A Baby Wizard and His Cousin Harry- Hogwarts Express
The best summer holiday Harry had known since he entered Hogwarts quickly drew to an end. It had always been known that good times pass a lot faster than the bad. Unlike previous years, Harry hadn¡¦t passed his last weeks of the holiday at The Burrow. This was partly because the Weasleys had gone to Romania and partly because Harry didn't feel the need to get away from the Dursleys this year.
Truthfully, Harry's summer holiday had been more than enjoyable. When Uncle Vernon went out to work, Aunt Petunia would send Dudley out and take care of Duncan. With the entire clan of Dursleys out of his way, Harry was free to do what ever he liked for a change. Aunt Petunia didn't even ask him to prepare meals, for fear of him refusing to take Duncan later.
Many times, Harry found himself sitting at his desk with a blank sheet of parchment in front of him. He would dip his quill in the ink, and then hold it aimlessly over the page, not knowing what to write. He had tried to write to his best friends, Ron and Hermione, many times. However, he couldn't bring himself to put the incident with his cousin Duncan in words. As a result, neither of his friends knew that a baby would be joining them at the start of school.
"Harry, this is Duncan's milk bottle. You are to put warm milk in it to feed Duncan. You are to feed him every three hours. Remember, warm, not cold, milk. You do have milk at that school of yours, don't you? These are Duncan's nappies. You have to change them every four to five hours. Duncan would cry to indicate that they need to be changed most of the time..." Aunt Petunia went on and on, introducing the many facets of baby care to Harry.
Harry stifled a yawn. He had thought that he couldn't find any talk more boring than his History of Magic classes. Today, Aunt Petunia had proved otherwise. Harry's mind wandered off, as it had done so many times in History of Magic before, and switched his ears off.
"Is that clear?" asked Aunt Petunia.
"Yes, of course. Don't worry, Duncan will be safe with me," answered Harry, although he didn't even know what his aunt just asked.
Aunt Petunia eyed him suspiciously. "I do hope so, for your sake as well as Duncan's. Be sure to pack all of Duncan¡¦s things away tonight. Don't forget anything tomorrow morning when we take you to King's Cross. Also, send that bird of yours back here once every month. I'll send over packages of nappies to you. Make sure it arrives here during the day, so Vernon won't discover that I'm helping you."
"Ok, no problem," replied Harry without thinking.
"Good. Vernon and Dudley will be back soon. I'll leave Duncan to you now. Good luck with him, Harry. I don't suppose I'll get to say that tomorrow at the station, so might as well say it now. Any you, Duncan dear, must behave yourself. Ok?" Aunt Petunia asked the baby in the cradle, who gurgled.
It wasn't until a lot later that night did Harry realize that he didn't know a thing about babies. No one knows how, but Harry somehow managed to sleep through that night without panicking.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Harry couldn't help but to notice the curious glances people threw towards him as he pushed his very over loaded trolley around King's Cross Station. Who wouldn't look at him curiously? Pushing an overloaded trolley with an owl was weird enough. Now, added to his load was a baby boy and a lot of baby gear, all crammed in one trolley.
Harry knew what people were talking about while pointing at him. They must be saying something along the line of, "Look at him! Barely a child himself!" "Humph, young people these days," "They never think of the consequences do they?" or, "I wonder who the young mother is."
Harry was, after all, a lad at the sensitive age of seventeen. He could feel his cheeks burning as he thought of what people must be thinking of him. He quickened his pace and ran onto platform nine and three-quarters as soon as possible. Little did he know (though he should have suspected) that the worse was yet to come.
Little Duncan was asleep when Harry crossed the barrier between platform nine and ten. The baby remained undisturbed as Harry made his way onto the noisy Hogwarts Express.
Much to Harry's dismay, students' reaction was even worse than that of the Muggles. Not only did they point and whisper, they also laughed and scattered. Harry was sure that in another minute, the whole school would know that he had a baby with him.
Just as Harry stood gloomily in the corridor, a person appeared in front of him. It was a person Harry would call, at that particular moment, his lifesaver. The appearance of that person pulled Harry's spirit from the mud, as it had been a moment ago, into heaven.
"Harry!" the person called. "I've been looking all around for you. I don't know why you asked me to get your school books and other supplies for you over the holiday. Surely you could have at least found one day to get them yourself. After all, you are old enough to find your way in London. Anyway, I've got them all for you, plus a few extras I thought you might like to look at. You must come to the compartment and read over a few chapters before we reached Hogwarts. This year is going to be hard. Best be prepared and study before-hand!"
Harry smiled weakly. Some people, he thought, just never change. "Hermione...."
"By the way," continued Hermione as she pulled Harry into an empty compartment. "I made Head Girl this year. I turned it down though. I must concentrate on my studies this year. N.E.W.T.s are going to be hard to pass. Ron's the Head Boy. I'm surprised that he didn¡¦t turn it down. He, of all people, needs to study more. But, if he thinks he can handle it, well, it¡¦s not our call. He does have a lot to live up to. Harry... what's that white thing among your luggage?"
Harry laughed. "I thought you were never going to stop, Hermione. Meet my cousin, Duncan Dursley."
Hermione gaped. "A... a... baby? Why on earth did you bring a baby? That's totally ridiculous! You do realize that the N.E.W.T. exam...."
"Is going to keep us more than busy without a baby to look after," Harry finished for Hermione. "I know. But I can't leave him behind. You see...." before Harry finished, Ron burst through the door.
"Sorry to take so long," he apologized. "Our family was a little late today. Anyway, I'd better go to the Head Boy's compartment now. See you later. I'll be back as soon as things get under way." With that, Ron dashed off again.
Hermione sighed. "Still as frantic as ever. Why couldn't you leave your cousin behind?"
"Duncan was born with magical ability and being the perfectly 'ordinary' Muggle that he is, my uncle couldn't stand him. He was going to send Duncan to an orphanage. So I had to step in and wrote to Dumbledore, who said it's ok for me to bring Duncan to school as long as I look after him. Hermione, I can't let Duncan grow up in an orphanage. Take another wizard known to have been brought up in the orphanage. Do you want another Voldemort type person around? I don't and definitely don't want to be related to such person by blood. I must save my cousin. Do you understand?"
Hermione sighed again. "Yes, I do. I guess this will mean a lot more work for us both. Don't worry; we'll pull through somehow. We always do, don't we?"
Harry's emerald eyes lit up. "We? Hermione, are you going to help me?"
"Look as if I have to," laughed Hermione. "I don't think I can sleep peacefully if you are to take care of a baby on your own. First thing first, what do you know about babies?"
Harry was stunned by the question. "Um... I don't...."
"That's exactly what I mean!" said Hermione. "You are going to take care of a baby not a day older than three months, during your school year, I might add. Yet, you know nothing about babies. I do think that your baby cousin would be better taken care of in the orphanage, if I don't help."
Harry's grin was wider than ever. "Thank you, Hermione. I know you are the best!"
At that precise moment, the train began to move. Duncan woke from the shaking of his surroundings and, his mouth wide open, began to cry.
Hermione picked Duncan up and murmured soothing words. "It's all right, boy. You'll be safe. Your cousin Harry and his friends will keep you safe. Shh... be good...."
Harry gazed at the soothing figure of Hermione. He watched her holding his baby cousin lovingly. My, my, doesn't Hermione look like a caring mother like that? thought Harry.
Suddenly, the door opened. Instead of Ron, whom he had expected, Draco Malfoy stood in the doorway with his usual bodyguards of Crabbe and Goyle behind him.
"Well, well, well, what have we here?" sneered Malfoy. "Looks as if Scarhead and his Mudblood have just upgraded to parents. Tell me Granger, how did you managed to conceal your pregnancy from the rest of the school?"
Harry's eyes flashed angrily. "Get out, Malfoy! This is no business of yours. Just get out of this compartment. Now!"
Hermione didn't say a thing. She just turned her back towards Malfoy and ignored him and his gang.
"Woo... touchy," Malfoy smirked. "I've always heard that the father gets very protective of his mate and cub. I see it is so. What I don't get is you sunk so low as to get a Mudblood. She's not even pretty. Hey Potter, is she that good in the sack, or are you so bad at it that none but Granger would get in with you?"
If Malfoy's presence hadn¡¦t infuriated Harry before, his little speech did. "Shut your insolent mouth, Malfoy! Don't you dare insult Hermione! Reducto!" Harry shouted out the first curse that came into his mind.
The curse Harry threw at Malfoy was so powerful that Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle were knocked out as they lay flat on the floor of the corridor.
"Harry, you shouldn't have done that," hissed Hermione, though her tone wasn't as severe as she normally sounded.
"I don't care," said Harry as he tucked his wand away. "They deserved it."
"Bloody Hell!" Ron exclaimed as he stepped over the motionless body of Malfoy and entered the compartment. "That was bloody quick! I didn't even finish my first prefect meeting of the year and you've already got Malfoy unconscious. Harry... is that a baby Hermione is holding?"
"Yes, Ron," Harry rolled his eyes as he saw Ron's jaw dropped. Harry put a hand up to stop Ron from speaking. "He is my cousin, Duncan."
Ron opened and closed his mouth a few times, like a fish gasping for air. "Wh... why is he here?" he finally managed to get out.
Harry sighed as he sat down for the first time since he had entered the compartment. "It's a long story."
A/N: I'm terribly sorry about the delay. I have to confess that the school musical "Les Miserable" production I was a part of took up most of my last month. Although I had already written the chapter half a year ago, I really didn't have time to open my computer. Now the "Les Miserable" shows are over (we got a full house every day for the whole week we performed it, in case you're interested), I am finally able to post this chapter for my readers. However, the sad news is, my mid year exam in coming in another two week. Therefore, I won't have much time on the computer either. However, I'll try to get the next chapter up in a week or two, when I can find time to give myself a break from studying. Once again, I apologise for the wait. I hope you've enjoyed this chapter anyway and hope that you haven't forgotten the previous chapter. Thank you!
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