AUTHOR'S NOTE: Everyone, THANK YOU SO MUCH for your support during the writing of Harry Potter and the Dogfather I: Sorcerer's Stone. Without you, this new story would not exist. But since it does,welcome to Harry Potter and the Dogfather II: Chamber of Secrets! Sure, this story's predecessor was a hard act to follow (kidding!) but be prepared for laughs, surprises, groans, scares, tears and OMG I KNEW IT moments! And, of course…they don't call me the Queen of Fluff for nothing, so remember, this story will be just as sappy as the last, too… ;)
The good kind of sappy!
June 23, 1992
"That is IT!"
Harry Potter stormed of the smelly bathroom in between his bedroom and Sirius's and into the drawing room of their flat, which actually smelled somewhat normal. "When we move into the new Hogsmeade house, I'm getting my OWN bathroom!"
"What? Why?" asked Sirius, who was sitting on the couch and watching TV. The air-conditioner was blowing at full blast. (Sirius had adjusted to Muggle technology pretty quickly, once he'd learned how it benefited him.)
"Why?!" Harry said in disbelief. "I'll tell you why! Thanks to you and your little problem, that bathroom stinks to high heaven! Seriously, did something DIE in there?! You're lucky I just had to pee, or you would've had to get me a gas mask! Why can't I just go back to using my bathroom like I did before Barbara moved in?"
"Because she spends half her life in there, that's why," said Sirius. "See?"
As if on cue, 28-week-pregnant Barbara Raffelovich, Sirius's fiancée, slammed open the door to Sirius's room and entered the bathroom right next to it, the one that used to be Harry's, followed by an announcement that she would probably be in there for a long time.
"I know all too well, since she discussed her constipation problems while I had to sit there in the car and listen," said Harry.
Sirius rolled his eyes, but he didn't disagree. He too was less "regular" than he used to be, due to the anti-depressant prescription medication he was on. Since he had almost died of a heart attack several weeks ago, they had put him on medicine for that, too, but luckily there hadn't been any negative side effects.
Harry was pleased beyond words that Sirius was recovering nicely, but still, he wished he didn't have to share a bathroom with his godfather, and he thought it was a TERRIBLE idea to let Barbara move in with them before they all moved into a house in Hogsmeade, as was the plan. Two males sharing a small flat with each other was worlds different than two males sharing a small flat with one pregnant woman, as Harry had learned. It wasn't as if he wasn't allowed to go into Barbara's bathroom (read: HIS bathroom), but he wasn't really encouraged to. There was a shower stall in Sirius's bathroom, so there was really no need for him to go into Barbara's bathroom unless he and Sirius both had to go at the same time and Barbara didn't, which was an unlikely scenario. Harry hadn't had a bubble bath in a long time, though, and the bathtub was in Barbara's bathroom.
"When are we going to move into the new house, anyway?" Harry asked.
"Later this summer," said Sirius. "We've got a lot of loose ends to tie up first in London. We have to get the Dursleys out of their holding cell and into prison, remember? And you have to see Dr. Grant for a checkup."
Harry remembered how last summer, Mrs. Figg had called the cops on his aunt and uncle, and since Harry hadn't been able to testify at the time (it had been too close to the beginning of school), they had been taken to jail. And seeing Dr. Grant, his pediatrician, wouldn't be so bad. He didn't have to get any shots this time around, and he was sure he had grown some in the past year. It would be good if he didn't need to see his psychiatrist, Dr. Stefansen, though, because Dr. Stefansen creeped him out.
They didn't say anymore after that. Harry resigned himself to watching TV with Sirius. It was a "situation comedy", something Harry had gotten Sirius hooked on last summer. (Before Harry had been allowed to leave the Dursleys, one of their favorite things to do was watch TV together.)
Barbara was done in the bathroom sooner than they thought.
"SIRIUS!" she screeched.
"What is it, darling?" Sirius yelled.
"I-I can't get up!"
Sirius winced, but he got up to answer the call of duty. Harry was glad he wasn't in Sirius's shoes. The bathroom door was locked, so Sirius used the Alohamora spell, and the door swung open.
This wasn't the first time Barbara had needed help getting up after spending too long in the bathroom. Technically, it wasn't much different from helping her up after she was sitting anywhere else, like on the couch, which she did a lot lately. Except in this case, there was the fact that, well, she wasn't wearing anything below the waist.
"Come on, love, stand up, grab my shoulders," Sirius was saying.
There came the sound of Barbara groaning, and then a whine of, "I can't!"
"You're a beautiful, strong woman who can do anything she puts her mind to," said Sirius.
Barf, Harry thought. But this seemed to make Barbara happy.
"Oh, thank you, Siri," she said, and it seemed finally she had managed to stand up, or maybe he had just hauled her up. Either way, she was on her feet again.
"Okay, now, just…just pull your tights up, and we can get out of here," Sirius told her, somewhat tentatively.
"I can't—I can't quite reach…"
"No! Don't squish the baby! Here, I'll do it…"
Harry avoided Barbara's eyes as Sirius helped her walk out of the bathroom. They went into Sirius's room and shut the door. Harry knew they wouldn't shag while he was awake and right in the other room, but they were probably going to make out. They did shag when they thought Harry was asleep—either that or Barbara was being poked violently with hat pins every night. Harry turned up the volume on the TV.
That night, Harry's girlfriend, Hermione Granger, called. Harry was excited to receive that phone call, even though she had called pretty much every day since they had left Hogwarts. Harry took their new phone (it was a "cordless" phone, which, astoundingly, meant you could talk on it without it being plugged into the wall) and brought it into Barbara's bathroom. (It didn't stink, like Sirius's; it smelled like air freshener.) Then he locked the door. With one hand over one ear, the other pressed to the receiver, he said, "Hello?"
"Hi, Harry," said Hermione brightly. Harry felt his stomach flip. "What's going on?"
"Oh, the usual," Harry told her. "Barbara and Sirius are being annoying."
"How so?" Hermione asked, but then—
"SIR-I-US!" Barbara could be heard screeching.
"WHAT?!" Sirius hollered back.
"THIS IS EVERYTHING I NEVER WANTED TO FIND IN A TOILET!"
"WELL, SORRY I'M ON MEDICINE! IT'S FOR MY HEALTH! THAT'S NOT THE WORST SIDE EFFECT ANTI-DEPRESSANTS COULD POSSIBLY GIVE ME, YOU KNOW!"
"That's how," said Harry.
Talking on the phone with Hermione while Sirius and Barbara shouted in the background was so embarrassing. Sirius had always had a loud voice that carried, and as for Barbara, women's voices were known to rise a full octave during pregnancy, so it wasn't exactly hard for Hermione to hear either of them.
"WHY DON'T YOU JUST GO IN YOUR OWN BATHROOM?!" Sirius continued.
"HARRY'S IN THERE!" Barbara shrieked back.
"HARRY!" Sirius hollered.
"Sorry!" Harry shouted through the door. "Occupied!"
Hermione could be heard laughing again. Sirius cursed in frustration. Harry knew he would probably get an earful from Sirius later, but the non-stinky seclusion was worth it.
"I see what you mean," Hermione said, when she had finally calmed down.
"Please come over for dinner tonight, Hermione," Harry pleaded. "I need a change of pace. I really do. Besides, I miss you a lot."
"Aw, I miss you a lot too," Hermione cooed. "I'm sure my mum will let me stay for dinner."
Harry figured now was as good a time as any to practice his flirting. He tried to lower his voice, the way Sirius did when he was being romantic with Barbara.
"Until then, beautiful girl," Harry said, putting all his effort into his deep, mature romantic voice, which wasn't easy, considering his voice hadn't changed yet, so it wasn't mature or deep.
"Do you need a drink of water?" said Hermione, sounding confused.
"No," said Harry in his normal voice, frustrated, but then he added, "I'm just looking forward to seeing you tonight…my new girlfriend."
"You're my Chosen One," Hermione said back. Harry was glad she couldn't see his cheeks turning red.
"Well, good, because I'm not just the Boy-Who-Lived," he said as smoothly as he could. "I'm also the Boy-Who-Loved."
But that was probably some sort of world record for bad timing, because just as Harry was saying these words, the bathroom lock clicked and the door opened. Harry stopped phone-flirting and stared at Sirius, who was glaring at him, arms crossed.
"Uh-oh…listen, Hermione, I'll call you back," said Harry, just as Sirius grabbed the phone.
"HARRY!" Sirius thundered.
It was a strange sight, Harry had to admit. Harry had been sitting down, leaning on the side of the bathtub, legs stretched out in front of him. One arm was draped over the bathtub like it would be over the back of a couch. Harry felt his face turn all shades of red as he realized how lovesick and stupid he must have looked, trying to flirt.
"I-I just wanted to talk with my girlfriend in private, that's all," said Harry defensively. "And I didn't want to do it in your stinky bathroom."
Harry saw an expression on Sirius's face that he had seen many, many times before. It was Sirius attempting to be angry, yet doing his best to fight back a laugh. Harry gave him a toothy grin.
"Well, you know what, Prongslet?" said Sirius, holding his hand out to help Harry up. "You flirt even worse than your father did."
"Can Hermione come over for dinner?" Harry asked, as they exited the bathroom, and Barbara rushed in.
"I can't believe you had the nerve to ask me that," said Sirius. "But sure."
Barbara cooked an amazing dinner that evening, as usual. She baked treacle tart, which was Harry's favorite dessert. Hermione sat next to Harry, and every so often, she bumped her feet into his under the table, and he did the same to hers. He figured this was flirting, too, and maybe flirting was better if you didn't plan it beforehand, or try to use a "flirting voice" that made it sound like you had strep.
Hermione was able to hold her own in conversation all the same, as usual. Talking to Hermione was never boring, because she knew so much about so many subjects. Barbara loved to ask Hermione questions about the Wizarding world; Barbara was a Muggle, so she didn't know a lot about it. Only after she had gotten pregnant with her daughter, Phoebe, had Sirius finally been allowed to tell her about his true identity.
"So tell me more about what happened last year, exactly," Barbara said interestedly as she dug into about her fourth helping of treacle tart. (Phoebe loved sweets, apparently.)
"You mean the thing with Quirrell and Voldemort?" said Hermione. (During his optional Defense Against the Dark Arts lessons last year, the first thing Sirius had taught all the Gryffindors to do was say Voldemort's name without fear.)
"Right." Barbara nodded. "I have a lot of questions about that."
"Like what?" said Sirius through a mouthful of meatloaf.
"Like how that got past someone who's supposed to be the greatest wizard who ever lived, to begin with," Barbara said dryly.
"Beats the hell out of me," said Sirius. "I always thought he was overhyped, to be honest, but you saw what he did for Gryffindor last year, remember?"
"Yeah," Barbara admitted. "That was pretty cool. Kind of biased, though."
"Nobody at this table is complaining." Sirius caught Harry's eye and winked. Harry grinned.
"You know what I've noticed, though?" said Barbara. "It's like, there's so much stuff you wizardkind can do that Muggles can't, and yet there are so many simple situations to problems you overlook. To be honest, given the choice, I might stay a Muggle. No offense, Sirikins."
"None taken," said Sirius serenely. "I can understand your sentiments. Air-conditioning? Heating? Ultrasound technology? Phones? TV? Yeah, you lot have it good all right!"
"Yes, and I said this to Harry last year," Hermione added. "Most wizards don't have any common sense. I would know, as someone who grew up in a Muggle family—not having magic turns you clever. You're forced to find other solutions to your problems. Like they say, necessity is the mother of invention. And who knows what somebody is going to invent next?"
"There's that…what did they call it?" said Barbara. "The Internet, I think it was?"
"What's the Internet?" Sirius asked.
"It's this new thing where you can hook computers up to each other wirelessly," Hermione explained. "Not many people have it yet, though."
"Hey, Pheobe kicked again!" Barbara said suddenly.
"Really?!" Hermione sprung out of her chair and ran over to where Barbara was sitting. Sirius and Harry were excited, too.
"Yeah," said Barbara. "You can feel too, if you want."
Harry didn't really feel comfortable placing his hands onto Barbara's pregnant belly, to be honest, even if it was just to feel his baby sister kicking, and since Sirius did it all the time, he let Hermione go first. Hermione put both hands on the baby bump and her ear, too.
"Hi, Phoebe!" she said happily. "I'm Hermione! I hope you remember me when you're born! I'm Harry's girlfriend…Wow, Barbara, she really is moving around in there!"
"You're telling me," said Barbara. "I'm her mother! That kid never stops moving, even when I'm trying to sleep."
"Do you think she'll remember our voices?" Harry asked.
"I don't know," said Sirius. "Childhood is like being drunk. Everyone remembers what happened except you."
That night, after Hermione left, Harry asked if he could take a bath in Barbara's bathroom, since Sirius's bathroom didn't have a tub in it. Sirius agreed after plunging the toilet in his bathroom. So Harry hung his bathrobe on the inside of the door and ran the water in the tub until it was about a billion degrees.
Dumbledore had given Harry some scented candles as a birthday gift last year, and Harry had never used them. Before his bath that night, he found them in the kitchen cabinet and decided to light them while he was in his bath. He also brought a small pillow, a huge bottle of bubbles, and his father's record player. He placed a classical record on the turntable and let it play. Harry also noticed that Barbara had some soothing bath bombs; he figured she wouldn't mind if he used a few, so he put those in his bath, too.
Soaking in the hot, bubbly water, listening to the soft music, smelling the candles and bath bombs, feeling his neck rest against the comfy pillow…it was the best. He washed his hair using some of Sirius's many hair potions, then rinsed it under the faucet.
Who knows how long Harry was in there, but he was startled when the record stopped playing. When he looked at his fingers, he saw that they were all wrinkly.
Harry climbed out of the tub and grabbed his monogrammed fluffy towel, which had the letters HJP sewn into it, a surprise "welcome-back-home gift" from Sirius. Once he'd dried off with it, he rubbed his hair with the towel a couple of times, then threw it on the floor and put on his emerald-green dressing gown. Before he left, what was on the counter caught his eye.
Ever since Barbara had moved in, strange things had taken up residence in their home. Unlike Aunt Petunia, Barbara left all her toiletries and personal items scattered everywhere in the bathroom, kind of like Sirius did. The biggest difference Harry noticed was that the sink wasn't covered in small facial hairs, like Sirius's was. Well, that made sense, of course. But then Harry noticed Barbara had shaving cream and a razor lying out, which didn't make sense…after all, she wore dresses, skirts and sleeveless tops a lot, and it didn't look like there was ever anything to shave. Harry had never known women to be as hairy as men were. Hmm. Her razor did look different, though—it was pink and curvy and the shaving cream smelled good, like fruit.
Barbara didn't have gel, like Sirius did, but she did have hairspray. Harry's curiosity overwhelmed his common sense, which happened far too often, and he decided it was worth a try.
"GAHHH!" Harry hadn't been looking where he was spraying, and the hairspray had gotten in his face instead of in his hair. Hoping he hadn't been blinded, Harry rubbed his eyes furiously.
"You all right in there, Prongslet?" Sirius called.
"YES!" Harry screamed back irritably. He was sure the label told you what to do if the hairspray got in your eyes, but what good was that if you couldn't see? Harry couldn't help remembering what Sirius had told him, about watching James struggle with his hair for ten years straight, reminding Harry that it was useless, but Harry just couldn't give it up.
Barbara had a toothbrush sitting on the counter; it was electric, unlike Sirius's. (Well, of course Sirius wouldn't have an electric toothbrush.) She had forgotten to put the cap on the toothpaste. The hand soap smelled pleasantly of lemons, and it foamed, like Sirius's did. Her hairbrush was lying out. Harry definitely didn't want to touch that, because it had Barbara's long dark-brown hair stuck in it. Barbara had that infamous strawberry-scented perfume, which Harry never liked, and she did have deodorant, but of course it wasn't Bearglove, which was what Harry had.
There was a jewelry box on the counter, too. Harry knew Aunt Petunia had a jewelry box, but it was full of gaudy old-lady jewelry. Barbara's jewelry was much nicer and more modern. Of course she had Sirius's first gift for her, a pearl necklace, and she had other necklaces too, in both silver and gold. One had a swan for a pendant; there was a Hufflepuff House necklace, which she'd gotten at Hogwarts, a treble clef necklace, a necklace with a dog bone pendant, and many more. She had lots of earrings, too, and nail polish in all colors of the rainbow.
Harry was about to leave the bathroom when he almost tripped on something that was laying on the floor. It was a black cord hanging out of the cabinet under the sink. When Harry opened the doors out of curiosity, he found it came from a hairdryer. There was also both a curling iron and a flat iron in there. Barbara's shampoo and conditioner were under the sink (she had loads of it) and there were quite a few light pink boxes, almost all of them unopened. Harry didn't focus long on those, as he had no clue in the world what "Playtex" was, but he shut the cabinets when he heard Sirius calling his name.
"You've been in there for hours!" Sirius was saying.
"Coming," said Harry, opening the bathroom door, feeling quite refreshed. Sirius was sitting on the couch, eating pretzels out of a bowl and watching TV again. Harry asked where Barbara was.
"Sleeping," Sirius replied. "Otherwise you never would've been able to take a bath for that long."
"Hey, Sirius, can I ask you something?" said Harry, watching Sirius munch on his pretzels.
"Why would a woman need a razor and shaving cream?"
"What?" said Sirius, raising an eyebrow.
"I mean, what's there to shave?" said Harry.
Sirius looked mildly surprised, but he had never dismissed one of Harry's questions as stupid, so he just answered casually as he chewed on a pretzel.
"Well, Harry," he said, "you'll find women grow hair in most of the same places men do. They just shave it off."
"But they don't grow hair in the face and chest, do they?" Harry said.
"Hopefully not," said Sirius.
"My Aunt Marge had a mustache, only it was slightly less bushy than Uncle Vernon's," said Harry, remembering. "She probably had a hairy chest."
"Aaaand we're done with the pretzels," said Sirius in disgust, pushing his snack away. "Thanks for ruining my appetite, Harry."
Harry grinned wickedly, and Sirius threw a pretzel at him. And then, all of a sudden, he remembered something.
"Wait, Sirius, y'know what day it is?" he asked.
"No…Dudley's birthday," said Harry. "His parents are in jail and totally bankrupt, and he's in foster care. I'm sure he didn't get any presents this year."
"Karma's only a bitch if you are one," Sirius said simply.
"Wherever Dudley is…" Harry beamed at Sirius, who smiled back. "I'm sure he's having the worst birthday."
TO BE CONTINUED…PLEASE READ, REVIEW, FAVORITE AND FOLLOW! :)