Aren't you all excited? This is my very first fanfic, and hopefully not the last. And since it is my first, and since I already have severe insecurity issues (^_^), that means you have to review! Please?
Anyhow, this is in response to the Raising Harry Challenge at the Albus and Minerva yahoo group. I know, it's been a while since that was posted, but I actually started writing it way back then. I have about four chapters written out—in my Civics notebook, 'cause I write during that hour. Wouldn't it be funny if I started paying attention, or something? Hehe.
Summary: Minerva and Albus rethink their decision to leave Harry with the Dursleys. Will eventually be AD/MM.
Disclaimer: I don't own this. Would I be writing fanfic if I did? It's all J.K. Rowling's. And the title I got from an episode of Family Law, but I think they got it from somewhere else, so I don't know.
AN: This chapter actually has a lot of passages word-for-word out of the first chapter of PS/SS. I just wanted this to fit a little more nicely. It's not completely the same and the next chapters will be more original, I promise, so please don't flame me for it. Actually, please don't flame me at all!
And away we go…
Bringing Up Baby
Chapter One: The Boy Arrives
On a dark, completely usual street one night, two forms sat on the wall around one of the houses. A man and a woman, both of whom looked incredibly out of place in long robes and old-fashioned cloaks. The man, in purple, even had snowy white hair and a beard to match, both down to his waist. Such a pair was unheard of on this street with its boring, identical houses and perfectly neat lawns.
The woman, in emerald green, leapt up off the wall suddenly. "You don't mean—you can't possibly mean the people who live here? Dumbledore—you can't. I've been watching them all day. You couldn't find two people less like us. And they have this son—I saw him kicking his mother all the way up the street, screaming for sweets. Harry Potter come and live here!"
"It's the best place for him, Minerva," said Dumbledore firmly. "His aunt and uncle will be able to explain everything to him when he's older. I've written them a letter to elucidate the situation."
"A letter?" repeated Minerva faintly, sitting back on the wall. "Really, Albus, do you think you can explain all this in a letter? These people will never understand him! He'll be famous—a legend—I wouldn't be surprised if today was known as Harry Potter day in the future—there will be books written about Harry—every child in our world will know his name!"
"Exactly," said Professor Dumbledore, in a tone that left no room for argument. "It would be enough to turn any boy's head. Famous before he can walk and talk! Famous for something he won't even remember! Can't you see how much better off he'll be, growing up away from all that until he's ready to take it, Professor McGonagall?"
If his tone hadn't gotten to Minerva, the use of her title had. She swallowed her objection and said, "Yes, you're right, of course. But in a letter? They'll never understand."
Dumbledore nodded thoughtfully. "That's true. But we can't deliver Harry personally. I don't imagine a fully-grown witch and wizard arriving at the door, handing them the baby would make matters any easier." Minerva saw his reasoning and nodded her agreement. "So you see, a letter is the best way to go."
Professor McGonagall narrowed her eyes slightly as she thought. "Maybe. For tonight…" Dumbledore looked quizzically at her, silently drawing an explanation. "What if, when Harry arrives, we do leave him here, but then we come back tomorrow—in Muggle clothes—to explain further to his aunt and uncle? We really do need to talk to them, and at least that way, the shocks will be staggered."
Dumbledore raised his eyebrows as he took in her suggestion, then smiled. "That's a superb idea, my dear. That's why you're my second-in-command; I'd be lost without you."
Minerva quirked a small smile and was about to reply when a roar filled the quiet, night air, and a huge motorcycle carrying an even more huge man with wild black hair and a beard that hid his face almost entirely appeared from out of the sky.
"Ah, Hagrid," said Dumbledore. "Did you have any trouble getting him?"
"Not much Professor Dumbledore, sir. Professor McGonagall." Hagrid nodded his head toward her by way of greeting. "The Muggles had just started to gather 'round by the time I got there. The ministry sent people to handle it." He held out to Dumbledore the precious cargo he had been carrying.
Dumbledore took the proffered bundle of blankets containing the baby, letting Professor McGonagall step closer to him so she could see the boy as well. She reached her finger towards the jagged cut on Harry's head.
"Is that where—"she whispered, succeeding in hiding the tremble in her voice.
"Yes," Dumbledore said. "He'll have that scar forever."
"Couldn't you do something about it, Albus?"
"Even if I could, I wouldn't. Scars can come in quite handy. I have one myself above my left knee that is a perfect map of the London Underground."
Dumbledore pulled away from Professor McGonagall and Hagrid, and walked to the doorstep of the house they had congregated at. Setting him down gently, he pulled a letter out of his cloak and set it down next to him. "Good-bye, Harry. I'll see you tomorrow."
He turned back to the other adults. "It's been a long day and standing about won't make it any shorter." His voice was calm enough, but Minerva could see the pain in his eyes; they no longer twinkled as they had earlier. She, too, had to swallow hard and blink rapidly as the full events of the day came to realization.
"Yes we should go," she agreed.
Hagrid got back on his motorcycle and took off as Professor Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall arranged to meet back at the house the next afternoon and said their good-byes. As Dumbledore turned to go, Minerva let her eyes wander back to the lumpy pile of blankets. She sighed quietly, trying to quell the feeling of discontent rising in her heart.
A warm hand took hers. "My dear, you know this is the best way," Dumbledore said quietly close to her ear. She unconsciously moved closer to him, drawing his warmth on the slightly chilly night. Dumbledore squeezed her hand gently. "And we'll even be back tomorrow. You'll see that everything will be fine."
"I know," said Minerva, casting about for words to explain what she was feeling. She realized that she didn't exactly know herself. "It's just… so much… Lily and James… little Harry… More names on a long list of people affected by You-Know-Who."
Dumbledore ignored her use of the dark wizard's pseudonym. "A list too long," he said. "But it appears to be over now."
Minerva smiled slightly even as she blinked back tears. "Thank the fates for that."
Dumbledore released her hand and wrapped his arms around her. She leaned into him, grateful for the solace he provided. He was somewhat surprised he had relaxed into the embrace; she generally refused comfort, preferring to let other's rely on her.
Dumbledore dropped a chaste kiss on her forehead. "We should go," he said. Minerva nodded her agreement and straightened up as Dumbledore added, "I have a few other things to attend to, so I won't be accompanying you back. I trust you'll be alright?"
"I'll be fine, Albus. But be careful. Even if You-" she broke off, catching herself. "Even if Voldemort has gone, there could still be Death Eaters at large."
"I'll be careful. Goodnight, my dear."
"Goodnight," said Professor McGonagall before she turned into a cat and took her leave. Professor Dumbledore smiled slightly as he watched the gray tabby cat slink up the sidewalk, and as he turned to go, a bright twinkle had returned to his blue eyes.