The baby stretched her arms out as Griffin lifted her out of the crib. "Come here, you stinker." He laid the baby on the changing table, made a face, but plowed into the job at hand. Mum wasn't kidding when she told me I'd be on diaper duty! Most of the Christmas holiday had been spent getting used to having the little tyke around, but Griffin didn't mind at all – especially since it meant that Annie would come over to help him out from time to time.
The little girl's hands balled up into fists and she cooed softly as Griffin finished up and placed her on his shoulder. He patted her bottom softly as he carried her out of the room and into the living room downstairs where his dad was sitting with a book. "She's probably hungry, you know."
"Yeah, I was going to get a bottle."
"Do you want me to take her?"
"No, but you can change her next time. It's not fair that you get to change that mess using magic and I don't. I think the Ministry should amend the underage wizard clause to allow any underage siblings to deploy at least minimal charms to aid with the general clean up!" Griffin retrieved one of the bottles his mum had left for the baby while she was out and sat down on the couch to feed her. She was indeed very hungry and nestled into the crook of Griffin's arm content with her bottle.
"You're getting pretty good at that," Sirius said looking over at his son and daughter.
Griffin shrugged his shoulders and looked down at the baby. "You know dad," he said, "I've been thinking about this name of hers. Annie and I spent hours looking up fine names and I believe we sent you a list of over 60 decent names for you and mum to choose from but Miri wasn't on the list. Where did you come up with that?"
Sirius sighed, "If you had ever taken time to learn about star constellations you would know that Mirzam is the beta star in the Canis Major constellation – the same constellation in which Sirius is the alpha star."
"Wait a second…Mirzam? You are setting her up to be ridiculed for the rest of her life!"
"Her real name is Miri, so stop worrying about that. No one need know the origin of her name unless she decides to tell them."
Griffin rolled his eyes. "I get a dangerous beastie name and she gets a star name. Why couldn't you have taken a hint from Remus and Katie and just given us normal names?"
"A normal name? Something like Analyise?"
Griffin snickered at hearing Annie's real name uttered allowed. She hated that name with a passion. "Point taken."
"Speaking of Annie, I thought she was coming over today?"
Griffin tried to hold back the big goofy grin that usually found it's way to his face whenever Annie was mentioned, but he couldn't. "No, she's out with Roarke shopping – you know – girl stuff."
Sirius smiled rather dangerously at Griffin. "Ah, you know what that means of course?"
Sirius sat forward in his chair and looked very honestly at his son. "My boy, you are seventeen years old - you should know by now that 'girl stuff' is a code for the fact that they are out comparing you and Liam."
"Who dresses better, how they like your hair - who kisses better...."
"Who KISSES better?" Griffin when scarlet in the face.
Keeping a straight face, Sirius went on. "And of course they are comparing your...charms."
"Huh? Our ability at charms?"
"No, your ability to charm THEM."
Eyes going wide, Griffin asked, "Dad, are you suggesting what I REALLY don't want to think you are?"
"Probably, but I didn't say anything your mother could get mad about. And you better not get her suspecting you are showing Annie any charms just yet or you are in trouble."
"Well, you don't have to worry," he assured his father. "I'm saving my charms."
"Good." Sirius sat back in his chair and opened back up his book.
"For summer break."
Sirius looked over his book suddenly at the comment.
"Seems silly to waste them at school," Griffin pointed out.
"You're grounded," teased Sirius and the two of them burst into a fit of laughter.
"Dad, no offence, but I'm more afraid of what Remus would do to me than I am of you grounding me!"
"Good point – and I heartily agree with you on that. Father's tend to be a bit overprotective of their little girls. I know I'm already dreading the day some young man tries his charms on Miri."
"I'm sure I'll have to talk to Remus about Annie LONG before you have to talk to anyone about Miri"
"How's next week suit you? I'm sure Remus is free –"
They enjoyed another good laugh and then Sirius resumed reading his book as Griffin looked down at his sister sucking away on her bottle. They sat quietly for a while.
"I think Miri is the best Christmas gift I've ever had."Sirius smiled warmly. "I could say the same thing about that sweater you gave me. It really was the best birthday gift I've ever been given."