Chapter 12 : Busy Weeks
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“Go’way!” his uncle bellowed, and Harry jumped off the bed in fright, glancing anxiously at his uncle.
“Hey, little one, what are you doing here?” Sirius then asked a lot friendlier now after he had recognized Harry.
“Um… you told me come hewe and wake you up,” Harry replied in a very small voice. “I’m sowwy,” he added quietly, shivering a bit in the cold bedroom.
“All right, Harry. So, how shall we wake up Remus? What do you think about some water in his face?”
Harry giggled. “I would like dat. But will Santa bwing pwesents fow us if we pwank Uncle Wemus, ‘pecially on Chwismas Day?” he asked worriedly.
Sirius laughed. “Yes, Harry, you don’t have to worry about that. You’re a very good boy, and I’m sure you’ll get lots of presents.”
“Okay,” Harry admitted. “Den it’s all wight.”
Poor Remus woke up under a shower of ice-cold water, and during the next twenty minutes Harry found himself under a tickle attack. Finally, they managed to attend breakfast in the Great Hall in time. However, Harry wasn’t hungry at all. He couldn’t keep his eyes off the beautiful Christmas tree and the decorations in the Great Hall. The evening before, he had called Skippy and handed him the pictures he had painted, so that Skippy could wrap them and put them under the Christmas tree. Where could they be? He tried to look for any presents shaped like his pictures were but couldn’t spot them as there were too many presents piled under the tree.
“Aren’t you eating anything, Harry?” Minerva asked, giving him a concerned glance.
“Oh, um… when can we open pwesents?” Harry quickly diverted the attention from himself and was allowed to go looking for presents.
Aberforth pulled him over to the Christmas tree and told him to look if he could see a present, which had his name on it. Harry took a dive under the tree and pulled all presents to him that he could reach. He carefully read out the names and handed each present out to the right person, as in the meantime, everyone had joined them.
Harry received about a dozen books, crayons, sweets, a Playmobil zoo with a lot of animals, and an annual ticket for the Scottish Sealife Centre, a huge aquarium that Poppy had taken him to one weekend. And he received ice skates. Not knowing what they were, he threw a curious glance around, before Sirius proceeded to explain what they were and promised to take Harry out to the lake to skate directly after opening the presents.
“Yes, you may go,” Poppy confirmed after Harry had given her a pleading look. “However, you have to put him into warm clothes,” she told Sirius, giving him a stern glance.
Sirius and Remus took Harry back to their quarters, where they both changed into warm clothes, before Remus started to conjure warm clothes for Harry, while Sirius tried to adjust the skates to the exact size of Harry’s feet.
“No, Moony, that doesn’t work. The little rascal is moving too much; can you take him up on your lap for a moment, please,” Sirius said, annoyed by the task.
Remus took Harry onto his lap, noticing that his skin felt very warm to the touch. “Are you all right, Harry? You seem to be a bit warm.” He threw an unsure glance at Sirius.
“Do you feel well?” Sirius asked, too, glancing at Harry’s face, observing that his eyes were unusually bright.
“Yes, I’m fine,” Harry confirmed, not wanting them to know that, in fact, he didn’t feel very good. There was no way he was going to miss the adventure of skating on the lake.
“All right, then. Let’s get you into the clothes Uncle Moony has conjured, and we can go,” Sirius suggested.
“No, Padfoot, I’m not sure,” Remus hesitated, feeling Harry’s forehead. “Harry, before we go out, I want Aunt Poppy or Uncle Severus to take your temperature and check on you.”
“No!” Harry shouted. “I want go now! Don want see Aunt Poppy ow Uncle Sevewus befowe!”
Sirius looked at Remus, astonished. This was very different from Harry’s normal behaviour. “No, Harry. It won’t take long, and if everything is all right, we will go out immediately. Now, whom do you want me to call, Aunt Poppy or Uncle Severus?” Sirius asked, slowly getting impatient.
Harry didn’t answer but proceeded to throw a temper tantrum, crying, shouting, and kicking around, until Remus said in a very stern voice, “All right, we will stay here until you behave and let one of them check on you. We won’t go out like this.”
With this, Harry calmed down a little, settled down on the sofa, and pulled one of his new books out of his robes, starting to read. It took a few minutes until the stunned teachers managed to avert their eyes from Harry, proceeding to helplessly glance at each other.
“All right,” Sirius said and pulled off his warm clothes, motioning Remus to do the same, before he went into the bathroom only to return with a Muggle thermometer in his hands. “Now, Harry, you will open your mouth and let me take your temperature the Muggle way, otherwise I’m going to stun you to keep you still,” he threatened the boy grimly.
Harry threw Sirius a frightened glance and obediently opened his mouth. “Buk I’m hime, gon wan ko…” he started to talk around the thermometer, shutting up immediately when Sirius pointed his wand at him.
In Harry’s opinion, it took ages to take the temperature as Poppy always got the reading in an instant using her wand. “40.3!” Sirius shouted. “How can you tell us you’re fine when you have such a fever?”
“I’m sowwy,” the boy whispered anxiously, shivering.
“It’s all right; it’s not your fault that you’re ill. I’ll take you back to your room, and Sirius will alert Poppy so that she can look after you,” Remus said soothingly, taking the child up in his arms.
“Yes, it’s the flu,” Poppy confirmed after checking on the child. “In fact, I had expected that he would become ill because he spent a whole night in my arms when I was ill, and he is extremely delicate. Fortunately, it’s still the holidays, Harry, so you won’t miss anything at school.”
Harry was very ill for a few days, and even when playschool started again on January 2, Harry was still not back to normal. However, he insisted on attending classes. He’d never admit that he still wasn’t well enough. But he couldn’t resist the urge to willingly lie down for a nap after lunch, sign enough for the teachers to know that he was still far from his usual self.
Two weeks later, Harry was finally back to normal and kept pestering Sirius and Remus about when they were finally going to go skating. They promised to take him on Saturday morning after breakfast, which they, in fact, did – in front of the whole school. Word had gone around quickly that little Harry was trying to do his first steps on the ice, and many students had come to either watch from the shore or to skate, too. It was so much fun for everyone that Sirius felt inclined to organize a skating party for Sunday afternoon – for the whole school to actively participate.
The party was a huge success. Professor McGonagall had held an instant Transfiguration lesson after breakfast in the Great Hall, where she had helped all interested students transfigure tissues into skates, so that everyone was able to attend the party. The house elves had prepared a table on the ice, where they provided hot tea and biscuits for the skaters. And one of the Slytherin second year students, Colm O’Neill who possessed a magical camera, took a lot of funny pictures of the event.
Harry had tried to convince Aunt Poppy and Uncle Severus to come onto the ice with him, but Poppy had insisted that she had to stay away from the lake in order to be there for those who broke bones on the ice or fell ill. She also insisted that Severus had to be careful because she needed his potions. However, Severus couldn’t stand seeing Harry so disappointed. Therefore, he quickly conjured skates and strode over to Harry, who was so glad that he fulfilled a quick toddler’s dance on the ice, finally landing on his backside. In order not to anger Poppy too much, Severus only stayed for a few minutes – enough for the Slytherin second year to shoot a brilliant photograph of his Head of House and the little boy.
At dinner, Colm handed Harry a few photos, which he had taken at the party, and Harry thanked him enthusiastically. The one with Severus holding Harry’s hand he liked so much that he begged Poppy to enlarge it and put it onto the wall in his room.
A few weeks later, it was time for the Hufflepuff – Gryffindor Quidditch match. As usual, Harry sat in Poppy’s lap, Minerva on his left, Severus on the right side, eagerly waiting for the game to start.
“Do you remember what I told you before the last game?” Minerva asked the little boy, tickling him from the side.
“Yes,” Harry replied, giggling and squirming, “I’m not loud to look for de Snitch and if I find it akidenty, I must be quiet.”
“Accidentally,” Minerva corrected the child, smiling. “Of course you may look for the Snitch, and when you’ve found it, you can tell one of us and we record the time. Then, at the next game you can try to find the Snitch faster than this time. Isn’t that a nice game?”
“Yes!” Harry yelled excitedly. “Das a nice game, fanks, Gwanny!”
“Now, Harry, sit down quietly. You’ll hurt Aunt Poppy, moving up and down on her lap like this,” Severus scolded the energized boy.
Harry immediately got up and climbed onto Severus’ lap, before he turned to Poppy. “I’m sowwy, Aunt Poppy. I didn’t want hawt you.”
“It’s all right, my sweetie, you didn’t hurt me. Now, look, the game is going to start.”
It took Harry exactly thirteen minutes to spot the Snitch. He quietly pointed out the golden ball to Severus, who had to admit that Harry really seemed to have good Seeker qualities. The Gryffindor Seeker needed exactly 87 minutes longer to catch the Snitch.
“Congratulations, Harry,” Poppy said, smiling.
“Why?” Severus asked, smirking. “What does Harry have to do with a Gryffindor Quidditch victory?”
Poppy calmingly laid a hand on his shoulder and explained, “Nothing, Severus. However, Harry is supposed to stay in Gryffindor House overnight, and I can imagine that it will be much more pleasant now that they have won the match as it would be if they had lost.”
An instant later, Bill and Tom came over to them, Harry in tow. “Aunt Poppy, can I go to Gwyffindowe wif dem immedaty?” Harry asked, excitedly jumping up and down.
“Calm down, first, Harry. And yes, you may go. However, you have to ask one of your friends to accompany you to your room so that you can get your pyjamas and whatever else you need for the night,” Poppy reminded him.
“It’s all right. Harry can stay in the common room, and I will collect his things and bring them into the tower later in the evening. I want to go and look after him anyway,” Minerva suddenly joined in the conversation.
Harry threw her a huge smile and shouted, “Fank you, Gwanny,” before he rushed into the castle, followed by two surprised Gryffindor second year students.
The victory party was loud and funny. However, nobody offered butterbeer to Harry, and the students, especially the girls, fawned over the small boy as usual. At a certain stage in the evening, a huge commotion started. All students from the third year onwards began to take orders from the smaller students.
When Harry asked the girls, who were sitting on the sofa beside him, what it was about, he was told that the next day was a Hogsmeade day, on which the older students were allowed to go to the town. However, the first and second year students couldn’t go although they wanted to buy many things because it was Valentine’s day on Tuesday. Therefore, they asked the older students to buy things for them.
“Sowwy, but what’s Baltine day?” Harry asked timidly, getting even more confused when the girls started to laugh.
“Sorry for laughing, Harry. On Valentine’s day, boys give presents to the girls they like, and girls give presents to the boys,” one of the second year girls explained.
“Do you have a girl you like, Harry?” one of the older girls asked curiously.
Harry wrinkled his forehead, thinking intensively. Of course he liked Aunt Poppy and Granny, but were they ‘girls’? And he liked Susan and Amelia, Ginny, and Luna. “Yes,” he answered simply.
“How about you draw a nice picture for her?” the fifth years’ prefect suggested.
Harry liked this idea immediately and happily agreed. As soon as the girls had supplied him with parchment and crayons, he started to draw six pictures. From the girls’ conversation, he had understood that girls seemed to like flowers. Therefore, he drew pretty, colourful flowers on the six parchments, finally writing the recipient’s name on top of each drawing. He had just finished the last picture, when his grandmother stepped through the portrait hole in order to put him to bed.
“Gwanny!” he shouted excitedly. “Look, what I have drawed fow you!” Everyone laughed, when he added, “fow Baltine day.”
“For Valentine’s day,” one of the first year girls repeated for her Head of House.
“Oh, Harry, this is beautiful. Thank you.” Minerva commended the boy, taking the parchment from him. Then she turned to the students. “Now, have you already decided where Harry is going to sleep tonight?”
“Yes,” the fifth year prefect spoke up. “The last three times he has spent the night together with the first, second and third years. So, today he should stay in the fourth years’ dormitory.”
“Hey, and what about the boys’ dormitories?” Bill’s friend Tom asked in an upset tone.
“Oh, yes, I know. Next year, he can stay in the boys’ dormitories,” the fifth year countered.
Minerva frowned. “Harry, are you all right with their plan, or do you have someone with whom you want to stay tonight?”
Harry threw her a tired smile. “No, I like ebyone. I can stay ebywhewe. No pwoblem.”
Minerva threw him a proud glance. “All right, Harry. Then we will do as Miss Jones suggested and take you to the fourth years’ dormitory. Okay?”
Harry nodded, glad to be able to go to bed soon. He lazily got up from the sofa, stood in front of his grandmother and held both arms up in order to be picked up.
Minerva snorted but nevertheless picked the boy up and carried him into the bathroom, where she helped him to change into pyjamas, to brush his teeth, and to wash his face. Therese Jones, who had in the meantime sent the fourth years’ girls up into their dormitory, followed them quickly and also assisted as Harry was too tired to be of any help. He finally fell asleep even before they had left the bathroom, and the next thing he knew he was being woken up for breakfast.
On Tuesday morning, Harry busily distributed his five drawings to Poppy, Amelia, Susan, Luna, and Ginny. “Dis is fow you, fow Balitine Day,” he said, throwing a proud glance on his drawings.
“Oh, tank you so, Hawwy,” Luna said. “I like snowdwops bewy much.”
“What are snowdops?” Susan asked curiously.
“Snowdrops they are called. Look at these flowers here, Susan. They are snowdrops,” Amelia answered patiently, pointing to the picture in front of Susan.
Ginny put her picture on the table and gave Harry a quick hug, before she placed a sloppy kiss on his cheek.
The rest of the day, Harry felt very happy to have been able to give nice presents to the girls he liked most. Of course, there were many girls among the students, whom he liked a lot. He let out a tired sigh, waiting for Poppy or Severus to come and read a story to him.
For Harry, the next months passed very fast. He was always busy attending playschool, spending time with teachers or students after school, staying in the different common rooms on Friday and Saturday evenings, and spending Sundays with Poppy or the other teachers.
At the end of May, the Gryffindor versus Ravenclaw Quidditch match took place. As Poppy had to remain in the Hospital wing in order to look after a few sick students, Harry was sitting on Severus’ lap, Minerva and Remus at each side of them.
“Remember, Harry, you’ll have to be quiet, if you see the Snitch, even if the seekers are much slower than you,” Minerva warned the enthusiastic little boy once more. “And when you spot the Snitch tell Severus or me for the record. The last time, you saw the Snitch in the thirteenth minute,” she reminded her grandson.
“Yes, Gwanny. I won’t help de students, I pwomise,” Harry replied sincerely. “And I will tell you or Uncle Sevewus when I see de Snitch.” He couldn’t imagine anything more interesting in a Quidditch match than to look for the beautiful golden Snitch. This time, it took him nearly half an hour until he had spotted his favourite ball for the first time, but the seekers seemed to have missed it, and the game went on for more than two hours.
Suddenly, Bill was hit by a Bludger, lost his balance and the grip on his broom, and tumbled down to the ground.
“BILL!” Harry shouted, terrified.
Thanks to CaveNymph and ObsidianEmbrace for beta-ing :-)
I do not own any of the characters in this story; they all belong to J.K.Rowling or are a free creation, and I am not earning anything by writing this story.
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