She falls asleep long before me. I watch her sleeping form. She looks so peaceful. And happy. She let me come back. My beautiful wife. I can’t believe I almost messed it up. How could I have been such an idiot? Twice. Especially after promising myself, and her, that I wouldn’t do it again the first time. So trusting, so loyal. And so honest. The perfect Hufflepuff. I smile, snuggling close. She thought I was protecting her. Everyone else thought I was being a coward. But then, most everyone else I knew was in Gryffindor. I guess she has a different perspective.
When I wake up the next morning, Dora’s not there. I walk through the house and down the stairs. She’s not in the living room or kitchen. She’s not in any of the downstairs extra rooms. I run back up the stairs. “Dora,” I call.
“In here,” she calls. The baby’s room. The one place I didn’t look. The walls are a soft blue, and she already has Falmouth Falcons curtains hanging on the window. The crib also has a stuffed Falcon, and she has the Falcons emblem painted on the walls. She smiles at me when I walk in. “What do you think? Is it great, or what?”
“It’s great, if he likes the falcons. Or, you know, really is a boy.”
“He’ll love it,” she smiles. “And even if it is a girl, she’ll love it.”
“Want some breakfast?”
“Yeah,” she says. “That’d be great.” I smile. After I quickly cook some bacon and eggs, we sit at the table.
“We’re almost out of milk,” I say. “I’ll go to the store in a bit and get some.” She looks up, and I see a wary look in her eyes.
“Can I come?”
“Why would I stop you?” She shrugs. She’s afraid I’m going to leave again. I can’t believe I’ve done that to her. Made her afraid I’m not always going to be there for her.
I’m going to show her that I will.
The months pass quickly, and things in the wizarding world fall apart even faster. Voldemort has complete control of the British Wizarding World. I’ve talked to Dora about going abroad, trying to get out of danger, but she doesn’t want to. She couldn’t leave her family, her friends. She couldn’t leave all the people to the danger here. I don’t think I could either, but it would put her, and my son, in safety.
We went to Healer Chandler again, to see if he could tell us what it was going to be, and we we’re right, it’s a he.
Then news of her father’s death came to us. He had been muggle-born, and decided to run instead of register.
Dora had broken down, worse than when Moody had died.
“No,” she said, giving a small laugh, “that’s-that’s not funny. Mum, you never liked to joke, what’s this about?” Her eyes were already filled with tears, which were rolling down her cheek without notice. Her mum didn’t say anything, but Dora understood. She closed her eyes and put her head down. “He can’t be,” she whispered. “He-he was so excited about our son. He was so excited to have a grandchild.” I remember when my own parents had died. Had it not been for my fellow Marauders, I would have fallen apart. We rarely had contact with anyone anymore, and Order meetings had pretty much stopped. We were still the Order of the Phoenix, but we mostly used patronus’ to talk. An actual meeting was too dangerous. I watched as the two women mourned the loss of one they loved. I blinked back tears of my own. I need to stay strong for them. After a while, Dora stands.
“We,” sniff, “should probably,” sniff, “go home.” She wipes her eyes. “I love you, Mum,” she says, and they embrace, holding each other as tight as they can.
“Andromeda, would you like to say with us for a while?”
“No,” sniff, “Thank you Remus.” She surprises me, giving me a bone crushing hug. “He was a good man, and was a good judge of character. He thought the world of you, Remus.” She takes in a shaky breath.
“I would feel better about leaving if you would come. We have extra room.”
“Yeah, Mum, come. Stay with us.”
She shakes her head. “I think I’d like to be alone right now, dear.” We walk out the door, and I take Dora’s hand. It takes her weeks to smile again.
The worse part about it all was she still had that wary look in her eyes. She still was afraid I was going to leave. One April day, she decides to go visit her Mum. She struggles to get up off the couch. “Here, let me help. Do you think it’s a good idea to apparate there?”
“You heard what Healer Chandler said. It’s fine. He’s pretty attached, so it’s like side along.”
“Okay,” I say. “You’re sure you don’t want me to come?”
“Yeah, just some Mum and me time, you know.”
“Yeah, I know.” I smile and kiss her. “I love you. Be careful.”
“I will. Don’t worry so much.” But I see her hair change to purple before she leaves, and that same wary look in her eyes. She’s worried.
I pick up a book to read, but find I don’t feel like reading. So I pick up a baby name book. I look through the list, but it doesn’t feel right without Dora. So I decide to make some lunch. Only we don’t have any food. Guess I found something to do.
I apparate to Ramey’s, the food market in Diagon Ally. I buy all the stuff we need, some chocolate (they have my favourite kind, so I buy extra), and some Cauldron Cakes and ice cream for Dora. When I get home, Dora’s sitting on the couch crying. When she sees me walk into the living room, she tries (and fails) to get up.
“Dora, what’s wrong?” I say, rushing to her and enveloping her in the best I can in a hug. She shakes her head. “Please tell me.”
“Dora,” I say soothingly.
“I-I thought you had left again. I came home, and you weren’t here, and I looked everywhere, but you weren’t here. I thought you had left. I’m sorry,” she finishes.
“Dora, don’t be sorry. If anyone’s sorry it should be me, for making you afraid I would leave. Had I never left in the first place, you wouldn’t have thought it.” I had made her fearful. Merlin, I was stupid.
She calms down a bit, and sniffs. “Where’d you go, anyway?”
“Store. We were out of food.” I wave my wand, and the food puts itself away.
“Did you get ice cream?”
“Butter Pecan.” She beams. I wipe her still wet cheeks. Suddenly, she grabs her stomach, her face contorted in pain. After a moment, it passes.
“I think-” she takes a deep breath, “I need to go-” another deep breath, “to St. Mungo’s.” I grab her hand and apparate her. Luckily, there is not a line. I help Dora into a seat and rush to the nurse.
“She’s going into labour.”
She does something with her wand, but I don’t catch what it is. The next second, a team of Healers are coming down the hall. I go help Dora stand. “M-Mum,” she says, and I nod. I send a patronus, telling her Dora’s here. She appears a few seconds later. One person screams, and a few others move away before she rushes to Dora and grabs her hand.
“It’s okay, sweetie, mum’s here.” I go take her other hand and the Healers put her in a chair and take her down the hall. As we pass, the frightened people look relieved, realizing that Andromeda wasn’t Bellatrix.
The Healers transfigure clothes into a hospital gown and put her on a table. Then, I guess the head Healer, checks something.
“She’s close. Just two more,” she says before walking out, the rest of them following her. Dora must be in pain again, because she squeezes my hand so hard, I’m certain some of my fingers just fractured. After a while, the Healer comes back in. “Just a bit more,” she smiles at Dora. “I think it’ll be over soon.” Dora looks frightened. She is frightened. Her hair, and eyes, turn white.
“Oh God, Remus. I’m not ready for this. Oh my God.”
I stroke her hair with my free (unbroken) hand. “It’s okay Dora.” The Healer walks in, then does a double take. Dora’s starting to hypervenalate. “Calm down, Dora. I’m right here, and I promise, I’m not going anywhere.” She glances at me, then her hold on my hand tightens. Right, my fingers aren’t broken or fractured, they’re just about to come off! She lets go.
“Sorry,” she says, grabbing the railing of the bed.
“It’s okay, Dora.” I take her hand again, putting it below my fingers.
“Okay, you’re ready. I need you to push.”
“What?” Her face drains of colour, matching her hair and eyes.
“Push, Dora. Come on, you can do it.”
She does. And whatever happened to my fingers earlier is now on my hand, only worse. I can only imagine what she’s feeling.
“Good one. Again now. Push.” She does, falling back on the bed, breathing heavily.
“Just a couple more times now.” Again. And Again. And…I hear a baby crying. She falls back onto the bed, chest heaving. She lightens her hold on my hand, but doesn’t let go. The Healers go over to the side, and clean the baby and do whatever they have to do. Then they bring him to Dora.
Her eyes are wide in amazement. She takes him, holding him gently, almost as if she’s afraid she’ll break him. She looks so beautiful, even though she’s sweaty. Her hair changes to pink.
“Hey,” she whispers. “I’m your Mummy. Yeah,” she smiles. “This is your Daddy, Remus.” He’s…beautiful.
“He’s so small,” I whisper.
“I know.” Someone snaps a picture. I look around. One of the Healers.
“What are you naming him?” We still hadn’t decided.
Dora looks up at me. “We should name him Ted, after your dad.”
She looks at me in amazement.“That’s perfect, Remus. Theodore Remus .” She nods, looking to the Healer.
“Theodore Remus Lupin.” The Healer nods and writes it down.
She hands me a certificate.
“Theodore Remus Lupin, parents Nymphadora Lupin and Remus John Lupin, is born 17, April, 1998,” I read.
I smile at Dora. We have a child. Our own child. Looking back down at my tiny son, I see his hair had turned pink, where before it had been a sandy brown colour like my own.
“Dora,” I whisper, so as to not wake the sleeping infant, “look, his hair.”
“It’s pink,” she whispers. “Remus, he’s a Metamorphmagus. Can you believe it?”
“No,” I whisper in amazement. This was great news. He was a Metamorphmagus. They take him after a while, to do something, though I don’t know what. It must have been normal though, because Dora didn’t seem to mind. I look at my wife’s sleeping form. She’s so beautiful. A Healer walks in.
“Excuse me,” I whisper. She comes over. “I was wondering if you could…” how do I ask her this?
“Mr. Lupin, your son doesn’t have lycanthropy. He isn’t a werewolf.” I felt relief spread through my body. “And, for future reference, there are a few studies out saying it’s not possible to spread it t children that way.” She smiles at me.
“Thank you,” I whisper.
Soon we go home with our son. Our home. Our son. Our family.
Dora places his sleeping form in the crib, his pink hair shining brightly, matching his mothers. I stand beside Dora, holding her. She looks up at me with sparkling eyes, a small smile on her lips. I lean down and kiss her. That night, while lying in bed, I think of my family. My beautiful wife, laying here beside me, my wonderful son, just across the hall. And everything is right.