The Fine Art of Naming
Katie was bored. Bored. Bored. Bored. Beyond bored.
Why had she quit her job, again?
There was a light fluttering in her mid-section and Katie couldn't help but grin at the timing. She smiled as she absentmindedly stroked her pregnant stomach. Her reason for choosing to retire from playing the sport she loved was rather obvious.
But that didn't change the fact that she was still incredibly bored.
And it wasn't as if she hadn't tried her hardest to amuse herself. Because she had. But it appeared as if today was one of those days when there was quite literally nothing to do.
Normally, Katie would spend her time doing something like cleaning the flat, or doing some grocery shopping, or even working at Weasley's Wizard Wheezes. Or even, on very rare occasions when he had a full day off while in-season, Katie would spend time with her husband.
Except he'd been at an away match for several days, which meant that Katie had spent that exact amount of time alone when she was at home. Two days ago she had finished all of the cleaning. Yesterday she had done the grocery shopping after work, because she knew there wouldn't be anyone waiting at home for her that night. And this morning George had owled her that she was most certainly not allowed to come into work today because she had worked the past four days straight and he didn't want her over-exerting herself.
What good was it having a job to fill the boredom when you were retired if your boss wouldn't let you come in to actually work?
Just at that moment, Katie was mercifully distracted from her thoughts by the sound of a key in the lock on the front door. A wide smile spread across Katie's face. Oliver was home. Finally. This was definitely a pleasant surprise.
"I'm home!" Oliver's voice called out at the same time as the sound of the front door closing reached Katie's ears. "Katie?"
"In here!" Katie called back, remaining where she was. For as bored as she was, she was also, admittedly, rather lazy. Of course, it didn't help that she was also ridiculously pregnant at the moment, which made it quite difficult to get up from the couch she was currently seated on without some assistance.
"Hello, love," Oliver wasted no time making his way into the living room and seating himself beside Katie in order to greet her with a grin of his own and a rather prolonged kiss. Not that Katie was complaining, mind you; it had most definitely been far too long since she had seen her husband. Bloody Quidditch.
"How was the match?" Katie asked, once they had both found—rather reluctantly, but oxygen was rather vital for survival, regrettably—the will to separate. They now sat curled in each other's embrace. "I followed it in the Prophet, but the Evening edition hasn't arrived yet."
"I'm hurt," Oliver said, and Katie was sure if their hands hadn't been entwined he would have been clutching his chest in mock pain as he spoke. "Our dreadfully long separation didn't even warrant keeping closer tabs on me by listening to the game on the wireless."
Katie wrinkled her nose in distaste. "You know it's not the same when it's not Lee doing the commentary."
"So you finally admit it!" Oliver said triumphantly. "All those games back at Hogwarts…you weren't really paying attention to the game, you were just listening to Lee."
"Oh drat, you caught me; I've secretly been pining after Lee for all these years," Katie said with a roll of her eyes and a dry, but amused, tone. "The game?"
"We managed to pull off a win," Oliver told her. "It was pretty close the whole time; I didn't think we'd be able to do it."
"You never seem to…" Katie couldn't help but mutter.
"Enough about me, though," Oliver continued as if he hadn't heard her, "What about you? How have you been? How's the baby? What have you been up to?"
"Excluding some kind of beginning-of-life-crisis when born, I believe your child has settled on Beater as future Quidditch position," Katie informed her husband. "And a hyperactive Beater, at that."
"I could settle for Beater," Oliver declared, disentangling his hand from Katie's in order to settle his hand on her rounded stomach. He was almost immediately rewarded with the jab of some appendage or other beneath his touch.
"Also," Katie continued, shifting slightly so that she could actually look at her husband, only to find that he had closed his eyes as he sat there with her, a contented expression on his face. The sight brought another smile to her face, even as her next words were clearly ones of frustration, "A certain Mr. Weasley is refusing to allow me to come in to work."
Oliver's eyes opened at this, and he regarded Katie thoughtfully. "So, you're telling me you haven't actually been into work this week at all? Because I'm pretty sure you left for the shop the same time I left on Monday."
"Er…well…no," Katie admitted. "I mean, yes, I have been to work."
"How many times?" Oliver asked her pointedly.
"Er…four?" Katie offered weakly.
"Katie," Oliver said with a sigh. "I thought you said this was going to be part-time."
"It is!" Katie protested. "I didn't go in today. And George hardly lets me do more than tend the cash register now, anyway. You really shouldn't worry so much."
"I can't help it," Oliver admitted. "Sometimes you really do overwork yourself."
"You should really be more concerned that I'm going to drop dead of boredom one of these days," Katie informed him seriously.
"I know I work too much," Oliver said with a shake of his head. "But I can't help the schedule during the season. I don't do enough when I do get to spend time with you, do I?"
"Of course you do," Now it was Katie's turn to admonish him. "You're absolutely wonderful when you're home—and no, that is not me attempting to make some jab about how much you have to travel. Trust me, Oliver, I understand. And I still love you, even if you are a Quidditch fanatic."
"I should still do more for you," Oliver said determinedly. "I should do something for you right now. Can I get you anything? Did you eat dinner yet? Should I make something?"
"No dinner yet," Katie said, snuggling further into his embrace. "I'd really rather just sit here with you."
"Some pumpkin juice would be lovely, dear," Katie said with another roll of her eyes. "I promise I had a late lunch; it'll be enough for a little while longer."
"Excellent," Oliver said, regrettably disentangling himself from his wife fully now and standing up from the couch. "I'll just go get you a glass."
He returned less than two minutes later with a tall glass of Katie's requested beverage, plus the unopened bag of pretzels she'd bought the day before. In that time, Katie had managed to maneuver herself so that she was stretched out across the couch; doing nothing could actually be rather tiring, after all. After Oliver had returned and had presented Katie with her refreshments, he resumed his seat, this time with his wife's feet resting on his lap.
"Not hungry, eh?" Oliver asked pointedly, having noticed that Katie had set down the glass of juice in favor of opening the pretzels first.
"Since you're back," Now it was Katie's turn to blatantly ignore him, "There are a few things I've actually been meaning to discuss with you."
"More husbandly duties I've been neglecting?" Oliver sighed.
"Sure," Katie shrugged. "I know we've already made plans for the nursery, and we'll set it up eventually…in the event we ever find a house we actually like. But what we haven't talked about at all is names for the baby."
"Names?" Oliver said brightly. "I've actually been thinking about names for a while now."
Katie was both amused and slightly overwhelmed with a sudden onslaught of emotions—why was her husband so wonderful? "I suppose you've prepared a written list of your favorites, then?" She finally managed to ask.
"A list?" Oliver looked affronted. "As if. I've got them all memorized."
"Feel free to share," Katie informed him, raising her glass to her lips.
"Well naturally," Oliver began, "They're all going to be named after famous Quidditch players."
Katie choked a bit on the sip of pumpkin juice she had just taken. "What?"
"Are you alright?" Oliver leaned closer to her, reaching a hand out to take away the glass of juice.
"I'm fine," Katie said with one final cough, waving away his outstretched hand. "Explain."
"Oh, c'mon Katie," Oliver begged, having a feeling he knew where she was going with this. "How cool would it be to be named after someone famous? And then factor in that it's after someone famous for playing Quidditch."
Katie resisted the urge to roll her eyes yet again that evening. "I meant," she began slowly, "Just what in Merlin's name did you mean by 'all' of them? I know how many Quidditch idols you're bound to have. I sincerely hope you don't think we're going to have that many children."
"So you don't mind naming them after Quidditch players then?" Oliver clarified, pleasantly surprised.
"How many, Oliver?" Katie demanded.
"Seven?" He suggested weakly, attempting and failing not to cower under his wife's gaze.
"I am not giving birth to a full Quidditch team for you, Oliver," Katie informed him. "Haven't we talked about that before?"
"No chance you're ever going to change your mind about that?" He asked hopefully.
"No," Katie said shortly. "Not at all."
"Bummer," Oliver said, sinking back into the couch with a sigh. His hands settled next to Katie's feet, which were still on his lap, and he absentmindedly began to rub one of them.
They sat in silence for a prolonged moment before Katie spoke up again, sincerely hoping he wasn't going to stop his ministrations because she did so, but wanting to continue their conversation at the same time. "You said you had some names picked out?" She prompted him.
"What? Oh, yeah, I do," Oliver said, "You really don't mind naming the baby after a Quidditch player?"
"You say that like you're the only person in this room who likes the sport," Katie said with a small laugh. "I do believe I also played professionally…until someone knocked me up."
"Can you really call it being knocked up if we were married already?" Oliver asked, a contemplative expression crossing his features.
"Names, Oliver," Katie reminded him. "Names."
"Oh, yeah," Oliver said. "Well…most of the people on the list actually played Quidditch—maybe one or two didn't, but those few still did very important things for the world's greatest sport."
"We are not naming our child after the author of Quidditch Through the Ages," Katie said pointedly. "I like Quidditch, but I draw the line there. There will not be a Kennilworthy Wood."
"As you wish. So, would you like boys names or girls names first? Or should I just tell you all of the players—er, I mean, the names—I liked best?"
"Do boys names first," Katie said, taking another sip of her pumpkin juice to mask the amused smirk threatening to break free at his attempted cover up. Silly Oliver.
"Alright, well first there's 'Dai' after Dai Llewellyn," He said.
"Who?" Katie asked in confusion.
"Dangerous Dai Llewellyn," Oliver amended. "He used to play for the Caerphilly Catapults."
"He was a rather reckless player, wasn't he?" Katie asked. "I'd hate for your future son to get any bad ideas from his namesake."
"I suppose," Oliver replied, wisely choosing not to bring up the fact that the baby wasn't even born yet and already it was only his child when it misbehaved. "There's also 'Finbar,' after the captain for Ballycastle. He's a beater, you know."
"That is one thing the baby already has going," Katie agreed, rubbing her stomach with a small smile.
"'Brevis,'" Oliver said next.
"Bit of a whiner, wasn't he?" Katie asked. "Brevis Birch, I mean. Always making excuses for losses and such, I mean."
"Hmm…then you probably wouldn't like 'Rudolf' then," Oliver said thoughtfully.
"As a former player for the Holyhead Harpies," Katie began pompously, "No, no I would not like my child to be named after Rudolf Brand."
"He was basically the most famous captain the Heidelberg Harriers have ever had, though," Oliver pointed out hopefully.
"He tried to propose to the captain of the Harpies at the end of a match against her!" Katie stated. "And then he let himself get hit over the head with her broom. No, 'Rudolf' really won't do."
"There's also Maximus," Oliver continued determinedly, "After—"
"The American," Katie said, her eyes suddenly narrow.
"What have you got against Americans?" Oliver demanded.
"Absolutely nothing," Katie replied brightly. "Maximus Brankovitch is a brilliant seeker."
"Okay then…" Oliver said slowly, still unsure, even seven months into the pregnancy, of his wife's sudden mood swings. Speaking of mood swings, he wouldn't be at all surprised if the next names up on his mentally-prepared list set her off. "Er…next is 'Karl,' obviously after Karl Broadmoor, who was a world-famous beater along with his brother, Kevin."
"I imagine that's your way of saying that, in the event we ever have twins, you want to name them Karl and Kevin," Katie said. "If you ever get me pregnant with twins, I will kill you."
"Of course, dear," Oliver said swiftly. "Moving on, how do you like 'Randolph?'"
"After that Falcons player?" Katie asked. "The one who quit playing to make the Comet line of brooms?"
Oliver nodded eagerly.
"He had a partner, didn't he?" Katie asked suspiciously. "Basil something-or-other?"
Oliver's eyes widened in alarm. "How about 'Alasdair?'" He asked quickly. "After the chaser for Montrose? I mean, I know they fired him, in the end, but he was rather fond of muggle sports. Wouldn't that make your mum happy?"
"Forget about my mum," Katie said with a wave of her hand, "I like the name Alasdair…but maybe as a middle name…Who else made your list?"
"Er…Hamish MacFarlan," Oliver replied. Then he frowned, "Of course, he also played for Montrose. I mean, we don't want to inadvertently turn our son into a Montrose fan."
"Do you have a problem with the Magpies that I don't know about?" Katie asked in amusement.
"No," Oliver said immediately. "But can you just imagine your child choosing Montrose over Holyhead?"
"Fair point," Katie said, shuddering. "Continue."
"'Darren,'" Oliver offered. "For Darren O'Hare, former keeper for the Kenmare Kestrals, captain of the Irish National Team, and inventor of the Hawkshead Attacking Formation."
"You've also memorized Quidditch Through the Ages for bedtime story material, I see," Katie commented. "Who else?"
"Another Magpie, I see."
"He was legendary," Oliver stated, the awe in his voice unmistakable.
"He collided with a helicopter." Katie was very concerned that her husband needed reminding of this.
"Is that bad?" Oliver asked, confused.
"Oliver, darling," Katie said with forced patience, "I know Muggle Studies was never really your thing, so I'm not really surprised that you don't actually appear to know what a helicopter is. But I'd think you'd know it was bad if colliding with one killed him!"
"Oh," Oliver said shortly, "So you don't want to name our future son 'Fabius' then?"
"No," Katie replied. "No, I do not."
"Alright," Oliver said defeatedly. "Then the last one I've got is 'Roderick.'"
"For Roderick…Plumpton?" Katie asked slowly.
Oliver nodded eagerly. "He was the seeker for the English National team and the Tutshill Tornadoes. You know, he currently holds the British record for the fastest capture of the snitch during a game."
"Well…" Katie hesitated. "I don't know…"
"It's three and a half seconds," Oliver rushed to add.
"I don't really think I'd want to name my son 'Roderick' thought," Katie admitted. "Then people would call him things like 'Rod' or 'Rick.'"
"But Katie! Three and a half seconds. Three and a half!"
"I did like Darren, though," Katie continued thoughtfully, studiously ignoring his protests. "Don't you think Darren Alasdair Wood sounds nice?"
"Darren O'Hare was a keeper," Oliver stated immediately.
"Yes, you mentioned that already," Katie said with a smile. "I can't imagine you have a problem with that."
"Well obviously not," Oliver replied, rolling his eyes theatrically.
"I'm glad that's settled then," Katie's smile widened. "Of course…the baby might be a girl…"
"I don't think any of the girl names on my list are from keepers," Oliver said, a concerned expression suddenly appearing on his face, and Katie could tell he was mentally reviewing his list as he spoke. "What if we do have a daughter and the fact that she isn't named after a keeper means that she won't even give the position a chance?"
"Only you would come up with that kind of twisted logic," Katie informed her husband. "Besides, there are positions—perfectly respectable positions—other than keeper, you know."
"Of course," Oliver said immediately. "Such as seeker, a position played by Glynnis Griffiths of the—"
"Holyhead Harpies," Katie finished for him. "Even as my former team, I think I'd rather not name my daughter after a Harpies player."
"What about a former Harpy?" Oliver asked in a speculative tone. "Such as, oh, I don't know…Wilda Griffiths?"
"Who just so happened to abandon Holyhead in favor of Puddlemere?" Katie asked with a raised brow. "Even if I didn't catch your attempt at being sneaky, I don't think I'd want to name anyone after someone who mysteriously vanished in the middle of a match, probably thanks to Gwenog Jones, my former captain."
"A fair point, I suppose," Oliver sighed. "But before you rule out all Harpies' players, let's not forget Gwendolyn Morgan, whom I'm sure you can't have any problem with, seeing as how she smashed Brand over the head with her broom after he proposed marriage to her."
Now it was Katie's turn to sigh, though it was for an entirely different reason than Oliver. "That must have been a lovely sight to see…"
"And perhaps being named after her would discourage any hormonal teenage boys," Oliver said thoughtfully.
"Our child—who, might I remind you for the umpteenth time, may not even be a girl—isn't even born yet, and you're already worried about dating?" Katie demanded incredulously. "That'sfifteen years off!"
"That young?" Oliver frowned.
"That old," Katie corrected him. "If you're lucky. But I don't want my daughter to be named 'Gwendolyn' anyway, so it's just going to have to be your utter ridiculousness that scares off potential boyfriends."
"If we let her out of the house…"
"You can't have a star Quidditch player if you don't let her actually play the sport, Oliver. Now what's the next name?"
"Catriona, for Catriona McCormack," Oliver replied promptly.
"She was a chaser, and the captain for Pride of Portree?" Now it was Katie's turn to look thoughtful. "She was rather good, wasn't she? And I suppose it doesn't hurt that she was a chaser…"
"You're forgetting the part where she played for Scotland a record thirty six times," Oliver said pointedly. "I really think that that's what we need to focus on here: she's Scottish."
"Of course, dear," Katie said with an amused smile. "I suppose you've also got her daughter Meghan on your list, don't you?"
"Yes—oh, and she's a keeper!" Oliver exclaimed brightly. "Isn't that fantastic? Now it won't matter if we have a boy or a girl!"
"Or we could not name her Meghan," Katie said. "Because, you know, I already have two cousins named Meghan and my family really doesn't need a third one."
"You have cousins?" Oliver asked, eyes narrowed in confusion.
Katie dropped her face into her palm and shook her head. "Were you even at our wedding? Yes, I have cousins. Muggle cousins who made up most of our wedding guests."
"Oh," Oliver said with a shrug, "I suppose there were people other than you and I there that day."
"It doesn't matter how sweet you are, we're still not naming our daughter 'Meghan,'" Katie informed him, biting her lip to keep from smiling.
"I was being sweet?" Oliver was confused again.
Katie couldn't hold back her laughter at this. "Just tell me the next name," She said in between laughs.
"Okay," Oliver gave his wife a look of concern as she continued to giggle but continued, "Next was 'Eunice' but it was after Eunice Murray, and in light of the name we chose for our potential future son, I feel like you're going to object to anyone else who played for Montrose."
"Plus I always thought she was a bit full of herself," Katie added. "Just because she was a good seeker didn't mean the Snitch was too slow."
"After that was 'Joscelind,'" Oliver continued.
"Joscelind?" Katie questioned.
"For Joscelind Wadcock, of course," Oliver stated.
"Joscelind Wadcock?" Katie repeated uncertainly.
"Not the one who cost Ireland the World Cup in '78!" Oliver said in a rush, mistaking her hesitation. "The one that people actually like—who happens to be the grandmother of the one everyone hates."
"I suppose you'd have some outrageous over-reaction—like saying you didn't want to be married to me anymore—if I told you I had no idea there were two Joscelind Wadcock's, wouldn't you?" Katie asked speculatively.
"Probably in any other situation," Oliver agreed immediately. "But in this case, I'd rather assume that you had no idea because people generally just like to forget that the second one ever existed. Plus, I suppose it makes more sense that I know about the first one because—"
"You're a Quidditch fanatic?" Katie suggested.
"—she played for Puddlemere," Oliver finished. "And there's nothing wrong with being a fanatic if it pays as well as it does for me."
"I suppose your fanaticism is keeping a roof over our heads," Katie said in a pseudo-flippant tone. She waved a hand at him frivolously, "Continue on with your names."
Oliver shook his head at her with a chuckle. "There's only one left: 'Daisy.'"
"Where do you come up with these names?" Katie demanded. "I really can't think of any famous players named 'Daisy.'"
"Daisy Pennifold?" Oliver offered.
"Oh," Katie said, comprehension dawning. "The creator of the Pennifold Quaffle; that makes sense. But I really don't like the name."
"Did you like any of the girl names I suggested?" Oliver asked dejectedly.
"I know what we could do!" Katie perked up suddenly.
"Are you going to keep rubbing my feet?" Katie demanded.
"Are you going to keep rubbing my feet?" Katie repeated, having only just noticed that his hands had been still for quite some time now. And it had felt so nice…
"I was rubbing your feet?" Oliver, bless his soul, looked genuinely confused.
"Yes," Katie said shortly. "And if you do so again, then you can name our potential future daughter anything you'd like."
"Can I get that in writing?" Oliver asked even as he took her left foot in his hand.
"Sure…" Katie relaxed back into the couch once more.
"Well, I really liked 'Joscelind,'" Oliver said slowly.
"I suppose the fact that the original Joscelind Wadcock played for Puddlemere cancels out the fact that her granddaughter was apparently a disgrace, doesn't it?" Katie asked, her eyes drifting shut.
"Of course," Oliver said, and Katie could just tell that he'd shrugged indifferently as he spoke, even with her eyes closed.
"Well I sincerely hope you don't have your heart set on 'Eunice' as a middle name," Katie informed her husband, "Because 'Joscelind Eunice' sounds kind of completely awful."
"Plus she was a seeker," Oliver said, "And I was thinking…what if we stuck with names of people who play the same positions as us?"
Katie couldn't help the snort of laughter that escaped her at this. When picking the name their child would have for his or her entire life, trust Oliver's priority to remain completely on what position their child's namesake played, rather than any kind of aesthetic appeal.
"Is that a 'no' then?"
"Sorry, no I was just—actually, never mind," Katie said swiftly. "That sounds like a lovely idea, Oliver. Joscelind Wadcock was a chaser, wasn't she? And so was Alasdair Maddock, and Darren O'Hare was a keeper."
"Catriona McCormack was a chaser," Oliver offered.
"Who played for Scotland," Katie said with a nod.
"I feel like you're making fun of me," Oliver said, suspicion lacing his tone.
"You know that any and all teasing I do is out of love," Katie told her husband. "'Joscelind Catriona' sounds perfectly lovely."
"Joscelind Catriona and Darren Alasdair," Oliver said happily.
"Or," Katie corrected him instantly. "Joscelind or Darren."
"Well this time, yeah," Oliver agreed.
"We haven't even had one baby yet and you're already planning for the second," Katie asked incredulously, finally opening her eyes again.
"Please?" Oliver wheedled.
Katie studied him with a contemplative look before speaking again. "We'll have to revisit the subject after I see your diaper-changing abilities. Then I'll let you know just how many more children I'm willing to have with you."
Oliver perked up immediately. "Children? As in the plural, more than one kind?"
"We are not having seven children, Oliver."
a/n—I considered making this a part of my longer Katie/Oliver story, The Answer to Our Lives, but then I decided I liked it better on its own. However, if you've read that or you decide to, they basically take place in the same storyverse.
Also, I feel as if I should tell you that there is no actual, canon 'second' Joscelind Wadcock. But if anyone wants the back story why everyone apparently hates her, then you should read my Sirius/Marlene story Better Than Revenge.