"Gran," said Teddy, tugging on his grandmother's robe as they wandered along Diagon Alley. "Gran?"
"Yes, Teddy?" she replied, a little distracted and she pulled her shopping list out of her purse and examined it.
"Can I have a pet?"
This caused Andromeda to pause and look down at her grandson, who was looking up at her pleadingly with wide eyes. She wasn't even distracted by his bright orange hair.
"A pet? We already have an owl…"
"But that's your owl," Teddy whined, still piercing his grandmother with his killer puppy dog eyes look.
"What makes you want a pet all the sudden? You never said anything before."
Teddy shrugged and lowered his eyes.
"Teddy?" she questioned before leading him over the side of the road to get out of the main stream of the foot traffic. "Teddy," she said again, kneeling down to his level. "What is it?"
"I don't have anyone to play with," answered Teddy simply. "Uncle Harry's been to busy since James was born and, sorry Gran, but your boring."
Andromeda smiled a small, almost sad grin, before standing up and extending her hand to her grandson, which he took. "Let's go look at the miniature puffskiens at George Weasley's joke shop, okay?"
Teddy looked up at his grandmother and smiled wide, showing a few of his missing teeth.
Andromeda shrieked went she entered the sitting room from the connecting kitchen. Hand to her heart, she asked, "Teddy Lupin, what is that…that thing doing in our house…?"
Teddy looked at the big, friendly black dog standing beside him, just inside the front door. "He followed me home."
"Well, take him back."
"To where? I don't know where he came from," said the young boy.
"Well, put him outside," said Andromeda, crossing the room to the door, "Before he—" But prior to even saying the words, the dog shook violently, throwing the water his fur was drenched in all over Teddy, Andromeda, and her new throw rug.
"But it's cold and rainy out there," argued Teddy, his own damp jacket and hair plastered to his forehead was proof enough.
"But he's not ours, Teddy. Someone might be missing him," she tried to explained, although, secretly, Andromeda didn't believe it. The dog was far to thin and ungroomed to be someone's 'Fido' missing only a few days.
"Can we at least let him stay the night," pleaded Teddy, genuinely upset. "I don't want him to have to stay out in the rain all by himself. It's lonely. Plus, he's really friendly." To prove his point, Teddy scratched the black dog behind the ear and the animal wagged his tail in appreciation. "And he sort of reminds me of something…Did anyone have a dog like this when I was little."
"No," said Andromeda, so stunned it was hard to get her words out. "No one did…but you're right. He does remind me of someon—something…
She sighed, "Fine. He can stay the night."
"Yes!" Teddy exclaimed pumping a triumphant fist into the air.
"But first thing tomorrow we are putting up signs over the neighborhood asking for the owner…Do you understand?" she had to shout after him as he ran up the stairs to his bedroom, the dog pounding after him.
Two months later, the black dog had become a permanent resident at their home. Andromeda and Harry sharing the briefest, but meaningful eye contact when Harry suggested Teddy name the dog Padfoot.
"Oh, Teddy, not again," said an exasperated Andromeda, observing a blue haired Teddy hold up a small kitten in his two hands.
"No 'buts' mister. You already have a puffskien and a dog and Harry promised to get you an owl when you go to Hogwarts in six months. Why do you need a cat?"
"There was a litter of them, Gran. They were abandoned in a cardboard box on the corner of the street."
"You didn't bring the whole litter home, did you?" asked Andromeda, having joking, half serious.
"No, I stayed there until all but this one got adopted. You can be surprised how many people will take desperate little kittens how with a little bit of pleading…"
"Yeah, but, I mean, a cute little kid with cute little kittens. It's not too hard to sell."
Andromeda mussed over his words. "Sell? You didn't try money off of those kittens, did you?" she asked sharply.
"No," Teddy retorted. "I just wanted to get them homes. But I had to come home when it got dark and this one," he said, holding up the gray and white kitten a little higher, "Was left."
"That's a very noble thing you did. Teddy, but you already have several pets. Can you take care of a kitten too? It is really necessary?"
"What else am I supposed to do with her?" Teddy asked, holding the kitten close to his chest like it was a baby. "She needs me."
"Yeah, she doesn't have any parents either."
Andromeda was struck silent and chocked to get her words out. "You can keep her." How could she say anything else?
Once or twice, when Andromeda had almost been tripped by Padfoot and the kitten, now named Dusty, she wondered if she had been duped. The possibility of a lonely boy repeatedly playing off his loneliness and misfortunes in order to get his grandmother to bend to his very will was not impracticable or unbelievable.
But then she remembers it was Teddy, who never tried to pout his way into getting anything else other than his pets. It was Teddy, who took care of feeding, grooming, playing with, training, and cleaning up after his pets with such dedication and devotion. It was Teddy, who showed so much love to those animals…She knew she hadn't been.
"Really? Any owl I want?" Teddy asked skeptically as they walked into the pet store.
"Any owl you want," Harry assured his godson. "It's a present."
Teddy stared around the noisy, constantly moving pet shop with amazement. A bird was squawking and flapping it's wings on one wall, a turtle-like animal with a jewel encrusted shell had fire erupting from its mouth, show off rats were playing jump rope with their tails. For Teddy it was all very exciting and he didn't know where to look first.
"Come on, Teddy," said Harry, leading the young boy gently to the wall with the owls with a hand on his back.
The shop lady rushed over to greet them, sensing a sale on the horizon. "How can I help you today?" she said with a fake, saleslady smile on her face.
"We're looking for an owl," answered Harry.
"Oh, well, we have the finest selection of owls for both pet and mail carrying purposes," she said, waving a hand at the wall full of cages of birds. He woman began rattling off the various benefits of various types of owls to Harry and Teddy. Which were best for straight mail carrying and business, which were better pets, which were the easiest to train…the list went on and on.
"What about that one," Teddy interrupted her mid-sentence, pointing at an owl with black and white feathers, slightly smaller than the other full grown owls, but what caught the little boy's attention was the owl's eyes; one was amber brown, the other a foggy brown-gray.
"You don't that one," said the woman. "He's half-blind…he's too sweet a bird for me to get rid of him though." She continued on with her spiel.
Harry gave the look that he was trying to pay attention to her, but one could tell he was losing interest. Teddy hadn't been interested in the overbearing woman from the beginning. He tugged on Harry's shirt-sleeve.
"Teddy?" he asked.
The ten year old boy pointed to the black and white owl with two-colored eyes. "I want that one."
"You heard what the lady said…"
"He needs a home," said Teddy. "No one else is going to take him just because he's different…"
Harry observed his godson for a moment, the sincerely in the young boy's eyes and he understood.
"Ma'am," he interrupted the woman who hadn't even realized her two customers had stopped paying attention to her. "I think we're ready to make our choice."
"I wish my parents would let me get a pet," complained Victoire as she cuddled Dusty in her arms. She was sitting on the bed in Teddy's room while he was over at his desk, feeding his new owl. "They saw I don't need one because," she wrinkled her nose in distaste, "I have a little brother."
"I'm gonna take Dusty and Mr. No-Name here to school with me. I'm kinda worried about leaving Padfoot home, but Gran's finally warmed up to him," said Teddy, scratching the dog that was lying lazily on the foot of his bed behind the years. "He's good at scaring gnomes out of the garden. Plus, I wounld't want Gran to get lonely."
"Aren't you worried about me getting lonely?"Victiore asked with a pout. They were like best friend cousins, even though they were not technically cousins. They had grown up as the oldest two of the rather larger and still growing Weasley-Potter clan of grandkids, of which Teddy was an honorary member. Seriously, he got a Weasley sweater every Christmas.
"You have a little brother now, remember?" Teddy teased. Victoire scowled at him as he sat next to her. "But I'm not leaving you alone. You've got to look after Puffy while I'm away," said Teddy waving his hand at the furry blue ball-like animal currently lazing on the windowsill in the warm afternoon sunshine. To be honest, Victoire was much more fond of Dusty, but remembering how jealous she had been when Teddy got the puffskien she couldn't in good conscious complain. At least she was getting a pet, albeit a hand-me-down, on loan, boring one.
"I love your house, Teddy," said Victiore at Dusty nuzzled against her face. "It's like a zoo."
"I guess it kinda is."
Aki- A little oneshot about one of my favorite next generation character, the adorable Teddy Lupin. Review?