"Where is my Stanley?"

James eeped, then ran looking for Dad. Mommy never used to yell, but she was always yelling now that she was getting fat. When she started yelling, only Dad could stop her.

Mommy thumped into the living room just as James was running out. She waved her wand all over, yelling, "Achoo Stanley! Achoo Stanley". Sometimes sneezing made things fly into your hand, but it wasn't working now.

Running into Dad's office, James began to shout for help but slapped his hands over his mouth when he saw the baby sleeping on Dad's couch. He wasn't supposed to call Selene the baby any more because she had just turned two but he was almost four so she was still a baby, not a big boy like him, but there was going to be a littler baby real soon and that's why Mommy was always yelling. But if a new baby made Mommy mad then they shouldn't get it and that's why she always wanted Stanley and there he was!

"Dad!" James yelled as quietly as he could so he wouldn't wake up the baby. "Mommy's mad again and she wants Stanley and there he is and you couldn't hear her because you have the islands."

"It's fine, James. Do you want to be the hero and bring Stanley to Mommy? Just let me get him away from your sister. Here you go. You can tell Mommy that you found him and that I said you two should share a bowl of ice cream. You can yell as soon as you're past the silence spell on my door."

Dad always fixed problems. James wanted to be just like him.


"Where is my Stanley?"

James and Selene eeped, then hid in his room. Their mother never usually got upset but she always mad now that she was getting fat. And when she did, only their dad could stop her.

Mom stomped past James's bedroom door. She spotted them because Selene's hair was sticking out. He'd told her and told her that she'd have to cut it short or at least paint it black if she wanted to be a secret investigator like Dad and him but she never did because she wanted to look like Mom.

"Selene, come here. James, if you're there, you come here, too."

With sighs and downcast eyes, and a shove from James to his sister because she'd gotten them caught, the two children trudged forward. James remembered when his mother was always nice, but lately it was a guess whether she'd be nice or she'd yell at them for something they didn't even do.

"I want my Stanley. You both want to be investigators like your father and me, don't you? Well, here's a mystery for you to solve: find my Stanley!"

James and Selene nodded and ran out past their mother. Selene was crying a little because she was scared, but she wasn't even four yet. James had a good idea of how to solve this "mystery". All he had to do was find Hammy. She was probably with Dad, somewhere in the house or yard. James didn't know why, but Mom could never figure out that her precious little baby Hamadryad was the one who always stole Stanley and got spit all over him when she drooled.

They were lucky that Dad and Hammy were in the yard right outside the back door. "Dad! We need –" Just in time James didn't say the name and he shushed Selene so she wouldn't say it either. The baby was chasing butterflies and not even looking at where Stanley was sitting on a chair. James knew enough about babies – though he wasn't supposed to call her a baby any more because she was almost two and there was going to be a new baby soon – he knew that little kids never remembered anything and if you could sneak it away she'd never notice.

Dad figured out the problem. He was really smart. So was Mom, when she wasn't fat and mad. Dad pointed out some more butterflies for Hammy to chase while waving for James and Selene to grab Stanley and hide him and bring him inside.

Case solved. James was definitely going to be an investigator like Dad.

Author's Note: Because Slytherin66 asked for it. And, yes, I've lived with a pregnant wife several times.