It was a warm afternoon. Though early April, summer-like heat had struck the London area with a vengeance. A muggy, suffocating haze hung over the small house. A small bed of tulips wilted under the front room window. The interior of the small house appeared quiet and dim – lit only by the afternoon sunlight, and the décor in the sitting room was old-fashioned and pristine. Nothing about the setting suggested that a lively, little boy lived there.
A shrill shriek broke through the muggy cloud surrounding the house. The sound of tiny scampering feet could be heard from within the residence. Longer, heavier strides followed the source of the tiny steps.
“Teddy Remus Lupin, you get your skinny little arse back here this minute!” An older raven haired woman walked quickly through the sitting room bent over at the waist. Her intended target, a skinny blue-haired toddler dressed only in a diaper and t-shirt, giggled madly and ran behind a wooden rocking chair in the corner. The woman came to a halt in the centre of the room. Both of her hands were placed on her hips and her chest heaved as she struggled to catch her breath. The boy’s small heart-shaped face peeked out at her through the rungs of the chair back. A smile was plastered on his sweaty face. The normal blue shade of his hair shifted to a violent shade of pink, and another giggle escaped his mouth. “Teddy, you are so much like you mother.” The frustration that had sounded in her voice only moments ago was replaced with weariness.
The giggling ceased as the small boy peeked around the edge of the chair. He could sense the difference in her voice and knew that their game of chase was over for the afternoon. As he pondered this sudden change in his plans, his hair faded to a natural light sandy colour.
It was true. Teddy was just as much of a firecracker as his mother had been at his age. He was loud, active, and had a tendency of getting himself into trouble, but as much like his mother as he was, he was equally his father’s child. He was an inquisitive boy, full of questions about the world around him, and an empathetic soul. For all his nearly two years of life, he was remarkably in tune to the feelings of those around him. Standing there in the middle of the sitting room, he knew that his Nan wasn’t playing anymore – she had her tired sad face on.
“Nan!” Teddy toddled towards her with his short arms extended upwards. This brought a strained smile to the woman’s face. Andromeda Tonks bent over and scooped the toddler up onto her hip. She casually brushed her hand through his sweaty, still sandy coloured hair. “Nan!” He said again, proud of his linguistic accomplishment – he was a boy of few words.
“Oh my little Teddy Bear, you are getting to be so big,” she gave him a long look. Though she loved the boy dearly, at times, he was a painful reminder of everything she had lost nearly two years ago.
At night, when Teddy was finally asleep and the house was quiet and dark, Andromeda often relived the last evening she had seen her daughter. It was late evening when Remus had ran into the sitting room and announced that Harry had just shown up at Hogwarts and that they were going to make a fight of it. He had held her daughter close, pleading with her to stay with their son, and kissed her forehead roughly before leaving into the night. Nymphadora had then sat down beside her – nervous and edgy. After several minutes of strained silence between mother and daughter, she had risen and wandered over to her son’s cradle. She whispered her love for him, told her mother that she’d be right back, and apparated away – leaving Andromeda in the quiet house with only her tiny grandson for company. Sitting there, alone with Teddy, she knew deep down in her core that neither her daughter nor son-in-law were going to come home.
Despite it being long from the privacy of the night, the events of that evening played through her mind like a muggle picture show. She absent mindedly stroked her grandson’s head as a large salty tear built up behind her bottom lids. A firm blink sent one rolling gently down her coarse cheek. Teddy watched it leave a wet trail in its path for a few moments before gently poking the tear with a chubby, inquiring finger. Andromeda smiled and planted a warm kiss on his forehead. A giggle escaped the boy’s tiny mouth and his hair rapidly shifted back to its usual shade of blue.
“Now Teddy Bear, what was wrong with your hair the way it was? What will people say about a little boy with blue hair?” Andromeda’s gentle scolding only caused Teddy to giggle more. His Nan always made a fuss over his hair, and he loved it. “Come on now, we have to finish getting ready. Harry will be here soon, you don’t want to miss your chance to go play with him, do you?”
As she spoke, Andromeda carried Teddy up the narrow staircase to his room. She barely managed to wrangle him into a pair of trousers and run a comb through his bright hair before a distinctive pop was heard on the front lane. This sound was followed moment later by a friendly knock at the front door. Teddy knew that knock and fought out of his Nan’s grasp.
“Harwy, Harwy!” He screeched as his short legs struggled to keep pace with his enthusiasm. Teddy made it to the edge of the staircase before Andromeda caught up to him. She scooped him up and together made their way to the front door to let their guest in. The large door opened and a thin man with glasses and messy, jet-black hair stepped inside. Teddy wriggled wildly, trying to free himself of Andromeda’s arms. She smiled and set him to the floor.
“Harwy, Harwy!” He threw himself at Harry, hugging his leg. Teddy smiled up at his godfather. His blue hair changed to a jet-black colour, mimicking Harry’s. “I go wif Harwy. We see Ginny?” A deep, earnest smile broke out on Harry’s face; he tousled his godson’s hair and scooped him up. Teddy smiled and took Harry’s glasses off of his face, squinting through them.
Though only nineteen years old, Harry took his responsibility to the young boy very seriously. On occasion, the two-year old orphan brought an over-whelming sense of guilt to Harry. Though on that warm April afternoon, as usual, Teddy filled Harry’s world with lightness and gaiety. Each weekend, as soon as he left the Auror Academy for the week, Harry stopped by the Tonks’ residence to collect Teddy. He and Teddy spent their weekends visiting the Burrow. After two years, Harry was rather accustomed to balancing his limited free time between his godson, his fiancé, and her family. The Weasley’s welcomed Teddy as one of their own.
“Yes, Teddy. You’re coming with me. We’re going to Grandma Weasley’s. We’re going to eat dinner,” Harry gently took his glasses from Teddy and placed them back on his face. “Does that sound like a plan?” Teddy nodded enthusiastically, his hair shifting back to its blue colour.
Harry turned towards Andromeda, who was standing by the fire place with the urn of floo-powder in hand. In the shadow of the un-lit room, her face showed her age and fatigue. Harry walked into the sitting room. Teddy leant over to give his Nan an enthusiastic kiss and waved his hand in farewell.
“Alright,” Harry took a pinch of the powder from the urn. “Well, I’ll bring him back to you on Sunday evening. You know you’re always welcome at the Weasley’s though.” Andromeda gave Harry a tight smile and shook her head. Harry nodded his head in understanding and tossed the powder into the grate. “The Burrow,” He spoke clearly as he stepped into the emerald flames.
Harry emerged from fire grate into a warm and busy room. The smell of a home-cooked meal and the sound of familiar voices filled the air. Several red heads turned their attention to the fire place, warm smiles gracing their faces.
“Harry, Harry my boy. Good to see you. Molly will be wanting to see you so she can loath how thin you are.” Balding and tired-looking, Arthur Weasley made his way over to Harry and affectionately patted him on the shoulder. Turning his attention towards the toddler, Arthur’s tired face broke into a smile, and he ruffled the young boy’s Hair. “How’re you doing there little man? My oh my, you look so much like your mother.” He took Teddy from Harry’s arms and walked to the kitchen to share the new of their visitors with Molly.
After being attacked by Molly, properly greeted by George, Bill, Percy, and Ron, and privately snogged silly by Ginny, Harry managed to regain possession of Teddy. The two of them made their way to the sitting room and managed to gain a seat on the sofa. Hermione was seated across the room chatting amiably with the newest addition to the family, Audrey, Percy’s muggle girlfriend. From the look on her face, she found the burrow a bit over-whelming and Hermione wasn’t helping. Harry couldn’t help but chuckle and remember his first visit to the burrow nearly eight years ago. Weekend Weasley dinners had become a tradition, a way to bring the rapidly expanding family together. He set Teddy onto the floor and watched him as he toddle over to the wooden rocking chair next to the fire grate.
Teddy tugged at the robe of a tall, badly scarred, red-headed man standing next to a beautiful and extremely pregnant blonde woman. He giggled as Bill looked down at him and scooped him up. He carefully ran a chubby toddler finger along the deep scar lines marking Bill’s face. Teddy liked when Bill was at Grandma Weasley’s for weekend dinners. His scars were an amusing enigma to the inquisitive toddler.
“Oh Bill, you have to share ze boy, let me see heem.” Fleur reached her arms up and received the blue-headed boy. She set him on her barely visible lap and smiled warmly at him.
Teddy looked up at Fleur, smiled, and quickly looked down. He always felt rather shy around Fleur – she was quite pretty. Avoiding her face, something else caught his attention. His face screwed up in concentration and his hair shifted to a bright bubble-gum pink colour as he decidedly prodded her bulging stomach. Fleur let out an amused chuckle. He looked up expectantly and waited for an explanation.
Ginny had noticed the toddler’s inquisitive exchange with her sister-in-law and walked over to the chair. She kneeled down to Teddy’s level, took the boy’s small hand, and laid it on the pregnant belly.
“See Teddy, Bill and Fleur are having a baby. The baby lives in here right now, but when it’s born it’ll be a little tiny baby.” Teddy considered her words carefully, his pink hair fading to a natural sandy colour. “You’ll be a big boy when it’s born.”
“Yittle Baby?” Teddy posed the question, trying to re-cap the conversation. “I’m big.” He said decidedly and smiled at Ginny. “You hab baby?” Ginny blushed scarlet at his question and caught Harry’s eye from across the room.
“No, Teddy. Just Fleur is having a baby.” She quickly explained to the astute two-year old. “But Harry will make sure you get to visit Bill and Fleur and meet the baby after it’s born.” Teddy nodded in approval and turned his waning attention back to Fleur’s protruding belly. His hair blue once again, he leant down and planted a sloppy kiss on the firm surface.
Over the next few days, Teddy pestered his Nan about the baby. He was very anxious for Harry to come and take him to Shell Cottage. Harry had taught him that that was where Bill and Fleur lived, just like Grandma Weasley lived in the Burrow. Each day, he was certain that it would be the day when he’d finally get to meet the tiny little baby in Fleur’s tummy. He was anxious to prove that he was a big boy.
To help distract the uncharacteristically focused toddler, Andromeda had taken to teaching Teddy new vocabulary words every morning while walking in the small garden. When Harry arrived to tell Andromeda the news and collect him, Teddy had been learning about the post. Although he really liked his Nan’s owl, he quickly pushed it from his mind and began to wonder what exactly a baby was. He squinted his eyes shut as Harry stepped into the pretty-coloured flame, anxious for whatever waited for him at Shell Cottage.
Stepping out of the grate, Harry called out his greeting and carried Teddy up the narrow staircase. He paused at the doorway of the nursery, setting Teddy down, to offer his congratulations to Bill. Teddy stepped into the room and shyly toddled across the softly carpeted floor. Comforting warmth streamed in through the window from the sun. Sun had been a new word for Teddy; his Nan had taught that word to him on one of their garden walks. The knowledge that the sun was the source of the warmth streaming into the pink room bolstered Teddy's confidence; he quickened his pace and waddled over to the tiny white crib in the corner of the room. He could hear a foreign gurgling sound coming from within the crib's interior and desperately wanted to see where this sound was coming from. He had heard the grown ups talking about a Victoire in excited voices and desperately wanted to learn if this new word was another word for the baby. He reached his chubby, two-year-old arms up to the edge of the crib and tried to pull himself up so that he could peer into it. Grandpa Weasley often told Teddy that he had grown taller, but he was still not tall enough.
Teddy heard the sound of big foot steps and jumped back from the crib. He turned around and looked up into the face of his godfather. Harry scooped him up and leaned over the side of the white crib.
"See that, Teddy," Harry cooed in a hushed voice. "That's Fleur’s baby. Her name is Victoire. She's just a little baby right now, but someday she'll be big like you and you'll be great pals."
Teddy listened closely to everything Harry told him. He was always full of the best kind of information. As such, Teddy expected this baby Victoire to be a great new thing. Teddy considered Victoire carefully. It was a tiny, small, squirmy, pink thing that periodically emitted the foreign gurgling sound he had heard before Harry had come into the room. Sitting in Harry's arms, Teddy decided that he liked this baby thing called Victoire.
"Now since you're a big boy, you'll have to watch out for her – help take care of her. Can you do that?" Harry gently asked Teddy.
Teddy vigorously nodded his head. The more he considered this tiny gurgling pink creature, the more Teddy liked the idea of having something to protect and take care of. Harry set Teddy back down onto the soft sun-warmed rug and left the room. Teddy turned and began to hurriedly totter after him. When he reached the doorway of the nursery, Teddy paused and looked back at the crib. A large smile broke out on his face, and his blue hair momentarily tinged a warm sandy colour. He would be the best pal there ever was.
A/N: Okay... I need some feedback! I answer all reviews. Here are some questions for you. Do you like the time shift between the two chapters?? How about the change of POV?? Thanks for Reading along!
And a Big Thank you to my wonderful Beta AntigoneBlack!
Write a Review Snips 'n Snails: A Young Wizard's Tale: Chapter One: A Brand New Adventure