A Harry Potter fanfic by StormyRating: G
Warnings: Pure unadulterated fluff. ^^ I am SO ashamed of myself for this. I blame it on not enough sleep.
Notes: Umm... okay, the Care Bears were a huge thing here in Canada and the US in the 80's. I have no idea if they carried over to Europe at all, but for the sake of this fic, the Care Bears were a world-wide phenomenon. Got it? ^^
12 January 2003
Harry stifled another sigh as he tried to focus on eating his dinner. For some reason, nothing was focussing for him – everyone appeared to be enshrouded by some blurry haze that apparently only he could see. Once, he might have cared, perhaps even feel some sort of alarm, but he was too tired to truly care. The twins might have slipped a Sleepiness draught into his goblet, or maybe a Hazy Mixture. Or it could have been the gruelling Quidditch practice schedule Angelina had dreamed up that had them spending every morning and evening on the pitch, dodging bludgers and following the commands of the toughest coach he'd had the honour of serving under since Oliver Wood.
The day had been dreadfully boring too. Herbology had been a lecture on the various pruning techniques one could use on Twixxy Trees; followed almost immediately by a two hour History of Magic class that Harry had nearly been certain was never going to end. Coming out of there for lunch, he'd almost fallen asleep in his roast chicken.
Luckily, Care of Magical Creatures had been interesting – Hagrid had managed to procure a large box full of little critters known as Ursas. They were tiny puppy-like creatures with stubs for tails and came in a variety of bright colors. Hermione had giggled and leaned over to whisper to Harry that they reminded her of Care Bears and that maybe Ursas had been the inspiration for the popular Muggle cartoon.
After CoMC ended, Harry and Ron had suffered through two hours of Divination where Harry received his usual death threat from Trelawney, and Ron pretended to spot yet another Grimm in his tea leaves.
All in all, with the exception of Hagrid's class, it had been a dreadfully boring day. Harry could easily imagine dozing off there at the table. Perhaps Ron would wake him up in time for dessert.
A quick nudge from Hermione prevented Harry from sliding headfirst into his beef stew. She eyed him with concern.
" Are you all right?" she whispered. Ron looked up at her words, glaring at Harry as though the bespectacled boy was hiding another grievous injury from them.
Harry held up his hands in self-defence. " I'm fine!" he protested, a smile tugging at the corner of his lips over their protectiveness, a trait they possessed that had only grown stronger over the years they'd been together. " Just tired. You should know that Ron – Angelina's had you blocking Quaffles like you're some kind of machine for days now!"
" Amen to that," the redhead snorted. He glanced at Hermione. " Angelina's turned into a basket case – determined to be the next Oliver Wood, she is.."
"Shhhhhhhhh! " Harry held his finger to his lips, glancing up the table fearfully. Thankfully, their intrepid captain was too far away to hear Ron, and was busy discussing strategies no doubt, with Fred and George. " Do you want to get on her bad side?"
Ron shivered. " Not bloody likely."
Hermione frowned. " She has been working you guys hard, hasn't she? And on top of our classes and the extra classes you're taking with Sirius and Remus – no wonder you're falling asleep Harry!"
Did Hermione have any idea how much she sounded like Mrs Weasely? 'Probably not,' Harry decided, and shrugged at his friend, turning back to his stew. She had a point though.
Midway through fifth year, Dumbledore had decided that since Harry, Ron and Hermione were always stumbling onto one plot or another, it would be in their best interests to receive extra training in duelling. Sirius had been cleared shortly after the beginning of the fifth year term, thanks to the capture of Peter Pettigrew by Crookshanks who had caught the little rat sneaking through the Gryffindor Common Room. As Sirius had no other plans, and it would no doubt thrill Harry and Remus, who had returned for another stint as the DADA teacher, it was decided that Sirius and Remus would be the ones to coach the intrepid trio.
Harry lost the battle with another yawn, and glanced up at the Head table, where Sirius and Remus were talking to McGonagall and Dumbledore. As though feeling Harry's gaze on him, Sirius looked over and gave him a small wave. Harry smiled and waggled two fingers in Sirius's direction, too tired to lift his arm. Glancing down the Head table, he saw Hagrid hand something down underneath the table. Squinting, Harry managed to make out the form of a light green Ursa sitting at his feet, eating out of the half-giants hand. Harry shook his head and grinned.
The Ursas really did look like Care Bears, he thought. He remembered the cartoon – once when he was younger, Dudley had left the television on when he went to play in his room. Six-year-old Harry had crept out of the kitchen, drawn by the upbeat music and laughter coming from the screen.
The show had fascinated him. A show about family and friends, of love and laughter and caring for others. That show, Harry realized tiredly, was probably the trigger – that was when he'd started noticing that he was treated in a manner that wasn't normal. If only he'd been given to a family that could have shown him that kind of love growing up.
His eyes slid back to Sirius who was gesturing with his fork, a big smile on his face as he told an amused Remus about some prank or another. Like Sirius. Sirius would have made a good parent. He liked to have fun, liked to play around. He loved Harry, even though they had only had a few years to get to know each other. They were family. Like the little bears had told him about.
Come to think about it, Sirius reminded him of one of the little bears. Or rather, their cousins. 'Loyal Heart Dog,' he recalled with a mental snicker. 'Oh lord, I must be more tired then I thought.' Somehow, during his musings, his subconscious had turned his godfather into a pale blue version of his dog form, sticking a picture of a little heart dangling from a pink collar on his stomach. He bit his lip to keep from laughing out loud at the idea. But it did make him wonder...
Almost against his will, he looked at Remus. 'Definitely Friend Bear,' he decided, turning his honorary godfather – or uncle, he hadn't quite decided on that yet – orange, with two matching daisies on his robes where his stomach would be.
His eyes focussed on Professor Snape next, and he couldn't stop a quiet snicker from escaping. 'Grumpy Bear, no doubt about it.' The thought of the pouting little bear scowling at him overtop of his cauldron made his shoulders shake with the effort to keep quiet.
Hermione nudged him again, giving him an odd look. " Harry?"
'McGonagall is Grams Bear', he decided, grinning at the Transfigurations professor. Watching over her students like they were all a part of her flock. Scold and lecture she must, but woe unto whomsoever is foolish enough to tangle with one of hers. Though Harry couldn't quite picture Professor McGonagall swooping down on one of her 'little darlings' and cuddling them to death.
Hermione tapped Ron on the shoulder, pointing at Harry. " Ron, something's wrong..."
Harry tuned them out again. His eyes were still blurring from lack of sleep, and he wanted to laugh out loud so badly. No sleep was making him giddy.
A sharp laugh caught his attention and he swung his eyes off the Head table over to the Slytherins to where Malfoy was laughing at some hapless first year.
" Proud Heart Cat," he mumbled, and covered his eyes with his hands, giving up the battle to hide his laughter. " Purrr-fect in every way."
Giggling, he uncovered his eyes and then stopped. All of the fifth years were staring at him.
" Just tired," he assured them, still smiling. He hiccupped. His shoulders were still shaking though, as he fought to keep from breaking into hysterical laughter. Ron – 'Champ Bear' – gave him an odd look.
" Are you all right, mate?"
" I think he should take a visit to see Madam Pomfrey," Hermione said quietly. Harry narrowed his eyes at her. 'Bright Heart Raccoon,' he dubbed her silently. 'She can solve any problem thinking logically.' In his mind, Hermione sprouted purple fur and a ringed tail and he bit his lip again, turning his head to the side.
Bad move. From that angle, he could see Fred and George and as they waved their hands wildly, still in a heated debate with General Angelina, the twins grew long orange-brown tails to match the picture of Playful Heart Monkey (times two of course) that Harry had in his head. Helpless giggles escaped him, and Harry laid his head down, snickering into the crook of his arm.
" I think we'd better get Harry to the infirmary," Seamus Cheer Bear Finnegan said aside to Hermione. Harry grinned hazily at Seamus – he looked amazingly good in pink fur.
Dean, who suddenly resembled Gentle Heart Lamb, ran his hand over his head of green curls. " I agree. The sooner the baaaaahh-ter."
Harry narrowed his eyes at the 'sheepish' Gryffindor. Was that his mind playing tricks or was Dean thinking of the same thing he was? After all, Dean was Muggle born. He had a younger sister, didn't he? He probably knew all about the Care Bears.
Dean apparently didn't like the steady way Harry was looking at him, and edged away.
Harry finally gave up on trying to figure out Dean and decided to look the other way, ignoring the worried discussion that was taking place around him. He zeroed in on Collin Creevey.
'They don't have a Stalker Bear,' he pouted mentally. Collin's head jerked up – apparently the boy had an internal Harry radar – and he waved cheerily. Harry was confused, looking back at Seamus, who was still pink. 'Two Cheer Bears?'
He looked back to see that Collin had materialized in front of him, holding his camera and saying something he couldn't quite hear over the buzzing in his ears. 'Nope, Swift Heart Rabbit,' he said, nodding his head at his decision. Collin looked ecstatic, his long ears practically flapping with excitement.
Hermione and Ron looked shocked. " But you hate it when he takes your picture," Ron hissed directly in his ear.
The flash went off, blinding the already-disoriented boy, and Harry rubbed his eyes almost angrily.
" What happened to the count down?" he mumbled, blinking at the spots suddenly dancing in front of his eyes. That hadn't been fair.
Someone grabbed him by the arm and lifted him to his feet. What?
" Come on mate," Ron said gently. " We're going to see the nurse. Doesn't that sound like fun?"
Champ Bear always was a bit of a take-charge kind of bear, but he didn't have to be so bossy. Hermione met them around the table, her purple and black tail twitching with worry.
" Harry?" she asked, taking his other arm as Harry nearly fell to the ground. " Ron?"
" I didn't see him get hit with any bludgers this morning, 'Mione," he told her.
" What's wrong with my Seeker?" came an outraged voice. Ron cringed, and Hermione scowled at the newcomer. Harry looked up in confusion. His vision was wobbly, but he could still see the terrified face of his Captain. She was probably worried about practice – that was pretty much all she thought about. She stuck to her goals, all right.
" Sorry Lotsa Heart," he giggled as a pink trunk unrolled itself down Angelina's face, her ponytails morphing into two large pink ears. " I knew you'd win the race."
" Ron, what did you do to my Seeker?" Angelina dismissed the rambling coming from the incoherent Harry and glared at the white-faced redhead.
" Nothing!" Ron squeaked. If not for the white headband, Harry was sure he'd see sweat pouring off the Gryffindor Keeper like there was no tomorrow. " I'm innocent!"
" None of you Weasley's are ever innocent," she muttered. Down the table, Fred's monkey face snapped up and he waved a fork threateningly in her direction.
" I heard that!" His tail lashed in the air. Harry watched it move.
" We're taking him to the infirmary," Hermione informed Angelina, who looked like she still wanted to throttle something – or someone – but she nodded and moved out of the way. Her trunk waved back and forth as she walked.
" Harry?" Harry sighed. The use of his name was becoming very boring. He looked up into the worried face of his godfather, and snickered as one blue ear fell into Sirius's face. "Are you all right?"
'Why does everyone keep asking me that?'
" He's been like this since we sat down to dinner," Hermione said briskly, keeping them moving along the hallway.
" Every time we ask him what's wrong, he either laughs, chokes or ignores us."
'I hiccupped, thank you very much.' So much for Bright Heart knowing everything.
Harry tuned out.
When he next tuned back in, Madam Pomfrey was poking a thermometer in his mouth. 'True Heart' he said mentally, pointing at the nurse confidently. She didn't look amused. The thermometer beeped.
The nurse pulled it out and read the little message that appeared. She looked up at Sirius, the trio, and Remus who had tagged along.
" Mild case of exhaustion," she said with her usual, business-like air. " A good night's rest and he'll be just fine."
Harry watched the assorted Care Bears and Cousins smile at the news. He was a bit surprised that no hearts suddenly appeared in the air.
" Come now, Mr. Potter, into bed." Madam Pomfrey pulled back the covers on one of the beds and looked at him expectantly. He glared at her.
" I'm not Bedtime Bear," he muttered, but he followed her instructions. What did that make him then?
'Probably Good Luck Bear,' he thought. 'Keep getting saved or doing the saving at the last minute.' He looked at his arm and smiled at the patch of green fur that suddenly covered it.
Sirius watched his godson smile at his arm and shook his head. " Bedtime, Short Stuff," he said with a wry grin, reaching over and lowering Harry's arm. Harry blinked at him.
" Of course they're short – they're only two feet tall!"
Sirius paused. " Huh?"
Harry snorted and turned over, curling up to his pillow. He wondered if No-Heart was going to show up in his dreams.
" Grumpy drained his crystal, not me," he muttered as his eyes shut.
Sirius looked at Ron, who held up his hands in self-defence. " I have no idea."
Epilogue (or, the very next day) :
" Harry? How are you feeling?"
Harry turned around to see Hermione and Ron catch up to him outside of the infirmary. " I'm fine guys. I was just really tired."
Ron looked relieved. " Angelina will be glad to hear that."
Harry nodded. " So what did I miss? Last night's kind of a blur."
Hermione shrugged. " You were pretty much out of it all through dinner. You kept talking to yourself and laughing." She eyed him. " You even let Collin Creevey take your picture!"
" I did?"
" You did," she confirmed. The three of them wandered outside. As it was a Saturday, no classes meant nothing to do. " And whatever you did – or were thinking of doing – to Dean made him really nervous."
" What did I do?" Harry wondered.
" You kept staring at him, like you didn't trust him or were waiting for him to do something," Ron replied. They passed the paddock where the Care of Magical Creatures class was held, and all three of them looked up to see Hagrid calling them, waving his large arm.
" Hey kids!"
" Good morning Hagrid," they chorused. Hermione smiled at the half giant. " Why do you look so happy?"
" 'Cause I got permission from Dumbledore. I get to keep one of the Ursas for m'self!" Hagrid beamed at them.
" Ursas?" Harry turned to see the little green creature that Hagrid had fed at the table, bounding up to them. His lip twitched.
" Harry?" Hermione looked at him, little triangular-shaped purple ears poking through her frizzy hair.
" What's up?" Ron asked.
Harry laughed. " Nothing," he said, leaning down to pick up the Ursa, who licked his face happily. " Nothing at all."
" He likes yeh!" Hagrid clapped a huge hand across Harry's back. " Good! Then yeh won't mind watching him fer me while I go in the Forest – heard somethin' prowling back there last night, and it scared the Ursas silly. They're not fearful little critters, so it's probably somethin' real nasty out there." Harry belatedly noticed the crossbow slung across Hagrid's back.
" Of course we'll watch him," Hermione assured him. Hagrid thanked her and strode off into the forest.
Harry watched him go. 'Brave Heart Lion' he said, smiling, and watched as a lion's tail suddenly dangled under Hagrid's coat. He laughed, and turned back to his friends.
The End. ^^