The baby is crying

The baby was crying. A senior woman didn't move from the chair she sat rocking in. On the table beside her are a few framed photos, moving and smiling.

The first was a young man holding a baby, a baby with hair switching through the rainbow. The next was that same baby, but grown, with short bubble-gum pink hair, and her arms around a man, with a lined face and peppered hair, both are beaming, just married and ready to take on the world. Then a photo with an older version of the first man, still holding a baby, and the baby's hair was still changing. But the man wasn't just a father anymore; he was a grandfather as well.

The baby was still crying. Andromeda Tonks rose against her will and went to the baby of her own child. She lifted the tiny infant, and rocked him gently.

She sang to him, much as she had to her own daughter, Dora, all those years ago. But it had been nearly a month since the defeat of Voldemort, nearly a month since Dora's death, and the death of her husband.

The baby calmed, and his hair turned grey and curly like Andromeda's, and his eyes become gentle blue. He was doing what his mother had done as a child, mimicking his caregiver. As the child slept, his hair morphed to the pepper his father's hair had been. Poor Dora, poor Remus, poor Ted, she thought as she placed the now-sleeping child down. That child would never know his parents, never know her daughter, his mother. And Teddy needed a daddy, one that would love him like Remus had.

The sound of a rustling Floo drew her attention from her grandson. "Mrs. Tonks?" she heard a young man call. That would be the babe's godfather, Harry Potter.

"Hello, Mr. Potter," she greeted him. "Who is this young lady?" she inquired of the red-head holding his hand.

"Er, this is Ginny, Ginny Weasley. She's my girlfriend, and I thought it would be alright if she helped with Teddy… You can call me Harry, Mrs. Tonks." Andromeda sighed. Teddy was her late husband's name. Oh, how she missed her Ted, the man who she risked and lost everything for. He was dead now, and it only hurt to use his name, even with the grandson he never really knew. Tiny Teddy orphaned at six months…

"Of course, dear. He's sleeping now, though," she began, but was interrupted by Teddy's renewed cries. "And we've woken him up. Go on, then," she ordered. Harry smiled and so did Ginny. They went into Teddy's nursery and Harry, with surprising gentleness, lifted his godson into his arms, doing everything right, supporting the head and neck. Teddy gurgled and settled a bit.

"I think he's hungry," Ginny Weasley whispered. Harry looked to Andromeda; knowing she knew where Teddy's food was. She nodded and left the room.

She hastily prepared a bottle of formula for the babe, his mother's breast no longer an option, and went back to Teddy's room.

Harry and Ginny were laughing; Teddy had become a miniature Harry, black hair that stuck up at odd angles, green eyes and a red "Z" instead of a lightning scar. Then Andromeda noticed what they were laughing at. Teddy had added black freckles in perfect circles around his eyes, resembling Harry's glasses.

Dora did that as a baby, with Ted's reading glasses.

She handed the bottle to the young couple and excused herself. She sat on her bed, having fled to her room in effort to hide her tears. Their bed. Ted slept here, not too long ago…

Ginny smiled at Harry as she watched him rock his godson in the nursery of Andromeda Tonks's home two months after she first came. He wasn't aware she was watching, and she meant to keep it that way. She was listening to him sing, afraid he might stop. His voice was lovely; deep, heartbreaking, and, yet somehow, hopeful.

"Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly.
All your life,
you were only waiting for this moment to arise.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see.
All your life,
you were only waiting for this moment to be free.

Blackbird, fly, Blackbird, fly,
into the light of the dark black night.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly.
All your life...
You were only waiting for this moment to arise," he finished, and hummed out the melody as Teddy fell into a peaceful slumber. He set the babe down with a tenderness she was unacquainted to seeing on his rough, scarred hands. He was always so gentle and careful with that baby, even when he was horsing around with his soon-to-be-a-year-old godson.

I want him to be just as gentle and careful with our babies. He'll be an amazing father when the time comes, she thought. He turned to leave and saw her standing in the doorway; he started, but quickly recovered, realizing it was only her.

"Gin," he began, smiling apologetically. "I didn't hear you come in."

"Is that any way to greet your girl? Give me a proper kiss," she told him, trying to decipher if he was embarrassed or not. He grinned, and pulled her waist to his. He kissed her as if he didn't want to let go.

When he finally did, she spoke. "Harry, you're quite a good singer, you know. That lullaby is beautiful."

"It's an old Muggle song, a classic, really. A band called the Beatles wrote it, and I always liked it."

"A band named after a bunch of bugs wrote a song about a blackbird?" she asked, doubtfully. He chucked quietly.

"You could say that." She nodded, resting her head against his chest as they watched Teddy sleep. "Can I ask you something?" She looked at him.

"Always, Harry, you can always ask me anything you want," she assured him.

"Do you want to have kids one day?"

"Depends," she said, after a moment's hesitation.

"On what?"

"Whether you want to, I suppose. My children will only be yours." He stared at her for a moment, and then kissed her slowly, lingeringly, the way a lover would. A coo caught their attention, and they looked over at Teddy's crib. He was standing, gripping the bars, and when they looked, he puckered his lips and made a smooching sound.

"You little rascal!" Harry scolded playfully, scooping up Teddy and tossing him shortly in the air. Teddy squealed his delight. Ginny watched the two at play. And saw nothing but pure joy in Harry's eyes as he tickled or tossed the child. Teddy might not ever remember his real father, but he had one hell of a surrogate.

Teddy Lupin had a daddy.