When Remus made it back to the house from Shell Cottage, Andromeda was in her armchair in the sitting room, fast asleep for the first time in days, with a book in her lap. Remus picked up a blanket, covered her with it, then pointed his wand at the light, which clicked off. Despite their occasionally rough relationship, Remus was glad that Andromeda seemed to be coming back to herself; Teddy was already doing more good than he knew.

He trudged up the stairs to the guest room, where Dora had had the baby, and smiled as he opened the door. Dora was curled in bed, the fingers of one hand hooked in Teddy's bassinet, which stood right next to the bed.

Very, very quietly, so as not to disturb her, Remus removed his cloak and tiptoed over to the bassinet. Teddy, wrapped in blankets, was sleeping, working his small mouth in a yawn. His hair seemed to have taken on a greenish tinge, though Remus couldn't be sure in the half-light.

He was a father. A father. It was inconceivable. He never imagined that he would ever be able to have a child, to raise, care for, love, and yet—she had given him all of that, and more. Dora and Teddy were the most important things in his world. How could he ever have been such an idiot? How could he have dreamed that leaving them was the best course of action?

And Remus felt a sudden rush of affection for Harry. Harry, who had lost so much, who had every right to act as selfishly as he chose, had forced Remus to see that the desires of one person are as nothing to the desires of those who depend on that person. Tears filled Remus's eyes as he watched his son.

"Teddy, I love you so much," he whispered, his voice breaking. "I don't think I'll ever be able to tell you enough how much I love you. Thank you for being everything I ever wanted." Remus reached one hand down and stroked Teddy's head, and the baby opened and closed his mouth several times, his small tongue lolling. Remus chuckled.

Dora stirred, one eye opening. "You're back," she murmured.

"I am," Remus managed to say, with a great sniff as he knelt beside her. "Go to sleep, Dora, I'm here."

"Did Harry make the cake?" she asked sleepily, her eyes shut.

"I—what?" Remus whispered, utterly nonplussed.

"The cake," Dora said in a voice that plainly told Remus he was being very foolish. She flung her hand up in the air, gesturing towards the ceiling.

"Er," Remus said, looking up above his head. "Yes, sweetheart, and he was very happy."

"Happy birthday, Teddy," Dora mumbled, burying her face in the pillow. Remus smiled and smoothed her hair back. It was still bright pink, he noted.

"Happy birthday," Remus answered, and Dora said no more, as her soft snoring began to fill the room. How odd that after seven years of listening to Sirius and James snore in Gryffindor Tower, a sound that drove him up the wall, Remus could never get enough of hearing Dora as she slept.

He got up quietly and tiptoed to the armchair beneath the window, where he settled down comfortably, tucking his cloak over himself. He watched Dora for several minutes, illuminated by a shaft of moonlight.

Remus smiled.


The end. *sniffle* I felt like doing a double post for you all, since I haven't in a while...*sniffle* I JUST LOVE THEM SO MUCH! Everybody gets to cuddle Teddy on their way out. It's therapeutic. *holds baby out* LOVE YOU ALL! Thanks for coming on this little journey with me!

Lucy