So not too many comments yet but the reviews I have received have been positive and well received Thank you lovely people. Here is the second chapter which will hopefully give a bit more insight to how the story might develop. I have a plan of course, but I'm not telling! Yet…Muhahahah…
Many thanks again. Mina
Dumbledore knows best.
Two nights had passed since school ended for Harry and he'd started what was supposed to be his summer holiday. He was exhausted and didn't think he'd actually managed to get any real sleep since before coming back to the Dursley's.
It was of course, all because of the tiny baby dumped into his clueless care.
The only positive thing so far about having the baby was that it took his mind of having lost Sirius and the pressure of having the Prophesy hanging over him.
Who had time for Voldemort when there was a hungry baby demanding your attention day and night?
The first night in charge had been the worst by far.
He'd been woken up after what had felt like just a few minutes of sleep by a very red, angry looking baby. It was clear that she'd been howling for quite a while before he'd actually woken from his sleep. All those years of living with snoring boys at Hogwarts had clearly made him more immune to sound than he'd thought possible. He'd fed her a bottle and changed his first really revolting nappy before placing, what he'd thought was a happy baby back into bed. The baby had let him know just how not happy she was feeling and after what had felt like an eternity later Harry had been forced to give up. He'd sucked up whatever pride he had about not wanting his aunts help and put the baby above his own feelings.
He'd crept into his aunts and uncles bedroom to ask for help, only to find them sleeping soundly with earplugs to get away from the unhappy crying that the baby had been doing for quite a while now. His uncle when woken had thrown him out of the bedroom with a promise of pain if Harry ever dared to disturb their sleep for help with the freak ever again.
Harry had wondered if the baby had done magic already, only because they'd left it to scream all night.
After pacing the floor in his bedroom with a howling baby propped up on his shoulder for an hour, the little girl had let out a very unladylike burp before relaxing into sleep right there on his shoulder. Harry had collapsed into bed exhausted after depositing her carefully into her makeshift cot again. He was never having children of his own had been his last thought before losing consciousness.
Hearing her cry again an hour or so later had nearly brought him to tears. It had taken him another two hours of pacing the room before she had settled down once again, during which, Harry had had ample time to plan out the most gruesome deaths, tortures and accidents imaginable for Dudley.
During the second night with the baby he'd finally realised that a bottle followed by a burp meant he'd get more sleep before the next feeding session began and so he'd had at least a bit more sleep than the previous night. He now lived with a glimmer of hope that he'd somehow survive this baby caring business.
Hedwig had yet to return from her mission to enlist help from Dumbledore and Harry wondered what was taking her so long. He was hoping that the baby could stay with The Weasley's as Mrs Weasley was the best mum he knew but if the Weasley's couldn't do it forever then Harry figured he could take over once he finished Hogwarts. It was only two years left until graduation after all.
It had now been three days since school ended but it felt like a lot longer to Harry. Being coped up in the house for this summer again was not something Harry wanted to repeat.
He'd decided that he and the baby needed some air, well he needed some air and didn't trust the Dursley's to take care of the baby in case she cried, so here they were down in the kitchen with Dudley staring at them from across the table in terror.
"Do you have a library card?" Harry asked suddenly making Dudley eye him stupidly.
Harry glared at him in tired frustration, he really didn't have the energy for battling with Dudley right now but he needed to get some information on how to care for the baby and the library seemed the obvious choice of place.
"I've barely had any sleep because your baby has been keeping me up all night, your mum won't help me or tell me what to do, so you had better hand over your card or I swear I'll come into your room tonight and show you what I can do with the aid of magic!" Harry snapped before drawing a deep breath getting ready to let more of his frustration out but he was left staring at the empty spot where Dudley had been in a moment earlier and had to be happy with simply huffing as Dudley had disappeared. He eyed the baby, who was sleeping in the carrier Harry had placed on the table, before taking another bite from the toast he'd made earlier.
Dudley had run out of the room so quickly it almost seemed as if he'd apparated and a moment later Harry heard him thundering down the stairs. Dudley re-entered the kitchen with his card held out for Harry to take and he snorted at the pristine-looking card which definitely hadn't been used before.
It had the Smeltings school name taped on the back and Dudley obviously only had it because the school had given it to him.
Dudley gazed at the baby with fear again before disappearing back upstairs to his room, no doubt worried that Harry might pass on the responsibility of caring for the baby onto his shoulders but Harry wouldn't give Dudley a Flobberworm to care for.
He finished his toast and eyed the still sleeping baby with a thoughtful look, maybe he should bring the invisibility cloak just in case someone bothered him about carrying a tiny baby around.
After getting the cloak down he went outside and headed for the library which he remembered was close to his old school. He entered the library and looked around in bewilderment, where would they keep the baby manuals he wondered.
"Well hello there, can I help you?" Harry turned at the voice and smiled nervously at a librarian who stood eyeing him curiously.
"Er, hello, yes I'm er…helping my aunt with the baby and er…just wanted to learn a bit about them. Babies that is." Harry babbled nervously. The librarian smiled at him brightly.
"How lovely! It's good to see a boy your age helping out with baby sitting, your aunt must be very grateful for your help." She said moving closer and bending over the baby he carried.
"Isn't she lovely, how old is the little lady then?" She gushed making Harry count fast.
"She was born on the fifteenth so she's…eh…twelve days." Harry said in amazement, he glanced down at her marvelling at the fact she'd only been living for twelve days. It was insane that she'd only been around for such a short space of time.
The librarian smiled at the look on his face.
"Such a precious little thing, what is her name then?" She asked fussing with the blanket Harry had placed across the baby's lap. Harry stiffened at the question as the baby didn't have a name, well it seemed he'd just been given yet another new skill to master, baby naming.
"Rose. She's called Rose." Harry finally said. A flower name was after all a family tradition, his mum being Lily and his aunt Petunia. The librarian made loads of weird cooing noises at the baby after receiving the name and Harry desperately hoped that baby Rose wouldn't wake up.
"Well, I'll just have to take you to the books myself, there are so many different baby care books and knowing which to choose can be hard. Besides she's such a cute little thing I want to keep her in my sight." She said motioning for Harry to follow her as she walked towards one section of the library.
Harry followed gratefully and was happy to see Rose still slumbering in her seat despite the earlier attempts to wake her.
"Do you live locally then?" The librarian asked making Harry grimace at her back, he didn't want loads of questions asked he just wanted some books.
He hummed in agreement which seemed to be enough and stopped by the shelf she was standing by.
She was right, there were a lot of books to choose from and she certainly did help him make the task easier. Twenty minutes later with three new books on infant care, three picture books for the baby and a very hungry sounding girl, Harry quickly made his way back to Privet Drive where his aunt had looked furious when he'd entered the house, screaming about neighbours asking questions.
"Well, I had to tell them you were the father of course! Everyone here knows what a failure you are after all! It came as no surprise to anyone that you'd be the one boy in the neighbourhood to get a girl into trouble." She'd snapped, making him gape in disbelief.
She'd told the neighbours that the baby was his? Even though Dudley was the one who'd messed up! Harry wondered if she actually thought about what was coming out of her mouth before she opened it. He'd sent her a glare before disappearing up into his room where he was now enjoying the silence.
After feeding Rose her desired bottle, Harry got comfortable on his bed with the baby on his lap and one of the books in hand. He quickly got absorbed in the book which was starting to worry him with the amount of information there was to learn.
The bottles needed to be sterilised, he should use new water for all bottles and a picture in the book showed that the baby was supposed to have a black thing on her tummy that would fall of later.
He'd not sterilised any of the bottles, had used whatever water was left in the kettle before refilling it for the next few time and she certainly didn't have anything on her tummy other than a small round belly button. If he killed her or made her sick he'd never forgive himself.
He raised the book and snuck a glance down at her and took comfort from the fact that she looked healthy enough, he had obviously not done any serious damage yet.
He had learnt that he was supposed to pat her on the back after she'd eaten so she could burp or she'd get painful stomach cramps which made him feel bad as he'd silently cursed her for not being quiet, but he felt quite proud of the fact he'd figured the burping out on his own the previous night.
But the more he read, the angrier he became at the Dursley's. If they didn't want to take care of her then fine, he'd do it! But to not teach him the basics out of spite made him furious. To purposely cause a small baby pain just because she was different was an indication on just how uncaring they were and that it wasn't just aimed at him.
There was a sudden flapping noise by the window and Hedwig appeared carrying a letter, she flew over to the headboard of his bed and eyed him with big eyes.
"Finally! What took you so long?" Harry said making her fluff up in indignation at his tone of voice.
"Sorry, I didn't mean it like that, I know you flew as fast as you could. It's just that I haven't slept very well and I'm a bit grumpy. I'm sorry for snapping at you, girl." Harry mumbled rubbing his eyes tiredly. She hooted softly and held her foot out accepting his apology.
Harry shifted carefully into a more comfortable position before tearing open the envelope, he was sure that Dumbledore knew best about where to send Rose but he really hoped the Headmaster had asked the Weasley's for help. Hedwig took of for her cage and was soon resting with her head under her wing, clearly tired after her long delivery.
He let his eyes roam over the letter quickly, before reading it again more carefully. He then reread it as he couldn't believe what had been written.
I am sad to hear of your troubling family news. However, I'm sure that your family situation will resolve by itself, babies do after all have the power to charm their way into all hearts.
As this letter reaches you I am sure the matter has been resolved already.
If it has not, then I would of course be happy to send a letter stressing the present situation in the wizardry world so that your relatives comprehend the dangers of sending a muggleborn baby into it.
Should the matter be irresolvable, I will of course place her in an upstanding muggle family chosen by myself.
I do not think the Weasley's would be the choice of family as they are already under considerable pressure due to being regarded as blood traitors. We should not put them in more danger than they already are.
I am yet again in awe at the level of responsibility you have shouldered but must stress that your obligation at this time will need to be with the wizardry world as we work on bringing an end to Lord Voldemort's reign of terror once and for all. We have a long road ahead of us and must focus on our goal which will in the end help the child. The baby will be cared for either by your relatives or by some other loving family. And when she is eleven she can join our world just as you yourself have.
On a more positive note, I am pleased to write that The Weasley family have invited you to come to The Burrow in a fortnights time, to spend the reminder of your holiday there, I shall personally come and escort you.
If you are agreeable ,I should also be glad of your assistance in a matter to which I hope to attend on the way to The Burrow. I shall explain this more fully when I see you.
Kindly have dear Hedwig pass your answer back to me when she has had sufficient resting time.
Hope to see you on Friday the 5th of July.
I am, yours most sincerely
Harry didn't know how long he sat there staring at the letter. He just couldn't believe what it said.
Dumbledore was ready to leave her here with the Dursley's after all he, Harry had suffered at their hands and to even suggest dumping her at some strangers door made him go cold. What was the man thinking, had the world gone mad? First the Dursley's and now the man Harry had thought he could count on for help.
No way, were any of those two suggested options going to happen. She was most definitely not staying here, no matter what Dumbledore managed to say to convince the Dursley's to keep her.
Harry could just imagine her growing up in the cupboard, being shouted at for every little accidental magic she performed and never told the truth of her ability until the letter arrived. No! That was not going to happen, not as long as he drew breath.
And she was not going to be dumped on some unsuspecting muggle family who would have no idea on how to care for her, and to have them receive a letter on her eleventh birthday explaining that she is a witch was just stupid as they already knew what she was. To then have her arriving into the wizardry world only to find out that she was related to the Harry Potter, who'd let her be dumped into just any family, would make him feel awful.
She was a witch and belonged in their world with people who understood her and Harry never wanted her to grow up thinking that nobody in her real family cared about her.
He couldn't believe Dumbledore had even suggested any of it and to remind Harry that nobody and nothing else mattered until he'd killed Voldemort just made it worse.
To then expect him to go and have a good summer with the Weasley's, knowing that Rose had been left with either the magic hating Dursley's or some strange family clearly demonstrated yet again that the Headmaster knew nothing about what made Harry.
Rose gave a whiny noise, pulling Harry back from his distant, troubled thoughts, she was obviously about to wake for her next bottle.
He didn't have a sterilised bottle but now that he knew what to do he'd definitely do more than just wash them in the kitchen sink with washing up liquid. He slowly got out of the bed cradling Rose close to his chest and gathered the bottles on his desk and brought them down to the kitchen.
His aunt glared at him before heading of towards the living room in a huff, muttering about not wanting to be in the same room as them. Harry sorted out the bottles and was amazed when Rose continued sleeping through the noise he made pulling out the pot and sorting out the bottles and water. Harry wasn't the only one sleep deprived it seemed, she clearly hadn't enjoyed the past nights either.
It took an amazing ten minutes for the bottles to get completely clean in the boiling water according to the book so he grabbed a bite to eat after gently resting Rose on his shoulder as described in the book.
He arranged the bottles on his desk after they'd cooled enough to be moved upstairs and then mixed the formula in one of them before screwing the lids shut on all the other bottles too, as that somehow kept them clean.
Rose woke not long after and Harry spent the next hour by feeding her and giving her a bath in the sink again. He was actually enjoying the bath time as she seemed to relax completely in his hands as soon as she was in it and it was fun to watch her splash her hands into the water only to blink in surprise if water hit her face.
That night he sat staring at her for a long time as she slept, trying to think of a way to convince Dumbledore that she should be with them. That she couldn't be left clueless as he'd been in the muggle world. What if the other family suddenly started resenting her and her magic or something went wrong which only magic could fix? What then?
Maybe he had been wrong about Dumbledore really being the best person to ask for help. The Headmaster clearly didn't know best when it came to muggleborn children who lived with magic fearing families. He'd left Harry with the Dursley's after all. Besides why would you send a witch to live with muggles? He just didn't understand how a muggleborn baby could be safer in a defenceless family rather than one that could offer protection by the means of magic.
But what could he, Harry do? He was turning sixteen, he hadn't finished school, he…Harry stopped mid thought.
Was he not giving pretty much the same excuse as the baby's mum and Dudley? He could most certainly do better than them! And he could do better than his aunt and uncle for sure. And he thought he might even be better than an unrelated family as he in fact was related to her. She was his cousins baby, well she was probably more his baby than Dudley's he thought, as she'd probably spent more time with him than Dudley.
But he'd have to make a plan, had to look at different options. Should he perhaps contact the Weasley's and ask for advice even though Dumbledore had advised against it? He didn't want to put any of them into danger and as the same applied to Hermione's parents he scrapped that idea of asking them to help look after her as it popped up, besides they wouldn't be able to protect her as they were muggles.
It was odd he thought, how quickly he'd gotten attached to her as just two days ago he'd been furious and resentful at having her dumped on him.
She really was cute when she slept, the dark hair she had obviously inherited from her mother curled around her head after her evening bath.
Harry stroked a finger softly over her round cheeks and smiled when she pouted her lips.
Yes he she was definitely a cute baby, how anyone could just give her up without a thought to her safety was beyond him. He would have to keep her safe, make sure she grew up being happy as nobody else seemed up for the job. It was just him and little Rose now. He was the only one prepared to take on the responsibility of caring for this new little witch.
And at this precise moment, as he sat staring at her sleeping form he thought he might actually be up for it.
So any thoughts? The next chapter will probably take a little longer to come as i have yet to start writing it. And i'm trying to get on with my old story...Mina