Chapter Four: No Bath!
Disclaimer: Yeah, yeah. We get the drill by now.
Teddy doesn't like to bathe… Harry doesn't like having to wrestle a reluctant four year old into the tub… But this particular bath time leaves them both in for a surprise.
A/N: Uh. Hope you don't sincerely hate me for taking so long. I had writer's block. D:
"Teddy!" Harry called for what felt like the twenty-fifth time in the past fifteen minutes. "Where are you?"
The day had been going well up until this point. The two had played, ate lunch, visited, played some more, saw Ginny, played even more, ate dinner, and then played some more.
But the day didn't last forever and it was growing late. After the eventful day they had, Harry knew he couldn't let Teddy go without having a bath. Today had been going so smoothly he didn't think twice about announcing bath time.
He should have remembered that was the one thing Teddy hated the most.
He'd been hiding ever since.
"Teddy?" Harry asked again, opening the hall closet's door and checking inside. As far as Harry could see there was nothing out of the ordinary there. This wasn't so reliable since his metamorphmagus-godson was practically a human chameleon, though.
Harry groaned to himself, wishing he had his wand. A simple point-me spell would do wonders for his case. In the midst of all their playing, though, Teddy had gotten a hold of it and hid it someplace. It's a scaveng'r hunt, Unca Harry, he had told his godfather. You have to find it!
He should have never left it unattended with a four year old.
"Teddy, please come out!" Great. Now he was desperate.
There was no response.
"Pretty please?" Harry tried now.
He tried bribery. "I'll give you some sweets tomorrow morning after breakfast!" As soon as I buy some.
Teddy was still nowhere to be found.
Resisting the urge to bang his head against the wall in frustration, Harry thought hard. If I were four years old and avoiding a bath, where would I hide?
Well, considering the fact I'd be able to shift my appearance to look like anything I want, I could hide anywhere, he assessed. But what would be the less obvious place?
A little voice in the back of his head said, The place where I was avoiding.
Of course. Teddy might be young, but he was extremely intelligent. If you wanted to avoid some one, why not hide in plain sight? With that thought in his mind, Harry set off into the loo and pulled back the shower curtain.
There sat Teddy on the tub floor, knees drawn up to his chest. He was so shocked from being found that he didn't even think of trying to shift his appearance to look like his surroundings. Eyes wide, he looked at his godfather in disbelief. How does Harry do that?
"There you are," Harry sighed in relief.
"Nuh-uh," Teddy disagreed.
"No? You're not here?"
He shook his head in response.
"Really?" Harry asked, leaning his back against the wall next to the tub and looking at Teddy. "Because you sure look like you're here."
"Are you sure?"
A head nod this time.
"I don't know about that, Teddy. You look here to me."
"Your eyes are jus' playin' tricks."
"Tricks, huh? But I can hear you speaking, and that has nothing to do with my bad eyes."
Harry's logic seemed to stump the four year old. Before he could think of a response, his godfather went on, "So since you're here and already in the tub, why don't we just get this over with?"
True to form, Teddy pouted. "No bath!"
"I know." I don't want to give you one. "But it's bath time."
"P'ease?" Coupled with his plea, Teddy put on his best 'puppy-dog eyes'—the look that almost never failed to crumble Harry like a soft cookie in Teddy's palm.
Harry gave him a grin for trying, but shook his head. "Oh, no. I'm not letting that work on me this time. You need a bath, squirt, and I promise it'll be quick."
Without waiting for a reply, he turned the faucet and water started to pour out. He reached for Teddy and pulled him out of the tub. Teddy began to wriggle and whine, but Harry ignored him. He'd be more surprised if Teddy didn't put up a fight; after all, the kid hated being clean.
He reached for Teddy's shirt to start undressing him, but all of a sudden a blue light encircled Teddy like a protective bubble, pushing Harry away in the process, warding off anything the four year old deemed unwanted.
Like, say, the godfather who was trying to force him into taking a bath.
Harry was too shocked by the accidental magic to be bothered by the fact his attempt to get Teddy bathed was thwarted once again. At four year's old and he's already creating something like this? It had to take a great deal of magic!
"Teddy," he said excitedly. "Teddy, you're doing your first accidental magic!"
Teddy's reaction, though, was quite the opposite of excitement.
He burst into to tears.
Harry's eyes widened in shock. Why is he crying? he wondered. Shouldn't he be excited?
He didn't hear his godfather's hesitant call of his name. He was too busy staring at the bubble in fright. Why is it there? Did it just hurt his Uncle Harry? Had… had he caused that? "Make it stop!" he wailed.
Stop? Harry wondered, staring at the bubble in fascination. But it's such a milestone for him.
"Unca Harry!" Teddy cried again when his godfather didn't seem to respond. "Make it go 'way!"
Harry snapped out of his trance, remembering that Teddy was scared and he needed to fix it. "It's alright, Teddy," he said soothingly. "This is completely normal."
"Make it stop!" Teddy didn't care if it was normal or not; it hurt his godfather and he didn't like it.
"I—" Harry was at a loss. He hadn't a clue as to how you go about stopping someone else's accidental magic. Was it even possible? "Erm," he said eloquently. What was he supposed to do?
"Unca Harry!" the cry was getting more desperate, and more terror was slipping into his voice. Harry needed to figure something out and quick.
"Uh—just, calm down, alright?" he suggested. "It's alright, just relax. Take a deep breath."
Teddy did, and it calmed him slightly.
But the bubble wasn't going anywhere.
"Just, uh—think of something else. Like, erm, what we're going to do in the morning." Now he was just throwing out suggestions blindly, but something had to work, didn't it?
Teddy tried. He closed his eyes, and thought hard. We can go play outside again, and stay out all day, and have a picnic, and no baths! He thought. When he opened his eyes again, the bubble still engulfed him strong and unmoving.
He opened his mouth and let out a cry. "It's not goin' 'way!"
Harry swore quietly. What got rid of a bloody bubble made by accidental magic? Could it be popped? Harry almost wanted to try, but he sincerely doubted it'd work. After all, if it's there to protect, why would it pop so easil—
A faint whoosh! circled throughout the room and as sudden as the bubble came, it disappeared. Teddy, free from the scary thing he created, tore away from his spot near the tub and raced into Harry's legs for comfort. Tears streamed down his face, and once Harry lifted him into his arms, he buried his face into the crook of his godfather's neck.
"Hey," Harry said softly a few minutes later, rocking his godson back and forth in his arms, "what's all this, huh?"
"I-i-it hurt you!" Teddy stammered.
Suddenly, Harry began to understand.
"No, no, no, Teddy bear, it didn't hurt me," he assured. "It just pushed me a bit."
"I hurt you!" he wailed, and any remaining fog in Harry's brain suddenly cleared up.
"No," Harry denied. "You didn't do a thing to me, Teddy bear."
"Y-y-yes huh! I made the b-b-bubble and it p-p-pushed you! It was m'fault!" He burrowed himself further into his godfather, so much Harry was afraid he was going to crawl inside him.
Harry shook his head. "No, squirt, it wasn't your fault. Besides it didn't hurt me. It only shocked me a bit. Accidental magic can do that sometimes. Don't worry about it."
"Shh," Harry cut him off, rubbing calming circles on his back. "It's alright. I didn't get hurt, and you have nothing to feel bad about."
"Are you sure?" Teddy asked suspiciously, as if Harry would lie to him just to save his feelings.
Which, he might have done in the past, though Teddy didn't know that. What parent—or godparent in his case—didn't?
"Positive," Harry soothed. Teddy looked like he might accept it, but there was still some doubt wavering in his features. Harry sighed, this would call for some desperate measures to mull the whole 'accidental magic' thing over.
"Accidental magic is nothing to be afraid of, Teddy. It's normal."
"Does it hurt people lots like it hurt you?" he asked softly.
Harry sighed. "I don't think so, and it didn't hurt me. If it did, I'd let you know."
"It was scary," Teddy said, changing the subject. "I didn't know wha' was happenin'."
"It's completely normal for young wizards to do it. I did it when I was little too."
"Really?" Teddy asked, his eyes now bright with curiosity. "Did Mummy and Daddy do it, too?"
"Oh, yes," Harry replied. A thought struck him as he watched Teddy practically burst with excitement. He often did that when his parents were mentioned. Maybe he wouldn't be so afraid of accidental magic if he sees his parents perform it, the reasonable voice in the back of Harry's head told him.
He loved that voice, he did.
He left the loo, Teddy in his arms, and entered his bedroom. He grabbed the pensieve and the box of memories, fishing around for one labeled with something to do about accidental magic. Coming across one, he muttered, "Perfect", and poured it in.
"In we go," he directed to Teddy, and both of them plunged their faces into the basin.
They entered a familiar small house, the exact one that was in the last memory they had visited together, Remus' house.
They were in the same place they had been the last time, the living area of the home. Perhaps that was the room they spent the most time in, or so it seemed to Harry.
A still three year old, not-werewolf-yet-Remus was lying on his stomach on the floor, coloring a picture. His father was in an arm chair near him, reading the Daily Prophet. Harry looked around but couldn't see his mother in the room. Faint sounds of cooking ware banging together filled his ears, and sure enough when he looked towards the kitchen Mrs. Lupin was baking away to her heart's content.
"Mummy!" Remus called, crawling up from his position on the floor and running into the kitchen with his piece of paper. "Mummy, look, I drew you a picture." He thrust it into her face and she took it gratefully.
"Remus, this is beautiful," she told him and placed it on the fridge, muttering a sticking charm to keep it there. To Harry it looked like a bunch of lines, but for a three year old it must have been quite the work of art.
"Cookies?" he asked, looking at the kitchen table. Sure enough there were freshly baked chocolate chip cookies lying on the table top. He reached for one, but his mother cried out, "Remus, no!"
He froze, hand in mid-air, lower lip trembling. Harry couldn't blame him; they were chocolate chip and Remus was crazy about chocolate. "Why?"
"They're hot, and it's far too close to dinner now for one. You can have one later."
"But—Mummy," he started, giving her wide, innocent eyes. "Please?"
"So that's where you get it from," Harry muttered to the bundle in his arms, and Teddy gave a short giggle. Harry smiled, happy that his godson was cheering up a bit with the help of the memory.
"I know, hon, but not now. Later," Mrs. Lupin told him. "Why don't you go draw another picture, okay? Dinner will be ready soon." She gestured to the oven where something was being cooked, but Remus' eyes didn't leave the plate of cookies. "Go on now," she shooed gently, steering him out of the kitchen.
Harry and Teddy followed him back into the living room, a dejected look on his young face. He was muttering to himself, so quietly his father couldn't hear from across the room, "Just want cookie. No cookie for Remus."
He continued to talk to himself under his breath for a couple of minutes, repeating "None for Remus" and "Just one, but noooo" a few times. He resumed his position back on the floor, though, and began to draw, still repeating his muttered phrases. He sent a couple of looks towards the table to make sure the cookies weren't just a figure of his imagination, but then went back to his drawing.
Harry squinted at the picture he was drawing, which was just a bunch of circles with polka dots inside them. Three guesses as to what that is, Harry thought wryly. I guess when Remus wants a cookie, he really wants a cookie.
A moment later, a faint ding! filled the silence of the house. Mr. Lupin didn't think any of it, just continued to read the paper, thinking it was just the oven timer. Mrs. Lupin got up to check the oven, but saw there was still time left. Remus, on the other hand, was the only one who noticed the plate of cookies in front of his nose.
"Cookie!" he gasped softly, and quickly snatched one up. He took a hesitant bite out of it, and his face transformed into delight at the taste.
"Aww," Teddy moaned.
"I wan'a cookie!"
Harry chuckled. "Of course you do."
Remus shoved his mouth with the plate full of cookies, and not before long the plate was just crumbs. Mr. Lupin, hearing odd noises from his son, looked over at him curiously. "Are you okay, Remus?"
Remus turned to grin at him, cookie crumbs all around his face. "Yeah!"
"What have you got on your face, kiddo?" he asked, getting out of his chair and crouching by Remus. "Are those crumbs?"
Remus nodded happily. "I was thinkin' 'bout cookies an' they just show up!"
"They just showed up? Out of the blue?" Mr. Lupin asked, eyes widening. Cookies don't just appear… What happened?
"Remus, I think you just had your first accidental magic!" Mr. Lupin announced excitedly.
"It means that," Mr. Lupin scooped his son up into his arms and placed a kiss on his forehead, "you're a wizard, kiddo!" Not that he had any doubts, mind, but it was nice to have the assurance.
Remus squealed in delight. "YAY!"
And then the quaint little house faded.
The two boys landed back on Harry's bed, Teddy still in his godfather's arms. His eyes were bright with delight from both seeing his father's memory and knowing he was indeed a wizard like both his parents had been. "I'm magical, Unca Harry!" He announced excitedly.
Harry chuckled. "Of course, squirt. I never doubted it for a second."
Teddy grinned. "Unca Harry," he started, and placed both his hands on each of his godfather's cheeks. Seriously, he stated, "I want cookies now."
Harry laughed, rolling his eyes. He grabbed his godson's hands and said back equally as seriously, "It's still bath time, you know."
Teddy's eyes widened and he groaned.
Then, like a flash, he was off Harry's lap and out the door, giggling all the way.
Round two of the Finding Teddy games had begun.
A/N: Just so you know, in my world I don't consider the whole metamorphmagus thing accidental magic for Teddy but just as an ability he can do. So, uh, yeah. And I don't know much about Remus' parents as far as if their muggle or what so I inferred :p Hope you liked. Next chapter Teddy's going to grow up some! No more four year old Teddy bear. It won't be that much of a change, though. I think. Ah, who knows. I'll try to get next chapter up as soon as I can!