"You remind me so much of your Aunt, Teddy." The words ran through Ted Lupin's mind over and over as he walked down the corridor to the Headmistress' office. He couldn't make any sense of them. As far as he knew, his father was an only child, always had been, unless you counted the three Marauders as brothers, and his father often did. He knew his mother to be an only child, Grand-mum always said so, going on about how difficult one rebellious, self-dubbed punk had been. He gave the password ( Fereverto) without much enthusiasm. Granted, he was probably going to regret asking. His father refused to share information about his grandfather with him, aside from the fact that he hated dogs and was immensely random at times. He knocked, abiding the chewing out he would get from Professor McGonagall about being out so near curfew.
The heavy door opened, revealing the Headmistress in all of her stern glory. "Yes, Mr. Lupin, I was expecting you." Even as a nearly graduated seventh year, Teddy still couldn't get over being nervous around Professor McGonagall. He gulped, nodded and stepped in.
"Um, Professor, I was wondering if we could floo my dad. Professor Flitwick said something that made me curious, and-"
"Of course, Teddy. And might I add that your father probably never meant to keep the knowledge of your Aunt from you. It's just hard to tell an eight year old that the person they might look up to is dead to your father.." She disappeared into the fire for a moment, the came back, closely followed by his father, who looked resigned.
"Dad?" he asked.
"Teddy, I have a sister. I know Minerva has just told you she is dead to me, but Ana-Annie, will always be my sister, no matter how I buggered our relationship with my self hatred. You see, Ted, my relationship with my sister, twin sister at that, began to decline summer before our seventh year. She'd had a nasty breakup-"
"How nasty?" Teddy couldn't help it. If his father had destroyed his relationship with his own sister, he wanted to know every detail.
Remus Lupin took a breath, released it, and went on, "She was raped when she broke up with her then boyfriend. I don't think he liked being dumped. She came home in floods of tears, and I told her that if she said anything, no one would believe her. She would be condemned a loose woman, and I would have to disown her. Those were, of course, my personal insecurities speaking. I should have known, I thought, I should have warned her. And why the twat was certainly possessive, I'd never taken him for a rapist. Your Aunt, of course, never trusted me again, I don't think. She never said, but she would go to James or Sirius first. Never Peter, though."
"Why?" Teddy put in suddenly.
"She had taken," Remus said with a small chuckle, "a very strong disliking of Peter from the day she met him. Perhaps it was a vibe she got off of him, or the way he leered at her until Sirius' brother, in the one and only show of chivalry I have ever seen from him, pushed him down a flight of stairs for attempting to feel Annie up. She hugged Regulus, and snuck him a bar of my best chocolate the next morning. She and Sirius got on rather well, and she was heartbroken when she had to leave."
"Why'd she leave, though? I don't get it? "
"You've seen the Vampyres around Muggle London, Ted. Your Aunt was Marked shortly after final exams had been completed. To make it seem like it wasn't killing me to watch her go, in the middle of a war, no less, I said things that I never meant. I said, "Remus emphasized before Ted could interrupt, "that she was nothing to me now, since before long, we would be nothing to her. I've never forgiven myself for that. She did, or so I hear. I spoke to her husband when she was unconscious. He told me she'd forgiven me. I'm still not sure if that was to lessen the blow that she'd almost died before I could reconnect with her, or if it were the truth. I don't want to know."
"What's this about, dad?"
"My sister is the most marvelous person Ted. She is an excellent cook, and a spirited fighter, as well as gloriously nonjudgmental, and nonviolent. For three years, Annie hung around girls she despised because she wouldn't talk to us for hexing Snape. She talked to him after his friendship with Lily dissolved, and when Regulus Black needed help with a Charms essay, she helped him. Of course, everyone in the House, excluding Sirius and James and including me, unfortunately, shirked her for some time. This was our sixth year. It is a testament that your Aunt managed to get through eighteen years of life with me without killing me, Ted, because I was horrid to her at times, but most of all during seventh year."
"Why? What possessed you to do that?" Ted asked, for the first time since discovering his father's abandonment disappointed with him and angry at him.
"I was afraid I'd lose her, Ted. I told myself that if I wasn't as close to her, it'd soften the blow. It was the worst decision of my life. It hurt more, Ted, to know that my sister, my twin sister, had died, and I'd never gotten to apologize, or tell her I really did love her," his voice cracked on the last word.
"Dad," Teddy pressed gently, "why'd she come so close to death?"
"Your aunt, being the marvelous person that she is, let no injustice go unpunished. More often than not, this led to screaming matches with Walburga and Orion Black, Sirius' parents. They loved her to death, because for the year and a half she and Sirius dated, he was a decent son by their standards, and so they tolerated it, and her temper, because they hoped they would marry. She almost died fighting another megalomaniac hell bent on taking over the world."
"And? Is the crazy person dead?"
"Ted, based on what your uncle told me, you'd know it if they hadn't been defeated."
"Fantastic. What did Auntie-" Ted couldn't go on; he didn't have a clue what to call her.
"Auntie Stasia. Apparently, I have another son, and his mother neglected to inform me of his existence. Your Auntie Stasia raised him, alongside her husband, and he referred to her as Auntie Stasia, and apparently sometimes Auntie Bat, because she can get rather crazy when stressed. He'll be there when you get back. Your brother that is. He's older, but the way I hear it, eager to meet you," his father told him with a smile.
"Dad? Do you- do you think maybe I could write to Auntie Stasia, to see if maybe, she'd come too?
"Maybe. And I'm sure she will. And in the mean time, I have pictures at home of her for you.:
"You said you weren't talking."
"We weren't," Remus said with a nostalgic smile, "but your aunt is nothing if not stubborn." And with that, Remus Lupin walked through the fireplace and vanished, leaving Ted with a sudden desire to brave the attic and dig through boxes of his father's photography.