Summary: Lily and James become a bit too paranoid when they notice Harry doing something odd. Or, really, was it that odd?
Disclaimer: Characters belong to Jo, the lucky author.
The Challenges of Parenthood
a Siriusly Klutzy story.
My son sucks his toe. My sweet, darling, little boy sucks his bleeding toe.
He so takes after his father. Though now that I've though about it, I never saw James stick his own big toe in his mouth, so Harry probably picked it up from Sirius.
But the fact still remains: Harry James Potter is a toe sucker.
Not even a thumb sucker. A toe sucker. What kind of deranged child do I have? Yes, just like his father in the deranged way, however he does have my eyes, so there is still hope, however faint, that he may turn out remotely normal. We can only cross our fingers now.
I stood over his crib for a good three minutes before he kicked his foot in the air, ripped off his booty that Marlene's mother made, and popped the little sucker into his mouth for another go.
I was astonished to say the least. Who knew my son was that flexible? He could be a ballerina… No. No. James would kill me if I even brought up the idea. Harry is not a ballerina. I'll save that for a little girl.
"James!" I screeched, still surprised by my son's ability to shove something in his mouth that's so gross. "Get in here!"
He apparated by my side in less than a second, apparently too surprised (or just plain lazy) to take the three steps down the hallway.
"What? What is it?" he asked, rushing a hand through his already messy hair and knocking his glasses askew as he did so. "Is it Harry? Oh sweet Merlin, is he okay? He didn't- Vold… he's still there-" In the midst of his ramblings, James somehow managed to look over the edge of the crib and see Harry lying there happily, no longer sucking his toe. I must have scared him with my shouting. "What? What happened?"
I grinned sheepishly at how I scared him. "Your son is a toe sucker," I said impishly as if I were admitting that he were a ballerina much to James' dismay.
James, however, laughed. "Is he?" He plucked Harry out of his crib and held him in the air. "You're not taking after Uncle Padfoot, are, you Harry?" he asked in his "baby" voice, which, realistically, was James raising his voice a couple octaves and stringing his words together.
Harry cooed and drooled a bit.
"James, he was sucking his toe! That's not normal!" I said in an almost shout, finally realizing the seriousness of the situation. It was just plain strange. What was Harry's fascination to his toe? And how did he become so damn flexible? James could barely kick the top of a gnome and the highest my leg has ever gotten was when Alice grabbed my foot and dragged me to the library. (Long story, maybe I'll tell you some time.)
"It isn't?" James asked, confused. He winced slightly as a large drop of Harry-spit just narrowly avoided landing on his face. It instead landed sluggishly on his shoulder and slowly rolled down.
"No! The only person I've seen who could do that was Marlene. So how can a little baby do it?"
James snorted. "He's just full of pure talent, just like your father. Aren't you, Harry? Aren't you?" So we were back to baby voices.
I let out my own snort when Harry, giggling from James' baby voice, drooled and this time did not fail to miss his face. The drool landed nicely on James' glasses and flowed down to his nose.
"Yeah, that's really gross," James said, handing me Harry (I held him at a normal level as to avoid incidents like that) and wiping off his spit covered glasses and nose.
"You couldn't get your toe up that high if we snapped it off and Spell-O-Taped it to your head."
I grinned and looked at Harry who was now reaching for his feet again and giggling happily.
"Do you want to eat your little toes?" I asked in my own proper baby voice. "Do you? Yes, you do! Yes, you do!" I set the giggling boy back in his crib and looked at James, worried. "Why do you think he can do that?"
James shrugged. "Floo Alice. She'll know what to do. She's been a Mum a whole day longer than you have. She's bound to have more experience."
I rolled my eyes but immediately flooed over to Alice's.
"Alice!" I screeched as I stepped out of her fireplace and dusted off my robes.
Frank jumped in front of me, wand out, and shouted, "Rictusempta!"
I jumped back, just narrowly avoiding the silver spell and the fireplace. "Jeez, Frank!" I said, stomping on the back of my robes which had caught fire.
"Sorry, Lily," he apologized, helping me stomp. "I didn't know it was you. It could have been anyone."
"And you were going to, what? Tickle them to death?" I asked sarcastically. "Great plan, genius."
He grumbled something under his breath about being defensive before calling for Alice. "It's no one harmful, just Lily!"
Alice appeared in an instant. "Lily!" she squealed, handing Frank little Neville and coming to hug me. Once she let go of me, commented on my burnt robes ("You really should get new ones, Lily. There's a sale at Madame Malkin's, I've heard!"), and offered me about thirty things to drink ("Tea? Pumpkin juice? Fire whiskey? Butterbeer? Coffee?") she finally asked what brought me about.
I sat at her kitchen table, fidgeting with my cup while Frank played with little Neville. "Well… I was just wondering… erm, does Neville ever…?"
She motioned for me to go on. "Spit it out already. I'm growing old here. By the time you ask, Neville probably won't do whatever it is you're asking he does!"
I shook my head. Leave it to Alice to rush me while I may possibly have an abnormal toe-sucking child in my home. I wasn't sure whether or not to seek medical attention.
"Does Neville ever… suck his toe?"
Not missing a beat, Alice answered. "Yes, all the time. Hope he doesn't get buck teeth."
I looked at her like she was mad. "You mean… it's normal?" I asked, stunned that something like toe-sucking could be considered normal.
"Of course it is! A lot of babies do it when they can't find their thumb or something. I don't know, but every baby I've ever met sucked their toe at least once in their life. Why? Does Harry do it?" When I didn't answer she rolled her eyes. "Ah, Lily, don't tell me you freaked out because Harry was sucking his toe!"
"Well, I didn't know and I… we've never seen that and- who in their right mind sucks their toe anyway!?"
"He's a baby! They do all sorts of weird things! Just the other day Neville threw his porridge at Frank's head! Merlin knows why, but his little spoon just launched out of his hand and smacked Frank right between the eyes, didn't it, dear?"
"Sure did," Frank said proudly. He turned to his son and, in his own form of baby talk, said, "Didn't you, Neville? You hit Daddy right between the eyes!"
I stood up awkwardly. "Well, I'd better get going before James decides that Harry needs medical help and flies him to Saint Mungo's or something. Thanks, Alice, Frank. Good aim, Neville. Owl me soon, okay?"
Alice came over to give me a hug goodbye and then I stepped into the fireplace.
"James," I said happily once the dizziness faded and I stepped out if the fireplace. "James, honey, guess what! Harry's- James?"
I almost couldn't believe what I saw before me, but then remembered who these loons were.
James, with Harry lying down in front of him, Sirius, Remus, and Peter were all sitting in a circle on the floor. And every single one of them had their toe in their mouth.
"What the bloody hell…"
Sirius was the first to respond. He took his own toe out of his mouth and said, "We're just trying to see why it's so addictive to mini Prongs. It isn't as if it tastes good." And he stuck his probably filthy toe back into his mouth. Very hygienic.
Remus and Peter both waved up to me. "Hello, guys," I said, unable to keep from laughing. "You know, this isn't a big deal anymore. Alice explained the whole thing."
Four out of five toes left four out of five mouths. Harry, oblivious to it all, kept sucking his happily. He wriggled a bit to try and face me- Oh, bless him. He loves his mum.- but continued sucking all the same.
"Why's our son a toe sucker?" James demanded. He picked up his sock and put it back on his own foot. The rest of the gang followed his lead.
"It's just because he can. There's no real reason to it." James started to protest but I held up a hand. "It's normal, according to Alice. Lots of babies do it. We just overreacted."
"Overreacted? Overreacted? Lily, he was sucking his toe? I called these three over so that they could see why? That is not overreacting! That's… that's… good parenting!"
Sirius, Remus, and Peter all began to chuckle. "Right, Prongs."
"Okay," James said stubbornly. "It was a bit of an overreaction. But I was just worried! I mean, what if he sucked so hard his toe popped off? And then he could have swallowed it! Or choked! Or-"
Remus coughed 'overreacting' into his arm. Peter gave him a wallop on the back, not getting the joke. Remus smacked him in the head.
"We're heading out now, Prongs. But if he does something a little stinky in his nappy, don't worry. That's supposed to happen." I laughed along with the three boys.
"And if starts to do things like talk, or maybe even walk eventually, don't worry- all babies do that, too," Sirius added.
"And if he continues to breathe, don't overreact," Remus continued. "He's supposed to do that."
James did something with his hand that would have earned him a slap from his own mother as the three of them were leaving through the fireplace.
"So all babies suck their toes?" James asked as he scooped up Harry, who's raisin-like toe finally emerged from his mouth.
"Yup. It must taste good or something."
"Shame," James said. I gave him a peculiar look. "For a moment there, I thought our Harry would be the only toe sucker in the world. He'd be famous for it."
I shrugged. "He may not be the only one, but I'll bet he's the best. He certainly did better than you lot." I crinkled my nose. "I can't believe you even thought of that. You have man toes, Merlin only knows where those have been."
A/n: So this was really random, right? I thought of it the other day when my sister sucked her toe (baby) and was like 'What would Lily and James do?' because, you see, my world revolves around fanfiction. So this is what cam up. Yayyy!
Don't worry, Stag readers! I'll update soon. I'm running out of time, summer's almost over! But I will update soon! If I don't in a week, you all have permission to spam me with threats you won't follow through on (because then I'd never be able to update)! Kay? Kay.
I've got an idea for it anyway, so I think I'll go work on that now.
Thanks for reading.
Much love anddddd a yummy tasting toe? Nah, how about some Marauders and yummy snacks,