Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Growing Up Potter - Part Six
“Mother...” Padma growled.
“All I'm saying is that I don't understand why you two insist on living here,” Mrs. Patil pointed out. “It'll be hard enough finding husbands now that you have babies. The fact that you are living with their father will likely scare away any suitable man who is interested.”
“Mum!” Parvati hissed. “This is not something we should be discussing now!”
Mrs. Patil waved her hand to indicate everyone sitting at the massive table. “I'm sorry if I am embarrassing you, but it needs to be said, and when else can I say it? You wouldn't speak to me for more than five minutes a day via firecall!”
“That's because you keep nagging us to get married!” The twins burst out.
Mrs. Patil ignored their outburst. “And you didn't even invite me here to witness the birth of my grandchildren. At least the Malfoy boy had the decency to invite his parents!”
Narcissa reached across the table to take Mrs. Patil's hand. “It may be true that we were here for the birth, but as I understand it, you at least found out about this whole situation before it was reported on in the paper. We had no idea until we opened the Daily Prophet that day.”
“You didn't?!” Mrs. Patil asked in horror. She turned to look at Draco. “Shame on you! Do you have any idea how a mother worries about her children?!”
“Mum!” The Patil twins cried out.
“Oh shut it!” Pansy roared, getting to her feet and slamming her hand on the table. “At least your parents care about you! So what if they're terrible nags and controlling pricks! At least they're here!” She clutched Pearl to her chest as she extricated herself from the long bench. Then she stomped out of the room.
“Pans!” Draco called after her. He thrust Scorpius into his mother's arms, and then rushed after his best friend.
Molly cleared her throat. “Eat up, there's plenty more. Shall I brew another pot of tea?”
There was a general murmuring of denial, and then Padma sighed.
“Listen, mum,” Padma said, obviously trying to be patient. “I'm not planning to get married anytime soon. I'm in training to be a Healer and I have a new baby to look after. I simply don't have time to date!”
“Me neither!” Parvati added.
“So let us arrange a marriage for each of you!” Their mother insisted. “I'll do all the work and then you'll be happily married.”
Parvati let out a prolonged groan as she pulled on her hair. She decided to utterly scandalize her parents. “Fine, if you insist on making me say it out loud... I am perfectly happy in my shared relationship with Harry! I live here with him because there's nowhere else I'd rather live. He's family!”
Harry smiled politely at Mrs. Patil. “That much is very true. I consider Padma and Parvati to be precious members of my family. With them living here, all the babies will grow up knowing each other, and the ten of us? Well, we look out for each other.”
“Exactly!” Padma exclaimed. Then she frowned ever so slightly. “Oh, looks like one of your twins is starting to fuss. Do you need me to feed him, Harry?”
“No, I think this one actually needs to be changed,” Harry murmured. “Would you mind holding James so that I can take care of Al?”
Padma reached across the table. “Sure, and I'll keep a hold of him so that you can eat more. Though I must say that I'm impressed by your wordless and wandless levitation charm work.”
Harry chuckled. “It's the only way that I'm going to have a third hand when needed!”
Andromeda kissed Harry's cheek and took Albus before Harry could get up. “You eat; I'll change the baby.”
Lucius was now holding Scorpius and looked mildly upset. “He's not in need of a change, but he's fussing.”
“He's hungry,” Luna observed. “Usually Pansy feeds him, but I can do that.” She passed Pandora over to her father so that she could take Scorpius. She then pulled one breast over the top of her shirt and helped him latch on.
Lucius looked away, a bit ashamed to feel a blush sting his cheeks. “Shouldn't do that where everyone can see it,” he muttered under his breath.
They all heard him and ignored him. Ginny even went so far as to loudly exclaim: “Oh! Looks like Lily's hungry too!” Then she also pulled out a breast and held her baby to it. Lily sucked so greedily that Ginny inhaled a pained breath. “Does this ever get better?”
Molly clucked sympathetically. “Yes and no. I was nursing for so many years that I'm not entirely sure if it stopped hurting or if I just got used to the pain.”
Narcissa took everyone in the room by surprise when she spoke. “It shouldn't hurt. I know the recipe to a salve that has been passed down through my family for generations that will help. Not even Andromeda knows it, although she might know of something similar.” Narcissa shrugged. “I can make some and bring it by later on. I didn't think to do so already because, well, Draco won't be needing it.”
Before Ginny could respond to the rather shocking and unexpected offer, Mrs. Patil drew everyone's attention again.
“Parvati! That is not the correct way to nurse a baby! You'll get sore nipples and probably mastitis!”
“Mum,” Parvati growled. “I'm nursing just fine; see?”
Mrs. Patil simply rolled her eyes and reached over to adjust the way her daughter held the baby. A second later, Parvati looked surprised.
“Oh... I can feel the difference!”
“I clearly need to leave the room,” Lucius remarked once he found that he really couldn't look around without seeing a breast with a child attached to it. He was happy that he'd finished eating. Sheer manners kicked in. “Thank you for this excellent meal, Mrs. Weasley.”
“You are very welcome, Mr. Malfoy,” Molly replied politely, but with a warm smile.
“Come,” Arthur invited, getting to his feet. “Why don't we men move to the parlor where we can sit in comfort and wait for all these babies to finish their breakfast.” This was purely a diplomatic gesture since he was completely comfortable with public breastfeeding after fathering seven children. Lucius, Mr. Patil, Xenophilius Lovegood, Ron, and Mr. Granger took his suggestion, most seeming eager to escape the room.
This left Harry in a room full of women. He would have been disgruntled by Ron abandoning him, but a quick look proved that Ron was actually trying to help his dad out a bit, so Harry couldn't stay mad. Even so, he felt a bit embarrassed to be the only man in the room.
Andromeda returned with Albus and handed him back to Harry. “I'll go look in on Pansy now,” she murmured, kissing Harry on the cheek.
“Thanks Gran!” Harry called after her, giving her a big grin.
Susan, Hannah, Luna, Ginny, and Hermione had taken their tops off completely now that the uncomfortable men were out of the room. Susan looked over at Harry. When she saw that he was rubbing noses with a fussy Albus, she grinned.
“I'll trade babies with you, Harry,” Susan offered. “Little Amelia has finished eating and is dozing off, and it looks like Albus is getting hungry.”
“Thanks Suze!” Harry stated. He then walked over to Susan to make the exchange.
“Mum, you're just going to have to hold Rose for me!” Hermione burst out in frustration. “Hugo is squirming too much for me to keep a hold on both of them while they nurse. She'll probably fuss, but I'll finish feeding her in a few minutes.”
Mrs. Granger took Rose and delighted in kissing her all over.
“Actually,” Hannah interrupted. “Remus is more asleep than he is eating, so I could feed Rose for you,” she suggested.
“That would be great!” Hermione accepted with a grateful smile. Her mother decided to switch babies and cuddle with the little boy.
“What sort of name is Remus anyway?” Mrs. Granger asked curiously.
Hannah smiled. “He was one of my favorite Professors. Not my favorite Professor, but I liked him a lot. However, I really thought I was having a girl, so I didn't think of any boy names,” she ignored Hermione's muttered: I told you that you should have asked what sex the baby was! “So when I had to name a boy, Harry suggested Remus because the Professor was very close to Harry. Harry's the Godfather to Remus' baby Teddy.”
Who was currently taking a nap, although he had been running around quite loudly earlier. Mrs. Granger frowned in thought. She looked around the room for a moment.
“Teddy is that little boy with the constantly changing hair, right?” She asked, frowning when she realized that he wasn't in the room. “Where are his parents anyway?”
Hermione wasn't the only one to sigh sadly, but she was the one to answer her mother. “They both died in the War. Teddy lives here with us because his Grandmother Andromeda decided to come live with Harry for many reasons. The best reason is that Teddy will grow up loved among many children rather than mostly alone.”
“I see,” her mother murmured, and then fell silent.
Ginny exclaimed softly in triumph. “Hooray, now that Lily is asleep, I can take a bath! Mum, will you keep an eye on her?”
“Of course love!” Molly stated with a tone like she was amazed Ginny thought she had to ask.
“Oh! Mine too!” Luna insisted, handing Pandora to Molly and Scorpius to Narcissa. “A bath sounds lovely!”
Pansy and Draco both entered the room just then, Andromeda a step behind them. “I'd kill for a bath,” Pansy murmured.
Andromeda took Pearl from her and gave her a kiss on the cheek. “Go on then.”
“Are you coming, Draco?” Pansy asked, slipping her hand in his.
Draco looked over to find his mother holding his son. “Will you be alright with him?”
“Of course,” Narcissa assured him with a smile.
“Then yes, Pans, I definitely need a bath too,” Draco stated.
“Call Ron back in here to hold Hugo so I can join you!” Hermione called after them.
“How big is this bathtub?!” Mrs. Granger asked incredulously.
Hermione snickered, knowing that her mother was scandalized but trying to hold it back. “The tub is plenty big enough for all of us. We could even bring the babies, but I am positive that none of us wants to risk an accidental drowning just yet.”
“We should just conjure a couple of bassinets and let our mothers watch over the sleeping babies,” Padma suggested, and then did exactly that. She and Parvati each lay a baby in the bassinet, but since one of them was James, this meant that Padma's actual baby was currently in Mrs. Patil's hands.
“You're not seriously going to take a bath with a man, are you?!” Mrs. Patil asked her daughter incredulously.
“We're 19, mum,” Parvati pointed out. “And we have babies. I am pretty sure that you can assume that we've seen naked men before. Especially these two.”
Padma chuckled at their mother's expression. “And actually, it's so much easier to all bathe at one time than to have to wait all day for the bath to free up.” She then smiled at Harry. “You coming?”
Susan and Hannah had also conjured bassinets and were now baby free and tugging on Harry's arms. “Come on!”
“I'm not sure I could stay awake long enough to take a bath,” Harry protested.
“Cheer up!” Parvati encouraged him. “Even if you fall asleep in the tub, your last sight will be of a naked Draco.”
“Washing up,” Padma added with a smirk.
Harry's eyes glazed over for a moment, and then he perked up. “Er, yeah! I think I will have that bath!”
The room was silent for a moment after they left before Molly giggled. “I'm not sure that I'll ever get used to the fact that my daughter regularly bathes with two men who are so besotted with each other that they don't even notice her anyway!”
Narcissa snorted in amusement. “Imagine how I feel knowing that my son is sort of the half father to 12 babies and seems to know all the mothers quite intimately.”
Molly laughed. “I can imagine actually as I do think of Harry as one of my own. When he and Ginny explained what had happened, I was tempted to cast an infertility spell on Harry to prevent him from doing anything like this in the future!”
Mrs. Patil snorted, sounding pleased with this idea. “That would have only been a fitting punishment!”
Mrs. Granger frowned. “Would that actually matter? As I understand it, the lust and fertility potions they were given were so potent that it would override an infertility spell anyway.”
Molly tilted her head to the side and looked at Mrs. Granger curiously. “I'm not sure, actually. I assume that Hermione told you that?” At the nod of her head, Molly continued. “Well, she would know. She's not only the smartest witch I've met, but she's the one that did all the research on what happened. I should probably contact Minerva to see if I can take a look at that diary.”
Mr. Weasley entered the room with the rest of the men.
“Where's Ron?” Molly asked.
Arthur shrugged. “Apparently taking a bath with Harry.”
“Him too?” Mrs. Patil asked, holding her hands to her face in mild shock.
“Him too?” Arthur wondered curiously, not sure who else was being referred to.
Molly giggled. “They're all in the bath!”
“All of them?” Lucius reiterated as he looked around the room and found it full of sleeping babies and women looking after them. He was also surprised to find his wife and her sister eyeing each other speculatively. Both seemed impressed by the other's willingness to accept this bizarre situation.
The silence was awkward now that none of them had children in the room to talk to or harass.
“So... er...” Molly fumbled to find something to talk about. “Anyone want more tea?”
“Yes!” Mrs. Patil cried out in relief.
“Tea would be lovely,” Narcissa agreed.
“As I was saying,” Arthur stated as if he had been in the middle of a conversation. “England United is the most likely to win the Quidditch Cup this year.”
“I disagree, Bulgaria is clearly still the favorite,” Lucius argued.
This broke the ice and led to a surprisingly in depth debate on the various teams and their chances at winning the World Cup.
Meanwhile, in the bathtub, 11 exhausted new parents – including Ron who was a parent because of his relationship with Hermione – were soundly asleep.