Disclaimer: It's all J. K. R's.
The Lone Gunmen and their teaching assistant belong to Chris Carter. If I knew
what they were doing here, I'd have sent them back to where they came from.
Most of the other references to and/or of insanity are Caitlyn's, although credit
for my insanity belongs to the Beatles, the boyfriend and I alone. Please
blame the Muggle film Ten Things I Hate About You for the appearance
of the belly. 'Doooo-Jesus' is from To Kill a Mockingbird (which I'm sure you
all know by now).
As usual, Harry Potter and his friends belong to J. K. Rowling. The responsibility
for the insanity and weak plot is mine, but if you want, you can blame it on
Author's Note: It's a little late for the Towerstock challenge, but since I
have writer's block where any other work of fanfiction is concerned I guess
it's better than nothing.
Harry could not believe his eyes. In fact, he was staring at the notice posted
on the announcement board of the Gryffindor common room with such an expression
of open bafflement that after two straight minutes of snogging Hermione, Ron
actually looked up and asked him what was going on.
Harry didn't answer. He couldn't answer. The announcement was just
"Mph," Harry responded. He merely motioned to the notice.
Ron peered over at it disinterestedly at first, then turned white and red again
very rapidly. "Hermione," he said with some difficulty, "did you know about
She sighed. "Honestly, you two. It's not that big of a deal. Besides, you get
out of double Potions Monday, Wednesday and Friday for two weeks. And avoid
the Slytherins on top of it! What more do you want?"
"But," said Harry. It seemed sufficient in itself.
"Parental education," Ron read dully. "They're kidding. They have to be. I
mean… I mean, we covered this in fifth year Transfiguration… didn't we?" He
was grasping at straws. Harry knew exactly how he felt.
Hermione turned pink. "Not exactly. We're not going to go into, uh, graphic
detail about conception. It's, um," she paused and Harry recognized more signs
of embarrassment. This wasn't good, he decided. If it could embarrass Hermione
and yet also involved lessons, it was going to be a living hell for him. He
immediately regretted that it was Sunday. "Well, you'll see tomorrow, won't
Harry sighed, deciding to retire early. Indeed he would.
"Dude… where are we?"
"I told you, man, we're in Scotland. They killed us off on the show. We are
now here. We have to make our existence somehow."
The three men stopped at the doors to a colossal castle. Byers looked up and
kept on looking. "Would you look at the size of that thing."
Langly gave him a dark look. "Quoting Star Wars is my quirk, buddy.
Get your own." Then he too turned his attention to the doors. "You sure this
is the right place?"
"You see anything else around here that could be a school?" Frohike asked sharply,
and knocked on the door.
A panel slid aside and revealed a pair of eyes squinting darkly at him. "Yes?"
He held up a business card. "Three Men And A Baby Teaching Services. We're
here at your, ah, request…"
The eyes disappeared for a minute and the door creaked open. "Of course," a
dry voice said. It belonged to a somewhat regal-looking woman with gray hair
pulled back in a tight bun. "Gentlemen," she said, in apparent distaste (or
maybe it was disbelief), "Welcome to Hogwarts."
Byers picked up William in his baby carrier and followed his two friends inside.
It was huge inside, too, he decided. Ceilings and corridors seemed to go on
forever. They were only going to be here for two weeks; he hoped they didn't
get lost. He pulled himself out of his entranced stupor after a moment or two,
not wanting to seem rude.
The stern woman was saying something. "…I am Professor McGonagall. If you need
anything, just call the house-elves. Your first lesson is tomorrow morning at
eight o'clock sharp- there will be an attendance sheet on the door of the classroom
that should be filled out. Any tardy or absent students should be reported by
lunchtime. Any other questions?"
The three exchanged somewhat incredulous looks. After n years in the rat-hole
that had been their base of operations, this place was a resort. Ever the practical
one, Byers said, "Where's the bathroom?"
"Good morning, class."
Harry stared up at the three 'professors' blankly. The one who had spoken had
a bushy beard, glasses, an American accent and a genteel sort of manner. Harry
was immediately very suspicious, and sank back further into the shadows. He
exchanged a glance with Ron, who nodded and tightened his grip on his wand under
The man with the long blond hair spoke next. "We ah, have to take attendance,
so we'll send the sheet around. Just write your name on it and pass it back."
He handed a blank piece of parchment to someone in the front row.
The bearded one cleared his throat. "Right. So, for the two weeks we're here,
you will know us as Professor Langly-" he motioned to the blond one, "Professor
Frohike," the somewhat chubby one that had not yet spoken, "and Professor Byers."
The baby on the desk emitted a bizarre noise, and Professor Byers stopped for
a moment to smile at him and place something in the baby carrier. There was
a happy sound, and the professor continued. "Anyway, the reason you have been
taken from your normal classmates is a valid one- your classes combined make
an even match of girls to boys. For the purposes of this class you will have
a partner of the opposite sex--" Here there was some snickering, whispering,
nudging, and otherwise inappropriate behavior from the students-- "which I
will assign," he finished and the class groaned. Harry felt an icy little knot
of dread settle into his stomach. "Well, let's begin. Colin Creevey and Padma
Colin turned bright red and, seemingly reluctantly, moved his chair to Padma's
table. She smiled at him kindly.
Harry closed his eyes and stifled a yawn, tuning out most of the names. Despite
his best efforts, a few seeped through.
"Terry Boot and Hermione Granger." He opened one eye to see how Ron was taking
this; surprisingly, his friend was showing almost no outward signs of anger.
Then again, Harry thought, it was probably because Hermione had just run her
foot up his leg under the table.
"Ronald Weasley and Lavender Brown." Now Ron looked vastly uncomfortable. Hermione,
however, seemed to be holding back a grin.
"Harry Potter and…" There seemed to be a pause; Harry realized that nearly
everyone in the class had been called. "Ginny Weasley."
There was absolute silence, then a cacophony of whispers and rumors. A slightly
flushed redheaded someone that Harry had once purposefully avoided dropped into
the seat beside him and gave him a smile. "Hi, Harry."
"Hey, Gin," he said back, relieved that at least she wasn't uncomfortable around
him as she had used to be. The back of his neck tingled and he realized that
everyone in the class, sans the three professors and the baby, who was facing
the blackboard in any case, was staring at him. Or, rather, at them.
"What are they all looking at?" he hissed to her.
She shrugged, but didn't reply aloud as Professor Byers began to speak again.
"This is embarrassing," Harry proclaimed an hour later. He was looking down
at himself with a rueful expression.
Ginny giggled. "I don't know. I think it's sort of funny. I mean, you'd never
see anyone like that otherwise." She herself looked rather ridiculous, she knew,
but then she was built to look this way, and Harry- and the rest of
the boys- weren't. "Besides, they're going to perform some sort of Concealing
Under Clothing Charm. You won't be able to tell at all, except when you're,
well-" she blushed furiously, berating herself mentally, "in the shower, or
changing, or something. Otherwise we'd all have to go maternity robe shopping.
The point is to be able to feel it so you don't go around knocking girls up.
Or," she added, looking down at herself for the nth time, "getting yourself
knocked up, I suppose."
"How are we supposed to play Quidditch like this?" Harry moaned.
Ginny bit the inside of her cheek to keep from laughing. "Cheer up, Harry.
Most of the team is made up of younger students who won't have to worry about
these… impediments. Not like the Slytherin or Ravenclaw teams."
"But we're playing Hufflepuff next," he pointed out, easing himself down onto
She shrugged. "So you just have to be better than they are. You might be evenly
matched for once. No pressure, Harry."
He groaned, propping his feet up on the desk. With a pained look, he set them
down again very quickly. This time, Ginny didn't quite manage to stifle her
giggle. Harry attempted to glower at her, but it didn't last; Ginny patted her
belly in an exaggeratedly fond manner and he found himself laughing. Then she
reached for the sheet of parchment on the table. "'Discuss what you plan to
name your son or daughter,'" she read with a wry grin. "Well, she hasn't got
much of a personality yet, so how do we name her?"
"Who said it was a girl?" Harry argued. "With your family history, it's bound
to be a boy."
"Excuse me," Ginny pointed out, "But using your logic, I would be a
boy." She glanced down at herself again. "This obviously is not the case."
He laughed easily. "Point taken. I guess we'll just have to choose two names."
Ginny fought hard not to smile when Harry put a hand on his stomach. If
he only knew, she thought wistfully. But then again, if he knew, he wouldn't
be half so sweet or attractive.
"Anyway, back to the point," she said, flicking her eyes around the classroom
for a moment. The professors, and thus the Conceal Under Clothing Charms, were
still working on the second row. "What do we know about our baby?"
"Well, it's bound to be good at Quidditch."
She nodded, but wrinkled her nose. "Don't call him or her an 'it.' It sounds
so… impersonal. And that's what we're trying to avoid, after all."
Harry continued, "And have red hair…"
"Can't the baby have your hair color?" sighed Ginny.
"I like your hair!" protested Harry, and then proceeded to blush nicely.
Another trait our poor offspring is destined to inherit, Ginny noted,
feeling embarrassment stain her own cheeks. "Thanks. Um, what else?"
He shrugged. "You think of something."
"The baby will be very noble," she decided dreamily, almost unaware she was
speaking aloud, "and have a sort of clueless innocence and resigned determination.
Sort of like you." Harry was blushing again, but Ginny was too preoccupied to
think about the connotations of what she'd said. "Not so reserved as you, though.
I don't know if that's possible- the baby's mother is a Weasley, after all."
"Okay," Harry said finally. "Maybe we should give the kid your brains."
She laughed and reached out to slap him playfully. In trying to avoid her arm,
he nearly tumbled off the chair, not yet able to compensate for his sudden weight
gain. "So… any ideas for a name yet?" she asked when they had both caught their
Harry squirmed a bit under her interrogative gaze. "Only for a girl. You?"
"Just the opposite," she said, feeling every bit as uncomfortable as Harry
looked. "You go first."
He shifted again, then met her eyes. "How do you feel about Faith?"
Ginny was quiet for a moment, letting the name settle in. "I like it," she
said after a while. "Very optimistic, Harry." She flashed him a grin.
"What about you?"
Her eyes fell upon the woodwork of the desk. Could she really…? She sighed
inwardly. She'd have to tell him sooner or later. There was no way she was letting
her son be called Bilius or something equally ridiculous. "James," she whispered,
looking up at him again to gauge his reaction.
There was a brief flash of pain in his eyes, and then a contemplative sort
of expression took up residence on his face and he nodded. He didn't get much
further than that, though, because Professor Byers was ready to put the charms
"This is really strange," Ginny said by way of changing the subject when the
teacher had gone. She was looking down at her front and could feel the abnormal
weight clinging to her as if it was her own skin, but she couldn't see it at
all. Many of the other girls present seemed similarly affected.
"Ha," Harry said dryly. "You think it's strange for you. My body wasn't
built for this!"
Ginny muttered something about Harry's body being built quite nicely and felt
her face heat up.
Mercifully, the bell sounded, signaling the end of the class. As everyone reached
awkwardly for their things, Professor Frohike (the class had already labeled
him as a sadist) called out, "Don't forget you have to hand in your freelance
essay and your in-class assignment from today before class on Wednesday!" There
was a collective groan as everyone rushed (waddled) for the door.
Ginny made her way to Herbology, strangely comforted by the warm presence of
the belly. Faith, she mused to herself. I quite like the sound of
"Mmm," came the sleepy reply. The redhead opened one eye blearily and groaned.
"Harry. Is it time to work on our assignment already?"
He nodded and slipped into the chair beside her. "I hope you have your essay
Ginny laughed, sitting up properly and rubbing at her back. "Luckily, I got
to that before the exhaustion got to me. What have we got left?"
Harry unfurled their parchment and spread it on the table, nicking a quill
from behind her ear. She grinned tiredly, having forgotten that she'd put it
there. "Middle names, best time of the year to have a child, what point in life,
"Everything, in other words," Ginny said with a sigh. "Right. Well, what middle
name goes well with Faith Potter?" This really could be damaging to your
health, her conscious warned. It's just a project! Stop thinking about
it like that!
"Um," said Harry, possibly pondering the same problem. "Maria? Arabella? Emily?"
Ginny blinked. "You're good at this. Have you considered it before?"
He shrugged, seemingly uncomfortable. "Not really…"
She considered for a moment. "What about Amelia?"
"I like it," he responded almost immediately. "It's perfect." He wrote down
the name on the blank. "Now what about for…"
"For James?" Ginny paused and the silence stretched out between them. "I don't
"How about-" Harry started. "I mean, what do you think about 'Orion'?"
It was her turn to be surprised again. "James Orion Potter. It's a good name,
"Orion it is, then," he said, penning it in. He put the quill down, stretched
out his legs, and laid a hand on his stomach.
Ginny thought he looked extraordinarily absurd until she remembered what he
had looked like with the belly showing. "So when are we having this mystery
Harry smothered a yawn. "Dunno. Early summer? Nobody would want to carry a
baby through the summer months. Of course, having a baby at the exact time you
plan it is not something that's really likely to happen, I'd wager."
"So let's say March," Ginny said, copying his yawn. "Are we done yet?"
"No," he answered drowsily. "What point in life would be best to have a child?"
he mused aloud. "Well, that's an easy one. After Voldemort's defeat." Ginny,
grim, said nothing, lending only her silent support. "And legal guardians."
Harry bit his lip.
Ginny laid a hand on his arm. "I think it's safe to say that we're not leaving
them with your Muggle relatives."
Harry let escape a bitter snort. "I wouldn't entrust them with my pet dog's
fleas. And I don't even have a dog." He stretched a bit and looked at her calculatingly.
"Er, this might sound a bit strange, but…"
She wondered what he was thinking about. "Who would you suggest, Harry?"
"Professor Lupin," Harry said finally. "I know it's odd and everything, being
as he was our Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, and I know everyone thinks
the worst of him because he's a werewolf but- but he knew my parents and if
there is anyone I would trust with my life, it would be him." He flushed, seemingly
embarrassed by this diatribe. "But there's still the one night a month he has
to stay in wolf form and it's probably too dangerous, even with Wolfsbane, and-"
Hard-pressed to make much of this at first, Ginny suddenly found herself overwhelmed
by the startling revelation that she still had a lot to learn about Harry. Then,
she thought back to how kind Professor Lupin had been, and how patient, and
she smiled at his discomfiture. He seemed to be waiting for her approval or
lack thereof. She took the quill from him and scrawled the professor's name
in the space provided. "With luck, we won't need this anyway," she said quietly.
Neither of them mentioned how odd it was not to have chosen Ron or Hermione
as the child's legal guardian- they both felt, subconsciously, that if they
were gone, their friends probably would be as well. "I think we're done."
Even as she said it, she got the distinct impression that it was far from over.
Sometimes, Ginny hated it when she was right. She still felt pregnant a week
later and she was so completely exhausted that she had fallen asleep with her
head on Harry's shoulder in the middle of the lesson. Harry had nudged her awake
again, looking little more alert than she felt, but the damage had been done.
What damage? While they'd been napping, the rest of the class had got their
bellies removed. They had been replaced with animated little bundles that required
constant care and were to be allowed in all of the classrooms for the next week.
They were exactly like real infants in all ways but two- first, they 'shut off'
automatically at night, and second, they weren't really alive. Because they
had been drifting in the pleasant grasp of sleep, they had had to suffer almost
an extra forty minutes with the bellies.
And because Ginny was last on the list of mothers, they had an extra burden.
"It would just figure that they would run out of supplies," Ginny sighed, stretching
and feeling as if she'd just shed thirty pounds. She looked down at 'their'
baby and his wide blue eyes and crop of red hair.
"I don't know," Harry said fondly, reaching down to tickle the child. He was
older than everyone else's charge, and he hoped that this meant less work than
a real infant. Otherwise, they were in big trouble. "He's pretty cute, aren't
you, William? And he's a Weasley already. I told you any kid we had would have
hair like yours."
"Oh, he's cute, alright," she agreed with a smile and a coo. "That much is
undisputed. But, Harry, this kid isn't just going to turn off at night! He'll
need constant care. We aren't going to get a lot of sleep this week."
Just then, William began to fuss. The other 'babies' followed his lead. Every
head in the room turned and glared at Harry and Ginny.
They exchanged glances before Ginny finally broke down and gathered Will into
her arms. "Shh," she hushed him, patting his back. It wasn't as awkward as she
had thought it would be. "Shh! You know I didn't mean it. Hush now. Who's a
good boy? Who's a good boy?"
William belched, Harry grinned, and Ginny had to struggle to hold down her
giggles. "That explains a lot." She drew William back from her shoulder so she
could look him in the eye and made a funny face at him; he cooed happily and
tried to stick his little baby fingers up her nose. "Aw, you're a happy baby!
Yesh you are! Mummy's going to take good care of you, yes she is!"
"Not only Mummy, either," Harry pointed out. "Daddy is looking forward to some
quality time with ickle Will, oh yes!"
"Ugh," Hermione said at the table across from them. "Grammar! Honestly." She
looked a little uncomfortable with her particular squirming bundle of joy.
At the table behind her, looking through the manual on how to take proper care
of the Spellbabies, Ron chuckled. "Grammar? Harry and Ginny speak the language
Ginny glanced up sharply and caught Harry's eyes above William's head, suddenly
caught in the emerald gaze. He opened his mouth as if to speak, but the bell
rang. "Um," she said, feeling unbelievably clumsy, "Do you want to trade off
mornings and afternoons?"
He nodded vigorously, "Sure. I'll take him at lunch."
"Okay. I'll see you then." Her eyes followed him out of the room, and then
she looked down at William again. "Well," she told him, "I guess it's you and
"… And then he said it! Clear as a bell! I couldn't believe my ears- he's so
young, you know?" Ginny balanced a happily babbling William on her knee. "And
he-" She stopped as Harry took a seat across from her. "Harry! You'll never
guess what William did today!"
"Did ickle Will have a flying lesson?" Harry guessed.
"No, silly," Ginny said, rolling her eyes, "he's a bit young, don't you think?
No, he said his first word today! He said--"
Ron, Hermione and Lavender, who had heard the story multiple times in the past
three minutes, chorused in a very annoyed manner, "Nobody cares!"
Harry looked affronted, but decided to let it slide. "I care. What
did he say?"
Ginny sighed. This was the sad part of the story. "He said, 'Mommy.'" She bit
her lip and looked down at the red-haired baby. "I think he misses her." She
glanced up again, then immediately wished she hadn't. The expression on Harry's
face was one of absolute devastation. "I mean, of course he does. Have you ever
"Every day since they brought him here," Harry said with a sigh. "But can we
really just ask? 'Excuse me, Professor Byers, but could you please tell us how
William Scully ended up in the care of three single men with no mother in sight?'
What if she died? What if she was his wife, or his best friend or, I don't know…"
He removed his glasses and massaged the bridge of his nose. "It's hard to believe
he'll only be with us for a few more days."
She nodded. "I must admit, I'm really going to miss--" Ginny trailed off as
she caught sight of something extremely odd.
Professor Snape had burst into the Great Hall, covered in some anomalous white
and brown goo and clutching black feathers by the handful. "Eureka!!!" he cried
out loudly, sounding and appearing quite mad. His pupils were dilated and his
hair, aside from the white and brown goo, seemed to lack its usual grease. "I've
Professor Dumbledore stood, looking very alarmed, and called out, "FAWKES!"
Ginny followed his gaze to a spot just behind Professor Snape, where a big,
ugly black bird was flapping and squawking madly and attempting to add more
of the white and brown mess to Snape's already well-decorated robes. She exchanged
a somewhat worried glance with Harry, then joined the rest of the hall in cheering
the buzzard on.
It was very dark in the castle, and very creepy. Harry and Ginny were taking
William for a walk in hopes of coaxing him back into slumber- neither of them
had been very successful in getting him to doze off that particular night. In
their wanderings they had encountered no one, which was surprising, Harry thought,
because he usually encountered people on his night prowls, although they didn't
know it because he was usually wearing his Invisibility Cloak.
Just when William was nearly asleep, a sixth-year Hufflepuff skidded around
the corner, panting. "Ginny! Harry! Babies! Right now! More babies! Bring on
the babies! AHHHHHH!!!"
Harry winced, because William opened his eyes wide and started to fuss again.
He took the baby from Ginny and turned to stare the other boy in the face. "Excuse
me, but do you mind? I am trying to get a child to sleep here, in case you hadn't
"But," the exhausted boy tried to explain, "There are Muggles out by the lake!
They have pistols. I saw them with my own eyes! And they want all of
Harry pulled William closer, then sneaked an arm free and wrapped it around
Ginny. "I won't let them take him." He looked down at her. "Ginny, take William
and run. I'll meet you at the Quidditch pitch as soon as I can."
She nodded, fear in her eyes, but bravely accepted Will into her arms and took
off as quickly as she could considering the substantial baby bag hanging over
her shoulder. Harry watched her go for a moment, then raced up to his dormitory,
praying for just a little more time.
As it turned out, he didn't need it. He grabbed his Firebolt in less than two
minutes and actually flew out the window of Gryffindor Tower, something that
was strictly prohibited. He stayed low as he flew over the lake, hovering for
a moment to observe the Muggles.
They had all of the Spellbabies in one huge pile, obviously not knowing what
to do with so many dolls. One of them, a tall, thin woman with raven-black hair,
was holding a recalcitrant Draco Malfoy at gunpoint. He was complaining loudly
and offering large sums of money to anyone who would get the Muggles what they
wanted so that they would let him go.
Harry stopped and dismounted a few feet behind them, being careful to ensure
that neither Draco nor the woman holding him hostage took notice of him. That
woman seemed far too familiar with her weapon. Instead, he tapped the tall man
on the shoulder to get him to turn around.
"Do-oo Jee-sus!" exclaimed John Doggett loudly. (Harry knew his name from the
badge on his shirt also bearing the letters "F.B.I.") The woman snickered. "Christ,
kid, can't you just say hello like normal people?"
"Sorry," Harry said impatiently. "Listen, can you tell me what you want?"
The agent regarded him incredulously. "Yeah, sure. We want the kid. And the
three geeks that look like sixties rejects."
Harry stepped back. They were after William! "You can't take him!"
he cried, reaching for his wand. "You can't!" A light in the sky grabbed his
attention. No- what if they had a helicopter ready to swoop down… it wouldn't
take long for them to notice Ginny and William. They had to get away. He hopped
on his Firebolt and sped off towards the Quidditch pitch.
He found Ginny and the baby in mere seconds. "Take the broom," he instructed,
dismounting so quickly that he nearly fell over. The light in the sky was drawing
nearer. "Hurry, there's no time to argue- they're after the baby-"
Determined, Ginny managed to seat herself on the broom and take William in
one arm. "Harry, are you sure--"
She never finished. A powerful wind arose, sweeping hair into their faces and
causing William to whine a bit. The light was directly above them. Harry tightened
his grip on Ginny's shoulder as it descended.
It occurred to him, seconds later, that it probably wasn't a good idea to stay
put while being chased by this- this anomaly. This unidentifiable foe.
This fire in the sky.
But it was too late. Harry soon realized that whatever it was, it was certainly
not a helicopter. It was huge, the size of the entire Quidditch pitch (recently
modified by the Muggle Studies teacher into a sort of field fit for an American
version of rugby), and directly above them. Harry watched with his mouth open
in amazement as a portion of the circular contraption slid aside and down.
Bright light shone from inside, revealing two silhouettes- human, Harry realized,
though he had been expecting something else. "William!" someone shouted in an
"Mummy!" replied little Will, stretching out his arms.
And then it dawned on Harry that the world had never been black and white.
The two silhouettes descended the ramp onto the pitch, the woman slightly before
the man. Her red hair caught in the wind and was blown back behind her and her
arms stretched out in front, begging to take the baby from Ginny's protective
Harry's eyes met those of the man behind the woman, who looked at the same
time hopeful, desperate, and exhausted, and he understood. He laid a hand on
Ginny's shoulder. "He has to go," he whispered quietly.
Ginny nodded mutely, hugging William close for a moment and pressing her lips
to his forehead, and then allowed him to be taken from her.
From the direction of the lake, the three professors and the other two agents
arrived. "Finally decided to join the party, huh Mulder?" said Langly, slapping
the man on the shoulder.
Mulder gave him a withering glare. "Get in the ship," he directed, putting
his hand on the red-haired woman's shoulder. "Carter wants a movie, and damned
if you aren't going to suffer though it with the rest of us." They turned and
followed the three men onboard.
Harry and Ginny turned, too, back towards the castle, nearly oblivious. On
the Quidditch pitch, John Doggett said, "There's something familiar about those
Monica watched their retreat for a moment before sliding her hand into his.
"I know what you mean."