarts, mind, but Cedric was positive he'd never seen this one before.
The room behind it, however, was a complete disappointment.
There was a bed with a yellow and black canopy and a rumpled rug, a fireplace with a marble mantle, and a few robes, papers, and pairs of pants scattered about. In short, it looked exactly like the Hufflepuff dorm rooms. "How long have you been here?" Cedric asked, nudging a tray with his toe. The room wasn't a mess, but it was certainly lived in.
Teddy shrugged. "A few weeks."
Cedric whistled through his teeth. "Have you been being Roger Davies this whole time?"
"No. I've changed my face several times, but usually not to anyone specific. This was the first time, because I went to see my father."
"I see. So. Let's see this proof of yours."
Teddy rummaged through a stack of books and handed Cedric a few. As Cedric flipped them open to the copyright pages, he noted the dates: 2010, 2014, 2008…. There were alternate explanations, but too much of Teddy's story made sense.
"Do you believe me now?" Teddy's tone was defensive, but his face was anxious.
Cedric nodded. "Yeah. Wow. This is… this is amazing." He sat down on the bed. "So, why are you here? Now? What is the proper term for it, anyway?"
"I'm not sure," Teddy said. He sat down at the other end of the bed. "But I'm not here to change the past, or anything."
"So the future turns out pretty good?" Cedric asked with a grin. Teddy laughed, but there was something else in his face… a hint of something darker. But already, Cedric suspected that even if he asked, Teddy wouldn't tell him. Instead, he turned to more immediate matters. "You said you saw Professor- your father. Was that why you're here, or just a benefit?" Teddy looked uncomfortable. Cedric sighed. "Even that's too much?"
"I don't want to risk screwing things up. Time travel's a chancy thing, you know."
Cedric nodded. He didn't know, but it stood to reason. "How long will you be here?"
"I don't know," Teddy answered. "I don't have any… well, I'm not ready to go just yet."
"Oh." Cedric fiddled with the rug. His watch beeped once, just to signal the change of the hour, and he was suddenly reminded of a pile of homework. "Look, I should go, but at the risk of sounding cliché, I'd like to see you again."
Teddy smirked. "We should take it slow," he simpered, but the smirk faded into a real smile. "I'd like that," he said. "I haven't talked to anyone the entire time I've been here."
It was a lonely sort of statement, even if Teddy said it with a brave sort of smile. It touched Cedric in a strange sort of way, and stayed with him as he left the small room he'd never known existed for his own dormitory. The walk seemed colder, darker than it would on other nights.
He opened the door of the Hufflepuff common room, and immediately saw Caleb sitting at a table, working on the Charms essay he himself should have started hours ago.
"It's after midnight!" Caleb said. "Where have you been?"
"Thanks, Mum," Cedric said. He opened his mouth to explain, and then closed it suddenly. What could he say? Well, I was snogging this bloke that I thought was Roger Davies- oh, what, I never told you about that?- and it turned out that he wasn't. He was this Metamorphmagus from the future, and he's Professor Lupin's son.
Well, that would get him tossed into St. Mungo's for sure.
"Nowhere," he said lamely. "Just had some stuff to look up in the library."
"I hope it was about this essay," Caleb grumbled. "It's a bitch." Cedric sighed and sat down at the table, resigned to an all-nighter.
Caleb was right; the essay was long and difficult. It helped to distract him for a while, but when Caleb finished and went to bed at two-thirty and Cedric had the room to himself, it was impossible not to think about the events of the night.
He knew very little about time travel, and he supposed that he should be more wary of this person who said he was from the future. It seemed ludicrous. But everything Teddy had said made sense in a strange sort of way.
He was dying to know how Teddy knew him. Perhaps he, too, was a professor at Hogwarts? A professional Quidditch player that mentored young players? Working in Diagon Alley? Were they neighbors, maybe, and Teddy was a friend of his own child's? No, that didn't work out quite right, but maybe Teddy babysat for his baby?
Hmmm. That was kind of skeevy. Cedric decided he didn't really want to know.
What was odd, though, was that Teddy didn't seem too affected by it. He didn't talk to Cedric like an adult, but rather like a contemporary. Of course, he'd been lurking around Hogwarts for a few weeks already; maybe he'd gotten used to the idea?
His head was really starting to hurt.
But there was something so inherently likeable about Teddy. Once they'd gotten past the whole "you're-not-Roger-Davies" thing, Teddy had shown a quick smile, a sharp wit, and just a general niceness that was rare.
It was probably a bad idea in a hundred different ways, but Cedric was glad he was going to see Teddy again tomorrow.
On to Part 2