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To Make A Family

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Remus was in the kitchen with Lily, the two of them making dinner together. Harry, newly turned three, sat on one of the bar stools with a colouring book and crayons. It was a standard night at the Potter-Black-Lupin household. James was at St Mungos and Sirius was tying up some under the table mission with Moody. They’d both be back before dinner just like every other night.

Lily rested a hand on her stomach. Seven months gone and feeling every day of it, Lily often had to pause for a moment. To catch her breath or regain her balance. “Merlin, this girl knows how to kick.”

“She can play footie then.”

“If James and Sirius let her,” Lily muttered before collapsing into the armchair Remus had brought into the doorway of the kitchen for moments just like this. “Give me a moment.”

“I can handle dinner. Rest up for little Marlene.”

“She’s bloody demanding. Just like her namesake.”

Remus went to reply when the floo activated in the other room. Both Lily and Remus reached for their wands: a hangover from the years spent active in the war. Harry didn’t get up or try to run in either, knowing that none of his guardians would like that. Another hangover. “Just us!” Came James’ voice from the living room. He and Sirius emerged moments later.

After everyone had received the proper kisses from the returning men they jumped up beside Harry. Sirius reached over to rub Lily’s shoulders. “Moony, I was talking to healer Katie,” James said. “She’s wondering if you could come in sometime next week? There’s a man who was bitten last moon and she was hoping you could talk to him before the full on Friday?”

“Happy to,” Remus replied. Ever since Severus had pulled his little stunt Remus had been hard pressed to find work. But the lycanthropy ward at St Mungos was always grateful for his expertise and help. It was strange how he was now considered a leading expert in werewolves.

“Did you finish everything you needed to do?” Lily asked, poking Sirius’ wrist.

Sirius nodded. He was the only Marauder to continue working for the Order. The Black inheritance leaving him and Remus free to do whatever they wanted. Sirius had chosen to work as an unqualified and unregistered auror. He got to mess around, catch bad guys and not follow rules. Truly, the best gig for a guy like Sirius Black. “It was an easy one, just some stirrings. Honestly, I just had to find out who was where and tell Mad-Eye. Boring, to be honest with you.”

“Boring is good,” Lily replied. She hesitated and then added: “most of the time.”

Harry chose then to pipe up and describe the art he had Remus had done that day. While the Potters were busy talking amongst each other Sirius slipped around the bench to wrap his arms around Remus. “Hello.”

“Hi.”

“I missed you today,” Sirius muttered into Remus’ ear. “I don’t think I’ll be back out until after the next full though, so I can make up for the lost time these last few weeks.”

Remus kissed his boyfriend’s cheek. “You’re impossible. You left the house at ten this morning.”

“And?” Sirius asked with a laugh. “When are you going back to the primary school?”

“Monday and Tuesday next week.” Remus’ reliving job at the local primary school was one of his favourite parts of his life post-war. They may have forged a few documents but the muggles didn’t need to know that. It was easy for him to take work based on the lunar cycle; it wasn't like the muggles would figure out his secret. And Remus adored working with the kids. “I’m with the kindergarten kids.”

“I’ll get you one of those.”

“I’m afraid we’re lacking something for that.”

Sirius shrugged, “if Prongs can get Lily I can get you a kid.”

“I’m Moony’s kid!” Harry imputed with his most offended expression.

“That you are,” James ruffled his son’s hair. “You know I caught him reading for pleasure yesterday?”

“Harry’s not allowed to spend any time with those two,” Sirius declared, pointing between Remus and Lily who were both rolling their eyes as James nodded along. Like a dog, Sirius nuzzled his face into Remus’ neck. “Love you.”

Remus reached up to pat his boyfriend’s head - also similar to a dog. “Love you too.”

“Gross!”

“If you excuse me, my Moony, I have a godson to tickle!”

Harry, with the help of James, was off the bar stool in a flash - taking off down the hallway and towards the stairs. Sirius right behind him. “So, James-” Remus started, cutting himself off when there was a crash from the foyer. They all listened to the sounds of Harry yelling at Sirius and Sirius yelling right back for a moment before returning to their conversation. “How was work? Is that you finished with the 100 hour internship?”

“I’ve got five more hours tomorrow and then a compulsory refresher course on pharmaceutical potions. Lily won’t let me steal her notes for it. And then I’m finished with that phase of the internship.”

“Don’t envy you, mate. And, honestly Lily, where’s your marauder spirit? Let your husband cheat off you. Not on you, mind.”

“If James decides to cheat on me then no one will ever see him again.”

James looked lovingly at his wife. “You’re amazing.”

“I know. And I am not letting him cheat. He is studying to be a healer. We don’t cheat.” Lily, who had been well on her way to being a pharmaceutical positions expert before going on extended maternity leave, absolutely had all of the information James would need and more. She, unlike the rest of the Marauders, however had a very strong moral code against cheating. “He may be an idiot but he’s smart enough to do the course.”

“Fine.”

“What’s the next part of the training then?”

“I pick two wards and work there for three months each. We actually got to see the list of wards today for the first time. Then I get to choose any ward to specialise in and become an actual healer in training.”

Remus, of course, did know all of this. Had seen the ten year plan that both Potters had (the ten year plan that had been created in sixth year meaning it was over half way done). He was a vital part in the plan for crying out loud. It was, however, still nice to talk about it especially when the ending was right around the corner. Remus had a ten year plan as well, and then Snape had sent a letter to the Prophet and suddenly everyone knew who and what he was. Sirius had never had a plan that lasted more than a week.

“Any idea on the two wards?”

“Baby and infants but that’ll probably end up being my second one. Lycanthropy for the first.”

That was something he didn’t know. “You picked lycanthropy? I would assume that was no one's pick.”

“It isn’t and my supervisor looked at me like I was crazy. I didn’t even know that it was going to be an option. It was why I saw healer Katie, I went down to let her know I would be there.”

Not for the first time, Remus felt a wave of appreciation for the people he had in his life. He would have never dreamed of having friends who were as amazing as James, Lily and Sirius before he was whisked away to Hogwarts. And even then, having friends who only realised their love of healing from hours studying so that they could help him and to then dedicate a part of his life to helping other werewolves; when very few people ever wanted to. It was almost too much. It probably would have been if it weren’t for the fact that Remus had known James and his exceptionally large heart for twelve years.

“Padfoot’s smelly!” Harry yelled, completely ruining any moment Remus was having.

“Take that back!” Sirius also yelled, skidding into the kitchen and pointing at Harry who had taken to hiding behind Remus.

‘You’re both smelly,” was James’ amazing and mature reply.

Remus looked at Lily, looked at the ceiling, closed his eyes and sighed. He loved them but Merlin, sometimes he longed for a moment of peace. That, he had discovered many, many, years ago was not something you could get if you were friends with a Black or a Potter.

~

Remus woke to a cold cloth being pressed against his forehead and someone rubbing his wrist. He opened his eyes, blinked a few times and was finally able to focus. James was hovering over his head, grinning down at him. Harry was sitting on the side of the bed beside his father and Sirius was across from him, rubbing Remus' wrist. From the sunlight streaming into the room it was almost midday.

“How you feeling?”

“Ugh.”

James laughed lightly. “As always. I have a pain and nausea tonic here.”

“What score did you get on that course again?”

“Ha ha. I am perfectly competent with medical tonics.”

“Mummy and I made it!”

Remus reached his hands out. James grumbled something but stepped back and got the potion bottles. Chuckling, Sirius helped Remus sit up slightly. Just enough for James to pour the tonic into Remus’ mouth. They’d gotten this part of the moon down in second year. Only, Peter used to stand on the sidelines - but, Remus supposed, they’d upgraded to Harry being the moral support. Who wanted the rat when they had a Prongslet?

“I’m going to St Mungos at two, do you think you’ll be okay?”

“Done this before, Prongs.”

James hummed. “Katie said that my experience with you should help anyone who arrives but I don’t want to leave you if-”

“I have Lily and Sirius. I’d rather you went to help the others.”

Harry shuffled around so that he could curl up against Remus. Carefully, of course. He knew that his Moony was sore after a full moon. “You have me too.”

“And I have Harry. What else do I need?”

“I’ll head there early then. See if anyone’s arrived already. Harry and Pads, look after our Remus, won’t you? Lots of gentle kisses, I believe.”

“I can do that. I’m a healer like daddy!”

“Better than your daddy,” Sirius nodded. “We’ve got it.” The two of them hi-fived over Remus while grinning at each other. Remus didn’t let on that Harry pushed a bruise when he leaned over. James sent him a knowing look before shaking his head and saying his goodbyes. “I say a block of chocolate is in order, don’t you?”

“Read my mind.”

Carefully, Harry climbed off the bed. “I can get it! Stay here Moony. Rest!”

“Just like his dad,” Sirius muttered. Harry disappeared out the door and Sirius lent down, pressing their lips together. “Love you. How you actually feeling?”

“Like I transformed into a wolf and back,” Remus muttered. “A few bruises but otherwise it's just the usual aches and pains.”

“If you’re up to it we can take you to the sitting room so we can hang with Lily. James doesn’t want her climbing the stairs without him after the scare.” The scare in question being Lily falling and the subsequent freak out on all men’s part. “Or we can stay up here?”

Remus pushed himself up. “Down stairs.”

“Sure. But you’ve got to let me help you.”

“You and James, two peas one pod.”

A few minutes later and they were downstairs. Sirius had been insistent that he help, meaning that Remus had basically been groped the entire way down. But they’d made it and now he was curled up with Lily on the sofa with a block of chocolate to share, a book and a cup of tea. Sirius and Harry were sitting on the floor, marbles between them. If James had been there it would have been perfect.

Lily nudged his ankle with her toes. “My boss owled me this morning. Wants me to do a research project while I’m home.”

“Of course he does, you’re brilliant. What’s it on?”

“About ten years ago there was a muggle invention called a MRI, and he wants to see if we could make a similar product. Or maybe even change it to a spell. But, because it's so precious, it’s been proving really difficult. I said that we could have a go of it and he’s happy for you to work with me. Full credit split between us kind of deal.”

“Sounds good. I have no idea what a MRI is but I can look into it.”

She took a sip of her tea, “I ordered a few muggle books on them. Figured we should start there.”

“Mummy, I’m going to be a healer. Did you know?”

“I wasn’t aware.”

Sirius ruffled his hair, “this ones a Potter-Evans through and through. Of course he’ll be a healer. Bunch of do-gooders the lot of you.”

“You’re a crime fighting wizard, you have no leg to stand on,” Lily replied shortly. She stopped, winced and rubbed her stomach. “And this one is aiming to be a kickboxer using mummy as target practise.”

“Stop that!” Harry demanded, standing and toddling over to place his hands on Lily’s stomach as well.

“She doesn’t mean to, sweetheart. She doesn’t want to hurt mummy, she’s just stuck.”

Harry tapped her stomach twice and then lent down to talk directly to the baby. “Come out then. There is so much space out here. I can teach you kicks!”

“If I mention that you’re crying will I get kicked as well?” Lily half-heartedly kicked out towards Sirius. “I’ll take that as a yes then.”

All of their replies were lost when the floo activated. Sirius was the first to react, jumping up with wand in hand. Both Lily and Remus reached for their own wands and Harry. It was startling, how such a mundane thing could trigger something in all four adults. The sudden tension disappeared when James came through a moment later, unhurt but worried looking.

“Sorry guys, needed to come through quickly. Remus, I’m sorry to do this to you today but I was hoping you can come in with me? A six-month old baby was bitten and survived and his parents are freaking out. Won’t listen to me or Katie.”

“Prongs-”

“I am fine, Sirius. I can come.”

James breathed a sigh of relief. “I’ll stay with you, so no need to worry. I’ll bring you back when we’re done.”

“The only benefit,” Remus said as he stood (slowly but on his own) “to being a public werewolf is this. I am happy to come.”

Quickly, all three of the remaining family got another round of kisses and then James and Remus were flooing into the lycanthropy ward. It was busier than it usually was, the tiny two room ward almost overflowing. James had to stop twice to re-tie a bandage before he ushered Remus into one of the rooms. There were three beds, two open with different women on them and one with a curtain pulled around it. A baby was whimpering behind it.

“They won’t tell us their names or anything. All we know is that he was attacked last night. Is it okay if I leave you?”

Outside the room, someone collapsed. “Go.” James nodded at him and promised that he’d take Remus home as soon as he could go before rushing out. Remus stuck his head in the curtain, “can I come in?”

When the wife nodded he stepped in fully. The family was painfully average. The parents were a few years older than Remus and the baby wrapped in a soft blue blanket. Aside from the pain on all of their faces and the hospital setting they could be anywhere. The mother was sitting on the bed but wasn’t touching the baby. The father was leaning against the wall beside his wife.

“My name is Remus Lupin. James told me that your son has been bitten. I understand that this is a hard time for you so if you have any questions for me I’m happy to answer them.”

“You’re the half- the werewolf that was in the news a few years back,” the man said coldly.

Remus sighed to himself. “Yes. I’m going to be honest with you. You might want to get over your perception of us, as your son is now like me.”

“I can’t have a werewolf son. It’s - it’s.”

“As I said. This is a shock, but I don’t think it’s fair to me or your son to talk like that.”

“What do we do?” The wife asked.

Pausing, Remus took a moment to calm down. He didn’t want to cause a fight but he wasn’t about to let the man talk about werewolves like that. “Right now? Hold your child. In general, love him like you would have if this didn’t happen. On a full moon? That depends on if you register him or not. At his age, and this sounds awful but it’s a reality, an enchanted cage will work.”

“Look my son up in a cage.”

“One night every month. Yes. It’s what my father did with me until I was about eight.”

“Then what?” The father asked, his tone still harsh.

“An enchanted shed. My parents were always more concerned about the morning after, which is the most challenging part.”

The man ran his hand down his face with a grunt. “I wasn’t vocal about my opinions. I didn’t unnecessarily attack your kind. I even felt some sympathy for you during the war. Why has this happened to us?”

“I’m going to be honest again. You’re going to want to start having a lot more sympathy for my kind because you are now raising a child of my kind,” he tried to keep the sarcasm out of his voice. He doubted it worked very well. “And to answer your question, because it could. I would say about 60% of the people in this ward were attacked because they were simply there.”

“What about you?” The wife asked.

“My attack was different. Premeditated against my father. Are either of you involved in anti-werewolf work?” Both shook their heads no. “Then I guess it was sheer unluck. Which may hurt even more than a targeted attack but I don’t want to sugar coat this for you. But I want you both to understand that it will be okay. He is still your son, and he will have a happy life if you let him. Just, a different one.”

The couple looked at each other. Finally, the wife spoke, “could we have a moment.”

“Sure,” Remus nodded. “I’ll go and help some of the others. I’ll come back later.”

He did just that. Leaving the little family alone. The woman closest to the curtain was crying silently. Remus went to her. He may not be an expert in medicine or healing but he did know how to help ease the pain after a full moon. He helped and chatted to her before making sure the other patient was alright. Katie asked him to chat to the man he’d met the week prior before Remus moved on to talk to a girl his age. Sometimes, Remus had found that talking to someone who understood the pain was just what he needed. He hoped they felt the same.

Eventually, he made his way back into the first room. Unpleasantly surprised to see that the room was empty of adults. But still very full of a baby. Remus lent back around the curtain and got the attention of the women. “Did you see them leave?”

“They said something about a coffee break about twenty minutes ago.”

There was something heavy in his gut. Luckily, James was walking by in that moment so Remus was able to flag him in.

“Want to go back?”

“The parents aren’t here,” Remus replied, pointing at the curtains. “Left about twenty minutes ago. And both of them clearly had thoughts on werewolves on a whole.”

“Average random or Snape?”

“Halfway in between?”

James had the same expression Remus was sure he had on. He sighed, “I’ll make a call over the loudspeaker. Maybe they got lost in conversation. This is a big deal after all.”

“I’m going to stay with the baby while you do that.”

They split up. Remus frowned at the baby laying in the bed. He looked so small and fragile, it wasn’t right. So he decided to be a bit impulsive and reckless. Sirius would be proud. He walked over and gently picked the baby up. He didn’t wake, hardly even stirred, which Remus counted as a blessing. Easing himself onto the bed, he winced as his bruises shifted but otherwise sighed in relief of being off his feet.

He was so small. It had been years since Harry had been that little. Remus found that he remembered exactly how to hold him; which he guessed was good for little Marlene. And this unnamed baby in that moment. The baby fit perfectly in his arms, his hand wrapped perfectly around Remus’ finger. As he rocked his own body side to side, James’ voice came over the hospital wide loudspeaker. “Could the parents of our little patient please come back and speak to Healer Potter. That’s the parents to come to Healer Potter. Thank you.”

Leave it to James to not publicize which ward they were needed in. In Remus’ arms the baby did begin to stir. He blinked his eyes open and looked up at Remus. Thankfully not crying at the sight of a stranger holding him. Remus rubbed a hand up and down his side as he looked down at the baby. His eyes were so like Sirius’ it was almost uncanny. He went to reach a hand up but stopped and whimpered; his eyes filling with tears.

“Oh, don’t cry.” Remus started rocking and rubbing again. “I know it hurts. It’s okay.”

They rocked back and forth for some time. Every passing minute weighed heavily on Remus’ heart. Apparently it weighed on James’ as well as the speaker clicked on again. “I am once again calling for the parents of our little patient to please come back and speak to Healer Potter. Thank you.”

When another five minutes had passed, James came back into the room. “I talked to security. They're going to have a look around. Most of the others have already gone, and Sirius has just flooed asking for you back. I said I’d bring you back when my shift ends in about thirty minutes.”

“I can’t leave him.” It hurt to even think about.

“The baby and infants ward has agreed to take him without detailing why. He’ll be monitored there. Apparently this kind of thing has happened before. The parents come back in the morning after realising what they’ve done.” James brushed the little hair the baby had back with his thumb. “He’ll be okay there. They’re good people.”

Remus frowned, not wanting to part from the baby one bit. A nurse that Remus didn’t recognise came over to them and gently took the baby. At least she handled him gently, and didn’t seem to shy away from him. Hopefully he would be treated as any other patient in their ward. James rubbed his shoulder, Remus guessed that it was half an affection gesture and half him figuring out if Remus’ shoulder was playing up again. (It was.)

“Let's get you home, Moons. I’ll make sure he’s okay tomorrow.”

“Look at you,” Remus muttered as he stood from the bed. “Collecting werewolves.”

“Since ‘72.”

The two of them said their goodbyes before flooing back home. It was as uncomfortable as always, but Remus was glad to be home. The baby weighed on his mind and he wished he was able to do more, especially because all he could do was hope. Sirius was on them before Remus was fully aware that they were home. He was pulled to the love seat, pushed down, kissed on the forehead (and then the lips when he pulled Sirius back down), a cup of tea forcefully pushed into his hands and then Sirius was sitting beside him with Harry on his lap.

“You’re worse than Prongs.”

“I wouldn’t say that,” Lily replied from where James seemed to be doing a magical scan of his pregnant wife. “Wanna run away?”

Remus grinned across the room at her. They often asked each other that - had done since they were thirteen and James and Sirius were still the occasional prat. And always, the answer was the same. “Give me the time and I’m there.”

~

“Tea,” Remus pushed over the cup. Sirius took it with a muttered thanks, not looking up from the letter he’d just gotten. “Do you want scrambled eggs? Harry asked for them.”

“Please. Extra-”

“Salt. I know how you take your eggs.”

“Are-”

“I am sure that I can cook. I feel fine, Pads, I promise. The moon has come and gone.” Sirius did look up then as if to appraise Remus. They ended up staring and smiling at each other for longer than most would consider appropriate or normal. Then again, they’d never been appropriate or normal so why would they care? “Love you.”

Sirius’ smile turned softer. Remus loved the smile Sirius got on his face after he said those words. “Love you too.”

As he spoke, an owl landed on their window sill. Most of the post had already come which caused Remus to frown at the bird. Sirius didn’t seem to notice it was even there. It wasn’t theirs and was carrying multiple envelopes. Remus gave it a handful of treats before taking the post, the owl leaving straight away with a hoot. “Bill, bill, rubbish, that subscription you won’t break-” Remus threw the last one in front of Sirius. “Rubbish and huh.”

“What?”

“It's addressed to me,” Remus showed Sirius the envelope. His name was written across the front in blue pen ink. His name and nothing else.

“Were you expecting something?”

“No,” Remus said as he opened the envelope. Inside was one piece of white paper. The muggle kind. It was folded roughly. Sirius kept watching as Remus read it over. “Lupin. We can’t do this. His name is Edward. Please love him for me.”

There was a stunned silence in the kitchen. Broken after a few minutes by Sirius. “Fuck.”

“Edward. That’s his name. His blanket had a teddy bear embroidered on the corner. Teddy.”

“What are you going to do?”

“I’m going to St Mungos. See what James thinks we should do, he knows the system better than us.”

Sirius hummed and nodded, not looking surprised at the plan. “I guess I’ll make our eggs for us.”

“I’ll see you in a bit,” Remus promised before rushing out to the floo - pausing to kiss Sirius goodbye as always.

The lycanthropy ward was practically empty that visit. One man sat on a bed with his leg in a cast and another woman was sitting in the waiting room with a clipboard in front of her. He paid them no mind as he rushed behind the desk and into the small doctors office. Katie wasn’t there but James was, looking up and blinking in surprise when he saw who had just burst in.

“The baby, did you hear anything?”

“No. I was about to floo you to let you know. His parents didn’t turn up again, no note or anything.”

Remus held up the letter. “They sent me the note. His name is Edward and they’ve abandoned him.”

“Fuck. Fuck, okay.”

“Where is he?”

“Katie’s just gone to get him. If they don’t come and get him then,” James trailed off.

“Best case he gets put in a home?” Remus asked. Even he wasn’t sure what would happen to a baby werewolf. Nothing good, he knew that much. The thought of that little baby being thrust into a home with no care was heartbreaking. “What’s the worst case?”

James made a face. Halfway between disgust and sadness. “He goes missing.”

“Fuck.”

Katie chose that moment to walk in, carrying a cooing Edward, still wrapped in his blue teddy blanket in her arms. If she was surprised by Remus standing there she didn’t show it. James quickly filled her in with what had happened. There was a long silence, only disrupted by Teddy and his sweet cooing and the occasional almost babble. Eventually Katies sighed lightly.

“I am going to go and put Edward down in his own room. Then I am going to go and help my patients. What happens when I am gone is something that I can’t control.”

Remus felt the relief rush into his body.

“James,” Katie continued, “you’re free to go. I’ll sign you for your whole shift. It’s not like I need the help right now.”

“Thank you,” Remus said. “Thank you.”

“Don’t thank me. I didn’t do anything. James, finish that up and then you can go.”

She left after that, leaving the two of them standing in the room alone and silent. “If you don’t want me to bring him home I’ll understand.”

“If you don’t understand that I would physically hunt you down if you even thought of not going home then I’m going to have to worry about you.”

“Two babies. Two half-breeds.”

“And a Sirius.”

Remus laughed lightly at that. “Okay. Thank you, Prongs.”

“What are you thanking me for? Go and get him and get home. I’ll see you in about ten minutes.”

As he left the room, Remus thought it over. Was he really about to go and - and what? It was probably kidnapping, right? But his parents had asked Remus to take him. So was it okay and legal? Probably not. Did Remus care? No, not at all. Would Sirius and Lily care? Also no, at least Remus thought as much. It was a big deal and he understood that at least. It was probably the most reckless thing he’d ever done and he’d been a Marauder and an active member of a war.

If only Dumbledore could see him now. On his way to kidnap a baby werewolf. To bring him home to do what? Was he going to raise him? Look after him like his own or like a baby he was being paid to mind? Merlin, was he about to become a parent? What would Sirius think? He doubted that Sirius would think it was a bad thing - he loved Harry and often mentioned having his own one day. But this wasn’t having his own. This was his boyfriend bringing home an illegal werewolf baby one day.

All the doubt, all the anxieties that swirled in Remus’ mind disappeared as soon as he saw Teddy in the hospital cot. He blinked up, smiled and Remus was gone. The same burst of love he had felt when he’d first seen Harry ricocheted across him. Teddy would be going home with him.

“Come on, little love, let’s get you home.”

In the waiting room, the woman looked up from her board as Remus walked past. They made eye contact, Remus freezing when they did. She looked at him, Teddy and back at him before very deliberately looking back down at her clipboard.

And just a moment later he was standing in the living room with a crying Teddy, a mind full of worry and a heart full of love.

“Lets see him then.” Sirius stepped up beside them, pushing his shoulder into Remus’ to peer down at the baby in Remus’ arms. When he did, Teddy stopped crying to stare right back. The little gasp that Sirius let out was quite possibly the best sound Remus had ever heard in his life. Any worry that Sirius wouldn’t want Teddy disappeared as soon as he saw the adoration in his boyfriend’s eyes. “Look at him.”

“You knew I was going to bring him back, didn’t you?”

“I know you.” They knocked their heads together, looking down at Teddy. “Come into the kitchen, I have a surprise.”

Expecting a toy or perhaps a half-assembled cot, Remus was rather confused when all there was sitting in the kitchen was an opened letter. “You didn’t contact the ministry did you?”

“I did,” Sirius replied which only strengthened Remus’ confusion. “I called in a favour. Can I hold him?”

“Of course.” He handed Teddy over, Sirius taking him easily and Teddy going happily. It took a moment for Remus to remember to read the letter; too distracted by looking at the two of them who had started cooing at each other. “What favour?”

There were two thick pieces of paper in the A4 size envelope. The first was an official ministry birth certificate. Edward Leo Lupin. Biological mother unlisted, father Remus John Lupin. “What is this?”

“I hope you don’t mind Leo. I wanted to honour Reg in some way, but we can always change it. I needed to choose one and it was the first one that came to mind.”

“Teddy Leo Lupin,” Remus read dumbly.

“Werewolves can’t adopt kids. They can have them though. Look at the other one.”

Adoption papers. Edward Lupin, it read, biological father Remus Lupin and adoptive father Sirius Black.

“I can adopt. I will also admit that I couldn’t let the werewolf kid have the name Black over Lupin. I just couldn’t,” he baby talked the last part to the baby in his arms. “So?”

“How did you do this?”

“A favour. Is it - is it good?” Sirius asked. There was a hint of self-consciousness in Sirius’ tone which surprised Remus. How could he not see? Remus moved, leaving the papers on the bench, to wrap his arms around his baby and partner. “I would hug you back but we have a baby now.” He paused. “We have a baby now. We’re dads, Moony.”

“We’re dads, Sirius.”

In between them, Teddy giggled and that was all that they needed to start crying.

~

Lily, the amazing woman she was, had kept Harry out of their space for the first half an hour of Teddy being home. The pair went over the legal work - he was keeping the name Leo and the Potters were being named the godparents - before placing a large order of clothes, toys and baby items to arrive the next day. Crib and other large furniture would come before the week ended and until then he could use what they’d already set up for Marlene.

And then the floo was activated. James’ loud greeting reached Sirius and Remus who had ended up going upstairs into their bedroom. As expected, the pitter-patter of Harry’s feet running were quick to follow. After that there was relative silence again, Remus reached down to stroke Teddy’s cheek. The three of them were lying on their bed, Teddy in between them and happy as could be.

“We should go down.”

“We should,” Sirius replied. “I’m now understanding why we had to wait almost an hour in that bloody hospital waiting room when Prongslet was born. I don’t want to share him.”

“I love you.”

“I love you too. As always.”

Remus pushed himself up, “let's go and introduce Teddy to his family.”

That got Sirius up. He ended up carrying Teddy down, Remus following close behind. The Potters were all sitting in the living room when the Lupin-Blacks entered. “May I,” Sirius said with a grand flourish to his voice, “introduce you all to Edward Leo Lupin. Our son. Merlin! I see why you’re always smiling when you call Harry your son now, Prongs.”

“It’s amazing, isn’t it?”

“Hand him over, Black. Right now.”

Teddy was placed in Lily’s arms, Harry instantly trying to get a better look. All the adults watched, a tad worried about how he would react. He looked at Teddy with more confusion then upset before poking Lily’s stomach and then Teddy. Gently, at least. “The baby is still in mummy.”

It took a lot of willpower not to laugh. James and Sirius did not have this willpower. “This is a different baby,” Remus explained. “Mine and Sirius’ baby. He’s your family but he’s not your mummy’s baby.”

“There was no baby in you or Pads.”

“That’s true,” Lily said. “Moony brought this baby from the hospital.”

“Speaking off,” Sirius interjected, “what happened at the hospital after Remus left?”

James grinned at them. “Katie and I burned the intake papers. No record he was ever even there. For my first day of being a godfather I’m doing rather well, I’d say.”

“Daddy’s the baby goddaddy?” All four adults nodded. “Oh.”

“Is that alright?” Remus asked.

“So,” Harry stopped. Apparently figuring something complicated out in his head. “So I am baby-Teddy’s godbrother.”

“Yeah!” Sirius nodded enthusiastically. “Perfect title. You two are godbrothers. And Marlene is your sister and Teddy’s godsister. Good deal?”

Harry placed his hand on Teddy’s chest. Teddy giggled and Harry grinned, puffing out his chest slightly and straightening his back. A picture of James. “He loves me the most.”

Remus looked over at Sirius and grinned, Sirius’ matching grin was just as happy. They were a family.

~

Remus didn’t remember much during his transformations. Before his friends joined he didn’t remember any of it. He’d wake up with 12 hours gone from his mind, blinding pain and the taste of iron in his mouth. Now he woke up to flashes of the night and aches. The latter was the more preferable of the two options. Remus could never thank his friends enough for what they had done - even if they always insisted that they didn’t need to be thanked.

He knew he was incredibly lucky and now his son was getting that luck. Teddy would never need to know a full moon full of pain and blood. No. He would transform with Sirius and James there with him, making sure that he didn’t hurt himself. Remus had made James swear that if Remus didn’t like the cub to take him and run - and made Sirius promise to stop Remus if he needed to.

They hadn’t needed to worry. Remus had held Teddy until he couldn’t anymore, rocking him through the occasional pain. James had already transformed, and would often lick the baby to make him giggle. It made Sirius giggle as well because Sirius had the same humour as a six month old. Then the moon had hit and they’d both transformed, Remus having murky memories of Sirius holding a screaming Teddy and then silence.

All he could remember after that was sitting and looking at the baby wolf. Teddy couldn’t walk properly and, if memory served, Sirius had taken to trying to help the little wolf walk and simply lay with him when he couldn’t. Prongs pranced around them and distracted Remus whenever he got antsy. For all the worrying he’d gone through, the night had truly been a breeze.

“You awake?”

Remus hummed. “Slightly.”

“James gave Teds a baby sleeping draught about two hours ago.”

“Is he okay?”

“He’s fine,” Sirius reassured. “He wasn’t as happy as he normally would be but he’s not injured. Didn’t even try to scratch himself. Harry’s in there with him now, I told him to get me if he wakes up. It was a good night, love.”

“You’re sure?”

Sirius pressed a kiss to Remus’ forehead. “I’m sure. Go back to sleep, I’ll wait with you.”

He was out before he knew he was falling.

The next time he woke up, he was a lot more aware of his body and surroundings. He groaned slightly when he pushed himself up to sit. In the armchair diagonal to their bed Sirius sat with a bundle in his arms. Remus was content to watch his partner bottle-feed their baby for some time. He always preferred observing the first few hours, not one to interact when every cell was begging for more sleep.

“He’s got the most stunning eyes.”

“They’re like yours.”

“You think so?” Sirius asked, not looking up from Teddy. Remus hummed his yes. Sitting on the bedside table was a cup of tea, a few biscuits and a large square of chocolate alongside his pain potions. “Lily made the potions, Harry made the snack.”

Remus took the tea and potion. Instantly his body started to feel better. The tea was incredibly sweet, not like Remus usually had it. He drank it all. “Is he okay?”

“He’s fine. Not a scratch.” Sirius stood carefully before walking over to the bed. He sat down beside Remus, laying against the headboard with Teddy securely in his lap. The baby in question was awake and smiling up at them. “I think he’s happy here.”

“I think he is to,” Remus reached out and cupped Teddy’s face softly. “How could he not be?”

“He’s not cried, aside from last night. Harry cried all the time.”

“Guess that means he’s happy then, doesn’t it?”

As if answering the question, Teddy gurgled and giggled. He reached up a hand, enclosing Remus’ finger in his little fist. Sirius smiled at the sight, “how could he not be with you around?”

“And you,” Remus replied.

“I reckon we’re going to be good dads.”

“You’re not angry at me for bringing him here, are you?”

Sirius looked at Remus with a frown. “I’ve already told you that I’m not.”

“Just checking.”

“Was hardly a surprise. You like to act all tough but you’re a softy.”

“That’s you.”

Teddy giggled again. “You’re a happy baby, aren’t you? Moony, I am extremely happy that you’ve brought Teddy to us. He’s our baby. I did say that I was going to get you one, didn’t I?”

“I think you’ll find that I got this one for you.”

Sirius kissed Remus’ cheek. “I’ll get the next one then.”

“You do that.”

Outside their room was the tell-tale pitter-patter of Harry’s feet. It stopped directly outside their bedroom door. The two of them looked at each with matching grins. “Come on in, Harry!”

“Can I see Teddy?” Harry had asked before the door was fully opened. Remus beckoned him onto the bed. With the carefulness of a three year old, Harry climbed up and situated himself in between the two men to look down at Teddy. “Daddy said that Marls is going to be smaller than Teddy.”

“She will be,” Sirius agreed.

“That’s really tiny.”

Remus ruffled Harry’s hair, “you’ll have to look after her.”

“I have to look after both of them.”

“Yeah?”

Harry nodded quickly. “They’re my babies. I gotta protect them and make sure that you give them so many cupcakes. Can I hold him?”

“Sit up straight against Moony and I’ll put him in your lap. You know that you’re an amazing big brother,” Sirius said, causing Harry to grin proudly at his godfather. “Marls is lucky to have you.” Harry sighed in annoyance. “What did I say?”

“Both of them, Pads!”

In between them, Teddy giggled again. Remus smiled at both his godson and son. “Looks like Teddy is happy with that, Harry.”

“‘Course he is,” Harry huffed.

“Yeah,” Sirius nodded as he gently lay Teddy in Harry’s arms. “Course he is.”

~

Remus wasn’t sure how a cake could explode but leave it to James and Sirius to find a way.

“Merlin. Why are we with them?” Lily muttered, not for the first time, as the two of them hurried through a muggle supermarket. They needed to get a pre-made cake and get back to their house within twenty minutes. Sirius and James needed to get their kitchen clean in those same twenty minutes. Luckily all of them had magic on their side. Apparition and cleaning charms had never been so handy.

“Get the -”

“No shit. I’m getting the chocolate one, Remus. I’m not a bloody moron.”

“Cranky,” Remus muttered. Lily huffed, she picked up the chocolate cake and Remus grabbed a packet of chocolate cupcakes - just in case. “I want to get back before Sirius decides the best way to clean is turning into Padfoot and licking.”

“Do animagus die if they eat something they’re allergic to in their animal form?”

Remus shrugged, “we never tested it out. I don’t want to start today. He can die after the party.”

Luckily the pair got home to two humans and a clean kitchen. Both Lily and Remus sighed in relief at the sight. Harry, Teddy and Marlene were sitting in the living room, the three of them dressed up in their new outfits for the special day. As they walked in, Marls stood up and toddled over to them: a recent development of hers. James had obviously done her hair, as the bright red hair had been pulled into pigtails - Lily hated them and James loved them as much as Marls did.

Teddy, who could walk but was lazy, didn’t try to get to his dad. His hair, still blue from the accident (they were hoping it would fade soon, it had already been months) was as messy as it always was. He took after James and Harry there.

“The Longbottoms are here!” James called out from the back garden.

Lily ducked down and picked up her daughter. “Alright, you three, best behaviour. This is an important day. I am looking at you, Harry James Potter.”

“Dad’s naughtier than me!”

“I know. I’ve already talked to both of them.”

Remus laughed as he picked up his own child. Teddy squealed as he was lifted off the ground and clung to his dad when he was seated on Remus’ hip. The wolf shirt that Sirius had picked for the party caused Remus to sigh, again. “Come on then. We need to go and mingle.”

In the garden were two tables set up, music playing and families arriving every few moments. Across the house, James and Sirius had strung up a very large banner with the phrase ‘Happy One Year At Home, Teddy!’ With a little teddy bear dancing across the bottom of it.

“And Minnie said that my pranks would get me nowhere,” Sirius said as he stepped up beside Remus. “Same charm I used to make that banner that called all Slytherins ‘greasy twats’ in fourth year.”

Remus kissed Sirius’ cheek. “And now look at you. A respectable father.”

“A father, sure.” Sirius took Teddy from Remus, lifting him high above his head before bringing him back down. “If you think about it. We’re actually celebrating the anniversary of you committing a heinous crime.”

“We’re celebrating a year of our family.”

“Yes. And your heinous crime,” Sirus said again. Remus snatched Teddy back (trying, and failing, to hide the smile on his face), the baby laughing as he was taken from Sirius. He began to walk off when Sirius called out for all to hear: “there he goes! Kidnapping babies!”

~

The Potter-Black-Lupins had lived in the same house since the beginning of the war. It was supposed to be a temporary house, until the war was over, but they had liked the house so much they’d stayed put. It was big enough for them. There was a nice garden, the town was lovely, there was a park nearby and they hadn’t wanted to relocate Harry again. So they stayed and it had been great.

Until 1987.

They’d been discussing a move before it all went down. The garden was falling smaller and smaller every year as the kids grew up. The house had only four bedrooms, meaning Teddy and Harry shared a room while Marlene and Rosie (who was only a month off turning two) shared the other. This worked great and the kids loved sharing with each other, up until. Well up until the family had to commit another crime.

Like every day after the full moon James went into the lycanthropy ward at St Mungos after making sure Remus and Teddy were okay. He’d gotten a full time job in the kids wards but always scheduled out the first day of the lunar cycle because he knew that no one else would do it. There he’d help Katie, and if Remus wasn’t to banged up, he’d go in as well to offer support and basic first aid. This was the case with a full moon in October of 1997.

Remus was talking to a patient when a woman burst through the doors, the noise making Remus to startle and look up at her. She was carrying a small child and had clearly been crying. “They won’t help her!”

“Come through here,” James directed and pointed to an empty bed. “What happened?”

“The child ward sent her away! Told me to come here.”

“Is your daughter a werewolf?”

The lady burst into tears. “No! We were attacked and they said that she was bitten.”

“Okay. We can help with that.”

“Can you fix her?”

James pulled back the blanket, inspecting the bite mark that Remus couldn't see from where he was sitting. “I can heal this bite mark, yes. It’ll scar but it won’t hurt her or damage her.”

“I meant, fix her! Stop her from becoming one of them!” She gestured broadly to all the patients in the ward.

“I’m going to have to ask you to refrain from speaking about my patients that way. If this was a werewolf, and it seems to me that it was, then your daughter is a werewolf and there is nothing I can do about it. This doesn’t mean-”

The lady was borderline hysterical, screeching and sobbing over the top of James. She wasn’t the first small child to be brought in, but this was probably one of the worse reactions that Remus had seen. Most parents cried a lot, asked a lot of questions and sometimes got angry. This wasn’t like that. This was different. Remus made uncomfortable eye contact with the patient he had just been talking to. The doors burst open again, this time a man coming through. He looked distressed but a hell of a lot calmer than the women. He was with her, instantly going to her side when he saw her sitting on the bed. He didn't look at the baby.

“This isn’t good,” the patient next to Remus muttered. Remus couldn’t disagree.

“So?” The man asked.

“They said she’s going to turn into one of these creatures!”

“No. No, I am not having an animal as a daughter,” the man said. It was unnerving how calm he was through all of it. A werewolf patient called out for them to go and fuck themselves to some laughter. The man sneered at all of the patients. “Get that - that thing out of my sight.”

“Sir-” James began.

The man held up a hand. “You’re either one of them or a lover of them. That thing isn’t my child. Kill it if you must, I don’t care.”

A silence echoed around the room. Even the wife was quiet. But not, to Remus’ horror but not surprise, shocked or upset at the reaction from her husband.

James reached over and carefully took the child from the women. She let the child go easily and without fuss or emotion. “If you give me some basic information about her then I can see to it that she goes where she needs to go.”

“It’s an animal. Who cares?”

“She’s thirteen months old. Her name is Hope Ch-”. She paused. “And she’s allergic to nuts.”

“Anything else?”

She shook her head.

“And you’re sure that this is what you want? There are people that can help you keep your daughter. You don’t have to do this.”

Both of them shook their heads and without another word, the couple left the room. All of the patients watching them and James in a shocked yet resigned horror. James motioned for Remus to follow him into the healers office. Once inside he handed Hope over to Remus who was able to give a shocked laugh at the vibrant red head of hair she had. Just like Lily and Marlene. “I guess we’re going nut free at home?”

Remus looked up at James. “Hope was my mother’s name.”

“Seems like fate then, doesn’t it?”

“Wonder what Sirius will say?”

James laughed lightly and ran his hand down Hope’s back soothingly. “He’ll be pissed that I met her first. Again.”

“Hopefully he’s owed another favour.”

Luckily, Sirius was owed another favour and Lily had found a house with seven bedrooms that they could move into before the month was up.

~

There was a park near to their house. It was a favourite of the kids, with the large swings and merry-go-round and other kids. Remus often found himself at the park. Sometimes with two kids, often with all five of the Potter-Black-Lupin clan. (almost no longer a) Baby Hope strapped in the stroller and the other four toddling along beside him. Harry often held one of the younger ones hands and looked extremely proud to have such an honour. Remus still chuckled at the time an elderly lady had asked if Remus ran a day-care only for Harry to but in and declare that they were all his siblings, thank you very much.

They were walking home from the park, one random Wednesday. All five kids, Remus and Sirius with them. The four adults took turns homeschooling the kids - muggle school not an option for the Lupin-Blacks, and therefore not an option for the Potters - and this week was on Remus and Sirius. The children, however, were children of Marauders and therefore needed to walked on a regular basis or Remus would end up crazy before they were able to get Harry to Hogwarts.

“Is Rosie eating grass?”

“Probably.”

“Can you stop her from eating grass?”

Sirius sighed dramatically before wrestling with the three year old for a handful of grass. “I don’t know what to do with them,” Remus sighed as he spoke to Hope. She, being not quite two, did not reply. “Yeah. Me too.”

Teddy came up beside them, holding a rock in his hand. “I found this.”

“Are you going to keep it?”

“Yeah. I think it’s cool.”

Remus nodded, “it’d say it’s cool. You’re going to need a new shelf to put your knick-knacks on soon.”

“Probably this week,” Teddy agreed.

“Well, the moon is on Friday so ask the others to do it.”

“We’re not supposed to use the moon as an excuse?”

Remus looked down at his son. “You’re not. I don’t want to put up the shelf, though.”

“Can I use-”

“Nope,” Remus interpreted with a badly hidden grin. In front of them, Sirius had managed to pick up both Rosie and Marlene under an arm each and had begun walking again. “You can’t. Do as I say, not as I do,” Remus continued. Teddy just laughed, causing Remus to laugh as well. And then Hope, because she was almost two and at that age people laughing was just as funny as the joke itself. Remus looked at his son out of the corner of his eye, Teddy was watching his sister and father and god siblings and grinning.

“Dad?”

“Yeah?”

“Can I tell you something?”

“Always.”

Teddy kicked a rock on the path into the grass beside them. “I’m just really happy that you and dad are my dads.”

“We’re really happy that you’re our son, Teds. You and Hope were the best things that could ever happen to us,” Remus replied. Hopefully he didn’t look like he felt - like he was about to start crying any moment. “I hope you know that.”

“Would you love me if I wasn’t a werewolf?”

Remus was shocked into silence for a moment. “Of course,” he replied firmly, finally coming to his senses. “You’re our son, and we love you for you not because you’re a werewolf.”

“Would you have taken me if I wasn’t a werewolf?”

It took another moment to answer. “We wouldn’t have needed to. But if you had been left by your biological parents and weren’t a werewolf, then yes I would have taken you home. I would have done anything for you the moment I saw your eyes.”

“My eyes.”

“I fell in love with you the moment I picked you up off that bed, Teds. Why do you ask?”

“I was just wondering,” Teddy replied. They had reached the bottom of their front steps. The rest of the kids had run inside, Sirius was standing in the front door and watching them.

“You can always talk to us about that,” Remus promised. “We’re always happy to talk to you about why and how we got you.”

Inside, James’ voice echoed around. Teddy grinned up at Remus, “I know.”

The four of them headed inside, Remus sending Sirius a look that clearly said ‘I’ll tell you later’. Everyone was in the living room, even Lily who was supposed to be at work until dinner. Remus sat down in one of the armchairs, Hope curled up on his lap and Sirius perching on the armrest. Teddy had collapsed on the floor with Harry and Marls. Rosie, ever the daddy’s girl, had climbed straight into James’ arms. It was a beautiful picture of domestic happiness and one that Remus cherished with all his heart.

“We have some news that we wanted to tell you guys,” Lily said once they were all settled and listening. The two of them looked at each other before turning back to the group and announcing with happy smiles “we’re pregnant!”

There was the general round of congratulations and hugs. Two months gone, no one else knew, they’d found out two weeks prior. Hope and Rosie both poked Lily’s stomach just as all the others had done when they’d found out Lily was pregnant. Sirius also poked her stomach, grinning at her as he did so.

Once they were back down and slightly settled after the excitement, Sirius looked around them, pointed at the three Potter children and then looked back at James, asking “do you know what a condom is?”

“Yes, we know what a bloody condom is,” James huffed. “And, just so you know. If we didn’t know there’d be a lot more than four.”

Remus patted Sirius’ arm. “Not everyone was born with the gift of being gay, love. We have to let the breeders do their thing.”

“You have two children,” James replied with a tone.

“Didn’t make any of them, though, did we?”

Teddy laughed, “You illegally walked out of a hospital with us.”

“Just the way God intended.”

~

“Behave.”

“Make some mischief.”

“Work hard.”

“But play harder.”

“Have fun.”

“Be safe.”

“Recklessness is better.”

“I do not want to be called to the hospital wing because you’re stupid.”

“We’ll see you in two weeks for the full.”

“Don’t let that stop you from causing some mayhem.”

“Please be safe.”

“Leave your mark on the school.”

Harry huffed and rolled his eyes. “They heard this all last year and the year before and the year before that. And over breakfast and last night. Can we please go now? I want to find Ron and Hermonie before the train goes.”

“We’re going to miss you three!” All four adults replied. Harry rolled his eyes again. Teddy and Marlene copying him. In a flash the four of them had the three of them wrapped up in a large group hug. The three kids made an effort to get away but everyone knew that they were happy with what was happening. “We love you so much!”

The kids pulled back. “We love you too.”

“What are we supposed to do with you three gone?” Lily asked.

Marlene gestured at the three other children who were watching and giggling at their older siblings and god-siblings. James shrugged and nodded, “yeah. Okay. You three should get going. Last hug.”

Sirius and Remus pulled Teddy - and Hope, their seven year old - into a hug while the six Potters all had their own hug. “All of us and Prongs will floo in for the full, so don’t worry about that these next few weeks,” Remus said softly. Just for them to hear. “Have fun, Teds.”

“I’m going to give you guys a run for your money.”

“You’re going to do great things. I wish I could say in Gryffindor but you will be wearing yellow and I am aware of that.”

“Pads.”

“I’m just annoyed that Hufflepuff is getting the best student out of the bunch. Good for them or whatever.” Marlene kicked him. “Okay Miss Ravenclaw.”

Remus kissed his forehead - much to his disgust. “You’re so big now.”

“If you’re going to start crying, please leave.”

“Then it’s embarrassing for me,” Hope argued. Teddy sighed, nodded and whispered something to her that caused her to giggle. The two of them hugged - quickly, of course, Teddy didn’t want to be too uncool.

“You’re so mean to us,” Sirius sighed. “Have a great time, all three of you. It’s going to be great.”

Eventually, the three oldest kids managed to get on the train. “This fucking sucks. No wonder you cried last year, Prongs.”

“See if you don’t cry as soon as that train disappears from sight, Pads, see if you don’t.”

“At least I have you,” Sirius ruffled Hope’s hair. “My favourite child.”

“You’re not supposed to say that,” Remus muttered, searching across the train to see if they could see their kids yet. Sirius grabbed Remus’ hand and squeezed. Not needing to say what they were both thinking. “I hate this already.”

Just then the three of them appeared in the window in front of them. All of them waving to each other with big (and watery, on the parents side) smiles. Once a month was not going to be enough. Eventually the train did start to pull away and, as promised, as soon as it was gone James and Sirius had to duck away from the family for a moment.

“We’ll see him again for the full,” Remus reminded Sirius as they, Hope and the Potters made their way to the exit. “It’s not long.”

Sirius sighed, grabbing Remus’ hand. “Yeah. But I’m going to miss him. I hope he loves it.”

“He will. Just as much as we did.”

“Love you, Moony.”

Remus smiled over at his partner. Surrounded by his family and confident the rest would be off having the time of their lives, Remus happily answered. “Love you too.”