Chapter 5 : Slights and Scares
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“Is… is she ours?” Little James whispered, his brown eyes locked on the light blue of his sister’s.
Harry, too concentrated on his beloved daughter, missed his son’s question, and it fell to Ginny. She snorted quietly, chuckling. “Yes, love; she’s all ours. We get to keep her and raise her and play with her…” She drifted off, realizing the little boy was hardly paying attention; he was too focused on the baby. Ginny wasn’t sure whether to be happy that the men in her life took too little Lily so quickly or sad that they were almost blatantly ignoring her. Her internal argument faded when her husband pressed a kiss to her cheek, turning his ecstatic green eyes on her. “We have a little girl, Gin,” he whispered with obvious glee. “She’s already looking just like her mummy, and I wouldn’t want her any other way.” His eyes turned back to the baby, and he whispered in a baby voice, “No, I wouldn’t, would I, Lily Potter? You’re going to be just like Mummy, pretty and beautiful and strong.” His lips turned up in a sly grin, and he added, “And hopefully with Mummy and Daddy’s Quidditch ability, too.”
“Harry!” Ginny admonished playfully, grinning. “What if she doesn’t love Quidditch?”
Harry shrugged, still smiling. “Well, then she’ll still be my little girl. But don’t worry, Gin; she’ll love Quidditch, just like us. I can already see her on a broom, the third Chaser in the Wotter Quidditch team…” He drifted off dreamily.
“The what?” Ginny said, raising an eyebrow.
Harry blushed, giving her a sheepish glance. “Just something Ron and I thought up… Wouldn’t it be great to have a Quidditch team made up of all the children? Rose, James, and Lily as Chasers… Hugo as Keeper, like Ron, Roxie and Freddie as the Beaters...”
“And the Seeker?” Ginny asked, amused, though she already knew he planned to train little Albus, his miniature in almost every way, to take his position on the Quidditch field.
“Can I touch her?” James interrupted quietly, which was strange, because if there was one thing that James Sirius Potter was not, it was quiet. But, it seemed, that his baby sister had quieted him – for now.
Harry chuckled, nodding. “Of course, James- just, be careful, okay? Babies can get hurt very easily.” He eyed his son, remembering with vivid detail the number of unexplained bumps, bruises, and scrapes that he had gotten in his three short years.
“Nobody’s gonna hurt my sis’er,” James said resolutely, a little crease forming between his brows as he wondered who on earth would ever want to hurt something so pretty as Lily. Lily wasn’t like the other babies he’d seen at Nana’s; Lily was beautiful, and she was his. At his father’s gentle urgings, James laid a tentative finger on Lily’s chubby tummy. At her eldest brother’s touch, the baby emitted a happy gurgle, and James looked at his parents gleefully. “Lily likes me! She likes me!” He shouted.
“Go ‘way, Albie,” James said gruffly, scowling at his younger brother. Two-and-a-half year old Albus frowned, continuing his way into James’s room, plopping down on his bottom in front of James’s bed.
“Why c’yin’?” Albus asked simply, looking puzzled. His brother’s toys were still in his room, they had had snack time right on time, Mummy didn’t even go to work today… Everything was fine. But yet, here was James, lying in his bed with tears leaking out of his eyes.
“You won’t unner-stan’,” James sniffed, turning away from his brother and staring at the wall. He had made the baby cry. Albus hadn’t even met the baby yet. Mummy and Daddy probably still thought Albie was napping, anyway. Albus couldn’t understand why he was upset. Nobody could; he was a bad, bad boy.
“Well, she’s finally settled down,” Ginny said tiredly, cradling her daughter in her arms.
Harry sighed, running a hand through his hair dazedly. “Thank goodness. This one definitely has some lungs on her. Reminds me of the way James used to scream; like a banshee!” He grinned ruefully.
Ginny looked around the room, and her eyes widened. “Speaking of… Where is James? He was just in here, Harry!” She bit her lip, forehead creasing. What if Lily’s cries had scared him? He was just four years old.
Harry frowned, rubbing his wife’s back comfortingly. “Don’t worry, love, I’ll find him. He can’t have gone far. Maybe he just went to play while we sorted things out, hm?” He smiled hopefully, and Ginny gave him a halfhearted smile. She’s worrying, Harry knew, as he walked out of their bedroom and down the corridor that housed the bedrooms of their three children. Albus’s room proved to be empty, and so did Lily’s nursery, so that left James’s room.
What Harry saw upon entering his eldest son’s room filled his heart with love. His two boys, asleep, cuddled up next to each other. He crept next to the bed, pressing kisses to both of their foreheads. When he got up to walk away, he froze, hearing movement. Albus’s eyes blinked open, and he frowned, sitting up. “Daddy?”
“Hey, Al,” Harry said softly, smiling.
“Daddy, Jay c’ying,” Albus said seriously, his green eyes sorrowful. “Ow t’y to make him fe’l be’er, yike Mummy does.” Al motioned for his father to lean close, and he whispered, “He sinks Lily don’t yike him.”
Harry frowned, and he patted Al’s hair absently. “What a good boy, Albus,” he praised, smiling slightly as he kissed Albus’s nose. He gave the boy a little pat on the bottom and a grin. “Go to Mummy and Daddy’s room, okay? Mummy has a surprise for you there.”
Albus, easily distracted, brightened incredibly and he hurried to his parents’ room. Harry looked at his eldest son’s sleeping form, and he bit his lip, sitting on the bed. “Oh, James,” he said with a soft sigh. He stroked the boy’s messy hair, a chuckle escaping his lips. “You’ve been a trial since you were born. I wouldn’t wish you any other way, of course- you are so like what I’ve been told of my father, and you’re my son. I love you, no matter what, and so does everyone else.” He smiled ruefully, knowing that a speech to his sleeping son would in no way ease his child’s heartache, but he continued anyway. “How could Lily not love you? You just scared her, buddy, she isn’t used to your abrupt ways the way we are.” He patted his son’s arm. “You take a while to get used to, love, but once someone does… there is no way that Lily doesn’t love you.”
James turned, tears filling his eyes. Harry did not know at what point his son woke up, but he knew that James had heard the important parts. “Are you sure, Daddy?” He whimpered, chewing his bottom lip. “I made her cry. I’m a bad boy.”
Harry shook his head, pulling the boy into his lap and cuddling James to his chest. “Oh, no, James,” he whispered, kissing his son’s face. “You just startled her, just like when Freddie scared you at Nana’s a few weeks ago. Now, that didn’t make Freddie a bad boy, did it? And you still love him, don’t you? You just scared him back, even better. Lily still loves you, baby, and you aren’t a bad boy.” Harry chuckled, an amused smile tugging at his lips, and he added, “Now, all you’re going to have to worry about is her scaring you back when she’s older.”
James giggled. “I’ll teach her how to do it real good,” he promised. “But instead a scarin’ me- we’ll get Albie!”
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