August 15, 1996

The kitchen was buzzing with excitement at the Potter's family home. Lily Potter was standing at the kitchen island, reading over the list of school supplies that she would need to take Harvey to collect while the bowl that contained pancake batter was stirring itself beside her. The plan for the day was to take Harvey to Diagon Alley for his school supplies while also meeting up with Harry and Sirius and fitting in a moment for Harvey to spend time with the Weasleys. It had all seemed like too much to squeeze in, so James had invited the Weasley clan over for breakfast. Lily had woken up at six am to start preparing. James had insisted she stay in bed for at least another hour, but Lily had ignored him and got ready.

Ever since they had learnt that she was pregnant, James was being a little overbearing. It wasn't the first time she had been pregnant, she knew her limitations, but she did hope it would be the last.

Getting pregnant certainly hadn't been the plan. After everything that had transpired with Harry recently, Lily knew that a new baby wouldn't help. She knew that her eldest was putting on a brave face for her. While she was thankful for his attempt to accept their new reality, Lily was terrified of losing the little progress they had made. She had a plan to sit down and talk things out with her son; that was why she had asked Harvey to pop over the day before and invite Harry to dinner. Once they had all of the school stuff sorted, they could relax and have a proper talk.

Lily herself still was struggling to believe she was pregnant. She was nineteen weeks now, and a small bump was noticeable on her belly where she wore clothes that hugged her body. Lily had spent the first few days yelling at herself for being so foolish. She had checked to make sure that she hadn't forgotten a contraceptive potion, and she hadn't. The potion was supposed to be completely safe, 100 per cent. But it seemed that the little one inside her decided that nothing was going to stop them.

It was scary to think that she was going to have another child. Some of her first thoughts were if she was going to mess up again. Would Harvey become to resent her like Harry had? Or would it be the new baby who grew up to hate her? It was hard to know what would happen when the baby was born; Lily only hoped that this time she wouldn't let herself fuck up.

James was excited about the baby. He had been shocked at first, but he had always wanted more than one kid. Being a lonely child himself, he had wanted a large family on his own. Even if the kids would be twelve years apart, they would always have each other. James had already dismantled their guest bedroom and started planning how he wanted it decorated. They didn't even know what the sex was yet, but James was considering a yellow theme after Lily threw a pillow at him for suggesting a Gryffindor theme.

Lily was glad that James was happy. Their relationship had been a bit rocky because of everything that happened with Harry, but James seemed to be truly trying. Whenever Harry was around, James seemed to be more considerate, but she could still see the tension. When James had apologised, Lily wasn't sure how Harry would respond; she thought there would have been at least some sort of fall out with Harry yelling, or at least, him rejecting James completely. But there hadn't been. It was odd, but Lily had her suspicions that Harry was putting on a brave face once again—a face that she couldn't really see-through.

The whistle from the kettle pulled Lily from her thoughts. She placed down Harvey's Hogwarts supply list and moved over to the stove. She tapped her wand on the pancake batter and had it move to the stove to start cooking itself. Lily carried the kettle back over to the island where Molly was sitting across from her, going through all of her children's Hogwarts letters. She knew that the Weasley's struggled to buy all of the books for their children. New books were expensive, and sometimes they couldn't get by with a second-hand copy—especially if a new edition was released. Lily had mentioned to James once about offering to help the Weasley's out; after all, Arthur and Molly had become such good friends of theirs. But James had told her they would never accept such a thing.

Lily poured tea for both Molly and herself before taking a seat on the stool just to the right of the island.

Molly looked up. "Are you alright?"

Lily smiled and nodded. "I'm fine, just resting. I forgot how exhausting growing a child can be."

Molly let out a small laugh. "Oh, I do not miss it."

"If you didn't enjoy it so much, why have seven children?"

Molly sighed. "Good question. One I can't answer."

They both laughed.

Lily took a sip of her tea as Harvey came bounding into the kitchen with Ron and Ginny, the youngest Weasley and a first-year at Hogwarts.

Ginny was the daughter that Molly had always craved; when she had been born, Molly had been so thrilled. It had been interesting to watch Ginny grow up in a house of rowdy boys, but Lily had enjoyed teasing Harvey over Ginny's small crush. The girl had followed him around since she could walk, always wanting to play with him and spend time with him, and it was around her seventh birthday when she declared that Harvey would one day marry her. It was all horribly adorable and hilarious, but not according to Harvey.

"Mum, is breakfast ready?" asked Harvey.

"Not yet, but soon," said Lily.

"What are we having?" asked Ron.


Ron cheered. "I love pancakes."

"Me too," added Ginny.

Lily smiled at the ginger girl. "Are you excited to go to Hogwarts this year?"

Ginny nodded, smiling widely. "I can't wait."

Ron grabbed Harvey's arm and started to pull him away while Ginny was distracted.

"Harvey, could you and Ron set the table?" Lily asked.

Both boys frowned and sighed. "Yeah," they groaned in unison.

Lily took another sip of her tea and picked up the list of books. She had already read through it a couple of times. She noticed some differences in the standard second year Defence textbooks. Break with a Banshee, Gadding with Ghouls, Holidays with Hags, Marauding with Monsters, Travels with Trolls, Voyages with Vampires, Wandering with Werewolves were all new; and they were all by Gilderoy Lockhart. The name sounded familiar, but Lily didn't know where she had heard it before.

"Are all these books really needed for Defence?" asked Molly.

Lily sighed. "It does seem a little extreme."

"They are by Gilderoy Lockhart, so they must be good," said Molly.

"You've read his work before?" asked Lily.

Molly smiled dreamily. "Oh, yes, and you should see how handsome he is. The tales he has…he is a fantastic wizard."

Lily chuckled at her friend. "Does Arthur know about your crush?"

Molly sighed and shrugged.

"The new defence teacher must be a fan too," said Molly. "Why else would he assign so many of Gilderoy's books?"

"Did you say Gilderoy?" asked James. He walked into the kitchen and pressed a kiss to Lily's head. "As in Gilderoy Lockhart?"

Lily nodded. "Yep. Why? Do you know him?"

James scoffed. "I have seen the advertisements for his published works. He looks like he hasn't changed since Hogwarts."

That was where she had heard his name before. "He was at Hogwarts with us?" Lily asked.

James nodded. "He was a few years below us, but I remember how many of a prat he was. Drove teachers crazy."

"More than you?" smirked Lily.

James smiled. "Never."

The pancakes—that had been making themselves—were finally ready. Ron and Harvey had set the table for everyone, and two very large stacks of pancakes made their way over to the table. Molly called out to the rest of her children, and they all appeared at the table. Everyone happily munched down on their breakfast and talked excitedly about going to Diagon Alley.

Diagon Alley was chaotic. The popular shopping street was always busy, no matter the time of year, but the crowd was almost unbelievable as Harry and Sirius arrived at the apparation point. There had been a voice inside telling him that they should just go home and come back another day; Harry wished he would have listened.

There was a plan to meet up with Lily and Harvey—James had to work while shopping. Harry also believed that the Weasley family would be with them. He had no idea how they would find them in the thick crowd, but they would just wait and see. Harry and Sirius headed away from the main bulk of the crowd, which seemed to be headed towards Flourish and Blotts, and made their way to the Apothecary. Harry had a number of supplies he needed to stock up on for home.

Inside, the Apothecary was dimly lit and cold. Only one other customer was in the shop; standing on the far side of the room, they were looking through the small collection of books the shop kept. Harry grabbed a small basket sitting by the door before making his way through the shelves, collecting what he needed. He heard his father mumble under his breath as he followed him, and Harry snorted a laugh when his father picked up a vial that contained Chicken Lips. Sirius looked mortified before putting it down and wiping his hands on her pants.

Once Harry had everything off his list, he walked up to the counter and tapped the bell. From the back walked an elderly lady. She offered them a toothless grin and bagged Harry's supplies. Sirius pulled out the required amount of coins before rushing out of the shop ahead of his son.

Once outside, Sirius turned and said, "I hate that shop."

Harry laughed. "Remind me to never let you expect what I keep in my lab."

Sirius' face twisted with concern. "Do I want to know?"

Harry shook his head at his father before walking off towards Eeylops Owl Emporium; he needed to get some more treats for Hedwig. They made it through most of their required shops without seeing Harvey or Lily. The last place Harry needed to go was Flourish and Blotts, and that was where the massive gathering of people were.

When they managed to get closer, Harry spotted the poster hanging from the front of the shop. Gilderoy Lockhart Book Signing. The heavy sigh that fell from both father and son made them look at one another.

Sirius asked, "What's with your reaction?"

Harry frowned. "I read one of his books; he is absolute garbage. What was with yours?"

"He went to Hogwarts same time as I did, he was a few years younger, but if you thought I was a pain, he was way worse." Sirius cringed. "Never in my life have I ever met someone so vain."

"Did you see my required readings for defence?" asked Harry.

Sirius shook his head.

"A bunch of his books are required. I am refusing to buy them out of spite," said Harry.

There was no avoiding the bookshop, so Harry pushed his way through. Sirius opted to wait outside and let Harry just get what he needed. Inside, a line of people was waiting at an empty desk. There were stacks upon stacks of books; all of them had a picture of Gilderoy Lockhart smiling on the front cover. It was called 'Magical Me'. Harry wanted to set the books on fire and burn the lot. The wizard was supposedly a Magical Master; he had accomplished things that other witches and wizards could only dream of. Harry made it through a chapter of his book Break with a Banshee before giving up and throwing it into the fire. It was a load of crap and a waste of anyone's time. Harry couldn't believe that all of these witches lined up, waiting desperately to meet the obvious fraud.

Harry got through the crowd and headed upstairs to start collecting his books. He collected his textbooks for Transfirguations, Charms, and Herbology. He was about to head back downstairs when he heard the loud applause. From a back room, in walked Gilderoy Lockhart himself. He was dressed in blue forget-me-not robes, and he was swishing his wavy blonde hair. He paused and posed as a short man was dancing around, taking photographs with a large black camera that was emitting puffs of purple smoke.

Shaking his head at the ridiculous man and his fans, Harry made his way downstairs, past the man with the camera and over to the front desk to pay.

The young woman serving him looked through his books and paused. She asked, "Are you a Hogwarts student?"

Harry nodded. "Yes, why?"

"You are missing all of Lockhart's books; would you like me to grab them for you?" she asked.

Harry cringed. "No. I'll pass on that rubbish."

The young woman seemed shocked by his comment but added his total and placed the books into a bag. He thanked her before turning to leave. As he turned, he spotted Harvey. He was standing in the crowd along with Ron, Hermione, Ginny and Molly Weasley. Harvey and Ron look as irritated about the spectacle as Harry was, but the three ladies all seemed mesmerised by the blonde fool.

"It can't be Harvey Potter?" cried Lockhart.

Harvey's eyes went wide as the blonde wizard dived forward and grabbed his arm, hauling him to the front of the crowd. Lockhart grasped Harvey's hand and started shaking it firmly as the photographer danced around, clicking madly.

"Nice big smile, Harvey," said Lockhart, through his clenched teeth. "Together, you are I are worth the front page."

Harry almost laughed at the pitiful look on his brother's face. He watched as Harvey tried to escape when Lockhart finally stopped shaking his hand but was stopped when Lockhart grasped his shoulders and held him firmly in place.

Lockhart said, "Ladies and gentlemen."

The crowd of gushing fans fell silent.

"What an extraordinary moment this is! The perfect moment for me to make a little announcement I've been sitting on for some time! When young Harvey stepped into Flourish and Blotts today, he only wanted to buy my autobiography—which I shall be happy to present him now, free of charge—he had no idea that he would shortly be getting much, much more than my book, Magical Me. He and his schoolfellows will, in fact, be getting the real, magical me."

Dread filled Harry as he took in the ludicrous man's words. He couldn't possibly mean what Harry was thinking. Dumbledore was so thick to let a man so utterly ridiculous teach at Hogwarts.

"Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have great pleasure and pride in announcing that, this September, I will be taking up the post of Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry!"

The crowd cheered and clapped.

Harvey had the entire collection of Gilderoy Lockhart thrust into his arms. Harry noticed he stumbled slightly under their weight, but he took the chance to slide away and back to where the Weasley's were standing in the crowd.

Harry made his way over and watched as Harvey placed all of Lockhart's books into Ginny's cauldron.

Harvey said, "You can have these; I'll get Mum to buy me my own."

A small blush covered Ginny's cheeks, and she muttered a thank you.

"Have fun up there?" asked Harry.

Harvey turned and let out a heavy huff. "Why didn't you save me?"

Harry chuckled. "You survived, didn't you?"


"You don't really think he is our new professor, do you?" asked Ron.

Harry wanted to say no. He wanted to believe that Dumbledore was smarter than this, but after last year and the shitty decisions the man had made then, Harry found himself believing that Dumbledore really had finally lost the plot.

"I think that if he is, I will be dropping Defence from my N.E.W.T.S," said Harry.

The line of people waiting to get books signs by Lockhart started to push forward as the blonde-haired wizard finally sat down; he continued to glance up and flash his large grin at the camera.

Harry made his way back outside and found his father standing with his mother and Arthur Weasley. The three adults all looked up as he approached.

"Hello, sweetheart," said Lily. She stepped forward and hugged him.

Harry felt the small bump on his stomach press against him. It was becoming more and more real every time he saw her; there was no denying that she was pregnant now.

"Hey, Mum."

"Mum, I was confronted by a very handsy man."

Lily turned to look at Harvey, who stopped beside his brother. "Pardon?"

Harry smirked. "He got dragged into a photoshoot with Gilderoy Lockhart inside. Apparently, they will make the front page."

Harvey frowned. "I don't want to be on the front page."

"Seriously?" asked Lily. "James said the man was strange."

"Strange doesn't cover it," said Sirius.

"He also gave me all of his books for free," said Harvey.

Lily looked surprised. "Oh, really?"

Harvey nodded. "I gave them to Ginny though, so she has them for school."

All three adults smiled knowingly at one another.

Harry rolled his eyes and chuckled.

"What?" asked Harvey.

"Nothing," they all said.

"The worst part of all this is that the fool announced he is the new defence teacher," said Harry.

Sirius looked horrified. "That idiots going to be teaching you Defence?"


Sirius clenched his jaw. "I think we need to have another chat with Dumbledore."

Lily placed her hand on Sirius' arm.

"Come now, Sirius," said Arthur, "I don't think Dumbledore would allow anyone to teach our children if they didn't have the right qualifications."

Lily and Sirius both frowned.

Lily said, "Our opinion of Dumbledore isn't as high as yours, Arthur. Not after last year."

Arthur looked a little off-put. "Oh…right."

The rest of the Weasley came out of Flourish and Blotts together. Molly had a very bright red pair of cheeks and was clenching a copy of Magical Me to her chest. The rest of the Weasley children, which the exception of Ginny, looked rather annoyed.

"Get everything, dear?" asked Arthur.

Molly nodded. "Yes, we have everything. Mr Lockhart even signed all of Ginny's book. Such a charming man."

Harry rolled his eyes. He had one last stop to make, and that was at the Quidditch shop; he needed some more polish for his broom.


Turning around, Harry spotted his best friend Carlisle Malfoy coming towards him. His white-blonde hair was in a messy mop on top of his head, and behind him trailed the smaller version of their father, his younger brother Draco.

Harry smiled. "Carlisle, how are you?"

The two friends hugged.

"I'm great. You?"

Harry sighed. "As well as I can."

Carlisle rolled his eyes. "Always so dramatic."

Harry shrugged.

"Harry, did Carlisle tell you I'm going to try out for Quidditch this year?" asked Draco. He pushed himself in between the two of them.

"No," said Harry. "But good luck."

"What position?" asked Ron, who was now standing with Harvey, on Harry's other side.

Draco sneered at him. "None of your business, Weasel."

Carlisle's hand clipped Draco across the back of his head. "Shut it, brat."

Draco glared at his older brother and smoothed down the back of his hair. "You're no better than the rest of the blood traitors."

Carlisle's normally relaxed face darkened. He grabbed Draco by the scruff of his shirt and pulled him away from everyone, causing Draco to drop the books he was carrying. The older Malfoy leant down and whispered into Draco's ear, making the twelve-year-old turn pink before dropping his head. As they walked back over, Ginny knelt down and picked up the books Draco had dropped before holding them out to him. Draco sneered and snatched the books before storming off in the direction they had originally come from.

Carlisle let out a heavy sigh and said, "Sorry about him."

Harry shrugged. "Don't worry about it."

Harvey asked, "How come you're so nice when your brother's a prat?"

Carlisle chuckled. "Good question." He scratched the back of his head.


The group turned to see Narcissa standing a few shops away with Draco hiding behind her. She summoned her son with a wave of his hand.

"I better go," said Carlisle. "See you soon, mate."

Harry nodded and waved his friend goodbye.

Ginny bent down and picked up what looked like a black journal. "I think Draco forgot a book." She wiped the cover.

Harry looked down at it; it looked slightly worn, a strange thing for a Malfoy to have. He said, "Keep it. He won't miss it."

Ginny shrugged and dropped it into her cauldron.

The dinner table at the Potter's house was covered in dirty dishes. The family had just finished eating their dinner and were now sitting around the table drinking coffee and sharing dessert. Lily was sitting beside James, nursing a cup of tea while gentle holding one hand on her baby bump. Across from them sat Remus and Sirius; the two had announced their relationship upon their arrival at the house that night and were surprised by James' excited reaction. At the end of the table, sitting opposite one another was Harvey and Harry. Between them was Harry's small portable chess set that Harvey had given him for Christmas, and Harry was still teaching Harvey how to play properly. Fleur sat at the end of the table and watched the brother's play while also holding one of Harry's hands.

Harry had wondered when his mother was going to explain the real reason for dinner. She occasionally asked them around for dinner, just because she could, but there was always a few days notice. But she had sent Harvey over to invite them the afternoon before, which made Harry suspicious. He didn't push it, though; he allowed them all to enjoy dinner and just talk. The conversation seemed to float around the boys returning to Hogwarts and Sirius and Remus' relationship.

Harvey was too busy staring at the chessboard, trying to carefully consider his next move, to focus on what the adults were saying. James seemed interested to know about how everything happened between Sirus and Remus.

"Did you both feel like this when we were at school?" asked James.

Remus shrugged. "I always thought he was a handsome lad, but someone who has a new girl hanging off him every week was off-putting."

"It wasn't every week," said Sirius.

James smirked. "Padfoot, it was sometimes more than one in a week."

Harry noticed how all of the adults reacted to the use of Sirius' nickname. He couldn't recall a single time that James had ever used it. Remus used it frequently, but James had always used called him Black for as long as Harry could remember.

A small smile touched Sirius' face. "I may have exaggerated those details."

"Why is that not surprising?" teased Lily.

Sirius shrugged. "Doesn't matter now; there shall only be one handsome man in my life every week from now on."

"I do hope you are referring to me?" said Remus.

"Who else?" said Sirius. He reached over and grasped Remus' hand.

Harry couldn't stop his own smile as he saw the look reflected in his father and godfather's eyes. It was the same way Fleur looked at him.

"Harry, your turn," said Harvey.

Harry looked down at the chessboard and smiled. He could end the game, but instead, he decided to move a pawn, giving Harvey another chance.

"So what was with the impromptu dinner?" asked Sirius.

Lily bit down on her lip and smiled. "James and I had something we wanted to share with everyone."

"Are you having twins?" asked Harvey.

Harry looked at his brother, shocked.

"No," said James, laughing.

"No, but we did find out the gender," said Lily.

"Please don't be a girl!" mumbled Harvey.

"What's wrong with girls?" asked Fleur.

Harvey slid down in his chair and looked a little scared.

Harry chuckled and squeezed Fleur's hand. "That scary face you all seem to make," he said.

Fleur smirked.

"So Mum, what is it?" asked Harvey.

Lily smiled. "A girl."

Harvey frowned. "Really?" he groaned.

Harry kicked Harvey softly underneath the table. "That's great," he said.

James placed his hand on Lily's stomach. "Maybe we will get a red-head this time? A cute girl with your bright locks would be adorable."

Lily nodded. "That would be nice. But I think your Potter genes will just outshine mine."

"And what a shame that would be," teased Remus.

James mock glared at him, tore a piece of his paper napkin off, and threw it at him.

While the adults laughed, Harry found himself wondering what it would be like to have a sister. He already knew what it was like to have a brother, and while most of their relationship had felt uncomfortable and strained, he now understood more of what it was really like to have a proper relationship with a sibling. Harry did know that things would be different, mainly because he was now sixteen and would almost be seventeen when his little sister would be born. She was due in January.

The concerns about his Mum were still there. But it wasn't just his own feelings of rejection that he was worried about. Harvey could possibly experience the same things if their Mum went down the same path. She had tried to promise Harry that she wouldn't let it happen, but promises weren't something Harry put a lot of faith in. He would believe it when he saw it. This wasn't to say that Harry wished his little sister hadn't happened. Hearing that the baby was a girl actually made Harry feel a burst of excitement. Being an older brother to Harvey and having that relationship was great; he enjoyed it—even when Harvey forgot about boundaries—and he was curious to see how different a relationship with a sister would be.

"Now that you know it's a girl, are you still going with the yellow theme for the nursery?" asked Fleur.

Lily shrugged. "I guess so."

James said, "I don't want a pink room. Too much pink is just…" He scrunched up his face.

"I second that. Maybe we could do purple?" suggested Lily.

"No purple," said James.

"Why not?" asked Lily.

"If I can't have a Gryffindor themed room, you can't have a purple room," said James.

"How does that make sense?" asked Harry.

James sighed. "Your Mum's favourite colour is purple, my favourite colours are red and gold. So if I can't have mine, she can't have hers."

Harry just gave his mother a strange look.

Lily smirked and shrugged. "I don't know," she said.

Harry shook his head.

"Moony, come on, back me up here?" asked James.

Remus held up his hands. "I'm staying out of this."

"Me too," added Sirius.

"Why not do white and grey?" offered Fleur. "Keep it fairly reserved, and then add pops of colour. That way, when she grows up, she can decorate her room however she likes without being concerned about a brightly coloured wall that she might not like."

Lily nodded. "I like that."

James shrugged. "Sounds boring."

"We aren't doing a Gryffindor themed room!"

"Why not?" whined James.

The conversation went on. They discussed the nursey colours for a ridiculously long time, never really coming to a final decision.