Disclaimer: The only bit of Harry Potter I own is store bought, consumer merchandise. Jo Rowling gets all the best parts…like, you know, the story itself.
From Right Now
The last remaining hours of the afternoon passed, and as evening began to descend, the occupants at the Burrow were gathered in front of the fireplace. One by one, they each took a pinch of Floo Powder and were then all swirling off through the whirls of color and ash, landing in the sitting room of Andromeda Tonks' house. Clambering out of the grate and dusting off their clothes, Kingsley came striding over them from across the room to greet them.
"Andromeda is situating some of the other guests," he told them, shaking hands all around. "But I think we may as well save her the trouble head out on our own."
"Where's Teddy?" Harry asked abruptly.
"With his grandmother, I believe." A smile flashed across Kingsley's features. "Just hang in there, Harry; you'll meet him soon enough. In fact, Andromeda is insisting on it."
Harry nodded, but his heart rate was still a tad faster than normal. Ginny laced her hand with his and squeezed it reassuringly and he smiled at her. They could repeat it to him a hundred times, but Harry knew that until he saw Teddy, he wasn't going to be able to sit still. This meeting had somehow become crucial to him; he was determined to give that little boy everything he had and to make sure he had the biggest, most loving family ever.
"Shall we move outside?" Mrs. Weasley addressed their group. "Is Arthur here with the boys, Kingsley?"
"Yes, they're already seated," Kingsley said, beckoning them all after him. "It shouldn't't be a long ceremony and afterward, we're all invited to stay for some food."
They followed Kingsley as he led them out into the backyard. The set up was a lot smaller than the Hogwarts memorial or Fred' funeral had been. The only others in attendance were a few more members of Tonks' family, several Aurors who nodded at Kingsley when they passed, and a couple remaining members from the Order, including Hagrid, who came hurrying over to them all.
"Alrigh' everyone?" Hagrid said gruffly, before reaching out and sweeping Harry, Ginny, and George all at once into a huge one armed hug.
"Fine, Hagrid," Ginny gasped out when he released his hold on them and instead moved onto Hermione and Ron.
"Still isn't any easier, all this burying stuff," said Hagrid, taking out his handkerchief and dabbing at his eyes. "But the sooner yeh do it, the sooner yeh can start getting back to livin'."
"How's everything going at Hogwarts?" George asked him.
"I'd say we're right back near normal," Hagrid said. "Some – er – final arrangements need ter be made with some things…" he trailed off and glanced at Kingsley, who shook his head ever so slightly.
"But it's nothing ter worry much about," Hagrid finished, waving and airy hand, but not quite meeting Harry's eyes.
"There's Arthur and the boys," Mrs. Weasley said, pointing and hurrying off to join her husband, Kingsley following behind her. The others were left with Hagrid, shooting curious looks at each other over the vague statement Hagrid had made.
"Well, come on then," Hagrid told them as he motioned for them to follow him. "I'm in the back o'course, but you lot are somewhere 'round the middle. See? Righ' there, behind the Malfoys."
Five sets of feet stopped dead in their tracks. Hagrid took several more strides without them before he realized they were all behind him.
"What's the matter?" he asked them, confused.
"Well, for starters," Ron said, his eyes narrowed at the back of Draco Malfoy's head, "I'd like to know what bloody reason they have to show their ugly faces today."
"Relax, Ron," Hermione said gently. She had foreseen this problem earlier, when Mrs. Weasley had mentioned "family", but it didn't make it any better; and especially not when she saw the mutinous looks on the three Weasley's faces.
"I'm with Ron, actually," George said. "Give me one good reason they're here and maybe I'll consider not hexing Lucius Malfoy into the next country."
"Don' know what yeh're all makin' a big fuss about," Hagrid told them sternly. "Those people're family to Andromeda. I reckon her sister is here to pay her respects to her niece."
"They never respected Tonks or Lupin," Ginny said fiercely, her hand twitching ever so slightly toward her wand in her pocket. "They never gave a damn about them. They're probably just trying to save face."
Harry was frowning, but more to himself than at the Malfoys as his thoughts whirled in an inner debate. The last time he had seen them was when they had all been together in the Great Hall after the battle, Lucius and Narcissa with their son. And while his familiar dislike for the lot of them was still at the front of his mind, he still recalled how they hadn't done anything more in the battle than tried to find Draco. Not to mention how Narcissa Malfoy herself had lied directly to Voldemort, telling him that Harry was dead as his heart beat under her palm…
Sighing heavily, Harry made up his mind. "We don't have to say anything to them," he told the others. "We're here for Tonks and Lupin; they don't matter right now."
"Righ' yeh are, Harry," Hagrid said nodding his approval. "Now c'mon then, let's get goin'."
He set off again, assuming of course that they would all follow. Instead, the five of them stayed put; Ginny still glaring at the ground and George looking curiously at Harry.
"Since when d'you not want to curse Malfoy into the slimy pulp we know he is?" he asked.
Harry shrugged. "They're all gits, I know. But right now, all I care about is meeting my godson. They're not worth it."
"Harry's right," Hermione said, speaking more to Ron than anybody else. "Not to mention that we're likely to see them all from time to time. We need to start getting past all that happened and just deal with them."
"You go right ahead with that," Ron said sharply. "But I don't think I'll be forgetting anything any time soon."
"Ron, please," Hermione sighed. "I know they've been awful in the past, but why can't you let it go just this once?"
"I'll give you a hint," Ron muttered darkly. "I'm thinking of a time in the Room of Requirement, not too long ago actually-"
"We know, Ron," Harry broke in wearily, but Ron ignored him.
"–where we were all set to find and destroy a Horcrux, when all of a sudden that bastard and his cronies came in and –"
"Shh, don't swear," Hermione tried to say. "Your mum may –"
" – not only do they try to stop us getting the diadem, but I do believe that they sent the Killing Curse at us a fair few times. Oh, and right, my mistake, they also nearly burned us all to death with some crazed fire hex," he concluded fiercely.
"They did all that?" Ginny asked in a deadly whisper, her hand going toward her pocket again. Harry noticed and he reached out quickly and took it in his instead.
"Yes, they did," Ron told her, "so forgive me for not going over and inviting them over for tea tomorrow."
George had already taken out his wand and was taking aim through the crowd. "If that tall bloke would move over just an inch, I think I'll be able to hit Lucius…maybe even his lovely wife if the curse bounces."
"Stop it," Harry said firmly, reaching out and lowering George's arm. "I'm serious. Right now, I don't care what they did to us in the past; we're not living in the past anymore. We're not at war and we're not going to get into a fight right before we're about to bury two people we loved, alright?"
"How about after?" George asked with a faint smile in his eyes. Harry rolled his own at him.
"We'll just steer clear of them, got it?" he said.
The others nodded with slightly abashed expressions at Harry's words, for they were the honest truth. Ron, however, only pursed his lips, obviously holding back.
"Got it, Ron?" Harry asked him.
They stared at each other for a moment before Hermione reached out and placed a gentle hand on Ron's arm. At her touch, Ron glanced over her way, catching her eye, before visibly relaxing.
"Alright," he agreed, throwing up his hands in defeat. "But if I hear one stupid remark from any of them, then I'm going to start with that Langlock jinx and not stop until I feel better."
The others murmured their grudging agreement, but Harry seized the opportunity and began leading Ginny after him toward the seats, George following them.
"Do me a favor," Ron told Hermione quietly, taking her hand and holding it tightly. "Don't let go of my hand or Malfoy is going to get it. I may even punch him in the face again, that felt good."
Hermione did her best to hold back a smile as she squeezed his hand back. "Alright," she told him. "Now come on, let's go."
Walking behind the others, they made their way over to the small congregation of people, some of whom where taking their seats and the others still walking about and talking. Many nodded over at Harry and the others as they passed and headed toward the rest of the family. As they drew closer, they could see them all standing and waving them over, smiles on their faces.
"We're all here now," Charlie said over his shoulder.
"What's up?" George asked him.
"Well," Andromeda Tonks said, stepping from around Mr. Weasley and Bill and looking at Harry. "I think it's high time that Teddy got to meet his godfather."
In her arms was the wriggling baby, looking brightly around at all the faces around him and obviously enjoying all their attentions. Harry stared at Teddy for a second, momentarily at a loss of what to do, and then his face broke into a wide smile. Letting go of Ginny's hand he reached out to Teddy without asking, and Andromeda promptly placed him in his arms.
"Mind his head," Mrs. Weasley reminded him, but she didn't have to, for Harry was holding Teddy with such care that the others couldn't help but grin warmly at the sight.
"Hi Teddy," Harry said in a soft tone. "I'm Harry and I'm your godfather."
Teddy had been staring up at Harry intently, almost as though he understood everything he had said. And then quite suddenly, he let out a gurgle of laughter and to the surprise of everyone, his light crown of hair changed colors quite rapidly.
"Oh, now he's just showing off," Andromeda said, in an amused voice as everyone else gasped or giggled at the sight of the baby's hair going from green to orange and than to a very familiar shade of pink. "He thinks he's very impressive."
"He's right," Harry laughed as Teddy's hair went pitch black, looking very much like his own. "I'm impressed."
"He likes you," Ginny said happily, reaching out and brushing Teddy's hair. "I mean, of course he would, but now its official."
"It is," Andromeda said, smiling at Harry. "Would you like to watch him through the ceremony? It would help."
"Sure," Harry said at once, looking at the others and beamed at them. "He's got a lot more family members to meet anyway."
Kingsley had been right; the ceremony was not long at all. Andromeda had gotten to her feet and spoke at length about Tonks, and Kingsley said a bit about Lupin. But despite the sadness of the situation, there was a lightness that filled the air, most of it caused by Teddy, who had taken to letting out happy shouts whenever he was passed to another person. It was also hard for everyone to hide their laughter whenever the baby would take a good look at whoever was holding him, adopt a look of utter concentration, and then change his hair color again. He laughed and fussed and wiggled around, a little bundle of energy that was a distinct reminder that through everything that happened, life would go on.
As the ceremony ended, Tonks and Lupin's caskets were laid in the earth beside the headstone of Ted Tonks. The members of the crowd got to their feet, some moving forward to offer flowers and condolences, but most talking amongst themselves or else coming over to get a final look at Teddy, who was now bouncing in Ginny's arms.
"We really shouldn't give him all this attention," she said with a laugh to the rest of the now familiar group of her, Harry, George, Hermione and Ron. "He may get too used to it and start believing that he's someone important."
"Or we could keep it up and then he'll rebel against us all when he's older," George teased.
"He's going to be a handful, Harry," Hermione said smiling. "Are you sure you're up to it?"
"Definitely," Harry said with a grin. "Besides, with the lot of us looking after him, he's bound to be alright."
"Here, Ron," Ginny said, turning to him. "You want to hold him? You haven't yet."
"Surely that would be considered a good thing?" drawled a voice from behind them. They looked around and saw that Draco Malfoy had approached their group, his arms crossed and an eyebrow raised at Teddy.
"I mean its one thing to drop a Quaffle a million times, Weasley. But if you drop a kid, you'll probably break it."
"To what do we owe this pleasure, Malfoy?" George shot at him, as the others glared and Hermione held tightly to Ron's hand, reminding him to stay calm. "The mood's grim enough around here without having to see your face."
Draco shrugged lazily. "I've got a reason. And I figured I may as well get a look at that little thing while I'm here. After all, we are distantly related, though I'll admit that's somewhat unfortunate."
"Yeah, unfortunate for him," Ginny snarled through a glare that should've caused Draco physical pain. "Why don't you hurry up with your reason and then clear off before I remind you what it's like to be at the receiving end of one of my hexes."
"I've got something to clear up with you, Potter," Draco said, and for the first time, his mask of disdain slipped, and he looked slightly anxious. "And I'd appreciate it if you'd not make me wait."
"I'd appreciate it if this isn't a waste of my time," Harry said, watching him carefully. "Is it going to be?"
"Why don't you stop acting the strong hero for once and find out yourself?"
They stared closely at each other, hardly blinking. Ginny and George exchanged dark looks and Hermione was still holding Ron's hand tight, which was a good thing; his ears were pink and the muscles in his hand were tense, as if he had his wand and was already hexing Draco into oblivion.
"Fine," Harry finally conceded. "But make it quick Malfoy. I'm here to spend time with my godson, not you."
"Touching," Draco jeered, turning and walking several paces away. Harry followed, ignoring the wary and incredulous looks from the others, though he had casually slipped his hand into the pocket of his jeans. He wasn't going to have a private conversation with Draco Malfoy and not be readily armed with his wand.
"Right," Harry said when they were just out of ear shot of the others. "Get on with it then."
"We're on my terms here, Potter," Draco said stonily. "This doesn't get out to your little mock family over there, understand?"
"I'm losing my patience," Harry said with a glare.
"I just want to tell you that we're square," Draco snapped. "That we don't owe each other anything, alright?"
Dropping his defense, Harry looked at Malfoy in confusion. "What are you talking about?"
"I'm talking about everything," Malfoy said, again with that shifty look in his eyes as he glanced off toward where his parents were still seated. "You saved my life, I saved yours. There's nothing else we have to do."
"I still don't-"
"Honestly, Potter," Draco snarled, "you defeat the Dark Lord and you're still just as stupid the next day. You saved my life from that fire in that room, but I saved your life when I covered for you at my house, when Greyback caught you."
"You did not-" Harry began furiously, but Draco cut over him.
"Didn't I?" he said. "How about when they asked me if I recognized you? Or when I recognized Weasley or Granger right off, but I didn't say that I did. I knew it was you three the moment you walked in…though your face was certainly an improvement," he snorted.
Harry's brow furrowed as he thought back to that night and slowly began to realize that it was true. Whether it had been out of fear, guilt, or perhaps a twisted desire to see Greyback fail, Draco Malfoy had not admitted that Harry Potter and his friends were the ones that had been taken into his sitting room.
"Finally catching on," Draco said approvingly at Harry's expression.
"I – well – what do you want me to say?" Harry asked slowly, part of him dreading the answer.
"Well, of course I wish that you'd be in my debt forever, but that's not how it's going to work," Draco admitted. "That's why I say we're square. We each saved each other for whatever reasons we had at the time. But that was then, and it doesn't change anything now. We're not going to suddenly become best friends, so we're just…we're square, alright?"
Harry considered this for a second, thinking back to something Hermione had said earlier when they had all first spotted the Malfoy's … We're likely to see them all from time to time … and she was right. But as Draco was saying, there were too many past incidents to suddenly make them all friends. But to at least agree to not being in any debt to each other, to just move on with things, was a more suitable solution.
"Alright," Harry said nodding. "We're square, Malfoy."
"Good," Draco said, nodding as well. "So," he said, glancing back at his parents, who had now gotten to their feet, Narcissa talking to Andromeda, and Lucius looking haughtily around at the other guests. "We're done here, Potter."
"Why did you cover for us at your manor, Malfoy?" Harry asked before he could get away. "You hate our guts, or at least mine. Why not hand us all off to Voldemort?"
And for the first time that Harry could remember, Draco Malfoy looked at him without a trace of anger, annoyance, or even dislike. His face was calm, and in a serious tone of voice that Harry had never heard before, he spoke.
"I don't know why I did it, Potter. But it was probably for the same reason you didn't let me burn to death."
And without another word, his trademark sneer sliding back onto his face, Draco turned and walked back over to his parents, leaving a slightly stunned Harry behind.
After a few more second, Harry gave himself a shake and then headed back over toward the others, who were watching him anxiously.
"What happened?" Ginny demanded even before Harry had fully come up to them. "What did he want?"
Harry thought about it for a moment, before reaching out and taking Teddy, who shrieked excitedly and quickly brought back the dark black shade to his hair.
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you," Harry said simply, ruffling Teddy's hair.
As the crowd began to thin, those staying for a bite to eat began to gravitate back to the house, grabbing a plate and sitting around together both inside and out in back. The Weasleys, along with Harry and Hermione all said goodbye to Hagrid before heading inside after Andromeda. Over dinner they talked and laughed together, remembering happier time or catching up with each other. Within the hour, Teddy's head began to fall heavier and heavier onto Harry's shoulder, and eventually, to the slight disappoint of everyone, he was whisked away by his grandmother, who was insisting that he needed to sleep.
"Trust me," she told their fallen faces. "If he doesn't sleep now, he'll keep me up all night."
Finally the hours were growing later and the guests were leaving. Soon it was just the group from the Burrow and Kingsley remaining and they too decided that it was time to leave. As they began their goodbyes to Andromeda, Kingsley addressed Harry, Hermione, and Ron.
"Do you three have a moment?" he said to them in a low voice.
Figuring it was pointless to keep this waiting any longer, Harry glanced at the others and they nodded. And after assuring an anxious looking Mrs. Weasley that Kingsley would personally see that the three of them got home safely, and that they could leave without them, the four of them got to their feet and left the sitting room in favor of the kitchen.
"I'll be outside, Kingsley," Andromeda said, picking up her wand to go clear the rest of the garden and leaving them in private. "And Teddy's still asleep, so try to keep it down."
"I'm amazed at how well she's doing," Hermione said softly as they waved her outside. "Loosing both her husband and daughter so quickly apart and having to watch Teddy now."
"It was a hard blow at first," Kingsley told her. "And while she is refusing to let that get in the way of raising Teddy, she knows she'll need some help. That's why she's really glad to have you, Harry."
Harry nodded. "We're a lot of extra hands right now. We can handle one baby; even one with the energy of twelve."
They all laughed, but then Kingsley fixed them all with a serious look. Luckily, he had never been one to drag these sorts of discussions out.
"So have you three reached any decisions about what we last talked about?"
"Well," Harry said. "I guess it'd be obvious what I've chosen. I'd be glad to come on as an Auror, Kingsley. So long as you don't put me out in the field and at the wrath of Mrs. Weasley and Ginny. At least not right away."
"Give them a grace period, I got you," Kingsley said chuckling, but he still extended his hand and shook Harry's. "Welcome aboard. So," he added, looking at Hermione and Ron, "any other new recruits at this time?"
"Not quite yet," Ron said with a smile. "George sort of asked me to come help him look after the shop for awhile. Doesn't want to be there without Fred right away. So I think I'm going to be there for as long as he needs."
Kingsley nodded impressively. "That's more than understandable, Ron. And a very wise choice, I think. But you know you'd always have a spot, should you want it later." Ron smiled appreciatively.
"Well," Hermione finally said, "the only thing that matters to me right now is my parents. Any decision I make, I'd want to talk it over with them first."
"I expected as much," Kingsley said, "which is why I've had some people keeping an eye out in the field, to see if bringing them back into the country is an option, and I think so long as we set up some protection, you can."
Hermione sighed in relief, but then she frowned slightly. "The most pressing matter with that though," she told them, "is that we have to get to Australia and restore their memories first."
"We?" Kingsley said, though he was looking knowingly at Harry and Ron.
"Ginny, too," Harry admitted and Kingsley raised an eyebrow, but sat in silence to hear them out.
"We weren't going to let her go by herself," Ron said, slightly defensively.
"I asked them to come," Hermione clarified. "I want them to."
"That's fine," Kingsley said slowly, "but resources in Magical Transportation are still being worked out and set back from whatever controls Voldemort had over them. And Apparation across countries –"
"-would be tricky enough on its own, and as Ginny will be coming, it's ridiculous to suggest Side-Along," Hermione agreed.
Harry and Ron glanced nervously at each other. Of course they both recalled how difficult Hermione had said it would be to get to her parents, but to hear it voiced with Kingsley present made it sound impossible.
"I already have a Muggle passport, Kingsley," Hermione went on. "I can get to Australia no problem. But the others would need one too if we were to go on a plane. Is there any way that you could help us out in that way?"
Kingsley thought about it for a moment. "Well," he said, "I do think there are some guidelines for that. I could speed along the application process a bit, but only so much."
"And you're alright with us going the Muggle way?" Harry asked. "No protections needed?"
"Are you kidding?" Kingsley laughed shortly. "You four would be escorted by so many wizards that it'll make your head spin."
"What!? No, c'mon-"
As Harry began to protest, Ron suddenly heard a distant noise in the house, something tiny and scared. He looked at the others but they had obviously taken no notice as Harry and Kingsley began to argue over a guard and Hermione tried talking over them to calm Harry down. Ron was about to brush it off as his imagination and join in with the conversation, but then he heard it again, higher this time. Curiosity getting the better of him, Ron got up from his seat and left the kitchen, listening closely as he entered the hall unnoticed.
After a few second of silence, it happened again, and Ron followed the sound down the hall, to a room near the end. It was open just a crack, and peaking inside, Ron could see what appeared to be Andromeda's bedroom. Hesitantly, he pushed the door open slowly and the sound reached him again at it's loudest yet.
Inside the room, on one side of the bed was a large crib. With dawning realization, Ron stepped into the room as Teddy Lupin continued to let out his small yelps, his tiny features twisted in what was obviously annoyance.
Cautiously, Ron crossed the room to the crib. Looking down, he saw that Teddy was still whimpering, his eyes wide and reproachful that anyone had left him on his own.
"What's wrong Teddy? Did Harry yelling wake you up?" Ron asked him.
Teddy's lips curled into a perfect pout as he squirmed impatiently. Ron had an idea at what he was supposed to do now, but still glanced anxiously over his shoulder, hoping for someone else to come in for the baby, maybe Andromeda or Harry. When no one came after a few long moments, he glanced warily back down at Teddy.
"I'm not so sure that I'm cut out for the whole holding you thing," he admitted sheepishly. "I don't think you'd like me."
Teddy, however, was having no excuses and he let out another cry and squirmed around even more.
"Alright, alright," Ron said hastily. "But I warned you. And stop flailing so I can figure this out…"
Brow furrowed in concentration, Ron reached into the crib, moving his hands around over the baby, first just trying to see where he was supposed to grab. Finally deciding to just go with his instinct, he slid his much bigger hands under Teddy and, being as careful as he possibly could, lifted him up.
"I really hope I'm doing this right," he muttered to himself as he adjusted his arms so that Teddy could be cradled in them. "There," he said, as he found a comfortable position and Teddy wasn't protesting.
"Ha. Shows what Malfoy knows. I can hold you just fine."
Teddy had stopped fussing and instead was looking very intently and quizzically at Ron, who met his gaze right on. Carefully, Ron reached up a hand and ran his fingers through Teddy's hair, which was now a slight brownish-blond.
"Is this what color you really have then? Though I'll admit it was cool when you did Harry's or when you made it go pink like your mum did."
Enjoying the attention his hair was getting again, Teddy let out a small gurgle of laughter. And then quite suddenly, the strands became just as red as any Weasley sported.
"Cheeky little midget," Ron laughed, a mixture of relief and satisfaction rising up in his chest to see that Teddy had so obviously taken to him. "You're lucky you can pull it off. Not everyone can have such good looking hair as a Weasley."
Teddy was still looking very pleased with himself, but he seemed to be getting quieter as he lay in Ron's arms, blinking sleepily.
"Tell you what," Ron said softly, not wanting to excite him up again if he was going back to sleep. "Seeing as you can pull off the red hair quite well, you can be an honorary part of our family, alright?"
"What, as if he wasn't already?" a voice said, and Ron looked over to see Harry watching him from the doorway.
"Yeah, well, now it's official," he told Harry with a grin. "He blends in and everything."
"We've got to get him to the Burrow sometime then," Harry said, coming over. "Soon. Before we all leave for Australia."
"Are Kingsley and Hermione still talking on that?"
"They're finishing, but I'll fill you in later. Don't want to wake him up," he motioned at Teddy, and Ron looked down in mild surprise to see he had fallen back asleep. "Just wanted to see where you went off to, we're going soon. Bye, Teddy," he added softly, reaching out to touch him one last time. "See you later."
"Alright," Ron said, "I'll be right there."
Harry nodded and left as Ron headed back to the crib to put the baby down. He gently placed him on his back and brought his blanket up as well.
"Blimey, you're tiny," he said in a slight awe, leaning against the edge of the crib and peering over. "There's no way I was this tiny."
"You may be tall now, Ron, but I'll bet you were just as small at his age."
He looked over again to see that Hermione had come into the room now.
"I wondered where you had gone," she told him, coming close. "Then Harry said you had come for Teddy and I couldn't resist seeing that for myself."
Ron smiled proudly. "I didn't even drop him."
Hermione laughed softly, walking around to the other side of the crib so that she could look down at Teddy too.
"Look at that hair," she whispered, reaching down and stroking the ginger locks softly.
"Cool, isn't it?" Ron said in a smug tone he couldn't hold back.
"I like it," Hermione said simply with a faint smile on her lips. "It's quite an adorable color really."
Ron laughed. "See what happens when you hang around me for too long? You pick up a preference for redheads."
Hermione smirked up at him. "Honestly, Ron, I've had a preference for redheads since I met you on the Hogwarts Express."
Ron grinned back at her, and watched as Hermione looked back down at Teddy, her fingers gently tracing over his small features. And all at once, a contented air had settled in the room, Teddy sleeping soundly, Hermione staring tenderly at him and Ron mesmerized by Hermione.
"I'm glad Teddy's here," Hermione murmured. "I think he's exactly what we need."
A feeling that he couldn't quite recognize took hold over Ron, as he raked his eyes across Hermione's face. There was just something about seeing her fawning over Teddy that was enlightening to him. It wasn't in the way that any crazy relative would shriek in delight over how cute and cuddly and adorable every baby they saw was. Hermione was simply taking Teddy in, appreciating the fact that he was here, quietly marveling at his tiny little self and quite honestly just giving him as much attention and love as she could. He couldn't put his finger on it, but something about it was making Ron realize just how amazing she was.
"Yeah," Ron told her, his gentle tone making Hermione look up at him again. "I think so too."
Hermione smiled warmly at Ron, noting how soft their voices had become, and although she still had a soft hand on Teddy's shoulder, she was looking only at Ron.
She would never voice aloud the way her heart had skipped a beat when she had walked in to see Ron standing over the crib of a small, red haired baby. How for a split second the scene had changed and they were in a different place, at a far off time, older and together with a crib between them…no, she wouldn't dare say that out loud. But then maybe she didn't have to, as the gaze Ron was meeting her with was matching her own intensity…
Teddy didn't even stir as Ron and Hermione simultaneously leaned over his crib, their lips meeting softly above him.
Author's Note: Yay for Teddy Lupin taking center stage! And wherever there's a baby, there's going to be fluff. Because that's what babies do to any mood. ;)