As soon as Harry and Hermione, with Duncan, stepped out of Dumbledore's office, Professor McGonagall beckoned them. "Mr. Potter, Miss Granger, this way, please."
McGonagall led them to statue of Aphrodite outside the Gryffindor common room and said the password (Venus and love). Harry and Hermione froze upon seeing the statue and hearing the passwords. What was that? They looked at the other person as the similar idea float to their mind. However, their doubts soon left their mind as the statue turned and revealed a suit of red and gold. Harry and Hermione were in awe as they looked around their new suit. Even Duncan's eyes grew wide at the magnificence of his new home.
"This is Llyr," said Professor McGonagall matter-of-factly. "It's usually reserved for old Gryffindors when they visit. Professor Dumbledore decided that since alumni hardly ever visit, you three can have this room. You should find your belongings here. Professor Dumbledore has given you the permission to use the Room of Requirement, if you should find yourself short of equipment. We trust you to behave yourselves here. Please do not let us down. Now, I shall bid you all good night." She then left Harry, Hermione and baby Duncan to explore their new home.
Llyr wasn't huge, but was large enough for the three of them. The living room they entered from the corridor was beautiful. It had a loveseat and two separate couches in the middle, a round wooden table by the side with two chairs. Beside the wooden table, much to Hermione's delight, was a large bookshelf full of books. A roaring fire also burned in the fireplace near the loveseat. Three elegant doors led from the carefully decorated living room they stood.
"Come on," said Harry. "Let's see what's behind those doors."
Harry opened the first door and let Hermione and Duncan through. It was a bathroom. And it was a very nice bathroom. Neither Harry nor Hermione, and of course not little Duncan, had ever seen a more beautiful bathroom in their life. It consisted of two golden washbasins, a sparkling white shower and a deep golden bath large enough to drown in. Harry could have sworn that this bathroom was ten times nicer than the prefect one he had used years ago. At least, there were no annoying mermaids near the bath and Harry hoped that Moaning Myrtle would never show up.
"Oh look at that gorgeous bath!" exclaimed Hermione. "I could certainly do with a good long bath now."
Duncan gurgled in reply, as if he could understand Hermione.
Harry raised his eyebrows. "I don't think now is a good idea. Not that I would mind you getting undressed here and now, but don't you think we really ought to find our stuff before you start to peel off your clothes?"
"Harry!" Hermione screamed as she rolled her eyes angrily and turned away. She would hit Harry really hard had she been holding Duncan. She could feel herself blush. Not that she had any feeling for Harry. Her relationship with the famous Boy-Who-Lived was strictly platonic.
When they reached the second door, Harry once more opened it as Duncan preoccupied Hermioneˇ¦s hands. In that room, they found a king sized four-poster bed covered in a gold bedspread. Also in the room, was a dressing table with a large mirror. On the floor, both Harry and Hermione's luggage had been dumped in a neat pile. This, Harry assumed, must be Hermione's bedroom. But why my luggage is here is rather interesting. Surely the house elves knew we won't really be living in the same room?
The third room, however, was far from what Harry and Hermione had been expecting. It was about the same size as the second room. It had all sort of baby accessories scattered around, which was normal consider that Duncan was indeed a baby. A wooden cradle painted in gold paint stood in the middle of the room. Toys of all kinds lay neatly in a box by the corner. A baby carriage stood by the door. A changing table and a chair stood quietly by the window. All of these seemed fine, except there was one thing missing- a bed.
There was no bed of any size for an adult in this room. Harry rubbed his eyes as he stared around this bed-free room. There's no bed for me! Harry's brain seemed to have trouble processing this piece of information. He turned around and looked at Hermione, who carried Duncan over to the toys and helped him to pick out a few for the night.
"There' no bed for me!" Harry exclaimed. "Where am I going to sleep?"
Hermione sighed as she straightened herself up. "There must have been a mistake. The soonest we can do anything about this is tomorrow morning. Tonight, we'll just have to go with this. You can have the bed and I'll just sleep on the floor here with Duncan. The loveseat is too small for either of us to sleep on comfortably."
"No, you take the bed and I'll sleep on the floor," disagreed Harry. "Duncan is my cousin. It's not fair that you have to stay with him all night. I should be the one taking care of him."
Hermione smiled. "You are a sweet person, Harry. Let's not worry about it right now. Why don't you sort out our stuff while I give Duncan a bath?"
"Ok," Harry was about to turn to get their things next door, but stopped as he remembered one thing. "How are you going to bath him? Our bath is enormous!"
"Don't be silly, Harry. I'm going to bath him in the sink. Go and get me a change of Duncan's clothes, Harry."
Harry turned to go, but stopped after a second thought. "That'll be interesting. Can I watch? I can learn something when I want to bath him next time."
"Of course," Hermione replied. "After Duncan's bath, I'm also going to take one. Can you look after him while I am bathing?"
Harry smiled, "Of course," before he started to find Duncan's clothings.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Harry whistled as he stepped out of the shower. He had put everything to their rightful place while Hermione took her bath and Duncan lay contently in his cradle. Hermione put a few drops of lavender oil in her bath and now the whole suit of Llyr smelled like that. Harry didn't mind at all. In fact, he rather liked that odor. It was quite relaxing, really.
Harry put on his pajamas and walked into Duncan's room. He peered in as saw Hermione put the sleeping baby into his cradle. An empty milk bottle stood on the small table.
Hermione rubbed her weary eyes and stepped out of the room. "Harry, are you sure you want to sleep with Duncan? He'll wake up in the middle of the night and you'll have to feed him. I can do that if you like. And you won't get a bed for tonight either. I really think you should take the bed next door."
"No, seriously, I want to sleep in this room. Look at you, you are tired already! I won't let you stay up all night for my cousin and sleep on the floor. I'll be fine taking care of him."
"If you are sure about that," yawned Hermione. "Come and get some blankets."
Harry and Hermione entered the bedroom next door and looked all over for some spare blankets. However, apart from the one on the four posters bed, there were none around.
"This is awful!" complained Hermione after their search. "We have only one bed and one blanket. You can't sleep on the floor without any blanket. You'll get cold and get sick, Harry! No, my mind is made up. You are to share the bed with me tonight. I won't let you sleep on that icy floor without blankets. The bed and the blanket are big enough. We'll just leave the door open so we can heard Duncan when he wakes up."
Harry declined the offer. Hermione was his best female friend and he didn't think that he should share a bed with her... for obvious reasons. It sounded... indecent.
"Oh for heaven's sake," sighed Hermione as she flopped onto the bed. "Nothing's going to happen, Harry. You know it and I know it. It's only for one night anyway. We'll get all the problems sorted first thing tomorrow. Now, don't be ridiculous and get on the bed. If you still want to get up for class tomorrow, you must get some good sleep right now."
"All right," mumbled Harry as he climbed onto the bed with Hermione. He covered himself with the blanket and moved as far away from Hermione as he could. He felt Hermione turned her back towards him. Harry lay awake as Hermione's breaths grew heavy. However, as the soft scent of Hermione's lavender oil drifted into Harry's nose, Harry too closed his eyes and fell asleep.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
"Waa! Waa! Waa!" a series of baby's cries woke Harry from his sleep around three o'clock.
"Duncan!" Harry whispered as he sat up. He turned on the lamp on the bedside table to locate his glasses. When he put on his glasses, Harry realized that Hermione wasn't sleeping beside him. She must have gotten out after hearing Duncan's cry.
Harry sneaked into Duncan's room for the second time of the night and found Hermione changing Duncan's nappy on the changing table.
"Need any help?" whispered Harry.
"Yes, throw this out please," said Hermione as she handed him the used nappy. She had already cleaned Duncan up and wrapped him in a fresh nappy.
"Go back to bed. I'll feed him and put him back to sleep."
Harry did as he was asked. However, he didn't went to bed straight away. He returned to Duncan's room and sat on the chair as he watched Hermione pacing about the room with Duncan in her arms.
"Lavender's blue, dilly dilly,
When you are King, dilly dilly,
I shall be Queen
Who told you so, dilly dilly,
Who told you so?
'Twas my own heart, dilly dilly,
That told me so," sang Hermione softly as she rocked baby Duncan in her arms.
Harry watched the scene before him. Never in his life had he felt more content then that moment. For a moment, Harry could pretend this is a real home. A home with people who really love him. The kind of home he had been dreaming of almost his entire life. Hermione would make a wonderful mother, Harry thought. I sure envy the lucky chap who will marry Hermione someday. Will I ever be lucky enough to marry a woman as good as she is?
Hermione stopped singing as she watched Duncan fell asleep. She gazed at the tiny sleeping face in her arms lovingly. It was amazing, Hermione had met this little darling less than twenty-four hours ago, yet she had already fallen in love with the little hairless boy with green eyes. Even Hermione herself wasn't sure how it happened. But the fact is, she loved this child so much that all concerns about N.E.W.T.s, Voldemort and the discomfort of living with Harry were pushed to one side for the moment.
Lightly, Hermione placed Duncan back to his cradle. She felt as if she had been taking care of the boy for all her life. Maybe some girls always melt at the sight of babies, but Hermione knew already that she couldn't live without the angel before her.
Smiling, Hermione turned around and found Harry sat sound asleep on the chair. In the dark, Harry seemed to be smiling. It wasn't a smile seen often on Harry's face often these days. With that smile on his face, Hermione thought Harry looked very innocent and vulnerable. A foreign feeling seem to fill Hermione as she gazed at the sleeping form of Harry. She didn't know what that is, only that it was something she had never felt before.
"Perhaps this is how Harry would look if the whole Voldemort burden is taken off his shoulder," Hermione said her herself.
Not wanting to disturb the moment of peace Harry seemed to be getting, Hermione tapped him on the shoulder reluctantly and took him back to the bed next door.
I must get this bed problem sorted tomorrow, thought Hermione as she lay down beside Harry. Sharing a bed and a blanket with a member of your opposite sex is uncomfortable even with your most platonic friend.
A/N: Thank you for reading my story so far, despite of the huge delay I had a while ago. As I had hoped, this chapter got out a lot sooner. Of course, I must thank my lovely Beta Laurie for her hard work in correcting all sorts of mistakes I made before. Knowing myself and the amount of corrections I made after she made some points, it must be real tough job. Hopefully this fast post will make up for the delay before. Just a few days ago, I got my 100th review for this story (at Portkey anyway) and that was the most amazing gift I have received from my readers as an author. It's very motivational and my happiness of the days following can't easily be described by words! Thank you again for reading the story and I really appreciate all the comments and criticisms I got back from the review. Thank you very much!
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