Title: Birth Day
Rating & Warnings: PG13//angst/mention of labour and delivery/breastfeeding
Pairing(s): Remus Lupin/Nymphadora Tonks
Summary: Remus and Tonks revel in their newborn son.
Author's Notes: Thank goodness I wrote this at work…otherwise I'd be bawling like a baby as I typed! Oh…did I say I wrote this at work? wink Well, what else would I do at 3AM? Many MANY thanks to mollycoddles for her information on first-hand experience with newborns. Never, ever again shall I try to write a baby!
The small bundle in his arms squirmed again, but thankfully didn't wake. Remus Lupin resumed rocking gently in the ancient, but sturdy, rocking chair, looking down at his 45-minute-old son and smiling yet again. Remus hadn't let go of Teddy since Dora had nursed him for the first time just a few minutes after he had been born and then had finally fell into a well-deserved sleep.
Teddy let out a sudden bellow of outrage that shocked his father, who hadn't realised that he was awake nor that someone so small could make such an ear-splitting noise. Andromeda Tonks, the baby's grandmother, looked up from where she was folding burping towels and smiled knowingly.
"Is he okay? Hungry? Wet?" Remus asked her, slightly panicking. "I just don't want to wake…" He trailed off in shock as his son's black hair began to change to ginger. "Oh my God…he's a Metamorphmagus."
Andromeda let out a laugh. "That he is! And my goodness, I'd recognised that wail anywhere. Dora sounded exactly the same!" She came over to the rocking chair and smiled down at her son-in-law as he laughed. "I don't think I've ever heard of one Metamorphmagus giving birth to another and male Metamorphmagi are even rarer than their female counterparts. Teddy certainly is a very special baby."
"That he is," said a groggy voice behind him. Remus looked up from cooing a now content Teddy to the bed where his wife, Nymphadora Tonks, was once again awake. "What's wrong?" she asked.
"Nothing," he told her, careful standing and walking over to the bed. Settling gently next to Dora, he looked up in time to catch Andromeda wiping away a tear, and then grab her camera. "Smile for your mother."
"Again?" Dora asked in a soft but annoyed voice, causing him to chuckle softly. But she smiled as Andromeda snapped yet another picture of the new family. "His hair was black…" she began, smoothing down what little hair her son had.
"I'm going to leave you three alone for a bit while I go get dinner. I'm sure you're both hungry," Andromeda said, placing her camera down. At the door, she paused and added, "Get used to the camera, Nymphadora. I'm taking plenty pictures of my grandson…and his Mummy and Daddy." Andromeda laughed as Dora scrunched her nose up in aversion and quit the room.
"Remus," Dora said surprised. "Teddy's a Metamorphmagus!"
"Yes, he is. You're mother doesn't think one Metamorphmagus has ever given birth to another one," Remus told her. "I'd wager a hundred Galleons she's downstairs right now looking it up in that book of hers."
Dora giggled. "And he's not a…?" she questioned.
"He doesn't seem to be," Remus told her quietly.
He had known logically that his son would not have been born a werewolf: they were made by the bite, not born. But Remus had to see Teddy's unblemished body before he could lay that particular fear to rest.
Dora kissed her son's soft ginger hair; "Mum told me I tried out a variety of shades before settling on pink around Day Two. I let out that roar each time before I morphed."
"Something to look forward to at 3AM," he said in a bemused tone.
His wife laughed. "Have you let go of him yet?" she asked.
Remus felt his cheeks colour slightly. "No. I can't," he whispered, placing a kiss on Teddy's head. "Dora…you know I never presumed to be a husband or a father. I just…just want to thank you…for everything."
"You don't have to thank me, Remus. I love you."
"I love you too," he told her, leaning down to peck a kiss on her waiting lips. "Who knew?" Dora giggled again while Remus chuckled, knowing she knew where he was going. Teddy fidgeted in response to the noise, causing both his parents to have to coo at him to calm him down. His wife took their son from him and Remus watched them together for a moment. Finally he continued. "I certainly had no idea that the dead clumsy Auror that tripped over that damned umbrella stand and ploughed right into me nearly three years ago would eventually become my wife and mother of my son."
Tears leaked from the corners of Dora's dark eyes, but she laughed appreciatively. Their first meeting at Grimmauld Place was quite memorable. Remus wiped them, and his own, away with his thumbs. "You're lucky I'm so stubborn!" she told him.
"You're loyal, Dora. It was loyalty not stubbornness…Hufflepuff loyalty at its best. Any other witch would have given up on me…but not you, Nymphadora Tonks. And I thank you for that."
"You're welcome," she said softly. Teddy, so close to his mother, began to squirm again. "I think he can smell me and is hungry again."
"Again?" Remus asked astounded. "He's…" he checked his pocket watch, "Fifty-five minutes old! He ate when he was five minutes old…just fifty minutes ago! He's hungry again?"
"It's not real milk yet, remember? It's just colostrum, which is…"
"I remember. And it's instinctive and comforting for him to nurse. Teddy recognises our voices from the womb. Sense of smell is important to a baby, he recognises you as his mother. See…I did pay attention! And you say me taking notes while revising is a bad thing!"
Dora threw her head back and laughed and he watched amazed as she bared her right breast and helped Teddy latch on. Their son began to immediately and hungrily suckle for a second time. "Being born is tough work," she said to him, smoothing back the baby's hair. "Of course he's hungry again! And don't look so dumbfounded, Remus Lupin. I've seen you put away some serious food. Teddy is most definitely his father's child." She placed a kiss on her son's head. "Yes, you are most definitely your Daddy's boy, aren't you?" Dora cooed to Teddy.
"He looks like you," Remus told her, the warmness of love spreading throughout his body as he watched his son suckle.
"Oh…I don't think so. He has your eyes…those beautiful brilliant blues eyes that I looked up into as you picked me up off the floor and immediately fell in love with them…and you." She looked up into his eyes now and grinned at her teasing. "No witch stands a chance when you look at her with those big blue eyes and ask her something. Molly…Hestia…my mother…they all will melt!"
"You as well," he said blushing. "I turned to you and asked you…some question at that first Order meeting and you got all tongue-tied. And he's is a Metamorphmagus, my love, his eyes might change colour."
"I hope not! Keep your daddy's eyes," Dora whispered as she shifted Teddy to her other breast. To her husband, she said, "Oh yes, I know that it thoroughly amused everyone…especially Sirius. Do you think he can see us now?"
"Yes. He…and James are watching and poking each other, grinning like idiots. 'Oi…Moony married Tonksie and he's a daddy!'" Dora snorted. "And Lily's there as well, rolling her eyes at them."
His wife laughed. Teddy abruptly finished nursing and she automatically placed him on her should to burp him. Remus sprung up to snatch a burping blanket for her. She smiled dazzlingly at him as he placed it under their son, who belched at once. "At least he waited," he told her.
"He's an obedient boy. Must get that from his father…he certainly didn't get it from me! But there's nothing to burp up. However…" she trailed off as an unmistakable sound filled the room.
"Ah, yes," Remus said. "The most wonderful part about having a newborn…everything passes right through them." Dora laughed as he got up again and grabbed a nappy from the changing station. "Would you like the honours, Mummy?" he asked her as she laid Teddy down on the bed. "The first nappy change."
"Oh no…you can have it, Daddy. You made my mother change him after I fell asleep, didn't you?"
"No! I went to the toilet and when I came out she had. I swear it, Dora! Ask her when she comes back."
Dora's dark eyes narrowed in on his bright blue ones. "Fine…I believe you." Pulling herself up a bit more, she leaned over Teddy and whispered, "I don't believe your Daddy," then grinned. The corners of Teddy's mouth turned up slightly. "He smiled!" she exclaimed to Remus.
"He's mimicking what you do, my love. You read that."
"I know!" Dora signed as she opened the soiled nappy. "Oh my God!"
"It's like Polyjuice Potion!" Remus exclaimed.
"It smells like Polyjuice Potion!" Dora agreed.
Teddy let out a scream and let loose a stream of urine that hit both his leaning parents.
"Lovely," Dora said. Remus began to laugh and she glared at him. "You're going to love every minute of parenthood, aren't you?" He nodded, tears of mirth streaming down his face. "Now I know why my mother ran downstairs…"
She managed to change Teddy's nappy without any further incident. Remus performed a Cleaning Charm on both of them and then Vanished the soiled nappy.
Dora and Teddy yawned at the same time.
"Bedtime for both of you," Remus said immediately. He took the baby from Dora, who was too tired to complain. Standing, he placed Teddy in his cot directly next to the bed, and then sat back down next to his wife, who was fighting sleep. "Go to bed, my love. You said that being born is hard work…well, you gave birth…just as hard."
"Harder," she murmured, turning her face into his leg.
He chuckled softly. "I'm going to go grab a sandwich or something, then go tell the Order of Teddy's birth. I'll return soon, Dora. I love you," he told her, placing a kiss on her head.
"Love you too," she replied sleepily.
"Back soon," he whispered, but she was already asleep and didn't hear him.
Remus stood up and looked down at her, amazed that this beautiful, young, carefree girl had fallen in love with him of all people, married him when no one else would have, and just an hour ago had given birth to his son. "I love you so much, Nymphadora." He looked in on Teddy, who was just as fast asleep like his mother. "I love you too, my son."
He crossed the room to the door. Opening it, Remus looked back on last time at his sleeping family, and then exited the room. Downstairs, he grabbed a sandwich from his mother-in-law's pile and told her where he was going.
Throwing on his heavy black travelling cloak, Remus opened the front door, stepped into the blustery night, and Disapparated.