Chapter 26 : Sons and Daughters
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Tonks ran he fingers along the veins in the leaves. A little plant with a blue stem and a white flower sat in a small pot of dirt. She took a miniature watering pail and a sprinkled a little on the soul. The stem of the thing was tilting to one side and bits of brown could be seen invading the pure white of the leaves. The first gift he ever gave her and she couldn’t think of another that would have been more perfect. This flower, even though dying represented everything he had been working for the past six years. There had been many trials and errors but there had only been one that was absolutely perfect. He found that when he thought about what it would mean to her if he achieved it, it was easier to compute the formulas and de didn’t mind so much denying himself of sleep. He knew the ultimate goal was to make her happy. He knew, even if she couldn’t see him in person, she would look in some potions book and see that ingredient and know it was him and know that he had never given up on what he promised her he would do.
And that was his first gift to her…
He was worried that she wouldn’t accept it. That she would be reluctant to nurse that plant, such a fragile thing, back to health. It had been locked away for so long, denied of the basic nutrients a plant would need but somehow it managed to survive. And he entrusted her to look after it… the ultimate show of trust. As he had told her, he trusted her with it more than he trusted himself.
She knew it was her duty to look after it… to make sure it was brought back to its original state…even though she had never seen it in it’s original state. She could picture what it was like when it was new, when it was perfect and whole and she could tell it was on the way to getting there again.
She turned around at the feel of his hands on her shoulders. She turned around and looked at him. “Hey,” she said.
He leaned forward and kissed her on her cheek. “How come you’re not asleep?”
“I couldn’t,” she said.
He took a seat opposite her and looked at her, he was trying to determine what was going on with her… something he always wanted to do since he was so concerned with pleasing her. Sometimes, when she felt he was too restless about it, she would let him look into it, so he would feel assured that everything would be okay. She looked at him and tilted her head to the side. And she could him seeping into her mind, searching for what was bothering her, sometimes he could find it when she couldn’t.
She could see the events of the pass week going through her head. From the day when Teddy found out they were getting married, the conversation she had with him, Harry telling that he had organized a meeting of the order, to actually going that meeting. He stopped there and she could feel him leaving her mind.
“Which part of the plan bugs you the most… the part where you don’t fight or the part where I make myself the bait.”
She shrugged, she was not comfortable with the idea but everyone else seemed to think it was a brilliant one. “I think I have a problem with both.”
“No one’s in any danger here Nymphadora. They’re not expecting this.”
“Sev, you said it yourself… they’re rootless. I don’t need to do Legilimens to know that you have doubts… I can see it. Sometimes you look at me like you’re expecting to die any day now.”
He looked away from her, clearly upset that she could see through his armor. “Nymphadora you have to understand that it is my duty to protect my family. It may not be a perfect plan but it’s the best one we have, it’s the safest.”
“The safest… if it’s so safe, why can’t I fight too.”
“Because…” he said then he stopped and thought about what he was going to say. “It would be easier for me… if I knew you three were safe.”
“It would be easier for me if I knew you were safe too.”
‘I am… these are your friends, don’t you trust them?”
She sat back and looked at him. “I do but Severus you have understand… it’s very difficult for me… I’ve lost this before and it nearly killed me… I don’t think I can survive it again.”
“You can, you’re so strong. I’ve seen what you have been through Tonks and you have seen what I have been through… so you remember what we said that night… no secrets… You know that… I can not knowingly put you in danger.”
“So you admit it… there is danger.”
“I’ll admit it if you promise never to think about it again.”
She didn’t like what she was promising. She was basically saying she would be willing to watch him die as long as it meant keeping herself alive. But she had seen his heart and she knew what it was like for him to loose Lily. It was like everything she had gone through but magnified and intensified by ten. He blamed himself for everything and she knew he could never allow something like that to ever happen again. She knew she was hurting him just by asking but part of her was selfish… it was so easy to neglect him when what he wanted was so dangerous. “Okay.”
“Well there is danger… there always is… But If you look past that… and see what I’m fighting for…”
“I know,” she said and she nodded and took his hand. He clasped it in between his hands and brought it to his lips.
“Now,” he said. “Let’s not talk about that anymore… say something else, anything.”
She smiled a bit. “How do you feel about tomorrow?”
He groaned. “By asking me, you’re making it worse.”
She laughed. “You are amazing man Severus… rushing face forward into death… sure…spending a day with a teenager, now he’s nervous.
“It’s not just any teenager… it’s yours… soon to be mine too… one who happens to hate me.”
“He doesn’t hate you.”
“He has never said more that two words to me at a time.”
She shrugged. “He feels like he doesn’t know you, besides that’s the entire point of you two going the apothecary. I know he will go insane when he sees that place. If there is no one else to talk to… then he’d be forced to talk to you.” She said this knowing fully well that Teddy would not talk to Severus if he didn’t want to.
“How much are you paying him to this?” he asked knowingly.
She sighed. “I told him that you would most likely buy him something cool. The idea was enough to get him to go. He said Harry told him about some book you had… you never told me about that book.”
“Oh… that’s just the work of a lonely teenager with too much time on his hands. Besides I wouldn’t give him that… I was very angry teenager… most of the times anyway.”
“Someday you’ll have to let me see that.”
He looked like the idea was silly.
“So what do you think he would like… what would you have liked as a teenager.”
“Well…if I was normal I would have wanted a really cool potion.”
“What are you going to get him?”
“I have an idea.” He said.
“So Teddy,” she said. “Are you ready to go?”
He shrugged. “What ever.”
Severus gave her a nervous glance and he got up form couch and crossed to the living room to the fireplace. Teddy walked ahead of him in the fireplace and disappeared behind the green flames after he shouted “Diagon Alley”. He was followed by Severus, who she was certain would look unrecognizable to everyone who knew him with his short hair and the absence of his black robes.
He gave Jane and Tonks one last look at went in the fireplace after and disappeared in the same fashion as Teddy.
Tonks turned to Jane. “So love, what are going to do today?”
“Can we go to Aunty Molly’s, Molly?”
Tonks smiled. When The Order came by she met Molly for the first time. Tonks had never seen a child fall so completely in love with someone before. She figured it might have had something to do with cookies and cakes she baked. Once she got permission from Severus to eat her heart out. She sat in the living room with Teddy, James and Victoire and ate Cakes and cookies to their heart’s delight. Since then she had decided that Aunty Molly was where the best cookies came from. Tonks almost felt herself getting jealous. “I’ll tell you what Jane… we’ll go to Aunty Molly’s if you do me a favor.”
“A favor?” she asked and she seemed worried that she wouldn’t be able to fulfill it.
“Yes… well since you know another Molly, you can’t call me Molly anymore can you… because sometimes I just don’t know who you’re talking about. For example I just thought you were asking me to come here.”
“So you want me call you another name?” she asked confused.
Tonks nodded. “Well yes… you remember what I told you about your Pa and I?” She nodded and smiled. “Well it means that… together both of us will have two children… Teddy and you… so… If you’re my daughter then I’m you’re…”
“M…Mum?” she said slowly.
Tonks nodded and smiled. “Exactly… and I would like it a lot if you called me mum.”
Jane smiled and jumped over from her end of the couch and over to Tonks and wrapped her hands around her. “So that’s it, it’s settled we’re going to Aunty Molly’s.”
She smiled. “Thanks…Ma,” she said and she jumped off of the couch to run to her room to pick out her a favorite dress.
Tonks got up and smiled to herself. That part of it was complete. So everything was taking shape. Once she run the idea passed Teddy and he said he would be okay with it she decided to run it by Severus. When she told him he became quiet. He just stood there and looked at her… she almost couldn’t tell what was going through his mind; the only thing that gave him away was his eyes glassing over. She leaned into him and allowed him to take her in his arms. She couldn’t even remember how long they stood there for… just holding each other… totally silent before he whispered in her ear. “I always wanted this for her…”
She knew there was a major difference between the situation between Severus and Teddy. She knew no matter how much Severus accepted Teddy as his son it would never be reciprocated where Teddy was concerned. She thought him, since he was young enough to understand, that he did had a father, one who loved him very much, one who died to the world he inherited would be better. That was a lesson she never wanted him to let go, but she hoped that he would be willing to accept Severus as a parent figure…a step father. She knew it was in him… he was so generous where Jane was concerned because it was so easy to communicate with Jane, it was natural… Severus was very difficult to communicate with and so was Teddy… so together their connection lines would be very difficult. She only hoped that getting them together on something they had in common would clear up those lines a little better.
She sighed and got up and went after Jane to help her get ready.
Tonks and Jane came through the chimney a little after four that Afternoon, when they walked through the door, she could see Teddy sprawled out on the living room rug with a book in front of him. She guessed it was a book about potions but when she got closer she saw there were illustrations of booms in the book… and tips on how to care for it. “What’s that you got there?” she asked.
He looked up. “Boom care for Beginners. We passed by Uncle Harry’s to get it on our way home.”
“Why do you want that, you don’t have a broom?’
He reached behind him with broad smile on his face. “Well he asked me if there was anything I really wanted… he said I could get anything so…”
“You asked for a broom?” Tonks said raising her voice. Jane had already left her side and was looking at the broom.
“He said anything…as long as it’s not dangerous… he thought it was a good idea.”
Tonks let out a heavy sigh. “SEVERUS,” she shouted but he was already in the hall by the time she finished calling his name. “You got him a broom. I thought you said you would get him a potion.”
“Well everything he wanted I already have…”
“Nymphadora,” he said in a mocking tone. Teddy looked up at the pair of them.
“You can’t just give him elaborate gifts for no reason.”
“It’s for my report card… I got six Os remember.”
Severus shrugged. “Isn’t it customary to reward children for good grades?”
“He gets good grades all the time,” she said. She didn’t want this to be a pattern. She knew Teddy was just taking advantage of Severus.
“Well let’s not take it for granted.” He said.
She stopped and she looked him with her head tilted to the side. She didn’t want to argue about it in front of Teddy.
Teddy looked at the two of them then opened his mouth. “Umm… mum… I’ll return it if you want.”
Severus made a heavy sigh and walked out of the room and into the kitchen. Tonks followed him there, she knew she had upset him. He went into the kitchen and picked up the small pail and began to water the blue and white flower that was on the sill.
“I watered it already,” she said. He stopped and he turned around and he looked at her. He was clearly angry… and had been a long time since he was angry at her. “Severus… there is no need to be angry about this.”
“No,” she said.”
He shook his head. “I trust you with Jane… all the time… and just once you can’t trust me on this one thing.”
She had no idea that it looked that way to him. She never wanted him to feel like she didn’t trust him with Teddy, because she did. She totally trusted him. She had a feeling that he wanted him to like him so much that he was not seeing that Teddy was probably taking advantage of that. “Severus… I trust you. I just don’t think that you need to buy him expensive gifts for him to like you.”
He shook his head. “That wasn’t why I bought it. We were getting on fine before that. He mentioned that he wanted to try out for the team earlier. I thought it would be a good idea…”
“It was your idea?”
He nodded. “I always wished I had father who understood these things… who even cared what it meant to me. Besides he is serious about trying out for the team. He’s practicing with Ginny next week.”
“So you think it’s a good idea?”
“Okay then, he can keep it.”
He nodded and walked out the room and she followed him. When she got to the living room Teddy was already packing away the broom in the large box it came in.
“It’s okay Teddy,” she said. “You can keep it.”
“Really?” he asked. “I can have it returned if it’s a problem.”
“No,” it okay she said,” and she gave him a smile to make sure he didn’t feel guilty about it. “Both of you were right.”
“Thanks mum,” he said and he began to unpack it again. He tuned to Severus and gave him an appreciative nod.
Tonks smiled at the exchange. She knew it would work… all they needed was an opportunity to know each other a little more. “So Teddy, she said. “When were you going to tell me that you were trying out for the team?”
A/N: So I finally finished this chapter. Sorry I took so long to update.
As you can see some skipping went on. Yeah... I had to... or else this story would never finish. It's already wayyy tooo long... I expect it would go to chapter thirty.
so thanks for being patient and waiting for me to get out of my funk. I know this chapter was uneventful but at least I got something done.
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