“Everything’s fine,” he told Fleur. “Ollivander settled in, Mum and Dad say hello. Ginny sends you all her love, Fred and George are driving Muriel up the wall, they’re still operating an Owl-Order business out of her back room. It cheered her up to have her tiara back, though. She said she thought we’d stolen it.”
“Ah, she eez charmant, your aunt,” said Fleur crossly, waving her wand and causing the dirty plates to rise and form a stack in midair. She caught them and marched out of the room.
“Daddy’s made a tiara,” piped up Luna, “Well, more of a crown, really.”
Ron caught Harry’s eye and grinned; Harry knew that he was remembering the ludicrous headdress they had seen on their visit to Xenophilius.
“Yes, he’s trying to re-create the lost diadem of Ravenclaw. He thinks he’s identified most of the main elements now. Adding the billywig wings really made a difference –”
There was a bang on the front door. Everyone’s head turned toward it. Fleur came running out of the kitchen, looking frightened; Bill jumped to his feed, his wand pointing at the door; Harry, Ron, and Hermione did the same. Silently Griphook slipped beneath the table, out of sight.
“Who is it?” Bill called.
“It is I, Remus John Lupin!” called a voice over the howling wind. Harry experienced a thrill of fear; what had happened? “I am a werewolf, married to Nymphadora Tonks, and you, the Secret-Keeper of Shell Cottage, told me the address and bade me come in an emergency!”
“Lupin,” muttered Bill, and he ran to the door and wrenched it open.
Lupin fell over the threshold. He was white-faced, wrapped in a traveling cloak, his graying hair windswept. He straightened up, looked around the room, making sure of who was there, then cried aloud, “It’s a boy! We’ve named him Ted, after Dora’s father!”
“Wha –? Tonks – Tonks has had the baby?”
“Yes, yes, she’s had the baby!” shouted Lupin. All around the table came cries of delight, sighs of relief: Hermione and Fleur both squealed, “Congratulations!” and Ron said, “Blimey, a baby!” as if he had never heard of such a thing before.
“Yes – yes – a boy,” said Lupin again, who seemed dazed by his own happiness. He strode around the table and hugged Harry; the scene in the basement of Grimmauld Place might never have happened.
“You’ll be godfather?” he said as he released Harry.
“M-me?” stammered Harry.
“You, yes, of course – Dora quite agrees, no one better –”
“I – yeah – blimey –”
Harry felt overwhelmed, astonished, delighted; now Bill was hurrying to fetch wine, and Fleur was persuading Lupin to join them for a drink.
“I can’t stay long, I must get back,” said Lupin, beaming around at them all: He looked years younger than Harry had ever seen him. “Thank you, thank you, Bill”
Bill had soon filled all of their goblets, they stood and raised them high in a toast.
“To Teddy Remus Lupin,” said Lupin, “a great wizard in the making!”
“‘Oo does ‘e look like?” Fleur inquired.
“I think he looks like Dora, but she thinks he is like me. Not much hair. It looked black when he was born, but I swear it’s turned ginger in the hour since. Probably blond by the time I get back. Andromeda says Tonks’s hair started changing color the day that she was born.” He drained his goblet. “Oh, go on then, just one more,” he added, beaming, as Bill made to fill it again.
The wind buffeted the little cottage and the fire leapt and crackled, and Bill was soon opening another bottle of wine. Lupin’s news seemed to have taken them out of themselves, removed them for a while from their state of siege: Tidings of new life were exhilarating. Only the goblin seemed untouched by the suddenly festive atmosphere, and after a while he slunk back to the bedroom he now occupied alone. Harry thought he was the only one who had noticed this, until he saw Bill’s eyes following the goblin up the stairs.