While my first Harry Potter story is not yet finished, I couldn't wait any longer to write this one. Hope you all enjoy! Characters, except for Amy and others, belong to JK Rowling.
It had happened not even two hours ago. Voldemort had attacked the Potter's house at Godric's Hollow, leaving two babies orphaned and himself without a body. An hour ago, he had met with Professor McGonagall and Hagrid at Vernon and Petunia Dursley's house to leave one baby orphan, Harry Potter, in the care of his relatives for ancient magical reasons that neither of his party had understood. Now, however, he was faced with another dilemma: what to do with the other baby? He knew that any magical family would be willing to take in the child, but that would only put that family in danger of a Death Eater attack. They had grown so wild since the word had gotten around that Voldemort had been vanquished. No, the only reasonable thing to do at the moment was keep the child with him until it was safe to give her to a loving, caring family that would be able to give her a life that he simply could not.
Dumbledore paced his office with a pink bundle cradled in his arms, the baby within was, for now, fast asleep. Ever since he had brought the baby into the castle, his teachers had swamped him trying to get a good look at the small form engulfed by the pink fabric. After being passed around like a picture for ten minutes, the child had had enough, and he had taken her away to the safe confinements of his private quarters. Once there, and with the child sleeping peacefully on his bed, he had conjured a crib, a play pen, and a few simple toys for the baby to entertain herself with. Also to help the child feel secure at night, he conjured a very soft, stuffed unicorn for her to cuddle.
Once he was finished, he sat in a plush armchair across the room from the child, stroking his long, silver beard, gazing intently at her. This had all happened so fast that even he was having a hard time trying to keep up with it. Within an hour he had become a caregiver to a very young baby, not even two months old yet. It had been many, many years since he had had to look after a newborn, and he wasn't all that sure if he remembered. But he realized that he had his entire staff to help him which was full of women with natural instincts for child rearing. He knew he could rely on all of them to help him, well maybe with the exception of one….
He was quickly pulled out of his reverie when he heard a gentle knocking on his office door. Quickly and quietly getting up from his seat, he moved fluidly to the door, and silently opened it to reveal the somewhat apprehensive face of his Deputy Headmistress. Trying to hide his fatigue, he gave her a small smile and whispered, "Would you like to come in, my dear?"
"Where is she?" Professor McGonagall asked softly as soon as he had closed the door behind her.
He silently gestured with his hand towards his quarters where McGonagall took off at once. Dumbledore slowly followed her, and when he arrived in the room, she was stroking the baby's cheek.
"She's so small, Albus," she commented, fully taking in the child, not having had the chance earlier.
"That she is," he agreed, walking up behind her, staring at the child as well. "But that is to be expected, after all, she isn't even two months if I'm not mistaken."
McGonagall shook her head, her concerned yet excited facial expression matching the way he felt inside. Finally looking up at him, her eyes full of apprehension she confessed, "I'm not used to having a child this small around, Albus."
"Neither am I, my dear," he confessed as well. Then as an afterthought he whispered, "And for once I'm really not sure what to do."
"Well, we raise her, obviously," McGonagall barked softly as though Dumbledore's remark was a no brainer. "She's in our care now. Her life from now on depends on us. It's not fair to her that we can't interact with her because we feel awkward. We will simply have to get over it!"
Dumbledore smiled at his colleague's directness and agreed, "You are absolutely right, Minerva. She does deserve the best, and tomorrow we, as a team, will decide what to do with her."
McGonagall looked at him, confusion etched within every line of her face. She only looked away when the tiny baby whimpered slightly as she tried to lift herself into a more comfortable position. McGonagall immediately picked her up and cradled her. She conjured a rocking chair, and gently rocked the baby back to sleep which only took seconds. Once she was sure the baby was asleep again, McGonagall looked back towards her Headmaster and asked, "I thought you were going to keep her here, Albus. I didn't know this was only temporary."
Dumbledore merely shrugged, he would have to see how the other teachers felt about the baby. If it were up to him, she would be with a proper family that could raise her like any other normal child. He didn't think that being raised in an old castle, with older teachers who had their jobs to do most of the time, would be a good life for her. Then again, he would have to see.
McGonagall didn't look satisfied with Dumbledore's response, and showed her discontentment by pursing her lips together like she did when she was annoyed or angry. She continued to rock the baby for a few minutes more before she gently put the child into her new crib. Seeing the small, soft, stuffed unicorn in the corner of the crib, McGonagall put it up next to the baby so that she could easily reach it for comfort. Making sure the child was okay before she left the room, McGonagall then hurried out into Dumbledore's office, where he had disappeared to a few minutes ago, in a swish of robes to discuss what he had meant earlier. When she saw him sitting behind the desk sorting through papers, she said a little more loudly than she had intended, "There's an infant in there needing you, and your sorting papers?"
Before he had the chance to reply, she pressed onwards, "And furthermore, if you think that you can send Amy off to any family, you are mistaken, Albus! They fear the Death Eaters, and I don't think they will ever get over that fear of them wanting revenge on the Potter children. Harry is fine, of course, but little Amy will be a target all of her life unless she stays with us!"
At that comment, Dumbledore rose from behind his desk, circled over to McGonagall, and put a comforting hand on her shoulder before he whispered, "I know, Minerva, I know. I have thought about that too, believe me. But still I will have to hear what the staff has to say. I know that if it were up to you that you would keep Amy and raise her as your own, but the others may not like the idea of a baby, then toddler, then child, and then teenager running around, you understand?"
She sighed in defeat. Yes, she understood that there could be a problem, and especially with one teacher. Dumbledore nodded as well, and in his last attempt to cheer her up, he smiled and said, "If you would like, you may stay the night with her."
She looked up shocked as she answered, "Oh, Albus, I couldn't possibly! That's your bed! Where will you sleep?"
"My dear, I am not totally helpless," he chuckled, seeing her blush. Then he added matter-of-factly, "Besides, I have papers to fill out."
"Papers," McGonagall hissed, glancing back at his quarters where little Amy lay sleeping. "Can't you put your papers off for one night? That child needs you too!"
"My sweet, Minerva," Dumbledore chuckled again, that twinkle genuinely coming back into his eyes at her statement, "these are not just any papers. These are guardianship papers should we need them for tomorrow. They will be all filled out except for certain signatures."
McGonagall blushed a deeper red, and quickly turned on her heel to go be with the baby. Dumbledore smiled after her and returned to his work for the rest of the night.
Dumbledore woke the next morning to the cries of an infant. He unstuck his face from a book he had been looking over, and glanced over towards his quarters. When the baby continued to cry, he considered going in there to see where Minerva had gone, but a second later the crying had stopped. Curious, he got up and entered his quarters. He couldn't help but smile as he saw little Amy greedily sucking from a bottle, and the satisfaction of seeing Minerva's happy expression. Slowly and quietly he entered into the room to bid his girls good morning. McGonagall looked up and smiled before she pointed out, "As you can see, she was a very hungry little one."
He laughed softly at her understatement as he happily watched the little baby go to town with that bottle. Once she was done eating, McGonagall burped her, and then looked to Dumbledore and asked, "Would you like to hold her now?"
Dumbledore looked down into the little girl's eyes, and simply couldn't resist those big, beautiful brown orbs that seemed to hold a person helpless in their gaze. In an instant, he scooped her up, and held her close to his chest. Both of them having been so tired from yesterday's events, he had not had the chance to actually interact with the infant, and see her personality. Of course he had seen it when he had visited the Potters before, but now it was different. She was his.
McGonagall watched amused as the little girl stared unblinking into Dumbledore's face. After a few minutes, she finally realized that she could touch the soft beard, and proceeded to play with it, merely running it through her fingers. Dumbledore chuckled at her which in return caused her to smile at him. He smiled back like any proud grandparent would and said happily to Minerva, "She smiled at me! Did you see it?"
She couldn't help but laugh at his innocence when she answered, "Yes, Albus I saw that."
He continued to smile back at her for a few seconds before he said suddenly, "Come, my dear, we mustn't be late for the meeting with the other teachers!"
McGonagall rose from her seat, and watched as he went to the front of his desk, picked up the guardianship papers, and raced over to the door. She took her time reaching him as she asked coyly, "So now what if the teachers so no to a baby, then toddler, then child, and then teenager running around the school? What are you going to do?"
Dumbledore knew that she was teasing him and said a little defensively, "I'm the Headmaster of this school, and if I wish for Amy to stay, they simply have no choice in the matter!"
McGonagall laughed as she followed him out of the office, down the spiraling staircase, and to the conference room where all the other teachers had assembled already. As soon as they walked in with Amy in Dumbledore's arms, all the teachers in unison said, "Awwww!"
Dumbledore and McGonagall merely smiled, though it was a rather large smile, before Dumbledore started to speak, neither one taking a seat, "As you all know, my original plan was to take care of Amy until a suitable family came along, but I then realized that most Wizarding families will never stop fearing the vengeance of the Death Eaters, which would be no life for a child to always be living in constant fear. I personally had not planned on raising Amy as my own, but I feel that this would be the best way. With all of your help, and I fully understand that you cannot be there the whole time, I believe we can give Amy a good home and life here with us."
Dumbledore paused, the silence deafening as the teachers considered his reasoning. Finally after a few minutes of consideration, tiny Professor Flitwick squeaked, "I think we should keep her! She's such a sweet little girl, and we could raise her better than any other family could!"
Both Dumbledore and McGonagall let out a mental sigh. They were both relieved that at least one other teacher felt the same way they did. They anxiously gazed around the room at the rest of the staff, anticipating their answers. A moment later, Professor Sprout stood up, along with the MediWitch, Madam Pomfrey, and said, "I agree with Filius. I think it would be good for us to not only teach a child, but raise one from a seed!"
"You have to remember this is not a plant, Pomona," Madam Hooch stated, amusement lacing her tone of voice. Sprout merely scowled.
"Does everyone agree then that we should raise little Amy?" Dumbledore asked, extremely pleased.
Everyone nodded enthusiastically except for one dark figure that had stood in the far back corner of the room listening to everyone else speak. Dumbledore stared at the younger man, both faces unreadable. When moments of awkward silence had passed between them, Dumbledore asked, not really caring whether the man approved or not, "Are you in favor of keeping Amy as well, Severus?"
Severus snorted, as if knowing that the old wizard did not really care too much about his opinion, and then retorted resentfully, "I don't believe my input matters much, Headmaster."
Dumbledore couldn't help it as the corners of his mouth twitched slightly, surprised at how well his young Potions Master knew him. His brief moment of amusement didn't go unnoticed by Snape who stormed out of the conference room in a swish of black, billowing robes. The other teachers glanced around at each other, confused by Snape's reactions towards the baby. Dumbledore had a pretty good idea at what was nagging at him, and he would have to confront him later about it if this arrangement would ever truly work.
Putting on a small, Dumbledore said genuinely happy, "Then it's decided! Amelia Potter stays with us!"