Summary Halloween, 1981, Voldemort attacked the Potters, killing all three, and vanished for good (or so the wizarding world thinks). But is the one with the power to defeat the Dark Lord as dead as they think?
Disclaimer This is just my take on characters, situations, etc from JKR. I am making no profit from this, just twisting her work for my enjoyment – and hopefully yours. Wow, that has to be the longest disclaimer I've ever written.
Author's Notes All my Albus-raises-Harry fics seem to be angst-filled. I'm making this one that isn't. It'll have some angst, obviously, but it won't be like the others.
Are You My Daddy?
Chapter One: Not Grandad
"Up!" Harry giggled, waving his legs in the air. Albus missed.
"Having second thoughts, dear?" Minerva smirked as Harry bared his pale bottom for everyone to see.
"No thank you, my dear, I am perfectly capable of changing a – Ouch!"
"Nap-nap," Harry said clearly, "not nice."
"Nor," Albus threatened, "is kicking your grandfather in the nose."
"Grandad is not hurt, he would just like you to behave," Albus said, catching Harry's right leg in one hand and neatly sliding the nappy on.
"Albus, I think you're fighting a losing battle."
"I've done it, look!" he replied, sticking the flaps down and ticking Harry under the arms.
"Not the nappy change," Minerva said over Harry's exited squealing, "I meant the Daddy versus Grandad thing. He has labelled you and he's not going to change."
"Daddy!" Harry said abruptly, as if proving her point.
Albus bent over Harry, popping up his baby suit. "First of all, James only died a few weeks ago. I don't like the idea that he's replaced him so quickly with me."
Harry, sensing the sudden change of emotion in the room, stretched out a hand to Albus, who took it by the wrist and blew a raspberry on it, making him giggle madly.
"It's nearly three months."
"I know, but he started calling me Daddy almost straight away. It's not healthy."
"You're not replacing James, Albus, he's just accepted you as a new guardian. Whatever he calls you, he still thinks of you differently than James."
Albus sighed. "That's not all. What happens when I introduce him to the wizarding public? They might find it a bit odd that he's calling me his father when I'm telling them he's my grandson."
"I think it might actually be more convincing that way. According to your story, he never had a father, so him deciding to call you Daddy would be considered completely natural."
"I don't know. I'm still not happy."
Minerva threw her arms up in the air. "There's no pleasing you, Albus Dumbledore." She looked at Harry, who was eyeing her curiously. "Don't listen to him, Harry. Call him a barmy old coot if you want."
"Ol' coot!" Harry yelled, pointing at Albus, then dissolved into giggles.
"Minerva, what have you done?" Albus asked in alarm, staring at his young charge rolling around in a fit of hysterics. "He's going to call me Old Coot now! How will that go down with the Ministry?"
Minerva couldn't help but laugh. "If he can switch to Old Coot that easily, you shouldn't have a problem finding something suitable for him to call you. It's obvious he doesn't like Grandad, so compromise and find something else."
Albus rubbed his nose in thought, looking down at Harry, who had stopped rolling around and was now apparently trying to wedge his finger between his toes – a tricky feat, as his baby suit covered the whole body except the head.
"I need to go, I'll leave you to think about it." Minerva stepped forward to kiss Harry on the head and tickle him under the chin, which the baby ignored, absorbed in his work. "See you later, Albus."
As she left, she heard Albus murmur something thoughtfully to which Harry replied, "Papa!"
Harry had been living with Albus for twelve weeks, ever since Halloween. When Lily and James had died, Albus had Hagrid retrieve the baby from the ruins and bring him to Hogwarts, where Albus had began to form a plan of action.
His intention had been to deliver Harry to Lily's sister, Petunia, and her husband. Minerva, who had been close to Lily and heard her speak about her sister, was not happy and said so, but they agreed there was no place better to protect Harry. They formulated a staged conversation that would take place in front of Number Four that night … but it never did.
Minerva, who had insisted on watching the Dursleys' house, reported badly on the Dursleys' treatment of their son Dudley, and Albus had finally decided that it was the last thing they needed to do. But what else was there?
Now, Harry stood in his cot, dribbling over the stuffed phoenix Albus had bought him, looking entirely different. His eyes were Dumbledore blue, his face unrecognisable, his scar carefully hidden (not removed, just concealed) and his hair red-brown. It still stuck up everywhere – Albus was too fond of that particular Potter trait and refused to change it. Harold James Potter was now Harrison Daniel Dumbledore. Albus had a useful contact in the Ministry who had organised a fake birth certificate, registering Harry as the child of Albus' long-lost daughter (who actually didn't exist) and a fake date of birth. The contact's memory had been carefully modified afterwards.
Albus watched Harry and the phoenix and wondered what he had been thinking. How on earth was he supposed to raise a child in his position? All right, so Minerva and others would be willing to baby-sit any time, but that wasn't the point. Harry needed to be brought up in a secure environment and if Albus was always leaving him with others, it would not be secure. He'd already decided he would have to make quite a few sacrifices – resigning from the Wizengamot, for one – but even if the only responsibility he had was running Hogwarts, it would still be difficult.
"Wan' pway," Harry spoke up suddenly, grabbing Albus' attention. "Papa pway wiv Hawwy?"
Albus smiled and stretched. "You're meant to be going to sleep, young man."
"Oh yes you are." Albus stood up and made his way to the cot, resting his hands on the top. "Little Harry is very tired and needs to go to sleep. Look at him yawn." Albus faked a yawn, his hand over his mouth, and Harry copied him. "There, see? Harry needs to go to sleep."
"Not swee … py," Harry insisted, trying to stop himself from yawning again. Albus smiled.
"Does Harry want Papa to tuck him in?"
Harry gave a big baby-grin and lay down obediently, pulling his blankets up round him. Albus smoothed them down and was about to start a lullaby when Minerva poked her head round the door.
"Aun'ie Mina!" Harry cried, bounding up in delight. Albus glared at his deputy.
"Professor McGonagall, there had better be a good reason why you ruined Harry's tuck-time."
Minerva rolled her eyes. "Sorry, I didn't realise he was still awake. Harry, what are you still doing up at this hour?" she scolded lightly.
"Wan' pway wiv Aun'ie Mina!"
"I'll play with you tomorrow, Harry. I promise. Now will you get back into bed like a good boy for Grandad?"
"Papa," both wizards corrected her at once.
Harry snuggled back into his cot and let Albus and Minerva both kiss him goodnight before they left the nursery. The mobile above his head rotated, luminous stars and moons hanging from it, making a soft tinkling tune. Harry felt his eyes closing and once he was asleep the mobile became static again.
"You disturbed Harry getting to sleep for that?"
"Look, it was your idea to tell the press he was dead," Minerva snapped. "Now you can deal with the consequences."
"Albus, sometimes I think I'm just a deputy to you. I'm supposed to be your friend. If you think of me the same way you treat me then -"
"Minerva!" Albus cried, shocked. "I don't – I -"
"Really? You never seem to show it," Minerva said bitterly.
"I don't?" Albus seemed genuinely shocked, and Minerva suddenly felt a little guilty. "I'm so sorry Minerva, I never realised." The look on his face drove away any anger she had a minute ago. "Can you forgive me?"
She sighed heavily as if he was asking a big favour, but she already had.
BOY WHO LIVED DIED
Albus had to restrain from rolling his eyes. What an original headline.
Yesterday it was confirmed by Albus Dumbledore himself that the young son of You-Know-Who's victims Lily and James Potter, Harry, died in the early hours of yesterday morning following the attack on Halloween. A few weeks ago Dumbledore announced that Harry was admitted to St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries shortly after the attack, contrary to what the Ministry told us, which was that he was unharmed.
Albus looked at Minerva who was just sitting down. "Seen the paper, Minerva?"
She nodded. "I thought you were going to tell them straight away he was dead?"
He shook his head. "I was then, but I couldn't do it. I don't know what came over me." When Albus had faced the press last time, he was all prepared to deliver the rehearsed story when a saying popped into his head out of nowhere: Tempting Fate.
"You never had a problem lying to the press before."
Albus just shrugged, put the paper aside and helped himself to breakfast. "Doesn't matter. The fact is, now everyone believes he's dead. Now we can just give it a few months before I take Harry out in public." He looked up. "Where is the tyke, anyway?"
The soft blocks Albus had bought him a few days ago were piled up in a tower twice Harry's height. Albus frowned. How did Harry manage that? Then he saw the little boy perched on top of the toybox and smiled. He definitely had James' love of heights. Harry would make a brilliant Quidditch player.
Harry stood on tiptoe to put a little ball on top of the top block. It had little holes in and there was a bell inside. As he tried to get it on top, he overbalanced. Albus shot over and caught Harry before he hit the ground – and half a dozen blocks as well. The ball had gone flying up in the air, but Harry reached out a hand and caught it neatly.
A Seeker if Albus ever saw one.