15 July, 1982
The last of the Marauders, Remus Lupin stood disillusioned at the living room window of Number 4 Privet Drive. He was staring at his best friend's son playing with a train set 'at least he's happy'. This thought was interrupted as a boy who looked to be Harry's age, but much larger ran up and pushed Harry over and took the train. Harry looked from Dudley to Petunia and started wailing; Petunia looked over her magazine and gave young Harry a severe look the wailing subsided. So the little one stood up to take the toy back, Remus silently cheered, 'just like prongs' until Dudley started wailing.
"BOY!" Petunia slapped Harry across the face and picked him up. "You do not touch Dudley's things! Maybe time here will show you how to act"
To Mooney's horror Harry was put in the cupboard under the stairs. His blood began to boil as he watched Petunia calmly walk to her lard assed son and get him some ice-cream. Having seen enough, Remus silently snuck into the house and walked to the cupboard and opened it. Harry was curled on a small cot back facing the door. Silent tears spring to his eyes, one year after his parents had been murdered and Harry was being forced to sleep on this cot! Calming himself he reached out and placed a hand on his small shoulder.
"Pronglet" He whispered gently. Harry rolled over and must have sensed his presence, recognition flickered over his green eyes as tears and snot ran down his face. Harry held his arms out and Remus gently picked him up. Like a magnet Harry was latched to his chest face buried in his robe, in an instant Remus silently apparated them away. He did not notice the tabby cat watching from the window.
It was cloudy when he appeared in a small forest clearing and he rushed inside his small cabin. He relit the fire and sat in a worn couch looking down at Harry. Suddenly the enormity of what he had just done hit him. He had taken a child, what had he been thinking? He was a werewolf, how could he take care of him when most of the wizarding world spat upon him? When he could not hold down a steady job in the muggle world? But as he looked down upon Harry's face his fears were wiped away. This small child trusted him; he was peaceful in his, a werewolf's arms. He hugged Harry closer, he would find away, for James and Lily's sake. For Harry's sake.
He heard a knock at the door.
'Dear God no!'
"Remus, Open up!" He calmed slightly hearing the familiar Scottish burr of his old Transfiguration professor. "Remus! It's Minerva! I'm alone, I saw what happened"
He sighed and drew his wand and went to the door, Harry still in his arm. Minerva stood on his stoop, no wand out.
"I'm not here to take him away; I'm here to help you."
Minerva walked in and set a tea pot on the fire and sat down.
"May I hold him?"
Remus tried to extricate Harry, but his little arms clung to his neck.
"I guess not" he smiled so did Minerva at the tenderness of the moment.
"You're a natural Remus, Harry will be lucky to have you." He blushed and sat back again letting Harry rest on his chest.
"Now down to business" She poured the kettle into a pot with Orange Pekoe tea and allowed it to steep. "Adoption is going to be a messy matter, as the ministry would rather empty Azkaban than allow the 'boy who lived' to be raised by a….."
"Exactly" She poured the tea and took a sip of the piping hot delicious drink. "So it's through the muggle world that you must do it. As he was born in a muggle hospital it should be easier to get the proper forms."
"As it is you are still going to need a lawyer. There is a muggle born lawyer from Gringotts that should be able to help you, by the name of Ted Tonks, you have an appointment tomorrow"
"Minerva, why are you helping me so much?"
"Because I never wanted him placed in the hands of those awful people in the first place!" She took a sip of tea to calm her nerves. "Albus was adamant that he would be safest there. Without. Even. Watching. Them!" Another sip of tea. "I will not allow this child to be brought up by monsters!"
Remus smiled inwardly, he was considered a monster by so much of wizarding society, and here was his favourite professor calling muggles monsters. It was why he loved her so much.
"Well as I was saying, Ted Tonks is a respectable man, he married the good Black sister, Andie, and neither of them have any prejudice against lycans."
"Where will I be meeting them? I can't imagine I can go into Diagon Alley with Pronglet here."
"Café Edelweiss, down in Carnforth."
"Alright, thanks again…for everything"
"Just allow me to see the little one every once in a while, and all will be well Remus." She stood to leave. "Oh and a few more things." Out of her bag she drew a little suit case filled with Cloth Nappies, Clothes, stroller, and a crib.
"You'll be needing these." Remus got up and hugged her with all the might he could put into a one armed hug.
"Thank you" he choked out.
"Of course dear. She leant in and kissed little Harry on the head. "I expect to hold him next time though!"
She stepped outside of the door and apparated away. He shut the door and turned around, examining his small one room cabin that had become a little more cluttered with the new baby things, but he didn't mind one bit at all. A quiet cooing caught his attention and he looked down at Harry, his green eyes staring up at him.
"Oh sure, now you wake up Pronglet!" he laughed and Harry smiled as a smell reached the Lycans nose. "Oh, well then let's get you cleaned up!"
He laid Harry back on his mattress and undid his clothes, he grimaced at the mess. After he had cleaned him up he decided to give Harry a bath. As he fully undressed him he noticed bruises across his body and his rage nearly boiled over. Using a camera he documented the bruises (after placing a cloth for decency of course). He placed Harry in a tub full of sudsy warm water, the little one squealing in delight at the bubbles. He wrapped Harry in a white fluffy towel and tickled him before settling down for feeding.
"Good night Pronglet" He kissed his forehead as Harry fell asleep in the crib. Remus smiled to himself and sat down in front of the fire, life was going to be OK, he just knew it. Pouring himself a new cup of decaf Earl Grey he opened a parenting book that Minerva had left and read by the fire light, before going to sleep himself.
Two hours later he was woken up by cries from the crib.
"Shhh, it's OK, Mooney's here, Mooney's here" He held Harry close, still Harry cried. "Come on lets go outside" He wrapped them both in his robe and placed a warming charm on it.
The sky was clear but the ground was wet beneath his slippers. He sat on a porch recliner.
"Shhh, Pronglet, look up!" He pointed to the sky, "Look at the stars!" Harry sniffled and followed his finger to look that the stars above Lancashire. "Your Mum and Dad are up there Harry, looking down on you. I hope they're happy with me. They loved you so much. I love you too" He kissed the top of his head and Harry fell back asleep as Remus pointed out the different stars as the half-moon hung in the sky.
The next morning after feeding and dressing Harry, Remus placed him in the stroller and pushed him into Carnforth, it was close enough to walk, and besides he wanted to be out with Harry, and see people smile at him as we walked around pushing a baby, playing the part of a proud father. He pushed down the walkway next to the canal smiling the entire time as women stopped and looked in at Harry, saying what a beautiful son he had. By the time he reached Café Edelweiss, Mooney was grinning from ear to ear.
"Remus I assume?" A man stood up from his table arm out reached.
"The very same."
"And this must be Harry."
Ted looked into the stroller, he was a good looking man with a warm smile.
"So let's get down to business, there's quite a bit of paperwork to be signed here, I also took the liberty of ordering you Apple Strudel, it's quite good here."
"Could it be because the proprietors are actually Austrian?"
They both laughed and dug into their delicious breakfast.
"So," Ted began wiping his mouth, "Minerva told me all about Harry's relatives and since you both are witnesses it'll be easy to get their guardianship revoked and placed in your hands. As for your condition, that won't be an issue with the muggle government, they don't need to know, and our government does not bother much with them."
Remus nodded his understanding and pulled out a pen, getting ready for a signing spree.
"There is one question however, during the times that you are, should we say, indisposed, would it be alright if my family watched little Harry?"
"We would of course keep the secret, Merlin knows he doesn't need people swarming him with attention, or should we say a silver haired man sticking his crooked nose where it doesn't belong."
Nodding into his tea Remus grunted.
"Would you like to spend the afternoon with my family Remus? My wife would love to see little Harry here, and my daughter, Nymphadora, just graduated the Auror academy, now that's she's gotten the obligatory partying out of the way we were going to have a quiet family dinner."
"You're really inviting me? I haven't been invited anywhere, since…." He didn't finish the sentence.
Ted patted his shoulder.
"Now, now none of that! You'll have friends with my family, always!"
Remus smiled and then started signing things away with a passion, one hour later and Harry was legally his son.
"Congratulations! Welcome to the noble ranks of fatherhood!" Remus was absolutely beaming. "Come on good chap! A great afternoon awaits!"
They left the shop together and made their way to the Tonks home which was out on the lake.
"I'm home, and brought company!" Ted shouted through the door as he opened it.
"Is it Remus with Harry?" A woman's voice called out but her appearance through the kitchen doorway precluded an answer. Remus stilled, Andromeda Tonks looked shockingly like her sister, yet with a great difference, where malic was etched into Bella's features, Andy radiated warmth.
"Remus! Let's see him then!"
He turned the stroller around and Andy looked in at Harry as he stared back.
He nodded and Andy reached in to pick Harry up.
"Oh my! What a big boy you are!" She brushed a finger against the lightening-bolt scar. "We can glamour him up to hide that Remus. That way, any passing wizard won't recognize him."
"And if they recognize me, I'll have to be off right quick, not everyone is as accepting as you."
Andy nodded and sighed in agreement, for whatever good the wizarding world did, it was still extremely bigoted and did not look like it was going to change any time soon.
"Please let's go to the sitting room, can I get you anything?"
"Same for me too love!" Ted called as he took Harry and led Remus to a couch, they were followed shortly by Andy with a tray of tea and digestive biscuits.
"So, Remus, tell us a bit more about yourself."
Remus got into telling some tales of the Marauders adventures at Hogwarts, they were laughing loudly as Remus was recounting a particularly funny prank they had pulled by messing with the astronomy towers telescopes, making them see the stars spell out dirty words or phrases.
"Wotcher that must have been brilliant!"
The trio turned to look at the doorway and the young pink haired woman standing there.
"Remus!" Tonks smiled
"Nympha-" He was cut off as she whipped out her wand and in the blink of an eye had changed all the colours of his clothes and dyed his hair green.
"Call me Tonks!"
Harry broke out laughing, laughing hard as a baby can shrieking with mirth. This broke the entire group into laughter, which in turn caused Harry to laugh even harder. It was the first time Remus had laughed this hard in a long time.
Wiping a tear from his eye, "God woman! You would have made a fine marauder, not change me back, I promise to call you Tonks" A flick of the wand later and Remus was back to normal. He held out his hand to shake and she smiled shyly at his touch.
The night dissolved into chatter, Remus and Tonks especially hitting it off. At one point Andy silently drew Ted's attention to this, they just smiled at each other, in the way that only parents can.
The night winded down and Remus walked up to what would be Harry's room to pick up the sleeping boy.
"I'll walk you home!" Tonks whispered as Remus set him down and opened the door, Remus smiled, he sure as hell was not going to refuse the offer.
"I'll be sure to keep her safe!" He called to her parents after thanking them for their generosity.
"Keep me safe?" She asked in mock indignation. "Who's the Auror here?" They chuckled and walked out into the night, pushing Harry along.
"So what drove you to become an Auror?"
"Well Wolfie." She smiled and so did he. "We really are needed. Even with The Blood War over, I wanted to make a difference in a way I could, so I figure being a position where I could physically stop bigotry would be a good thing."
Remus nodded, if there was one thing that Magical Britain was good at, it was keeping the unlucky, "unprivileged" masses underfoot so those at the top could continue to live the lives of opulence and grandeur they believed they deserved, content in the knowledge no one would get what they had.
"What about you? Do you work? Not really, I do my best, but not magical place will let me work thanks to Umbridge, and it's hard to keep a steady job with my 'furry little problem'".
"Bitch, well I happen to know of a place that is hiring, I know you're new here, but the Book Shop is owned by a pretty open minded squib and his partner just left, so I bet you could get a job there."
"That'd be brilliant!"
"Well little Harry here needs a daddy with a job"
Daddy… He still couldn't get used to being called that, he smiled broadly, he was sure if he kept on like this his face would surely break from sheer joy. Tonks hugged his arm and put her hand over his as he continued to push Harry along the side of the canal, lights glittering in the water from the docked boats. They walked in companionably silence for a short while and as they approached the forested path that would take them to his cabin.
"Tonks, would you like to go out to dinner with me?"
He held his breath and could feel his heart pounding against his ribs.
"Wow, don't you work fast" she winked "I'd love to, just so long as it isn't fancy, I'm clumsier that a goat trained to walk on its hind legs"
"Well that's good news, because I'm… well can't think of a funny way of saying how poor I am, James would be ashamed".
"Well there's this great fish and chips stand right on Morcambe Bay outside of Over Kellet."
"Fish and Chips it is!"
They reached the door to his cottage; it seemed much shorter going back than the walk into town was.
"See you Friday Wolfie" She kissed his cheek and Dissaparated away, he touched the spot where she had kissed gingerly and smiled. No girl except Lily or his mother had ever touched him in such kindness.
"Oh look who's awake! I bet you're hungry!" He lifted Harry up and kissed his belly.
"Come on…son" After a good feeding and burping, which Remus swore was James channeling himself through. "So I think it's time for a story? What do you think? Let's go look at the book case and see what we can find." He walked forward and looked around for one that would work. Harry's hand reached out to one of Mooney's favorite books. "Good choice Pronglet" He kissed his check, and sat down with the book.
"In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit…"
A/N 1: I own nothing.
A/N2: If you have not read The Hobbit yet, shame on you, go read it now!
A/N3: Yes I am aware that Tonks is out of her timeline, I just love her and Remus's relationship and if I continue this story I don't want to wait too long for her, so I simply made her older, because time can be rewritten!