“Do you know what it’s like to be named for the dead?” James asks his father in the middle of one of many arguments. “Do I remind you of a man we’ve never met? Am I in honor of someone you watched die? Because I don’t want it.” When James Sirius Potter looks at himself in the mirror, he sees a mess of reddish brown curls and slightly askew glasses and freckles everywhere. He sees hands that climb trees and grip tightly to broomsticks. He sees his mother’s smile and hears his father’s voice. Because James seems like the thick goofball of the family, but he reads history book after history book, wishing to never repeat the sins of their fathers. If he saw any of James Potter he wouldn’t recognize him at all, and maybe, he fears, that’s where he falls short.
“Do you know what it’s like to be named for the dead,” Albus says one day to Rose as they sit by the Great Lake. “Names of men who I think aren’t the heroes I’ve been told about. Men I’m told are brave but seem just as bad as the rest.” Albus Severus Potter loves being called Al and having his hair ruffled by his friends. He loves sitting on high ledges and looking out at the vast sky and thinking about what is on the other side of the earth. Albus Potter sticks his nose in old books and keeps to himself and has no desire for greatness in any form. He doesn’t want to lead a war or be a spy. He wants to be Al and bake with his grandmother on Sundays and give his sister piggyback rides. And, most days, that feels like admitting failure.
“Do you know what it’s like to be named for the dead,” Lily shouts one day with tears in her eyes. “I’m not her, I’m not her, I’m not her,” she repeats over and over again. Because Lily Luna Potter is a Slytherin and brutal and fierce and full of fire and made of stone. She is not soft and kind - she is not the woman who saved her child from death. Because she can be selfish and harsh and unforgiving. She spends her mornings running through the icy, frozen woods and her nights leaning over windowsills because the rush is just right. Lily Potter will fight to the death, but for no one but herself. And does that make her somehow distorted, she wonders as she flips through photo after photo of a young woman with pretty eyes she doesn’t have and gentle hands that she will never understand.
“Do you know what it’s like to be named for the dead?” Fred chokes through sobs as he rushes past his mother. “Do you have any idea what it’s like to be named for someone who haunts us every day and every night? Can you imagine being named for someone you can never look like because of your skin?” Because Fred Weasley ties up his wild dark hair into a thick ponytail when it’s time to play Quidditch and sees deep brown eyes when he looks at his reflection. Because Fred is dark skinned like his mother and will never look like his namesake, and is he resented for that? Is it worse to look like the brother that his father lost or to not resemble someone he loved at all? Because, most days, Fred is already different than the rest of his cousins and friends. Fred loves to laugh and play the highest caliber of pranks, because Fred is a Weasley…but that is something that no one can physically see, and that’s what’s the most terrifying.
“I know what it’s like to be named for the dead,” Teddy tells them all at some point, his hands on their shoulders or pulling them into a tight hug. “I know what it’s like to remind the person you love of all who they’ve lost. How much it hurts.” Because Teddy Lupin is named for a man who was killed alone and frightened in the woods over twenty years ago. He is his mother when he decides he likes the color pink and his father when his eyes morph into an almond amber. Because he is an orphan and no different from Harry…and he can understand how their father feels, because he wishes to honor those who died for him, too. Because he knows he is nothing like Ted Tonks, and yet his name carries a piece of his grandfather with him and that’s why Grandmother can only call him “Teddy,” otherwise she’d burst into tears. Because Teddy Lupin lives in between Harry and George and their children - born into war and only knowing peace. And so Teddy understands exactly what it is to be named for the dead, and knows exactly why it is so important to do so.
And even as he tries to tell them all this, he feels hot tears running down his cheeks and wonders to his parents, who have never been there, “Do you know what it is to be named for the dead?”
All I ever wanted to do was go to Hogwarts and have a mate to get up to mayhem with. Just like Harry Potter. And I got his son. How crazily fortunate is that…you’re my best friend, Albus. And this is mayhem to the nth degree.
Jeddy headcanons (i need more of this ship in my life I'm)
(This is in a universe where everything is legal and consensual and the age difference is not creepy at all just in case)
- Teddy is totally the little spoon
- James’s favorite hair color on Teddy is actually pink.
- Teddy’s favorite part of James’s body is his collarbones
- James could spend hours watching Teddy studying, because when he focuses really hard his lower lip kind of juts out in the most adorable pout.
- Teddy blushes and sucks in his lip every time James points this out.
- At first they were so reluctant to tell their family they were together, but ended up unintentionally making out in the Potter’s backyard for the whole family to see. (The unintentional part was the audience, not the kissing. Obviously)
- Teddy loved the way James had a tendency to fall asleep while he played with Teddy’s hair. One minute the hand was moving, the other James was snoring softly.
- They rarely fought, but when they did, they didn’t speak to each other for at least a week, after which each of them was too drained without then other’s company, and got back together without a word.
- Lily Luna was literally the biggest shipper. She loved her three gay brothers.
- Teddy and James were prone to fall asleep in front of the muggle TV at the Potter’s, tangled up in each other. Everyone wonder how that could ever be comfortable but they never asked
- James said ‘I love you’ first, to everyone’s surprised.
-Teddy said it less than half a second after.
- Their first kiss happened under the willow by the lake (no, not the whomping one), in autumn, when they were freezing to death but too immersed with each other to either notice or care.
- Teddy cried a lot about his parents. James was always there, no matter how many times.
- Like his dad, Teddy had a tendency to self-loath, something he and James often fought about.
- James just couldn’t believe how such an amazing human being could hate himself so much. He tried to prove every one of Teddy’s arguments wrong every day.
- They loved each other so much.