"We could call him Sirius?"
Tonks offered the name tentatively, and Remus knew it as a peace-offering. Things had been strained between them since the night he had returned from Grimmauld Place, soaking wet and in a foul temper. She had shouted and he'd shouted back. Tempers had flared, doors had been slammed, and Remus had found that suddenly he had a few weeks to discover just how uncomfortable sleeping on the couch could be.
But here was a peace-offering, and not an easy one for Tonks to offer. She didn't have to say she was jealous of Sirius for it to show, didn't have to say how hard it was to be constantly competing with a constant dead friend for Remus' affections.
And yet here she was, offering to give that friend's name to her own son, offering to hold it as a constant reminder of what had been lost.
Remus looked down at the tiny wrinkled face and felt the temptation in the idea. A new little Sirius – and with Tonks as his mother, the boy might even grow up to look like the one who had been lost. Already, he had the thick dark curly hair that was so common in the Black family.
Another Sirius, and this one loved and needed by his family in a way the first one had never been. There would be no need to run away from home for this baby, for they would give him no reason to. No false charges, no trial, and no Dementors, just a peaceful happy life – or as peaceful a life as a young werewolf could have.
Even with that, they could make sure it didn't matter. This could be a Sirius story with a happy ending.
"Sirius," he said out loud, trying the name for size as he reached to take the baby from his young wife. He looked down into clear blue eyes, and blinked as they turned green and then purple.
It would take a while to get used to that.
You wouldn't even have to just hope that he would grow up to look like his namesake, a wicked little voice noted in his head. Not with a metamorphus. Just leave enough photographs around… it'll happen naturally enough.
The fact that this idea felt tempting was enough to clue Remus in to the fact that this was not perhaps his best idea. He remembered suddenly Harry's resemblance to James, and the effect that had had on Sirius. How people – himself, Molly Weasley, even Mad-Eye Moody - had had to remonstrate with him over and over again, reminding him that Harry was not his father. All to no effect.
Did he really want to do that to his own son?
He stroked a gentle finger along the baby's face, feeling the soft skin. The baby blinked up at him – his eyes back to plain old blue.
A whole new life, with new talents and abilities of his own. New challenges too of course – Sirius might have been there, helping with the worst days as Remus coped with being a werewolf – but he'd never had to actually feel what it was like.
But life was full of challenges. And if that particular trait was passed on… well, at least he would have a father who understood what he was going through.
He looked up to find Tonks staring at him, as though trying to will an answer from him, or perhaps to read his mind.
"Why don't we name him Theodore instead?" he suggested, "After your father."
He was rewarded with a beaming smile, one that he hadn't seen in months, and felt himself sag with the release of a tension he hadn't known he'd been feeling. Yes, yes that had been the right answer.
"And Remus," Tonks suggested, and Remus knew he was forgiven, "After his father."
Remus looked down again at his tiny son, letting the little boy grasp tightly onto his finger, and nodded. Theodore Remus Lupin. Not a tiny new Sirius, but a whole new person in his own right.
"Yes," he decided. "Yes, I think that might be just right."
He smiled at Tonks, and was rewarded with another beam in return as she reached to take the baby back from him. Perhaps then things could be all right after all.
Perhaps sometimes it was better to start again from the beginning.