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Chapter 15 : Memories of a Past Forgotten
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It was about 11:30 that same night when near every student in Hogwarts spilled out of the large tent Lucy had set up out by Black Lake, all laughing. Many of them were coated in bubbles and all of them had hats of varying degrees of oddness. Others, those not coated in bubbles, were either soaked through with an unrecognizable liquid or toting oversized puzzles. These puzzles looked like toys, yet they were each very complicated and intricate brain busters, all different. Each student that was carting one of the immense puzzles had to focus on not falling over as they laughed and stumbled their way up towards the castle. Those who didn't have the extra large, Hagrid-sized puzzles had smaller scale puzzles, amazingly just as hard as the larger ones.........And there, laughing amongst the students, eyes bright and shining as they'd never done before this craziness descended upon her, was Lucy. She looked as though each moment she spent as a professor at Hogwarts made her happier and happier, as if all the time she spent amongst the students brightened her to the point that she seemed to have boundless energy. No one that looked at her, almost laughably small in her professional professor's robes, could deny that, could deny her happiness. It was so obvious that Lucy had found a place where she felt she belonged, though she didn't know or realize it in the least. And yet it was true, all of it. Lucy grinned brightly as she made her way quickly to where the winner of the largest puzzle, one Samuel Preston, shouldering it as she got to his side. Luckily for Sam, Lucy had made it to his side just before the puzzle got too much for him. He grinned his thanks at his favorite professor of all time, she nodding easily and taking more of the weight of the puzzle from him.Once the rambunctious group was inside the castle, Lucy carefully tipped Sam's puzzle into a standing position so that she could address her rowdy club 'members'.
"'Scuse me everyone!" Lucy called gently, the group immediately quieting and giving her their attention. She smiled brilliantly at them and the students glowed under her silent praise. It was always easy to see when Lucy was proud of them, and she was always proud of them, even for the littlest things. It made them try all the harder to earn that special smile of hers, to have her give them that look that no other teacher—heck, most adults—never gave them in all the time they'd been alive.
It had been a long time since they'd thought her one of them and not an adult, their professor....... Even Lucy's 'colleagues' had long forgotten that the arrangement was temporary, having already accepted Lucy into their little 'circle' of adults—even Minerva had completely forgotten everything involving Lucy's student life at Hogwarts. Lucy was, for lack of better words, a professor of Hogwarts. By definition, by belief........
The end of the month would indeed be hard for all, then.
"I know that you're all hyped up and everything, and that we ran later than usual, but let's try to keep ourselves outta trouble, okay?" Lucy grinned, a mischievous spark lighting in her eyes. She needn't explain herself to the large group, all of whom had long learned that when the mischievous light sparkled in Lucy's eyes, something of the like would either come out of her mouth, or happen. "I know it seems a daunting prospect, especially when Mr. Filch is patrolling the halls with Mrs. Norris for any soilers of the castle and all, but I'm sure a detention with me would indeed be a horrible, horrible experience." Laughter, so much laughter. Lucy hadn't given any detentions in the five days she'd been a professor at Hogwarts, but there wasn't one person that didn't doubt that it would be the easiest, most enjoyable detention ever. Lucy's eyes were made of light as she grinned and waited patiently for the laughter to subside before offering her help to anyone that needed it. "I can help carry the prizes back, or clean you off or whatever. Oh, and if you get caught by any of my lovely colleagues, just tell them you were with me, okay? If they don't believe you—and honestly, I would think they would—just tell me and I'll get you out of whatever trouble you landed in." Lucy paused a moment, eyeing James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter speculatively. "And by that, I mean trouble involving returning directly back to your House from here." The four boys grinned widely, some students covering their mouths to hide their knowing smiles: They all knew that Lucy would be willing to get any of them out of any trouble they got into on the way back. Of course, none of them would take advantage of this knowledge—or Lucy—but still. They weren't worried, not about getting in trouble, not if Lucy was involved. It was almost laughable, actually, when Lucy 'warned' them every night about not getting in trouble. One of nights in particular—the one when the Giant Squid crashed the party in an attempt, which resulted in Lucy allowing herself to be dragged into Black Lake just so she could reprimand the Squid for what it'd done, all the while trying not to explode into a bout of laughter—Lucy had to cover her mouth to keep herself from bursting into a fit of giggles. She had been soaked to the bone, as many of the students had been, with lake water, but the laughter in her eyes was so strong that it became contagious without so much as a sound emitting from the small girl's mouth.
Nevertheless, the partied out students bid their farewells to Lucy and separated, those without ginormous puzzles helping those with ginormous puzzles........ Without having to be asked by Lucy, which made the little Divination Professor positively glow with pride and admiration for her students. Not even Sam, it turned out, had needed her help to get his puzzle back to his House. Lucy outright beamed at that, though she had enough tact to refrain from spinning around happily until all her students were out of sight.
Lucy absolutely, positively loved each and every one of the students she got to teach. It wasn't an intense fondness, no, it was pure love. She could see them, see them like no one else had ever seen them, and had been awed by the goodness each one contained, the goodness each was able bestow upon the world. Each and every one of them, regardless of House, age, sex, race, or whatever, was capable of so much good that it filled Lucy with a kind of happiness that she'd never felt before........ Though she obviously couldn't name the feeling then, it would be clear to anyone who'd witnessed the life she lived at home that what she was currently feeling, was hope. Lucy loved the students for everything they were, and everything they could be. They were good, all of them, and they all were wonderful. And for Lucy to be privileged enough to teach them, to help prepare them for what came after Hogwarts........ For them to allow her to give them all she knew, for them to allow her to learn of them........ Each moment was precious........ More precious then gold, silver, anything. Each moment Lucy was given with her students, given to learn, to live, to help, was wonderful. Precious. Delicate.
It wouldn't last, Lucy knew that. Her time with her students wouldn't last, could never last—even if she would be allowed to remain a professor. The point of a teacher, after all, was to teach, not to keep students from living. How could Lucy wish for even a moment to keep them with her, when the world that was waiting for them, was theirs? How could anyone, anyone at all, dare to think that the 'children' didn't deserve it? All of it?
No, the people Lucy had been gifted to teach deserved the world. They deserved happiness, deserved knowledge—all of them. They all deserved not just the best, not just good times, but times in which their character, strength, and minds would be challenged, be tested. They deserved not only the good parts of life, but also the downsides: The troubles, the challenges, the times in which one feels as if they can go no further. They deserved these experiences, these times in which they could learn of who they were. For a person cannot learn of themselves during times of happiness: It was when things began to landslide that people found out whether they could fight against the tumbling rocks, or allow themselves to be carried away by them.
Lucy, for all that she knew and all that she was learning....... for all her wisdom, her insight....... for everything that made her such an amazing instructor in so many ways....... Did not realize that she had long been fighting this same fight against an unending landslide all her life; did not realize that she was....... a good person.
But she did know one thing, now after the student curfew with no rounds to make, and that was this: She had work to do.
Lucy smiled, though she had no idea of how tired she looked.
"Too busy to sleep; I'll rest when I'm dead." Lucy sang to herself with a little chuckle as she all but skipped off towards this night's project.
'Jamie'. That had been Baby's first word. 'Jamie'. Not 'ma-ma', or 'da-da'. It had been 'Jamie'. Just Jamie, nothing else. Baby had said it simply enough, as if she'd been talking since she'd been born. There was no pre-word stumbling, or constant repeating once she'd gotten it right. Baby seemed completely unphased by her first word; all she had wanted, it had seemed, was James' attention.
Baby had been quite young when she'd spoken James' name as such: Her older brother had only been but a year or so old.
They had been gathered outside when Baby had spoken her first word, out on the grass. The Potters had decided on a light picnic dinner instead of a boring, normal dinner. They did things like that every so often, just to add some fun into their lives. Not only did the elder Potters enjoy it, but James loved their spontaneous trips here and there to do absolutely nothing. And, though Baby was simply that, she seemed to love nothing more than to be outside, as well. All in all, the impromptu outings that the Potters went on together were quite enjoyed by the whole family.
The elder Potters had decided to skip their normal dinner in favor of a family picnic out in a clearing off in their woods—the one that would one day become James' private hideout. So, the two began making sandwiches and packing things into the well-used picnic basket that was almost like a family friend to the four. James had wanted to help, of course, and had been allowed to do so. He had chosen to make PB+J sandwiches, despite the fact that his parents had chosen ham and cheese for the sandwiches—easy to make, and less mess for the House Elves later. James was resolute in his choice, though, insisting that making PB+J was not only more fun, but that it was easier for Baby to eat. The Potters didn't mind the mess so much; James was enjoying himself and besides that, there wasn't a mess that couldn't be cleaned, right?
After James had made a few sandwiches, though, he became bored and left the kitchen, his hands and face coated in peanut butter and jelly. From a room over, the elder Potters could hear Baby laughing happily at the sight of James, who was undoubtedly grinning broadly—his laughter followed soon after his little sister's.
Again, the elder Potters had to smile and feel that swell of love that always overcame them when they thought of how wonderful James was with his baby sister. Ever since she had been born, Baby had been James' entire world. He was forever talking to her, playing with her, showing her things. He was always so careful with her, so aware that she could be easily injured. James always seemed to know what Baby needed, and when, and why. He and Baby shared a deep bond, always deepening with all the time James spent with her.
James taught Baby everything he could with his one-year-old vocabulary, which was slightly better than other one-year-olds. He showed and shared his favorite toys with her, told her stories he made up, acted things out for her........ His favorite thing to do, though, was to make Baby laugh. James, at that time, seemed to live for another moment with which he could make his little sister laugh, make her happy. Her laughter was often heard in the house—a sound that made all who heard it smile. Baby rarely fussed or cried, which at times made it hard for the Potter parents to know what she needed, but she was an angel. And, with James almost always at his younger sister's side, he able to understand her better than anyone else seemed to—even Twinkle, who was Baby's own person House Elf—Baby was no problem. For anyone. Which was a good thing, as James was always insistent on helping to take care of her. He knew how to feed her, how to burp her—everything he could do, he did. But, and this the elder Potters considered nothing short of a miracle—James always seemed to know when doing his best at something concerning Baby wouldn't be good for her. If he couldn't do something properly, he allowed his parents to do it, in order to keep her as safe as he could. It was heart-warming, really, to see how much James loved his little sister: Merlin knew the elder Potters could never keep from smiling when they saw how close their two children were, how much of a good big brother James was.
When the basket was filled with sandwiches, dessert, and drinks—as well as a blanket and some napkins—the elder Potters went off to get James, leaving it in the kitchen. There was a mess from where James had been working, but they had already decided to clean it up when they came back for the picnic basket.
There was, after all, a bit of a bigger, walking mess in the house at the moment.
David and Elaine Potter both had burst into laughter when they saw their son with a large bowl over his head, running around the room in a decidedly random manner, making odd faces and grinning at Baby. James had not only a bowl on his head, though, but had somehow gotten covered in flour and paint........ Not mentioning the towel round his neck and the large, upside-down J on his chest.
And there, eyes shining as she laughed at her older brother, was Baby. She was still clean, though it was obvious that she'd wanted to play and get coated, as well. James looked as though he was having so much fun, what with how he was jumping upon the furniture and attempting to stand on his head or hands, only to continually tumble into a roll thing which left both children laughing.
James didn't seem to notice his parents' entrance, though Baby had immediately sensed them there in the doorway, even before they'd burst into the laughter that clued James in to their presence. Baby gurgled in a way that could barely be described as adorable it was so endearing, holding her arms out to them to be picked up out of her high chair. David was happy to oblige, as Elaine caught James up in her arms.
"Mum! Dad! I can fly! Did you see you me fly?!" James asked excitedly, eyes bright. Before either parent could answer, he leaned over and tugged one of Baby's dark curls affectionately, pure love shining deeply in his eyes. "Baby saw me fly, didn't you, wonderful?" He said, quieter than before. He was always quieter when he was talking with Baby, as if the things he spoke with her about were so important that volume was no longer a way to convey their meaning. The smile that lit up Baby's face seemed to light up the room as well as she reached out to her big brother, little hands grabbing for him excitedly. Both James and Baby laughed, and they looked and sounded so happy that Elaine felt a surprising tug of guilt as she carefully took a step away from David. A quick look in her husband's direction told her that he felt the same.
"Sorry little guy: You need to be clean before you go carrying Baby." James looked crestfallen, but nodded nonetheless. When it came to Baby, James was compliant like nothing else could make him. Anything that would help her, or was for her good, James was willing to do in the blink of an eye, without so much as a whisper of a complaint to run through his mind.
Baby didn't look as unhappy, though she became quiet and looked up at David, eyes clearly expressing what her guarded face didn't show. Her father blinked in surprise at how much his daughter's eyes seemed to contain, at such a young age, but when he tried to look again, Baby had blinked, and her eyes had gone back to normal. It was as if he'd only imagined all that he'd seen within them, but David knew better, knew that Baby was special—and he wasn't just saying that as her father, either.
Elaine took James off to get clean while David took Baby to the kitchen with him, so he could clean the peanut-butter-jelly mess James had left behind. It seemed fair, in a way: David was cleaning the mess left behind, Elaine was cleaning the mess taken with. Unfortunately for the fairness, David had arrived in the kitchen too late: The House Elves had already been here and cleaned everything. David sighed slightly, shook his head. He looked at his daughter and gave a helpless shrug. "What can I say, Baby?" He asked rhetorically, looking at where the mess had been. "When you have House Elves, unless you manage to beat them to it, they will clean your messes before you can. Don't get me wrong" David continued with a grin, adjusting Baby in his arms as she poked his nose and tugged at his ears experimentally. "I don't mind it that much, but I would like to feel of more use around here than this." David shrugged again, the motion making Baby laugh as she shifted in his arms slightly. "Remember Baby; cleaning up after your messes—or the messes of someone you care about—is not in any way anything to be ashamed of. Oh, there are people out there who believe themselves above cleaning and responsibility" David said, not noticing how Baby had fallen silent and was looking up at him with intensely intelligent eyes. "but we Potters, we're not like that." David grinned down at his little girl, again startled by the depth of which her eyes contained. She blinked and it was gone again, replaced with the laughing, loving eyes of a baby once more.
Before David could even try to figure out what had just happened, Elaine was back with James, who immediately bounded over to his father and wordlessly demanded to hold Baby. As he was but just over one, James had to sit on the floor in order to do this safely. He could care less, though—on the contrary, James sat without so much as a word from either parent, knowing perfectly well that the risk of dropping his baby sister was not one he would ever take. Again, the swell of love and pride swept over the Potter parents as they handed Baby to James. The smiles that lit the two children's faces filled David and Elaine with an unmistakable warmth as James began whispering softly to Baby, who tugged at his hair with delight.
After a bit longer, it was time to head out to the clearing. James was carrying the large basket proudly, Elaine carrying Baby. David, having felt left out with his wife and son each carrying something, took the blanket from atop the basket and wrapped it around him, draping it over his shoulders and around his head, causing immediate laughter. He looked so silly, with the oversized, patterned blanket wrapped round him, practically hiding him from the sun as David pretended to be a little old woman—made funnier by the fact that he was a tall man.
When they came to the clearing, though, he once more became David Potter—a respectable, kind man whom many admired and had countless great qualities he was determined to teach his two children with the help of his wife, Elaine Potter, whom he loved with every part of his being. He smiled, eyes twinkling, as he grandly let James pick a place for the blanket, sweeping it over his shoulder and bowing low to his son, who giggled at the sight. It made David feel intensely proud of his son when James intentionally picked a spot away from the water so as to be sure that Baby couldn't fall in and come to harm.
After James had picked their picnic spot, the Potters unloaded everything and began eating, James immediately jumping at the chance to feed Baby. True, she couldn't eat the PB+J sandwiches he'd made—though the two children had enjoyed them thoroughly, of course, when James had been parading round for Baby—but she could eat the baby food David had been sure to pack into the basket. Which James had made sure was there before they'd left the house, a gesture which Elaine caught and had no choice but to kiss the little boy for. James was just so thoughtful when it came to Baby, so careful and responsible that it was hard to see anything bad ever being allowed to happen to her while James was around.
James ignored his own sandwich as he gently fed Baby her baby food, making sure to keep a hand on her back to keep her from falling over. Baby allowed him to feed her until the first container had been finished; then, she refused. When James didn't understand what she was trying to tell him without words, Baby made the closest she could get to actually pointing at her age, aimed at James' sandwich. He looked from the sandwich to Baby and back, confused. "You can't eat that yet, Baby." He said, then tapped the lid of one of the baby food containers. "You can eat this." Baby said nothing, though a surprising look of concentration crossed her features, almost comical on the little face. Finally, finally it seemed that the little girl could think of no other way of getting her point across but speaking, so she did.
"Jamie." She said, tiny voice clear and strong as she once again tried to convey what she meant to her older brother. This time, though, he understood perfectly, even without her motioning to his sandwich: She wanted him to eat. Of course, he thought even less about eating now: Baby had just said her first word, and it was his name!
The way that James looked at Baby in that moment was indescribable......... It was a look that would only grace his features twice more in the entirety of his life.
Needless to say, David and Elaine were ecstatic that Baby had said her first word. They immediately set to trying to make her speak more, but the little girl seemed to be done speaking for the day and simply leaned foreword to grab at James' sandwich. James caught her from toppling over without thought, that same look still on his face as he looked down at her little face. His parents hadn't noticed this look, too overcome with the shock of Baby's sudden first word.
Baby was the only one that saw the look on James' face and, unable to do much else, raised her arms to her big brother so as to receive a hug. He picked her up and held her close to him—not tightly, just close—and whispered into her ear, trying not to let tears of joy overtake him. "I love you." The little boy whispered to his baby sister, to which she simply smiled and gave him a look that he immediately understood. He didn't need to say what he was thinking; Baby knew. The little smile grew into an outright grin, almost laughably out of place on her tiny face.
There would be no more words for a while, James knew, but that one word she'd given him had been enough.
James picked up his sandwich, having just been wordlessly reminded by Baby, and ate.
"Hey, Professor Whit!" Lucy turned to see James' grinning face and couldn't help but smile back at the taller boy.
"Yes, Mr. Potter?" She asked, to which James' grin seemed to get a shade stronger.
"You're tutoring, right?" He asked needlessly: Everyone knew that Lucy had been tutoring students of all ages in all classes. Why James of all students was asking about anything in reference to extra study time, though........ Lucy felt a little tickle at the back of her mind, as though it were trying to tell her something. It was one word, really, and not something she had been thinking about before. So why had she— "Can you tutor me in Quidditch?" Lucy's face lit up with an all-out grin as she realized just why the word Quidditch had popped into her mind. She wasn't surprised, not really: She always seemed to know what James was thinking, and he her, most of the time.
"Now Mr. Potter, I'm not sure that's within my line of expertise." James laughed.
"Right. Divination's your thing, sorry: I forgot." Most teachers would take off points for being spoken to like that, though it was obvious that James hadn't meant it in an offensive way. Lucy didn't even bat an eye, and he continued. "But I figured since you've been helping people in all different subjects, you could help me in this one." Lucy knew his logic was fine—she'd expected something alone the lines of that, honestly. Just about any other professor presented with it, though, would've ignored it—if James would've been able to get that far.
Before she could answer, Lucy spotted something that made her grin.
"Misters Black, Remus, and Pettigrew? If you could please come out from behind that statue?" Remus' quiet chuckle was barely heard over Sirius' barklike laugh as Peter could be heard whispering as to how she knew they were there. Lucy only laughed at this—she could care less that they'd been spying as they, too, waited for an answer. Unlike just about any adult—most people, actually. Then again, it was Lucy—she was nothing if not terribly easygoing. Only someone who truly wanted to and worked at harassing Lucy could ever come vaguely close to making her flip out on them....... And even then.......
Despite this being in her nature, the way she was raised and being raised did make most of the things she dealt with at Hogwarts seem as important as swatting flies when cornered by a Basilisk with nowhere to run.
Lucy waited for Sirius, Remus, and Peter to come out of their hiding places before answering, James still grinning cheerily. She thought over what he was saying, then nodded thoughtfully. "Okay, then, Mr. Potter. You have a deal. Meet me at the Quidditch Pitch at around four this afternoon, alright?" James nodded excitedly, as did Sirius. And no wonder: James was a Quidditch nut, Sirius also being an avid Quidditch fan. Remus like the sport fine, and could play rather decently, but wasn't as crazy about it as James and Sirius. Peter liked Quidditch as well, though he admittedly wasn't very good—he more liked talking about and watching the sport than actually playing anyway.
Lucy knew perfectly well that James would bring company onto the Pitch, but said nothing. She simply gave the older boy a grin and said a quick farewell.
It was just after breakfast now, and James—as well as whoever tagged along with him—would be meeting Lucy on the Pitch at four. Which meant that she probably should learn how to play the sport properly before he got there.
Needless to say, Lucy didn't show up to lunch that Saturday.
Instead, she spent near all her time out on the Pitch, basically learning everything from scratch except broom basics. It was a good thing she was such a fast learner—and that Quidditch seemed to be in her blood—or else she mightn't have been ready for James and whatever posse would follow him onto the Pitch. She was ready for them, though, which brought a large grin to her face. The last couple of hours had flown by—no pun intended—as Lucy simply had fun with the equipment. She was wearing the school equipment, yes—all but the uniforms. As a teacher, she couldn't pick a team uniform and wear it—it wouldn't be right. Instead, Lucy had donned a more durable robe than she'd been wearing, tweaking it a bit. Or more than a bit........ Not that it made much difference, really, not to her. Either way, she was ready and waiting for James when he walked onto the Pitch at four on the nose. Lucy hadn't needed to check the time to know that James was right on the dot. She'd known he wouldn't be late for their meeting—even if it hadn't been for Quidditch, Lucy knew he would've been on time. Nonetheless, she grinned up at the taller boy mischievously, pretending to take in the large group of guys behind him.
"Now, I was under the impression that it would just be me and you, Mr. Potter." Lucy said matter-of-factly as a grin spread across James' face.
"Sorry ma'am," James said, giving Lucy more respect as a professor than he gave even Dumbledore. "But they heard about our session and wanted to tag along. He shrugged as if to say that he couldn't help them following, though his eyes carried an identical sparkle of mischief as Lucy's as he spoke those words.
Lucy didn't even bother to pretend she was upset, and nodded.
"Then how about we all play a little game later, hmm?" Grins, from each and every boy that was on the Pitch behind James, including Sirius, Remus, and Peter.
"That'd be brilliant." James said with a crooked grin, eyes bright, and Lucy laughed slightly, just as happy as he was. And why not? Why not be happy when there was so much to be happy about, when she was surrounded by what she saw as a bright promise for the future?
Why not be happy, when Lucy had James, her friends, and her students? What more could she want?
James was playing with Baby in her room, directly beside his. The large, sturdy wooden door hung open, beautiful in itself, though nothing compared to what lay behind it. No, not the room—though it was a wonderful room for a small child and baby, without a doubt—but the small child and baby that play in the room the door hid.
"Look, Baby!" James said excitedly, showing Baby a perfect, cuddle-sized pillow in the shape of a Snitch. He had already showed her, with great excitement, the small broom that allowed him to fly about a foot above the ground. As he carefully handed the pillow to Baby so that she might become familiar with it, James continued speaking happily. "When you and me are big enough, we can play Quimmitch together!" He enthused exuberantly, his mispronunciation of the word Quidditch making the time he was spending with Baby all the more adorable—it'd be a while before he could pronounce Quidditch correctly. "I'm gonna be the very very very first person you play with! Right Baby?" He asked brightly, knowing without a doubt that Baby would agree with him. He took the glowing smile and wondrous sound of Baby's laughter as the yes it was, and gave her forehead a quick kiss. "Me, I'm gonna practice and practice so I get better and better! I love Quimmitch, Baby!" James informed his little sister cheerily, she smiling at his happiness.
Baby held her hands up to James, who immediately—and carefully—pulled her into his lap so she might sit closer to him. Baby loved sitting in James' lap when they talked: He often showed her things with his hands, or helped her with whatever she was holding at the time. James didn't mind—quite the opposite, actually! He absolutely loved having Baby in his lap. It made him feel as though he were protecting her, keeping her safe. Not only that, but it was almost a reassurance to have her so close to him. Baby was his best friend and his only sibling, and he loved her in a way that could not be accurately put into words—like the look that had appeared on his face when she first spoke his name, it was a rare thing that would only come twice more, that specific love.
Baby made James feel strong, and brave. But at the same time, she also made him feel as though it were okay to be afraid, or to mess up. Though their parents tried hard to teach James this even before Baby had been born—that he didn't need to be perfect—it had been Baby that had brought that to the small boy...... Even before Baby was born, James was always trying to be close to her. He would spend hours on end sitting with his mother, both of his little hands on her stomach as well as his ear, whispering to his little sister.
James was the only one that had thought Baby would be a girl.
"When you get big and we go to Bogmarts—" James had meant to say Hogwarts, of course, but having only heard the name once and, seeing as how he hadn't been paying the least attention, the name hadn't really sunk in properly. "—together, we're going to have so much fun! We can play Quimmitch and have the same friends and never be away from each other no matter what ever." James paused, thinking hard, while Baby played with one of his hands, comparing it to her small ones, the stuffed Snitch laying forgotten on her little lap. "Maybe we can try to go at the same time, even if you're littler than me." James looked somewhat troubled. "I don't want to go to Bogmarts without you, Baby." He said unhappily. The tone in which he spoke registered in Baby's mind instantly, she dropping his hand and attempting to turn around and reach out to him.
She never liked it when James was unhappy—it hurt her, too.
James smiled gently down at Baby, sweeping her up delicately from his lap into a hug. Then, laying down carefully, he set her atop his stomach and made the silliest face he could think of. Baby laughed happily, and so did James.
Baby always made him feel better, even if she couldn't talk and even if she couldn't control a lot of her movements, being only a, well, baby. But she always made him feel better, regardless of what happened.
They continued in their play for a while longer, until James noticed Baby getting tired and carefully put her on the floor. Telling her to stay where she was, he went to her crib and unhooked the side, sliding it out of the way and down onto the ground so he might be able to put her in—without his parents' help. When the crib side was out of the way, James picked Baby up, she having stayed obediently where he'd placed her, and gently deposited her in her crib. She smiled tiredly up at him, and he tucked her in lovingly, smiling right back at her. He looked around a moment before spotting the stuffed Snitch laying on the floor. With a large, proud grin, James grabbed the stuffed Snitch and gave it to Baby, helping her to hold it as comfortably as she could. She already had a pillow, after all—the stuffed Snitch was more a teddy bear than anything to James, who was letting her borrow it. Most likely, though, Baby would end up keeping it....... A lot of James' things were in joint custody with his little sister at this point. He couldn't help himself, honestly: If something brought him happiness, and brought Baby happiness, he at least wanted to share it with her. After all, nothing made him happier than seeing her happy.
Not even Quimmitch.
After Baby was properly tucked in, with a kiss from her big brother and everything, he began singing to her.
"Rock a bye Baby, on the treetop
"When the wind blows, the cradle will rock
"When the bough breaks, Jamie will come
"To catch you, Baby; Cradle and all." Baby smiled, all but asleep already. James smiled too, leaning over and giving her another kiss before closing and securing the opened side of the crib so she didn't roll out of it in her sleep. "I love you, Baby." He whispered.
"Jamie." Baby said sleepily: It was the only word she ever bothered saying, but it was enough. James beamed and watched though the crib's bars as Baby fell asleep, one hand holding one of hers lightly, falling asleep there himself after a time.
David walked by not too long after James fell asleep to check up on his children. He stopped and smiled, shaking his head lovingly as he leant in the doorway a moment, taking the scene before him in. There was James, curled up next to Baby's crib, one hand resting atop one of Baby's. He was barely propped up on the side of the crib, one arm inside the bars and, basically, holding him up. His head was, naturally, resting on his shoulder—though one side of his face was already beginning to copy the lines of the crib's bars.
And there, in the crib, all tucked in and fast asleep, was Baby herself, looking very content and seeming to be clutching at James' hand tightly, even in her sleep. Both of her little hands were holding James' hand, which she was both resting her head upon as if it were better than any pillow, and cuddling, the stuffed Snitch forgotten, replaced with James' hand. Baby, though James had laid her down at the other side of the crib, was right by his side, the only thing between the two of them being the crib's side.
This was how it was every time James put Baby to bed. The two seemed to gravitate to each other in their sleep, just as they did when they were awake. It was just so endearing, so adorable. They loved each other so much, even though they were so young. They, despite their astonishingly young ages, depended on each other so much that it seemed one would die if the other did.
David smiled, eyes shining, as he slowly removed James from Baby, and Baby from James. Baby stirred, a slight frown on her face, but David gave her James' favorite stuffed Snitch and she calmed right down, cuddling and resting her head upon it as she had done James' hand. James, on the other hand, was harder to disturb in his sleep, though he clung sleepily, instinctively, to one of the bars on the crib. David patiently knelt by his son and removed him from the crib, before gathering the boy in his arms and rising slowly to his feet so as not to disturb him further. James slept through being removed from the crib, lifted, moved across the room, and even slept through his father shifting him in his arms so as to turn off the light. When David crossed the threshold of Baby's room, James stirred and half awoke, giving his father a sleepily confused look.
"Daddy, Daddy?" He asked, in that half-asleep voice that clearly said its speaker both didn't know what was going on and probably wouldn't remember later.
"Yes, James?" David asked, shifting James in his arms discreetly. James seemed to be fall back to sleep, but when David shut Baby's room door, he seemed to awaken again.
"Baby caught the Snitch, Daddy. We won the Quimmitch match." James said sleepily, startled slightly. David smiled.
"That's wonderful, James. I'm so happy for you!" James didn't reply, only nodded off—back to sleep. He didn't wake up again until after David had already tucked him in and was leaving James' room.
"Daddy, Daddy, wait!" James said, attempting to sit up and speak through his half-asleep haze. "Daddy."
"Yeah, James?" David asked from where he stood in the doorway.
"Baby's door......" James said, rubbing at his eyes slightly. "It needs to be open. At least a little bit. It needs to be open." David smiled and leant on the doorframe.
"And why is that, James?" James blinked and tried to focus on his father.
"In case she needs me and wakes up; she needs to be able to get out." David smiled and nodded at his son.
"I'll open the door then, son. Don't worry. I'll take care of it."
"Do you promise?" James pressed, words slurred slightly.
David couldn't help it; he laughed lovingly and swept to James' side, tucking his beloved son back in and kissing his forehead tenderly. "I promise, James. Baby's door will be opened—it'll be the first thing I do after I leave your room."
"Leave mine open, too." James reminded his father sleepily, almost back to sleep. "She needs to be able to get in. Baby. In case she needs me." David smiled glowingly and nodded, giving James' forehead another kiss.
"I promise, James. Your door and Baby's will be open. I'll even leave mine and Mum's open, in case either of you want to visit us." James nodded sleepily, already halfway gone.
"I love you Daddy. Tell Mummy I love her, too." He said—no matter who tucked him in, or how tired James was, he always remembered to tell his parents that he loved them.
"I will. We love you too. Goodnight, James."
James didn't answer: He was already asleep, dreaming of he and Baby playing Quimmitch together at Bogmarts.
"Woah, Whit! You seriously rock at Quidditch!" James exclaimed, panting. Lucy grinned, unable to speak at the moment. She was attempting to catch her breath after the long and crazy game of Quidditch that had ensued after she had 'tutored' James. Lucy had been the only girl in all the boys—some of whom were in their seventh year—that had tagged along with James. When everyone played—one long, crazy, overcrowded game—Lucy had astounded them all. The game had gone on for quite a while, yes, but in the end Lucy had caught the Snitch—afterwards confessing that crazy mess of flying insanity was the first game of Quidditch she had ever played in her life....... Besides the one-on-one game she'd played with James during their tutoring session. The guys on her team were ecstatic at the win, but, while the other team wasn't happy they'd lost, everyone was shocked and amazed by her. She was a natural, that was true.
A more fun game of Quidditch had never been played, they all were sure, and the guys were all buzzing about it to anyone who would listen as the large, exhausted, ecstatic, absolutely ravenous group headed to dinner.
The group burst into the Great Hall, Lucy coming in last. The guys swarmed to their tables and began eating immediately, properly drained from their who-knew-how-many-hours long game. While they ate, in between swallowing and putting more food in their mouths, the guys who'd played related all that had happened to the girls and whatever guys hadn't been there at top speed.
Needless to say, it was rather loud in the Great Hall.
"Great game, Whit!" James said, to which Lucy raised an eyebrow playfully at him.
"Professor Whit, Mr. Potter." She said calmly, though there was a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye as she winked at him before turning and making her way to the Heads table. "Hullo, Albus!" Lucy greeted the old Headmaster brightly.
"Hello, Lucy. I didn't see you at lunch today." He said cheerily, to which Lucy gave a happy laugh and began filling her plate, taking a swig of her pumpkin juice before responding, parched.
"Sorry about that, Albus." She said, not sounding sorry at all and definitely not trying to hide it. "I had a tutoring session with Mr. Potter at four this afternoon to help him with Quidditch and thought I might make myself familiar enough with the sport in order to at least present a challenge to him." Lucy grinned, dropping the formal speech that her colleagues used most of the time. "He's awful fast and a wicked Chaser." Albus smiled and nodded.
"Yes, I have noticed that Mr. Potter is very talented when it comes to Quidditch. Does he show the same aptitude in your class as well?" Lucy laughed happily, knowing perfectly well that the other professors were listening closely for her response.
"Yes, as a matter of fact. All of my students show a great aptitude for learning, when they choose to." Lucy paused, so briefly it was barely noticed, to throw a glance in Minerva's direction before continuing in her talk with Albus. "They all want to learn, each and every single one of them—even those not in my class. I know they do: I can see it. They want to learn, expand their thinking, deep down. They either don't know it, or don't care enough to try, or apply themselves."
"But they apply themselves in your class? Divination? I was under the impression—no offence meant to you, of course, Lucy—that most all of the older that have chosen Divination in order to keep themselves from having to try much at all." Lucy laughed good-naturedly this, though a small fire sprung to life in her eyes.
"Well, that was before I took over, Albus." She said, voice light but with a surprising undertone of steel. "They're going to learn with me. And not just learn, but want to learn."
"And why is that? What makes your class so different than all the other classes here? What makes you so different from any other Divination professor?" Lucy was silent a moment, leaning back in her chair and looking out at the chattering students as if surveying something that only she could see.
"They know." Lucy turned her intelligent eyes on Dumbledore, gold and green flecks burning brightly. "They know that I see them, Albus.
"And I do. I see them. I see them, and they know it. I don't bother hiding it—why should I, when they are so smart they need no help figuring it out by themselves? They know it, Albus. And even if they can't see themselves, when they're around me....... They learn." For just a moment, the gold and green flecks burned so brightly they blotted out all blue in Lucy's eyes, combining to form a most beautiful golden green color that none of the professors—or Albus, even—had ever seen as she spoke. Then, as if realizing this, Lucy looked away from Albus and out at the students again. "They know, Albus.
"I see them."
Albus seemed to have naught to say after this, each and every adult at the Heads table seeing a part of Lucy they didn't know existed and finding themselves in awe of the small girl that spoke to them so profoundly, and treated all as her equals. They had seen, for that brief moment when her eyes changed color, something indefinable and great, a force that they instinctively knew could bring either awesome good, or horrid, unstoppable evil. They had seen more than simple power, they had seen....... Lucy.
For just one moment, one heartbeat, Lucy had allowed the adults that had never given her so much as a second thought, the adult that had caused her so much pain and had never apologized for it, the adult that had seen her broken and battered state before and had done nothing to find out how it happened—though he could've helped her greatly—her true self. For that immeasurable moment in time when everything else froze, Lucy had allowed those adults—the adults that thought they knew everything about her, Hogwarts, and everyone that resided in it—to see her. Too short a time to truly learn, Lucy had given them enough time to realize that no, they didn't know everything. She had given them enough time to see her, but that was it. They didn't know her, they couldn't see her, but at least now........ She had taught them something.
........No one had ever said that the people Lucy was hired to teach had to be students.
Baby was crying. And crying, and crying. She wouldn't stop crying, and Elaine was frantic. She didn't know what was wrong with her usually sunny, happy baby. She near never cried, so whatever it was it had to be serious for Baby to be trying to tell her mother what it was. Suddenly, Baby's crying doubled and she began shouting, her tiny voice full of despair, "Jamie!" Each time she howled his name, Baby's tears seemed to increase, her sobs getting worse and worse until she shook with them. "Jamie! Jamie!"
"What is it, darling? Jamie isn't here! He went out to play for a bit, lovely. Please stop crying—I don't know what's wrong!" Elaine had tried everything, from checking Baby's diaper to trying to feed her to performing a spell that would tell her if she was sick. Nothing was wrong, but Baby kept crying as if her heart was not just being broken, but destroyed in front of her.
"Jamie!" Baby screamed, sobbing, voice louder than it had ever gotten before. "Jamie!" She was trying so hard to tell her mother something, Elaine knew, but what? James' name was the only word she knew—surely nothing was actually wrong with him.
But that seemed to be what Baby was trying to say, as she continued sobbing her older brother's name as if she were dying, more tears streaming down her face that Elaine thought could possibly fit in her little body. "Jamie! JAMIE!"
That was it. Elaine didn't know what to do, but at this point she was desperate. Whether all Baby wanted was her big brother or otherwise, Elaine was going to go with the only idea she had. So, quickly pulling on a jacket and picking the still sobbing Baby up, Elaine headed outside to find her son—maybe he could stop Baby's tears. She was crying for him, obviously, and besides that he could always make her laugh.
Elaine understood exactly what Baby had been trying to tell her upon finding James a short while later, in the woods.
"Mummy!" Came James' voice at her call for him. "Mummy!" His voice came from him like a sob, pain coloring his words. Baby began crying harder at this, as if she really was dying, or watching someone die.
James came stumbling towards his mother frantically, eyes wild. There were tears in his eyes and streaming down his cheek as Elaine kept him from falling flat on his face, catching him as he tripped over a tree root. "Mummy! My arm! It....... It hurts!" James wailed, unable to move his arm even a small amount to show it to his mother. Elaine saw it and gasped.
"James! What happened to you?! I think it might be broken, darling!" James wept harder at this, shaking.
"I fell out of a tree, Mummy, and landed on my arm!" James sobbed, clearly in a large amount of pain. "I got lost in the woods and it hurt! I didn't know where I was! Mummy, I was so scared!" James buried his face in his mother's shirt, crying desperately. "I was crying and crying, and I thought I would never get home! I—I—" James couldn't speak anymore, tears overtaking whatever part of him that allowed him to speak.
Elaine didn't know what to do. With Baby—still crying, undoubtedly for James' pain—in one arm and James seeming to be in too much pain to walk unsupported, what was she to do? Her wand was still in the house, unfortunately. David was at work, so he couldn't help, and—what was Baby doing?
Baby had somehow managed to wriggle out of Elaine's grasp and down onto the ground beside James, where she'd immediately put her little hands on James' broken, bleeding, dirt covered arm. James gasped in pain, but didn't do anything, the aftershock settling in and keeping him from being able to do much. Baby was crying now, silently, but harder than before as she felt how cold her big brother was. Putting her head down onto his broken arm, Baby continued weeping for his pain, his undeserved accident. She cried and cried, tears landing on James' arm as she half-hugged it, feeling his pain as vividly as if it were her own—maybe more so, because she loved him so much. "Jamie." Baby cried brokenly, barely able to get the word out of her mouth. "Jamie." Baby seemed to moan, as if the word hurt her to say. "Jamie."
"I-it's okay, B-Baby." James shook as he forced the words out of his mouth, rubbing her back gently. "It's okay. I'll be okay. D-don't w-w-worry." Then, James gasped, and Baby released his arm and looked up at him. There was blood on her tear-streaked face, open pain in her eyes, but also something else. A type of knowledge, an intensity that didn't belong on a one-year-old's face. For a moment, her eyes seemed to change color completely, turned golden green, then she closed them and laid her head back down on James' arm, her seemingly endless tears stopped. She gave his arm a kiss and a pat, before reaching for James to come closer and kissing his cheek as best as she could.
"Jamie." She said steadily, eyes that strange color one more instant. Then, she blinked, and time seemed to start again as they returned to their original blue color, and Elaine sprang into action.
With the balance and skill that only a parent can ever truly master, Elaine picked both of her children up at once, rising to her feet fluidly to avoid jostling James' broken arm. Once this was accomplished, she sped off towards the house. Thinking James' silence was because of intense shock, Elaine—again, as only a parent or someone under extreme duress can ever truly master—somehow managed to deposit James in the living room, drop Baby off with David at work through Floo, come back for James, and take him to St. Mungo's. He was quiet, worryingly calm, and Elaine had a Healer looking at him as fast as she could, which wasn't long after she got to the hospital.
Through all this hustle and bustle, Elaine hadn't taken the time to notice that James' arm was perfectly fine, and that he'd used it momentarily in the living room, right before she left with Baby, who'd smiled at James as they'd disappeared from the fireplace.
It had been broken.
Now it wasn't.
Baby, now playing with her stunned and very confused father at work, had somehow healed her brother of his broken arm.
"Lucy, I hate to bother you, but can you cover two of my classes later today? I know it's your free time, but—" Lucy held up a hand and shook her head with a smile.
"Not a problem, don't apologize. I'd be glad to cover your class later. Don't worry about it!" Lucy added with a laugh, as an intensely relieved—and slightly guilty—look crossed her colleague's face.
"Oh, thank you, Lucy, thank you. I owe you one, definitely. It's the Slytherin/Ravenclaw seventh year class today, then the Gryffindor/Hufflepuff sevenths. Here's what they've learned so far—just do whatever you want today; I don't care what. I'm sure you'll do great with them. Just—" and here was a hesitant pause, then a shake of the head. "—just don't let them destroy the classroom, okay? Don't teach them anything that they might actually try right away....... And maybe you'll want to stand in the corridor between the two classes? Thanks again." He said, a desperately grateful tinge to his voice, before this year's Defense Against the Dark Arts professor bolted from the staff room top speed, as if afraid Lucy would change her mind.
Lucy could only laugh and shake her head happily—she was looking foreword to her two extra classes of the day. It was a pleasant surprise, despite the fact that her colleague seemed to believe that they'd blow up the school or something.
Ah, well. It only made Lucy look foreword to the classes more—Lucy never believed that their students were as horrible as the professors made them out to be at times.
"Y'know, Baby, I'm gonna be two whole years old soon." James informed Baby cheerily as he played with her. They had already colored and were now working on stacking squishy toy blocks as high as possible without them falling. "I'm gonna be this big." He said, holding up three fingers. "......Wait......" James stared at his hand, brow furrowed. David had shown him how old he'd be, but it hadn't looked like that....... "Oh!" James exclaimed, as Lucy precariously leant over and pushed one of his fingers down, the already stacked blocks tumbling to the ground in the process. James wasn't upset—instead, he laughed. "Thanks, Baby!" He exclaimed with a wide grin, nodding. Now his age looked right on his hand. Two. "I'm gonna be two. Daddy said that was....... um....... twelve? Ah, well." James said with a shrug, and Baby's smile illuminated her face as she slowly made James hold up both of his hands. Then, still somewhat unsteady, Baby leant over and put one of the fingers on each of her hands beside his. James understood, and laughed delightedly. "You're smart, Baby! Is that twelve?" Baby nodded and sat up proudly—she'd just mastered the art of sitting up unaided not to long ago.
Baby was smart, yes, but so was James. He studied his hands carefully, then began counting slowly, ticking off each number with his fingers, a concentrated look on his face. He'd only had the numbers told to him once, but he could remember them if he tried. "One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. Ten." He said slowly, holding all his fingers up. Still concentrating, James kicked his shoes off. Then, focusing on taking his socks off without bending his fingers, James continued counting off on his toes, past the numbers he'd learned, numbers he'd only heard or seen once before, not being taught to him. "Ten and one is el-ev-en. Ten and two is twelve." He said with a grin, eyes sparkling as he looked at Baby momentarily before continuing. "Ten and three make a one and a three squished together........" And so it continued. Ten and four made four-teen; ten and five made fiveteen; ten and six made six-ten; ten and seven made the one and seven all squished together to make a new number, ten and eight made eighteen; ten and nine made nine-ten; ten and ten made the two and the zero all put together to make a new, bigger version of ten.
James grinned proudly as Baby laughed and clapped for him as he held up both his hands and feet a moment before loosing his balance and toppling over.
James wasn't embarrassed. He simply rolled back to his original position—without putting his socks and shoes on—and gave Baby a kiss, before setting to work on the blocks with her once more. "I love you, Baby. I'll love you forever." He informed her, eyes bright and voice steady—more so than an almost-two-year-old's should've been able to get.
James didn't need to hear it to know that Baby felt the same—it was in her eyes.
"Happy Tuesday, Professor Whit!" Sirius said brightly, bouncing cheerily into the Divination room. He'd been a lot happier to be in classes since Lucy had become a professor—or at least happier to be in Divination anyway. And why not? Everyone loved her classes, even the students who didn't take Divination! But the changes she brought to the class had brought some major changes in Sirius, as well. All of the sudden it was like he wanted learn. He actually paid attention and answered questions and—this nearly made Remus faint when he noticed it—Sirius took notes. Not a lot, of course, but highlights of each lesson that had all the important facts in them. He'd made jaws drop, yes he did, but Sirius could care less.
They didn't just learn about Divination in Lucy's class. They seemed to learn a little bit of everything, as well as things that the students could actually see themselves using in the future—not just things they were told they'd need one day. More than just advice and suggestions and spells and stuff, but tricks and things they wouldn't normally learn at Hogwarts—one very memorable cooking lesson was proof enough of that. The two DADA classes she had taught had immediately gone wild for her, and had demanded the switching of the two professors—a thing that the DADA professor seemed to have no problem with, in all honesty. But Lucy, though a wistful light burned bright in her eyes, only shook her head and said that she couldn't abandon her Divination students before her due time—and besides, she had nothing planned for Defense Against the Darks Arts, only Divination. This, of course, brought protests that plans didn't matter—look how well Lucy had done in two of the DADA classes that caused the most trouble!—but the small girl only smiled apologetically and shook her head, ending the matter.
It seemed there were only two people that really remembered, at this point, that Lucy was not really a professor at Hogwarts, and that all the excitement and happiness would be over at the end of the month........ One person, not counting Lucy herself, who refused to think of this saddening fact.
"Happy Tuesday, Mr. Black." Lucy said cheerily, happily noting Sirius' great mood that day. "I'm glad to see that you seem to be on the brighter side today." She commented, smiling inwardly when he dropped into a seat right in the front of the room—the much-coveted spot, actually, a thing that astounded each and every other professor at Hogwarts. Sirius beamed and nodded.
"Yeah!" He exclaimed, flipping his hair out of his eyes as he pulled out stuff to take notes with—a thing that still made Remus' jaw drop whenever he saw it, as well as anyone else who took note of it. Then—and this was a thing that Sirius had never once been inclined to say or even think, nor would he ever be again—he said, eyes bright as two stars: "I was just so excited for class today! What're we learning?"
The wave of shock that passed through the room was so strong that Lucy, inwardly laughing at her students' reactions, was surprised they were not felled by it. Smiling outwardly, she decided to joke a bit with one of her most enthusiastic pupils—which was really, really saying something.
Deepening her voice and sucking in a deep breath, Lucy spoke in an over-the-top misty version of the long-since-forgotten Professor Knot, startling not only Sirius but the entire class. "We will be learning to defog the future and—" Lucy broke off at her students' shocked, incredulous, horrified stares. Her completely serious facade was destroyed as she burst into laughter at the true horror that had made her students appear as though they were all about to run and jump out of the windows. At once.
Those looks quickly melted away, replaced with shock, then laughter as the students realized that Lucy had tricked them.
".......Okay, Professor." Sirius gasped, once they'd all calmed down some. "What're we really learning today?" Lucy grinned and leaned back against her desk—which she seldom if ever sat behind, mostly never.
"Did you know........" Lucy began, at which her each and every one of her second year Gryffindors began grinning widely, recognizing the start of a promising lesson. Sirius had his quill poised over his paper, eyes bright and attentive—a feat that would never, ever, ever be performed by any other type of instructor again, ever. Not even a Quidditch instructor would ever command Sirius' total attention like Lucy did then—indeed, an instructor of any kind would be lucky to get a shred of the boy's attention. Lucy had all of it—and not because she was his friend, either, no: Sirius had all but forgotten that Lucy had never been his Divination professor before then, had all but forgotten that Lucy wasn't there to stay, had all but forgotten that she wasn't really supposed to be in a teaching position at Hogwarts. In fact, to tell the honest and quite astounding truth, Sirius—Sirius, who had been so eager to have Lucy as a professor simply in the hopes of easy classes and grades—had been one of the very first to forget that Lucy didn't truly belong where she was, doing what she was; instructing them all. Instead, Sirius was eager. Eager to go to her classes, eager to take notes, eager to learn. Sirius Black, Sirius Black of all the students that had ever crossed into Hogwarts, was eager to learn.
And he was. Not one person at Hogwarts could deny it, be it a student or professor or otherwise. They could all clearly see the astonishing change that Lucy's teaching had brought in Sirius—he was even doing better in his other classes as well, though he obviously still caused trouble and made distractions and didn't take notes. But he actually paid attention at times, and got most of the work done before deciding to wreak havoc on the classroom.
All the professors were in shock.
........But back to Lucy.
"Did you know," Lucy repeated again, a small, crooked grin beginning on her face that—while making her look quite mischievous indeed—usually signified, as did many other things, the beginning of a very, very fun lesson. "that a lot of the ingredients we use in Divination to attempt to predict the future—" Another thing the students of Hogwarts liked about Lucy: She never tried to force them to believe that their tea dregs could tell them whether they'd be Minister of Magic, or would die or something. She simply taught the lesson and asked them simply to learn, and absorb the things she tried to show them with open minds: These and other simple things they did gladly. "—are combustible if put together in the wrong order?"
And thus Tuesday's second year Gryffindor Divination class learnt a great deal of Potions, as well, which turned out to be a very, very good thing and helped to prevent major....... incidents later on.
Baby was still sleeping. James had woken up, but she was still sleeping. He could hear quiet voices talking and listened harder, though the thought of leaving Baby's side to go to the stairs so he could hear better never once crossed his mind.
"Why do you call her 'Baby'? Surely she doesn't need a nickname, and even so, why 'Baby'? Wouldn't that be like calling James, oh, I don't know, 'Boy'?" Asked a quiet voice, too quiet for James to recognize properly.
"No." Came the firm answer, and James smiled. His dad. "It is nothing like calling James 'Boy', and not because we do not call him as such. James is James, and it is that simple. He is the one that chose to call her Baby, and I believe James has that right. He loves her so much more than I can explain, and I would appreciate it if you wouldn't—"
"David." Came Elaine's voice, calm and reassuring, stopping whatever was about to happen before it began. She had a gift for that, Elaine did. She could stop near any argument before it began, regardless of who was involved—it was amazing, really. She was a natural peacemaker.
She also gave the best hugs.
"I didn't mean to insult in my asking, David." The voice James didn't recognize said stiffly, and James imagined his dad nodding as he absently moved a lock of hair out of Baby's face. It had been true, though, what David had said to the other, third voice. James had been calling Baby by that nickname since before she was born, when he was the only one that believed his mother was carrying his little sister while everyone else believed another Potter boy was on the way.
James didn't feel particularly bothered by what the voice said; he couldn't care less, actually. James considered Baby his, and if the other person didn't like that, then oh well. Now, if the other person had been speaking about Quidditch, or James' parents, or something else, well, James—young as he was—might've not taken it well. But the person was talking about Baby, and, as far as James could tell, had not said anything bad about his baby sister yet.
Because if he did, James wasn't quite sure what he'd do to the person.
Baby was, after all, his, and James wouldn't let anything happen to her, not if he could help it. No way, no sir.
James, though only just reaching two, loved Quidditch greatly and enjoyed the sport thoroughly.
He would give it up forever without a thought or a backwards glance if it meant keeping Baby safe.
"I love you, Baby." James said quietly, smiling slightly as Baby stirred in her sleep at his words. She still only spoke one word as far as anyone knew—his name, James would proudly tell anyone who so much as thought about asking—yet that didn't matter any to James in the matter of communication. He knew Baby loved him—she told him frequently, in the quiet way of hers—and he told her that he loved her whenever he saw fit. Which was often.
James ran a hand through his hair to push his overlong fringe out of his eyes absently as he yawned slightly. He'd been doing that often, as of late: Running a hand through his hair to push his overlarge fringe from his eyes. His fringe was the slightest too long, but whenever his mother tried to cut it, James refused to allow her to, so it continued growing, and James continued pushing it from his eyes.
Thus the habit of running a hand through his hair had begun, for even long after he consented and his fringe was under control, James couldn't help but run a hand through his hair absently, without really noticing it.
"Jamie." Baby said quietly as she woke up, through a little yawn that distorted the word slightly. Not that it mattered to James, of course—he only smiled brightly; beamed was more like it.
"Hey, wonderful." James greeted her affectionately, as he heard his father greet his mother at times. "Are you still tired? You can go back to sleep, Baby, I don't mind." James offered gently. Baby smiled, but said nothing.
James laughed happily.
"Mummy and Daddy say that we're gonna go take a walk in the woods later...... Yeah, I can't wait, either."
Lucy crossed out another box in her calendar with a sigh. It was at this time that she remembered, against her own volition, the great sadness she carried within her.
Lucy's official professor duties ended after her rounds were completed, though she personally was almost always busy. Planning classes, testing theories, planning Madness, etc., etc., etc. Etc. She somehow managed a few hours of sleep a night, though—one, at the very least. Or less. And it was always right before that time when she finally fell asleep that Lucy crossed out the day that had passed.
That was when the surprisingly heavy sadness that rested on her heart and in the back of her mind made itself known quite forcefully.
Though she knew she full well her being a professor at Hogwarts was meant to be a punishment and that it was only temporary, Lucy couldn't help but wish that it....... well, it wasn't. She couldn't help but find herself wishing almost desperately that she could remain teaching here at Hogwarts, forever. But not Divination—not if she had a choice. No, if she could pick, Lucy would want to be the Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor. She could do so much with that subject! Definitely more than she could do with Divination, and that was seriously saying something! Even as Lucy planned her Divination classes, she would find herself sketching out class plans for DADA classes instead, and—despite the fact that she never honestly praised herself as others did—found that they were pretty good.
Despite her longing to be the DADA professor here—curse, shmurse, she thought—Lucy knew, deep down, that it couldn't happen, and would probably never happen. She couldn't remain a professor here at Hogwarts—Knot would come back........ Just that thought was enough to bring pained tears to Lucy's eyes. Knot would come back, and expect Lucy to be miserable, and to behave. And Lucy knew, she knew perfectly well, that she would never misbehave for the spiteful Divination professor again. Not because she was afraid, or felt any remorse, but simply because she not only knew she would never get such a treat as a punishment again, and because—even if she did—she wouldn't be able to handle it.
No....... When Knot came back.......
"Okay, so they can go through the pudding then climb up over the wall of Jello and dive into or swing across the whipped cream and marshmallow pit in order to get their animal flags so they can try to......." Lucy said abruptly, forcing her mind away from her previous train of thought by planning her next 'club' meeting of Madness. She continued in these plans, feeling immensely better as she did so, forgetting her troubles for the moment as she thought of the smiles and happiness she would bring her students—as well as the different things she spells could teach them.
Lucy loved Hogwarts, which was the first home she'd ever known......... Maybe there had been one before her aunt's house, and maybe Lucy would've been able to call it 'home' and not simply a house, but....... That was gone. Lucy could remember nothing of that time. Nothing at all whatsoever....... It was as if—but no, Lucy wouldn't think that. There had been a better time, a time before her aunt. She had been loved, once, long ago, by a family that had been hers.
But that was then, and gone, and now the only home that resided in Lucy's mind and memory was Hogwarts. The old stone castle, with all its drafts, and ghosts, and Filch wandering around just looking for someone to punish, for any reason....... It was the single best place on all Earth to Lucy, Hogwarts was. Every little thing that the other residents at Hogwarts complained about, Lucy simply loved. The castle was her home, plain and simple, and those who lived within it were her family, from the students to the professors to the paintings. Every stone that made up Hogwarts was precious to Lucy, who had never in her memory experienced a place that brought her open happiness—happiness that had no hidden reasons for being there, no threat of being taken away—and to the small girl, this made Hogwarts the most perfect place that had ever existed. Yes, bad things could happen and did sometimes happen. No, Hogwarts was not perfect. But....... Hogwarts was home, and the only home that Lucy had ever truly known—anything that she might've had before had been taken away too soon for her to ever remember it, no matter how good her memory was.
Lucy was happy at Hogwarts, so happy, and she hadn't thought she could get happier in the castle until Knot's 'punishment' came; then, Lucy thought she might die from sheer ecstasy. Now, she was getting paid to be at Hogwarts. True, she would be there either way, being a student there, but it was different once Lucy realized how much she loved being a professor........ And she was good. It wasn't just her students liking her that made her classes good; Lucy's classes were not easy—and making Divination challenging is a lot harder than it might seem, honest it is. They were challenging, and stimulating, and required her students to be at the top of their game at all times. Something was always happening in her classes, always. Lucy's classes and class plans, if looked at by another professor, would be seen as surprisingly hard, actually, but none of her students realized this—they were too busy learning. Honestly, all of her classes were moving so fast that they'd already outstripped a good month or so of lessons that Knot had wanted to teach them. It wasn't that the students simply knew the information, either. If one of Lucy's students were so inclined, he or she could probably teach some of the things they'd learned to someone else as a professor of the subject might.
No one, no one, regardless of whether or not they cared for Lucy's style of teaching, or Lucy at all, could say she was a bad teacher and mean it.
And if they tried to say it to her students, even as a joke, well.........
Let's just say that Lucy's students loved Lucy a lot more than she thought.
........Then again, didn't most people?
Baby was crying again, silently, as she spied a tiny baby bird lying as if dead on the grass not too far from her, just in the woods. She reacted without thinking—though that might have been simply because she was but a tiny child, having barely learned to crawl without falling foreword every few moments. Nevertheless and for whatever reason, Baby crawled her way into the woods, alone, and made her way towards the baby bird.
She knew it wasn't dead.
Just before and just as she was reaching out to touch the little bird, Baby was scooped up off of the ground and held tightly by her mother.
"Baby!" Her mother admonished—how had Baby gotten so far away from her so fast? Hadn't her precious, irreplaceable little girl just been at her side but a moment ago?
As Elaine made to move back to the house, Baby began struggling and squirming frantically, trying still to reach to the little bird. Elaine paused, confused, and studied Baby closely. Baby all but leapt out of her mother's arms once she felt her mother's grip on her slacken slightly, Elaine catching her breathlessly as the baby tumbled to the ground in her haste to reach the ailing bird.
Something, who knew what, was telling Baby that the bird was on the brink of death.
She couldn't let it go past that; Baby had to bring the bird back from that edge.
Elaine, knowing already that when Baby got into those certain moods it was better to try to appease her immediately—for her own safety more than anything—than to fight against the tiny girl. So, taking the very obvious clue that Baby wanted Down, Elaine placed her child on the grass. Baby immediately crawled to the bird, ignoring her mother and everything around her in a very un-Baby-like way.
Putting her small hands on the even smaller bird, Baby tears stopped and she looked down upon it solemnly, seriously. Her eyes had changed to that indescribable, swirling green-gold color for a moment as she bent her little head over the bird's unresponsive body.
And then, and then........ A miracle, or what had to be, for Elaine could've sworn that the bird had stopped breathing entirely by the time that Baby had gotten to it.
The little bird opened its eyes, fluttered to its feet, and flew off. Perfectly healthy. All its previous wounds healed. Some feathers still matted in blood.
Yet it flew; it was alive. When Elaine could've sworn it had been dead, the bird seemed more alive than a bird should be able to get—glowing, even, against the blue sky that it was disappearing into.
No baby bird should be able to fly like that. Not like that, not one so young.
Elaine looked upon her baby girl with new eyes, unable to define the emotion she was feeling as she tried to find an explanation for what had just happened that made sense. Looking at Baby only made her more confused, though, for the little girl was lying on her back, laughing happily and watching the trees sway in the breeze above her. The only reminder, the only proof of the extraordinary thing that had occurred, were the tear stains on Baby's cheeks, and the feathers stuck to her hands by a few drops of the bird's blood. Other than that, it was as if nothing had happened in the least: Baby was acting perfectly normal, laughing and smiling and enjoying the outdoors as she always did—so much more, it seemed, than any baby should be able to.
Suddenly, the things David had been saying to Elaine about Baby being different from other children didn't seem like an overly proud father speaking so much anymore. In fact, it seemed to Elaine that David just may have seen or noticed things that she hadn't.
But would he believe what had just occurred? Elaine could barely believe it, and she had been witness to it all.
Her baby, nothing but a baby, had....... saved a baby bird?
Or brought it back to life?
Author's Note: Happy Reading everyone! Hope you liked it! Oh, and three guesses to everyone...... Who are these memories of, haha.....
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