Teddy Lupin is one of my absolute favorite characters, although his personality is not explored very much in his short appearance in the books, nor on fanfiction. Here's a short tribute to Teddy, Tonks, and Remus.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything, sadly.
Summary: Ginny comforts Teddy after he and Harry get caught up in a dispute triggered by the fact that it is the late Remus Lupin's birthday.
"Hey, Gin," Teddy Lupin said after silently letting himself into her home. She jumped a little at the sound of his voice, giving him a good laugh as he bent over to place a kiss on her cheek. He was there so often that he went unnoticed when he snuck up behind her like that, and she couldn't help but treat him like one of her own.
She could admire his features as he straightened out. His determinedly set jaw, focused, light brown eyes, chiseled nose and chin, and of course, his favorite, although he never understood why, bright turquoise hair. Ginny chuckled. At least he was easy to spot in a crowd.
There was something about the way he held himself. It was proud, but not arrogant. It was as if he were trying to make it up to the same level as everyone else, not to be above them. Ginny often found herself wishing that his confidence would rub off on her children.
Teddy's chuckle broke through her trance-like state. "Earth to Ginny—Hello?" an ounce of concern leaked into his voice as he said the last word, but the confused look soon broke into a lopsided grin as Ginny smiled up at him.
"I've just got to drop something off to Harry," Teddy explained. "Where's he hiding?"
"He's probably in his study," Ginny said with a knowing sigh, flicking her wand in the direction of a cutting board. A knife instantly sprang into life, cutting a carrot into slices that flew into a large pot on the stove. "Do you want to stay for dinner?" she asked. "The kids asked for stew, and I'm using my mum's recipe. I know how much you like it." She couldn't help but give him a motherly wink.
Ginny couldn't block the pot in time; before she'd even registered it, Teddy had plunged his finger into the stew and brought it up to his mouth, tasting it thoughtfully. Ginny frowned at him, all in good nature. It wasn't as if he hadn't done that hundreds of times before.
"Ew!" young Lily said, coming up from behind. "What'd you do that for?" she looked up to Teddy who may as well be her older brother, sticking her tongue out at him.
"Wotcher, Lils," Teddy said, ruffling her hair cheerily.
Ginny smiled sadly. Teddy was so much like Tonks… even if he inherited his greeting from Andromeda. But that glint in his eye… not to mention—Ginny internally chuckled—the turquoise hair and ability to change his appearance at any given moment, was all too much like Tonks.
Teddy looked up at Ginny. "Tastes delicious, but rain check. I promised Grandma that I'd be home for dinner. But I'll take whatever leftovers you have tomorrow."
"Knowing James and Albus, there won't be any leftovers," Ginny said.
"Don't worry, Teddy," Lily said pleasantly. "I'll make sure they don't eat it all. I'll make sure that there's some for you."
Teddy chuckled, grinning. "That's my Lils," he said, giving her hair another ruffle.
"You going to stay and visit tomorrow? Please? I want to show you my drawings. Mom says they're really good." Lily clenched her hands together pleadingly.
"Of course I will," Teddy said, as those were probably his plans anyway. "That is, as long as I haven't worn out my welcome yet." He threw a questioning look at Ginny.
Ginny smiled at him. "Of course you haven't Teddy. You're always welcome here. Why else would we have given you a copy of the key?" Teddy always managed to find an excuse to ask that same question every time he came over. "Have I worn out my welcome?" Ginny wondered when he'd learn that he was as good as family.
Lily bounced over to stand by Ginny's side. "Can I help?" she asked feverishly, but Ginny was too busy watching Teddy walk towards Harry's study.
- - - - -
Ginny sighed as she glanced at the clock. Teddy had arrived at six, and it was about seven thirty now. Harry had said he'd be at the table by six thirty, but she'd just gone ahead and let the kids eat without him. What could they possibly be talking about?
And she knew that Andromeda would be upset that Teddy hadn't shown up on time… it must be something important if Teddy would go back on his word like that, even over something little.
Ginny's curious schoolgirl tactics got the best of her. Without thinking it over, she filled a bowl to the brim with the lukewarm stew, placed it on a plate, and added a slice of bread and a spoon. Feeling childish, she took a few delicate steps towards Harry's study, careful not to make any noise—before realizing that she didn't have to keep quiet, and picked up her pace. Still, her footsteps sounded loud to her against the silence of the den and kitchen. The kids were all upstairs, and she could only hope they weren't destroying anything.
Harry's study door swung open just as Ginny reached out to twist it. Teddy threw it forcefully aside, his hair a dark, blood red, as he stormed past her without a word in her direction. Horrified, she froze for a moment, and then peered into the study.
Harry sat at his desk, facing away from her, his face buried in his hands. She could hear him grumbling. Gathering a bit of courage, she spoke up. "Honey?"
Harry sat up, and turned around. Upon noticing his wife, his face sank into a tentative smile. Ginny crossed the room and set down the bowl in front of him.
"Sorry if it's a little cool. I didn't know you two would be so long…" Harry grimaced. "If you don't mind me asking," Ginny continued, boldly, "What was that all about?"
Harry turned away from her, and anyone could tell that he was fuming. He remained deathly silent.
Just as Ginny was about to make her escape, he spoke up.
"'You're not my father, Potter,' he said. 'Stop trying to act like it.'"
Ginny winced at not only the words, but the hurt tone Harry was using. She inched forward and put her hand on his back. "I'm sorry."
Harry turned to her and chuckled, weakly. "I don't actually think he'll be back tomorrow," he said.
Ginny didn't have anything to say.
"Could you… could you close the door on your way out?" Harry asked. Ginny was startled for a moment, before realizing how high strung Harry was at the moment; he hadn't realized how rude that had sounded.
"Sure," she said, quietly, and crept out of the room.
Teddy was pulling on his coat as she walked back into the den. "Teddy," she said, walking quickly so that he couldn't escape before she confronted him. He paused, staring straight ahead, and then shook his untidy red hair out of his eyes. Ginny hesitated, and then gestured to the counter. Teddy pulled up a stool, and she immediately sat opposite him as he pulled off his coat.
Ginny stammered to find the appropriate words.
"It's his birthday, you know," Ginny murmured. "Your father's. March tenth." She raised her eyes up to his, although his were staring at his own hands. "He would be very proud of you, you know."
"Oh, spare me," Teddy snapped, looking up to meet her gaze. His eyes were cold for only a moment, and then they softened apologetically.
"Oh, Gin, you know I didn't mean that," he said hastily. "It's just…" His hair lightened to a bright red, his version of a blush. "It hurts, Gin. It still does—and I feel, deep down, I feel like I should be over it. Or at least a little closer to over it than I am." He gave the exact same kind of uncomfortable, nervous chuckle that Harry had given. "It probably sounds stupid, since I never knew him. But I—I feel like I did know him. I feel like I…" he chuckled again. "I feel like he's there some times, you know? Both of them are."
"You're not going to want to hear this," Ginny warned. "But you sound just like Harry when you say things like that."
Teddy cut his eyes at her, his hair darkening again. "How so?"
Ginny shook her head. "People don't care to realize it, because, looking at him, you'd never be able to tell. Because he managed to get through on his own. But Harry was orphaned, just like you."
Teddy turned away.
"And," she continued. "He didn't have half as many nice people bringing him up as you did. Hell, he didn't have any nice people at all."
"I… I'm…" Teddy started.
"I do it too," Ginny confessed. "I do it all the time. With Fred, I mean." She stared past him, into space and into her memories. "You wouldn't understand. I've told that to him more times than I could count. And he never sets me straight." She glanced back at Teddy. "That's just the kind of person he is."
She just stared at him for a moment, as he continued to stare at his hands. She was analyzing him, studying every feature.
"It shows, too, you know. It shows in your voice, and your personality. People never have to ask who your parents were."
Teddy grinned cautiously. "The blue hair's a dead give away, eh?"
"No," Ginny said, smiling. "No, the blue hair is Tonks, actually. And the grin, oh, that is definitely Tonks's grin. And you've got his expressions, and his eyes..."
Teddy closed his eyes, and then opened them again, revealing that they were, in fact, now purple.
Ginny laughed. "No, color's got nothing to do with it. It's just… they're his. I can't even explain it."
"I suppose you want me to go and apologize to Harry then."
"Those were some brutal words, Teddy," Ginny chided gently.
"I didn't mean them," he said sullenly. "I didn't mean a word of it."
"Does he know that?" Ginny asked, quietly.
Teddy stared at her for a moment, and then nodded, and rose from his seat.
"No, no, wait," Ginny put her hand on top of his to stop him. He glanced down at her questioningly.
"You don't have to apologize… now. I know from personal experience how tough that can be. But I'm sure he'd love to hear that bit about not meaning any of it, tomorrow when you visit." She smiled up at him knowingly.
Teddy nodded and stood up. "I'll be here. Five o'clock on the dot."
Ginny stood up as well. "I'll have leftovers waiting."
"Sounds like a plan," Teddy said, and then enveloped her in a tight hug. "Thank you, Ginny," he choked out.
Releasing her and straightening out, he gave her a brisk wave and let himself out.
"Anytime, Teddy," Ginny murmured after him, although she knew he wouldn't be able to hear. "Anytime at all."
Hope you liked it.
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