As today is Tom’s birthday and we’re welcoming in a brand new year, I wanted to share a scene from Of Your Making’s sequel. I’m still piecing together the first draft, but it will be ready sometime in 2019.
Happy New Year, everyone!
Tom didn’t need to check his watch nor the garishly tacky cuckoo clock mounted behind the sofa, which roared like a lion every time the hands struck twelve (a late Christmas present from one of Harry’s school friends, Luna Lovegood), to know that they were very nearly late. He marched to the foot of the stairs.
“Harry, we need to go.”
“If you’d tell me where we’re going, I’d know what to pack,” Harry shouted back.
“Nice try,” Tom replied, amused. “But I’m still not telling you. Just grab something and get down here.”
A string of grumbles that sounded like curses drifted down the stairs. Tom smirked. He was enjoying this far too much.
Tomorrow Harry would turn nineteen and Tom had been planning an extravagant celebration for months.
“He’s never been out of the country,” said Granger during a lunch in June. They had been gathered in the backyard of the cottage he and Harry shared. While Harry played with a toddling Teddy Lupin in the distance, he, Granger and Weasley sat around the tea service under a leafy cherry tree. “I think he’d like that.”
Against his wishes, Tom had eventually chosen to confide in Weasley and Granger about his desire to shepherd Harry away. It was impossible to expect everyone in Harry’s life to not ask pestering questions when Tom stated that they’d be away for the occasion, so he enlisted help. Harry’s oldest friends jumped to Tom’s aid energetically, spreading in whispers that it was to be a surprise until the very last minute.
Since moving in with Harry shortly after Christmas, Tom quickly discovered that living with Harry also meant living with a horde of red-heads, a snot-dripping one year-old, and a constant stream of impromptu guests, though Harry would say he was over exaggerating.
“How much time are you taking off?” Granger asked.
“Three weeks,” said Tom, pouring himself another cup of tea.
Robards had been surprisingly relaxed about his two highest ranked Aurors taking such a long leave of absence.
“We won’t be on call,” Tom had told him firmly.
“Of course not,” said Robards. “You’d think I’d drag you two back here over a few murder cases? I do have other Aurors, Riddle. Enjoy yourselves.”
There had been a twinkling gleam in Robards’ eyes that felt far too knowing, as if the Head Auror suspected that the surprise birthday get-away was merely the setting for a much larger surprise.
Weasley sat back in his chair. “You know, I don’t even think Harry’s been on a vacation. He’s never mentioned one.” He suddenly snickered. “I’ll bet five galleons the hotel is burned down by a chimaera. That’s just his luck.”
Granger kicked him under the table.
“I’m not taking him to Greece,” Tom replied as Weasley rubbed his shin ruefully.
Granger looked around at him, excited. “You’ve picked a place?”
Granger and Weasley both stared at him expectantly and Tom found himself admitting, “Peru.”
“Oh!” Granger cried delighted as Weasley said, with a grin, “So it’ll be a Vipertooth.”
“Ron, they aren’t going to be attacked by anything,” said Granger, annoyed.
Weasley snorted. “Do you know the same Harry I do?”
Granger ignored him. She turned back to Tom. “It sounds wonderful. He’s going to love it.”
All three of their heads whipped around. Harry stood before them with Teddy against one hip. The child’s usual sandy-blond hair was now exactly the same as Harry’s, even sticking up in the back. Over the last few weeks, his metamorphmagus skills had been expanding rapidly. It made taking him shopping in the Muggle village of Ottery St. Catchpole a trying task. Tom noticed, startled, that the boy had chosen to mimic his eyes today. He looked exactly as one would expect their offspring to look like, if he and Harry ever chose to do something like that, which he hoped to Salazar would never be the case. If anyone else caught the unsettling resemblance, they let it pass without comment.
“Love what?” Harry repeated, looking at them expectantly.
“That book Hermione’s been reading,” said Weasley after a beat. He turned to Granger, snapping his fingers. “Toadstools of the … what was it?”
“Southern Hemisphere,” Granger quickly supplied.
Harry’s right eyebrow rose. “Sounds riveting.”
“Oh, it is,” said Granger, emphatic. “Neville couldn’t stop talking about it. I had to give it a try.”
“Kay,” said Harry, eying them all suspiciously. “I’m going to wash Teddy up before Andromeda comes.”
And hopefully get the boy looking more like himself, Tom thought, still unnerved.
Besides Granger, Weasley, Robards and Shacklebolt, no one knew who Tom really was. Or, if he was going to be precise, who he used to be. To the rest of the world he was Thomas Thorne, a skilled and efficient Auror who happened to be dating his co-worker. To quote the Daily Prophet: Thomas Thorne, Harry Potter’s Chosen One.
Andromeda visited the cottage at least every other week, bringing Teddy for play dates. She had lost a great deal during the war — her husband, her daughter, her son-in-law, but she had Teddy and she had Harry. Tom was rather impressed with how well she was coping. Though he had never spoken to the third Black sister, as she estranged herself shortly before Bella joined his Death Eater ranks all those years ago, he found the woman’s company surprisingly pleasant. It amused him how often he caught himself being surprised. After all, realizing he loved Harry Potter should have been the surprise to end all surprises. Funny how it was just the starting point to an endless stream.
As Harry and Teddy disappeared into the house, Weasley turned to Tom and gave him a thumbs up. “Doesn’t suspect a thing.”
Granger rolled her eyes, both humored and exasperated. “Toadstools? Really?”
Weasley shrugged. “What was I supposed to say?”
“You’re hopeless,” said Granger, but she was charmed.
And again, to Tom’s surprise, with each visit of Harry’s two closest friends, he too found himself charmed. Granger’s brain was a scholar’s dream and Weasley — for all his laid-back humor — was the bloke who’d wade into flesh-eating waters if it would save one of his companions.
Tom had never had something like that. He’d never had friends or confidants. He’d never understood the appeal. Not until Harry. And though he did not think of Granger or Weasley in such a light, he also did not mind them as he’d once thought he would.
Unlike, for instance, this lion clock. Waiting for Harry to appear, Tom stood before it, counting its golden, ticking seconds. Harry’s insistence on hanging it up had been met by Tom’s retaliation of turning their bedroom as Slytherin green as wizarding possible. The sudden sounds of Harry’s feet on the stairs had Tom turning.
“Okay,” Harry said, setting his suitcase down. “I’m ready. Unless I need goulashes.”
Tom eyed the trunk. “You’ve packed everything, haven’t you?”
“Yep. Unless, you know, I need goulashes. Do I need goulashes?” Harry asked, still trying to wriggle the truth of their vacation spot out of Tom even though he was seconds from finding out himself.
Biting back a laugh, Tom flicked his wand and the trunk shrunk down to the size of walnut. Another light twitch and it zoomed into his pocket, safely tucked away next to his own luggage. Harry took his offered hand, wearing the same excited grin he’d had when Tom first told him of the holiday. From his other pocket, he extracted the portkey the hotel had sent by owl the week prior.
“We’re not Apparating?” said Harry, surprised.
“It’s too far. I don’t expect you’d enjoy spending the first day recuperating from splinching.” Neither would he, matter of fact. He checked his watch as Harry placed his forefinger against the rather plain looking medallion. The only thing remotely interesting on its face was a small etched figure of a —
“Is that a dragon?” Harry asked, scrutinizing the coin. He grew even more excited. “Are we going to —” But he was cut off as the portkey glowed bright blue. With a sharp jerk behind the navel, he and Harry zoomed across the Atlantic. A second later, Tom’s feet hit solid ground and Harry stumbled against him, his elbow banging into his rib cage. They had left their sitting room in Ottery St. Catchpole and now stood in the floo foyer of a dazzling hotel.
At once, Harry turned on the spot, taking in his surroundings. A floor to ceiling window took up an entire wall, opposite the set of floos. Harry’s mouth dropped open. He stepped closer to the glass.
“Peru,” said Tom, stepping up beside him and taking in the stunning view. Like a bird’s nest, the hotel resided in the upper crook of a mountain. “In the Andes. Twelve ridges over is Machu Picchu, but this is a wizarding hotel so we are overlooking Ligero de Valle, an even more ancient civilization.” As he spoke, a buggy drawn by flying horse took off from the wizarding city that gleamed before them, speeding its passengers to the neighboring mountaintop where more of the city sprawled, built precariously along the ridges. He cut his eyes to Harry. “Do you like it?”
When Tom had been choosing which scenic place to take Harry, there had been only one requirement: that it be as stunning as he. As Harry turned to him, radiant with happiness, he knew he’d come close.