Disclaimer: I'm not JK Rowling, so anything you recognise is hers, and not mine.
A/N: Written for milkchocolates, who requested a happy meet-the-parents fic.
At first, she hadn't known entirely what to make of him.
His clothes were rather shabby, too thin and darned in places, but on closer inspection she noted that they'd been patched with impeccable tiny stitches, neatly finished and with evident care. His hair hung in his eyes, and he was a little pale and tired-looking, but his expression was boyish and alive, and his smile on the doorstep had been warm and his gaze no less so, and so she'd taken his hand and welcomed him into their home with genuine pleasure to meet him.
In truth, he wasn't at all what she'd been expecting.
Nymphadora's boyfriends had never been entirely suitable, but up until now, they'd been a kind of oddly uniform unsuitable, dragon hide jackets and slack accents, unwashed hair and unpolished shoes, the kind of men one would cross the street to avoid. But this boyfriend was nothing like that, and as Nymphadora introduced him, he was polite, and courteous, softly-spoken and, endearingly, a little nervous, and consequently Andromeda found herself a little ill-prepared for him.
Nymphadora's other boyfriends had been an altogether brasher sort, as colourful in their language as she was in her hairdos, but here was a man who didn't put his feet up on the coffee table, or smoke in the house, who said thank you without prompting, and made easy, eager conversation, evidently trying to make a good impression.
And, as the minutes passed, Andromeda could see more and more why her daughter liked him.
Which she clearly did. Every time Remus spoke, Nymphadora leant forward a little, and when he caught her eye, she smiled and looked away. They sat close on the sofa, their knees just touching, but Andromeda remembered the gesture well, that silent connection, and she found herself glad that they had it, even though she hadn't entirely made her mind up about this Remus Lupin yet.
At lunch, he pulled Nymphadora's chair out for her, even though she rolled her eyes at him, and placed his napkin neatly in his lap. He waited until she started eating to do so, even though she'd told him to tuck in, and he knew which spoon was for the soup – which was more than could be said for her daughter, who, as usual, went straight for her dessert spoon.
When Andromeda served the main course, Remus passed all the dishes to Nymphadora first, later commented on how lovely the roast potatoes were, inquiring what kind of crisping charm she used because his never came out quite right, and asking if she might divulge the recipe for her stuffing.
He was affable, she thought, easy company, charming, in a quiet, unassuming way, tentatively telling jokes and then smiling when they laughed, as if he were still a little surprised that people liked him.
They talked about his job – or lack of, the reasons why, and she'd expected him to be defensive, to try and make amends for what he must have known they'd perceive as a short-coming, but he did neither, talking with honesty and a little sadness about his situation, saying that he hoped a change would come soon, but that he'd always made enough here and there to get by, and then joking that if it came to it, he'd always quite fancied the life of a house wizard.
Nymphadora had joked in return that if he was going to do that, he'd need more than help with crisping charms and stuffing recipes, but they'd exchanged a glance, then, and Andromeda had seen in their eyes that they'd talked about it seriously, seriously enough to make light of it now.
After lunch, Nymphadora took Remus out into the garden to show him the apple tree she'd grown from a single pip, telling him how it had never produced any fruit and she wasn't sure it ever would because weren't you supposed to cross-pollinate them, or something? And he'd looked at the gnarled bark and the patchy leaves and not said anything about the lack of fruit, called the tree handsome, and said she must have very green fingers to have been able to grow it.
His hand had settled very naturally on the small of her back as she walked, and when they came back up to the house, he stood aside and opened the door for her, indicating that she should go first, which earned him another eye roll, but a small smile, too, to go with it.
And Andromeda smiled as she watched. She hadn't known what to make of him at first, but suddenly it occurred to her why she liked him. He treated Nymphadora like a lady, she thought, even though she acted, and certainly dressed, like nothing of the sort. And Nymphadora rolled her eyes and even disparaged him for it, but she could tell that secretly she liked it, liked that here was a man who would go to some effort for her, to let her know in little ways, all the time, what he felt.
He'd been nothing like she expected, she thought, but as she watched them together, she wondered if there was any more she could have hoped for.
And first, he hadn't known quite what to make of him.
He'd seemed a nice enough bloke – Ted had been watching the football when he'd come in, and they'd shaken hands, briefly, but then the commentator had shrieked as the ball sailed over the net, and so Ted had just indicated the sofa with a vague wave and Remus had sat down.
What had really impressed was that Remus had waited for an appropriate pause in the action – a throw in – to ask who was playing and if it had been a good match, and Ted had told him that they were losing three nil, and Remus had winced, and then said that he wasn't surprised, with their best defender out.
That had startled Ted a bit, because he really didn't look like a West Ham fan, and so he'd asked if he followed the football – because so few wizards did – and Remus had shaken his head, said that he read the Muggle papers occasionally and had seen an article about the poor chap's injury on the sports pages.
Ted had smiled, but secretly he'd wondered if Tonks hadn't tipped him off, told him of his affection for West Ham and Remus had looked specifically for something to say on the subject. Either way, though, Ted thought it was nice of him to try.
He was definitely an improvement on the last one, he thought, the one with bars through his nose and holes in his ears, who'd barely grunted by way of reply and burnt a hole in the sofa.
Ted watched through lunch as Remus effortlessly said all the right things to Andromeda's polite inquiries, without it seeming at all as if that was what he was trying to do – rather that that kind of thing came easily to him.
But what really did it, what really won Ted over, was that Tonks had got up to help with pudding and caught her elbow on the doorframe, and rather than laughing, as she did, Remus had rushed over and taken her arm in his hands, checking for bumps and bruises with real concern. And it was just a knock, the kind of thing she did all the time, and she laughed and told him not to fuss, but he cared that she was all right, and Ted liked that.
Later on, Ted caught them kissing in the kitchen when they were supposed to be making coffee, and though he thought that his natural fatherly instinct should probably be to fire some kind of cold-shower charm at them, instead, he just stopped in the doorway and smiled. There was something very kind about Remus' expression, and he was struck by the thought that this was a man who would take care of his daughter, do his best to keep her safe.
A slight creak behind him told him Andromeda had come to investigate where everyone was and why no coffee had been forthcoming, and so he turned and beckoned to her, motioning for quiet. She raised her eyebrow slightly in question, but came over anyway, peeking round the door frame.
She let out a short sigh of amusement, and then met his eye. 'What do you think?' she mouthed, and Ted smiled.
At first, he hadn't known quite what to make of him, but this was a man who'd be kind to his daughter, and always look out for her, which was a more precious commodity than anything material he could shower her with. "When he asks if he can have my blessing to ask for her hand," he whispered, "I think I'm going to say yes."
Andromeda's eyes widened. "You really think he'll..?"
Ted nodded. "I know what it looks like," he whispered. He glanced back into the kitchen, but Tonks' arms were around Remus neck, and his fingers were in her hair, and so he didn't think coffee would be forthcoming any time soon. He met Andromeda's eye and took her hand, indicating that they should go back to the lounge with a nod. "Let's leave them to it, eh?" he said.
A/N: Reviewers get a werewolf of their very own to take home to meet mum and dad. Whether you do it at the time of the full moon and let him shed on the carpet, or some other time when he's utterly charming, is entirely up to you ;).