I own nothing. Except a weight watcher's subscription (forgive me if my writing becomes obsessed with food). Harry Potter belongs to JKR, WB, Bloomsbury, Scholastic, Raincoast etc.

Guide: Narrative

"Dialogue"

'written'

thoughts

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Chapter 27 Happy Half Birthday

Harry made his way to the headmaster's office on the first Wednesday of the tenth month of the year. After telling the statue 'milk chocolate,' he knocked on the gilded door which automatically opened. "Sir, you wanted to see me?"

"Ah yes. Would you care for a drink of some kind? Or something to eat?" enquired the aged man.

"No, thank you, sir. I just came from dinner."

"Indeed it is that part of the day. I often loose track of the time. I believe it is a hazard of having lived through so much of it. How are your classes going?" the tone was conversational, but Harry believed that his mentor was delaying an unpleasant subject.

"Fine, professor."

"Seeing as you are not indulging me in postponing the topic of this meeting, I will cut to the point. The minister has contacted me to try and set up a celebration of the 15th anniversary of the first fall of Voldemort." Harry was dumbfounded. He had definitely not expected that.

"Really? Doesn't that seem like it would goad Voldemort on into staging some kind of attack?"

"I concur. That is why, when asked if I would allow you to leave the school grounds to attend such an event, I refused as is my right as headmaster of your school." Dumbledore attempted to placate Harry.

"Thanks for that. I really don't want to be there," replied Harry with relief.

"Unfortunately, this made Scrimgeour request to have the party held here, at Hogwarts, in the Great Hall. When I refused, he went over my head to the board of governors and forced the issue on them," said the headmaster, with a trace at bitterness for being overruled.

Harry groaned.

"Which is why, come the 31st of the month, our usual Halloween celebrations will be replaced with a by invite only ball. There will be a heavy presence of government officials and press."

"Sir, is there any way I can refuse my invite without making an enemy of the minister."

"I do not believe so, Harry. I just called you here to give you warning as the invites will be arriving tomorrow. I am truly sorry that you are in this position."

"Thank you, sir. Has the minister not realized that this is also the anniversary of the death of my parents and that I might want to deal with it in private, rather than be on display for hundreds of people that I don't know?"

"I do not believe that he sees beyond his own wants at the present time. Such is the folly of a many a leader with great intentions. They see only the final goal and not who they wound on the path towards that goal. Scrimgeour only sees the public feeling and the war effort and forgets about all the individuals involved," Dumbledore explained.

"Thank you for the warning and I am sorry if I embarrass you on the night of the party."

"Do not concern yourself about me. What is it that you are planning to do?"

"I don't know yet, but I definitely will not be attending a ministry party." With that Harry nodded to his headmaster and left the crowded office, his mind whirling with possibilities.

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Sunday, October 15 dawned to a Hogwarts covered in frost. Harry, of course, could not see this as he had spent the night in his son's nursery. This was because this special day was James's half birthday. Harry's baby was now six months old.

He had given his friends some excuse about training alone all day so that they wouldn't go looking for him.

The Potter family's day began with their first experience with cereal.

For the infant's breakfast, Harry mixed up some rice cereal (with iron) and a lot of baby formula, so that it was just solid enough to stay in a spoon. James was quite perplexed by the high chair that he was strapped into. The baby was somewhat able to sit by himself but couldn't get up to sitting without his daddy's assistance. He didn't seem to like the constraints involved in the chair, but seemed willing to put up with it, since he had most of Harry's attention and because the elevation gave him a different view of the room.

Harry sat right in front of the high chair with the runny cereal. Since the baby was looking as him with a partially opened mouth, the teen took advantage of the situation to push a small rubber spoon of cereal into the child mouth. James's eyes went wide with surprise. His natural reflexes pushed about half of the cereal back out while swallowing. Harry had a washcloth ready for this occurrence. Harry half-filled the spoon again and this time the infant opened his mouth more, eager to experience the mush again. After about 20 minutes the bowl was half empty, the washcloth was saturated and James was no longer opening his mouth for the cereal. Harry had realized, with a smirk, that every time his moved the spoon towards the baby he opened his own mouth. This probably accounted for most of his son's opening his mouth, since they did play monkey-see monkey-do a lot.

Next on the agenda, since the runny rice mush had gotten into a lot of places that it didn't belong, was a bath.

Harry used a baby tub, spelled full of water to get the slimy goo out the baby's hair, and all the stickiness off of his body. To clean himself off, Harry simply used a Scourgify, since the abrasion didn't bother him as it would the baby.

Father and son played for about an hour. James had come to realize the delights of peek-a-boo. He giggled every time Harry pulled the blanket down so that they could see each other again. In the past, when Harry had tried to play this, the baby would start crying when he couldn't see his father and would need to be consoled. It seemed that James had reached the stage where he realized that things he couldn't see still existed, which also explained his tendency to throw things out of his crib and be happy when they were returned to him by his dad or Dobby.

The pair both took a nap together; Harry transfigured his camp bed into something larger for them. Harry slept on his back with the baby on his stomach, held tightly to prevent rolling. It was always amazing to the young parent that he never moved an inch while sleeping in the same bed as his son, though normally he moved quite a bit at night.

James got a meal that he was used to, a bottle of formula, when he woke up and then was laid down to play on the carpet when Harry's meal was brought by Dobby. Every few minutes James's head would swivel around to check that his dad was still present before continuing to play with his rattle, or whatever had caught his eye at the moment.

Harry spent some time that afternoon reading to James from his Transfiguration textbook. Harry levitated the textbook in front of him while he carried his son around the room in order to soothe him.

When evening fell, and curfew passed Harry asked his son to turn into pup, which they had practiced quite often since his son had shown the ability. And he was rewarded with a small wolf cub at his feet. For some reason James never changed forms when he was being held. Harry scooped him up and covered them both with the invisibility cloak before leaving his trunk and carefully sneaking out of the half full Gryffindor common room. Harry used several short cuts to get to the Entrance Hall and then headed out the main doors towards the lake. It was cool, so Harry put a warming charm on his wolf pup son before setting him down to change into his own animagus wolf. Harry abandoned the invisibility cloak in order to play with his son. They played some tag and the pup seemed to really enjoy the smell of the grass and fresh air, but the fallen leaves made him sneeze and fall over.

Neither of the wolves, notice by scent or sight, that someone was watching from a third floor window.

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A/N : Don't hate me, that's not a cliff hanger, that is really all that will be said about that for quite a few chapters.

Schools back, ick. But its my last year (finally) I have no idea when I will be posting next as my muse has rather deserted me lately.

My natural inclination is to call baby rice cereal Pablum, but I am fairly certain that is a Canadian thing, since it was developed here, so I resisted.