One swallow does not make a summer, neither does one fine day; similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy. And it was days like these that Harry wondered if they were truly ever happy at all.
As he was walking away, with Ginny behind him clutching Teddy's hand in hers and Ron and Hermione by his side, after yet another ceremony in the memory of the fallen, it was hard for him to define happiness and whether they were actually feeling it. How can you be happy when so much was lost? When so many friends were lost? And as he reflected back at the day they've had, it seemed complicated to him. What was happiness? Was it the feeling that even though those people were gone, he and his friends could carry on with their lives without the horror of Voldemort? Was it the feeling that at least they still had each other? Was it the feeling that those who had fallen, had done so they could create a better world with their sacrifice? Was it the feeling that sometime in the future they will once again be reunited with the lost ones?
The ray of sunlight, that was creeping inside the room through the curtains, blinded the child as it reached his eyes, startling him out of his sleep. He blinked a couple of times, trying to adjust to the light and then jumped out of the bed. When you're six you don't feel sleepy at the morning, neither you feel any need to stay in bed after you wake up; at least this six year old didn't.
He rushed to the window of his room and pulled at the curtains. It was an unusually sunny day and in London they were surely not used to those. Teddy, felt like this day was important somehow, but he couldn't recall why, though he definitely remembered going to bed last night really excited. He turned around to look at his room, which was painted in a navy blue color and upon seeing the small, red gift box that contained Victoire's present in it, he was able to remember. It was Vicki's birthday today and he had made sure that this year's present she was going to like; because last year she had hated the toy broomstick they had given her, though seriously Teddy couldn't see how could anybody fall and twist her ankle from a broom that did not fly more that two meters in the air. He had concluded that girls didn't do so well in Quidditch (Aunt Hermione, who was the best in everything but that particular sport, was a solid proof of the said conclusion); except of course from Mama Ginny. She was a mastermind in Quidditch. The rest of the Holyhead Harpies were good too, but from what he had seen in the games his godfather had taken him, there was no one better than her, or at least that was how it seemed to Teddy.
He wondered if she was back from yesterday's match yet, but he knew the answer as soon as he opened the door and the delicious smell of pancakes reached him, even two floors above the kitchen. In his eyes his godfather was the most awesome and strong and amazing man in the whole wide universe, but the boy knew that his cooking skills did not exceed beyond eggs and bacon, an overcooked version of those nevertheless. He rushed to the ground floor of Grimauld Place, as fast as his legs could carry him and burst into the kitchen, making Ginny jump. She placed the pan she was holding into the fire and then turned to flash him a smile, as he climbed on one of the chairs around the bench.
“Hey, there little man”, she said cheerfully, scooting over to him to kiss his forehead.
“Hey, Mama Ginny, did you win the game?” the boy asked excitedly.
“What do you think?” she smirked.
“I think you won and now you're making pancakes to celebrate!” he said with one breath and Ginny laughed.
“Well, the pancakes were ordered by my other man”, she smiled. “But well I guess...” she said, leaving her sentence hanging and raising her eyebrow.
“Yay! The Harpies won!” the boy exclaimed. “The Harpies rule all!”
“Of course the Harpies rule all!” she agreed with the same over excited tone. “She shoots...”
“She scores...” Teddy went on.
“And the game is in the bag!” they both exclaimed.
“Is it hard to play chaser, Mama?” the boy asked when they stopped laughing.
“Well no, it's not easy, every Beater from the other team is out to get you”, she replied, adding more pancakes to the plate in front of her. “But it was always my favorite position. I was never a good beater and scoring is so much more fun and exciting than looking for the snitch the entire game; so boring”.
“Oh really?” Harry asked, coming into the kitchen, still in the sweat pants and shirt he wore in bed and his hair still a stack of black mayhem. “Is Mama Ginny trying to talk you out of playing seeker, when you go to Hogwarts, again, Teddy?”
“Oh, no”, Ginny said looking at Teddy with eyes widened and a fake terrified expression upon her face. “Caught in the act”.
“Such an absurd betrayal on your behalf”, Harry shook his head.
“Would you consider forgiving me, if I tell you that watching you play seeker has never been boring?” she suggested raising her eyebrows and he smirked.
“Well, how can I resist, when there's something so sweet and delicious waiting for me?” he replied, reaching over towards her, but changing direction at the last moment and instead going for her lips, he reached for the pancakes. “Where's the syrup, anyway?”
She gave him a shove, but turned around to give him the syrup from the shelf and Harry sat down next to his godson, who had already served himself to more than enough pancakes.
“Come on, Ted”, Ginny scolded as she turned to them again and sat down. “If you eat all that, you'll be full for the rest of the day and I'm guessing that my mum has already baked an enormous cake for Vicki's birthday”.
“Oh, yay! Nana Molly makes the best cakes!” the boy exclaimed and for the first time ever didn't complain as Ginny reduced his oversized pile of pancakes. “When are we going over at Shell Cottage for the party?” he asked and Ginny glanced at Harry, who sighed.
“Well, we have to go to Hogwarts first, Teddy, don't you remember?”
The boy frowned for a moment and then nodded, as he realized that it was the time of the year when they visited Hogwarts and the graves of those who had fallen. Teddy had to admit that he didn't particularly liked that tradition, it kind of creep him out, plus everyone always got so sad and he couldn't exactly understand why; though it felt wrong to ask.
Already he could see that his godparents looked rather solemn, as Ginny sat down too and they continued into their breakfast quietly. Teddy knew that six years ago, on this day, the witches and wizards of Britain had fought against some bad people, who wanted to harm the magical world, but he also knew that some of those who had fought had died; his parents along with them too. He couldn't understand though why everybody felt so bad for the people who left, since as his godfather had told him they were in heaven; it couldn't have been that bad, with the angels and the clouds, right?
“Why are some people bad?” he asked Ginny a couple of hours later, as she helped him get dressed for the memorial.
Ginny's eyes widened for a moment, as she continued buttoning up his shirt, knowing that she would have to give an answer to the waiting boy. She wished that Harry would get out of the shower and come to the rescue, but as he had just gone in, that seemed unlikely.
“Why do you ask?” she said, trying to buy some time.
“Papa Harry said that today we celebrate the fact that the wizarding world got rid of some bad people that wanted to harm it. Why?”
“I don't really know how to answer you, Ted”, Ginny sighed.
“Try”, he urged and she smiled, tucking his shirt inside his trousers.
“It's just...nothing is ever that black and white, honey. I don't think that people are born bad. I think there are bad choices. I think that you have those choices in life and how you turn out to be, who you turn out to be is based on which choices you made and whether they were the wrong or the right ones”.
“What about Voldemort?” the boy asked. “Did he just make a bad choice?”
“I think the problem with him was that he thought he couldn't make a bad choice”, Ginny said. “But you should not worry about things like that”, she added changing her tone, to a more upbeat one. “Papa Harry and I will make sure that no bad people will ever come near you, okay?”
“Okay, Mama”, Teddy nodded, hopping off the bed, looking very sharp in his miniature dress robes, even if they looked ridiculous to him and he couldn't understand why people get into these uncomfortable clothes.
The memorial service wasn't much different than the one the little boy could remember from last year. They arrived at Hogwarts and when they did about a dozen of rude men with cameras fell on them; for some reason everyone always wanted to take his godfather's picture, but Teddy never knew why. Harry had told him that he too had fought back in the war against the bad people and so had Mama Ginny, but so had everybody else and even if the reporters wanted to talk and photograph all of the Weasleys and Aunt Luna and Uncle Neville too, they were only going crazy when Harry was around. Aurors, however, led them to the field, where the memorial would take place and the reporters were not able to follow them.
They met up with Aunt Hermione and Uncle Ron after a while and the latest, after he greeted Harry and Ginny, grabbed Teddy and placed him over his shoulders. Teddy had grown very fond of his Uncle Ron over the years and had graciously granted him the honor of calling him his most fun Uncle, even if he secretly thought that Uncle George was the funniest. It was hard to believe that there was a time when Uncle Ron did not like Teddy, but apparently that was the case, as Aunt Hermione insisted, to be corrected by Uncle Ron that in reality he was only afraid of Teddy, as an idea. Now, exactly what that meant the boy had no clue, no matter how smart everybody said he was. Apparently now Uncle Ron had overcame his fear of kids, as he and Aunt Hermione were 'trying', but again the boy had no idea what that meant.
The five of them, along with Aunt Luna and Uncle Neville always sat in the front row of the seats, though Teddy could vaguely recall a year when so many people had come that he had to sit on Ginny's lap; coincidentally it was the same year that his godfather had decided to give a speech too. As they sat at their seats, the child looked around and saw that there was a fair mount of people gathered today as well, which made him a bit uneasy because he never really liked big, fussy crowds; Mama Ginny insisted that he had copied that quality from his godfather.
He was sitting between Harry and his Aunt Luna, who was always so much fun to be around; just the way she dressed was hilarious. Like today, she wore a dress in a bright red color that made her stand out from everyone else and from her ears hung a pair of crystal blue earrings, that didn't go at all with her dress and her yellow high heels; but that was just Aunt Luna. As the speeches started, the boy tried to pay attention, but he lost interest in the first five minutes and got busy staring at the bright colors Luna wore. He had never really liked that part of the memorial, mostly because he hated the slow, gravely voice the people who talked had and because even if he liked their tone he never understood most of what they said, it was all in the pompous, formal style of language. As time stretched out though, he got tired of gazing at the reflections Aunt Luna's earrings made as sunlight fell on them and leaned back on Harry, trying to stiff a yawn behind his lips. His godfather placed an arm around his shoulders and smiled down at him.
“It's going to be over in a few minutes”, he said soothingly, understanding that the boy's patience was growing thin.
“In how many minutes?” Teddy asked back and Harry smiled again, but then turned his attention back to the scrawny old man, who was talking now and didn't answer.
Teddy huffed impatiently and Harry started running his hands through his hair, keeping him from fidgeting, but that caused two problems, the boy didn't care for. First, he started feeling sleepy and second the flash of the cameras told him that some reporter had just taken their picture, something he really didn't care for; how very rude of him, did he go around taking pictures of people that didn't know him? But his godfather had been truthful and soon the speeches were over and the crowd started standing up. They stood up too and the boy flexed his small arms and shook his head, to get over the sleepiness, then took his godfather's hand and walked beside him and Mama Ginny, as they proceeded to the part of the memorial he actually found interesting; the wreath reposition for the deceased heroes of war.
A special permit was released from the Minister of Magic or as Teddy knew him, Mr. Kingsley and a part of Hogwarts's grounds had been turned into a graveyard for those who had fallen during that fateful day. A bit morbid for a school, but as Aunt Hermione had said, it would be worse if the future generations were left to forget the past and the lessons that were learnt. They entered the small graveyard, walking right behind Minister Schacklebolt and the Aurors that were guarding him. Teddy had never found the place to be scary, even though his Mama Ginny was afraid he'd be terrified the first ever time they brought him to his parents' graves, but he always thought it was nice that such a special place had been built for them to sleep in. A sizable, marble phoenix was built in the center, an honor to the many members of the Order of the Phoenix that laid there and to Dumbledore himself. Of course, Teddy just thought that it made the place nice.
One by one, the people that had been there for the memorial, proceeded to place a wreath under the marble phoenix. More cameras flashed as his godfather and the rest of his adopted family paid their own respects to the deceased and before he even knew it, the memorial service was over and it was almost time to go. Almost, because every year, Harry took Teddy to his parents' graves and gave him a rose to offer to them, as Ginny and the other Weasleys visited Fred's grave.
Clutching his godfather's hand, they approached the graves and Harry gave him the traditional red rose to give them. He let go of Harry's hand and placed the rose at the bottom of the grave, then looked up at him questioningly. His godfather gave him a smile, that this time did not reach his eyes and the next moment he knelt down beside him.
“Hello Remus, Wotcher Tonks”, Harry said. “Teddy and I thought we should drop by and see how you guys are doing”.
“Can they hear you?” Teddy asked looking up at him.
“Of course, they can”, Harry said. “They're angels up in the sky, remember?”
“Angles with super-hearing?” the boy asked and Harry chuckled.
“Yeah, angles with super-hearing”, he nodded. “And they can hear you more clear and louder than anyone”.
“Yeah, because they loved you more than anyone”.
“I love them too”, Teddy said and Harry kissed his forehead and then looked back, as Ginny was coming towards them, with her eyes unusually wet.
“Come on”, Harry said standing up again and taking the boy's hand in his.
He gave another look on the grave, that read the names of his beloved friends and below them a phrase he had picked out, 'For a better and safer world'; at least that was what Remus had told him he fought for. A better world for Teddy.
“Bye mum, bye dad”, the boy said, waving at the grave as he and his godfather walked away.
On their way back to the school, where they'd take a Portkey that would magically transport them at Shell Cottage, he walked with Ginny, who clutched his hand into hers, that didn't seem so disproportional to his as his godfather's did, since she had small hands too. Her hands were always warm too, even when it was chilly and the boy sometimes wondered if she had casted some kind of a spell on them. She looked down at him and even though traces of tears were evident in her eyes, she smiled happily at him.
“Are you excited for Victoire's party?” she asked him and he nodded eagerly.
He couldn't wait until they'd reach Shell Cottage and he'd be able to give her the present, he and his Papa had picked out for her.
“Do you have her present?” he asked his Mama Ginny, who had volunteered to keep the box in her purse.
“Yes, don't worry”, she assured him. “I must say though that I was half tempted to open it; I wanted to see what you and your godfather bought”.
“Don't you have faith in us, Mama?” the boy asked with a fake offended tone.
“I have faith in your taste, I'm not so sure about Harry's”, she replied winking.
“Papa”, Teddy yelled at his godfather, who was walking a couple of meters ahead of them, with Ron and Hermione. “Papa, Mama says she not have faith in your taste!”
“Shh, you didn't have to tell on me!” Ginny said taking her own fake offended tone.
But as Harry turned and just gave them a small smile that once again did not reach his eyes, her face fell and then she didn't say anything more. Teddy stared at his godfather's back, knowing that it was one of those times. His godfather always had a smile reserved for him and Mama Ginny, even when he came home after a really exhausting day in the Auror office and the boy thought he was the kindest person in the world, but there were times that he had a darken look in his eyes and his face got too broody for the boy's liking. Mama said that it was because he was thinking of the war and truth be told she had those times too, but the boy still hated it. He just wanted them to be happy. He let go of Ginny' hand and ran at Harry's side, tugging on his sleeve. The man looked down at the child, who raised his hands up, obviously urging him to pick him up, though Harry knew that ever since he got to big for it, the boy hated to be carried. He sighed and scooped him up.
“Aren't you a bit too old to need to be carried, mister?” he asked the boy.
“I am”, he agreed. “I just thought you needed it”.
Harry lost his words over this and stared at the boy, amazed at the brightness of his mind, even in his six years or rather at the brightness of his spirit. He was such a kind and sweet child, even if sometimes he was a little devil, but still he deserved all the best. He realized then that even if Remus and Tonks were gone, they had left Teddy behind and even if their fights had ended up at their deaths, they had succeeded into creating a safer place for their child to grow up in. He also knew that he would do anything to protect and keep Teddy safe, as well.
“I love you, you know that?” he whispered to him and the child was glad to see that the darken look had left his godfather's eyes for now.
They arrived at the party a whole ten minutes later, even if the party hadn't exactly begun yet, since Uncle Bill was with them and the other people invited were at the memorial as well. It was evident that Victoire was anxious for it to start however and the boy didn't exactly blame her; it was rather unfortunate for her that she had to be born on the day that her entire family had to be in a memorial service of such an important past event as the wizarding war. So, the moment they arrived at the garden outside, she burst through the door, with her little sister Dominique running after her and chasing behind them a very pregnant Aunt Fleur.
Victoire was turning five today and she was already a miniature version of her mother, her Vela genes evident even in her current age. Long, silvery, blonde hair flew behind her as she ran towards them, her bright blue eyes (a treat of her father) sparkling with excitement. With a first look she gave someone the idea that she was a little, tiny angle who had fallen from the sky, she looked like it at least. Her family however knew that was not the case, if anything little Victoire was a little devil, who always figured a way to get what she wanted and always had a plan to make the day fun; that was why Teddy liked her so much, her limitless imagination.
Dominique, who was running behind her two years older sister, with her much smaller legs, was a genuine Weasley, with the whole meaning of the word. She had bright red hair, that fell in curls around her round, freckled face. The only thing she shared with her sister were the blue eyes, though hers appeared to be a bit darker than Victoire's. She was a sweet child, but no one, not even her sister, could ever beat her at tantrums, whenever her temper was flaring up. Teddy was starting to believe that ginger hair and nasty tempers went together and related somehow; Mama Ginny was a bright example of that, though the child had never seen her really mad, but Uncle Ron and others, among them even Papa Harry, had warned him that he really really did not want to.
The birthday girl stopped in front of them and with a huge, sparkly smile gave them a small bow, as she had seen all the princesses do in her fairytale books. Then she squealed and fell on Teddy and grabbing his hand into her own, dragged him towards the direction of the house, just as her mother reached them.
“Victoire, you do not ran around like a monkey, you hear?” Fleur said disapprovingly.
“It's my birthday today, mum, I can do whatever I want”, the small girl replied and ran inside the house again, still dragging her friend behind her and talking really fast about the birthday decorations.
Fleur sighed, shaking her head and then turned to greet the adults that had arrived. Along with Harry and Ginny were Ron and Hermione, Bill of course, Charlie, who always came every year for the memorial and coincidentally for his niece's birthday as well and a smiley Arthur Weasley, inside whose heart Victoire held a special place. Molly said she would drop by later and so would George; both of them were always too depressed after the memorial and it was taking them some time to recover each time. Percy said he had to work and he would drop by later with his wife and daughter; not that Victoire would really care if he didn't, since she was definitely not fond of her strict Uncle Percy and could do without her irritating little cousin Molly, who always cried, but no one dared to tell Percy that.
As Harry followed his wife inside the familiar house, he found his godson wrapped up in a deep conversation with both Victoire and Dominique about the memorial. The two girls had never really gotten to go there, because Fleur thought they were too young and anyway Victoire wanted to be there to supervise the direction of her party. Of course, that didn't mean they were not curious about what it was like there and Teddy was all too eager to explain; he always liked it when people wanted to hear what he had to say, he hated it when he was ignored, not that it had happened a lot, since in his short life he was always the center of attention (and affection) for his godparents.
The adults retreated into the living room, leaving the three kids to play, but the moment they were gone, Victoire rounded on her friend.
“Where's my present?” she demanded, even if her mother had repeatedly told her that it was rude to demand your presents from people; she didn't really care for that rule, it was her birthday, people were obliged to get her presents, end of story.
“Mama Ginny has it”, Teddy replied, anticipating the question. “She said you can have it after you blow your candles”.
“You didn't get me another toy broomstick, did you Ted?”
“I'm not supposed to say, it's got to be a surprise, remember?”
“But it's not a toy broom...”
“No, it's not”, the boy sighed and his friend seemed satisfied by his answer.
“Good”, she said. “Because I'm not sure I like the present mum and dad got me”.
“What is it?” the boy asked confused; Victoire always got the best presents and he wondered what could her parents' have given her that she did not like, surely they wouldn't make the mistake to buy her a broom, knowing their daughter as they did.
“Well, I got a new set of barbies that can braid your hair and sign songs, but mum said that it wasn't my real present”, she said resentfully. “My real present will be my baby brother, she says and she also said that it won't be too long before he's here”.
“Don't you want him to come here?” Teddy questioned.
“Well...” Victoire sighed. “I didn't think I'd like it when she came along”, she said pointing at Dominique, who was currently busy eating a biscuit, “but still Dom was a girl and I didn't have any girl friends, apart from cousin Molly, who well...is not exactly a fun friend. But you are a boy and you are my friend. What do I need a brother for?”
“Well, Mama Ginny has a lot of brothers and she loves all of them”, Teddy said. “Though she does complain about them sometimes too”, he added as an afterthought. “Especially Uncle Ron”.
“You're lucky”, Victoire said. “You have your parents all to yourself. I have to share them with Dom and soon with my little brother”.
“They're not my parents”, Teddy said, averting his eyes and playing with the carpet they were sitting on.
“Oh, right”, Victoire said covering her mouth. “I always forget that. But you still have them all to yourself”.
The boy nodded absentmindedly, knowing that in reality he too was forgetting about that small trivia a lot; perhaps because it didn't feel any different. It felt to him like Harry and Ginny were really his parents, even if he was made aware that they are not, from a small age; there was no alternative with the whole publicity his existence in Harry's life had taken those first years.
The three of them spend some of their time playing chase, which ended up with little Dominique falling down and crying her eyes out, until her father came to soothe her and then with Teddy breaking a vase, which he apologized for a couple of times, before Aunt Fleur fixed it. Thankfully, not long after that Grandma Molly and Uncle George came (Uncle George with his wife Angelica and their baby daughter Roxanne) and they were able to cut the cake, before they three of them could rake any more havoc.
Victoire clapped her hands excitedly as she climbed a chair, so she was standing above the others, while they started chanting Happy Birthday for her. When the song was over, she closed her eyes, making a wish on the inside and then blowing the candles of the chocolate filled cake that stood before her. After every candle was blown, Fleur carried the cake into the kitchen to serve it to them and her daughter jumped from her chair and went straight for her pile of presents.
She's had a good run this year. She got almost everything she had asked except from her very own Exploding Snap; for whatever reason her parents thought that Exploding and Victoire did not go well together. When she finished opening Uncle George's gift, a new, improved version of Extendable Ears, she turned eagerly towards Teddy, awaiting his present. Ginny came up behind the boy and placed the small, round, red box into his hands giving him a wink. The boy smiled up at her and then trotted over to Victoire and gave her the box. She eyed it suspiciously, because from what experience she had gathered in her five years of life, she understood that something this small was either something really great or something really lame; she deeply hoped it was the first. She untied the bow and opened the small box, her anticipation evident in her small, angelic face. For a moment everyone stared at the little girl, who was staring at what was inside the small box and Teddy hoped from one foot to the other, anxiously awaiting her verdict and then...
“Oh, it's beautiful!” Victoire exclaimed happily and the boy exhaled relieved.
“What is it?” her mum asked coming up behind her to look inside the box, but she didn't have to do that, as the girl reached inside and pulled her present off.
It was a chain with a large, golden star hanging from it, a star the was obviously a locket too.
“Open it”, Harry urged her and the girl nodded and proceeded into doing so.
“Whoa...” she said as she opened the locket and a slow, dreamy lullaby started to play.
Inside, there was a small, blue light right in the middle, that shined on the girl's face, giving her a blue glow and around the light orbited a bright, half shaped moon that moved in perfect synchronization with the music. The girl was apparently pleased with her present, because she stared at it in total amazement.
“'Est tres jolie!” Fleur exclaimed, giving Harry a broad smile, but he shrugged.
“Teddy picked it out”, he replied.
“You like it?” the boy asked his friend still uncertain if her stunned reaction was a good sign or not.
But as she raised her eyes at him and gave him a smile that could lit up the entire room, he realized that she did in fact like his present.
“I love it!” she yelled and carefully closing the locket, muffling out the music, she crossed the room to hug Teddy. “I'll wear it always! It's the best present I've ever had!” she declared and both Harry and Teddy were pleased to have achieved their goal.
“Hey, what about my toy broomstick?” Ron protested.
The rest of the night ran smoothly, if you exclude the fact that from the moment Percy and his family arrived, his daughter, Molly threw a tantrum so her dad would buy her a similar locket, like the one Vicky had. Victoire was not at all pleased with this, but as Harry said that it was one of a kind, she was delirious to see Molly's face bloat with jealousy. After a couple of hours, Grandma Molly and Arthur, along with Charlie, George and his family left, since the old couple would turn in early and Charlie had planned a night out with George, who had acquired a permission from his wife with difficulty. Percy, Audrey and their daughter had to leave early too, because she wouldn't stop protesting.
“That child is so spoiled”, Bill observed after they've left and as the ones still there were gathered in the dining room, leaving the kids to play in the living room.
“You're the one to talk!” Fleur observed shaking her head; it was no secret that Bill could not resist his daughters.
“Oh, come on”, Ron said before Bill could protest. “Vic and Dom are not half as bad as Molly is!”
“Yeah, but still they can throw a temper tantrum that can keep the whole neighborhood up!” Fleur argued. “I wish they could be more like Teddy, he's such a nice little boy”.
“Yeah, I can't believe that my little sister and Harry did a better job in disciplining Teddy than what we did with our daughters”, Bill laughed, but Ginny shook her head in disagreement, as Harry snorted.
“Trust me, Bill, it's not like we did anything...disciplinary”, Ginny said.
“We were pretty much set on following Percy's tactic and give Teddy everything he wants”, Harry nodded. “But he never asks for anything too extravagant or not appropriate for his age and even when he does, after we explain to him why he cannot have it, he just...accepts it”.
“I know it's your daughter that looks like an angel, but I think Teddy is the real one”, Ginny smiled. “It's like he's a little adult and if you make everything understandable for him, he will understand”.
“I think it's in the child”, Hermione said. “I don't think that Victoire would go in such extremes as crying deliberately like Molly does, but she's too stubborn to give up on what she has her mind set on too, while Teddy is simply content with what he has”.
“I think he kinda reminds me of Remus in that way”, Bill said and the people around the table nodded.
The next moment, almost everyone, excluding pregnant Fleur, reached for their glasses of Fire whiskey, as they were reminded of Remus and in extend of all the rest of their friends that were gone. Harry didn't feel as bad as he had this afternoon, after the memorial though, he had decided he's had enough depressing thoughts for one day.
“Oh, dear, I almost forgot!” Fleur exclaimed after another hour went by and Bill had gone upstairs, to carry Dominique to her bed. “I must give you my bless!”
“What?” Ginny asked.
“Don't you remember? We did it with Victoire and Dom”, her sister in law said and Ginny rolled her eyes.
“I had blocked it out of my memory”.
It was a tradition every French witch had to follow, so their newborn child would be healthy and Fleur was always happy to do so. Apparently every married woman in the family, who had yet to have a child, had to be given to wear the clothes her pregnant relative had wore when she conceived. Ginny and Hermione dreaded that tradition, because it was stupid, let alone embarrassing; but Fleur always used the same argument, only this time it was slightly changed.
“Won't you do it for your nephew's health?”
The two previous times, they've done it for their nieces.
As the girls left, Fleur climbing the stair in an overexcited pace and Ginny and Hermione dragging their legs behind her, Ron turned at Harry.
“Have you told Ginny about the mission?” he asked and Harry nodded.
“I told her last night”, he replied.
“I haven't told Hermione yet”, Ron said and Harry rolled his eyes.
“Ron, we're leaving in two days!” he pointed out.
“I know”, he shrugged sheepishly. “But we just got home from our last mission, I don't think she's gonna like the fact that they're sending us in another one so soon. Besides who knows how long, we'll be gone?”
Harry sighed and then gave his friend a nod, acknowledging his concern. He loved being an Auror and he knew Ron loved it too, but it was always hard, when they had to be gone for days. He always missed Ginny and Teddy liked crazy and he knew they missed him too.
Both men jumped out of their thoughts, as Teddy walked inside the room, in search of them. As the boy came towards him, Harry could easily detect the signs of sleepiness on his face and glancing on the clock on the wall, he realized the it was far beyond his bed time.
“Hey, mate”, he said, wrapping an arm around the boy. “Are you all worn out?”
“Vicky got tired first, well after Dom did, but before me”, the boy said, like it was a contest, all the while rubbing his eyes with his fist. “She fell asleep on the couch”.
“She did?” Bill asked from the door, rolling his eyes; he had just come down, from carrying Dominique upstairs.
He didn't wait for an answer, just turned around towards the living room with a sigh, knowing he would have to do it all over again and put his other daughter to bed too. Teddy gave a glance at his Uncle Bill, as he disappeared through the door and then turned and laid his head on his godfather's shoulder, feeling his eyes closing no matter how hard he tried to keep them open.
“Sorry, Ted, I didn't realize it got so late”, Harry said, raising the arm, he had wrapped around the boy's middle, up to stroke his hair. “We'll go home as soon as Mama comes down”, he told him and his godson nodded, stiffing a yawn behind the palm of his hand.
Harry pushed his chair back to make room for the boy and Teddy climbed up his lap, burring his face into his chest, his fist clutching at his godfather's shirt. Teddy was considering himself old enough not to need to be carried or to be put to sleep, but he had to admit that he loved falling asleep, either in his godfather's hug or in Mama Ginny's. Harry started running his hand through the small boy's hair, a motion he had discovered a couple of years ago that could easily calm and soothe him, whenever he was upset or in this case make him fall asleep content. Indeed within the next minutes, the boy was fast asleep and Harry smiled down at him.
“I'll never understand how you do it”, Ron said shaking his head, as he watched them.
“What?” Harry asked confused.
“Well, I want a child with Hermione some time soon, but you've been taking care of Teddy for all of these years and I can't understand how you did it, especially since I'm not sure I'll be able to be good with a child now, let alone six years ago”.
“He just makes it easy, you know?” Harry replied staring at his godson fondly. “Besides I don't think it takes all that much Ron. All every child needs is affection”.
“Yeah, I'm sure that's all children want”, Ron snorted ironically. “Tell that to Percy”.
“Well, I guess providing your kids with all kinds of material stuff is a form of affection”, Harry shrugged. “Though definitely not a prudent one”.
“Whatever”, Ron shrugged. “I just wish if we ever have a child with Hermione, it'll be as nice and smart as Teddy or at least as cute as Victoire”.
“I'm sure it's going to be all of that”, Harry said generously.
“Of course, every child coming from Hermione will be amazing”, Ron said shaking his head. “She's so sweet and...”
“RON, YOU'RE DEAD MEAT!”
“Oh, no”, was all Ron could muster up, as a not so sweet version of his wife barged into the room.
“You're going on a mission?” she demanded. “And why exactly did I hear for it from Ginny and not you?”
“Well, I was just...”
“What?” she yelled, clearly irritated.
Ginny came into the room, chasing after Hermione, but turned her attention to Harry and Teddy.
“Oh, is he asleep?” she asked, but as the other couple in the room kept arguing the boy half opened his eyes and mumbled something.
“Not if they go on like this”, Harry said.
Then he readjusted the child's position in his hug and Teddy wrapped his arms around his neck, burring his head into the crook and fastened his legs around his waist, sensing they were going to move. Harry stood up, with the child falling back asleep in his arms and ignoring Ron and Hermione, who still argued, he made for the fireplace.
“What about Bill and Fleur?” he asked his wife.
“I said goodbye to them upstairs”, Ginny said, not having enough strength to stay around for one of Ron and Hermione's fights.
As Harry and Teddy disappeared in the flames, Ginny grabbed her bag and followed suit, the Floo taking her back at Grimauld Place. When she walked out of their fireplace, Harry was already climbing the stairs and she followed him.
“I'll put him to bed and be right in”, he told her, when they reached the top and she nodded, giving him a peck on the lips.
Harry opened the door quietly, not wanting to alert the child and walking inside the room, he laid the boy down on his bed. Teddy did not stir, only frowned a bit at the transport, but as Harry gently smoothed his hair back from his face, the frown disappeared. Then, he moved a bit, with his eyes still closed, so that he could hug his stuffed penguin, that was placed next to his pillow.
“Goodnight, Ted”, he said, after he threw the blankets on him and tucked his feet inside, making sure he would keep warm.
“Goodnight, daddy”, the child murmured in his sleep, making Harry freeze.
Somehow, whenever this happened, whenever the boy forgot to call him with the name they had figured out for him, it never really bothered Harry; though he knew that it had to bother him, that it did not bother him. He had to admit that he pretty much considered himself as Teddy's father and also that his heart always skipped a bit whenever the boy slipped up and called him daddy. However, he also did not feel right disregarding Remus and Tonks as Teddy's parents and he knew that no matter what, the boy had to know that his real parents loved him and would always watch over him. Harry sighed and scooped down to kiss the boy's forehead, knowing that it did not matter how he called him; he would always think of him as a son.
“Do you want me to make you pancakes?”
“How about milk and cookies?”
“Want some ice cream?”
“No”, Teddy replied gloomily as he turned a page in his book, though he wasn't really paying any attention to it.
“Teddy”, Ginny sighed. “Are you still depressed that Harry had to leave on a mission?” she asked and when the boy did not answer, she knew she had been spot on. “Honey, you know he had to go”.
“But he just came back from the last one!” the boy complaint. “Why can't they give him some time off and let some other Auror do the job?”
“Well, I'm only guessing here, but rumor has it that your godfather along with Uncle Ron are the best Aurors in the department”, she said, reminding the child of how proud he felt for his godfather.
“I just miss him when he's away, that's all”, he shrugged after another moment passed.
“I know”, she agreed, wrapping an arm around him and pulling him into her hug. “Me too. But I promise you, he'll be back before you know it”.
Harry had left this morning, promising exactly that, though Ginny knew that three days would feel like a month with him away from home. It still amazed her how much it hurt every time he left. Perhaps, because it reminded her of when he was away for an entire year back in the war and she had no idea of his whereabouts.
After that however, Teddy found his appetite once again and she went back downstairs, leaving him to finish his book, so she could make him the pancakes, he so much adored. She found Hermione already in the kitchen reading the Daily Prophet, deep in thought, so she didn't bother her from whatever article she was so intrigued in and proceeded into preparing the mix for pancakes. However, just as she opened the stove, the doorbell rang and for a moment, Ginny had the impulse to cover her ears, but then she remembered that Harry had tore down the wall with Mrs. Black's portrait on it; though obviously old habits die hard.
“I'll get that, don't sweat”, she said to Hermione, who haven't even moved an inch and she nodded absentmindedly.
Ginny left the kitchen, shaking her head at her sister in law and went for the door. Two figures appeared to be waiting outside, a woman and a man, at least from what she could tell through the door's hazy glass. She wondered who they were, since in order to find the house, which was still protected, (this time to keep reporters out and not Death Eaters) you had to be told by someone who's been there before. As she opened the door, however, she realized that the person standing there hadn't been told the location by anyone; she's been there herself before.
P/S: I'm sorry that updating is taking so long again, but there were some problems with my account! I'll try and have the next chapter up during the week... meanwhile, if you could all just take a moment and offer me some feedback, it would really, like really mean a lot!!! So please please review! It will only take a second and it will make me so very happy... besides I happen to know that the empty slot right beneath this post, is getting really hungry and anxious awaiting your thoughts about this story! :)