Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or the characters in this story
Harry stood alone on the front steps, listening to the soft patter of rain and staring at the door in front of him. Ron and Hermione had offered to accompany him, Ginny had wanted to be with him, but he refused. There would be other times, many, many more surely. But this time, the first time, he needed to come alone.
It was the first time he'd been away from them since the final battle. If what he was doing didn't command all his thoughts, he might have been panicking, looking for their faces, reaching for them, needing to see and feel them to reassure himself that they were alright. But as it was, all he could think about was the door, and what lay on the other side.
The idea had come to him the morning after the battle, once he was able to think again. He'd sent the owl first thing and waited in eagerness and dread for the response. Andromeda's letter was short, simple and to the point: please come. So he had.
Trying to hold himself together, Harry took a great breath and knocked. The sound seemed to ring out, too loud in the hush that fell around the house. He listened to the muffled noises from inside as he waited; then the door swung open and Andromeda Tonks stood facing him.
Before he could repress it, the memory of the last time he had seen her swept over him. Fresh from battle, injured and in shock, and scared out of his mind for all the people he'd left behind, she and her husband had sheltered him, healed his injuries…
She looked much the same as she had nearly a year ago; the semblance to her sister plane in her features, yet her hair was lighter, her eyes wider and kinder. Her face was more lined than it had been, her hair grayer. She looked as if she'd aged more than just a year.
For a moment they looked at each other, the things that had happened since last they'd seen one another seemed to hang in the air between them. Then she stepped aside for him to come in. The house was also much as he remembered it; neat, warm, and inviting.
"He's through here," Andromeda said quietly, leading him to the living room. It hadn't changed since last Harry had been there, except for a small cradle that now sat in the corner. Harry crossed over to it and gazed down at the bundle of blankets in which a tiny baby with lime green hair was sleeping peacefully.
Harry felt as if he'd been cemented in place. He couldn't identify the emotions that were racing through him, twisting in his stomach, squeezing his chest, burning his throat. His hands jerked forward as if he wanted to pick the baby up, but he stopped himself, gripping the edge of the cradle instead. He just looked down at him… something that Teddy Lupin's parents would never do again. He gripped the cradle so tightly his knuckles turned white then he let it go. His hands dropped limply to his sides, he bowed his head and turned away.
Andromeda still stood in the doorway. She caught his gaze and he looked away, not wanting to see blame or pain there.
"I'm sorry," he whispered. "I'm so, so sorry." He knew the words were laughably insignificant, knew that they could never make things right, but they were all he had.
"Look at me," Andromeda said quietly. It was an order and Harry obeyed before he could stop himself. She was looking at him steadily. Harry could not read her expression.
"My daughter and her husband died to make this a better world. They would not have had it any other way. You and I both know this, there is no blame." She held his gaze a second longer, then crossed the room and scooped Teddy up out of his cradle. "Do you want to hold him?"
Before he could answer, she had pressed the bundle into his chest and arranged his arms to hold the baby. Harry scarcely breathed, afraid if he moved, the fragile creature nestled in his arms might break.
He had never held a baby before. Teddy's warm little body rested snugly against his chest, fingers in his mouth as he slept; so peaceful, so innocent, so helpless. Harry could feel him breathing, thought he could see some small traces of Tonks and Lupin in his face; evidence that some part of them lived on.
He did not know how long he stood there, unable to take his eyes away from his godson. Several things seemed to be slipping into place. The world seemed to have forgotten about gravity after the final battle, but now it was beginning to right itself. Its center, which had been Voldemort and finishing him, was shifting.
A/N: I don't know if I'm done with this yet or not. I might add some other one shots about Harry and Teddy as Teddy grows up. Let me know if you think I should and Please Review!