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A study of Teddy and Sirius

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Teddy stashed his headphones in his bag as he walked into the cafe. His father was sitting at their usual table - a stack of papers to be graded sitting beside two mugs and a small plate with a brownie to share. It was a usual Friday afternoon sight. Aside from the man who was talking to his father.

Remus Lupin was not known for chatting with strangers. Especially talking to strangers with a smile on his face. He looked across the cafe, seeing his son and his smiling becoming a tad softer. The other man also noticed Teddy. He said something to Remus before handing him a piece of paper and going back to another table. A man with messy hair, glasses and a toddler in his arms sitting and watching the scene with clear amusement.

“What was that?” Teddy asked when he sat down, pulling his tea towards him.

“Hello dad, how was your day? Oh, it was good, son, how was yours?”

“Yes, yes. Great days all around. Who was that? Oh my god! Was he hitting on you?”

The look on Remus’ face was answer enough. Apparently, Teddy’s face was also expressive as Remus sighed. “Is that really such a crazy idea?”

“It’s weird. Whatever, you’ll never guess what I did in chemistry today!”

“Blew something up?” Remus asked, grinning as he asked it. He already knew the answer, and Teddy knew that he found the answer standard and funny. Teddy Lupin was not known for impulsiveness for no reason.

“Yeah!” Teddy cheered, both father and son laughing.

Across the room, the two dark-haired men laughed as well.

~

Look, Teddy wanted his dad to be happy. Of course, he did, he loved the man. But he didn’t understand why Remus had decided that being happy meant going on a date. A date with the man from the cafe in particular. Who, apparently, he had been texting back and forth the past three weeks. His dad was 29 for crying out loud. Far too old, in Teddy’s opinion anyway, to be texting with someone about dates.

“29 isn’t that old.”

“How old is he?”

“30.”

“And he’s single? Why? What’s wrong with him? At least you have the excuse of a bastard child.”

 

“Teddy!” He grinned at his father, annoyance forgotten for a moment at Remus’ scandalised look. An alert from Remus’ phone brought the negative emotions right back. “Are you sure you’ll be okay alone? You’ve got my number and Mrs Hart is just across the hall. I won’t be late, we’re just having dinner.” He paused, looked around the room and then back to Teddy, “you’re not a bastard, you’re a brat but not a bastard. Behave tonight or next time I’ll get you a sitter.”

“Next time!?”

Remus smiled, kissed Teddy’s head and was out the door with another warning to behave, as if Teddy would ever risk having to be babysat again. He was fourteen for crying out loud, he was old enough to look after himself for a few hours. And anyway, he was sure that the date would go terribly and his dad would be back before Teddy could finish his pizza and movie.

The date - Sirius or something - was not the kind of man that Remus wanted. Teddy had no idea why Remus had ever agreed to go out with him. Sirius was some big shot lawyer who had a motorbike and wore a leather jacket. Some corporate fucker trying to be edgy, probably. Remus was a primary school teacher who was a bit of a dork and who wore cardigans and jumpers and considered a night in with his son a good time. Remus deserved the best, at least in Teddy’s eyes, and Sirius came nowhere close to the best.

His dad had told him that Teddy had never actually met Sirius so he shouldn’t judge him so harshly and that ‘Sirius is a really nice guy who likes me’. Teddy had pouted and silently disagreed. What kind of weirdo hits on someone who has a teenage son?

At what point should Teddy call the police and report his father’s murder by the hands of his date?

Teddy had started the night with the strong belief that his dad would be out of there as soon as he could. That the night would go horribly and he’d never have to worry about his dad going out again. He’d come back early enough for them to watch another movie together and maybe have some of the chocolate Remus kept stashed in his room. But, as the movie wore on and the clock ticked later, Teddy worried that something even worse was going to happen. Was happening in some part of London right then.

Remus was having a good time.

It was just after ten when the front door was unlocked and opened. Teddy waking from an unexpected nap at the sound. He sat up as his dad walked in. The date had gone well.

“Why are you still up?”

“Was waiting for you,” Teddy muttered.

“We ran a little over, I’m sorry about that. Come, you should be in bed.” Remus hung his jacket up as he spoke. Teddy didn’t move. Remus sat down beside him and kicked his shoes off with a sigh. “Did you have a good night?”

”Did you?”

“I did. Sirius is a lovely person, I think you two would get along. What did you do?”

Teddy shrugged. “I don’t want to meet him.”

“You - you don’t need to meet him. Not if it’s not serious, that’s not fair.” Remus agreed softly, knowingly. Both of them thinking of the streams of girlfriends and boyfriends Teddy’s mum had introduced Teddy to only to have them gone on the next visitation. Teddy could still remember his parents fighting over who was allowed to be introduced to Teddy. The fact that Remus talked about Sirius with him was disconcerting. “I believe I promised you an ice-cream date if you passed that test, do you want to go tomorrow?”

“Yeah.” Teddy said quietly. He didn’t like how Remus looked when he talked about Sirius. It had been one date - one dinner - it probably wouldn't go anywhere. People didn’t like it when their new partners had kids. Sirius was probably hoping for some and dinner and drinks or something. Not a family.

Yeah, Teddy thought as the two of them headed to the bedrooms, Sirius had probably already blocked Remus’ number.

~

That - Teddy was soon to discover - was not the case. At all. Flowers delivered to their house at least once a week. Daily phone calls. Near weekly dates. Chocolate constantly being dropped off. Chocolate for both Remus and Teddy.

“Why is giving me this shit?” Teddy asked almost a month and a half after the first date, holding a slab of chocolate up to Remus (who had just been given a new bunch of roses).

“Language, Edward!”

Teddy placed the bar with all the others that he hadn’t touched in the cupboard in the kitchen. He hadn’t eaten anything the man had sent to him. “It’s you he cares about, not me.”

“Clearly,” Remus quirked an eyebrow. “You know he constantly asks after you, wants to know more about you as well.”

“Good for him.”

“I think this is a good time to bring up the fact that he’s coming over for dinner.”

“What!”

“Tonight.”

“No! I don’t want him to come here. I don’t want him in the house.”

Remus sighed, “it’s either here or some ridiculously fancy restaurant.”

“Is that where he takes you?” Teddy snarked. He never asked about the dates for a good reason.

“Or to his house, yes. But tonight he is coming over here and we are going to have dinner together. And you are going to be on your best behaviour. I know that you’re not exactly his biggest fan but -”

“Why does he have to come ov-”

“Teddy,” Remus snapped. Teddy sank back into his chair and stopped talking. Remus sighed and joined his son at the small table in the kitchen. The roses now in a vase on the bench. “I understand your point of view -”

“No you don’t.”

“But I would really like it if you met Sirius. You know that he was a complete troublemaker when he was at school? Some of the stories he tells almost live up to yours. I really like him, Teds, and he’s a good guy. So please, can we have dinner together? And when he leaves you can go through the list of problems you come up with.”

There was a silence for some time. Teddy didn’t know what to think. On one hand he was happy that his dad was happy but on the other he didn’t want it to be Sirius that he was happy with. The two of them were happy together and Teddy couldn’t figure out why his father wanted to change that. It was Remus and Teddy. There wasn’t anyone else and hadn’t been since - well ever.

“What are you thinking there, love?”

“Why aren’t you happy with me anymore?” The question came out before Teddy could even decide if he wanted to answer his dad’s question at all. Both of them were shocked into another silence.

“I’m not - that’s not what’s going on here. Teds, I love you and am happy with you. The two of us, we’re great. Going out with Sirius isn’t changing that.”

Teddy shook his head, “it does change it! If we were happy then you wouldn’t need anyone else. You’re just -” no. No, he wasn’t going to finish that. Because then he’d have to talk about it and he did not want to do that. “Whatever.”

“Ted-”

“What are we having for dinner?”

Remus frowned, in that way he did when he was concerned about something. He never looked like that when he was thinking about Sirius. They stared at each other until Remus nodded slightly. “Chicken burgers.”

“You’re trying to butter me up!” Teddy accused, his mood lifting slightly when his dad laughed.

“I got those ice-cream blocks you like as well.”

“Bribery.”

“Yes.”

“And he doesn’t even deny it!” Teddy scoffed causing Remus to laugh and shake his head fondly. It made Teddy to smile again.

Someone outside their flat started yelling, breaking the moment. Both of them looked at the front door as if they’d be able to see what was going on outside. It wasn’t uncommon for that kind of behaviour around them. Remus turned back to his son, “Sirius will be here at five. So can you please go and get ready.”

“Left it last minute, didn’t you?” Teddy snapped his mood darkening at the mention of their guest.

“Because I knew how you’d react. Dress nicely please.”

“Shall I get out my suit?”

“You have a suit?” Remus tilted his head, mocking his son. Teddy frowned. “Just something clean and maybe brush your hair.”

Teddy touched his hair. The blue was fading out. “I want to dye it yellow.”

“Behave tonight and I’ll say yes,” Remus replied as he got up and started walking to his room.

“You didn’t say yes to the blue but that didn’t stop me!” Remus just laughed from his bedroom at the backchat. Teddy looked at the clock. An hour - which meant he would have just enough time. And just enough dye.

Forty minutes later and Remus was banging on the bathroom door telling Teddy to get out so he had time to get dressed. Teddy finished blow drying his (new and approved) hair before leaving with a towel wrapped around his head. Remus didn’t say anything, used to that kind of behaviour, and directed Teddy into his room. He was in his room when there was a knock on the door.

Deciding on a shirt he’d found in a charity shop Teddy finally finished getting ready just as Remus knocked on his door. “Come out please, Teddy, Sirius is here.”

“Give me two seconds!”

“Two seconds and then I’m coming back,” Remus warned before walking away. Back to Sirius. They were in the kitchen, Teddy could hear the cups clinking from his room.

Hair suitably coloured and done Teddy left his room. Remus and Sirius were standing close to each other - far to close - and whispering to each other. Both turned when Teddy walked in. HIs father sighed but Teddy could see the laughter he was trying to hide flickering across his face. Sirius just looked confused.

“What on earth compelled you to do that?” Remus asked, clearly forgetting that he should introduce the two of them.

“Boredom.”

“Sirius, this is my son, Teddy. Who until an hour ago had plain blue hair. Teddy, this is Sirius.”

Sirius stuck a hand out. Teddy took it. “I like your hair. How’d you do it?”

“I put black hair dye on my hands and did this-” he ruffled his hands through his hair quickly and without pattern. Showing how carelessly he had applied the dye. “It’s a mess!” He continued with a grin.

“Very punk-rock,” Sirius said. And he was being serious - stupid pun - he wasn’t supposed to actually like it! He was supposed to look at Remus as if he was some crazy man for letting his kid have hair dye. He was supposed to think that Teddy was a shitty kid. Not punk-fucking-rock.

“Sirius’ best friend dyed their hair pink when they were 20. Without Sirius knowing.” Remus said with a knowing smirk. He totally knew what Teddy wanted. Damnit.

“I’m going to do that to us.”

Sirius had the audacity to laugh. “I think Moony would look great with pink hair.”

“Moony?”

“Wolfy Wolf. Moony.” He shrugged as if that explained it all.

“We should sit down,” Remus said when Teddy didn’t reply to Sirius. “Would you like anything to drink, Pads? We have-”

“You’re not a housewife, dad. You don’t have to wait on him.”

“Edward!” Remus sent him that look. The look of ‘shut the hell up’ that Remus had perfected over Teddy’s childhood. “He doesn’t mean that.”

Teddy frowned, “yes I do.”

“I can get my own drink if it makes you happy, Teddy,” Sirius replied. Teddy just frowned at the older man.

“Sirius is a guest. Stop it,” Remus scolded. At least Sirius looked uncomfortable. “You do not need to get your own drink. My son just needs to mind his manners.”

There was an uncomfortable silence. Remus handed them each a drink and sat down. “I thought you wanted to dye your hair yellow?” Remus finally broke the silence. “Kind of hard to do with the black.”

“It’s the six-wash dye. I’ll dye it yellow later,” Teddy shrugged. He looked between Sirius and Remus, who - he hated to admit it - were sitting closer than Teddy and Remus at the circle table. “What do you think of my hair?” He turned to address Sirius. “My dad clearly values your opinion so, what do you think?”

“I like it. It suits you, the colours. At the cafe, when I first met your dad, my best friend’s son tried to let his dad dye his hair like yours.”

Well, that was really fucking sweet. And probably a lie. Maybe. Probably not, actually. But Teddy didn’t need to think about it. He turned back to his dad, “when are we eating?”

“Soon. Sirius, I never told Teddy what school you went to.”

“Hogwarts.”

“That’s where Nanna Andi went.”

“She went about two decades before Sirius,” Remus nodded, “but yes. It’s where she met Grandad Ted.”

Teddy laughed, “isn’t it a really posh school?”

“Sadly. No blue hair for me. I tried. What school do you go to that allows that, anyway?”

Shooting a look at his dad, Teddy realised that he had another trick up his sleeve. “I got kicked out of school like three years ago. I go to an alternative school.” He made sure to put emphasis on the ‘alternative’ part. Not only did Remus have a 14 year old son - he had a 14 year son who had been kicked out of mainstream education. No one in their right mind would decide that was the kind of family they’d want to join. Unless they convinced their partner to ignore - no. Focus on the problem at hand.

“Alternative? What’s that like?”

“It’s a good school,” Remus cut in. “Focuses on the kid and freedom to learn. Suits Teddy better than a normal secondary school would.”

“Sounds good. One of the cases James worked years ago was on letting kids and their parents choose the type of schooling the kids got.”

“Did you win the case?”

Sirius grinned at Remus. “Of course we did.”

The two of them started talking between themselves, practically ignoring Teddy. That was fine. Teddy didn’t even want to be involved in their stupid conversation anyway. He just wanted Sirius out of his house. Why did his dad have to laugh so much? Why did Sirius have to look at Remus with those gooey eyes? Why did his dad have to look at Sirius the same way? What did that even mean?

After they had eaten Remus excused himself to the bathroom, leaving Sirius and Teddy alone. Teddy played with the leftover salad on his plate. He decided to cause some trouble while his dad was out. See if he couldn’t piss Sirius off or something. “If you went to Hogwarts it means you’re rich.”

“My family was very rich, yes. Why do you say that?”

“You said ‘was’. Are you not anymore?”

“I’m fine when it comes to money,” Sirius admitted. “I ran away when I was young, I don’t think of my biological family as my family. The man at the cafe, James, I see him as my brother more than I ever thought of my biological one.”

“And you’re a lawyer now?”

Sirius nodded. “I work with James, at the family firm. His wife is also a lawyer.”

“Dad said you take him to fancy places for dates. And God knows you’ve spent a lot on flowers.”

“I like your dad. I want to take him to nice places.”

Teddy frowned. “Why not date someone more like you. My dad isn't a lawyer and we’re not rich. Surely there are better matches.”

“Edward Lupin!” Remus snapped as he rushed back into the small dining room. “What are you doing?”

“Letting him know-”

“I am sure that Sirius is aware, thank you. I am so sorry, Sirius. I have no - Teddy. You need to go to your room now.”

“I want an ice cream!”

Remus glared at him, “I got those as a treat if you behaved. Go to your room now. I am shocked at how you have behaved tonight. And we will talk about it tomorrow. Leave.”

Teddy stood, purposely pushing on the table and scraping his chair across the floor before storming past his dad. He went into his room and closed the door, but didn’t move away. If he pushed his ear against the door he would be able to hear them.

“Sirius I -”

“You don’t need to apologise. I understand that this is hard for him.”

“That doesn’t mean that he gets to treat you like that. He’s a lovely boy, I promise, he just needs some time to warm up.” He would never like Sirius. “I’ve never dated so he’s only got his mother -” no. Don’t talk about her with him. “- and her relationships to reference and Lord knows those were terrible, still is.”

“Like I said, you don’t need to apologize or explain. He probably feels like I’m trying to steal his dad.”

“That’s exactly how he feels. It’s what happened with his mother. I told you that she remarried? Well, the woman is nice enough but never wanted children. Teddy included.”

There was a pause. “So does he not see his mother?”

“She lives in Belgium with Fluer, and they travel a lot for work. So even if they wanted to, it would be hard. But no, he doesn’t see her that much.” Remus sighed. “About three years ago I asked her to just stop, stop contacting him every six months and promising to visit and then leaving him again.” Teddy’s eyes widened. He had no idea that had happened. “I had to watch that light in his eyes dim when he realised that his mom wasn’t coming.”

“What did she say?”

“That I was being selfish. Then she took Teddy to Paris for two weeks and didn’t speak to him for another seven months. It’s the longest she’s ever spent with him. I felt awful for asking, but it was hurting him.”

“You did the right thing. By Teddy. And that’s all you need to do.”

Another pause. His dad sighed, “before she got serious - don’t - with Fluer it was better. She would call every Thursday afternoon and most Sundays and visit most months. Take him for a weekend. But then that stopped practically overnight.” Teddy remembered that happening, how confused he was by it all. He hadn’t been younger than eight. “It’s why I told you that I’d never go out on a Friday. We have tea together at the cafe after school and pancakes on Saturday. It’s what we look forward to all week.”

Teddy didn’t know his father had done that either.

“I understand. You care about him so much. It couldn’t have been easy when he was born.”

“We were 15. Tonks didn’t even realise until she was five months. She wanted to give him up, I didn’t. I took him with full custody. It was the best decision I ever made. Made life hard but so much better.”

“He’s a good kid. One night isn’t enough for him to like me, I get that. We can keep working on it.”

Teddy moved away from the door. That hadn’t gone the way he wanted it. At all. Sirius was still there (probably making out with his dad), he was going to get in trouble (he might be able to pull the ‘child of split parents’ card for this one) and now he had to wait even longer for his hair to fade enough to dye yellow (he did really like blue though).

~

There were two overnight bags packed and sitting by the front door. One for Teddy and one for Remus. Because while Teddy was staying with his best friend that Saturday night Remus was spending the night with his - newly official - boyfriend. At his house. All night.

“This is a big step,” Teddy said as they got ready to go. He’d already argued his point - many times now and his father never gave in. “Are you sure that you’re ready for it?”

“As I have said before, yes.”

“One night suddenly turns into weekends and then you’re living together and-” he cut himself off.

Remus sighed lightly, “if Sirius and I move in together, which isn’t happening tonight, then you will also be there. I’m not particularly interested in abandoning you and running off with him.”

“Until he decides that he doesn’t want a son.” Teddy regretted saying that as soon as the painful sorrow flashed across his father’s face. “Nevermind. I’m going to be late and Nick will get pissed.”

“Ted-”

“You don’t want to keep Sirius waiting,” Teddy said as if he didn’t have a list of ways to make his father late to his dates in his room. “We’ll miss the bus if we don’t go now.”

His father winced, “Sirius is picking both of us up. He’s driving you to Nick’s.”

“What? Why? We have buses!”

“It’s negative two outside, Teds, Sirius offered to pick us up so we didn’t have to go out in this weather. Which is very kind of him.”

Teddy glared at his father. The two of them looking at each other in silence. Why was he so intent on making Teddy see Sirius? The man only wanted Teddy to like him so that he could spend more time with Remus, and Remus was going along with that? And now was forcing Teddy to as well? It wasn’t like he’d let Teddy catch the bus by himself either. So now he was forced to spend time with them. Hopefully they’d ignore him and be too busy focusing on each other to even look at him.

“He’s outside,” Remus said when his phone flashed. “It’s a ten minute drive, Teddy. It’s not that bad.”

“It is.”

“Please behave. I really don’t want you to act like you did at dinner,” Remus sent him a pointed look. Teddy didn’t reply. He just picked up his bag and motioned for Remus to leave the house first.

Outside their flat, Sirius had parked his car and gotten out. He was leaning against the passenger door and practically started beaming when he saw Remus walk out of the building. And, if he wasn’t mistaken, Teddy saw his father blush at the look. But that could also be the weather. They walked over, Teddy trudging through the sleet behind his father, Sirius pushing himself off the car and embracing Remus. Teddy looked away just as they started to kiss.

“Come on then,” Remus said after they broke apart. Honestly, Teddy thought as he got into the back of the car, they act like the couples at his school. Sirius opened the door for Remus before closing it and walking around. Before he could get in, Remus turned to look at his son. “Behave. Please.”

“So,” Sirius said as he started the car. “How have you been, Teddy?”

“Fine.”

“I’m sure you're excited to go to your friend’s house. Do you know him from school?”

Teddy nodded. “Yeah, he came to Hufflepuff High like a year ago. He’s cool.” There, Teddy could be polite. Okay, more like civil. His tone wasn’t the best.

“Your dad told me more about your school. It sounds amazing.”

“It’s fun.”

“And you’ve obviously got friends which is the most important part of school.”

Remus laughed, “that and making sure his dad gets a letter every week for misbehaviour.”

“School should be fun,” Sirius shrugged. “If you’re not getting letters sent home I don’t think you’re doing it right.”

This almost got Teddy to smile. Almost. “It’s why I got kicked out of my old school. I like this one better.”

“Of course you do,” Remus replied. “They let you dye your hair blue and blow stuff up for science.”

“Anything is science so long as you write down what happens,” Teddy parroted what his teacher always said to them.

Sirius said something about his own science classes to which Remus replied and Teddy decided to tune them out entirely. He was done with them for the time being, happy to stare out the window as Sirius drove them to Nick’s. Happy to ignore them both. They were obviously happy to ignore him in turn. Once he got to his friends house he could fully complain about what was going on. Teddy had a good group of friends but he didn’t want to discuss Sirius with all of them - that went to Nick. And they were finally alone after weeks of only hanging out with the others.

“I’ll see you tomorrow at about ten, yeah? Be good and try not to pull an all nighter again.”

“We’ll see,” Teddy said as he climbed out of Sirius’ (very nice (fucker)) car. He didn’t say anything to the driver as he pulled his bag across the seat and left. Sirius didn’t drive off until Nick opened the front door to their townhouse and Teddy had gone inside.

“Was that him?”

Teddy nodded. “Drove us over because he said it was too cold to bus.”

“Mum’s already put the pizza in for us. Come on, you can pace and moan while I eat.”

Nick was a really great friend.

~

Remus knocked on the door at ten past ten, Teddy yelled his goodbyes and stepped onto the small porch. He froze when he saw the car idling at the curb. Sirius waved through the window. “Why is he here?”

“He’s coming over for lunch.”

“I’ll spend the day with N-”

“No. You will come home,” Remus said and started walking. Teddy followed. “And if you need to hide in your room then you can. But you will be coming home with me and Sirius will be there.”

“I-”

“Teddy,” they stopped walking. “I like Sirius a lot. He will be coming over more now, and I think if you gave him the chance you would really like him. I want you to be happy, love, I really do but I want Sirius to be a part of my life. So please, can you try for me?”

Teddy fell silent. He replied when Sirius greeted him although it was more of a grunt than anything else. And then he didn’t say anything else. Didn’t answer when either man asked about his night or morning. Didn’t reply when they were in the house and he disappeared to his room as soon as he could. Sirius left without a goodbye just before two. Teddy didn’t come out of his room.

“Are you going to have dinner tonight?” Remus asked, standing in the doorway. It was nearly seven and Teddy still hadn’t said a word to his father.

He was, for lack of a better term, pissed off. Sirius was monopolising his father. He seemed to be on Remus’ mind near constantly - that little loved up look his father got was becoming a regular fixture. He had said nothing would change but that had been a lie. Because it was changing. Teddy didn’t have his father anymore. It had always been them, the two of them against everyone and everything. Even young Teddy understood that his parents would never be together and that his mother was rarely in the picture.

It was Remus and Teddy. The Lupins. The best father and son duo in the world. Or at least that's what the picture Teddy had drawn when he was young said. Remus still had it framed on the wall in the entrance to their flat. But it was no longer them. They were hardly a duo anymore. It was Teddy and his dad - sometimes and when the older man wasn’t busy with Sirius.

Stupid Sirius. Teddy wasn’t an idiot; he knew that out of the two of them Remus would choose Sirius. What could Teddy offer his father? Problems and pain and the occasional fun night in. Then there was the new guy with his fancy car and fancy dinners and flowers and wooing Remus. Well at least Teddy hadn’t been charmed by the idiot. He wasn’t fooled by all the chocolates. He knew what Sirius was doing.

He’d get Remus all buttered up. Make him fall completely in love with him and then offer him some grand life. Travelling and houses in foreign countries and weekends in luxurious child-free hotels all across the world. He’d probably make the case to send Teddy to some stupid boarding school. He’d argue that his alternative school wasn’t going to help in the long run and Teddy would be in some dorm with a uniform and buzz cut before his father could even get to Paris.

“I could order us a pizza? We could watch a movie?”

Teddy looked at his father, noticing for the first time how worried he looked. “I’m not hungry.”

“You didn’t eat lunch.”

“Not really hungry.”

“I’ll get us the one that is absolutely covered in cheese?” Remus said, clearly trying to bribe his son. “And I’ll put my phone in my room. So it’s just the two of us.”

Ah, why not spend one more night with his dad while he could. Teddy nodded.

~

“Why didn’t he pick us up?” Teddy asked as he and his father walked down an unfamiliar street. They’d left the city for the outskirts of London. But the nice outskirts, with manicured lawns and range rovers and rich people. They were meeting Sirius’ family. Or, Teddy was meeting them. Remus had already met them. Multiple times. Apparently, Sirius moved fast.

“He offered. But he’s been staying out here so I said we’d train. Make it easier.”

Right. Because Sirius split his time between the Potter’s house and his penthouse apartment in London and now their house (he had never stayed over, thank god for small mercies). The penthouse was quite nice, though Teddy was loath to admit it. He’d only been there once, but the views were amazing. And all the houses on this street were gorgeous as well.

“And I’m meeting these people because?”

“Because James and Sirius are family and Sirius and I are in a committed relationship. It’s the natural next step.”

“They’re probably evil.”

“They are definitely not.”

Teddy shrugged. “People who willingly accept random teenagers into their families are all crazy.”

“What?” Remus laughed.

“It’s really true,” Teddy nodded, his seriousness cracking at the laugh that threatened to come out.

Remus shook his head, “you’re the crazy one. They have a three year old, but I don’t expect you to hang out with Harry the entire time.” They stopped, reaching the Potters' house. It was a lovely house. Teddy pointed at a patch of lupine flowers and Remus made a face, but reached over and picked one from the bunch to tuck behind Teddy’s ear. “Pretty.”

“‘Course I am.”

“There you are!” A voice cut in as the door opened. A man - the man from the cafe - was standing in the doorway and grinning. “Lily and Sirius were worried you got lost.”

“You were just as worried!” Sirius called out from inside the house as a woman appeared beside James.

The woman was smiling just as much as her husband. She gestured from them to come closer, to come inside. “We’re so happy you’re here! Especially you, Teddy. We’ve heard so much about you.”

“Like what?”

Both Potters laughed. They were so warm it was almost hard to dislike them just on principle. Teddy and Remus shrugged off their jackets, James taking them from them. “All good things,” Lily promised. “And your hair is amazing. Suits you.”

“Thanks,” Teddy touched the newly dyed hair. Pastel blue again.

Sirius came around the corner, a toddler on his hip. Harry. He looked just like his dad. Teddy looked away when his father and Sirius kissed. Lily smiled at him, “come on. I made some tarts. Your dad said you share his love of chocolate.”

“To a lesser extent than him. Yeah.” Teddy nodded as he followed Lily away from the foyer when the men had started talking. Their kitchen was just as nice as the outside of the house, with chocolate tarts sitting out on the bench and a bunch of colouring equipment spread out on the other side.

“Harry enjoys art,” Lily laughed, “Sirius always brings him new crayons.”

“Harry’s cute.”

Lily handed him the plate of tarts. Teddy took one. “Give it a few more weeks and Sirius will be bringing you all sorts of gifts. Between you and me, I think he just doesn’t know what teenage boys like anymore. Harry’s easy. Nice flower by the way.”

“It’s from your garden,” Teddy muttered. His mood dampened by the mention of Sirius. It was obvious that Lily noticed so Teddy continued somewhat awkwardly. “Lupines.”

“When Sirius came back from the cafe he picked a whole lot of them and told us all about the Lupins that he had met. Seemed to think it was love at first sight.” She paused. “I won’t tell you that Sirius is a good guy and you should give him a chance. I’m sure your father can cover that. What I will say is that James and I are very happy to have you and your dad here, you can relax and just have a good time.”

“My dad and I have a good time.” It was odd how easily he seemed to open up to Lily.

“He’s told us. You obviously mean the world to him. And speak of the devil.”

Teddy turned around to see the older men and Harry walking into the room. His father now holding Harry on his own hip. He hadn’t been wrong, Harry was a cute kid and seemed fascinated with his father’s slight curls.

“Talking about us, where you love?” James asked, walking around to stand beside his wife.

“Just Remus.”

The man in question sat down at the kitchen bench beside Teddy, letting Harry grab at the art supplies. Sirius leant against the bench on his otherside. Harry waved over at Teddy and he gave a small wave back. Laughing lightly when Harry stuck his tongue out.

“That behaviour is all you, Sirius,” James accused. His eyes were sparkling with laughter.

“Sadly, I can’t claim malpractice from another,” Remus sighed when Teddy stuck his tongue right back at the toddler. “That’s all my doing.”

“I think you’ve done rather well,” Lily replied and handed Teddy another tart.

Damn these Potters. So nice and kind, clearly funny and loving. Teddy was supposed to hate just because. And how was he supposed to do that when Harry kept grabbing his hand and pointing at the nail polish he had on with a laugh on his adorable face? And when Lily and James were clearly the best people - aside from the Lupins of course - Teddy had met? It was so unfair.

“You’re good with him,” Sirius said hours later. Teddy and Harry were in the sitting room, colouring together. Teddy shrugged. “He doesn’t really like people, you know? Cleary takes a shine to you and your dad.”

“How do you think his parents would feel if I dyed his hair blue? He keeps asking me to.” It was probably the most Teddy had ever said to Sirius at once. Sirius clearly realised this as well, his shock clear on his face. “I think he’d suit it.”

“They’d find a way to blame me. Maybe wait until he’s a bit older?”

Teddy nodded, but it was Harry who spoke up. “Blue!”

“One day,” Teddy promised with a wink.

Sirius smiled at them and pushed himself off the wall. “Do you need anything from the kitchen?” Teddy shook his head. “We’re moving to the garden if you need us. And if you want a break from Harry just bring him out back, I can take him.”

“Okay.”

Once the noise from the kitchen stopped and the back door closed, Teddy turned back to Harry. “So, do you like Sirius?”

“Pads.”

“Yeah. Pads.”

Harry smiled up at Teddy. “‘Ncle Pads. ‘Ncle Moony.”

Well. Teddy didn’t really have a reply for that one. He went back to his colouring.

~

“Dad?” Remus didn’t look up from his book, just hummed. Teddy fidgeted with the cuffs of his jumper. “Mum just text me.”

Remus’s head flicked straight up. “What?”

“Yeah. She asked how I was doing and if I wanted to go to Scotland with her for a weekend in two weeks.”

“Well that’s - uh - unexpected. What did you say?”

“Haven’t replied. I wanted to talk to you first,” he replied and sat down beside his father. He hadn’t heard from his mom in months. The last text was on his birthday. They’d talked for about an hour and then she had sent him a string of love heart emojis. As Teddy sat down Remus’ phone rang - Sirius. Remus pressed decline. Teddy’s emotional state was too confused to feel happy about that.

“It’s up to you, if you want to go or not. I won’t stop you.”

Teddy sighed. “But you don’t think I should.”

“I don’t want you to get hurt, but if I do want you to have a relationship with her. Besides, I’m sure you want a weekend away from me!”

“Ah, you’re pretty cool. Sometimes at least,” Teddy laughed. “I’m going to say yes to her, that I’ll go.”

“Perfect. You’ll have a great time.”

Teddy nodded, not leaving the sofa when his father went back to reading. Perfectly content to stay sitting close to his dad and play around on his phone.

A week and a half later Sirius came over for dinner. It was pretty standard now, to have him around at least twice a week. Most of the time Teddy just stayed away or stayed silent so it wasn’t as bad as it could be. Plus his dad always let him have some pudding if Sirius was over - he still wasn’t sure if it was a reward for putting up with Sirius. It probably was. They were having pudding that night, Sirius had arrived at their house just after them which meant that he was deserving of the jam slice and cream.

“Did you decide what you’re doing your book report on?” Sirius asked. Remus had started telling Sirius about Teddy’s day so the man had more to talk to Teddy about. It was annoying.

“Yeah. I’m doing it on a kid’s book. One that dad reads to his students,” Teddy replied. His teacher thought it was ‘different’ and ‘compelling’ and ‘it’s good to see students taking education into their own hands’. His father just found it funny. Sirius seemed to be on the same page.

Remus said something about his schooling and report but Teddy was distracted by his phone lighting up. His mother had messaged. She’d sent him some more texts over the week - logical stuff like picking him up at the train station and which hotel they were going to be staying at. So, Teddy assumed it was going to be something like that. He knew he was wrong with the first words.

‘I’m sorry but-’

He noticed the two men had stopped talking and looked up. Both were already looking at him. Both of them looked worried and upset. A tear dropped from his eye and he harshly wiped at his face. Absolutely not. Teddy was not going to cry over this. Especially in front of Sirius.

“I’m not going this weekend.”

“I’m so sorry, Teddy. Truly.”

“I should have just said no.”

Remus and Sirius shared a look. It annoyed him but not really either. Maybe it was because both men actually looked concerned.

“You shouldn’t blame yourself or anything you did. This is on her.” Surprisingly it was Sirius who gave that advice.

“Sure.”

“Teds,” Remus sighed. “What did she say?”

“That Fluer took the time off and they’re going to fly straight there tonight.” He spat it out far more bitterly than he had planned. His phone lit up again. “She’s asked if I’d want to see her on Sunday for dinner instead.”

The two men shared another look. “What are you going to do?”

“I’m going to say no.”

“That’s probably for the best.”

“It’s a big thing to decline seeing a parent like that,” Sirius said. “You should be proud. Even if it feels shitty now.”

Teddy looked back down at his phone. He was hurt. That was the overarching emotion coursing through him. His mother had hurt him. Because she wanted to spend time with her wife. Who she lived with full time and saw everyday. A weekend with her son was too much for her and the option of dinner was a lame apology that would probably be cancelled anyway. Was this what was awaiting him as Sirius and Remus got closer? Was he doomed to feel like this forever?

“I’ll head off,” Sirius said softly after a moments quiet. Remus looked like he was going to argue but Sirius cut him off. “You and Teddy should spend the night together, have some fun.”

“You don’t need to go. I’m fine.”

Sirius smiled, Teddy could still see the concern and worry in his eyes. He, truthfully, couldn’t be bothered to figure it all out. “I’m sure you are. You’re a strong kid, but I’m sure you don’t want me here right now and I am positive your dad is itching to hug you but knows you won’t want to with me around.”

“That’s true,” Remus muttered. Teddy laughed slightly at his father. “I’ll see you on Sunday then. If Teddy wants to, I can bring him to the Potters.”

Right. Remus’ weekend plans. Sirius staying over and them going to their friends. Teddy had ruined that by staying. Both of his parents would be happier without him getting in the way, their partners too.

“I’ll let them know he might come. Harry will be thrilled. I - I’m sorry this happened, Teddy.”

“Feels like I should be used to this kind of thing.”

“I’m gonna be real with you. You never really get used to it. No matter how hard you try.”

“Well that fucking sucks shit.”

Both men laughed though the humour was lacking. “I’ll lay off the language thing tonight, yeah? Come on, Pads, I’ll walk you out.”

“Hopefully I’ll see you on Sunday, Teddy.”

~

He did see Teddy on Sunday. And Monday morning because he went home with Remus and Teddy. And Monday afternoon because he worked from their house even though both the permanent residents left. And Tuesday morning because he stayed again.

And, to Teddy’s utter annoyance, it wasn’t that bad.

Sirius was - well he was fine. He brought them dinner and his commentaries on the movies they watched were funny. His dad rolled his eyes more at the man than at Teddy but Teddy found him to be rather entertaining. He had a larger than life personality and that, begrudgingly, made him fun to be around.

It was the Friday after the cancelled trip and Teddy was home alone. Remus had been hesitant to leave him alone at first, usually he went to a friend’s house or to the one class his school offered on teacher only days. But, no one said Teddy wasn't smart - his father still felt bad about his mother ditching him which meant Teddy was getting what he wanted. And he wanted to stay home so he could play video games without parental supervision.

He was having a grand time until eleven when the front door opened. Teddy jumped up in fright, only realising when he realised it was Sirius. And then he frowned. “What are you doing here and how did you get in?”

“Dropping your dad’s stuff off and a key. What are you doing here? Ditching?”

“Why? You gonna snitch to my dad if I was?”

“No,” Sirius scoffed. “The amount of times I ditched disqualifies me from ever saying a thing.”

Teddy snorted, “it’s a teacher only day. Dad knows I’m here. All above board.”

“Shitty way to spend a free day. No offence.”

“My dad doesn’t let the kids say ‘no offence’ in his class because if you had to say that then you’ve already said something mean.”

“Well your dad isn’t my teacher and I think you can handle it. What are your plans for the day?”

“This.”

Sirius grinned, it was almost sly. “If you could do anything today - absolutely anything - what would you do?”

“Anything?” Teddy asked, looking at the man suspiciously. What was his angel? “Go and see this new movie. It’s R16 so my dad isn’t letting me.”

“Well then, you have a whole day,” Sirius raised his eyebrows at Teddy.

“Are you suggesting I knowingly go behind my dad’s back?” Teddy accused. Sirius looked at him like he knew the real reason Teddy hadn’t seen the movie. And yeah, he was right but still. “They wouldn’t let me buy the ticket.”

“They’d let me.”

Teddy frowned, “what? Are you going to go and see it to rub it in my face or something?”

“No. I’m offering to take you. Here, I’ll take you out and take the full blame if your dad gets annoyed.”

“Why?”

“What’s life without a little risk?” Sirius answered. Teddy thought for a second. On one hand, he’d have to spend time with Sirius which was always a con. On the other he was being offered a trip to a movie that he wasn’t supposed to see. Teddy couldn’t figure out what Sirius’ angel was. It wasn’t like he could abandon him at the local complex.

“Okay.”

Sirius’ face lit up. Another oddity that Teddy couldn’t really be bothered dealing with. “Ah,” he pulled out his ringing phone. “Perfect timing. James! My brother, my best friend - yes I need a favour. Can you cover for me today? I know but I need the day. I’m not with him, I'm with Teddy.”

He pulled the phone away and placed it on speaker. “Teddy!” Two voices called through the phone. The Potters. Lily was the one who continued, “what are you two doing?”

“I suggested I take Teddy out for the day. We’re going to the movies. So I need you to cover for me. Dad won’t mind, he told me to make Teddy like him because he’s always wanted a lot of grandsons.” Sirius winked at Teddy with that. Teddy didn’t know how to react to it. “So please cover for me.”

“Of course he will!”

“You owe me a Friday night babysit,” James said. “But yeah, I’ll cover for you.”

“Have a good time, Teddy!”

“Thanks, Lily.”

Sirius said his goodbyes before hanging up the phone and stashing it in his pocket. “So?”

~

Fuck Sirius for being cool. And nice. And really funny. And good company and kind and a good person. Fuck him.

“I think that’s exactly why he did it! Violence for violence sake!”

“But there has to be a reason,” Sirius argued as he closed the front door to the flat. “Why would he kill all those people just because? That makes the story boring.”

“In your eyes. I think him being a raging psychopath makes it more interesting. There isn’t a reason for it so you can’t justify it so you can’t - Fuck! Dad, you scared me.”

Remus was standing in the kitchen with his arms crossed. “And what can’t you do, Teddy, if you can’t justify the mindless violence seen in the movie that I specifically told you not to see?”

“I took him,” Sirius replied. He walked past Teddy to stand next to Remus, kissing his cheek when he got there. “With the promise to take full blame. I suggested it and encouraged it.”

“That’s not how this works. Teddy knew that he wasn’t allowed to go and see that movie and you went against my wishes and went to see it. Why?”

“I wanted to see it. Sirius said he could get us in.”

Remus nodded, his lips tight. “Sneaking you in, breaking the law. Teddy, that was a stupid thing to do!”

“Moony, love. I took him, I’m the adult in this situation. Don’t blame him.”

“That’s a lovely sentiment but as I said, Teddy doesn’t get to shift blame whenever he wants to. Give me your phone.”

“What!”

“You can have it back on Monday. No. Not a word, from either of you. I’ve been relaxed with you because I know you’ve been finding this difficult but I am still your father and you can not go against me like you did today. Give me your phone and go to your room.”

Teddy did as he was told. As he closed the door he heard Sirius and Remus go into the master bedroom. Once their door was closed he cracked his open.

“Please don’t be mad at him, love. I was the one who took him.”

“You’ve said so. I’m not mad that you took him, or that he went to the movies. I’m pleased that he did! Lord knows he’s been difficult with you. It’s the particular movie.”

“Which I encouraged him to see. I said it would be fun, like an adventure. Because you said no.”

There was silence. “I understand why you did that. I love you for it. But if you want to be in Teddy’s life then you can’t be like that. I want you to be my partner, and I know I’m asking too much but I can’t have someone come into our home to be the ‘cool uncle’. I’m not asking you to parent him or anything like that, I won’t put that on you but I need you to be sensible with him.”

Dear god. Remus was in love with him.

“I will be. Today was stupid, I just wanted to take him out and spend some time with him before we told him.”

What?

“It was very sweet of you to do so. Lily said you offered a Friday night to them.” Sirius grumbled something in reply. Remus continued. “Teddy does like you, I can see it. I just don’t think he can.”

“What did I do wrong?”

“Nothing. You didn’t do anything wrong.”

No, he hadn’t done anything wrong except love his father. All he had done was give his father someone he could love. And Teddy had decided to be selfish and fuck it up. Had spent the last few months trying to get them apart.

He had missed part of their conversation, the movie was brought back up. Sirius was speaking, his tone harder than before. “It also isn’t that big of a deal. The movie wasn’t even that good. I will apologize for taking him but-”

“Don’t say but. There isn’t one. You didn’t have the right to take him to that movie.”

“I love you, you know that. I want to be a part of your life and that means Teddy’s as well, so I either need to be the cool uncle or your partner. I can’t be your partner and not be able to -”

“You have been in his life for a few months. Don’t.”

Another silence. “This is pointless.” Sirius was saying that. Shit. Fuck. Were they breaking up? Was Teddy really that awful of a child that he couldn’t forgive his mother for living her life and tried to sabotage his fathers? Maybe there was a reason that Fleur had never wanted him around. Why wouldn’t Sirius want to send him away? “We’re going around in circles and we shouldn’t be because we are mature to understand what we need to do.”

“We are. You’re right, this is pointless. It’s a stupid conversation to have because we know the outcome. We may as well skip to it and skip the unpleasantness.”

Their voices dropped. Teddy couldn’t hear them. He doubted he would be able to hear them over the raging in his head anyway. This was all his fault. Remus hadn’t been happier than when he had been with Sirius. They were so obviously in love and Teddy wanted his father to himself. Selfishly. Why didn’t he think of his father? What he wanted? He wanted Sirius and Sirius wanted him. They should have each other. Both of them were good people.

Even Sirius. He had always been kind to Teddy, even if it was some kind of rouse or masterplan to woo Remus and send Teddy packing. He was nice, friendly and (if Teddy was being honest with himself) always seemed to care about Teddy. And Teddy had agreed to do something with a high likelihood of getting him in trouble with his dad for no reason. For selfish reasons, actually, not for no reason. He was the guilty party.

He’d ruined his relationship with his mother. She had been smart to cut him out. He ruined relationships and she didn’t want hers to go the same way that Remus and hers had gone - or hers and her son’s.

And now he was ruining his dad’s. He couldn’t do that. God, he’d been so stupid!

Their voices were still low in the background. It only took Teddy a few moments to pack up what he would need. He could stay at Nick’s for a night or two and then fuck off somewhere where he couldn’t mess everyone up. Yes. That’s what he would do. Or he would just get on a train and be out of London by nightfall. What he did he needed to do fast. So that he was gone before they left the room. So they could see that they didn’t have to deal with him and get back together.

That’s what he would do.

So he did.

~

Teddy Lupin did not realise how cold it got after dark in London. Because it was fucking freezing and he was positive that if started to cry then he’d have icicles on his face. His fingers were fucking numb. His jacket was not meant for after nine o’clock. Stupid bus not letting him on and stupid taxi for not letting him in. But he would get to the train station and leave London. Eventually. If he could find the stupid place.

Stupid bus driver.

Stupid Teddy Lupin for ruining everything. Including getting a ticket. Stupid.

He thought of his father. And the quickly scrawled out note left on the kitchen table beside the bouquet of flowers sent to Remus only a day prior. He’d probably be sad for a little bit (at least, Teddy hoped he would be) but he would get over it. He’d have Sirius to help him get over it now that they could easily and happily be together. Remus loved Teddy, he knew that, and he loved his father and those two facts could keep him warm. As he tried to find the stupid train station.

A car pulled up beside him. Stopping right there. Teddy kept walking. The car door opened and Teddy didn’t look back.

“Oh thank God! Teddy.”

He turned to look back. Sirius was coming around the side of the car, a look of utter relief on his face. Why the fuck was Sirius here?

“What are you doing here?”

“Looking for you. Shit, Remus and I have been searching everywhere. Fuck you scared us, Teddy. Why did you leave?”

“Didn’t you get the note?”

Sirius nodded. “Yeah,” his voice cracked. “The note about you leaving so that we could be happy together and that you ruin relationships and all that carry on. We got it. And then we called the cops.”

“What? Why?”

“Because you ran away! Come on, get in the car and we can talk at home. You’re practically blue.”

“I’m not going home. I’m leaving. Because you make my dad happy and he deserves that.”

“Teddy. No. That’s not what either of us want. You make your dad happy, more than I ever could and that’s the way it goes. I love seeing the two of you together, the look on your dad’s face when he sees you. No one wants you to leave.”

Teddy shook his head. “My mum does.”

“Fuck her,” Sirius replied. Teddy was shocked at the statement. “She doesn’t have any taste if that’s the case. We want you. Your dad, me, the Potters. We want you with us because you’re awesome and a good kid and the best son. If a little misguided.”

“You and dad broke up.”

“No we didn’t.”

“At the house. I heard you.”

Sirius shook his head rapidly. Teddy wasn’t sure if the tears in his eyes were from the cold or emotion. “No, we didn’t. We argued a little, but that’s okay and not your fault, and then we talked about you and how we were going to break some news to you. Nothing bad, the opposite of breaking up. And if we were breaking up, it wouldn’t be your fault.”

“I tried to screw your relationship up.”

“It takes a fair bit more than that to get me to back off, love. Your dad and I aren’t breaking up and we want you back home. Both of us. Look, this is kind of embarrassing but I’ll tell you anyway. The day I met your dad, at the cafe, I told James and Lily that I won at the relationship game because not only was I getting a boyfriend but a ready-made family. I was getting a son. I thought it was hilarious and awesome how you treated me, you were funny and loyal and I loved it. Your dad thought I’d be offended but I wasn’t at all. In honesty, it cemented the idea that you were my ready-made family. I love your dad, but I love you too.”

Teddy was silent, staring at Sirius who had taken a few steps forward as he spoke.

“You don’t want me to leave?”

“Never. You’ll be wanting to explore the world and we’ll be trying to make you stay.”

“What if you get bored of me?”

Sirius laughed, “you dyed your hair the first time I met you to try and throw me off. I don’t think you’re boring. We all know your dad is the boring one in the family.”

“What if you don’t like me in a year?”

“Then your dad would probably kick me out. As he should, because you come first. For him, but if you let me, then for me as well.”

“I’m really cold,” Teddy said and then he was crying. Heaving sobs that had been threatening to appear for weeks now. Sirius had him wrapped up in a hug before Teddy could notice that he was moving.

He was really warm.

“Let’s get you home. I’ll call your dad and he can call the police and Potters. Call the search off.”

“Potters?”

“James drove in to help look.” That just caused Teddy to sob more. “Come on, love, let’s go home.”

The next half hour was a blur. The only defining moment was Remus’ face when he saw his son. The utter, heartbroken relief was so obvious as he ran to wrap him up just as Sirius had done earlier. Remus hugged him for a very, very long time. He came to later, sitting on his sofa with tea in his hands, a blanket over his lap and both men sitting on either side of him, talking quietly over his head.

Okay. Maybe running away wasn’t the best way to handle this.

Teddy turned his face into his dad’s shoulder. “I’m sorry.”

“Oh, Teds,” Remus kissed the top of his head. “I’d never be happy without you right here. I can’t believe that you thought I would. I’m sorry that I ever made you think that way.”

“You’re not a relationship ruiner. You have great relationships with everyone who matters. I include myself in that because, clearly, I matter.”

Teddy giggled weakly. “Our relationship is shite.”

“Language,” Remus muttered. “But it isn’t ruined, is it?”

“Like I said, Teds, it will take a whole lot to get me to leave you alone. You’re stuck with me.”

“Well fuck.”

“Language, Teddy!”

“Like you don’t use the exact same language.”

Teddy started laughing as Remus mock-glared at his boyfriend. “Wait!” He interrupted, suddenly remembering. “You said you had news for me.”

“Ah yes,” Remus nodded, sending a Look to Sirius. “We were thinking about, well we can wait if you need to, but we were thinking about moving in together.”

“The three of us,” Sirius clarified.

There was a pause, Teddy thinking it over. “Here? Or At Sirius’s?”

Another Look. His father answered, “a new house. In Godric’s Hollow.”

“Well. Those houses are very nice.”

~

Sirius was looking at Teddy oddly. Teddy threw a piece of paper at him. “What?”

“Just looking. I think that we should go out for dinner tonight, we haven’t been out in ages.”

“I suppose.”

“Your dad’s getting back in about an hour so we could leave at seven. I wonder how he’s doing, Lord knows Lily only has the patience for the two of you nowadays.” Teddy laughed, picturing Lily Potter - now eight months pregnant - snapping at Sirius and James while dotting on the Lupins and Harry. It was a funny sight. For the Lupins at least. “I wonder why she’ll pop.”

“I hope it’s soon. She said that I can visit her in the hospital.”

“Of course she did. She likes you better than me.”

Teddy laughed, “it’s because I’m better.”

“Yeah yeah. Ah, speaking of mothers and all. Did yours ever call you?”

“No,” Teddy frowned. Not wanting to think about it. She’d promised to video call him. Two months ago. “I didn’t think it’d happen so I’m not that upset about it. Why?”

“No reason.”

There was some more silence, both of them working on their own work. Some light homework for Teddy and a case involving gender discrimination for Sirius. It was not, however, a comfortable silence. This was not usual for them, not anymore at least. The two of them got on well. It hadn’t been easy but they’d worked at it. Living together had practically forced Teddy’s hand. He didn’t mind that he was close to Sirius anymore. It wasn’t like he was trying to kick Teddy out after all. All of the un-comfort coming from Sirius. Teddy through another piece of paper at him.

“You’re practically vibrating. What’s up?”

“Okay. So. It’s. Yeah.”

“Are you having a stroke?”

“I want to ask your dad to marry me.”

Teddy frowned, “and you’re worried that he’ll say no?”

“What? No. I’m worried that you won’t want us to. I mean, it hasn’t been that long.”

“Doesn’t bother me. I promise I won’t run away if he says yes. I’ll even comfort you if he says no.”

“Why do you keep talking about him saying no?” Sirius asked. Teddy laughed and ignored the question. “Teddy! Why?”

~

They did go out that night. It was a fancy place, further out than they would usually go for a casual outing. Teddy sat patiently, waiting for dessert. Finally, his pudding came and he ate it happily. Content to wait for the question to be asked.

And asked it was. At the exact same time. Both men bringing out their boxes and placing them in front of the other in sync with each other. Teddy couldn’t stop laughing. Neither could they.

“You knew!” Remus accused, once the rings on fingers (and the pendant that Sirius bought Teddy was on his neck (maybe that did make him choke up, sue him, it was sweet)).

“Yeah. You both asked me if I was cool with it.”

“Rascal. You almost got me to think Remus would say no!”

“It’s kind of funny.”

“Why would I say no?”

Sirius shrugged, he looked back down at his ring. “This is good. This is really fucking good.”

“Does this mean that you’re officially going to be my step-dad?”

Remus and Sirius looked at each other. Teddy frowned. It was Sirius who answered, “well. I thought that, if you wanted to, I could go a step further. And adopt you.”

“It would mean that your mum would give up custody,” Remus cut in before Teddy could fully comprehend. “So we want you to have the final say.”

“You want to?”

“The first time I met you, you laughed about blowing stuff up. I’ve wanted to since then.”

Teddy thought it over. It wasn’t that hard to think over. “I’m not calling you dad.”

Sirius grinned and Teddy smiled right back.