"Now, you promise not to look."
Harry nodded solemnly at his godson. "I promise."
"You wait right here," Teddy turned Harry around and backed him up against the window of the Muggle shop, facing the street. "And I'll be back in a sec. No peeking!"
Harry heard the bell over the shop door ring as Teddy dashed inside. He shook his head in bemusement. Teddy never walked anywhere he could run. Were all eight-year-old boys like this? Harry couldn't remember being nearly this energetic—but then, he had spent much of his childhood trying to draw as little attention to himself as possible.
A few minutes later he heard the bell ring again felt Teddy tug at his sleeve. "You can look now."
Teddy was practically beaming, a plainly wrapped brown package tucked under his arm.
"Do I get any hints?" asked Harry, smiling.
"Nope. You have to wait until tonight just like everyone else." Together they walked around the corner to the Tube, which would take them to Diagon Alley and the floo home.
"I have no idea, it was all a big secret." Harry bounced three-month-old James against his hip as he helped Andromeda levitate the plates into the kitchen.
"Some Auror you are, can't even get information out of an eight-year-old boy," teased Dora, arriving behind him with a platter that held the demolished remains of one of Molly's cakes.
Andromeda set the dishes in the sink to soak. "Yes, well, I suspect we'll find out soon enough." She wiped her hands on a towel and ushered her daughter and Harry back into the dining room. Teddy had been highly secretive all week long about his plans for his father's birthday present—only that it involved Harry and a trip to Muggle London—and she had to admit that she was just a bit curious to see what he had been up to in that Muggle shop.
Sitting next to his father, Teddy leaned forward impatiently as he waited for the adults to arrange themselves around the table. "Is it time to open the presents, yet?"
"Teddy, please remove your elbows from the table," admonished Dora, who then turned to Remus and asked, "Is it time to open the presents, yet?"
"All right, all right. Whose birthday is it, you two?" Remus laughed.
"Can we help it if we're excited on your behalf?" asked Dora as she began to assemble a small pile of gifts at the head of the table.
"Me first, me first!" announced Olivia, who climbed down out of her chair and presented Remus with a crudely wrapped bar of Honeydukes' chocolate.
Remus smiled indulgently as his three-year-old daughter gave him a rather wet kiss on the cheek. "Thank you, sweetheart."
"Welcome, Daddy. Can we open it now?"
Harry laughed. "She's definitely daddy's little girl."
Andromeda pulled her granddaughter onto her lap and kissed her on the head. "I don't think so, darling. You've already had a large slice of Molly's chocolate cake." Olivia nodded, stuck her thumb in her mouth, and snuggled sleepily into her arms.
"Here's my present," Dora smirked, handing Remus a small piece of parchment tied with a bright pink ribbon. Andromeda watched his ears turned progressively deper shades of pink as he read the note, until they nearly matched the shade of the ribbon. At last he tucked the parchment into the pocket of his shirt and smiled demurely at his wife. "Thank you, dear." Dora leaned over and gave him what should have been a quick peck on the lips until Remus threaded his fingers through her hair and deepened the kiss.
"Oi!" Harry cried out in alarm, covering James' eyes with his hand. "There are children present, you know."
Ginny slapped his hand away in annoyance as the infant began to fuss. "What are you, twelve years old again?"
Andromeda coughed discretely, amused at both Harry's distress and her son-in-law's cheek. Now it was Dora's turn to blush as she sat back down next to Teddy.
Teddy rolled his eyes. "They do that stuff all the time." He reached out a hand to intercept his father as Remus picked up a small, brightly decorated box. "Save mine 'til last, Dad, please?"
"All right, Teddy." The next gifts were from Harry and Ginny—a Muggle CD player, charmed by Arthur Weasley to play without electricity, and a copy of the Beatles' Abby Road. Next came the ornately wrapped package from Madame Malkin's, Andromeda's own contribution to the evening. She smiled in satisfaction as he lifted the new dress robes from the box. His birthday was one of the few times of the year that Remus would allow her to indulge in her desire to make up the many lean years he had known.
"Mum, these are beautiful," exclaimed Dora as she fingered the rich fabric.
"I thought it might bring out the color in your eyes, Remus."
Remus smiled at her sincerely. "They are exquisite, Andromeda, thank you."
Teddy, apparently, was not as impressed. "Okay, okay ... Dad, open my present now." He was practically bouncing out of his chair with excitement.
The small box was wrapped in craft paper, every inch of which had been covered in brightly colored, hand-drawn birthday cakes and balloons. "Happy Birthday, Dad" was written across the top in Teddy's eight-year-old scrawl.
Tonks put her arm around Teddy's shoulders proudly. "Teddy picked it out and wrapped it himself."
Remus carefully removed the paper and lifted the flap of the white cardboard box, revealing a brushed stainless-steel watch attached to a black leather wristband. The watch had a charcoal dial with silver-tone Roman numerals marking the hours and two round subdials marking the day and date.
"Teddy," Remus looked at his son in surprise, "this is beautiful. Wherever did you get it?"
"I bought it myself, with the money I earned helping Mrs. Figg keep up her yard. Harry helped me change it into Muggle currency and took me to the shop in London." Teddy beamed proudly at his father.
"It's a lunar phase watch," announced Teddy and Andromeda's heart froze. Across the table she saw that Dora's face had gone pale. Harry and Ginny, who had been fussing over James, shared an uncomfortable glance. Teddy, oblivious, babbled on. "See," he said, pointing to a third small dial on the watch, "it shows the times for sunrise and sunset, and the moonrise and lunar phase for wherever you are. It's pre-programmed for 583 cities worldwide! And it automatically updates every day through the year 2099. So you never have to go up to the attic to look at the lunascope again! You'll always know what phase of the moon it is, no matter where you are."
Teddy looked back up at Remus, excitement and pride shining in his eyes. "Try it on!"
Remus carefully placed the watch around his wrist and adjusted the leather strap. He gathered his son into a tight hug, his eyes suspiciously bright. "Thank you Teddy. I shall wear it every day."
Later, as Remus was showing Harry and Ginny to the door, Andromeda took Dora aside. "Why don't you let me put the children to bed tonight, dear. You and Remus might want a few moments to talk."
Dora smiled gratefully at her mother. "Thanks, Mum."
"You've been awfully quiet since Harry and Ginny left," she observed a few minutes later as she levitated two mugs of tea towards where he sat on the sofa.
Remus looked up from reading the instruction manual that came with the watch. "This is quite an impressive piece of craftmanship. It automatically updates the lunar phase depending on your time zone. And they've done it all without the use of magic."
She sighed in exasperation and pulled the manual from his hand. He was starting to sound like Arthur. "Remus …"
He took her hand in his as he gathered his thoughts. "I'll admit, it was a bit disconcerting to receive a gift from my son that showed him to be so aware of my lycanthropy. And yet, to Teddy, it is simply an essential part of who I am. He knows that I must keep careful track of the phases of the moon, and so he bought me a watch to help me do so."
Remus smiled ruefully. "It was a very practical gift, after all."
"Nudge over," she demanded as she sat next to him and curled her legs up over his. Obligingly, he put his arms around her and cradled her in his lap.
"I know that he's my son, and that my opinion is hardly unbiased. And yet I find it remarkable that an eight-year-old boy would do something so completely unselfish and thoughtful. You know that he must have spent his entire savings on this watch?"
"He's something, our boy."
"Yes, yes he is."
They passed a few moments in comfortable silence while Remus continued to fiddle with the buttons and dials on the watch. Finally Dora grew tired of watching him play with his new toy and leaned up to whisper in his ear, "Are you ready for your final present, now?"
It was the best birthday of his life.