Hermione was the first to ask to hold Teddy. Ron asked too, only after Hermione said she would tell everyone some very rude things about him if he didn’t. Harry smiled at his friends antics but didn’t move his eyes from his sleeping godson. Only after Hermione assured him that he would get Teddy back did he tip the bundle of blankets into her waiting arms. Harry sat down, suddenly exhausted, next to Ron who handed him a rather strong cup of tea.
“So what’s the plan?” Ron asked through quite sips of his tea.
“I have no idea.” Harry said, sipping on his own cup of tea. Hermione had taken to pacing around the room, bouncing Teddy up and down and cooing. Ron and Harry sat in a comfortable silence, broken only by the clinking of their tea cups as the two drained their cups. After a while Harry’s palms began to itch for the softness of his godson’s blankets and the weight of his small hearty body in his arms.
“I think she’s gone mental.” Ron whispered to Harry as the two of them watched Hermione make silly faces at the now awake baby. Ron raised his voice and said “I don’t think he knows what you’re doing.” Hermione scowled at Ron, but stopped making faces at Teddy.
“Do people do that?” Ron asked Harry. “Make faces at babies like that?”
“I dunno.” Said Harry. “I don’t spend a lot of time around babies.”
“For your information Ron,” Hermione said hotly. “People do act that way around babies.”
“Keep your hair on.” Ron muttered as Hermione bounced away with Teddy. Harry chuckled and rubbed his palm harshly on the side of his jeans to try and make the itching go away. His eyes stayed on Hermione, well, on Hermione’s arms as she cradled Teddy and paced around the room. Hermione bounced Teddy around for a few more minutes, before placing the gurgling baby in Harry’s anxious arms.
“What’s taking Andromeda so long?” Hermione asked. Harry shrugged and told her that she packing up Teddy’s room.
“I dunno why she’s taking so long. Tonks…Tonks said she was good with household charms.” Harry muttered.
“Honestly you two!” Hermione sighed.
“Me?” Ron gapped. “What’d I do?” Hermione ignored him and rounded on Harry.
“She’s taking her time.” Hermione said, both Ron and Harry stared at her blankly. “She’s just lost her daughter and now she’s losing her grandson? That’s enough to make anyone lock themselves up.”
“You think she’s gonna—“Ron slid a finger across his throat.
Harry shook his head and sighed. He stood up and placed Teddy in Ron’s lap, much to Hermione’s delight and Ron’s surprise. Ignoring Ron’s protests Harry made his way once again through the Tonks’ house and into the bedroom that once belonged to Nymphadora Tonks. The room was dark, the curtains drawn and Harry heard the soft sobs of Andromeda Tonks.
“Er—Andromeda.” Harry pushed open the door and made his way inside the room.
“Oh. Harry.” Andromeda straightened up and thumbed away the tears in her eyes. “I didn’t come hear you come in. I was just gathering Teddy’s things…”
“If you need more time… with Teddy… that’s alright…” Harry said in a low voice. Andromeda assured him with a fragile smile that she was fine and promptly shooed him out of the room and placed what Harry thought was a locking charm on the door. He stood outside the door for a moment longer then after hearing Andromeda move around Harry walked back into the living room where Hermione and Ron had engaged themselves in a lively debate about Harry and Teddy.
Harry stood in the doorway and grinned as he watched his friends argue. Hermione’s slightly bushy hair (it was tamer now that she was older) framed her flushed face and Ron, still sitting in the chair and holding Teddy, looked at her with contempt, the tips of his ears as red as his hair. As Harry watched them he felt lucky for the first time in what he thought was forever. He was relived; he had defeated Voldemort for the umpteenth time and he was never coming back. He was surrounded by his friend and he truly had a family.
Harry was standing outside the Tonks’ house with Teddy in his arms and Ron and Hermione on either side of him.
“Where do we go now?” Ron asked. Harry frowned; he hadn’t thought this part out. It made sense for him to get Teddy, for them to be together, but it hadn’t occurred to Harry what he would do after he had Teddy.
“The Burrow.” Hermione said plainly.
“What about it?” Harry asked. Hermione rolled her eyes at her two best friends.
“We’ll go to the Burrow.” Hermione said. “Ron’s mum won’t turn us away.”
“She won’t.” Ron said slowly. “But there’s going to be a lot going on there. Y’know…preparations for the…for Fred and I suppose Dad’ll offer to…take care of Lupin and Tonks. Bill and Fleur and there, and Percy, and Charlie.”
“How’d you think your mum will react when I bring a baby round?” Harry asked bouncing a slightly fussy Teddy.
“Mum loves babies.” Ron said darkly. “In case you couldn’t tell.” Hermione looked thoughtfully at the trunk filled the Teddy’s belongings and then at the small group.
“How are we going to get there?” Harry asked her.
“I think I’ll send the trunk separately.” Hermione said slowly. “And then I can make a portkey and that should get us all there safely.”
“Well get to it then.” Ron said. “I want to go to bed.” Hermione rolled her eyes at him, but with a wave of her wand the trunk had disappeared. Hermione walked around the empty yard of the Tonks house muttering “portkey, portkey.” Finally, Hermione gave a triumphant cry and returned to Ron, Harry and Teddy holding a rather large rock.
“You’re going to make a portkey out of a rock? You are mental.” Ron said.
“Portkeys are supposed to be rubbish, things people won’t look a twice. The rock works. We’ll all be able to hold on to it.” Hermione said irritably. She tapped the rock with her want and said “portus”. The rock shivered and glowed blue, Hermione held it at an arm’s length away until the rock had returned to normal.
“You’ve done this before, right?” Ron asked. “You’ve made a portkey?”
“This is the first.” Hermione said. “But I have read all the theory about portkeys…” Ron gave Harry a worried look.
“If there is anyone I trust to make a first time portkey and have it work, it’s Hermione.” Harry said out of the corner of his mouth. Ron swore softy under his breath.
“Grab on.” Hermione said offering them the rock. Harry and Ron both grabbed hold of the rock. “Harry make sure Teddy’s touching it.” Harry grabbed on of Teddy’s tiny hands and placed it on the rock.
“And you’re sure this will take us to the Burrow?” Ron asked. Hermione ignored him and started to count down from three. Harry felt the feeling of a hook behind his navel and the world around him began to blur. Instinctually, Harry gripped Teddy tightly against his chest. Harry felt a huge amount of relief when his feet touched the grass again and Teddy was safely smiling in his arms. Harry turned his head slightly to the right and there it was…The Burrow. Harry had been to the haphazardly stacked house several times before, but never had he felt so happy to be there. Hermione dropped the rock on the ground and Ron gaped at his childhood home.
“You did it.” He whispered. “I mean…I knew you could…I just…”
“Save it.” Harry whispered. Hermione was already making her way to the front door of the Burrow. Before she even had a chance to halfway there, a large group of redheaded wizards burst through the door. Mrs. Weasley, a plump and kind witch, hugged each one of them in turn and fussed over them as if she hadn’t seen them in months rather than hours. Slowly all the Weasleys greeted them and returned inside until it was just Ginny, Ron, Hermione, Harry and Teddy.
“Is this him then?” Ginny asked. Harry nodded. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Hermione nudge Ron and drag him in the direction of the Burrow despite his not so quite objections.
“What are you going to do with him?” Ginny asked, caressing Teddy’s cheek.
“I have no idea.” Harry said.
“You could stay here.” Ginny suggested. “I don’t think mum will mind.” Harry hesitated.
“I think I might get out if the wizarding world for a bit.” Harry said, passing Teddy into Ginny’s waiting arms.
“Do they know?” Ginny asked tilting her head to the Burrow.
“I haven’t told anyone,” Harry said “besides you. I just need to get away for a bit. Get my head on straight.”
“That’s not very Gryffindor of you.” Ginny scoffed. Harry didn’t laugh.
“Everyone’s been focused on me since I was a baby. Everyone’s known my name. One day without stares or being in The Prophet would be nice. Just some quite time.”
“Time to get yourself sorted out you mean?” Ginny’s voice had become cold. “The world doesn’t revolve around you Harry.”
“I know.” Harry said exasperated. “But…there is so much…happening. I just need…quite.” Ginny served him with a very Mrs.Weasley-ish look, but her eyes softened and she sighed.
“Let’s go inside.” She said. “Mum’s been cooking all day. Trying to keep her mind off…” Harry shifted uncomfortably beside Ginny. Unfortunately, Harry knew exactly what Mrs. Weasley was trying to keep her mind off of and that was the death of her son Fred, which Harry felt was entirely his fault. With a heavy heart, Harry followed Ginny, who was still carrying a very alert Teddy, up the path and into the front door of the Burrow.
Dinner at the Weasleys was a joyous affair, well as joyous as it could be. The clock in the Weasleys living room was covered by a black cloth. Harry tried to ask Ginny about this as they sat down, but she pretended not to hear him. Harry sat silently through most of the meal; Charlie and Ginny were talking about Quidditch, Bill and Fleur (who stopped by just for dinner and promised Mrs. Weasley they would be back first thing in the morning tomorrow) where telling Mr. Weasley and an uninterested Percy about the repairs they were doing to their small cottage. Hermione and Ron were arguing quietly about the weather or not they would be allowed to finish their seventh year at Hogwarts or not (Hermione believed that they would. Ron argued that they were already eighteen so what was the point.) Harry didn’t say a word during dinner and felt like he was intruding. Harry hadn’t felt this out of place with the Weasleys since his fifth year at Hogwarts when he believed, for a fleeting moment that he had been the one who attacked Mr. Weasley (It was Voldemort’s snake, Nagini, who had attacked Mr. Weasley. Harry happened to see it through the snake’s eyes whilst he was asleep.) Then Harry had felt as if his world was falling apart…they everything bad that happened was his fault. He felt that way now. If he hadn’t tried to defy Voldemort, if he had just died when he was supposed to…the Weasley family would be whole now.
Or not. Said the voice in his head. If you had died when you were supposed to…well it would be a very different world out there.
Harry shook these thoughts from his head and joined Charlie and Ginny’s discussion about the future of the Holyhead Harpies.
Dinner seemed to drag on forever and it was nearly midnight by the time all the Weasleys were in bed. Mrs. Weasley told Harry that he and Teddy were going to share Ginny’s room (a sentiment that made several of the Weasley boys clench their fists) and Hermione could sleep in Fred and George’s old room. Ron had helped Harry move Teddy’s possessions upstairs and retired to his own room whilst muttering under his breath. Harry was back downstairs, staring at the Weasleys cloth-covered enchanted clock and trying to soothe an upset Teddy. Harry remembered the first time he had seen that clock. He was twelve and he thought it was the best piece of magic he had ever seen, he still thought it was the best piece of magic he had ever seen. When Teddy had settled down enough, Harry’s curiosity got the best of him and he took the cloth off of the clock.
Eight of the hands were shiny and pointing at ‘home’ Fred’s hand was dull and stuck on ‘travelling’. Harry felt a pang in his stomach.
“We don’t know what it means.” Harry turned around quickly, his mouth open already forming an apology. It was Ginny in her dressing gown standing in the door frame.
“None of us have ever kicked it before.” She said heavily. “We don’t know why it’s stuck…or if it’ll move. Mum can’t stand to look at it.”
“That’s why it was covered?” Harry asked. Ginny nodded. “Where was George? During dinner?”
“He’s holed himself up in the attic.” Ginny said. “Can’t stand to go back to Diagon Alley and he can’t stand to be in his old room. Mum’s getting worried. He won’t come down to eat either.”
“D’you think he’ll be alright?”
“I reckon.” Ginny shrugged. “C’mon. Teddy’s asleep and you walk loudly. I want to go to bed.” Ginny took the piece of black cloth out of Harry’s hand and hung it back over the clock.
“Mum won’t even know.” She said softly and taking Harry’s hand lead him upstairs to her room. Harry placed the sleeping Teddy into his cot and climbed into the camp bed Mrs. Weasley had set up next to Ginny’s bed.
“G’night Harry.” Ginny said with a yawn. Harry rolled over on his side and tucked his blankets in under his chin.