living in colour

i. One of the sharpest memories that sticks out in Teddy's mind is sitting out of sight up the stairs before he turns four and hearing a rare argument between his godfather and his grandmother. Andromeda comments that he might be in Slytherin like she and her sisters had been, and Harry overreacts, ranting about how not only Teddy's father had been in Gryffindor, but also his godfather, as well as his plethora of aunts and uncles, the almost-relatives that fill his life. Teddy does not understand the argument then; as he grows older, he still does not understand it, albeit for entirely different reasons.

When he thinks about it much later, he realizes it is the only time Andromeda ever mentions her family.

ii. Teddy hates rare meat from the first time his almost-aunt Fleur serves him some at the age of five, and consistently demands that it is cooked well-done. He is usually a reasonable child, but over this one detail, the greatest of tantrums is thrown.

He does not understand the implications until years later.

iii. Andromeda takes Teddy to mass every week in a little Muggle village near their home. The church is broken down, and there is no grandeur, no colored windows or vaulted ceilings. There is only quiet, and grace, and the comfort of something more. She whispers to him that his grandfather always went to mass.

Somehow, sharing something like a church service with the man he was named for is even more comforting than the service itself.

iv. Teddy's hair is never red, not even when he's angry. Growing up around the extended Weasley clan, he already blends into the background in enough ways.

v. Even when he is young, he can't help but notice that his almost-cousin Victoire, three years younger than him, is a little different from the rest of the family – it must be the French in her, or perhaps the Veela. She's a bit more quiet, a bit more serene. She doesn't stand out; on the contrary, she blends into the background as much as he does among her bright, loud relatives.

For that, Teddy thinks she's his favorite.

vi. The first time James, Rose, Albus, Hugo, Lily, and Fred show any sign of magic, the entire family makes a huge fuss, showering sweets and presents on them and talking of nothing else for days. Teddy never had a first sign of magic; his hair has been changing colors from the time he was born. In a way, he feels like he's been cheated.

vii. When Teddy is sorted into Hufflepuff and is worried about disappointing both his godfather and his grandmother, his almost-uncle Charlie writes him to tell him that his mother had been a badger as well, and not to believe what people say about his house, because 'Tonks had more fire and spirit than all of Gryffindor put together.' House pride is never an issue after that.

viii. The Great Hall breaks into whispers when Teddy is sorted, but they hush immediately when the next name is called. When the hat announces Hufflepuff again, the buzz of shock and confusion reaches an even greater volume. Teddy's new housemate slips onto the bench next to him and stares at his plate forlornly, but Teddy greets him tentatively, and manages to coax a smile out of him within five minutes.

By the next morning, Tristan Malfoy is his best friend.

ix. Teddy finds a box of photo albums when he's visiting at the Potters before his second year begins, and one is full of pictures of his parents. There are pictures of the Marauders and Lily; there are pictures of Tonks at Hogwarts. He sees his mother and father's faces for the first time.

From that day on, Teddy looks a little bit more like his parents, and if anyone notices, they don't say anything.

x. When Andromeda refuses to talk about her family with Teddy, he goes to his godfather – he understands if it's too painful for his grandmother to talk about, but surely it will be alright for Harry. It is shocking when Harry sidesteps the issue, but he makes up for it by filling a night with stories about Remus and Tonks, and for that matter, the Marauders and the Order.

That night, Teddy decides he wants to be an Auror, and he never looks at the moon the same way again.

xi. During his Defense Against the Dark Arts class in his third year, in the middle of a unit on dangerous creatures, the professor goes on a rant about the Ministry's relaxed laws against werewolves. Teddy begins shouting at the top of his lungs, and has to be taken out of the classroom. The professor doesn't understand why, but all of his classmates do, and everyone gives him a wide berth in the common room that night.

xii. He thinks that it isn't fair that only three of the Marauders had children named after them, no matter who was nobler in life. Teddy decides that if he ever has a son, he'll name him Peter.

xiii. Teddy doesn't particularly like his almost-aunt Hermione. She's overbearing, smiles too brightly, and is always talking about something she's read. He can't understand her passion for books, and her bossiness is just too much to take. It's lucky that Rose and Hugo take after their father, or he thinks he wouldn't be able to take them either.

xiv. It's not quite as irritating when Victoire is enraptured by a book, but that's probably because she's in Ravenclaw and just can't help it. It couldn't possibly be for any other reason, even if she is beginning to feel less and less like his favorite almost-cousin, and more and more like just his favorite.

xv. Teddy visits Tristan's home once. His father remains locked in the study, but his mother serves them both éclairs and asks Teddy questions about school; she says she'd been in Hufflepuff as well, and he decides he quite likes her. Tristan's brother, Scorpius, is hanging around, and Teddy decided he quite likes the younger boy as well. He leaves for home in a hurry, though, when Tristan's grandmother sweeps into the room, and tells Tristan he'll send him an owl. He didn't expect to see any faces he recognized from the old photo albums.

When he demands to know why he wasn't informed that he had real relatives – ones he got along with, went to school with – Andromeda doesn't have an answer.

xvi. In his seventh year, he decides that he is going to buy Victoire an amazing, stellar, mind-blowing present for her birthday. He already knows that she loves books, and seashells, like the ones that line the walkway to her home.

So he buys her a book about seashells, and feels a bit like an idiot, but she laughs and kisses him on the cheek; and he wonders, if it's her birthday, why he's the one who feels so lucky.

xvii. Teddy isn't accepted into the Auror training program, but Tristan is. His friend apologizes, but Teddy waves it off, telling him to save the apologies for his father, who will obviously be more difficult to handle.

Teddy becomes a Healer instead. It is possibly the only career path in England without connections to his almost-family, and this may be a large part of why he chooses it.

xviii. Tristan's brother Scorpius asks Teddy's almost-cousin Rose to marry him after they graduate, and surprises half of the wizarding world; the other half is equally surprised by her consent. Teddy congratulates them both with a smile, but during the reception, he sits with his grandmother, who is clearly on edge. When her sister finally approaches and she doesn't turn away, Teddy decides that things are going in the right direction, and leaves them alone.

xix. Teddy refuses to wear black on the anniversary of the Final Battle, as has become tradition. Black is the color of Death Eaters, of evil, of despair, and he will not perpetuate those things after their end. Instead, he wears white: for new beginnings and for hope. For the future.

Victoire wears white as well, and catching her eye across a crowded hall, Teddy thinks that she could never look more beautiful.

xx. Teddy is proven wrong, not on his wedding day, but on the day he asks Victoire to marry him. With Bill's permission and Fleur's blessing, he offers her a simple silver band with a turquoise stone set in the middle, hoping she will understand the meaning. "My favorite color," she says, letting the question linger in the air for a moment. "Because of your hair, Teddy. I've loved it since I was young."

"The color?" he asks quietly, and the smile that lights her face is radiance itself.

"Not really the color, Teddy; you," she breathes. "It's always been you."

It's in this moment that Teddy realizes he's always felt the same way.