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Eleven Days

By WunderKatze

Fantasy / Romance

Eleven

Remus paces outside of the bedroom.

He's seen blood before. He's even tasted it. He hates it. His conscience won't let him forget the hazy visions of chaos he has caused during full moons. Or maybe they are just nightmares. There is no way to know what is real and what is not after he has transformed. But there is always blood. He is afraid of it.

He doesn't want to see the blood now. Just in case. The moon is so full.

But he feels stricken as he hears Tonks gasp on the other side of the door. He wrings his hands, runs them through his hair, absently traces the scars on his face. He unwraps a chocolate bar and compulsively eats the whole thing, not even bothering to break it into pieces. The wrapper crinkles as he slips it into his pocket. He breathes deeply. He knows Tonks is receiving the best of care –Madame Pomfrey came all the way from Hogwarts.

Remus wishes that she could heal him of his lycanthropy while she's here, but alas. There is no cure.

He hears Tonks again on the other side. He thinks he hears his name called. But birth is a bloody business, and he doesn't want the wolf in him to get a glimpse of his child. He hears his name called again and realizes the regular old Remus may not even be ready for its arrival.

"What have we done?" he remembers asking Tonks when she told him, months ago. "I'm not ready to be a father!"

"You'll be the best! If I wasn't married to you, having you as a dad would be the next best thing. You'll be the coolest dad," Tonks said, enthusiastically, hugging him. "You're going to give our child chocolate all the time, and they're going to be cute and chubby, and you're going to have so many stories to tell them about Hogwarts. They'll know where all the secret passages are, and they'll be so popular with the other kids! And then when the others ask them how they knew where all the best hiding spots were, our kid will reply, 'oh, you know, just from my cool dad.'"

Tonks's hair shifted from bubble gum pink to the brightest fuchsia in her excitement.

"My name is going to be 'cool dad?'" Remus asked.

"Of course," Tonks had replied with a grin.

"If I'm cool, then what are you? There mustn't even be a word to define you if I'm considered cool," Remus laughed.

"Oh, plain old mum is good enough for me," Tonks said.

"You'll be anything but that," Remus grinned. "I still don't know if I'm ready…or suitable to be a father," he added after awhile.

"Well, you have a few months to prepare," Tonks grinned, patting her belly, not yet swollen. "He won't be delivered tonight like a muggle pizza." She was trying to make light, but in Remus's eyes she saw the fear rising up. The same fear she saw on nights with full moons. The same fear that was liable to consume him. The same fear that almost kept them apart.

The moon was only a crescent on that night.

Tonks narrowed her eyes and her hair turned dark auburn. "Your wolfishness has nothing to do with the matter," she said firmly. "You're going to be cool dad whether you want to be or not." It was her last word on the matter.

After that Remus had run away.

He went to 12 Grimmauld Place, hoping for some business of the Order to take him far away, maybe never to return. He offered to hunt down horcruxes.

His child could be a werewolf –how dare he be so foolish as to risk passing on those wretched genes?! How could he have thought saddling another life with his curse worth the risk? Even if his child did mercifully escape his cursed chromosomes… he was still a werewolf. No child should grow up so afraid of their father.

It was Harry's scolding that finally made him go back. Finally made him push his fear away like saying riddikulus to a boggart. Harry knew what it was like not to have a father. If that orphaned boy thought it would be worse than having a werewolf father… Remus knew his responsibility lay with Tonks and his unborn child. It was more important than his fears for the future. The future would care for itself.

Yes, in all actuality, Remus saw a bright future for his little one. Tonks and he would love it with all their hearts, and it would have the best and wisest godfather in Harry Potter. It was going to be spoilt beyond belief.

Tonks had been so relieved and angry and excited when he had come home, Remus was afraid of sending her into labor. She had let her hair turn dull brown in his absence, but it turned again to bubble gum pink when he walked through the door. He had patted her stomach, which had grown at least three sizes in his absence, and whispered to his child that he was home now, and wasn't going to leave it again.

"I'm not leaving either of you, ever again," he said rising and addressing Tonks's face.

Tonks had sobbed his name, tears washing over her smiling face.

Remus hears his name sobbed again now, from the other side of that door, for labor has come. He flings it open. Tonks needs him, or at least his hand, so she can cut off the blood flow to his fingers. Remus avoids looking at the birth itself. The last thing he wants to do is cut the umbilical cord -too much like cutting through flesh with sharpened teeth.

After Madame Pomfrey cleans up the baby boy, Remus finally looks. He's got turquoise hair. He's a metamorphagus, like his mum. He sighs in relief as he is handed to Tonks.

"What shall we call him?" Tonks asks, her eyes still weepy from the pain.

"Let's call him Edward, after your father," Remus suggests quietly, using his thumb to wipe away her tears. A few more come with his suggestion, as memories of her recently killed father flood her thoughts.

"Yeah, I'd really like that," Tonks says, stroking the baby's hair. "But let's call him Teddy when we talk to him. Edward is too formal –it can just go on the birth certificate."

Before she leaves, Madame Pomfrey gathers the newly expanded family together and takes a snapshot of them. Tonks thanks her profusely for everything.

A few hours later, Remus looks down at his wife. She is asleep, exhausted from bringing the new life, which she still holds in her arms, into the world. As she dreams, her hair softly changes from bubble gum pink to sunset orange to deepest indigo, her consciousness a sunset.

"And even prettier than one," Remus murmurs, bending over and kissing her forehead. He has never met such a thoroughly beautiful person.

And that's saying something having had James Potter and Sirius Black for best friends, Remus thinks. No one else would turn themselves into illegal animagi just to comfort their werewolf friend. No one but Tonks would fall head over heels in love with him as if he weren't one at all.

Remus now looks down at the bundle in her arms. To be completely honest, he doesn't think his son Teddy looks that beautiful, at least not right now. In fact, he looks a bit like an alien, his eyes dark and wide and wondering in his pale, round face tufted with turquoise. But Remus finds him the most precious thing. He leans over and kisses him too.

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