He looked up from his bowl of Ouroborous Os whole grain cereal (part
of this complete breakfast and favored by the one and only Remus Lupin,
who in spite of his sweet tooth refused to allow things like Sugar Frosted
Dragon Eggs in the house). Sirius was standing by the kitchen table, watching
Harry with unusual nervousness.
Harry blinked. The last time he'd seen his godfather look so discomfited
had been during the infamous Talk about girls being like Quidditch balls.
No, strike that. Sirius had fidgeted just as much through the later addendum
about boys being even more like Quidditch balls, although for different
reasons, and just as acceptable to play with, if one were so inclined.
Not that Harry should feel any pressure to be so inclined merely because
of his current living situation. Quite the opposite, in fact--and Ginny
Weasley was certainly a very nice young lady. "After all," Sirius had
said, with a trace of probably inappropriate smugness, "not everybody
can be like me and Moony. Heh." Harry had nodded, hoping vaguely that
the next time anybody tried to give him a Talk, it would be Remus, who
(as a former professor) seemed much more likely to impart practical information.
For now he merely set down his spoon, letting the few remaining Ouroborous
Os drift aimlessly in their sea of milk. "Yeah?"
"We--Remus and I--have something to tell you." Sirius rested a hand on
the table, removed it, seemed unsure what to do with it, and replaced
it in the same spot.
Harry glanced around. There was no sign of Remus. His godfather and former
teacher had left the house early today, zooming off on Sirius' motorbike
for unknown destinations while Harry was still blinking sleep from his
eyes and fumbling for his glasses. Come to think of it, why was Sirius
back if Remus wasn't? He supposed Remus must still be outside, putting
the bike away, perhaps, or doing some morning weeding. It was June, and
the garden demanded attention almost daily. Harry had been helping with
the chores, although neither Remus nor Sirius ever asked him to work really
"Yeah?" He tried to make it sound encouraging. "Okay, go ahead. I'm sitting
"Right. Well. I know that we--Remus and I, at least, and you too, we
hope--have been very happy here with just the three of us."
Nodding, Harry smiled. He had been happy here. Anything would have been
better than living with the Dursleys, let alone a home with a pair of
wizards who really loved and cared for him. Even if the howling did wake
him up sometimes at night.
Sirius sucked in a breath. "But. We think we could be even happier with
a new, ah, addition to the family."
Only with a supreme effort did Harry keep his jaw from hitting the tabletop.
No, it couldn't be. It wasn't possible. Was it? No, surely not--even
for wizards. He'd learned a lot of things about wizardly households from
living with Sirius and Remus over the past year, some of which he never
would have expected, either from his previous life at the Dursley home
or his frequent visits to the Burrow. But this, surely--no, no.
"We've put a lot of thought into this," Sirius was saying quickly, perhaps
alarmed by the look on Harry's face, "and although we didn't involve you
in the decision, we hope you'll be, ah, supportive. We don't want to ask
too much, but we are going to be needing a bit more help around the house.
That is, if you're willing."
Unless--and at the thought Harry's eyes widened further--Remus transfigured
into a girl for the next nine months.
Which was, theoretically, not impossible.
No, wait. Remus was a werewolf. Female or not, he'd still have to transform,
and that couldn't be good for the baby. So.
Sirius would have to be the girl.
Harry stared at his godfather--godmother?--with increasing shock. "So...you
mean...you two are going to..."
Without warning, Sirius broke into a very sappy grin. "There's a little
bundle of joy on the way, Harry."
"Oh." Harry swallowed again and clung to the seat of his chair. He tried
to think rationally about the idea, to see it from Sirius and Remus' perspective.
Of course they'd want a child of their own; Harry would most likely be
moving out after he graduated, anyway. He already knew they'd make wonderful
parents. "That's great," he said, offering a smile that felt real. "Wow.
I mean, that's really cool."
Had his godfather been Padfoot at the moment, the dog's ears would have
perked. "Really? You don't mind?"
"No, of course not! It's just a surprise, is all. I never knew you could--um,
anyway. I think it's great." So when are you going to start wearing maternity
gowns? he wanted to ask, but couldn't manage the words.
Beaming, Sirius slapped his hands down on the table. "Harry, you're a
brick. I knew you'd handle it fine. Remus was so worried, the prat, he
couldn't stand to be in here when I broke the news. Kept saying we should
have asked you beforehand." Still grinning unstoppably, he reached across
the table and rumpled Harry's already unruly hair. Harry wrinkled his
nose but sat still for the treatment, feeling glad just because Sirius
looked so happy. "Anyway, we've already gone and done it."
Wait. He must have misheard that. Harry stared at Sirius' girth--no,
no sign of pregnancy there. Was he wrong about the whole thing? Could
wizards grow babies in cauldrons?
"You just stay right there. I'll get Remus, and we'll introduce you."
Clapping his hands together, Sirius bounded for the door. "Moony!"
Harry's brain spun furiously. Did wizards practice something so mundane
as adoption? He sank down into his chair, wilting like the once-crunchy
cereal in his bowl. Maybe it would have been better to wait before eating
breakfast. The Ouroborous Os in his stomach seemed to be whirling with
He sat up hurriedly when Sirius returned, grinning proudly over his shoulder.
Harry craned his neck.
In came Remus, who was smiling just as foolishly. Something small and
wide-eyed and chubby was cradled in his arms.
Something very furry.
"Harry," said Remus, "say hello to your new brother." Crouching down,
he gently lowered his burden to the floor.
The puppy looked around at the three of them, then scampered towards
Harry, tiny toenails clickety-clicking across the tile.
Harry stared. Then he began to grin, too. He sank to the floor, holding
out his hand to be sniffed by a small, wet nose. "He's all black," he
"Like his daddy," said Sirius, smirking.
Remus shot him a look.
"Although not in the, ah, blood relative sense," Sirius added hastily.
"What's his name?" The puppy had taken a great interest in Harry's fingers,
and was beginning to gnaw on them. Sirius looked moved almost to the point
"We're still deciding," said Remus. "Sirius fancies 'Procyon'--"
"From Canis Minor, you know. We could call him 'Procy' for short."
"And I still think we should call him 'Severus'--"
"You," growled Sirius, jabbing a finger at Remus, "are a very sick wolf."
"But we thought we'd ask you, Harry. Since we neglected to consult with
Harry considered. "I'm opposed to naming family members after Snape."
"Thank you, Harry." Sirius folded his arms and nodded.
"'Procyon' is all right, but 'Procy' sounds too much like 'Percy'."
"Oh," Remus murmured. "You're right. I hadn't thought of that."
"I dunno," Harry said. He gathered the subject of discussion into his
arms and lifted. The puppy wriggled and squirmed for a moment before sighing,
then settling with his nose in the crook of Harry's elbow. "I don't think
I'm all that good at naming things. Let alone new relations."
When he glanced up from the armful of furry warmth, he found that Sirius
and Remus' eyes were shining on him, rapt. It was as if the kitchen were
a Quidditch field, and Harry (or perhaps the puppy) had just caught the
Harry ducked his head and decided to concentrate on the puppy after all.
He peered at the little ears, the snout-nosed face, the gangly paws that
seemed too big for such a small body.
"This sounds kind of like a Muggle dog name," he said at last, hesitantly,
"but you could call him 'Lucky'. Because I think he's really lucky, you
know, to have parents like you."
He didn't look up, just in case any of them really did decide to cry.
"And a brother like you, Harry," said Sirius hoarsely. "Definitely lucky,
to have a brother like you."