Dear James, Remus, Harry and Sirius
Muggle London is just as I expected: wonderful. At least for me since I haven’t been here for so long. On my first day at the hotel, I slept for about twelve hours straight; something I haven’t been able to do since Harry was born. Speaking of my son...he’s alive, right? I miss my little boy so much. Remember that everytime he cries he’s either hungry or needs to be changed. There’s fresh diapers in the chest next to his crib. Remember to leave a small light on at night before he goes to sleep and to always leave the door open. The last thing you want to do is close the door and not hear him cry. Remember to use the cream I left on top of the three drawer chest for his collic attacks; rub it gently on his tummy. Well, I’m off today for a day to the spa. Say hello to Sirius and Remus and give my little boy a kiss and a hug from my part.
With much love,
“‘Remember to leave a small light on at night before he goes to sleep,’” James mimicked Lily’s voice as he re-read the letter and propped himself on the sofa next to Remus who was engrossed in a leather-bound book. “Why does she think I’m not capable of taking care of Harry? Not a word out of you, Padfoot,” added James as he saw Sirius’ mouth open to answer his question. “She talks like I’m not a responsible father, like I don’t know my own son. For Merlin’s beard, I’m well aware that there’s a cream for Harry’s collic attacks on top of the chest!” he added as he shook the letter violently.
“Prongs, how are you going to know when Harry’s having a collic attack?” Remus asked without removing his gaze from his book.
“Easy,” responded James with a enthusiastic smile, “he cries.”
“Err, ‘ongs, ‘arry ‘ries fo ‘vry ‘ittle thing ee ‘eeds,” responded Sirius through gritted teeth.
James, willing to not lose this fight, turned to face Sirius and confront his best mate but almost bursted out laughing when he saw a Sirius in all fours wresteling Harry with his teeth for a small stag made magically out of rags James had made for him when he was three months old. Entratained, he watched with great amusement as Harry’s emerald eyes focused on the task of getting his stag away from Sirius by wrapping both little, pudgy hands around the stag’s neck while Sirius pulled with his teeth on the stag’s legs.
“eaf meh aon,” responded Sirius as he growled at Harry like at dog.
The infant on the other hand spotted another toy of his liking and released the stag’s neck causing Sirius to go backwards with the small stag still in his mouth. Neither Remus and James could retain their laughs as Sirius stood from his humiliated defeat.
“You cheated, you green eye monster!” Harry merely looked up at Sirius and smiled a toothless smile; Sirius couldn’t help but to smile back and hoist Harry into his arms. “But you know something, you’re my favorite green eye monster. What? What are you two looking at?”
“Sirius, have you ever thought of getting married and having children of your own?”
“No, Moony, not really,” responded Sirius in a grave tone.“Well, at least not while Voldemort’s out killing. But once that bastard’s out of the picture, I’m going to beg Lily to introduce me to one of her friends.”
James laughed, “You have met Lily’s friends, Padfoot, even dated half of them!”
“Not Camille,” Sirius said grinning like an eighteen year old. “Camille’s two years younger than us. She just finished Hogwarts so as soon as this war’s over, she’ll be my girlfriend.”
“More like your future victim,” James suggested.
“Har, har, har,” Sirius laughed sarcastically but paused in mid-laugh to smelled the air about him; his nose detected the source of the smell as he looked down at Harry and knew what had happened. “Err…James…I forgot I had to--erm, I’m rather hungry you see--so, yeah…later.”
And with that pathetic excuse, Sirius handed Harry gently back to James’ arms and exited the room as fast as his own two legs could take him. James looked at Remus who was just as confused as he was of Sirius sudden departure, but with one whiff of the air around his smiling son, both Remus and James understood Sirius’ sudden flee. James outstretched his arms holding his son as far away as possible and twisted his face in disgust at the same time; Remus, without allowing James to notice, muttering that Sirius could need.
“Bloody hell, Harry, you’re a baby poo machi-oi!” exclaimed James and he looked around the room for Remus. “Get back here you, coward!”
“Can’t!” Remus bellowed from outside the library. “I’m err…eating.”
James grumbled under his breath and looked his son who pretended that none of it was his fault.
“Don’t you try that puppy eye routine on me,” ordered James as he ascended the stairs towards Harry’s nursery and trying his best to not breathe as he held Harry as far away from his nose as possible. “May I remind you that your father was part of the Marauders and created that puppy look to get out of detention?” Harry on the other hand just cooed at his father, “And I even used it sometimes to persuade your mother to break the rules...” he added under his breath.
Sighing and taking another deep breath, he placed his son on top of the changing table and left him there before marching towards the three drawer chest in search for one of Harry’s fresh diapers. But before he had the chance to get there, he was zapped by a mirror that Gabrielle, one of Lily’s friends, had given her as a joke the day she went to visit Lily in St. Mungos. Fuming and planning to destroy the mirror, he approached the darn instrument carefully with his wand out in case it decided to zap him again but when he was a few inches away from the mirror, he read what the surface of it said, ‘Don’t leave a child on top of a changing table alone. They wiggle and fall causing the death of the infant and/or the father who left him there.’ James frowned at the mirror’s words and turned his head to see his son as he squirmed happily about the changing table and witnessed how, by every so movement, Harry got closer to the edge of the table.Panicking, he rushed to Harry’s side and settled him back on the middle of the table before summoning the diapers to him.
“Wonder why I became a wizard if I can’t even remember to use magic,” he mumbled as he examined his wand pathetically as if waiting an answer to come from from the piece of stick.
James, who had watched Lily change Harry’s diaper many times--not that he had a choice--managed the diaper changing task faster and without any messes unlike Sirius and Remus the previous night. Proud of his swift work, James dressed Harry in his old Gryffindor quidditch robes that Sirius had managed to steal from him and shrink the day Harry had been born. “You no longer need them,” Sirius had said as James whimpered at the sight of state his old quidditch robes were.
Once in the kitchen, where Remus and Sirius were doing everything but eating, he propped himself on a chair with Harry upon his knees; he grinned happily at the three man around him as he brought his chubby hands together over and over again.
“Thanks for the help, guys,” James said narrowing his eyes behind his black, round glasses; Remus and Sirius just grinned at him.
“There was a message while you were up changing Harry,” Remus informed James as he on the sat across from him. “Dumbledore wants one of us to go to the meeting which will take place in a half hour.”
“Remus, of course, saw it as his ticket way out,” Sirius told James in a dark tone. “He volunteered right away to be the one who attended the meeting meaning that you and I, Prongs, will be at your son’s, the green eyed monster, mercy.”
“You’re not going to die, Padfoot,” muttered Remus before returning his gaze back at James. “And yes, I did volunteer to go to the meeting but I’ll be back as soon as its over. That is if Dumbledore doesn’t want something done.”
“I’m not going to die?” Sirius repeated in a rather loud voice that even made Harry whip his head to look at him with curiosity. “You have smelled his...well...crap, right? You might not die, but it can certanly knock the hell out of you!” He paused for a moment and his concerned face suddenly transformed into one of mischief, “You know what, maybe that’s the way to defeat Voldemort. All we have to do is feed this pooping monster whatever disgusting thing Lily feeds him and wait for him to do his err…necessities. Then we can fling his old, dirty diaper at Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Once they’re out we’ll kill them. Ha-ha, they won’t even know what hit them! What?”
“Sirius,” James said in between laughs, “you’re delusional.”
“Remember that he needs to be fed in about an hour,” instructed Remus to James and Sirius who weren’t paying attention to him; the last thing James needed besides Lily breathing down his neck was his best friend telling him how to take care of his own son. “Also, remember to get him to sleep after he eats or else he’ll get cranky.”
“Yes, yes,” Sirius said offhandedly. “Feed him; make him go to sleep. Got it. Now get going already or else you’ll be late.”
Sighing and fearing for Harry’s life and safety, Remus left for the village where he could dissaparate to the location of the meeting; the Potter house was protected the same way Hogwarts was protected meaning that no one could apparate and dissaparate near the grounds of the house.
“He's worse than Lily,” Sirius suggested to James who was yawning out of boredom.
But before James had the chance of explaining to Sirius that Remus was not as bad as Lily--she kept spesific weekly schedules of Harry’s food--a loud rumbling noise came from out of no where causing Harry to explode in a fit of giggles when he heard the sound. James on the other hand believed the house’s water pipes were coming appart underneath their very own feet.
“Sorry,” mumbled Sirius with a sheepish grin. “Kinda hungry.”
“I though you ate already, remember? ” James reminded him as adjusted his glasses with his free hand “It was about the same time I was about to change Harry's dirty diaper.”
“Yeah...about that ..." started Sirius becoming very interested in his shoes. “Come on, Prongs, lets look for something to eat.”
And without waiting for his reply, Sirius dragged James and Harry into the kitchen where he searched high and low for something good to eat but to his great dismay the only edible things around the kitchen were the type of food that could feed rabbits and such. His empty stomach gave another lound protest, “James! Your wife stores nothing here but-but-vegetables!”
“Yeah,” he replied weakly, “don’t remind me of that fact. Also, don’t complain to Lily about it or else she’ll chew your head off,” he warned.
“I didn’t know she was a healthy-food-eating freak.”
“Neither did I. I came to find that out after I married her,” Sirius laughed a bark-like laugh as he headed for the main entrance. “Where are you going?”
“To the village,” Sirius responded as he reached for his coat that was hanging on the coat rack. “I’m going to the little shops to get me something to feed us along with Harry. In fact, I’m craving Bruet Salmene today.”
“Harry doesn’t eat solid food just yet!”
“Oh...right,” he said slowly. “All right, I’ll get us food for the three of us but as soon as that boy grows his teeth I’m going to get him something decent to eat besides bloody veggies.”
“Oi, wait for me!” James exclaimed as he saw Sirius leaving. “I’m going too, I’m tired of being incarcerated in this house. Just wait for me while I change Harry into his winter robes. The last thing I want is Lily barking at me for being tht cause Harry has a cold.”
Sirius waited patiently--his stomach rumbling with desperation--for about ten minutes before James reappeared into the room with what look a tiny fluffy ball in his arms. “What is that?” he asked as he poked the red fluffy ball that James carried; he quickly snapped his hand back as the ball squirmed.
“It's Harry,” James explained as he extended his arms away from his body showing him a Harry layered in his quidditch robes, a small sweater on top of it, then a thick robe on top of the sweater and quidditch robes and finally followed by a thick blanket wrapped around him; his arms free nonetheless “Why are you looking at me like that? It's bloody cold outside,” he stated as he shot his friend a dark look. “In case you havent noticed it's winter and I don’t wish for Harry to get sick.”
“Err, you could have just--nevermind, lets go,” he ordered to the father and child as his stomach growled louder demanding food.
The Godric’s Hollow, back in its day, was a place of only wizarding families but throughout time the wizarding families moved--or were killed off--and began being replaced my muggle families. Despite of the muggles being around, James enjoyed the quiet small village life, something he got used to while living with his parents. Sometimes he sat about his home looking down at the village houses and its shops wondering what it was like to be a muggle and not being able to use magic. Not that he was wishing to be a muggle.
“Do you know muggle currency?” asked Sirius as they entered the butcher’s shop waking James from his memories.
“A little,” James replied as he shook his messy head trying to get rid of the small snow flakes and then wiping the snow off Harry’s well protected body. “Lily taught me for cases like these.”
“Oi, you, butcher fellow,” Sirius bellowed at the fat man that was in the back room smoking a cigarette
“Yeah, what can I get fer ya?” he asked wiping his hands clean with a messy rag.
“Give me a pound and a half of that scrumptious lamb you got there. Err, another pound and a half the delicious beef and two pounds of those mouth-watering pork chops there.”
“Hungry, Sirius?” James asked in between laughs
“Just a bit,” he answered without taking his eyes off the butcher who was wrapping the lamb as carefully as he could with his big, rough hands.
Once done in the butcher’s shop they left the tiny building, Sirius humming gleefully, carrying three rather large packages in their hands and making their way towards the full baker shop.
“I don’t want to wait,” whined Sirius.
But James, who wanted to get the bread and leave, dragged Sirius into the line and made him wait for fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes which consisted of incoherent protests from his part and dark looks, before their order was taken.
“Just two pieces of bread,” James said as he raised a now heavy Harry higher against his body.
“Two?” roared Sirius in protest “Just two? Are you mad, mate?”
“Sirius, they’re twelve bloody inches long!”
“Gives us three,” Sirius told the impatient baker.
The rest of the day resulted in being a drag for James who kept hauling his feet around as he tried to figure out, mentally, who was worse when it came to food shopping out of his wife--the mother of his son--and his best friend--his son’s Godfather. As a weak sigh escaped his cold, chapped lips he wished over and over he had stayed home where it was warm instead of being outisde and aching all over because of the shaking; Harry on the other hand was exited about being out of the house and kept cooing loudly or laughing at the white snow flakes that landed on his tiny face or henever they entered a new shop causing the tiny bell above the door to to make a ding sound or whenever a passerbyer, who happened to get a glimpse of Harry’s face, stopped James and Sirius to question them about Harry; they thought he was an adorable little thing with gorgeous eyes.
But much to James’ great comfort, after buying three different types of fish, pasteries, veggies needed for the food Sirius supposedly was going to cook and make other stuff, both men and child entered their last shop of the day: a spices and seasonings shop called Tenny’s Seasonings.
“Remind me again why we’re here,” James muttered as he balanced his child and two bags in his arms.
“To buy spices for the salmon, of course,” responded Sirius with a great grin across his face.
Minutes later both men and Harry found themselves with a great predicament just outside the spice shop: they had too many bags to carry, plus a child that resembled something like a quaffle, and since they couldn’t use magic around muggles they were stuck.
“How in the bloody hell are we going to take all of these parcels to the house?” James asked himself as he placed Harry and the bags he was carrying down on the bench that was just ouside the shop. “I believe you over did it, Padfoot.”
“Yes, well, you will thank me later,” grumbled Sirius as he stared down at the five paper bags and the five month old baby who was trying to catch the small snow flakes with his chubby hands. “I have an idea. Here, I’ll take these three,” he said separating three parcels from the other two, “and you take the two left. Now come on, lets go back before I die of starvation and the last thing you want is being sent to Azkaban for murduring your friend by not giving him food.” James, laughing at Sirius’ determined face of getting back home as soon as possible before he starved to death, heaved his parcels onto his arms before comencing their way back towards the Potter House.
What the young father and his friend didn’t realized as they walked away from the bench was the fact they had left a small child sitting there trying his best to get a hold of the snow flakes that were dancing all arond him; the snow flakes, as far Harry could care, were far more interesting than his father and his friend.
Remus Lupin apparated back in Godric’s Hollow feeling both exhausted and hungry. Holding back a yawn he started making his way to James’ house but stopped short when he spotted about ten to fifteen people congregated outside Tanny’s Seasoning shop. His curiosity taking the best of him, he approached the group of people wanting to get a better look of what they were staring at but out of safe precaution, or disposition, he dug his hands into his traveling coat pockets--his right hand wrapped around his wand.
“...and to think this poor little boy did not cry,” an elderly woman said tenderly.
“He does look rather hungry,” added a blonde woman that looked like she was in her mid-thirties; a small child of four with the same blonde hair stood behind her timidly.
“Wonder who’s the the irresponsible mother.”
“Doesn’t matter who the mother is Anne,” the elderly woman snapped at her friend who seemed to be about the same age as her. “That woman does not deserve to have such a cute boy as a son. In fact, she doesn’t deserve to have a child at all.”
“Look mummy,” the little girl with blonde hair said as she tugged at her mother’s skirt, “he has green eyes just like daddy.”
“It wasn’t a woman, Gina,” a old, fat man with an apron stained with blood said. “I saw this boy at me shop earlier today. Two blokes were with him,” he added.
Remus, now obtaining a better look at the child’s face, was not at all surprised to see Harry in the middle of the group. A groan escaped his lips and wondered how long Harry had been by himself before he had found by the elderly woman or how long it would take James and Sirius to realize that they had left Harry behind.
“Do you think the two men are those kind of couples?” Anne, Gina’s friend, asked rather shocked at the idea of James and Sirius being a couple; Remus on the other hand hid a laugh behind a violent cough. Suddenly, an idea popped into Remus’ mind making him grin like in the old days.
“Er, excuse me,” he begged as he made his way through the angered crowd, “I happen to be the child’s...err...uncle!”
“You?” Gina, the elderly woman that was holding Harry, asked as she looked at Remus’ moth-eaten cloak. “How do I know you’re telling the truth?”
“Why would I be lying?” he said shrugging his shoulders. “Look, madame, I happen to know Harry’s father and believe me, he’ll pay for leaving his son behind. So could I...”
“Very well, fine,” she muttered as she passed Harry into Remus’ arms. Harry, not caring what was happening, locked his emerald orbs on Remus’ face and immediatedly brought his chubby hands viciously up to Remus’ face getting a hold of his lips and cheeks. “I take it he truly does know you.”
“How can you tell?” he asked. His lips all twisted as Harry’s hands played with his them.
“Children act differently according if they know the person, that’s all.”
And with that, the group went back to their business leaving Remus alone with Harry.
“What am I going to do with your father and Godfather?” he asked the child; his only responce was a toothless grin. “Come on, I suppose your father didn't feed you. And you haven't taken your nap, have you?” he added when Harry gave a great yawn. “But first...” Remus went around the village as fast as he could erasing the memory of those that seen Harry for two reasons: the first one for Harry’s protection and second to teach both of his friends that babies were a big responsibility.
“Bloody Hell, perhaps we did buy too much food,” grumbled Sirius as he setteled the parcels on top of the kitchen table “All right, believe it or not I’m going to make us something to eat,” he said with great smile “Reckon Remus will take long? Oh well, we’ll leave him some. You all right, mate?”
“Harry...” James breathed, his hazel eyes wide in shock. “Please...tell me you had Harry with you.”
“Oh my-” but before Sirius could finish his sentence both men were already half way to the door hoping that Harry was still entretained by the snow flakes and that nothing bad had happened to him. Once in the village they searched the last place they had visited with Harry and panicked even more when they were told by the owner of the sasoning shop that she had not seen a baby at all.
“Oh my God...” James said slowly as he exited the shop with Sirius’ aid; James could not walk by himself, his legs felt like jelly. “I’ve lost my child...”
“No,” Sirius reasured his best friend even though deep inside he wans’t so sure himself “I’m positive someone found him and is taking care of him.”
James, deeply afraid of little boy’s dissapearance, didn’t bother to listen to Sirius and immediatedly sped down Godric’s Hollow’s main road going to every shop looking for Harry; Sirius did the same by going the oposite way.
“He’s so adorable!” Alice Longbottom squealed as she heaved Harry onto one side of her lap; her son, Neville, was occuping the other side. “He’ll become a looker with those eyes if you ask me.”
“Lily’s,” Frank said as he let out smoke from his pipe. “So you’re telling us that James and Sirius left him behind in the village?”
Both Frank and Alice started laughing.
“Poor James...” Alice said as she calmed herself down. “By now I suspect he has realized that Harry’s missing. He must be worried, Remus,” she added with a full concerned face which Remus supposed came from her maternal instincts.
“Yeah,” agreed Remus. “You’re right. I suppose I should get going.”
With a sweet smile to both Remus and Harry, she handed the babe back to Remus who, for a minute, looked rather worried, “Something wrong, Remus?” she asked.
“Well,” he began as they started walking towards the entrance, “I have a feeling that this’ll be the last time I see you guys.”
“What?” Alice asked both confused and shocked at the news. “What’s the matter, Remus?”
“I have a feeling that James will murder me when he finds out that I was the one that took Harry.”
“Well, lets hope he doesn’t,” she said with a sweet smile.
“Oh, Harry...” muttered James as he entered the house feeling like the worst father that had ever walked on the surface of the planet.
“We need to tell the Order...” whispered Sirius trying to be strong for his friend.
“Hello guys,” both James and Sirius turned their heads to see Remus decending the stairs; a small smile planted on his face “Look James--”
“I lost Harry,” he said in mere whisper. “I-I left him-”
“I just put Harry to sleep, Prongs.”
“...didn’t mean to leave him--you what?!”
“Put Harry down to sleep,” repeated Remus. “When I got back from the meeting I saw a group of people that looked ready to get their torches and pitchforks in search of the irresponsible parents that had left a baby boy by himself. When I found out that it was Harry I took him to where Alice and Frank live. There, he ate and well...look Prongs, I’m sorry...I should’ve told you immediately.”
“Remus,” began James very slowly as he wiped his tears, “stay where you are. First I’m going to make sure Harry’s asleep and then I’ll come back and kill you.”
And with that both father and Godfather ran up to Harry’s nursery leaving Remus behind. There Sirius told James, with out speaking but with a simple nod, that he was going to wait outside while he went to check on his son. Patting his best friend’s shoulder as a ‘thank you’ before entering the nursery, James went his son’s room closing the door behind him.
A big, heavy sigh escaped his dry lips when he saw two green eyes staring back at him; apparently Harry didn’t feel like sleeping besides the fact that it was past his bed time.
“Harry,” James said weakly as he stroke his son’s messy hair. “God, you scared me to death,” he confesed trying his best to hold his tears. “Bloody hell, I’m a bad father.” Harry, feeling that something was wrong with his father, extended his small arms in sign that he wanted to be carried. James of course couldn’t deny such request.
“You know what...” he told Harry as he settled himself on the rocking chair and holding Harry in a way that Harry’s stomach was against his; Harry on the other hand closed his eyes getting tired all of the sudden, “perhaps Remus was right to take you away for a while to scare the crap out of me and make me realize how important you are to me...Not that I never thought you were insignificant...by Merlin’s beard I thought I’d lost you forever!” James added as he rubbed his son’s back and noticed for the first time that his son’s back was just a little bigger than his own hand. A tear tricked down his cheek. “You’ve always been so small...but don’t worry, son, both mum and dad, no matter how bad I am at playing that role, will always be here to protect you.”
“Is he all right?” Sirius asked quietly as James reopened the door remembering that one of Lily’s instructions were to leave the door ajar.
“Yes, where’s Remus?”
“I don’t know,” Sirius said with a shrug. “Down stairs I suppose.”
When both men descended the stairs they were surprised to see that Remus was sitting on one of the steps with his knees against his chest. With a small smile upon his face, James went down to the same step Remus was sitting quietly on and sat next to him; Sirius doing the same thing by sitting on the opposite side.
“Thank you, Moony,” said James.
“Look Prongs, I didn’t mean to scare you--”
“Well you did,” James said frankly. “But I’m glad you found him rather than someone else.”
“Yeah, me too,” agreed Sirius. “Imagine if it had been a vegetarian who found him,” he said with a shudder.
“There’s nothing wrong with being a vegeterian,” Remus said feeling relief that his friends were not mad at him “My mum was a vegeterian.”
“But you eat meat, don’t you?” Sirius asked with a raised eyebrow and a cocky grin, but before Remus could asnwer a loud grumbling noise filled in for Remus. “Sorry...” Sirius apologized for his starving stomach. “How ‘bout we makes us something to eat?”
“Sounds like a good idea to me,” James said as he realized that he, too, was hungry.
“Same here,” Remus replied.
Not bothering on waiting for his friends, Sirius ran towards the kitchen to prepare the Bruet Salmene that he had been craving since they left the house earlier that day. But when both James and Remus entered the kitchen they were surprised to see Sirius whimpering down at the salmon he hoped to prepare. “What’s wrong, Padfoot?”
“Ants,” whispered Sirius picking up the ant covered fish to show it to his friends “ANTS!”
Nomikkin: Thank you for Beta-ing this chappie!
A/N: (Sept 20, 2008): Mistakes have been pointed out to me and I'll revise this chapter as soon as I get off work tonight but as of now I have to get ready. :)
Well? Wow...been almost a year since I last updated this. To tell you the truth I wasn’t going to even bother with this story but spending time with my baby cousin made me want to continue this fic. I hope you like it...leave a review if you guys want me to continue writing this!! *wants to know if its worth her time* Or leave a review telling me that you like it. Review either way! ^______^ Take care and thank you for reading!