Teddy wasn’t sure what to say and, from the look on Natalie’s face, she didn’t know what to say either. The silence only lasted a few seconds, though, until Christian yawned. “Will you tell me a story?”
“I guess you should get him home,” Natalie said, a tight smile on her face. “I’ll, umm, talk to you later, okay?”
Teddy nodded as he walked away, looking over his shoulder. “Yeah. I…yeah, okay.”
Christian was wide awake during the drive home, looking out the window at the street lights. Glancing at his son through the rear-view mirror, he sighed. “You know Natalie isn’t your mum, don’t you, Christian?”
The toddler frowned, pushing his eyebrows together in an almost cartoonish way. “Yes she is.”
Teddy sighed. “Natalie is just a good friend, buddy. She likes you a lot, but she isn’t your mum.”
“Why not?” Christian leaned over as much as he could in his booster seat, trying to see Teddy, who sighed.
“If Natalie was your mum, she would have to by my girlfriend or my wife. She’s not one of those, though. She’s just my friend.” He glanced back at Teddy, watching as the boy processed the information. “Do you understand?”
Christian nodded. “I want her to my mummy. I love Natie.”
Teddy smiled. “She is pretty great.” She’d probably make a great mum, too. Teddy shook his head. “We’re friends,” he muttered to himself.
By the time they arrived home, Christian was already asleep. Teddy carried him into the house and put him in his bed, placing a kiss on his forehead before leaving the room. Once he had changed into his pajamas, which consisted of just a pair of sleeping pants, he checked his phone to find a message from Natalie.
>Maybe we should talk tonight?
Teddy sighed. He had planned on texting her anyway, but he had wanted to formulate what to say before. He wasn’t even sure how he felt about what happened, or if Natalie even saw it like he did. Maybe that wasn’t even what she wanted to talk about.
Yeah, what’s up?<
>Were you upset with Christian? I’ll tell him not to call me mummy later, but I really just hope you weren’t upset with him.
No, of course not. What did you think of it?<
She didn’t text him back right away. Teddy sat on the edge of the bed, looking at the phone screen that seemed to light the small room. She just said she didn’t want to be called that. And she doesn’t want kids. You know that. Now she’s trying to think of a nice way to say it. Just as he was about to tell her to forget the question, his phone buzzed.
>I guess it’s natural for him to think I’m his mum. I am around him a lot, and I’m willing to bet the only woman whose constantly in his life that isn’t already related to him some other way. Everyone else has a mum and I guess I kinda act like what he expects a mum would act like sometimes. It didn’t bother me, if that’s what you’re asking.
>Did it bother you?
Teddy stared at the question. The simple answer was yes, it bothered him. It just wasn’t for the reasons she would assume. He rubbed the back of his neck. Is knowing someone two months even really knowing them? Natalie just found out about magic today. What if my brain is just trying to see something that isn’t there? Falling backwards, bouncing slightly as his back hit the bed, he sighed.
No, it didn’t bother me.<
Actually, it made me think. Well, I’ve been thinking about this for a while. Do you wanna get lunch tomorrow? I’m off.<
I mean, not like our usual lunches. A real lunch.<
Half-way through a fourth message, Natalie called him. “Hello?”
“Teddy Lupin, are you trying to ask me on a date?” Her voice was playfully harsh and he could hear the smile through the phone.
“Yeah, sorry.” Teddy swallowed. “Do you wanna go on a date, Natalie?”
She giggled. “Yes, that would be lovely. But not tomorrow. I’m pulling a double tomorrow, a few girls are sick. Teusday, though, would be perfect. Is that good for you?”
He couldn’t help the grin spreading across his face. “Yeah, Tuesday is great for me.”
“So, why the sudden change of heart? Going from ‘I’m not looking to date’ to asking me on one?”
Teddy rolled onto his side. “It started a while ago, and that’s actually why I was avoiding you. We were getting to close for comfort. So I talked to Uncle George about some stuff, and he gave me really great advice.”
“What was that?”
Teddy swallowed. “Oh. He…well, his twin brother died in a war a long time ago. And I’ve been guarded since Christians mum died—“
“Yeah, I picked up on that bit.”
“He basically said that I didn’t have to forget her and that opening myself to possibilities wouldn’t dishonor her memory. And other people have told me that, but coming from him, it was different. He just told me that it was up to me, how I acted on feelings, but that I shouldn’t block myself from them out of fear.” He sighed. “So, naturally, that aspect frightened me and I stopped talking to you, hoping those feeling would go away.
Natalie snorted. “Yeah, those one and two word text explaining why you couldn’t do something were great. I missed you.”
Teddy nodded, though she couldn’t see it. “I missed you, too. And so did Christian.” After a moment when neither of them spoke, a thought crossed Teddy’s mind. “So, that day you suggested we get coffee in the park, were you really just trying to be friends?”
“Yes,” she said, nearly defiantly. “I couldn’t just go on a date with someone I don’t know.”
“You did just find out I’m a wizard,” Teddy pointed out.
“I found out pluto used to be a planet the other day. Finding things out shouldn’t be so drastic. Oh, is Fred a wizard too? Because he’s dating Gwen and if she knew and didn’t tell me…”
With a sigh, Teddy shook his head. “She doesn’t know. Fred has never told any muggle he’s a wizard. I bet she’ll know soon, though. This is the longest he’s ever dated anyone, muggle or not.”
“Now I have to learn a whole new vocabulary. You better be the best boyfriend, Teddy, because I hate learning new vocabulary.”
“That’s why you bought a word a day calendar?” He smirked.
“That’s besides the point. Hey, I’m getting pretty sleepy, but I’ll talk to you tomorrow, okay?”
“Okay,” Teddy said with a smile. He hung the phone up, putting it on the night stand by his bed, and was asleep within minutes.
Friday in the office was hectic. It seemed the public was split when it came to werewolf rights. The letters of praise for pushing for the rights were heavily buried under the many howlers from those who were against the new legislation.* The core group held a press conference, trying to answer many of the public’s questions about why werewolf rights needed to be reformed.
“We’ll take one last question,” Hermione said, looking around the room.
Several questions were shouted until Hermione pointed to one man. “Why should we trust anyone who can change their appearance?”
Hermione looked over at Teddy, raising her eyebrows. “For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Teddy Lupin. I’ve been to several press conferences, even giving some of you here today personal interviews and exclusive stories. I would say you trust me, don’t you?”
The man nodded. “Of course. You’re norm...”
Teddy grinned, knowing his hair was slowly changing colors, going through the natural spectrum and into greens, purples, pinks, and blues. His clean-shaven face began to grow facial hair, his skin tone slightly getting darker and lighter. “I can change how I look at will. I can be a woman that fills all your dreams,” he said, his hair growing long and changing to a dark ebony, his skin darkening as much as his power would allow. His chest pressed against the shirt he was wearing as his waist pulled in and he shrunk a couple inches. “There are limits, naturally, and I can’t get incredibly far from my proper look, but I can make myself unrecognizable. That’s why my mum was an auror when she still lived. My dad was a werewolf, and was forced by the public to resign from a teaching position. Werewolves are people, too. And we need to treat them like they deserve.”
Once the press conference was over and Teddy was able to go home after getting Christian from Mrs. Weasleys, he sighed. He liked his powers, but he hadn’t used them for more than minor adjustments in a while. When he had been younger, he had used them constantly. A different hair and eye color every day. A new nose when he felt like it.
Then he realized Natalie didn’t know about those powers.
Hey, I wanna show you something. Have time to come over?<
>Working. Show me Tuesday?
Yeah, okay. :) <
Tuesday already made his stomach feel weird. He didn’t need this to add to it.