Naming Rights

"And how is young James these days?" inquired Dumbledore.

"Doing fine, sir. Mrs. Weasley's babysitting him today," said Harry. "He's going to grow up to be a great Quidditch player, I think, I actually caught him on Ginny's old Firebolt last week—"

"Yes, and he almost crashed right through the window with it," interrupted Ginny. "He's nearly three now; you've got to keep a closer eye on him, he's figured out how to open the lock on the broom cupboard."

"Oh, I see you've got a new sprog," said one of the portrait witches. "Excellent!"

"Yes, this is our new son," said Ginny proudly, holding up the dark-haired infant. "We decided to name him Albus." The portraits all murmured their approval, except for Dumbledore, who took off his half-moon spectacles and bent his head, making a show of polishing them with a handkerchief while keeping his head down, so nobody could see his face.

Finally he straightened up and put his spectacles back on. His blue eyes were even brighter than usual. He said quietly, "I am ... very flattered. You should not have. But ... thank you."

Harry grinned. "Maybe it's a bit old-fashioned, but 'Albus Severus Potter' does have a certain ring to it –"

There was a loud bang from behind Harry and Ginny, making them jump. It came from the portrait of Snape. He had gotten out of his chair so abruptly he had knocked it over. Harry turned quickly, hoping to catch a glimpse of Snape's expression – but he was too slow. All he saw was the edge of a black cloak as it whipped out of sight.

In the silence that followed, Dumbledore shifted a little. For a moment Harry thought he was going to laugh, but the old wizard's expression was sober. Then he said: "Well, well. My goodness. Are you quite serious? 'Albus Severus' ... indeed ..." He coughed.

"I think he is very touched. But all the same, Harry, I am not sure he is ever going to forgive you for this one."