A/N: Big thanks to Azhure, my beta for this one. (March 2009)
"Albus Severus! Albus Severus!" James chanted while passing the open door of Harry Potter's study, where Albus was sitting on a couch, reading The Dark Arts Outsmarted. Albus felt the only too familiar twinge of annoyance especially reserved to be experienced in James' presence.
James and Albus Potter had just recently come back from school to spend Christmas in the Potter household. Fresh from his first term at Hogwarts, Albus had learned a vast amount of new knowledge. And not all of it was from his lessons – he learned much about his namesakes: the eccentric old wizard, from his crooked nose to his silvery beard; and the surly younger one, from his hooked nose to his oily hair. He certainly didn't expect that the two greatest headmasters of Hogwarts would be a pair of oddballs who couldn't have been anymore different.
Such sinister names that would strike chills in a decrepit man's cholesterol-clogged arteries, and from those freaky portraits, no less! Despite the fact that Albus Dumbledore had been hospitable enough, Al could not help disliking his name. Why couldn't his mum be the one to have named him? Why Dad?
He shouldn't have voiced out his displeasure to his mother. Not when James was in company. His name was Albus Severus, not like his older brother, James Sirius, who not only had the privilege to be named after their father's father and godfather, but also, from what Al had inferred, named after much less twisted people. Their dad might speak highly of Albus Dumbledore and Severus Snape, but there was no denying that both had lived a whimsically distorted life and fashion sense. Off their rockers, Uncle Ron always said.
Just as Al was turning a page, his Uncle Ron entered the room, head turning left and right as though looking for someone. At once, he spotted his nephew and his expression was suddenly slightly appalled.
"Albus Severus!" he said, disgusted. "What are you doing? No child with a Weasley gene would read a book, especially on holiday. That is indecent to anyone with a Weasley gene, except for Rosie of course, because she has been made pure by her mum. Where's your dad, by the way?"
Putting the book down, Al actually smiled, in spite of the use his revolting name which, in his opinion, was tenfold more indecent than merely reading a book.
"Building a tree house in the backyard. And Dad reads it," he added, knocking the hardcover of the book.
"Really? What's the book?" asked Ron, slumping carelessly down beside his nephew.
"The Dark Arts Outsmarted."
"You're a bit young for that, but I guess that's the Potter gene working in you!"
Al grinned widely and then frowned, thinking... "Uncle Ron, you're Dad's best friend... Why do you think he named me my—this name?"
Ron's lips pouted slightly as he pondered. Then he spoke: "You see, Al, your dad isn't the most creative wizard in the world. That's maybe why ripping off appealed to him so much."
"Would you give—let's say—Hugo my name?" Al said after sighing and rolling his eyes.
With this, Ron chortled loudly. "No!" he said, as though this was very obvious. Then realising his mistake, he hastily added, "I mean, no, because—because I know your Dad was closer to Dumbledore than me. And Snape and me? No good, no good at all. And it's a trend, you know, hearing what he named James—that he'll name you all from someone else—as I said, lack of creativity—"
"That bad, huh?" Al sagged exasperatedly against the couch. "Why couldn't Mum have named me instead?"
And then, chuckling, Ron remembered. Gazing absentmindedly in space, he recalled the Christmas night at the Burrow warmed by the complete attendance of all the Weasleys, Potters, Teddy and Andromeda. There Ginny, met with disappointment from the family, announced her early retirement from the Holyhead Harpies, to which Harry proudly followed up with the declaration of his coming fatherhood and the arrival of the first Potter child. Teddy's eyes and mouth had gone as round as Remembralls and he'd excitedly squealed at this point, bobbing up and down beside his grandmother.
After Christmas dinner, Harry, with Ron and George, volunteered to clean up the table and kitchen.
"So, mate," said Ron as the three of them brandished their wand in similar motions so that the plates bathed themselves in the sink, "is it a girl or boy?"
"Most probably a boy, right, Harry? I mean, Weasley blood and all that," said George. "My first kid's a boy."
"I dunno," said Harry, flicking his wand at a stray platter which was going in the opposite direction to the others. "We decided that we want to be surprised. But obviously, Ginny's praying for a girl... And, well, I'm happy either way. I've got Teddy—he's like a son, anyway."
Ron and George exchanged dark looks, which Harry immediately noticed.
"What?" he asked bemusedly.
"Do you have any name ideas?" Ron asked slowly.
"No, but I've got some in mind. Not very creative, mind you."
"You'd better take charge, Harry. Show Ginny who's boss."
Harry was just even more puzzled. Seeing his expression, Ron said, "Tell him, George."
George cleared his throat importantly, puffed out his chest, and tilted his chin up. "Let me present to you Montmothrella, Heathpoldia, Lysanbeth, Clifferton…" he enumerated, ticking each name off with a finger, "and, of course, let us not forget, Pigwidgeon Potter. Disclaimer: all baby names owned by Ginny Molly Potter in her not-so-hidden list of names." He winked. "Get my drift?"
Harry couldn't imagine the hidden horrors his child or even children would go through someday, carrying the heavy burden that would soon be placed on their shoulders—unless he interfered right now.
"That's why we're here, mate–to help you," said Ron, genuinely concerned. "Do you think we could stand the shame our nephew or niece would have to live through?"
"We've been wondering for a while now when you'll have your firstborn so we can warn you. The time has come."
"Even if those elderly people—"
"—namely Bill, Charlie, and Percy—"
"—don't believe us."
"See, Harry," said George, putting an arm on the bespectacled man's shoulders, "generations of Weasleys are mostly male. Ginny is a miracle, in our opinion, because she was the first girl after—what? Five or six generations? So with that knowledge and Ginny's desire for a girl, play a deal."
Harry hereupon saw light. Grinning, he concluded, "I'll have a deal with her that I name the baby if it's a boy, and she if it's a girl…"
"Exactly," the redheads said simultaneously.
From this, Ron turned to Albus Severus Potter sitting beside him at present. He shook the retrospect out of his head and looked at his nephew seriously.
"Al, consider yourself very fortunate to have that name."
Al snorted and raised an eyebrow. "Yeah, right. You don't even find it pleasant."
"You know Pigwideon?"
"Your tiny owl… why?"
"Your Mum named him."
Albus blinked and his eyes widened.
A/N: Trivia, anyone?
The names are derived from Montmorency ofMontmorency Series, Cindrella ofCinderella, Heathcliff and Hareton ofWuthering Heights, Lysander ofA Midnight Summer's Dream, and Macbeth ofMacbeth. Pigwideon is, of course, from our belovedHarry Potter Series.