Chapter Forty-Two: Names
A week passed from that scary weekend of contractions and broken wrists. Sirius was still going to work, but he had given Lexie one of his and James's two way mirrors should she need anything between breakfast and lunch, and then between lunch and dinner. Harry had been told not to speak to anyone at school or daycare about how he'd broken his wrist and then had it fixed up right away because Lexie had used magic to fix it. Harry understood this to be one of those things he couldn't share because his classmates and all the other kids at the daycare were Muggles and they couldn't know about magic. It was quite difficult not sharing something so very interesting as breaking one's wrist and he nearly slipped up when Miss Nancy asked them all what they did that weekend during morning circle time. Oh he had been itching to tell so bad! But Sirius, Remus, and Lexie had all told him repeatedly that he must not tell, so he'd sat on it and talked about how he'd talked to Hermione and she'd told him about knocking down all of the other kids during her recital and how she hated ballet but had to do it anyway.
Sirius worried constantly about Harry saying something. He was just a kid, sometimes they said things they shouldn't, even if they knew not to. They just couldn't help sharing when it came to things like breaking one's wrist or magic. But Sirius also knew the risk was worth it for Harry to get the good education he deserved and to be around kids his own age, to have friends. Especially Muggle friends so that he would grow up knowing there was no real difference between wizard and Muggle except for magic and when he was older and got to Hogwarts, no one could brainwash him into thinking any different. No one could tell him Muggles were stupid or lesser than wizards, because he would always know better than that.
And Harry did well. He didn't say a single word about his wrist to any of his Muggle friends, although he did get great joy out of sharing it with Ronnie and Ginny and Luna through letters and on the telephone with Hermione. Ronnie (with help from his mother) had written Harry back about how cool it was to have broken his wrist. Neither of them knew anyone else who had broken anything before.
"Like this?" Harry asked, a large baby doll in his lap. He didn't normally play with dolls unless he was at daycare with Jessie who had a thing for playing house and had chosen Harry to be the daddy, preferring his trains, blocks, and dinosaurs.
"Yes, that's perfect, Harry. Just like that. You keep your arm right under the head because babies can't hold their heads up on their own. Their necks are pretty weak, so we have to make sure they don't hit their head on anything." Lexie smiled, shifting Harry's hand to show him how the doll's head would fall backwards if he moved it. "See? Babies don't like when their heads do that."
"Okay." Harry smiled, glad to know that since he was going to be the best big brother ever. He had been spending time sitting on the big bed with Lexie while Remus cooked dinner. Right now though, Sirius was cooking and Remus was having his long rest, last night's full moon having been quite rougher on him than usual.
Yesterday, Lexie had shown Harry how to change a nappie and today she was showing him how babies were held and how to use a baby bottle. Harry liked the bottle part the best, because that was something he was really going to be allowed to do when his sister came when Lexie wasn't feeding her herself. It had also been explained that the baby wouldn't be able to play with him much while she was still little, but he could still do lots of things with her, like reading, singing, showing her toys, feeding, washing, picking out clothes, and tucking her in. He knew a little bit more about babies from daycare but he hadn't met a single baby under the age of six months yet, so he didn't know exactly what he was in for with a brand new one.
"You're going to be such a wonderful big brother, Harry." Lexie smiled as she handed him a bottle to feed the doll with.
"I'm gonna be the best big brother." Harry agreed, feeling he already had this baby thing down pat. He reached out a hand and patted Lexie's tummy. He bent his face down close, but not so close that he'd get punched again. "Hey baby, can you hear me? I said I'm gonna be the best big brother, okay? So you gotta be the best baby, okay? Hey, Muma-Lexie?"
"What's her name?"
"Well, I don't know yet. Would you like to help Padfoot and I pick one out?"
"Yeah!" Harry nodded, excited at this. He was going to get to help name his baby sister!
"Alright! So you be thinking really hard about good names and you and I can talk about them. But let's not tell Sirius because it would ruin the secret surprise if he knew we were only picking girl names."
"Okay, Muma-Lexie." Harry nodded conspiratorially and they continued playing with the doll for a little bit longer before they heard footsteps on the stairs.
"Hey, dinner's ready." Sirius smiled, entering the room carrying a bed tray. He placed it down lengthwise between Harry and Lexie and then sat down on the bed himself, facing them in the middle. The tray contained one large plate holding fried bologna sandwiches and carrots as well as three sippy cups of milk. The sippy cups had become a sort of tradition for when anyone was sick and had to eat in bed. "There. Now we can all eat together. Remus is still out cold, poor fellow."
"I wish we could do more for him." Lexie heaved a sigh, looking sad.
"So do I. But at least he can get some rest and I made him up a rare steak with a side of double chocolate chip cookies for when he wakes. That'll cheer him up."
"Is Moony sad?" Harry asked with a frown. He didn't like it when his Moony was sad. But then, he knew sometimes around the full moon Moony was always sleepier and grumpier than normal. It always made him feel yucky when the people he loved most in the world weren't feeling well.
"A little bit. He doesn't like being a werewolf at all." Sirius explained, leaning over to press a kiss to Harry's forehead. "We just have to be there for him and give him lots of love, that's all. It's hard not being able to be yourself once a month."
" I'm gonna make him a picture." Harry stated simply, knowing that Remus loved his pictures very much. He bit into his sandwich happily chewing away at it.
"That's a lovely idea, Harry." Sirius smiled. "You can do that after you eat, but then it's bath time for you."
"Okay." Harry smiled, eating a little faster now. Once he had finished his dinner, he ran from Sirius and Lexie's room to his bedroom where he had his little table and coloring things. He turned on the light and sat down, pulling paper and crayons to himself so that he could make Remus a really nice picture. He colored Remus's head really big and eating a giant chocolate bar that was even bigger. When he thought it looked the very best, he grabbed his red crayon and wrote 'I love you Moony Love Harry' on the bottom. There. Now it looked perfect.
Picture in hand, he left his room and made his way up to the third floor. Those stairs were located between a wall that started where the upper landing's banister ended and the wall of the baby's room where they created a triangular alcove that went under them, sort of like his old cupboard, but without a door and no bumps in the top of it. Lexie had hung a curtain over it upon Harry's request, so that the baby could have a fort like the one he had downstairs, only in her room.
Up on the third floor of the cottage were Remus's room right at the end of the hall, and then the guest room to the right. Both rooms also had bathrooms that went off of them. There was a sort of sitting area they never used in a windowed alcove in the left side of the hallway. Harry liked it, but he would have probably liked it more if it wasn't so far away from the rest of the house.
He bounded down the hallway, skipping to Remus's room where the door was currently shut. He knocked, just to be careful, and upon getting no response, pressed the door open a little. If Moony was sleeping, he knew it would be okay to just leave his picture for him so long as he didn't wake him up. That was another rule he wasn't supposed to break. After and before the full moon, he was not to wake Moony up unless there was an emergency or one of the other grown ups told him to.
Remus was snoring soundly under his blue covers and Harry tip toed across the wooden floor to the night stand. He placed the picture down on it where Remus could see it when he woke up and tiptoed back out of the room, making sure he closed the door behind him.
Harry made his way back down to the second floor and into the bathroom where he could hear Sirius already running his bathwater. "I gived him my picture." He stated proudly, shucking off his shirt and tugging down his pants and underwear so he could get in the tub.
"Good." Sirius smiled and lifted him up, setting him down into the bubbly water. Harry immediately grabbed up his sailboat and began pushing it through the bubbles while Sirius wet his hair and then began scrubbing at it with shampoo. They had abandoned the morning bath time routine, unable to get much of a bath in before school. So after dinner it was. "What did you draw?"
"I made Moony eating chocolate." Harry smiled, putting a dinosaur on his boat and watching it tip over. "Rawr! Rawr! I'm gonna eat you, boat! Is he gonna be up in time for my story?"
"Oh, I bet he'll love that." Sirius smiled and lifted a cup to begin rinsing Harry's hair. "I dunno if he'll be awake enough to read you your story tonight, Prongslet, but I can still read it to you."
"Okay." Harry nodded as he pressed his boat beneath the water with his dinosaur, laughing. He tilted his head back to help his hair be rinsed better and continued playing for the next ten minutes or so until the clock struck seven forty-five. Harry was then dried and helped into his favorite train pajamas. He no longer needed his warm winter pajamas since it was spring and things were growing and blooming all over the place. Outside the house was already surrounded by all sorts of flowers Harry had helped plant and the vegetable garden was getting bigger and greener every day. They didn't have anything but green beans and lettuce to pick yet though. Harry liked looking for new baby vegetables sprouting from their vines.
Harry climbed into his bed and Sirius tucked the blankets up around him tightly. He grabbed the book Harry had chosen out and had just opened it when it was taken from his hands.
"I believe this is my area of expertise." Remus smiled and Harry giggled, clapping his hands.
"Yes, and I found this wonderful drawing on my bedside table from someone very special." Remus smiled, switching places with Sirius who took up his normal bedtime story position in one of Harry's small wooden chairs. "Thank you, Harry. That was very thoughtful of you. I love it."
Harry beamed, glad his picture was appreciated.
Remus read him his story, Harry listening closely throughout the entirety of it. Sirius wound the music box and opened it. Then they each gave Harry a hug and a kiss and left the room, turning out the light behind them. Harry settled down into his bed, comfy, warm, and safe.
"A baby shower?" Harry asked curiously the following Tuesday. He was helping Remus set up snack time down in the kitchen of the daycare. He had been resting upstairs during quiet time with the other older children, but had been allowed to come out when Remus had come by to check on them half an hour after they'd been put down and he'd found Harry still awake. He or Diane would check once every ten minutes or so to make sure they were sleeping, just by peeking into the room through the two way mirror that spanned the length of the door. Each resting room had them, so that they could check on the kids without them seeing them doing so. That way if they needed a nap but hadn't fallen asleep yet and wanted to get out and play, they wouldn't know there was an adult there. Remus knew Harry's napping pattern well. If he wasn't out after half an hour of resting, he wasn't going to sleep. So he'd let him come down and play quietly while the others slept upstairs.
"It's sort of like an early birthday party before the baby is born." Remus explained, handing Harry a stack of cups to put down on the snack tables. Each table could seat up to six children, but they only currently had eight out of eleven who would eat snack at the tables while the three babies would be in the high chairs. Diane had placed three chairs at one table and five at the other. It helped prevent fighting between the twins to have them at separate tables and also between Jessie and the other kindergartener from her class, Veronica, who it turned out, she didn't get along with very well. They had originally thought of splitting it half and half with four at each table, but then the three preschoolers hadn't liked being at separated tables. So five and three it was.
Harry put a cup at each place and Remus followed after him, filling each with apple juice. Harry was then given three sippy cups and two bottles, all already filled. After a moment of deliberation (Remus wanted to see if he figured it out), Harry rearranged the cups. He traded one lidless cup at his table with a sippy cup and moved it to the other table where the next sippy cup went. Those were for the twins who still had trouble with spilling a lot. Then he put the remaining sippy cup and the two bottles on the three high chairs. He knew that sippy cup was for Nathan, and the bottles were for Carrie and Brian, the younger babies. Then he looked up at Remus, waiting.
"Perfect Harry! That's exactly the right cups at the right tables. Good job." Remus smiled, ruffling his hair. It was good for Harry to work on solving things like that out on his own. It made him use his brain and access his memory to figure out things.
"So we're gonna have a birthday party for my sister?" Harry asked now that they were done with the cups. Remus was handing him small bowls with frozen peas and carrots in them and he was carrying each to set it next to a cup. It had been discovered in the second week in the daycare business that the kids preferred to eat vegetables for snack if they were in small frozen bits that they could pick up with their fingers. It was how Diane got Marny to eat her vegetables and it had been working. Remus wasn't sure why they preferred it, just that they did. And if it got them eating vegetables, then that's what would be done.
"A sort of birthday party, yes." Remus smiled, helping him put out the bowls. He set a jar of baby food on each of the two younger babies' high chairs. They weren't quite ready for more than mashed food. "With cake and silly games."
"Ooo. I like cake." Harry nodded to himself. He especially enjoyed treacle cake. "When is the party?"
"This Saturday (on May twenty-fifth in case our readers are wondering). We figured we'd better have it early just in case the baby comes early." Remus explained, lifting him up to give him a quick hug. "Well, Diane should be back with Jessie, Veronica, and Gilbert in a few minutes. Do you want to go upstairs and peek through the doors to see if the other kids are awake yet? Call me if the babies are, but if Marny and Sebastian are you can open the door and tell them it's snack time. But don't forget to put away your mats, pillows, and blankets."
"Silly readers. Okay!" Harry nodded excitedly. Remus set him back down and Harry dashed away. He raced up the stairs and peeked through the door to the baby room first. He could see Nathan playing with a stuffed bunny. Carrie was using the bars to hold herself up and bounce up and down on her knees. Brian was eating his toes. The twins, Abigail-Lynn and Leigh-Anne, had somehow pulled their cribs together and climbed into one where they were currently having a tug of war with a blanket.
Harry went to the big kid room next and peeked in. Both of his friends were sitting up. He opened the door and peeked in. "Moony says it's snack time, but we hasta pick up mats."
"Harry!" Marny laughed, standing up. Harry entered the room and together the three pre-schoolers put their mats, pillows, and blankets away on the correct shelves. Then they head downstairs to the snack area just as Diane came in the front door with Jessie, Veronica, and Gilbert, the big second grader.
"Hey guys! Just wake up?"
"I've been up. I helped Moony make snack." Harry announced proudly. Diane laughed and helped the older children put their things away in their cubbies before they all headed into the snack area as well.
"Moony, the babies are all awake." Harry told him when he sat down for his snack.
"Thank you, Harry." Remus smiled. "I think we're going to have to hire another care giver." He informed Diane as she came into the snack area.
"Yes, I think so too." She agreed. "Veronica, don't even think about it!" Veronica, a little blonde haired girl had just been about to grab one of Jessie's pigtails. She was quite the trouble maker and usually spent time in the Quiet Corner at least three times a week, sometimes more than once in an afternoon if she was in a particularly naughty mood.
Remus headed upstairs to get the first set of babies and came back down carrying Abigail-Lynn and Brian. While he got them situated into a chair and a high chair, Diane went upstairs to get the next set, then sat down to help feed the Carrie and Brian while Remus went upstairs to retrieve Leigh-Anne. The need for one more person was definite. Technically speaking they had needed to hire as soon as they hit over ten kids, but since Gilbert usually only came on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and Carrie only came on Tuesdays and Thursdays, it was rare for them to have all eleven of the children on the same day. This was actually the first time it had happened when Gilbert's mother had called that morning saying she had to cover a sick co-worker's shift today.
"I'll put up an ad in the newspaper and we can have interviews next Wednesday afternoon since Sirius should be here then."
"Sounds good." Diane agreed, spooning some strained peas into Brian's mouth. He gobbled them down and held his mouth open for more. Carrie was an entire different story, crossing her arms and pouting her refusal to eat even though Remus knew she was hungry. It just took a little coaxing to get her to open up.
Once snack was done, Gilbert, Jessie, and Veronica got their homework from their school bags and got to work on it at the snack table. Diane kept the babies occupied by spreading out a small pile of toys for them to reach and crawl for. Abigail-Lynn wanted to color like the big girls, so she was given some paper and crayons while Leigh-Anne and the three pre-schoolers gathered into the comfy reading corner for a story. This was the typical after snack routine, though the twins differed in what they wanted to do from day to day.
"Alright you guys, today it's Leigh-Anne's turn to pick out our story. What book do you want to read, Leigh-Anne?" Remus asked. The two year old went to the bookshelf and eyed the books for a few minutes before she grabbed one out and held it up to Remus. "Rosalin's Little Red Wagon, what a good choice Leigh-Anne!'
"Ooo, that is a good one." Sebastian agreed with a nod and Leigh-Anne laughed, clapping her hands together happily.
"Red wagoon! Red wagoon!" Leigh-Anne danced about in a circle and then plopped down on her bottom, diaper crunching. She and Abigail-Lynn hadn't quite started potty training yet, though, if their interest in peeking at the other kids doing it was any indication, it wouldn't be long.
"Alright. Let's see here…" Remus smiled and opened the book, holding it so all of the children could see the pictures. "Rosalin has a little red wagon that she likes to put things in. "Do you want to go for a ride in my wagon, Yellow Duck?" Rosalin put Yellow Duck in her little red wagon. Yellow Duck needs a friend. "Do you want to go for a ride in my wagon Blue Bear?" Rosalin puts Blue Bear in the her little red wagon with Yellow Duck…"
Harry listened attentively. He quite enjoyed this book, looking at the pictures and seeing what the little girl in the book was going to put in her wagon next. He didn't know it, but Remus was teaching them colors and animals with the book, all sorts of colors and animals. There was a turquoise monkey and an indigo giraffe. A burgundy elephant and a mauve moose. And the wagon got fuller and fuller until it could no longer hold any more animals.
When the story was finished there was begging for an encore, which Remus gladly gave… two more times, especially after Abigail-Lynn and the two kindergarteners joined them. Gilbert was a big old for this book, but Diane got him started on an easy reading short chapter book that was more his age group and he was content to sit in one of the bean bag chairs with it.
The end of the daycare day seemed to come quickly after that. Children were retrieved by their parents, most of them happy, though Carrie was starting to get fussy. When the last child was gone and it was just Harry and Remus left in the daycare, they turned out the lights and headed out to the car to take the ride home. It would have looked strange if they didn't take Remus's car to and from but somehow managed to get to the daycare everyday without anyone seeing them walking there.
When they got home, Remus made dinner while Harry and Lexie worked on thinking up good names for the baby and writing them down on a list. They had started doing this the day before and Harry had been thinking of names all day.
"So, think of any good names today, buddy?" Lexie asked with a smile as Harry climbed up onto the bed with a small notepad and a red crayon in his hand.
"Mhm!" Harry nodded. He'd been writing down names in the car on the way home, spelling them out the best he could. His list was as follows:
"I got lots of names today. See?" Harry held up his list proudly and beaming, offered it to Lexie who smiled at him.
"Wow, Harry! That sure is a lot of names. Why don't you read them to me?" Lexie laughed, resting her hands on her stomach as she leaned back against the pillows. She was quite sick of being stuck in bed most of the time, but it beat having a baby come too early.
"Okay!" Harry sat back on the bed too and read his note page, excited and happy to have more names to five his sister. "Jamie. Carrie. Yvonne. Bianca. Tally. Maria. Rosalin. And Veronica. I knowed howta spell Carrie and the 'lynn' part of Rosalin cause Carrie is on the phone number list and so is Abigail-Lynn, but I forgot how to do Veronica, but I don't like that name too much anyway cause Veronica isn't a very nice girl."
"Well you did a good job sounding them out, Harry!" Lexie smiled, knowing that this list would be scrap booked once Harry was done with it. "Those sound like the names of a lot of your classmates and daycare buddies. Where did you get Bianca and Rosalin?"
"Those were from books I like." Harry explained with a smile. "Do you like my names?"
"Yes, they are all very good names. We'll have to think about which one we like the best though, won't we? Because she's only going to have one first name and one or two middle names." Lexie took the notepad from Harry and looked it over with a smile. He was a good name collector. Yesterday he'd come home with fifteen girls' names. "Here, go put this in the secret hiding place so Padfoot doesn't see it."
"Okay." Harry nodded and took the notepad back. He raced from the room and up to the third floor where he hid the notepad underneath the cushion of one of the chairs in the windowed alcove nobody really used. He came back down just as he heard Sirius apparate into the living room.
"Paddy!" Harry raced to greet him, running down the stairs. Sirius caught him up, smiling and kissing his cheeks.
"How's my boy?"
I've definitely hit one of those writing surges to do four chapters in nine days. I really liked writing this one in particular because... I just really did. A more detailed view of Remus's floor of the house (I didn't even know where the stairs to it were before today! And I think they must have added that sitting room alcove when I wasn't paying attention, because I swear it wasn't there when they moved in or was it?), more daycare action (Ooo more kids!), more baby stuff which, I would like to point out, is mostly all getting Harry involved so he has a hand in the preparations. Because that's what parents should do to help ease older children into having a new little sibling. And thank you Remus, for slipping that date in there for anyone who has lost track. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this chapter as much as I do! My sleepy chihuahua says 'You should all review if you have the time and want to because I'm adorable and I'm even more adorable when my human is smiling and happy and writing and reviews make her smiley and happy and write more which means I get to snuggle under the blankets by her warm butt more.' If you have time and you want to, for the sake of the adorable doggy's extra warm butt heated sleepy spot, review.
Supermegaawesomefoxyhott supercalafragalisticexpialad ocious love,
PS: I dunno why it keeps spacing my docious, pretend it didn't.