A/N: This one's for The Now and everything wonderful that it will hopefully entail. Ending is a little abrupt. I never know how to end these sugary one-shots...
The Origins of Betty
They were fogging up the glass. Three slightly sweaty men standing in close proximity to cool, pane glass tended to have this effect. Harry used his sleeve to give the glass a bit of a wipe. It was more a smear, in the end.
"Hmm," said Ron. What he meant to say was You Don't Know Which One Is Yours, Do You?
Draco Malfoy, apparently being something of a mind-reader, turned to give Ron a look that ought to have turned him into stone.
There was silence. Harry filled it. "Wow. They all sort of look the same don't they?"
Ron nodded. "Red and wrinkly."
"Third row, fifth crib from the left," was Malfoy's almost inaudible response.
Three pairs of tired, slightly bloodshot eyes settled over the crib in question, where a decidedly pink-not-red baby was swaddled in neutral, white cotton. This seemed in direct defiance of every other child, whose gender was distinguished by being swathed in either pink or blue. There was a tiny, wrinkly, cherub's face with a generous heart-shaped mouth and a great shock of platinum hair that seemed to have settled into a single, smooth, large curl. Like a frozen, miniature tidal wave.
Ron laughed. "Ah, so that's Precious."
Malfoy didn't take his gaze off his son when he responded, though his eyes narrowed a fraction. "Call him that again and you're going home with a black eye."
"But that's what Hermione calls him!"
"Hermione gets to call him Voldemort Malfoy if she wants, given the twenty-nine hours of labour she just went through," Draco said, through gritted teeth. "Precious is her name for him until a new one is found."
"Oh, I dunno," said Ron. "These nicknames at birth tend to stick."
Malfoy looked at him. "Oh yes? And what was yours, pray tell?"
Ron turned red. He also gave Harry a warning look which Harry cheerfully ignored.
"Betty," Harry supplied, smugly.
Draco was immediately intrigued. "Betty? I think you'll have to unpack that for me, Potter."
"Happily," Harry replied. "According to Molly Weasley, in the ensuing excitement following our Ron's birth-"
"And how excited the Weasleys must have been," Draco interrupted "A sixth boy to add to the generous five they already had."
Ron sighed. "Shut up, Malfoy."
"Indeed, how rude of me. Potter, please continue."
"Ron's, er, equipment was somewhat understated...as sometimes can happen in baby boys."
"Not in my baby boy," Draco muttered.
"Anyway, Molly was over the moon for all of one minute with what she assumed, incorrectly, was a girl-child."
"Betty," Draco supplied. His grin was wolfish.
"Betty," Harry nodded.
"Precious!" Ron said, pointing inside the nursery. "They're taking him out."
The men prepared themselves. Chests puffed up with pride. Sleeves were rolled up. Hair was smoothed down (ineffectually, in Harry's case) and Malfoy insisted everyone cast Scouring Charms over their hands before they handled the infant. The mediwitch beamed as she handed Malfoy's son to him. To say that Draco held him awkwardly was an understatement.
"Mind his head," the mediwitch instructed. "You have to make sure to support it."
After a moment's repositioning, Malfoy stared down in amazement at his son, who was blinking sleepily up at his father with eyes that were the deep azure of most newborns.
Ron and Harry peered at Precious.
"I'd put money on those turning brown eventually," Ron whispered. "Can I have a hold?"
"So would I," Draco said. He swatted at Ron's hand. "And no, you may not."
"I'm familiar with babies, you know."
"Excellent. Go and be familiar with your own, then."
The baby made a soft noise somewhere between a gurgle and a coo, and wrestled a fist from his tight, swaddling clothes. He brought the little fist to his mouth and proceeded to suck. A delighted Harry slipped his finger into the tiny fist and was rewarded with a strong squeeze.
"Quidditch hands, mate! This one's going to be a Beater."
"He's wanting his mother now," said the mediwitch gently. She took the child back from Malfoy and carried him down the corridor towards Hermione's room.
"The two of you still can't agree on a name, can you?" Harry commented.
"It may have slipped your notice, Potter, but Hermione and I don't agree on very much at all."
"So he's 'Precious' until such time you can agree?"
Ron shook his head. "Poor kid. He'll never live it down."
Malfoy snorted. "I imagine he'll have worse things to live down what with his last name being Malfoy."
Harry clapped Malfoy over the shoulder. "Congratulations, by the way. He's a fine boy."
"Thank you, Potter. Now, if the two of you would kindly piss off, I'm about to spend a quiet moment with my new family."