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Charlotte's Classification

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Charlotte’s Classification

     My name is Charlotte, and I’m a sixth-year student at Hogwarts. In the last two decades a new potion was discovered that could tell people how they classified in society. Of course, that meant that the wizarding world had to acknowledge that such classifications existed and were normal. You can fall into one of nine categories after taking that potion. That is, if you get correctly classified the first time. Sometimes people get labeled incorrectly the first time, what researchers discovered is if you take it and classify at a younger age either you’re heavily in that classification, or if you got neutral then you’re possibly another classification that just hasn’t emerged yet. In that case by the end of anyone’s seventh year at Hogwarts they will be capable of knowing for sure. It took several tries, but the researchers of the potion realized that every potion past the age of eighteen comes out with the same results for the same person, however before eighteen they may not classify correctly and be labeled as neutral until they do turn eighteen. To avoid much use of the potion beyond two times, the second time done with Gringotts doing everything precisely as possible, everyone gets classified in year six at about age seventeen. That’s where I’m at right now with Professor Longbottom, in potions class.

     “Today, we’ll be making and using the classification potion. Once everyone is done making their potion, we’ll go around the class and each of you will take the potion one at a time. I will read you your results and then we’ll go over how long each of you will be remaining at Hogwarts after your classification. The directions are on the board, feel free to ask me if you have any questions,” Professor Longbottom states calmly. “I assume all of you remember the existing classifications. But while you’re making your potions, I’ll give you a refresher, I know what it’s like not to remember something at a crucial time. The classifications are as follows from most common to least: neutral, Dom or Sub, Alpha or Omega, Master or Pet, and Caregiver or Little. Anyone who is classified in those last two are rare and frequently coveted by society. Caregivers who present at your age, during initial testing, are very protective and caring. Frequently they end up in the ministry or running a shop to spend more time with their littles. There are times that they become Aurors however, so they feel like their particular little will be safer in everyday life. Alphas are very protective as well, they feel it’s their duty to protect their Omega and anyone else who they feel is part of their pack, they are most commonly Aurors and occasionally end up in other ministry positions. The Masters and Doms have very prominent personalities and do very well in upscale jobs, they are frequently lawyers or bankers, in the muggle world, and they also thrive as managers and CEO’s of companies. Neutral are the broadest spectrum, they are all of these things and none of them at all. I don’t like to say that they fill the gaps, but they frequently do. The only submissive type classified people who actually leave the house without their Dominant partner much at all are the Subs, and even then, they are frequently their Doms secretary or working under their Dom in some way or another, all to reduce time away from their Dom. The Omegas and Pets are homebodies; they cook and clean and take care of any children, and, depending on which one, they may make nests out of pillows and blankets or be content with whatever resting place is provided by their dominant. The Littles however are treated as children in and of themselves. They frequently are provided babysitters or daycares so their Caregivers can work, and if they don’t have a caregiver yet they go to an adoption center where any Omegas without Alphas will work and care for them until one or both of them find their dominant. Littles provide many people with a sense of calm and happiness, when the Little is happy themselves, which is one of the reasons they are so well coveted by society, without a little in the courtroom sometimes certain criminals can get very violent. Omegas can do this as well in some cases, however a Little also inspires a protective instinct in people just about right after coming into contact. Unclassified Littles can often be looked at as almost leaders in some cases because they inspire such loyalty and protection from those around them. When a Little does take the classification potion their inner Little side becomes more prominent and harder to ignore, this is why newly classified Littles are closely monitored so that if they slip into Little space, they can be safe. Littles are never given jobs, but they can be given special dispensation to stay with their caregiver during the day rather than having a babysitter or going to daycare so long as the caregivers job is safe for the little to be at. And fascinatingly, while Littles are the ones that usually provide a sense of calm, when the Little gets upset in anyway that can change. When a Little gets upset only a Caregiver can cause them to calm down without them calming down on their own, and until the Little does calm down everyone around them will feel tense and honestly a bit worried. This is why a Caregiver is always paired up with a Little, otherwise society would be far too tense far too often. Though chances are low that any of you will classify this way on your first try, this is why anyone classified as neutral today will be visiting Gringotts on or near their graduation to get a finalized classification. Now then, is everyone done with their potions?”

     There is a chorus of yes’s and Professor Longbottom starts at the back of the room to classify everyone. I’m at the front and dreading every moment as I wait. I vaguely hear classifications listed off as everyone presents. I hear a round of applause as someone gets classified as a Caregiver, specified as a daddy. Only a row behind me, meaning we’re getting close to me. A couple more minutes and Professor Longbottom is in front of me with a smile. I know what he thinks; I’ll be a Master or a Dom, maybe he thinks I’ll be a Caregiver. In my heart I know I’m not dominant enough for that.

     “Well go on Charlotte, I’m sure I’ll get to see the classification of the future Minister of Magic,” the Professor expresses brightly. He had been in school with the current Minister of Magic who had been called the brightest witch of her age, a title I currently hold.

     I take a deep breath and take the potion knowing its effects hit me fast. Professor Longbottom stares stunned at first before he manages to say, albeit somewhat squeaky, “Little” the only in my class and likely my year to be classified as Little.

     “Ahem, we’ll now discuss how long each classification stays at Hogwarts. The Neutral students will be here through their seventh year and so will the Subs. The Alpha students will stay an extra month or two, depending on their planned profession, past the seventh year. The Master and Dom students will remain seven years and a semester. Caregiver students remain at Hogwarts for a full eight years. Omega and Pet students will remain through this year.” The Professor swallows thickly. “The Little students will leave today.” Gasps at that sounded throughout the room. “Littles are deemed too important and precious to remain in school learning dangerous spells and being put at risk in an uncontrolled environment without their Caregiver. If the Little has a Caregiver who works or attends Hogwarts, they may remain, however they will not be participating and will be under the purview of the Caregiver they live with.” I could feel the eyes of my entire class on me as the Professor explained this. He wasn’t trying to be cruel, he was processing for himself what this meant. I would not be permitted to participate in any dangerous classes from now on, perhaps regular classes but there would be no point as this will be labeled as my graduation date and no one hires Littles. “Uhm, Charlotte and Xander please stay after class. Now, let’s go into more detail of the other classifications and why they stay at Hogwarts the amount of time that they do.”

     Professor Longbottom continues his lecture. I barely processed any of it. I understood a bit. All dominant people need to know all that Hogwarts would generally teach and possibly some protective spells or some training depending on the classification and the future profession of the dominant. The submissive people don’t really need to stay and learn much longer because very few of them will be getting jobs or careers after school, only the regular Subs will have that possibility. Neutrals may get sent back if it’s deemed necessary for their reclassification at the end of seventh year, but that’s only the case if they turn out somewhat dominant which is far rarer than turning out submissive after seventh year. Most dominants personalities are strong enough to present before turning eighteen but occasionally they aren’t. Generally, the neutrals who present dominant in the end turn up as Caregivers because many Caregivers don’t touch the gentle side of themselves much before eighteen. The bell did eventually ring, and I just sat there for a minute before calmly packing up, knowing I’d be heading to pack up my dorm after I’m done talking to the Professor. I could hear Professor Longbottom quietly talking up front and I sigh, now they’re trying to avoid startling me.

     “I haven’t slipped into Little space yet or anything, so you don’t have to be so gentle,” I don’t look up until I’ve finished zipping up my bag and I happen to see Xander look at the Professor and nod before going and sitting calmly nearby.

     “Charlotte, I know this is a bit of a shock. If you want to talk about it before we go talk to McGonagall, we can,” the Professor puts a gentle hand on my shoulder and I gently shrug it off as I stand up.

     “Professor, I feel as though this is more of a shock to you and my classmates than it is to me. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t necessarily expect a Little classification, but I didn’t expect anything dominant either,” I smile a measured smile at my teacher to try and reassure him. I may internally be starting to freak out a bit, but I haven’t been presenting long so my emotions shouldn’t be affecting the energy I give off too much yet. “I’ll be fine, let’s just go see the Headmistress and let Xander go off to class, he still has a future to maintain here.”

     “You need to stop putting up the strong and confident airs. You’ve been doing that since we started at Hogwarts. We may be in different houses, but I did notice that much about the school golden girl,” I turn ready to give Xander my patented ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about’ smile and deny everything he just said but I hadn’t realized he had gotten up and gotten so close. Damn I am seriously freaking over this, I normally notice such things. “It’s okay to let your emotions out Charlotte, especially now that you’ve been classified as a Little.” His hand lands on my shoulder to convey his empathy and support. But all it succeeded in doing is sparking my inner Little some and such things are foreign to me.

     “DON’T TOUCH ME!” I shout and wrench myself out of his reach. One moment I’m maintaining a veil of calm and reasonability and the next all I want is to crawl into this man’s lap and let him do all the worrying for me, something I have never felt or done before in my life. I’ve always had some semblance of control in my life, what I ultimately do and say, where I go. I had options of where to go to school and chose Hogwarts over all the others. I had told the hat how much I wanted Ravenclaw and he listened to me. And now, all of a sudden all I want is to let Xander do all of that decision making and hard thinking. It’s so foreign and…and…and it’s terrifying.

     “Woah, hey. Okay,” Xander throws his hands up in the universal sign of not meaning any harm. “You’re okay. We won’t do anything that you don’t want, alright? If you don’t want me to touch you, I won’t. But I do think you need to talk to someone about how you’re feeling. Why not us. I didn’t really expect to be a Caregiver either, but here we are. If anything, talking about what you’re feeling right now might let you understand it in the end. You like logic, right? So, let’s be logical and work through these emotions rationally. What do you say?”

     He was so calm, I could feel his calm concern flow over me. It doesn’t change the fact that I don’t like these emotions and when he touched me it became so prominent. I couldn’t push them to the back of my mind behind a wall for later anymore. I couldn’t push off my break downs anymore and I began to cry. I was crying out of fear, out of need, out of desire, out of sadness, out of shock. I was crying because I have so many confusing emotions overflowing right now, and I just didn’t understand it. “No, I…I don’t know.” I manage to get out, my arms wrapped tightly around my waist in a guarded stance as I shake my head, tears flowing freely. “I don’t understand.”

     “That’s okay. You don’t have to understand,” Xander smiles just enough to be reassuring. “We can work through that and try to understand together.”
“How about you come back over here and sit down, and we can talk,” Professor Longbottom finally speaks up. His extreme concern is written all over his face. Concern over what? An emotional teenaged girl, how’s he been a teacher for so long. The Professor is gesturing to a chair right in-between where they were standing and I shake my head again, backing up.

     “No offense Professor, but shut it,” Xander nearly growls at the Professor, which would have been comical had I been in my right mind. “Charlotte, you don’t have to come close, but it’ll be easier to talk if you do.” Xander puts his hands up farther to emphasize that he isn’t going to do anything I don’t want him to and takes a step forward. “We just want to talk to you. We want to help you. Will you please let us? Choose a seat, any seat, and let’s talk. Let us get a bit closer so we can talk easier okay?” He holds out a single hand to me. “Or you could take my hand and let us help you. I’ll carry all of your things on the way to see McGonagall, and I’ll be right by your side. She might be even more help with understanding…okay? Chair or my hand, I want you to pick.”

     Part of me knew he was guiding me towards a result he wanted, which was either one of his options, but the rest of me could only focus on how calm and soothing his voice is being and on how he keeps saying he just wants to help me understand. I really did want to understand. My mind was all fuzzy from all the emotions. I needed help with clearing that fog. So, I took a step forward, and then another and another until I was within an arm’s length from his hand. I looked at his hand, held out towards me, palm up and unthreatening. His stance screamed calm and collected. His shoulders were back but relaxed, he kept his eyes on me and kept his face mostly blank other than the small reassuring smile he’d shoot my way whenever I hesitated again. I raised my hand to reach for his, and pulled back a little, looking down unsure. Xander moved his head so that my gaze might raise to his a bit, scrunching his neck and looking right at my eyes. He flashed a smile again, it seemed proud of me for coming this far, and hopeful that I’ll finish the last step and put my hand in his.

     I finally place my hand in his gingerly, ready to snatch it back at a moments notice. His smile broadens and he gives my hand a gentle squeeze. I look up at him and the tears pool once more as my emotions swirl again. “Please help me,” I plead quietly and begin to fold in on myself while still holding his hand. I’m pulled into his arms and Xander soothes me.

     “Shh, it’s okay, you’re going to be okay,” Xander holds me gently for a minute before carefully taking my bag from me and slinging it over his arm and picking me up bridal style. “Okay Professor. I think she’s ready to go see Headmistress McGonagall.”

     “Thank you for all your help Xander. This would have been much harder without you,” Professor Longbottom says gently and rubs a hand on my back as I continue to cry into Xander’s shirt while in his arms.

     “It was no bother Professor. If I’m honest with myself, I’ve been keeping my eyes on her from day one. She’s always been too strong, it concerned me. So, if I can help her finally drop that mask, I’m more than happy to,” Xander says quietly while he instinctively swayed with me in his arms.

     “Well, I don’t see her letting go of you anytime soon, so if you would please join us to the Headmistresses office,” Professor Longbottom nods towards the door. With my head now fully buried in the crook of Xander’s neck, all I could tell was that we were moving forward. We stopped after what seemed like an eternity but was more like a few minutes. “Unfortunately, I do have another class to teach, so I suppose I’ll be parting ways here. But I will let you up. Orange Sherbet.” I hear stone scrape against stone after he says those two words and feel us moving upwards. I suppose that means that Professor Longbottom went off to his next class.

     “Mr. Blackwell, what have you done…now,” Professor McGonagall pauses when she notices me in his arms. “Is that Ms. Rosen? Oh my, what happened? And why did you bring her here?”

     “Headmistress I was sent by Professor Longbottom. We were doing classification Potions today and, well neither of us got quite what the class expected but Charlotte had the biggest surprise between the two of us,” Xander was trying to tread lightly since he just calmed me down.

     “Out with it, Blackwell. What happened?” McGonagall questions, growing impatient with Xander’s tiptoeing.

     “She presented as a Little, ma’am. And I believe she’s finding it harder to control her emotions. I just got her to calm down before we began walking here,” Xander explains, still standing just inside the office with me in his arms.

     “Oh, come here, set her down on this couch,” Professor McGonagall tells Xander. “Thank you for bringing her here Mr. Blackwell, I’ll take care of everything from here.”

     “That may be a problem. She’s a bit…attached to me,” Xander says carefully as he walks to sit down on the couch McGonagall had told him to lay me on.

     “Give me a moment,” McGonagall walks to the fireplace, giving me a wink when she notices me watching and throws floo powder into the fireplace and spoke Professor Longbottoms name. “Neville Longbottom.”

     “Yes, Professor. Er, I mean Headmistress,” Professor Longbottom answers. “Did you need something? I’m in the middle of class.”

     “Yes, Professor. I was wondering the results of Ms. Rosen and Mr. Blackwell’s Classification tests. Seeing as you sent no documentation and only the students themselves,” McGonagall speaks simply into the fireplace.

     “Sorry ma’am, I must’ve forgot. It was an ordeal to get her in a place to be moved. I’ll send their results right away,” Professor Longbottom assures. “Will that be all?”

     “Yes, thank you,” McGonagall ends the call in the floo and waits a moment for the paperwork to arrive by Owl. McGonagall takes a look at the paperwork before looking up at Xander. “You are a Caregiver?”

     “Like I said, we were both shocked with our classifications,” Xander rubs small circles into my back using his thumb as he speaks. “I think the biggest shock for her was her lack of control over her emotions.”

     “Yes, well that would be even harder after first contact with a Caregiver. That’s probably why she’s progressed so fast. On the other hand, a Little physically needs to let themselves give over to their Little side and many fight it at first which is not easy on either the mind or the body. It’s lucky we had you there, boy. She would have fought like the devil to maintain her control on herself. Well, I’ll have to contact the Ministry about her, and you. It’s very rare for students to classify the way you both did before graduation. And she needs immediate placement. You should head back to class and I’ll watch after Ms. Rosen for the time being,” McGonagall tries to gently remove me from Xander’s arms so he might go to class but things don’t go as she thought.

     “NO!!” I shouted and buried myself into Xander’s neck again. Clutching to him tighter and not willing to let go.

     “Shh, it’s just the Headmistress. She didn’t mean to upset you,” Xander brings his left hand up to stroke my hair while I was buried in the right side of his neck and supported by his right arm. “I’m sorry Headmistress McGonagall, but she seems to have become attached to me already. She hasn’t let go of me since she grabbed my offered hand.”

     “I see, it wasn’t just while she got used to her surroundings then,” McGonagall hums to herself and then nods. “I suppose you’ll be getting out of classes for the day then. Might as well get comfortable Mr. Blackwell, I’m going to have to get in touch with the Minister of Magic.”

     Xander continues to soothe me while McGonagall goes once again over to the floo and throws powder into the fireplace saying a name. “Hermione Granger.”
After a moment a voice filters through. “Well hello Professor, to what do I owe the pleasure of your call?”

     “Mrs. Weasley, it’s been far too long. How is Mr. Weasley and Mr. Potter?” McGonagall asks, partly to be polite but mostly because she genuinely wanted to know about her old students.

     “They’re doing well Professor. I hate to cut our chat short, but I do have an awful lot of work to do. So, would you mind telling me why you called?” Hermione responds.

     “Right, yes of course. I am calling the Minister of Magic after all. Yes, I was calling because I had two students classify today that are here in my office. One classified as a Caregiver, quite a shock with his track record if I’m being honest, and one who classified as a Little. I’m less concerned over the Caregiver as I am over the Little. You see, she was our best and brightest until now. Many of her Professors were thinking she’d be your perfect successor as Minister. I need help with placing the girl though. Seeing as the Minister over sees all Littles in our society,” McGonagall does get a little off track, but that’s because she was enjoying talking to Hermione I suppose.

     “Oh, my. That is quite serious. Give me some time and I’ll bring an intake team over to your office. It’s Hogwarts after all, I can’t ignore a call from you,” Hermione answers simply. “I’ll see you in about an hour Minerva. And please make sure the Caregiver is present. He will be needing intake and monitoring as well seeing as he will be taking care of a Little one day.”

     “The Caregiver can hear you and can’t leave the Little’s side right now anyways,” Xander huffs while still stroking my hair soothingly.

     “Sorry about that Hermione, I forgot to mention that they were within earshot I suppose. But yes, we’ll have no problem having them here together. I’ll see you in an hour,” McGonagall answers and ends the call. “You didn’t have to be rude young man. That was meant to be a private conversation. The only reason you could hear it at all is because you are keeping Ms. Rosen calm right now. I don’t believe she’d do well with being moved as of yet. Now, please rest here while we wait on the Ministry. I’ll have some tea and biscuits brought up from the kitchens.”

     After an hour of Xander working hard to convince me to have a biscuit and some tea, the Ministry finally arrives. Hermione, the Minister, led the group and went to hug the Headmistress upon arriving in her office. A man with messy black hair, green eyes and glasses also goes in for the hug with the Minister and the Headmistress.

     “Oh, Mr. Potter, what are you doing here?” McGonagall asks as she returns the hug of the green-eyed man.

     “I get the esteemed pleasure of working on the Little’s unit. Especially when the Minister herself decides to go to an intake, they want their best protecting both the Little and the Minister,” Mr. Potter, as McGonagall called him, responds before nodding his head in me and Xander’s direction. I had moved so I faced outward but was still in Xander’s lap. Maximum contact and he can still try and coax me into drinking some tea on occasion. “Is that them?”

     “Yes. Ms. Rosen and Mr. Blackwell are the Caregiver and Little in question,” McGonagall answers.

     “Harry, I know you prefer to do this part. So, go ahead and talk to them while I continue to talk to Minerva,” Hermione gives Mr. Potter, who is apparently Harry Potter, orders to do whatever it is that he does. Harry nods and walks over to me and Xander. Xander stiffens ever so slightly, likely preparing for my reaction.
“Relax kid, I’m not going to hurt either of you,” Harry assures before crouching down to be more at my level. “Hello sweetheart, what’s your name?” Harry asks me.
I sink into Xander but murmur softly, fighting to push myself back to my normal mindset to talk to ‘the boy who lived’. “My name is Charlotte Rosen, Mr. Potter.” Clearly, I’m failing to return to normal.

     “You can just call me Harry. Is it all right if I ask you a few questions?” I shrug my response and he smiles. “Why don’t we go to the back of the room together so we can talk? Would that be okay?”

     My Little side holds me in a vice grip as I shout “NO!” and move to bury myself into Xander once more. Xander shushes me soothingly and grabs my chin gently.
“Charlotte, you need to talk to Mr. Potter. You can stay with me if you really want to, but you need to answer his questions honestly. Okay?” I nod. “I’m assuming that’s fine.” Xander addresses Harry this time.

     “Yes. I’m sorry Charlotte, I didn’t mean to make you upset. Have you been close to Mr. Blackwell here for long?” Harry asks me and I have to think about it. My brain is still so muddled. I shake my head no in response as I remember that we’ve only been like this for about ninety minutes. “I see, but did you feel something for him before today?” I have to think even harder for that one.

     “I-I think I did. I saw him around a lot, but we were in different houses and I was trying to focus on my studies,” I manage to say without sounding two years old.

     “I see, and you’re not fully in Little space, are you?” Harry asks me with a tone that suggests he knows the answer.

     “I don’t want to be in Little Space. I,” I struggle to find the words and find myself scooting off of Xander’s lap to try and think clearly. He let’s go of me without resistance but stays close. “I’m not ready yet. It’s all still so confusing. I don’t quite understand what’s going on.” Tears begin to form again, and I swipe at them angrily. Xander tenses at that.

     “That’s okay. That’s why we’re here, to try and help everyone understand things better,” Harry says, and I stand up hurriedly and swiftly get away from anyone who could touch me.

     “No,” I shake my head. The fog is clearing a bit the further I get from Xander and the more I talk to Harry, the man I was raised to think of as a hero. As I stand in the same room as Hermione Granger, a woman I have personally admired for years. Things become clearer and my wall builds up in my mind again. Not just for my emotions but to protect against occlumency as well. “No, you want to assess just how much of a little I am and if Xander Blackwell should be my Caregiver because I took to him so fast. You want to determine if I’m being given a bassinet and Diapers or coloring books and a real bed. You want to determine if I am to end up in a Ministry Little housing situation or remain at Hogwarts with Xander Blackwell being responsible for my well-being. You want to determine where to move my stuff to from Ravenclaw tower and how exactly to treat me. I’m not stupid. And I’m not unreasonable. And if Blackwell hadn’t touched my shoulder in an attempt to get me to open up emotionally rather than deal with things as I always have, then I would have been able to speak to everyone like this from the start. So how about I start with this. I have no idea what my Little age is, though going based off statistics of other Littles who presented at my age I’m going to have to guess young. No, my parents were not abusive, even if somehow many Little’s parents were, and they were not absent. I will be a Little when I am ready and when I have determined the logical course for me to take. I may have a Classification that is associated with being unable to do much of anything, especially control emotions or make rational decisions, however I am not called the brightest witch of her time for nothing and I believe the Minister of all people can respect that. I can’t let you place me in Housing and placing me with a seventeen-year-old would be unfair to him and not very conducive to the learning environment. I suggest placing me with my parents for now, until a proper, of age Caregiver can be located. I understand the Ministry does not like it when Littles take care of themselves as they could slip into Little Space, however I believe the chances are low now that I have gained my control back. Any more questions, boy who lived?”

     “You had to ask the one person that everyone in our generation was raised to revere to talk to her…while her idol, the Minister, stood nearby. I finally got her calm. Now, she’ll try to hold everything in which is unhealthy. You couldn’t have sent someone to talk to her that wasn’t famous?” Xander says dryly to Hermione. “And you, you couldn’t have been a bit more careful? That Little space comment drove her further away from Little space, not into it. And here I was thinking you were all trained professionals when it comes to this stuff. I guess even the boy who lived twice isn’t perfect at everything.”

     “Mr. Blackwell that is quite enough out of you,” Headmistress McGonagall says sternly. “Now Mr. Potter, I advise you handle that situation before we have to endure another slew of comments from our current mouthy bad boy of the school.”

     “Ha, mouthy bad boy. She almost has you pegged, Blackwell,” I respond. Reminding them that I’m not in Little space.

     “Charlotte, only you could peg me as well as you did that first day all those years ago,” Xander smirks. “What was it you called me again?”

     “A vulnerable bad boy wannabe with a big mouth to compensate for his lack of…confidence,” I reiterate my label of Xander from first year for the whole world to hear. Harry chokes on a laugh. “I couldn’t have been more right if I tried. Now if you’ll all excuse me, I’d like to pack up my things properly.” I try to leave only to be blocked by several Aurors.

     “I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” Xander tries to warn the Aurors not to stop my progress, but I was already frustrated and needed space from that damned Caregiver Xander. So, I pulled my wand and used stupefy on all three of them in a flash before calmly stepping over them to head towards my Dorm. “Welp, I tried to warn you. Headmistress, I’m sure you had no idea of this, but Charlotte has already read ahead of her text books by several years. I saw her with seventh year text books in year four. Meaning she’s already read those spells…and had the time to master them in private. Plus she’s extremely talented in all things magical arts wise.”

     “While I appreciate your input Mr. Blackwell, it would behoove you to keep such comments to yourself unless asked in the future,” McGonagall says right before Hermione nearly shouts.

     “Then why don’t we go and get the girl before she hurts herself. No new Little is stable at this point, least of all one who won’t go into her Little space. Harry, use Protego if you have to, make sure she stays safe. And Mr. Blackwell, if you could guide her towards Little space in the first place then you can do it again. So, go with my Aurors and help that girl cope with everything before she starts to physically feel pain from not allowing herself to be Little,” Hermione orders around and I finally decide to skedaddle. I stuck around to catch my breath, it was hard casting stupefy that many times that fast while also fighting the pull that Xander had on me. So, I run down the stairs and duck into a room before they can notice me. It’ll take some time for non-Ravenclaws to get to Ravenclaw tower from here, and then even longer to get in. I’ll be safe once I enter my dorm.

     I take a short-cut that I discovered in year two and come up to the door with the riddle knocker. I barely even registered what it said before I answered it and walked into my common room. I slipped up the stairs that lead to the women’s dorm and to my room before entering and sigh when I look at all my stuff. I start packing it all up as if I were going home for the year. Tears begin to pool again, being alone I’m more content with breaking down, no one can see my emotions as they come out in an ugly manner. How do those actresses pretty cry, like seriously? After a couple minutes I no longer had the strength to stand and pack, so I just sat on my bed with my knees pulled in and cried. I cried so hard and long that I fell asleep.

     Some time later a pair of arms were picking me up from my bed gently. I didn’t know who held me, they were probably taking me to my parents to tell them that I classified as Little, disappointing them no doubt. I was empty now, no longer having the tears to cry over one more thing. The arms seemed feminine, made sense, I did fall asleep in my dorm room after all. No men allowed on the women’s side. They carry me down the stairs and I hear a gasp and rushed footsteps

     “Shh, I found her asleep like this on her bed. Most of her stuff was already packed into their trunks. I figured I should bring her down like this rather than wake her,” the woman carrying me whispers. I didn’t have the energy to open my eyes.

     “Good call, Kellar. I’ll take her, you make sure her wand isn’t on her. We don’t need her to use a more advanced spell the next time she decides to go off on her own,” Harry rattles off his orders, but a growl answered him.

     “What right do you have to touch her or take her wand? She was feeling cornered and likely scared. She was overwhelmed and then you managed to pull her out of being in a semi-Little space with your line of questioning. You’re the reason we’re not in the Headmistresses office right now and had to search for someone from Ravenclaw with the authority to let us in. Your Aurors are the reason she used Stupefy. If you corner an animal they lash out, same thing with kids and people in general. Hand her to me before you wake her up and send her into a new frenzy after scaring her again. And lower your wands,” Xander sounded like he was part wolf he was growling so much.

     “You’re only here because you coaxed her into a semblance of Little space in the first place, and you’re still a student. You don’t give the orders here, I do,” Harry responds coolly. “Kellar, hand me the girl and procure her wand.”

     “You are such a hypocrite, you were giving orders at my age and I happen to be right. Waking up in the arms of the boy who lived would freak out anyone in our age bracket. Waking up in my arms would be much safer for everyone around. And her wand is one of extreme loyalty, if you don’t think she could get to it no matter what then you’re wrong. So, Kellar, why don’t you hand me Charlotte, and we avoid a whole crisis when she wakes up,” Xander’s voice was a scary calm. It reminded me of the calm before the storm. I was passed over gently and heard an incredulous voice at the same time a warm sense of comfort enveloped me.

     “Thank you.” Xander, who clearly got his way, turned and walked out the door to head back to the Headmistresses office. It was de je vu with my eyes closed and Xander carrying me to the office for the second time today.

     After a few minutes, Xander was laying me down on the same couch I had been on earlier. I felt his hand move my hair off my face before I drifted back into a blissful sleep. I dreamed of cuddling in someone’s arms and not having a care in the world. Then my dad walked in, angry at me and the person holding me. He began yelling at me, shouting that I was a disgrace to the family name for being classified Little. My mom followed him in with tears streaming down her face, not tears of worry or concern but tears of disappointment. I was ripped out of the safe arms and began to cry out but was told to act my age and bring the family honor by becoming a member of the ministry, that he would have my official classification changed and put me in a different school for the last year. I’d be labeled a Dom and the ministry would happily accept me as a future official. I was thrust out the front door and towards a car, my dads’ car, and put in the backseat like a criminal being pushed into a cop car. The warm presence returned as the door on the other side of the car opened and gently pulled me back into their arms. Warmth enveloped me once again as I heard the person who was holding me tell my parents that they didn’t deserve to have me in their lives and that I’d be going nowhere because this was my home and I was happy here. They carried me back inside and held me to their chest telling me it was okay, they already called people to keep the bad people away. They soothed me to sleep.

     “We have to get her placed, either in a Little house, or with a Caregiver. She needs someone to help her accept her Little space and she needs to stay in it for at least three days to really reach her mindset for Little space. And we need to get her to give us her wand to hold onto until she comes out of Little space for real. How would you suggest we accomplish these things if you won’t let us so much as touch her?” I hear Hermione ask as I wake up.

     “Tell me, are any of you Caregivers?” Xander asks coldly and receives a chorus of no’s in response. “Right, if none of you classified as a Caregiver then none of you would understand. It’s not something that’s rationally explained, it’s just something instinctual. Would you wake a little kid up from a nap when they were fussing earlier? No. So why would you wake up a Little when they were clearly crying and ended up crying themselves to sleep. Her face is still a bit puffy from her tears. And I swear if I find out she’s waking up right now because you all woke her up with your arguing over this, I just might let her use that wand of hers.”

     The room freezes and I open my eyes. I look up and see Xander was propped up on the couches arm rest with his arms crossed on his chest while he glared at everyone else. I moved my gaze to the rest of the people in the room as I sat up and noticed the three Aurors who I spelled earlier tense with their hands by their wands. I cringed seeing them ready to draw their wands on me. Xander moved to sit on the couch by my side and relaxed a bit, seeing me looking calmer than before, but shot a glare at the Aurors waiting to draw their wands.

     “Ms. Rosen, how are you feeling?” Hermione asks me and I look to her with a plain expression.

     “Like I slept for two hours. But fine,” I respond simply. “I don’t suppose I get to finish properly packing my stuff.”
I knew the answer before they said anything. “Let us worry about that. We’re more concerned about how you’re doing right now though,” Hermione was the one to speak again.

     “Well, I suppose you should go ahead and ask your questions. Unless you’ve actually decided where to put me already and have just been trying to convince Xander to let you near me,” my expression doesn’t change as I address the room as a whole.

     “You know, you really do remind me a lot of Hermione at your age. She’d address people she wasn’t happy with, with a cold civility unless she was close with the person, then she’d lash out at them,” Harry comments smiling. The minister blushes.

     “You and I both know that I was under the influence of a horcrux when I lashed out like that. That’s why you wouldn’t give me my wand after all,” Hermione counters.

     I sigh and stand up. The Aurors from earlier seem to tense more if that’s possible, so I sit back down. “Talking about reminding people of the current minister when she was young is not helpful for what needs to get done now is it?” I look up at Harry. “So, unless you have point, I suggest you move on to more relevant things.”

     “Sorry. It’s just that I didn’t know how right McGonagall had been when she had told us about how much you reminded her of Hermione, but I just got to see it. Who knew Mione would have done so well in Ravenclaw,” Harry smirks. I give him my best no nonsense glare.

     “She wouldn’t have. Despite what many of my Professors, despite what you say, I share very few traits with the Minister. Hermione Granger-Weasley was not only book smart and spell smart but she was relatively street smart as well, and while that sounds like Ravenclaw, her lack of creativity and her inner strength are the reason she went into Gryffindor instead of Ravenclaw. To put it bluntly it was her straight-laced nature and her ease at punching a jerk in the face and breaking his nose that made it impossible for her to be Ravenclaw. She’d almost fit into Slytherin but she had too much of an internal hero complex for her ambition to be strong enough for that. Hence, she was the smartest Gryffindor to ever live. I believe the Minister and her husband both would agree with that assessment. Am I right Minister?”

     “Um, well, yes. I likely would have been angry when those in the ‘smartest house’ were avoiding studying when they had a test or something coming up,” Hermione answers me. “Though I do loathe the creativity statement. Many of my creative solutions helped save the day back during that war.”

     “Correction, many of your strategic and extremely thought out plans saved the day. The really creative ones can be attributed to Luna Lovegood if I recall correctly. She did come up with riding horses that only people who have witnessed death can see, did she not,” I shoot back my retort and then look at Harry. “Very few of your plans were even truly your own if you look at Dumbledore’s history. You did exactly what he wanted as if you were a piece on a wizard’s chess board and he were the wizard playing. Forgive me if I’m being rude, but I was somewhat put out by your entire attitude earlier. I may not have been close with Xander throughout my time here at school, but we’ve been classmates long enough for me to know that he is not only a good student, but also far more caring and fitting of his Classification than he would lead you to believe. He has stopped more instances of bullying than I’d care to count. And has stopped it before it started in the past. So, when you pulled all that crap about you being the one giving the orders and not Xander because he’s just a ‘kid’…I’ll admit it rubbed me the wrong way. You may be the one man that we are all taught from birth to revere, the savior of the Wizarding World, but you’ve been a bit of a prick towards Xander most of the day. Now, care to tell me what you plan to do with me or are you going to ask me more questions and waste everyone’s time?” The shocked stares aimed my way were comical and gave me some of my confidence back, so I turned towards the Aurors who had been blasted by my Stupefy earlier and give one of my confident smirks. I’ve been told that it looks sympathetic but like I still believe that I’m better than the person it’s aimed at. I keep my eyes innocent looking as I speak to them. “And I’m so sorry for startling you chaps. I have no intention of fighting my way out of here this time so long as everything remains as it is now. I’ve got my head about me now.”

     “You always have been one scary person. I pity the fool who gets on your bad side,” Xander smirks at me. His cocky playboy smirk that he uses when he’s actually happy. A defense mechanism to avoid getting too close to anyone.

     “Yes, well um. I think it would be best if we leave the two of you alone in a room for a while so you might get into your Little space. I know you said you don’t want to be in Little space yet, but if you don’t then things will start to get a lot scarier for everyone involved. I’ve seen obstinate Little’s resist their Little space before and it wasn’t pretty. I think having Xander help you will be for the best,” Hermione finally answers my proposed question.

     “No,” I instantly respond.

     “Would you prefer to talk to me alone for a bit first then,” Harry asks. Genuinely wondering what it is that I would prefer.

     “I’d prefer you get your questions over with and have this day over with quickly. If that means we talk in private, then fine. But I will not be forced into Little space,” I respond, my voice like steel.

     “Come this way then,” Harry gestures for me to follow him and Xander gets up to object at the same time I move to follow Harry.

     “Charlotte, you said yourself that you’re not a big fan of him right now. I don’t think you should be alone in a room with him right now. An explosion is more likely to happen than a civil conversation,” Xander tries to reason with someone, anyone, me.

     “Good point, Charlotte, if you could please leave your wand here. To avoid any complications from emotional moments if you have them,” Harry says, and I glare right at him.

     “My wand is spelled. I put a spell on it at the end of my third year. If I leave it somewhere, it’ll appear in my hand should I desire it. Such a spell only works when a wand and wizard are very closely bonded. Ollivander helped me with it, though he did think it was hypothetical but none the less you can ask him about it. And if you don’t actively try to piss me off, we’ll have no problems. I can be forgiving of ignorant fools if they truly didn’t know what they were doing. And Xander, I know that they keep telling you that there will be adverse side effects of me keeping my adult mind about me, but I don’t need you to help me get into Little space. Not before I’m ready,” I address every issue I could at once. “So, let’s get on with this questioning now.”

     I follow Harry and he takes me straight to the room of requirement and gestures for me to enter. He closes the door and it’s just the two of us in the room with two nice chairs. Harry gestures that I should sit, and I do. I sit straight and slow, and I sit with a certain air about me. An air that many have speculated means I’m wizarding royalty or something.

     “I suppose I should get started then. What’s your relationship with Xander Blackwell?” Harry dives right in.

     “He’s a classmate. We’ve mostly only talked when we had a group project or he managed to piss me off with some off handed comment,” I respond.

     “Did you ever want some kind of relationship with him?”

     “Yes, I have had a…crush for lack of a better term, on him for a few years now. Though I’m not the only one in this school who does.”

     “Are you in a romantic relationship with anyone right now?”

     “No, and before you ask, I never have in the past either. Though some have tried.”

     “Do you have any close friends here at Hogwarts?”

     “Define close friends.”

     “Friends who you would do anything for and who would do anything for you.”

     “No, I have people in my life that say they would do anything for me, but I’ve never believed them and don’t feel that way towards anyone. Especially not here at Hogwarts.”

     “Would you rather have a Mommy or Daddy as a Little?”

     “Considering I am straight I’m going to have to say Daddy.”

     “What are your parents like?”

     “They are strict but reasonable. They truly care for me and only want what’s best for me.” That line was a rehearsed response, I just hope he doesn’t notice.

     “Do like going home on breaks from Hogwarts?”

     “Yes, I love my parents and couldn’t be happier to go home during breaks.” Another rehearsed answer.

     “Do you know why you’re a little? Or do you think it just happened?”

     “I knew I wasn’t very dominant and, if I’m honest, thought I would be a regular Sub. So, I’d have to say it just happened.”

     “And how are you feeling right now?”

     “Like I have complete control.”

     “I meant emotion wise.”

     “I’m not feeling anything emotion wise right now.”

     “What about earlier?”

     “I felt many things but ultimately took care of them and now I feel better. In control.”

      “I see. Well. I suppose that’s all I have to ask for now.” Harry stands up and I move to follow. “Oh, please stay seated. I’m grabbing the other investigator. We have to have two people ask you questions. It’s policy.” I sit back down and wait. “She’s all yours. Good luck. I’ll go give my report, keep an eye on the entire space around this room. The door can open anywhere the inhabitants want.”

     I turn at that and see Xander walking in. I stand up abruptly, but before I can do anything the door closes. “I just want to talk.” He holds up his hands. Defensive.

     “Funny, cause the last time you just wanted to talk I ended up in a partial Little space,” I bite back at him while he comes over to the chairs and sits down.

     “Correction, the last time I just wanted to talk, you were already slipping into a partial Little space and spiraling into a frenzy of emotions. I’ll give you the fact that you didn’t really start slipping until my first concerned touch, but I haven’t touched you since you woke up so,” Xander shrugs. “Can you please talk to me? I just need to know you’re okay. I can leave you alone once I know that for sure.”

     “No, you can’t,” I retort. “I’m a Little and you’re a Caregiver, you’ll always be concerned. Especially since I’m the first Little you’ve come into contact with. Most Caregivers end up paired with their first Little because they can’t stop worrying about them when they aren’t directly involved in their life all the time.”

     Xander huffs, it almost sounded like he laughed but he was clearly exasperated. “Fine but I started worrying about you long before this morning. I started to worry about you back in first year, when you were trying to hide a bruise on the first day. You succeeded, for the most part. But I could see the bruising on your wrist, you were pulling your sleeve down over it when I noticed. I also started worrying about you when I saw you after the sorting ceremony, wiping tears from your cheeks on your way back to the Great Hall. Your parents had ideas of what your life would be like didn’t they? And they didn’t match yours. So, don’t act like I just started noticing or caring today, cause I started a long time ago.”

     I sat there, stunned, for a good minute before I responded. “You, you saw that?” I looked to my lap. “You saw those things?”

     “Yes. And I saw the fresh bruise every time we came back from break, the dullness in your eyes you’d have for a week after getting back. I remember, one year, I believe it was third year, you decided not to go home for Winter Break. I also remember your make up was heavier at the start of fourth year and your sleeves were kept down even longer than usual. Your eyes didn’t regain their light for almost a month after that, and you never missed going home over any break ever again. You told Potter your normal line, didn’t you? ‘They’re strict but reasonable. They really care. I love them. I couldn’t be happier to go home over break.’ You’ve been saying that since we started here at Hogwarts. I didn’t once believe it. After we got back for Fourth year, I decided I truly hated your parents. You never let yourself get close to anyone, and that’s because of them isn’t it.”

     “H-how. How’d you, you noticed?” I was stunned. I mean I always noticed him when he was around, and yes, I always knew when he walked into the room. And sure, I knew his dad was cruel and likely a drunk. But I thought I had been better at hiding what was happening with me. I don’t think that’s the reason that I’m a Little, but my parents could be harsh sometimes. “I was so careful.”

     “Yeah, and those mental walls that you build, especially around emotions are so discreet it would take a genius to notice from across the room,” Xander responds sarcastically. “You may have been discreet, but anyone who has been abused in the past, can recognize a fellow victim of abuse. I’m sure the prick who lived is reporting his observations and theories on abuse in your home as we speak.”

     I jump up at that. “What?!” I yell. Fear entering into my voice.

     “It’s a good thing. You can’t return to them. Especially not with your Classification. You’ll be even more sensitive to those things now,” Xander responds. Confused at my reaction.

     “Ellie!” I yell and run for the door. I draw my wand, prepared for a battle. I’ll apparate if I have to, I just have to get out of the wards around the school.

     “Charlotte!” Xander starts to run after me. The fear in my voice is mirrored in his, difference is he was fearful for me and I was fearful for Ellie. “Charlotte, wait!”

     I pull open the door and see a random Auror on patrol around the block that the Room of Requirement fills. I instantly point my wand at the Auror and scream, “IMPEDIMENTA!” temporarily paralyzing the man. I then proceed to point at the window across the way, tears of fear starting to stream down my face. “Finestra!” I break the glass. “Accio broom!” I summon my broom and jump out the window as the broom manifests in my hand. I begin flying towards the edge of the wards.

Chapter Text

     I fling myself to the edge of the window I just watched Charlotte jump out of. She’s flying on her broom towards the edge of the wards. “Get Potter! I’m going after her!” I jump out the window as I accio my own broom to my side. I’m not Gryffindors current seeker for nothing.

     It took all of two minutes before I heard Potter’s voice yell over the wind. “What happened? She was fine when I left!”

     “She didn’t realize that you figured out her parents! She stood up in alarm when she found out and yelled out a name! I think she has a younger sister or something!” I yell back as I try to catch up. I know I’ll regret it, but we have to stop her somehow. “We should stupefy her! Once we get close enough that we can catch her we can cast it! I have no doubt that she already knows how to apparate and we’ll never catch her if she does!”

     “I hate to admit it, but I think you’re right!” Harry calls back to me and motions for the people following us to drop below, to aide in the catching effort. “They’ll help when we cast it! Until then they’ll focus on catching up!”

     I nod and we fly faster. We have to get to her before the wards. I realize that she might shield if she notices us and will have to go down after her wand if I disarm her. So, I do. I aim right at her and cast expelliarmus. Her wand falls out of her grip and she starts to dip. That costs her speed since she’s not used to flying like this. For me and Potter however, this is nothing. We get within a good range and I nod. Unable to cast the spell myself, not on her. Potter casts Stupefy and we quickly catch her. The others help us get her on my broom and one of them carries back her broom. I know her wand will end up in her hand when she summons it, so I don’t worry about that and get her back to school. We land in the Headmistresses office and I gently pick her up, dropping my broom and walking over to the couch to lay her down again.

     “We seriously need to stop repeating ourselves, or we’ll all go mad,” I mutter.

     “I thought you were getting her to talk about her feelings!” Hermione, the Minister of Magic, nearly shouts.

     I turn on her. “I was ordered to be honest, you said it would help. I played the good little soldier and she ended up spooked. But for the record she was about to open up to me after I told her about my caring about her all these years. When she asked how, I said takes one to know one. I mentioned that Potter was probably reporting his suspicions about her family and she wigged out. She shouted the name Ellie and began running. I haven’t seen her run once in her entire six years here at Hogwarts. I’ve only ever seen her moving fast when on a broom. She never participates in anything strenuous, she only ever sits on the side lines and laughs at everyone fooling around. Yet I mention that Potter was reporting his suspicions and she instantly breaks into a dead sprint and takes flight for the ward’s boarder. If you have to inspect Potter’s suspicion I advise doing so discreetly. She’s clearly worried about someone.”

     “Mione, he was actually really helpful out there. He’s the one who came up with the plan to stupefy her once we knew we were close enough to catch her. Then he had the foresight to use expelliarmus so that she can’t apparate or shield against us. I think if she wakes up alone with him in the Room of Requirement, maybe on a bed, that she’ll open up. If we get information straight from her, we can do more for this Ellie girl and for Charlotte. But I do believe Xander has to be the one,” Potter speaks up on my behalf.

     “And the discreet inspection? It was suspected abuse that you were reporting to me after all,” Hermione replies considering.

     “He’s right. If another person is in play here, discretion is the right call in this situation. Though, I can’t say it’s much of a simple suspicion. Her responses about her family were far too rehearsed. And, there was a certain dullness to her eyes when her parents came up. Remind you of anyone,” Potter looks at Hermione and she nods.

     “Do it. Post a discreet patrol by her house and find out what’s happening over there. And get her alone in a room with Xander again. This time I want more guards, and all of them need to have Protego already cast to protect against any more lashing out by her,” Hermione orders.

     “She wasn’t lashing out. She was running to protect her loved one. If anyone got between you and protecting a loved one you would have done the same thing,” I level my gaze on the Minister before I turn and pick Charlotte back up. “Let’s go.”

     I follow Potter, who summons the Room of Requirement once again. He lets us in and tells me he will be right outside and that he’s going to keep a hand on the door so that there’s a greater chance of exiting where we entered. When we’re ready for exit that is.

Chapter Text

     I groan as I wake up. There is a plush surface underneath me and I seem to be wrapped up in blankets. I open my eyes and see a dimly lit room that has a few comfy looking chairs, a couch, and this bed, along with bookshelves and throw blankets over the back of a couple pieces of furniture. Xander was sitting in one of the plush armchairs, that were situated closest to the bed I was laying on, reading a book. At my groan, he looked up.

     “Look who’s awake,” Xander smiled at me and closed his book as he stood up. He came over and sat on the side of the bed. “How are you feeling?”

     “Like I was hit by a truck. Where am I?” I ask him. The last thing I remember, I was on a broom, I was worried…worried about… “Ellie!” I jerk up into a sitting position. Pain shoots in my brain, blood rushing from my head at the speed from which I sat up.

     “Woah, careful. You need to calm down. The Aurors cast Stupefy on you before you crossed the wards and did something stupid. Like tell your parents that you lead the ministry to them,” Xander sighs, his hands on my shoulders to keep me steady as I clutched my head. “How about you start with who Ellie is, and I’ll start out by telling you that the Minister decided to keep the investigation discreet until we know more.”

     “She did?” I ask in shock.

     “Yes. She did. Now, will you please tell me who this Ellie is?” Xander looks at me, a worried pleading look, right in the eyes.

     “She’s my little sister. She turns eleven this summer. I don’t even know if my parents will let her come to Hogwarts…especially after I classified Little instead of Dom, Master, or Alpha. They want nothing more than for me to become Minister of Magic someday…and dad says they’ll do anything it takes to get me there,” I fidget with the blanket that lays across my lap, needing something to do with my hands while I remember what my parents would threaten.

     “Even if that meant using your little sister as leverage,” Xander completes the thought for me.

     “Not at first. When she was born, Ellie I mean, I was the one told to care for her as much as possible. I fed her, changed her, entertained her. Mom and dad made sure we were each other’s best friends. Then I turned ten. She was only four at the time. Mom went out and bought me all of the Hogwarts text books in advance. Said that ever since the professors stabilized, so did their book list. I was told to study them in my spare time. Then dad came home and saw that instead of reading the books, I was playing with my little sister. He spanked her and yelled at her for distracting me when I needed to study for my classes for the following year. He told her that if it happened again, the punishment would be worse. I instantly began studying more. When my letter came my dad pulled me to the side and told me a few cold words while gripping my wrists tight enough to bruise. He said, ‘You better come home each semester with perfect grades and stellar reports from the teachers. If you don’t, I’ll make sure your sister knows better for when she goes the hard way. And if you tell anyone about this, Ellie will be the one getting hurt.’ He meant it,” I hug myself, remembering that day so many years ago. “I came home at the end of third year, after missing winter break at home. You said that I looked worse than usual at the beginning of Fourth year, you should have seen my sister at the end of Third. She was half starved and covered in bruises. She was chained to the wall in her room when I got home. Dad dragged me to her room and pointed at her. He said that this is what happens when I skip a break from school. Then he chained me to the bed post, with a short chain attached to a collar around my neck, and began to beat my sister until she bled. He left us like that overnight, me mere feet from my bleeding little sister. Nothing he could do could have been worse than that day. But he decided that we both deserved punishment throughout the summer for my missing winter break. Once a week he repeated the actions of the first night. Me and Ellie eventually learned not to let ourselves eat the day of so that we won’t have to sit in our own vomit as well. Between major beatings like that one, he’d discipline me and say that a future Minister wouldn’t behave as selfishly as I did. He told me that I needed to learn to be selfless and put the world ahead of me. He said nothing, not my health or personal well-being, were as important as my grades and my protecting those around me from outside forces. One day he used the word ‘evil’ and I made the mistake of retorting back something about how I was to protect the world from him then. That earned me a bruised face for a month. Finally, at the end of the summer, just like every time I went back to Hogwarts, he gripped my wrists with bruising force and reminded me to get perfect grades. Ellie was standing to the side, by the car with mom, watching as it happened.” I finally pulled out of my own memories. “That’s who Ellie is.”

     Xander had sat frozen throughout my retelling. Slowly, so as to not startle me and to give me the chance to pull away, he pulls me into a hug. I was too tired and emotionally drained to resist. I hadn’t even realized that I was crying until I turned my head to breathe better and noticed his shirt wet from my tears. Xander stroked my hair and eventually I leaned into him, relaxing. Sobs wracked my body as I let him comfort me over this one issue.

     “If they can safely get Ellie out, will you let the Aurors arrest your parents for this?” Xander asks me. Giving me the option to make decisions for myself still. I simply nod and he kisses the top of my head. Clearly, we were getting close today whether I accepted it or not…not that I really minded. “Alright, I’m going to go and tell Potter who is standing outside the door. You can feel free to stay right here if you want, but I’ll be right there if you need me.” I nod again.

     Xander get’s up and walks over to the door. He opened it up and looked straight at the Auror standing on the other side of it. They stared at each other for a moment

     “Well?” Harry asked. Not specifying and leaving it open to interpretation.

     “Ellie is her sister. She takes the brunt of the physical abuse. Sounds almost as if she was born to be psychological torture for Charlotte. Get her out safely and you have Charlotte’s permission to raid and arrest,” Xander replies plainly. “And her dad is the main culprit, though the mother is a bit more than an accessory.”

     Harry nods and Xander closes the door. He comes back over to me and sits by me. I lean my head on him and he moves so I can be more comfortable. We sit like that for a long time. I don’t know how long exactly, but I knew it had been a while. Finally, Xander speaks again.

     “I know this is asking a lot, but I still want to help you work through what you’ve been feeling all day. So, can we talk about it?” Xander asks me and I shrug.

     “What do you want to know?” My questioning response.

     “When I touched your shoulder in Professor Longbottom’s classroom, what were you feeling? I know it was a lot from how you reacted, and you had said that it was too much. And confusing. So, I thought we could work through them,” Xander smiles at me gently. I sigh, he’s not gonna let this go.

     “It started out with this fast change from calm and collected to suddenly wanting nothing more than to let you take care of everything and have you hold me,” I answer honestly, a blush starting on my cheeks, but I decide to continue on. “I was soon filled with a flurry of emotions. I felt an inexplicable need for physical contact with you, sadness at knowing I’ll never get to make my parents proud, anxiety over their reactions, I was shocked at my result, I desired to just let everything go, and I was angry over not being able to control my emotions. But most of all…I was scared. I was terrified of what was going to happen. I suddenly had no control over anything, and that scared me. I didn’t know what to do or how to calm down. Then…then you told me you would help me, and your voice was so soothing. So, I went to the soothing feeling and let myself be engulfed in it.” I open my eyes which I hadn’t realized were closed. “I let myself give over to you.”

     “I’m going to be honest, I didn’t expect you to jump right in,” Xander beamed at me. “But I’m so glad that you did. Why don’t you want to give in to your Little side?”

     “Because I,” I swallow, my throat thick from emotion, and try again. “Because I’m scared. I don’t know what I’m going to be like, who would be taking care of me, if they would be anything like my parents. I won’t be allowed to control my own life anymore, someone else, likely a stranger, would be making all decisions for me and I’ll be regarded as a child who may have an opinion but doesn’t know any better. That scares me. How can I trust someone so thoroughly that I can trust them to do right by me? How can I trust someone enough to be that vulnerable with them? I’ve been broken by my parents and I doubt I’ll be wanted by anyone the way I am. How am I to know if the person who does take me in truly cares or if they’re just fulfilling a duty thrust upon them and they don’t really care if I stay healthy? There’s too many variables and no algorithm of predictability to tell me likely outcomes. Giving myself over so completely seems illogical and dangerous. I can’t protect myself, let alone Ellie, if I’m in Little space.”

     “Charlotte, it’s not logical to put yourself in a different kind of danger because you want to keep yourself from danger. Look me in the eyes and tell me you think I would hurt you,” Xander lifts my chin with a gentle finger and looks me in the eye. I look down as soon as he releases me. “See, you know I won’t hurt you. And I’ll make sure Ellie is safe with a good Foster family, with rights to see you when you feel ready. I’ll respect your wishes and help you in every way that I can. I’ve always cared about you, so please, just let me take care of you. I want to be your Daddy, I want to give you the princess treatment that you deserved to have from birth. But only if you’ll have me. Can we please try?”

     I look back up at Xander, his eyes pleading. I feel my heart melting at his words and my fears abating. My mind doesn’t feel as foggy as last time, but I certainly feel myself slipping into Little space. Slowly, but slipping none the less. “You WANT to be…my Daddy? Really?”

     Xander gets a bit of a hopeful smile. “Really.”

     “Really, really? Like you WANT to be with me forever?” I sniffle, tears still prominent.

     “Really, really. I want to take care of you and be with you and care for you forever,” Xander answers, his smile becoming slightly watery. “If you’ll have me.”

     I nod and launch into his arms. I sob tears of joy over being wanted for more than furthering a family name. Xander strokes my hair and holds me for a few minutes before he does pull back, still holding me tightly.

     “Do you think you know how old you are? OR do we still need to wait to find that out?” He asks me softly. I can hear the love in his voice, and I shrug my shoulders.

     “All I know is that I’m not that old. I wanna say three or younger, but it’s hard to tell,” I answer looking down.

     “Hey, that’s a good start. Let me get you settled in as a Little and then we’ll go back out. I think you’ll be more comfortable if we change you into some Little things. And if you think you might be three or younger, I’ll need to put a diaper on you in case of accidents. But I’ll tell you what, this room can give us anything, so why don’t we get you a nice plushie and blanket to come with you. Hm, doesn’t that sound nice?” I nod my agreement and he walks over to a door while carrying me. It seemed to have a nursery of sorts that was sized to fit me. He starts by taking me to the dresser which has a lot of really cute clothes for little girls, but they all looked like they would fit me. “What does my new princess want to wear?” I blush at the immediate nickname and point at a pink baby doll dress with white ruffles before I bury my face into his neck out of shyness. “Haha, okay. Let’s get you changed then we can pick that plushie and blanket, alright?” I nod in his neck and he lays me down on the changing table that was mere feet from the dresser. With a few fumbles from the first time doing this, Xander manages to put a diaper on me as well as the outfit. I ended up popping my thumb in my mouth at one point and he had to pull it out a few times, each time he laughed like I was the cutest thing in the world. “Alright I get the hint. You need a pacifier. Let me look around.” He scoops me up and starts looking in the drawers before coming to one with multiple pacifiers in multiple designs. I point to one that was the same colors as my outfit and had a little crown painted on the button like front with a white handle dangling from its pink background. Xander swiftly picks it up and pops it into my mouth.

     Xander takes me over to a wall filled with stuffed animals and I almost immediately make grabby hands for a dark colored bear with a red t-shirt on it. Xander chuckles as he gives it to me and then sets me down among some blankets and I find the softest one, knit with what felt like clouds, in the same pink as my outfit. I snatch it up and clutch it to myself with the bear tucked nicely into my right arm. I smile up at him behind my paci and giggle. Xander laughs and picks me up, situating me on his hip, before walking towards the door and straight into a group of Aurors all with their wands ready. I make a whining noise as I try to bury myself deeper into Xander. He lifts his left arm and holds my head comfortingly to his shoulder as he speaks to the surrounding Aurors.

     “Put away your wands you daft fools. You’re scaring her. I don’t need her deciding her fears were right and trying to run again because you ninnies couldn’t hide your own fear of a little girl,” Xander speaks calmly but with an undertone of anger while he strokes my hair soothingly. I relax into his hold and Harry Potter stares dumb struck at us. “Problem, Potter?”

     “No. I’m just shocked at how much progress you made in such a short amount of time,” Harry slowly smiles at me. “Well, welcome back to us. Aren’t you just the cutest little girl to ever grace these halls?” I giggle at that and he smiles at me warmly. “I’m glad you have calmed down. You were scaring my men. But you’re not scary, now are you?” I shake my head with the biggest smile on my face behind my paci. “Right. Let’s go see McGonagall and Hermione, shall we?”

     Xander walks and follows behind Harry until we get back to the office where I was first brought earlier this morning. Xander stands, rocking me gently as the room settled in. He spoke up before anyone else.

     “I want to start out by saying, I don’t care if you don’t think it’s a good plan, I’m Charlotte’s Daddy. She’s happy with me and already agreed to it while we were in the Room of Requirement. She is a powerful witch who needs to trust her guardian, especially after how her birth parents treated her. I’ll do whatever it takes, but,” Xander pats my padded bottom as he pauses and kisses my head. “I want to be the one entrusted with her.”

     “I believe you are the best fit. After what I’ve seen today, your fierce protective instinct of her and fear over her fighting her Little space, I don’t think I could find anyone better than you. Besides that point, while she denies ever really getting to know you that well, you are still someone she knows at all. Xander Blackwell, I grant you custody of Ms. Charlotte Rosen until a time that you may be deemed unfit. Should that ever happen, we will evaluate the reason for it and provide her with a proper Caregiver. Though, I highly doubt you’ll ever be deemed truly unfit for the role. Good luck, with how she’s been acting, I think you’re going to need it,” Hermione responds with a slight knowing smile and McGonagall gives an approving stare.

     “I must admit, Mr. Blackwell, that your behavior here today has shocked me. When you first presented as a Caregiver, I thought there must have been a misreading and was concerned that you would be unable to care for Charlotte at all throughout the day past your initial involvement. But you stepped up, you became exactly what Charlotte needed at every turn and made hard decisions that were for her own good. I’m happy to have you as her Caregiver, I believe you will provide Ms. Rosen with a happy life, now that she is away from those parents of hers,” McGonagall states in her near regal manner.

     Xander began to notice that I would clutch his shirt tighter at each mention of my parents and he kissed me on the crown of my head and rubbed my left arm. He murmured that I was okay and that I just needed to last through this talk a little while longer. “Thank you. This leaves me with a question though. Where would I be staying with her? I’m not able to go into girls’ dormitories, and she should not be subjected to the boys’ dorms. She’s not a Gryffindor and I am certainly not a Ravenclaw. So, is there a dormitory situation for people like us? People who need to live together but can’t in a conventional sense from the normal set up of the housing.”

     “Yes, well we do have some apartments available on the grounds. They are normally reserved for instructors; however, I believe an exception can be made in this case,” McGonagall replies easily. “I’ll have one set up for you before dinner. It will be up to you if you want to eat in the dining hall for a while. I can understand allowing Ms. Rosen some privacy, especially for the time being. The apartment will have a kitchen in it so you may prepare your own meals if you desire. No need to knock her out of Little space out of embarrassment.”

     “Thank you, I appreciate that,” Xander responds politely and continues to rock with me in his arms. “Oh, and how will I be going about classes without leaving her alone? I want to be considerate of her privacy there as well.”

     “Yes, well I suppose it’s up to you if you want to have a sitter or leave her with Madame Pomfrey during classes or take her round with you. As her Caregiver, many decisions are now going to befall you, and this will have to be one of them,” McGonagall answers and then turns to her former students. “Unless you have any other business here, I suppose it’s time you got going.”

     “Yes, well. As is customary, I will be leaving Harry here to observe them for twenty-four hours to ensure that the match was a good one. No need to let a Little get overly attached if it won’t work out, after all. But yes, I will be going now. I have much to do and Ron is going to start getting antsy. Goodbye McGonagall, it was lovely to see you,” Hermione responds, and Harry looks to Xander.

     “Don’t worry, I know it’s a good fit. This is simply protocol now,” Harry reassures us. “I have to say, I haven’t seen a bond form quite as fast as yours has. I’ve been on this unit for a few years now, but never have I seen a Little clutch at their Caregiver as tightly as she is to you so quickly after reaching Little space for the first time.” Harry smiles at us and goes over to say goodbye to Hermione. He went so far as to say to give Ron a hard time on his behalf.

     “You two can hang out here or I suppose you could take her to the Gryffindor common room until your apartment is ready,” McGonagall turns to us once the majority of the Aurors are gone along with Hermione. “And I suppose Charlotte could use lunch. I do believe we have missed it. Feel free to ask the kitchens for some food and you can eat it wherever you please for now.”

     “Thank you, Professor McGonagall,” Xander nods at her and starts walking towards the exit. “Let’s get some food in you, shall we?” Xander smiles at me and I nod, hungry after my long day.

     “May I give some advice?” Harry speaks up.

     “If you must,” Xander grunts.

     “Starting tomorrow I’d try to keep her on a set schedule. Most Littles do better with a schedule, health and happiness wise anyways. Of course, there will always be flexibility, but I have a feeling she’s gonna be one of those littles who get over tired without a proper naptime,” Harry says calmly. He seems to be trying not to offend, but rather actually help.

     “Thanks, I was planning to start doing something along those lines. But I appreciate you giving advice you think will help. I get that you were dismissive of me at first because you didn’t know if I’d be the right fit, but it’s nice that you are trying to make up for that,” Xander responds politely.

     “Yeah. Sorry about that. I’ve been called to remove Littles from bad situations before. I’m so protective my wife likes to joke about me being classified wrong. I’m an Alpha married to a Master after all. Don’t ask me how that works, cause I don’t know,” Harry chuckles. “But I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

     “It sounds like you are happy with your life, that’s good. I intend to do everything in my power to do the same for her. But first, I’ll need to be able to tell her when the situation is safely resolved. She’s still hesitant with her little space, because she hasn’t resolved her old self quite yet. I’m gonna get her some food and see if I can get her to sit with me for a while. I don’t have much for her to do yet. I don’t want to take her into public yet, but she needs supplies,” Xander sighs.

     “You could get her a buggy with a covering from the Room of Requirement, then take her out, I wouldn’t use that room for all her supplies seeing as you won’t always get to use it, but it will help you get started,” Harry suggests.

     “Thanks, I just might try doing that. I’ll also need permission to leave the school, and possibly help getting to Diagon Alley, they have the best little supplies there,” Xander says, reciting what seems to be a mental checklist. “I’ll also need to socialize her a bit, so she won’t be as embarrassed in the halls whenever I need to take her somewhere. But, before all of that I’ll get some lunch from the kitchen and take her to my common room. It should have very few people there now that lunch is over.”

     Xander and Harry walk to the kitchens and ask for some lunch. Since an Auror was with us they gave us no trouble, it probably also helped that Harry was the Auror. The kitchen made us a simple and easy meal and made me something that wouldn’t be too difficult for Xander to feed me or clean me up afterwards. Xander then quickly gets us to the Gryffindor common room, with Harry’s help for carrying things, and walks over to a table.

     “Princess, do you want me to feed you or do you want to feed yourself right now?” Xander asks me.

     “Self.”

     “Okay Princess,” Xander sits me down in a seat next to him and sets my food up after Harry set it down. I had some strawberries and a cut up PB&J with CranGrape juice. Xander made sure I had a napkin for a bib and let me try to eat by myself. “We’ll get you a proper bib when we can, but this’ll have to do for now. Now, eat your food and try not to be too messy.”

     I smile and begin eating but it’s not long before I start to look around and manage to get myself distracted at the differences between Ravenclaw and Gryffindor’s common rooms. Xander and Harry were talking amongst themselves while eating so it wasn’t that hard to get lost in my thoughts. I’m really jealous of Gryffindor, they get the best colors. I prefer red over blue any day, but I knew I’d never work in Gryffindor. At least blue is my second favorite of the house colors. They seemed to have less books in their common room as well, which is interesting since they’re still student’s, but I suppose it makes sense since they don’t generally read for pleasure as much. I don’t know how long passes before I have a hand waving in front of my face and hear some chuckling.

     “Princess, where were you? Your foods right here. Do you need some help to finish eating?” Xander asks, not to embarrass me or anything, but because he genuinely wanted to know if I needed help as some Littles do. I simply blush and shake my head, returning to my food. “Okay. Your mind was wandering pretty far Princess, what were you thinking about?”

     “The differences,” I give a simple reply, not realizing that they wouldn’t know what I’m talking about.

     “What differences, Baby Girl?” Xander asks me and I give him a puzzled look. He simply smiles and tries again. “The differences between what? I’m sure there are a lot of things that are different.”

     My mouth pops into an “o” shape before I answer. “The differences between the common rooms. Mine has more books and more blue. Yours has less books and more red. If I combined them they’d be about perfect. I like red more, red is like the adult pink, and pink is the best color. I like blue but not as much as I like red. And I like purple more than I like blue cuz purple has red in it and blue in it.”

     “I see. Those are some things to think about. How about we go ahead and finish your strawberries and juice and then, during class, we’ll head out to see about getting some things for you. Does that sound nice princess?” Xander smiles at me and smooths back my hair. I nod and eat the last few strawberries on my plate and drink my juice. Xander laughs and grabs a napkin to clean me up. He had a small glass of water that I had been wondering what it was for and he dipped a napkin into it to clean my hands and face off before he finally picked me up and we sat on the couch. “Classes are gonna change soon. We’ll sit here until everyone is done in the hallways and then we’ll go get permission to go and buy you some things.”

     “Okay,” I sit in Xander’s lap and lean my head against him. I didn’t realize just how tired I was until I fell asleep.

Chapter Text

     Charlotte settled on my lap and soon fell asleep. The poor thing has had a long day. Potions was first period and it’s now the class change for last period. So much has happened in such a small amount of time, it’s honestly felt like we should’ve just had dinner and been readying her for bed. I asked Potter to hand me her pacifier before she started sucking her thumb and quickly had it handed over for her. She was sucking on it contentedly in her sleep.

     It wasn’t long before my friend Aaron walked in with a worried look on his face that quickly morphed into anger upon seeing me sitting on the couch, crap I knew I was forgetting something. Aaron walks over and whaps me on the head.

     “Ah, careful!” I whisper shout at him. Potter seemingly getting on alert.

     “Don’t tell me to be careful you dolt! I haven’t seen you since breakfast and we share classes half the day. I was worried sick about you,” Aaron then seems to finally notice the head of a girl in my lap, my girl. “Glad to know you were happily snogging so much today that the girl literally passed out on you while I was worried that something had happened to you.”

     “Aaron, quiet down before you wake her. I don’t need her crying, or worse slipping out of her Little space. And whose been snogging all day? I’ve been taking care of a Little from our year since just after first period. In case you didn’t notice her attire,” I reprimand him. “Now chill out before the prick who lived makes you.”

     “Wait, what?” Aaron looks at Charlotte more closely and blushes just as red as her name. “Sorry mate, I didn’t realize.”

     “Did you really just call me the prick who lived? I thought we were starting to get along,” Potter responds indignantly.

     “Sorry, I started it before we started to get along. It kinda stuck,” I shrug at him. “And mate you’re fine just be careful. Charlotte is still too close to returning to her normal headspace, that’s why I didn’t want you to wake her. I don’t want her to leave her Little space out of embarrassment.”

     “Right, sorry again. I’ll make sure to be careful. Just give me one minute to go stop the raging mob from shouting as they enter. Most every guy who has a free last period makes a ruckus when they come in,” Aaron smiles at me and I thank him. I later come to find he literally stopped everyone from entering before they could and then informed them that there was a sleeping Little in the common room and that if anyone woke the Little, I would personally kick their ass. Which was all very true. When everyone filed in, they were very respectful and even went to other areas of the dorm to ensure they didn’t wake up Charlotte.

     Once transition was over, I told Aaron that I had some errands to run and he offered to join as extra hands. Plus, he’s prefect and says he’s responsible if I do anything stupid. I shrugged and told him I didn’t care so long as Headmistress McGonagall agrees, which Potter said the chances were pretty high. I carried Charlotte the whole way and McGonagall agreed to allow us out and even said that since Harry Potter was with us, we could go to Diagon Alley so long as he agreed. I thanked her and got a buggy from the room of requirement for Charlotte and pulled the cover down so she knew that she couldn’t be seen. It wasn’t long before we got past the wards and were apparated to Diagon Alley so we could get our supplies. We went straight for the little store and walked in.

     “Welcome how may I help you?” a worker asks as she approaches us.

     “Hello Sarah, I’ve brought a new Caregiver and Little to get their supplies. They’ll need some of everything,” Potter speaks up and gestures towards me and the buggy that holds Charlotte.

     “Of course! It’s always a pleasure to set up a new Caregiver and their Little. Every isle is labeled, and we have multiple colors of anything. If you see anything that you want a different color of, just let me know and I’ll have it ordered for you from our main supplier. Please don’t hesitate to ask if you need anything,” the worker, Sarah, gives a bright smile and allows us to browse on our own.

     I start down the diaper isle first. Charlotte is clearly in favor of pink the most, so I try to focus on using pink colors for the most part with the occasional purple or purple accents. I get varying thicknesses and all in the size I pulled from the room of requirement. I placed a few packages in the cart for her so we can last for a while…hopefully. I then move on to clothes and start picking onesies, footie onesies, dresses, skirts, some shorts and pants, and some booties/shoes. The socks were all really cute and went with the clothes, I just knew she’d be super adorable in them. I moved on to pacifiers after I got about twenty outfits. She likes fashion so I knew I’d need a few different styles and patterns. There was one pink pacifier that was sparkly with roses on it that said baby girl, and I just knew Charlotte had to have it. Roses were her favorite flower and she loves to sparkle; I’ve seen how she dresses on days off. Finally, I move on to blankets and toys. I get several really soft blankets of varying thickness and fuzziness, but they all felt really good against the skin. All the toys here are for varying ages with stuffed animals as the universal toy for littles, so I got her a couple more stuffies and some dolls and other toys that will occupy her little self no matter her age.

     “It looks like you have a good sense of what you need to get, but don’t forget a crib, changing table, buggy, carrier seat, playpen, or a highchair. If I were you, I’d also get her a bouncy chair and walker in case her little age gets even younger. And don’t worry, by the time the school year is up, the agency will have an apartment arranged for you. Whatever you get for her here furniture wise, I’ll take note and ensure there’s another one in your apartment for when you go home over summer break. That way you don’t need to schlep in between the two locations. The agency of Little affairs likes to make sure all Caregiver and Little pairings are taken care of and if the Caregiver that was the best match is a student at Hogwarts or another school like you are, then we’ll help with stipends until you get a job out of school,” Potter gives reassurances.

     “Thanks, but I should be fine on the apartment, I have a place not too far from here. It’s not gigantic but it’s not too shabby either. My father lost his rights to be head of the family a couple years ago when he went to Azkaban for abuse of his wife and child. Oh yeah, and rape and murder of his wife, that was part of the abuse. So, I have the Blackwell, pureblood line, fortune and holdings,” I tell Potter. “My vault is probably as big as yours at the very least, boy who lived.”

     “Oh…well then I suppose you’ll be fine,” Potter chuckles. “If you do end up needing help at any time don’t hesitate to contact the agency. We’ll help however we can.”

     “I’ll be sure to do that,” I nod and start to look at cribs when I feel some movement in the buggy. I go around the front of it and lift the cover to check on Charlotte. She’s starting to wake up but seems to be out of it enough for me to keep going without her fussing yet. I kiss her forehead and cover the buggy again before choosing a white crib with pink sheets and pink bows around the bars wherever the soft padding goes up a little to keep her safe. She’s not an actual infant or I wouldn’t think this was safe for her, but it seems like a good fit.

     I pick out a unicorn mobile, matching changing table and highchair, a comfortable and pink carrier seat and buggy, a pink mesh play pen, the bouncy chair and walker in white and pink, and then realized I forgot to get bottles and pacifier clips. So, I go and get the matches to the pacifiers I got her and then went to the check out.

     “Are you all set to check out now?” Sarah asks me when I walk up to the counter.

     “Yes, I’d like to set up an account too since I’ll be likely shopping here again.”

     “No problem, what’s the name?”

     “Xander Blackwell. And I’ll be placing a large order for furniture as well today,” I inform her.

     “Okay, and I will be needing your payment method for the file so we can just automatically bill you when you purchase something.”

     “Here you go,” I pull out my wallet and my Debit card that connects to my Gringotts vault account. All it does is tell Gringotts to transfer some of my money to the people who I purchased from. Muggles did come up with a few good ideas. “I’ll be ordering two of all of these to be delivered to two different locations. One set will be Hogwarts and the other will be my home address. The sooner you can deliver these, the better. I’ll pay extra for express shipping.”

     “Alright then. I’ll have those delivered by tonight to both locations. Someone will have to sign for these orders, we can’t just drop them on a doorstep after all,” Sarah grabs the paper with my order and starts imputing into the computer before she scans and removes the tags on every piece I have in my cart and folds and bags them up immediately. I don’t get the chance to grab even one of those bags because Potter and Aaron grabbed them all up right away, both saying something about I have Charlotte to worry about instead of these bags.

     We exit the store and Potter gets a big smile on his face. “Why don’t we stop by Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes and get some tea. I’m sure they’d be happy to give Charlotte something sweet if she finally wakes up. Plus, it’s not like you have somewhere to put these things away at yet. I know the owner I promise he’ll be good.”

     “Alright, but I don’t want Charlotte getting hopped up on sugar, not until I’m in a place where she’s not about to set off magical booby traps,” I quickly agree without letting on that I, in fact, adore that shop. All the best pranking supplies are there. Aaron rolls his eyes knowing that it’s one of my favorite stores.

     We walk into Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes and walk right up to the counter. George Weasley, the owner, comes out to greet his customers when he sees Potter and a big smile breaks out across his face.

     “Well if it isn’t Harry Potter. Long time no see,” George smiles as if he has some kind of mischief in mind. “What can I do for you Harry?”

     “Hey George. I was just in the area. Doing official work for the Agency of Little Affairs, following a new Caregiver and Little pairing. How’s Ron?” Potter smiles and leans against the counter.

     “Well come on back, I’ll let you see how he is for ya’self. He’s pretty helpful around here when he can be,” George gestures for all of us to go to the back of the store with him, into the employee area. “Oi, Ron. Harry’s ‘ere! Come say hello.”

     Ronald Weasley, the younger brother of the shop owner and the ministers husband walks out and gives Potter a dude bro hug. “Harry, it’s been a while. How’s the Little Unit?”

     “It’s great. I’m here with a new Caregiver and Little right now. They’re still students at Hogwarts so I’m helping them get supplies before McGonagall finishes getting their new dorm ready. The Little is an adorable girl in that buggy there,” Potter gestures at us.

     “Hello, I’m Xander. The Caregiver for Charlotte here,” I point at the buggy I’m pushing around and shake Ron’s hand. “It’s an honor to meet you.”

     “Oh, please. Xander, I remember you being in the shop plenty often over school breaks,” Ron smiles. “You’re one of our best customers.”

     “Oi, that’s where I remember you from. You’re here every week for the entire summer break every year for three years now,” George smiles. “I love a fellow prankster.”

     “Heh, yeah. What can I say, Weasley’s is the best for prank supplies,” I rub the back of my head until I hear a little whimper from Charlotte. I instantly get in front of the buggy and open the cover so Charlotte can see me. “Hey Princess, you waking up?”

     “Mhm,” Charlotte rubs at her eyes and sees she’s not where she was before and in fact seems to be in public. She whimpers again looking scared.

     “Shh, sweetheart. You’re fine, you’re okay. I went and got you those supplies while you were asleep; and now we’re paying a visit to Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes for a bit before heading back to Hogwarts. And once we get back, we’ll see our new apartment while we’re in school. That sound okay?” I smile at Charlotte and caress her cheek trying to keep her little. It seems to be working for now.

     “Okay,” Charlotte pouts. Not liking that she’s out in public right now.

     “Do you want to come out of your buggy for a bit? I promise I won’t leave you alone if you do,” Charlotte seems to think about it for a minute before nodding her head. I lean into the buggy and kiss her forehead before picking her up out of the buggy. “This is George and Ron Weasley. You know about them, right?”

     “Mhm,” Charlotte nods. “George was part of a mischievous duo until the great war and founded this shop with his brother who was the other part of that duo. And Ron was the chosen one’s best friend and therefore frequently in the middle of all of the difficult situations. When classifications came out George classified as a Dom and Ron classified as a Pet, which matched his wife Hermione.”

     “That was a little freaky coming out of a sleepy Little’s mouth,” George comments with a big smile.

     “You should hear her when she’s neither sleepy nor Little. She wasn’t a Ravenclaw prefect for nothing,” Potter comments with a gigantic smirk.

     “You don’t know the half of it,” me and Aaron say at the same time and grin at each other. I hold Charlotte close to me, knowing she needs some cuddles after that long nap. Charlotte leans her head on my shoulder and starts to put her thumb into her mouth. “No Charlotte, that’s dirty, use your pacifier.” I smile at her as I slip the pacifier into her mouth in place of the thumb, I just told her to keep out of said mouth.

     “Mn,” she whines through her pacifier. Clearly unhappy to have been corrected in the first place.

     “You got yourself quite the little, mate. She is pretty adorable when she’s like this,” Aaron smiles and places his hand on my other shoulder. “You should meet my omega. She’s a fireball if I do say so myself.”

     “Heh, I’d like that. So long as she’s nice to Charlotte, I’m sure I’ll love her as my sister-in-law,” I smirk at Aaron.

     “Oh, shut it. She’s not mean…well most of the time,” Aaron smiles and I chuckle as I rest my head on top of Charlotte’s.

     “You two are clearly very close,” George comments. “And forgive me for saying this, but you don’t seem like an Alpha.”

     “If by close you mean essentially brothers then yes,” I remark with a roll of my eyes. “As for his being Alpha…I’ll let him handle that one.”

     “Let’s just say you haven’t seen me with my Omega. Plus, you don’t know me well enough to have seen my dominant side,” Aaron blushes a little. “But I know I don’t always seem very Alpha. I’m just a bit shy is all.”

     “If he gets to know you, or someone he cares about needs help he’s the first to give orders. You should’ve seen him when I broke my leg.”

     “Which time?”

     “Good point. You should see him when I break my leg. It’s quite the sight.”

     “I swear if you break a bone during Quidditch this year I’ll smack you before I get your ass to Madam Pomfrey. You have more than yourself to look after now.”

     “Yeah, yeah. I’m still questioning if I’ll be able to participate this year. Considering I do have a lovely little someone to keep in mind now.”

     “Nn,” Charlotte whines and looks up at me with sad eyes.

     “Baby girl what’s wrong?” I ask her, concerned. She just whine’s again and taps at my chest. “Use your words Angel.” It’s a good thing I put a pacifier clip on her or it would have fallen she spat it out so fast.

     “I- I like your- your Quiditch,” she manages to say, stumbling a bit out of embarrassment. I smile at her.

     “You like my Quidditch? Thank you, baby, what do you like about my Quidditch?”

     “Mmn,” she buries her face in my neck and tugs on my shirt. “Quiditch clothes…on you…and the jacket is nice too.” The words are mumbled but I hear every single one of them.

     “Thank you. I’m glad you like it. Daddy would keep those things, but I don’t know if Daddy could keep playing. Who would take care of you while I’m playing? I don’t trust many people with that gift, you know?” I rub her back soothingly and coax her to take back her pacifier so she can soothe herself while I rub her back. She’s clearly upset at the idea.

     “Hey Charlotte, you want some candy? It’s really tasty!” Ron pipes up and runs to get some.

     “Oi, no running. We’ve been over this, you get hurt and I get my arse kicked by Mrs. Minister of Magic,” George shouts after him.

     Ron gets back from wherever he went and holds out the candy. Charlotte perks her head up and I’m hesitant to let her. “Just one of these makes bad feelings go away for a little while so you can deal with them in private. Want one?” Ron pops one of the two into his mouth and smiles. “See, no bad feelings!”

     “Yeah, I want it!” Charlotte exclaims and reaches for it, nearly falling out of my arms in her attempts to get the candy.

     Potter just nods at me, clearly trying to say it will be helpful. So, I reach out and give the candy to Charlotte. “Eat it properly, okay.”

     “Thank you, Daddy!” Charlotte squeals and pops the candy in her mouth. “Tastes like flowers and sugar. I like it!” She continues to suck and chew on the candy until it’s gone. “Can I have more?”

     “Sorry kiddo, one at a time. They have some nice spells on them and too many can have bad effects. No more than one every four hours minimum,” George pipes up. “And if he runs to get you some again, I’ll have to whoop his arse fer breaking the rules…twice. I’ll give your daddy some though, so don’t worry. You’ll get more later.”

     “Okay,” Charlotte lays her head on my shoulder again and I stroke her hair as I see her eyes start to droop.

     “You tired Princess?” I ask her and I only get a nod in reply. I smile and put her pacifier back in. “Okay Princess, you go ahead and sleep then. It’s been a tough day.” It’s not long before she’s asleep again and I lay her back in her buggy. I cover her buggy up again and look at Ron and George. “Sleeping candy?”

     “It’s great for the little ones and parents can get a good night’s sleep. Kids eat it happily and then fall asleep shortly after. Ron had made it with a little help from Neville. She’ll sleep for at least two hours. It’s up to you how often you want to give her them, but I promise they’re harmless,” George pulls out a bag from a drawer behind him. “The purple ones are great for a long nap, that’s what Ron gave her. The blue one’s just prompt the sleep but waking up will come as soon as they’ve rested enough. The red ones are for a full night’s sleep. We also have instructions for dissolving in a bottle so really little ones can sleep through the night.”

     “That’s why I gave you the nod earlier. She needs the rest after her attempted big break earlier. Plus, I think she’d get rather fussy when it came time to bring her out of the shop. Just remember, she can still be woken up if you jostle her too much or are too loud so treat her like she’s not drugged,” Potter comments.

     “I wouldn’t think she’d be put in such a deep sleep anyways. That could get dangerous after all,” I roll my eyes at Potter.

     “You should get going. Purples only last so long, any where from an hour to two. Don’t want her to wake up while traveling,” George smiles. “You’re always welcome back though.”

     “Thanks. I’ll see you guys later then,” I reciprocate George’s smile and start to leave. Potter says goodbye to them and says he’ll see Ron and George at dinner on Sunday, to which they groan about doting moms and Potter laughs. We get somewhere appropriate to apparate from to get close to the school. We have to walk up to the castle though since you can’t apparate on the actual school property, security and all that. We get up to the gate and walk into the courtyard…which is when we hear yelling.

     “You’re the instructor of the last class she was seen in, so I think you are the one I should be asking. Professor where is she!” A girl I recognize from the Ravenclaw Quidditch team was shouting at Professor Longbottom.

     “Please, I really don’t know. All information that I do have is classified for her privacy. Only McGonagall could divulge it. Please stop yelling at me,” the Professor is trying to calm down the girl who has been responsible for many bloody Quidditch matches.

     Suddenly I see Aaron rush forward, the bags he was carrying for me forgotten. I stay back with Charlotte and the bags hoping she doesn’t get woken up. Potter stays by us but with his wand at the ready in case the situation escalates.

     “Alex what’s going on,” Aaron asks as he wraps the angry Ravenclaw in his arms. She seems to be struggling to resist sinking into them.

     “I haven’t seen someone since this morning and he’s the last teacher to see her. But he won’t tell me why she suddenly disappeared!” The girl that Aaron called Alex explains her tantrum. I call her Raven Demon but that’s just cause of the Quidditch games we’ve shared.

     “Okay, Alex I need you to stop yelling. There’s a Little sleeping over there and we need her to not be woken up,” Aaron starts his rational helping thing he does but she actually shrugs him off and turns on him.

     “I don’t care! She can barely keep herself safe and that’s only if she uses magic! I like to think of her as my friend and she’s missing! If you’re not going to help me with this then maybe I should reconsider my choice of Alpha!” Alex shouts. I take a step back because I know the real Alpha in him is about to show.

     Aaron gets a dark look in his eyes before he grabs her and gives a good swat to her ass. She yelps and he grips her tightly. “If you had let me finish I would have told you that once you stopped yelling you should tell me her name and we can calmly ask the Professor what happened and if he still can’t tell us we’d go to the headmistress about it if you’re really concerned. Now you are going to tell me this girls name and year and you are going to stand quietly by my side while I work on what happened and then after dinner, you’re going to get a bruised ass. Am I clear, Omega?”

     “Yes, Alpha,” Alex looks down and toes the ground. I sigh in relief that it wasn’t as explosive as I thought it would be. He already claimed her knowing him, so her saying she should choose a different Alpha would have not only angered him but also scared him to death. “Her name is Charlotte. She’s a sixth year Prefect for Ravenclaw. We were roommates before she became Prefect. I’m really worried about her.”

     Aaron sighs and looks at Professor Longbottom. “Sorry about this Professor, I’ll handle her from here. Please head back to whatever you were doing when she cornered you.”

     “Thank you, Mr. Pendragon” Professor Longbottom nods and scurries off as fast as he can. Sometimes it’s hard to believe he participated in that great wizarding war with Potter.

     “Handle Me?! Aaron, I thought you were going to help me!” Alex exclaims, throwing her arms up at the pinnacle of her frustration. Aaron gives her thigh a hard swat this time.

     “If you waited more patiently then you’d already know where Charlotte is,” Aaron grips her chin and makes her look him in the eye. “And since when do Alpha’s let their Omega’s get away with speaking to them like you are now? Now, quiet down or I’m dragging your ass inside to punish you before having you come back out with me and help me carry Xander’s shopping.”

     “Fine,” she crosses her arms but didn’t expect Aaron to pick her up and sling her over his shoulder over to me. He sits her down in front of the buggy and turns her around to look at me.

     “Now, apologize to Xander for almost waking up his Little and then I will tell you where Charlotte is and postpone all punishment to after dinner so you can spend some time with her,” Aaron demands.

     “Ha, your Little? So, you’re a Caregiver? Hahaha!” Aaron swats her thigh again and gives her a pointed look. “Ow, fine. I’m sorry for nearly waking up your Little. Can I know where Charlotte is now?”

     “You’re right in front of her,” Aaron smirks and Alex looks around confused.

     “Where?”

     “In the buggy that Xander is pushing.”

     “You couldn’t have told me this sooner!” She whisper yells this time.

     “If you had said her name from the start and hadn’t acted up then I would have. Now help me carry their stuff that I dropped to go to you,” Aaron nudges her in the direction of the bags on the ground that he goes to pick up.

     “Why didn’t you tell me earlier today?”

     “I only found out during my free period, they’ve had a very full day and that’s why Charlotte’s been sleeping for a while. But she should be up soon. Now grab some bags and let’s go see where she is moving to now that she’s Xander’s Little,” Aaron starts picking up the bags he dropped earlier.

     “Fine. But I still don’t get why you didn’t tell me when you found out.”

     “I didn’t tell you for a couple of reasons. One, I didn’t know you two were friends. Two, I thought that news had spread, especially throughout your dorm. And three, because I instantly went to help my friend who needed to get supplies to care for her and didn’t have the chance to tell you. Now come on.”

     Alex huffs but finally follows us quietly. When we get to McGonagall’s office, I ask Aaron and Alex to wait at the bottom of the stairs with Charlotte’s buggy as I took her out to carry her into the office for like the tenth time today.

     “Ah, Mr. Blackwell. Good. I have the key to your new dorm that the two of you can stay in while you continue your education here at school. Here’s a map so you might find where you are going,” McGonagall hands me the items that I needed and then essentially shooed me away. I think she’s tired of having me in her office today. I head back down the stairs and put Charlotte in the buggy. I can get that buggy up any flight of stairs other than the one’s leading to the Headmistresses office by using a weight spell. Aaron dutifully follows me with my bags full of stuff for Charlotte while I find my way to my new Dorm apartment. His eyes go wide at the set up I got from this arrangement.

     “Xander, this place is really nice. Are you sure we’re in the right room?”

     “Yeah. I mean the key worked didn’t it. I suppose I get to arrange my own secondary locking system…fun.”

     “Little’s are so highly regarded that it makes sense that student Caregivers with Little’s already would get really nice places to take care of those little’s. You should have at least two bedrooms and a study, plus a living room and kitchen with a dining area in between. It’s nothing fancy, but it should work for while the two of them are here,” Potter comments offhand. “I’ll stay on the couch tonight so don’t worry about that. Also, I’m glad it’s mostly furnished. Though, since they don’t have Little stuff here it’s still good that you bought some.”

     “I would have bought two of everything anyways. I want Charlotte to feel at home in my place too. Best way is if the cribs and everything matches. My staff should contact me for how to set it up when all the furniture arrives. Alex, I’ll let you spend time with Charlotte, but you need to remember that she’s in Little space. She needs to stay in Little space for a while for her own good. So, treat her like the little girl she is, alright? I promise I’ll let you know when she finally goes into her adult headspace again.”

     “Alright. Thank you for letting me spend time with her,” Alex gives me a shy smile.

     “No problem,” I uncover the buggy and let Alex sit with Charlotte while I look around my new apartment and start putting things away. It’s been about an hour and a half since Charlotte took that candy, so she should be up soon. Just in time for dinner. I find out that the nursery isn’t set up yet, so the furniture probably hasn’t shown up yet. As it turns out, Potter was right about the set up…minus one room and a half bath. Two rooms shared a bathroom and one had its own. The one with its own bathroom is smaller than the others so I have deemed it the guest room for if Aaron or Alex need to spend the night. Then there’s a study at the end of the hall that looks like it has another door to it. I’ll file that away under things to look into when I have time. I put Charlotte’s new Little things in the room I want to be the nursery and check around for Charlotte’s adult stuff. Everyone knows that a Little has plenty of times when they are in an adult mindset, the only reason they don’t work is because they could slip at any time. I find it in a closet tucked away. I figure leaving it there for now wouldn’t be the worst thing, since I want her staying Little right now. It’s not long before I hear Charlotte giggling with Alex and Aaron clearly pulling stuff out of bags, waiting for where I want them to go. Potter was doing who knows what.

     I go back to the front room when I hear a knock at my door. “Coming!” I call out and wave at Charlotte as I pass by. I open my door and see a few house elves with packages that are way too big for these guys. “Oh hey. Thanks for bringing that stuff up guys. Aaron, could you help me out? The furniture just arrived.”

     “Sure thing,” Aaron comes to help and so does Potter, between all of us we get the nursery set up pretty quick. Just in time for dinner. “Are you good mate? I think I need to make sure Alex eats.”

     “Yeah, I’m good. I’ll get Charlotte fed here. I bought some food when you weren’t looking, so I’m gonna cook for Charlotte here. I don’t think she’s ready for the dinning hall just yet,” I smile at my friend and head over to Charlotte. I smile at my Little girl as I pick her up out of the buggy.

     “No, I’ll stay here and help out with Charlotte,” Alex tries to get out of leaving Charlotte.

     “Sorry Alex, I think Charlotte and Xander should get used to one another. I’d kick out the boy wonder over there but he’s here for official business,” Aaron grabs Alex’s hand.

     “Fine, but I’m coming back tomorrow,” Alex starts for the door.

     “We’ll see. You are a bit of a demon,” I smirk as I give her a hard time.

     “Now you look here. That was Quidditch, she is much more delicate than you, as evidenced by the way everyone in Ravenclaw treated her from day one. So, I better get to see her, or I’ll be a bit more than a demon. Got it?” Alex tries intimidating me to get her way.

     “Heh, I was teasing. You’re welcome to spend time with Charlotte, I just have to let you know when we can. I’ll keep your Alpha in the loop, alright,” I laugh as I reassure the aggressive Omega.

     Alex nods and follows Aaron out of the apartment just in time for the dinning hall to start serving dinner. I take Charlotte to the kitchen and sit her in her highchair for while I make her some food. I make Charlotte some mac and cheese with hot dogs in it and give her some watermelon as a side. I pour some juice in a sippy cup and place the food in front of her. I tell Potter he can help himself while I make sure Charlotte eats. But she seems to have gotten even more into her Little headspace because she keeps trying to play with her food.

     “No Angel, the food goes in your mouth, not on your hands,” I laugh and pick her up out of the highchair. “Someone needs to be cleaned up, then we’ll try again. Yeah?”

     “You might as well finish feeding her and then clean her up, she’ll just get messy again,” Potter tries to be helpful.

     “I know. I’m just taking her to the sink to towel her off a bit, then I’m gonna feed her myself. I think she’s gotten too Little to take care of that and I don’t particularly care for mac and cheese all over the place,” I shrug as I hold her on my hip and carry her to do just that. I also remember the bibs I got her and put one on her after cleaning off her hands and face a bit. Then I transfer her juice to a bottle and sit back down. I pick the hot dogs out of her food, so she doesn’t choke and begin to feed her between bites of my own food. Once she’s done, she’s a bigger mess than when I started, I can’t help but laugh again.

     “Looks like you have a messy one on your hands,” Potter smiles at me and I nod at him.

     “I have to agree. I’m gonna give her a bath, then clean up out here after I put her to bed,” I pick Charlotte up and bounce her a bit. She almost immediately began to cry. “Hey what’s wrong?” I ask and bounce her slightly as I pat her bottom. Then I realize that she wet herself for the first time. Probably when I first bounced her. She’s too Little to tell someone she needs to go to the bathroom at this point. Good to know. “Hey, it’s okay. I’m gonna get you nice and cleaned up. You’ll feel so much better after your bath. Come on, let’s get you clean and in some nice warm pjs.”

     I walk Charlotte to the bathroom that is shared by the Nursery and the Master bedroom and start running the water. I pour in some bubble bath I got at Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes that change color, hopefully she’ll cheer up from that. I clean her gently while she plays with the bubbles, she seems a bit sad, but the bubbles are helping, I think. Once I have her all cleaned up, I pull her out and wrap her in a fluffy towel before carrying her to the nursery. I put her in a new diaper and then some warm pjs and give her a pacifier and then hold her close in the rocking chair for a bit.

     “Ok Princess, I’m gonna lay out how tomorrow is going to go. I’m gonna get you up nice and early, same time as you would normally for school. Then I’m going to get you dressed and fed and then I’m going to bring you to Madame Pomfrey for while I’m in class. I know you don’t want to be around any classmates tomorrow so I’m going to respect that. I’ll come pick you up for Lunch and then when I take you back to Madame Pomfrey, I’ll put you down for a nap. I need to discuss rearranging my schedule so I can have a free period after Lunch for you. Does that sound okay?” I ask her and she whines as she grips my shirt. “I know, I’d rather stay with you too, but I need to go to class. Unless you want to go to class with me.” She vigorously shakes her head in my chest. “I didn’t think so, so I’ll have Madame Pomfrey watch after you while I’m in class. It’s the better option.” I kiss her head and stand up. “All right, time for bed. I’ll be right outside the room if you need me.”

     Grabbing the baby monitor I head to the kitchen to clean up only to find it already clean. I was shocked to see Potter calmly sitting on the couch reading. He didn’t even acknowledge me when I walked in the room. I set about finishing putting things away and sorting out my new place. While I was working a quietly thanked Potter.

     “It was no bother. You were taking care of Charlotte; everyone could use help from time to time. My advice to you is to know when to ask for help, this role you just took on is not an easy one and you’re still in school. I suggest you get as much help and support as you can from the beginning, that way you can have a strong support system when you need it most. I was lucky back when I went here, I met my two best friends right away, and Hagrid treated me like a brother. I had lots of support for me, I still died for a few minutes, but I had the support I needed when I needed it. Find people that you can trust her with, and you’ll be a lot happier for it in the end. And, so will she,” Potter says and just turns the page on his book.

     “Thanks, I’ll keep that in mind. I trust Aaron, and I think I can trust his Omega since she cares for her, but I don’t know who I’d trust with her while we’re all busy. Let alone during a Quidditch match. I can barely stand the thought of leaving her with Madame Pomfrey tomorrow. I don’t intend to have her keep Charlotte every day, but I do want Charlotte to settle into being Little a bit before I take her to class with me,” I sigh. “At least I know it’ll be simple during breaks, even if I need to do something, I know I can trust my staff at home. I’ve weeded out all the rotten eggs already, everyone still working at my manor loved me and my mother and wanted nothing to do with my father. That makes them much easier to trust.”

     “Good, so you have some of a support system, but don’t forget the staff here. McGonagall may be bristly, but she really does care, and would probably love to take Charlotte during your Quidditch matches. If I recall correctly, Charlotte was one of her favorite students, which is saying a lot since she’s not a Griffindor. I think you have more of a support system than you think, you just have to ask them. I’d start with talking to McGonagall tomorrow. You will probably get the chance to go during class. I’d try during Potions, Neville will want to help you get settled in your new role,” Potter does finally look up at me and he smiles.

     “Yeah, Professor Longbottom is pretty cool. And he was there when we got classified. I’ll try tomorrow. Hey, was all this some sort of test to see if I could actually handle having a Little?” I ask.

     “Whatever would make you think that?” Potter lifts a coffee to his lips that I hadn’t noticed before, a smirk prevalent on his face.

     I roll my eyes and finish up my sorting of everything. “I’m going to bed. You can use the guest room if you’d like. Second door on your left.”

     I leave Potter without another word and go through the Nursery to check on Charlotte on my way to bed. She’s sleeping soundly with her pacifier and her Teddy bear from earlier. I bring the blanket further up her shoulders and give her head another kiss. Then I go through the bathroom and set my alarm before going to bed.

Chapter Text

     I woke up in an adult sized crib, clutching a teddy bear, and sucking on a pacifier. The adult in me was appalled that I was just letting this happen, that I was willingly in a diaper and sucking on a pacifier. But deep down I know that it feels right. Like this is how it should always have been. I remember wetting my diaper for the first-time last night, it was mortifying, yet Xander just cared for me with a gentleness that no one had expected out of the young Griffindor. He hushed me and cleaned me gently, making it clear that it’s not a bad thing that he’s doing these things for me and ensuring I’m comfortable. He was simply there for me, caring for me. It made me feel safe for the first time in a while, made me feel cared for too. Something deep down inside of me was warm and bright from this new life of mine that started yesterday. I make a small whimper because I don’t know what to do now and Xander isn’t in the room. But as if summoned by magic, Xander sweeps into the room and opens up the crib.

     “Hey there Angel, I’m here for you,” He picks me up and settles me into his side, holding me close. His hand rested on my bum and the other one was brushing hair out of my eyes before he kissed my nose. “Does someone need a change? Hm? Yeah. Let’s get you nice and changed and then we’ll eat something.”

     I hadn’t even realized that I was wet, but he immediately knew what it would take to make me comfortable and took care of it. He laid me down on the changing table and pulled a strap across my stomach to keep me from rolling off. He quickly changed my diaper and then found me something to wear. Today he grabbed a white onesie with sparkling pink letters saying, “Daddy’s Princess,” and paired it with a soft pink tutu style skirt that matched the letters. He then put on some white lacy socks, pink shoes, and the matching pacifier I picked out yesterday which he clipped to my shirt. He then picked me up and took me to the kitchen where he brushed my hair and put it in braids before feeding me. After he was done feeding me Xander picked me up and fed me a bottle before he actually burped me. Then he sat on the couch and cuddled me for a bit before we had to get going.

     “Ok Princess, I’m going to put you in the buggy to go to Madame Pomfrey’s then I need to go to class,” I whine and cling to his robes, the pacifier having been put in my mouth right after being burped. “I know, I wish I could stay here with you all day too. But we can’t. I’ll come see you just the moment that I can.” Xander kissed me and placed me down in the buggy. He covered the part where people could see me and started off.

     I hadn’t noticed when, but Xander had apparently placed my teddy into the buggy when I wasn’t looking. Maybe he asked Harry to grab it for him. Either way I’m glad he’s in here with me. It doesn’t take too long to get to the infirmary wing where Madame Pomfrey would take care of me.

     “Hi Madame Pomfrey. I was hoping you could watch Charlotte for me during classes for a couple of days. She’s not really ready to be around the other students yet,” Xander speaks to the school’s nurse.

     “Of course, dear. I’ll take good care of her while you’re in class. You leave everything to me,” the old woman announces to Xander.

     “Here’s her stuff, um there’s a few toys in there for her. I’d like to see if she can stay awake most of the day today, so if you could try to not let her nap till after lunch that would be great. And if she gets too fussy or does something feel free to send for me at any time,” Xander starts to ramble instructions for how he’d like me to be cared for.

     “Dear, she’s not the first Little I’ve cared for. There’s no need to worry. I’ve got some experience,” Madame Pomfrey stops him from rambling.

     “Right,” Then the cover to the buggy is removed and Xander is crouching in front of it. “Okay, Princess. Be good for Madame Pomfrey for me. I’m heading to class now. I’ll see you around Lunch.” Xander kisses my forehead and went to stand up.

     “ ‘addy!” I cried out to him and he freezes. “No go! P’ease, ‘addy!”

     “Oh, Princess,” Xander unstraps me from the buggy and lifts me into his arms. “I’m sorry I have to leave you Baby Girl. But Daddy’ll be back before you know it. No one can keep me from my Angel. I promise.” Xander kisses my temple and hands me over to Madame Pomfrey, then walks out without looking back at me. Like I didn’t matter. I couldn’t help but cry. I sobbed and sobbed. He told me he’d stay, he told me he wanted me. He lied.

Chapter Text

     I could barely walk away from her, I know it’s for the best but I don’t know how long I’ll be able to handle handing her off to someone else, at least not when I won’t be able to look and see she’s alright from across the way. I could still hear her sobs as I met up with Aaron and Alex to walk to class. Potter was waiting out there as well.

     “How are you doing?” Potter asks, obviously an evaluation.

     “Like I’m going to go grab her. How do you think? She’s sobbing her eyes out,” I run my hand through my hair. “Sorry, I just really don’t like hearing her like that. The sooner I talk to McGonagall the better, I need to go hold her, sooner rather than later.”

     “You’re fine. I’d honestly be more worried if you weren’t ready to march in there and try to comfort her. I’ll meet you at McGonagall’s office. Tell Neville I said that you need to talk to McGonagall, and he’ll let you out with a pass right away,” Potter smiles at me. “You’ll be rid of me by lunch at the rate you’re going.”

     “Heh, no offense but good. I need some quality time with Lottie,” the nickname slips, and I don’t particularly care.

     “Come on mate, we’ll all be late if we don’t get going,” Aaron says as he nudges me towards class.

     “I don’t like the sound of Charlotte crying,” Alex comments with a worried face.

     “Me either, but I’m sure Madame Pomfrey will send for me if she gets concerned,” I try to reassure myself as much as Alex.

     “And no offense mate, but that’s also part of the reason I need to get moving, unlike a Caregiver, her being upset is seriously messing with me,” Aaron makes his own comments. Trying to be light and still serious at the same time.

     “Yeah, no it’s just worse for a Caregiver cause we know we can stop it. Especially the Caregiver who is taking care of the upset Little. But yeah, let’s get going. Hopefully McGonagall will let me out of more classes today,” I nod and we start heading for class. It’s not long before I’m saying goodbye to Aaron and Alex in front of Potions.

     “Ah, Mr. Blackwell. How’s everything going?” Professor Longbottom was shooting for kind concern and interest. All he did was point out I was the Caregiver classified at the same time that Charlotte was.

     “It’s fine Professor. On that subject, Mr. Potter has asked me to meet him at Headmistress McGonagall’s office,” I tell Professor Longbottom.

     “Oh, alright. I’ll just write up a pass right quick,” the Professor starts scribbling on a piece of paper and I wait by his desk.

     “What’s my dad want with you? And in the Headmistress’s office no less?” Albus Potter, who I had forgotten was in this class, speaks up with a very haughty tone.

     I can’t help but sigh in response to the question. “Other than the fact that he is your father, I don’t see how that’s any of your business. IF you MUST know, your father is on the Little task force, so he’s trying to finish his evaluation with me and a certain Little’s compatibility. Again, I only answered your question because he is your father. If he weren’t, I would’ve told you to shove it. I’m sure he’ll say hello to you and your sister once we’re done.”

     “Thanks,” Ablus blushes and sinks into his chair as the Professor hands me my pass.

     I leave and get to Headmistress McGonagall’s office entrance and Mr. Potter let’s me up into the office. She doesn’t appear shocked to see us.

     “Well, I was wondering when he’d suggest you come back to me. I suppose during Mr. Longbottom’s class makes sense. I don’t need my seeker falling behind and not being allowed to play. I am a Griffindor after all,” McGonagall tells me, and I can’t help but allow myself to be shocked. I never realized that she really had been easy on me all these years. “Oh, don’t be so shocked. I let Mr. Potter get away with a lot while he was here too. Seekers end and generally win the game, I need my houses seeker in the game.”

     “Ahem, right. Um I was here to talk about moving my free period to right after lunch so I can put Charlotte down for a nap around then,” I start at the easy place.

     “That shouldn’t be too hard. I can move around the schedules of a couple more individuals if you think you could use the help,” McGonagall gives me a pointed look.

     “I’d appreciate having more classes, and free period, with Aaron Pendragon and Alex Starlia. But I’d want to ask them first to make sure they’re okay with their schedules being shuffled just cause I’d like some help on occasion,” I tell the Headmistress honestly.

     “I’m sure they’d have no issue but I’ll call them both here when we’re done to double check. I’ll also give you a special pass for Hogsmead and occasional Diagon Alley for supplies and groceries. Though I’ll require a professor accompany you to Diagon Alley and a student or two for Hogsmead,” McGonagall tells me.

     “Thank you so much Headmistress. I guess that just leaves the Quidditch issue,” I start before I’m interrupted.

     “What Quidditch issue? Mr. Blackwell you are one of the best Seekers we’ve seen since Mr. Potter was in these halls last. You will be remaining the seeker,” McGonagall practically orders me.

     “I’d like to Ma’am, but I don’t know what I’d do about Charlotte. I can’t watch her and play. So, unless I figure out a solution before the next game, I’m afraid I’ll have to quit,” I look down, upset with the facts.

     “Simple, I’ll take the girl. She can sit with the faculty and be safe and sound within your sight. Just promise me the cup and I can promise she will have no problems in the faculty stands,” McGonagall lowers her gaze at me over the rims of her glasses.

     “I told you she’d take Charlotte, and I promise, she’ll care for Charlotte just fine even if you don’t win the cup. Barely, but she will,” Potter smiles.

     “I suppose we can try it,” I concede, and we discuss a few more logistics when a student frantically rushes in.

     “Excuse me young man, it is the polite thing to knock in these situations,” the Headmistress reprimands the student.

     “Apologies Headmistress. Madame Pomfrey sent me,” I stiffen at those words. “She told me to find Xander Blackwell and tell him that Charlotte has been crying this whole time and it hasn’t lightened up. The whole castle will be overrun by the energy of her being upset if it goes on any longer.”

     My heart stops beating. I remembered my promise, she felt unloved her whole life, I promised to be with her. Before I can think I take off running for the hospital wing of the school. How could I be so stupid?! She’s not ready for me to return to class yet, least of all without her by my side. She’s not ready to be away from me. She needs me to be there for her. And I let her cry, without turning back, when I handed her over tomorrow. She probably thinks I abandoned her. I feel my own tears begin to well up in my eyes. I don’t care, my Little needs me. She needed me before and I left her. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!

     I burst through the doors to the hospital wing to see Madame Pomfrey attempting to soothe Charlotte. She’s crying just as hard as she was when I left this room nearly an hour earlier. I walk over to her, panting, my eyes stinging from the unshed tears. I hesitate before I reach out for her. Madame Pomfrey looks relieved that I’m here.

     “Baby,” my voice cracks from the emotions I’m feeling. I clear it and try again. “Baby, I’m here. Would you come over to daddy and let me hold you?”

     “Daddy, daddy l-left!” Charlotte shouts.

     “Princess, I’m so sorry. I thought I was doing what was best for you. I promise I wasn’t leaving you for good. And it won’t happen again baby. Daddy loves you so much and is regretting ever thinking that you were ready for this. I’ll get tutors and go home so I can stay with you if you want me to, just, please, please let daddy hold you,” I plead with her. My own tears beginning to fall. “Please sweetheart, I can’t stand to hear you this upset. It’s breaking my heart.”

     I hear two more pairs of footsteps rush in finally catching up with me. McGonagall and Potter were waiting by the door, watching this scene and are ready to interject at a moments notice.

     “I didn’t abandon you Lottie, I could never abandon you,” I choke on the emotions in my throat and swallow them down so I can try to comfort her. “Please, baby girl, let daddy make it all better and make it up to you. I won’t make this mistake again. Please.” 

     She finally looks up from Madame Pomfrey’s shoulder and see’s me. She instantly makes grabby hands at me, letting go of Madam Pomfrey’s neck to reach for me. I catch her in my arms with ease and instantly settle her onto my hip, holding the back of her head gently. I stroke her hair as she cries.

     “Daddy! Daddy!” Charlotte cries out. Clutching me so hard I almost think she’ll rip my robes.

     “Sh, daddy’s got you. I’m here, I’m here. Shh,” I soothe her.

     I rock her for several minutes as her sobs finally calm down to gently sniffles in my shoulder. I turn my head which has been resting on top of hers and I kiss her temple. I finally look over at all the adults in the room. My tears have been flowing freely this whole time. But I don’t care who finds out, Charlotte was hurting and it took me this long to realize and try to make it better.

     “I’m sorry Headmistress, but she isn’t ready for being in public yet and she’s not ready for me to leave her with someone else. So, I’m either going to miss classes for who knows how many days, or I’m going to take Charlotte home with me and finish my education there. She needs me right now, and she has to be my priority. Nothing else matters as much as my Little girl. Nothing ever will,” I tell the Headmistress.

     “Well, I certainly hope she can feel up to it by a week before your next game, cause I reckon that’s how long it’ll take for you to catch up in your classes. Take as long as you need Mr. Blackwell. I hadn’t realized just how hard it would be for her to be away from you like this. You are most certainly correct, she does matter more. Ten points to Griffindor for proper priority setting. You have impressed me in these last couple days Mr. Blackwell. I hope this trend continues,” McGonagall tells me in her normal prim and proper manner.

     “I’ll report to Hermione that we have nothing to worry about when it comes to leaving her in your care. I’ll let you know when her sister is safe. And I do intend to find her more suitable guardians than I had,” Potter tells me.

     “Thanks. If you’ll excuse me, I need to get Charlotte back to our apartment,” I grab her stuff and spell them to follow us. I know the rules, but no one stops me to remind me.

     I get us inside the apartment and sit on the couch, just holding Charlotte to my chest and letting her finish up her crying. I know she’ll fall asleep in a minute or two, but I need to hold her as much as she needs me to. I’ll never leave her alone like that again. She is the only person in my life that truly matters. At least on this level. I care for Aaron, and more recently Alex, but Charlotte trumps everyone else in my life. I’ll be satisfied in life so long as I get to have her in it.

     When lunch time rolls around both Aaron and Alex walk in to find us asleep on the couch, my arms still around her. Aaron gently wakes me, making sure to avoid waking Charlotte.

     “What happened? You weren’t in class before lunch, and when I asked someone, they said you got permission for time off,” Aaron asks me in his whispered tone.

     “Let me lay Charlotte down and then I’ll tell you. But I won’t be leaving her sight line so we will still need to whisper,” I tell my best mate and he just nods at me. I go lay Charlotte down and give her the teddy she picked out along with her pacifier. Once I’m done tucking her in, I go to the doorway and explain what happened in hushed tones.

     “I knew you shouldn’t have left her there!” Alex whisper yells and I just glare at her.

     “Alex, that wasn’t necessary,” Aaron reprimands her and she crosses her arms mumbling something about how it was true.

     “Yeah well now I’m debating even staying in Hogwarts. If she won’t be ready for a while to be out in public, then I’ll have to finish my studies at home so I can take care of her. I don’t mind, I just want her to be happy,” I tell them.

     “I hope it doesn’t come to that. But I’d understand if it does,” Aaron pats my shoulder. “It’s lunch time so let me go make us some food and you take care of Charlotte.”

     “Thanks man,” I go back over to Charlotte and stroke her cheek. “Baby, you need to wake up. You slept for two and a half hours.”

     She begins to stir, and I pick her up when I see she’s waking up. She rubs her eyes and cuddles into me. “I know Angel, I’m not putting you down. I’ll grab your bib and put it on you when we get seated in the kitchen. Aaron volunteered to make us some food, so I could hold you for a while. I promise you; I’ll never leave you in someone else’s arms unless you can see me still. I won’t ever leave you baby girl, I promise.”

Chapter Text

     Xander carries me out of the room and to the kitchen/dining area after he grabs me a bib to wear. I’m holding tight to him, not wanting to let go, not ready to be separate from him. I was so scared that he didn’t want me after all, then he came back. He was crying and apologizing for leaving me alone with someone else, even if he had trusted the person who he left me with. When I realized he wanted me after all I practically leapt into his arms, hoping beyond all hope that it was true, and wanting nothing more than to be held by him. Xander soothed me and held me close when I finally was in his arms, and I finally calmed down a bit before falling asleep in his arms. I won’t say that he loves me, but I can’t help but love him. He’s done nothing but care for me and take care of me over the last twenty-four hours, and I had a crush on him prior to all this so this was only making it harder not to love him. I hope that one day I can trust that he loves me, but for now I’ll settle for the care he’s been showing me.

     “There you two are, I was wondering which would be better for lunch. Spaghetti or soup?” Aaron asks as we enter the room. He’s trying to help out since I won’t detatch myself from Xander.

     “I don’t think soups the best plan with her in my lap so I’m going with spaghetti. Do you want any help?” Xander asks his friend while rocking me back and forth where he stands. “I still have one hand I can use.” He jokes.

     “Nah, you’re fine. Alex will be all the help I need,” Aaron replies with a smile. “You just continue to cuddle that sweet thing there. We’ll handle the food.”

     “Yeah, and for the record, we’re having strawberries. I don’t care what you guys think, it’s Charlotte’s favorite and she deserves it. So, I’m making two things of em, cut and chocolate. That way you also have a somewhat healthy treat for her for the next couple of days,” Alex smirks like she was smarter than everyone in the room right now for thinking it up. But I had to say strawberries sounded really good to me.

     “Stwawbewwies!” I squeal in total delight at the prospect of my favorite fruit.

     “Heh, I guess I’ll have to keep us stocked then. Thanks Alex,” Xander smiles and kisses my head with a smile that I could feel more than see.

     “Alright, Alex, come help me chop some things and let them be,” Aaron smiles pulling Alex over to the counter to help him.

     Xander takes me to the couch and settles down with me in his lap. He looks at me with a warm smile and kisses my forehead before he pulls me back down to his chest.

     “You scared me today baby, I was afraid you wouldn’t want to come back to me. I know I scared you too, and I’m really so sorry about that. I don’t know what I would do without you in my life. Because of that I know you won’t have to worry about me leaving you with someone else like that again. I don’t even know how long it’ll take before I let another person hold you again. I want you to feel confident enough in me to know that when I put you in another’s arms, I won’t be leaving you. So, I got the headmistress to let me take some time off for you, and once your ready we will go to my classes with you in my arms and some changes to my schedule. I don’t know if you heard me talking to the headmistress earlier, but you are my top priority, now and forever,” Xander holds me to his chest and lays his cheek on my head as he explains this to me. I just hold his shirt and lean as close as I can, allowing him to support my full weight and feeling his strong muscles under his clothes.

     “I love you daddy,” I manage to say. My pacifier no where to be seen. I close my eyes tight, afraid of the possible rejection I know he could give me.

     Xander’s breath hitches and he kisses my temple for a drawn-out minute. “You have no idea how happy that just made me. I love you too my sweet girl. I love you more than you could know.”

     Xander holds me in silence for the next thirty minutes or so as we waited for Aaron and Alex to finish making lunch. Something about being in each other’s arms made us content. I held on tight not wanting this to end. When lunch is finished, he picks me up and carries me to the table where he sits down before sitting me in his lap and wrapping a bib around my neck.

     “Thanks again guys, I honestly don’t know what I would’ve done for food today if you hadn’t shown up. I can barely stand the thought of putting her down for a minute right now, let alone to prepare an entire meal. Let’s just say I look forward to going home because of this experience,” Xander thanks our friends again.

     “Heh, yeah. Living off your giant vault and having servants do all the hard stuff. You’ll be able to spend all your time with Charlotte,” Aaron gives me a playful smirk.

     “At least till I graduate. My head butler has been sending letters every time he thinks of something else to do to prepare for Charlotte when we come home…it’s been less than twenty-four hours since I called him to inform him of the furniture and how I wanted it all arranged. Apparently, what I did wasn’t enough, and he thinks I need a second crib in my room, which I’m not opposed to, to pre-stock with all of her supplies there before winter break even arrives, and to start baby proofing the place. I had to remind him that she actually has the knowledge to get through any baby proofing he wanted and that he’ll just have to settle for arranging supervision when I’m busy…which will be a while from now,” Xander explains as he feeds me small to medium bites of spaghetti and the occasional strawberry piece.

     “Heh, yeah. Braxton has always been crazy about taking care of you. My dads been freaking out too. He says that he wants to have stuff in case you bring her over and that I need to give him more information about Alex so he can have some of her favorites too. I think they’re forgetting that we are only just now finding out this stuff about them,” Aaron leans over to kiss Alex’s cheek as she chews. “Happily finding this stuff out, but none the less, recent.”

     “You’re not the only ones with people at home freaking out. My dad has been squirming to get information about my new Alpha, as if I already know everything about you. Like you said, I’m happy to be getting to know you now, but I have only had about a day to start getting to know each other,” Alex points her fork at Aaron. “Maybe we should just put our dads in contact. Then they can take care of each other’s questions without bugging us.”

     “I almost think it will be worse…but at the same time I really want to. I’ll write my dad a letter with your dads’ information on it later. Now we just need to figure out how to handle Braxton,” Aaron smiles.

     “I’ve been thinking about asking for permission to take Charlotte home for a bit. That way I also have access to more than just owls and letters for good communication. Using the floo sucks with all the soot and ash. Plus, I want to talk to the ministry about my future career and I probably have some stuff piling up involving the running of the estate and my father’s imprisonment. They’ve had to be slow with the ownership transfers due to some bureaucratic BS. So, it might be good to handle that stuff while I can’t be in class. There’s also the matter of my fathers’ seat on all of those boards that I have to deal with now. Maybe McGonagall will let us go home for a week or two while Charlotte gets used to the fact that she’s a Little and that I’m taking care of her,” Xander keeps feeding me careful to keep as much of it in my mouth as he can while talking. He feeds himself a few bites here and there when he isn’t talking.

     “She might just let you. But it’s hard to know if she will without an escort. They might want you in closer proximity to people who would notify the ministry if you weren’t as good for Charlotte as you clearly are. Who knows if one day is truly the norm, or if they don’t do a full month. One thing’s for sure, you only have three weeks until the next Quidditch match so you should probably decide what your doing,” Aaron gives Xander something else to think about.

     “I’ve decided that our team needs a backup training now just in case I can’t be involved or if something comes up that pulls me from a game before it starts. So, if you don’t mind, could you find and start training a new seeker for us? I’d feel rotten if I cost us any chance because we didn’t prepare for me not participating,” Xander asks his friend and Alex sighs.

     “I can’t believe I’m about to volunteer to do this,” Alex then gets an intense look in her eyes, one I recognize from the dorms when she first started talking about improving her Quidditch skills. “I’ll help you train a new seeker so that you can deal with what you need to. I don’t know why seekers don’t train their successors, we’d have a lot less situations of years with good teams and years with bad if we genuinely trained the next team ourselves. So, I’ll do it, I’ll help your team have a seeker. I want to win fairly anyways.”

     “Thanks Alex,” Xander smiles at my friend. Seeing her like that brought back a tighter grip on my adult mind so I reached for the fork he was feeding me with while he takes a bite himself. I take a bite on my own and the table seems to freeze. “Charlotte?” Xander asks me.

     “Hm?” I look up at him, fork still in my mouth. His face was dumbfounded so I put the fork down and swallowed “What? You said I could feed myself yesterday, and it’s not like you’ve made any rules or anything right?”

     “That’s because you’re not ready to agree to them yet. I’m not opposed to you feeding yourself, but I didn’t think you were going to,” Xander answers me carefully. “Are you doing okay?”

     “I’m fine, really. Though it was rude of all of you to just have a conversation like I wasn’t even here,” I tell them, and Xander seems to stiffen. Like something was scaring him. I decide to get up and sit in the chair next to him, choosing to ignore the diaper between my legs for now. “I’m sorry about earlier though. I don’t know why I just can’t seem to hold in my emotions lately. I shouldn’t have needed you to be pulled from class. Logically I knew you were coming back for me, but for some reason a part of me thought you wouldn’t. That’s the part that wouldn’t let me stop crying.”

Chapter Text

     She was in an adult headspace already. She shouldn’t be, she CAN’T be. If she stays in an adult headspace too long right now, she’ll start to physically feel pain. She needs to stay Little for the full three days. A decent stint as a Little when you first start off allows the mind to get more used to the idea and not fight the slip when it happens. If she fights her Little space it’ll be painful, excruciating even. I’d been reading up last night and before the classification, the idea of it had fascinated me when I first found out about it, then it became part of my life and I needed to know all I could about caring for Charlotte. Part of that is not letting her fight her Little space, which should have a tight hold right now. Some Little’s who continue to fight their Little space are in mental institutions and say it’s as bad as the crucio curse, many of them having fought in the last Wizarding War. My fear stiffens me, enough Charlotte notices and changes seats to sit next to me. Then she actually apologized for being upset earlier. At least she’s calm and not demanding to change and get out of her diaper. I get up and kneel in front of Charlotte.

     “Charlotte, when did you come out of Little space?” I asked her, trying not to show how terrified for her I was.

     “Alex’s eye’s let me get a grip of my adult mind again. I gotta say, it’s much better being able to actually form my thought coherently again,” Charlotte tells me and Alex curses under her breath.

     “What about her eyes did that? May I know?” I coax her into maybe telling me how she got out of her Little space when she shouldn’t be ready yet.

     “The intensity, it’s the same intensity from when she first talked to me about Quidditch and getting better so she can be the best seeker possible. The same eyes I saw when I made her that training regimen that she started to follow religiously and became as good as she is today,” She tells me and shrugs. “It reminded me of what I can do and who I am.”

     “I’m so sorry Xander,” Alex apologizes across the table and I wave my hand, unable to try to comfort her when Charlotte needed to slip back into Little space. Aaron handles that murmuring to her how I’m not mad.

     Charlotte looks at her quizzically. “Charlotte, I know you feel that younger side trying to take hold again. I know because you pulled yourself out. When you are really ready to be an adult you will be one. But you can’t fight being Little Charlotte, you’ll only hurt yourself.” I risk putting a hand on her knee, skin to skin because of what I put her in this morning. “Please let yourself be Little Charlotte, let nature take it’s course and bring you to the happy life you’ll get from being who you are. You don’t need to worry about anything for a while, I’ll take care of everything that you need me too while your Little. Ok? Can you do that for me?”

     Charlotte shakes her head. “I don’t want to be, I didn’t think I’d slip so much. It scares me, I felt so helpless.”

     I can practically feel her struggle with her Little side, she just needs a small nudge towards her Little side. “Baby, I don’t want you hurting. Once your Little space recedes on its own, we can have as long of a discussion about this as you want. But I need you to be Little for me for a while longer. Let yourself get acclimated to your new role, your new life. Your mind knows that you need this, that’s why it’s so hard to be an adult right now.” I reach up further and stroke her cheek as I tuck a lock of her hair behind her ear.

     “But, but that means I can’t protect myself at all,” the tears well up in her eyes. “It’s scary being so helpless and at the mercy of another.”

     “I’m not scary right?” she shakes her head. I know that she meant what she said on that couch, I know she meant it with every fiber of her being just like I did. So, the slight shake of her head came as no surprise. “See, and you don’t need to protect yourself now. The mean man who hurt you before isn’t coming near you again, and if he tries, he’ll have to go through me first. You can trust me; I’ll take care of you and all the scary things until you are the happiest baby girl any one has ever met. Do you think you can let me do that for you?”

     “I-I think I can,” she says between her cries and her ragged breathing. “Promise no one will hurt me?”

     “If they even try to, they will be the one’s needing medical attention. No one is hurting you on my watch. I have been pretty good at defense and attack spells, so it’ll take a lot for them to get through me and get to you,” I promise her. I stand up and kiss her cheek. “So, will you let me take care of you while you’re Little again?”

     Charlotte simply nods and moves for me. I pick her up again and hold her close, patting her bottom as I sway back and forth, trying to soothe her into being Little again. Remind her what age she was just moments ago. When she buries her face into my neck and grabs a tighter hold of me, I sigh in relief. She’s let go of her adult self for now. Alex and Aaron sigh shortly after I do, and they stand up.

     “I’m so sorry Xander, I didn’t think she’d latch onto that. I-” Alex starts apologizing and I raise my hand to cut her off without being too rude.

     “Alex it’s okay. You couldn’t have known, and you couldn’t exactly control your expression when talking about something you’re passionate about. It’s really not your fault. I’m sure Aaron was trying to tell you the same thing earlier,” I smile at her. “I do appreciate your not talking to her when she did reach her adult headspace though. It really helped to prevent her tightening her grip on it instead of letting go. I’m glad you knew she still needed to be Little.”

     “I started reading up on it, last night. I don’t want to see her in that kind of pain, ever,” Alex tells me. “So, if you ever think she’s fighting it, I’ll do what you tell me to help her let go. Cause I also want her to be safe.”

     “Thanks Alex. I’m glad to hear it,” I smile at her like I would a sister and lay my head on top of Charlotte’s as I rock her back and forth.

     “I’ll also help anytime you need it mate. Just give a shout. Come on Alex, we still have classes that we’re gonna be late for,” Aaron grabs Alex’s hand and grabs their bags as they walk out. I decide that I’m definitely going to need that secondary security on my door so that people can’t just walk in without knowing how to from me. I want Charlotte to feel safe while she’s here.

     After about an hour of just cuddling I’ve decided it would be a good idea to see what would occupy Charlotte while she’s Little. The cuddle session will be a pseudo nap today since she got a long one this morning. So, I bring my Little Lottie down to the floor and pull out toys from a bucket that I think she might like. She immediately starts playing with the blocks, building towers and other structures just to take them apart again. Eventually that bored her, and she crawled over to another toy just laying about, it was one of those plastic key rings that are spelled to jingle like actual keys when they move. She got a kick out of those for a little while before she found a toy with lots of buttons that do lots of things. After about two hours of her jumping from toy to toy I decided to try the baby bouncer which has all sorts of things that she could mess with while she bounces. She was very content there. I smiled, the childish innocence that she displays now was probably robbed from her so long ago. She probably didn’t even remember what it felt like anymore, not until she embraced her Little self that is.

     Another hour goes by and I decide to pick her up and check her diaper. I nee to get better in the habit of doing that frequently if she’s not going to tell me. I don’t know if she’s going to react much anymore either. When I pick her up, which she fights because she was having fun, I can instantly tell that she’s wet. Yup, she’s even younger than she was this morning right now.

     “Pway! I wanna pway!” she shouts at me and I sigh.

     “Baby girl you’ll get to keep playing. I’m just going to change your diaper and then you can keep playing. I don’t want you getting a rash after all,” I try to reason with her.

     “No! I no need change! I wanna pway!” she shouts and start to punch at me and thrash around.

     “Baby girl, No! You don’t hit people!” I reprimand her. “Hitting isn’t nice.”

     “No rules! No tell me what I can and can no do!” she shouts and tries again. I catch her hand this time as I set her down and hold both her wrists while she stands.

     “I haven’t established official rules yet but those aren’t for things like hitting. I’m not going to condone this behavior Charlotte. If you want to keep hitting people, then I’ll have to put you in mittens in your play pen without any toys. Do I make myself clear?” I try again. This time using the consequences route.

     “NO! Pway! I wanna PWAY!” she practically screeches and tries to push me off of her. I sigh since I’m getting nowhere. I just pick her up and quickly take her to the nursery, strapping her down on the changing table. She was hitting me the whole way there.

     I need to take care of this before I blow up at her. I’ve only had sweet, needy, or sad Charlotte so far, this one was not going to be as easy to deal with. I make as quick of work as I can before I put some mittens on Charlotte’s hands that are extra cushiony. Less likely to hurt if she tries to hit someone. Then I carry her to her play pen which is yet to have toys in it and place her inside. She won’t be able to get out on her own with those mittens since she has a thick diaper on too. She’d need her hands to support her as she tried to climb out. She just continues screaming and I sigh.

     “You’re going to stay in here until you’re done with your tantrum. Once you’ve calmed down, we’ll talk. For now, you can stay in here,” I tell her and walk over to the couch. I won’t leave the room, not when I know how that went earlier, but I will leave her there to cry herself out before I go pick her up and hold her. She needs to calm down so I can talk to her.

     It took Charlotte another hour to calm down completely. She’d had intermittent sobs over the last hour and I sigh when I notice she’s done. I quickly go over to her and pick her up. Her arms go around my neck, craving the closeness without the ability to grip my shirt. I take Charlotte over to the couch and let her cuddle into me for a bit for the comfort she needed. After about five minutes I moved her, so she was looking at me.

     “Do you know why I did that?” I ask her and she nods. “Can you tell me, so I know you understand, please?”

     “Because I was bad and-and because I was hitting you, and hitting is not nice,” Charlotte answers me with a shaky voice.

     “Baby, you’re not bad. What you did wasn’t nice and is a bad action, but you are not bad. I need you to distinguish the two, okay? You’re a very good girl, you just don’t always do good things. That doesn’t make you bad, it just means you’re still learning. I wasn’t going to implement any rules yet, but I think I need to temporarily set some until your big enough to agree. If you hit me, or somebody else, again I’m going to give you a spanking before you sit in that play pen without toys.” Charlotte gasps and moves her hands to cover her tushy. “That’s right, it won’t be fun. Not for either of us. But this is because I already had to punish you once for it and it’s really not nice to hit people.” Charlotte just nods at me and I move forward. “From now on, if I tell you to do something or to stop doing something, I need you to do as you’re told or I’m going to have to come up with a punishment that fits the crime. Does that sound fair?”

     “Yes, Daddy,” Charlotte mumbles moving her thumb to her mouth. I laugh and fetch her a pacifier, so she doesn’t suck on her thumb. I then proceed to clean off the thumb.

     “Good, if you have to get punished for the same thing more than once I’ll add a spanking then. These are just for now, but I think it’ll cover us for the next few days. Now, will you sit nicely for dinner? I made some while you were in your timeout,” Charlotte smiles and nods at me again. I had grabbed a pacifier clip this time so it’ll be harder to lose her pacifier and so I won’t worry when she spits it out.

     I place Charlotte in her highchair and start dishing out the food I had made for us. I sit close to her and feed her in-between bites of my own food. I have to remind her to chew a bit, but for the most part she did fine with this more adult meal. I needed to balance out her diet, she can’t survive on pasta alone. I get her all cleaned up afterwards and start getting her ready for bed. I know she’s tired after having that tantrum. She must be emotionally drained. So, I quickly get her changed and lay her down in her crib. Her teddy in one arm, her blanky over her, and her pacifier in her mouth.

Chapter Text

     I’m alone in a pitch-black room. I can’t hear anything but my own breathing, can’t see anything in this darkness. I try to call out for my daddy, but my voice won’t work. I was isolated. And then I heard it. The laugh. The laugh that haunted my worst nightmares for years. The laugh I’d hear when me and my sister are being tortured. The laugh I’d here when my family hosted a dinner party. The laugh of my father. It reverberated all around me. Getting louder and closer with every second that passed by. Then he spoke. Just a whisper against my ear.

     “It’s your fault that your sister will be punished again. It’s your fault that I’ll have to destroy this boy you’ve been with. You will be alone in this world. No one will want you. Not after what you’ve caused. You’re not only responsible for the pain of others but also for being sullied as you are. You’re dirty, unclean, and unfit for anything but obeying orders. I gave you one job, become the Minister. Then you’d be able to make the laws that I told you to. You were only meant to be my puppet. Now you are trying to cut your strings and break free from me. But you have no where to go that I can’t get to you. My Little Genius,” the voice of my father says all the things I already knew. He whispers my deepest insecurities, all of them ringing true. I sob and sob knowing that no one can truly love me.

     I jerk awake a cry ripping from my throat. Sound, glorious sound coming from me. I needed daddy. He said he loves me; he can’t be lying. Right? I cry out sobbing hard.

     “Daddy! Daddy!” I panic. Fear gripping me tightly that he left me. Just as I was starting to believe the fear the door opened from the bathroom in a rush. He was clearly groggy but worried something happened. He quickly sweeps the room with his eyes before coming over to me, worry shining in my eyes. I’m standing up, crying and reaching for him the moment I see my daddy. “Daddy!” I cry, tears flowing freely down my face as he picks me up and holds me to him.

     “I’m here, I’m here. Shh. Can you tell me what happened baby?” I just keep crying. Relief flooding me that he was here, he was holding me. “It’s okay. You don’t have to if you’re not ready.” Daddy strokes my back as he rocks me, trying to comfort me and calm me down.

     Daddy moves to a rocking chair he had sat in the corner of the room and begins to rock me gently and stroke my hair. All I could do was cry. I don’t know how long it was before I finally calmed down, but eventually I did, my sobs melting slowly into sniffles as I clung to my daddy. He kissed my temple, exhaustion clearly gripping him, and comforting me, nonetheless.

     “Are you ready to talk to me princess?” daddy asks me, smoothing my hair from my face. “Can you tell me what got you so upset?”

     “Alone. It dark. An-and he was laughing, an-and he tell me I bad, and no body love me,” I cried out to him, finally able to formulate the words to explain my nightmare. “I couldn’t see you and no words would come out. I couldn’t cry either.”

     “Oh, shh. Angel it was just a nightmare. Daddy’s right here. I love you so much. No one can take that away. I won’t let the bad man anywhere near you, okay? I’m right here for you. Nothing could take me from being here for you,” daddy lays his head on top of mine after he kisses it. I feel a slight dampness on the top of my head. I move to see what it was and see that daddy had tears in his eyes, worry shining brightly. I burry my face into his chest and clutch his shirt in my hands.

     “Daddy sad. I made daddy sad,” tears prick my eyes again. Guilt over telling him and making him feel bad overwhelming me.

     “No. Baby, no,” daddy tells me. “It’s not your fault. Daddy just doesn’t like that you felt this way. I just want to keep you safe and happy. It’s not your fault how upset you got, and it’s not your fault that I got upset in return. I love you, and that means that when you are this upset, I’ll get a little upset as well because I want to take your hurt away. Don’t feel bad for making daddy upset, because it’s not your fault in the slightest baby.” I simply whimper into him and he continues to hold me, rocking me until I fall back asleep.

     I wake up in the morning and curl into my teddy when I realize it’s morning. I didn’t want to get up. I wanted to stay in bed where I could drift back into a dreamless sleep. The door was open, and Xander walked in shortly after I got up. He came over to my crib and smiled down at me. I didn’t say anything as I peeked up at him with one eye, the other buried in my teddy. He reached down and started to stroke my cheek.

     “Good morning Princess,” Xander said softly. “It’s time to get up. I let you sleep in today after what happened last night. I’m going to get you changed into something nice and soft and we can just relax today. I won’t take you out and I won’t leave you alone, I promise to stay in with you all day.”

     Xander reaches into the crib, after pulling down the side, and wraps me in his arms as he carries me over to the changing table where he put a belt across my waist. It didn’t take long to get me dressed in a soft dress that was meant for relaxing in without being pjs, and a new diaper. I apparently was dry, but Xander didn’t want to keep me in the same diaper I’d worn all night. As soon as he was done getting me dressed, I was up in his arms again. My pacifier clip miraculously attached still and connected to a pacifier that Xander must’ve put in my mouth after I fell back asleep last night. I’m carried into the kitchen where he sits me in my highchair and feeds me some yogurt with berries. It was strawberry so I adored it. He had also put some granola in the yogurt, attempting to cover multiple food groups with a simple breakfast. Once we finished breakfast, Xander took me to the couch where we cuddled for a while before he let me play with whatever toys I wanted to. It was a nice, lazy morning that was full of attention.

     At lunch it was still just the two of us, Xander had apparently told Aaron and Alex to wait for school to end before coming to visit to reduce the risk of being late, which I appreciated. I don’t like when people are late or miss class for no real reason. Xander had made chicken, mashed potatoes, and asparagus for lunch. He fed me in small bites in between taking bites of his own food. After eating, I was fed a bottle and changed before Xander took me back out to the main room.

     “Okay Angel, it’s time that you take a nap. I want you to start taking naps after lunch so you can be better rested, baby. But instead of taking a nap in your room, I want to have you take a nap in your playpen until you start feeling more comfortable not being with me. That way if you wake up, I’m right here. I think it’s going to make you a bit more comfortable. Okay?” Xander explains to me, and I had to admit I was getting tired after having fun all morning. I simply nodded and he gathered everything I’d need for a nap. He laid me down and pulled my soft blanket over me. Reaching down and stroking my hair as I drifted off to sleep once more.

Chapter Text

     Shortly after Charlotte falls asleep there’s a knock on the door. I had sent a request that McGonagall come talk to me, apologizing for being so rude as to ask her to come to me but I couldn’t go to her. I quickly go answer the door to avoid waking Charlotte.

     “Come on in Headmistress. I’m sorry for asking this of you, but I really needed to talk to you about something and can’t take Charlotte out of here right now. I’m pretty sure she’d have a panic attack if I tried. Would you like some tea,” I whisper as I greet the headmistress, much more polite to her than I realize I’ve ever been in my entire time here at Hogwarts. She notices too.

     “That would be lovely Mr. Blackwell. Thank you,” she nods and notices Charlotte asleep so continues with my whispering that I initiated. “What can I help you with?”

     I pour the headmistress some tea and sit at the table across from her. “I was hoping that during my leave I might get permission to take Charlotte to my home. There are still several things I need to arrange, and paperwork that piles up every time I come to school, my fathers last positions and possessions that need official transferring of ownership, and on top of all that it would be a safe and stale environment for Charlotte to be while she adjusts. I’d have staff on hand to help with her care and take care of the cooking, and the ability to watch her while doing some thing productive. It might also give me the chance to gauge how much trust needs to be built and how much healing of her own heart and mind I need to give her so I can know if Quidditch is an option this year,” I pull out all the stops and McGonagall gives me a sideways look.

     “You said that last bit to manipulate me. I see through your tricks young man,” my heart drops for a minute, afraid she won’t give me this chance. I really do think it would be best for Charlotte to go home for a while. “But bloody hell if it isn’t still working. Alright I’ll give an inch. As long as you are a student at my school there are certain things, I will need to ensure happens safety wise, but I’ll allow you access to your home. There is a door in the office that looks like a closet, but it’s a door designed to be a portal. It is meant to link the teachers classroom/work office to their apartment, but I suppose there’s no harm in allowing you to use it for this purpose. I will require protection to be set up and will insist that the door remain locked unless in immediate use, but I’ll allow it to be set up as a portal to your estate during your time here. And for the record…” McGonagall pauses and takes a sip of her tea. “I was sorry to hear about what happened with your mother and father. I’m glad that it could be resolved, and you could move past it.”

     “That’s just it, Headmistress; I’m still moving past it. Not everything has been signed over to me and some of it could only be signed over this year. I had to be considered a legal adult in Wizarding society. My head butler has been my official guardian up until now. So, thank you for this. I promise to abide by your rules,” I nod my head at McGonagall as I make my promise, glad to get this chance to go home and settle things.

     “I’ll call the ministry for some special guards to be sent to your estate and have the charm placed on your door tomorrow. Oh, and I was right, your friends are more than willing to change their schedules around for you,” McGonagall winks at me as she finishes her tea. “I suggest you pack. I’ll give you the key to the door early tomorrow morning when I bring Professor Flitwick to place the charm on your door. So, I suggest also getting plenty of rest tonight, for the both of you.”

     With that, McGonagall left, and I cleaned up. I start packing quietly while Charlotte sleeps, I want to be ready for the next morning. I also develop my own locking charm that requires a passcode to get in or for someone to let you in. You must gain permission every time unless you have the passcode. I’ll give Aaron access to the apartment, so I never have to worry about him getting locked out. And knowing him, I’ll need a spare key to that door made if at all possible. Without telling the Headmistress of course. I’ll give the spare key to Aaron so I can trust that I’ll get everything I need from him…and so he won’t freak out. I’ve never gone home without him being able to come over as often as he wants. He’s not used to not being able to be there for me. And I won’t make him get used to it. Something will give, because he needs something to give. I won’t make him give up his sanity. I’m part of his pack, and I always have been. As an Alpha he’s highly protective of those in his pack. I’ll figure out how to deal with that with the help of my head butler Bravier, once I get home. Which means I need to call Bravier through the floo. I walk over to the fireplace and throw the floo powder in calling out my butlers name.

     “Young Master, it’s a pleasure to hear from you. To what do I owe the pleasure?” Bravier says as soon as he answers my call.

     “Hey, Bravier. Sorry to call so suddenly, but I really do need to talk to you. I have received permission to return home with Charlotte for a bit starting tomorrow. I didn’t want to blind side you when I walked in from who knows where. I’ll be using a portal door to return home, it’s connected to my new dorm. So, I’ll be home sometime early morning tomorrow,” I inform Bravier of this, knowing he’ll want to do some stuff to prepare, whatever that is.

     “Oh, I’ll be sure to have the estate ready for you and the new mistress. Please do not worry about a thing, I’ll have the entire place ready for you when you get here. And the entire staff will be sure to be prepared for you. Do you require anything specific to be prepared?” Bravier asks me and I think for a minute.

     “Actually, could you go into town and get a few things for me? I need to be able to have Lottie in my office with me. I was thinking I’d need a play pen, a rocking seat, and a bouncer to start. I know we have them but I’d rather she has them stay in my office. That way I know they’ll always be there for her,” I request of him.

     “Of course, sir. I’ll have them picked up and placed in your office before you arrive tomorrow,” Bravier replies.

     “Thank you, Bravier. I’ll leave things in your capable hands. See you in the morning, I have a beautiful Little to get back to,” I smile, and he nods his head as we hang up.

     I see Charlotte finally start to stir. I let her nap for two hours today. I walk over to Charlotte and brush her cheek with my knuckles, easing her awake from her nap. I see her sleepy eyes gaze up at me as she cuddles her face into her teddy and suckling her pacifier. I smile at her and reach in picking her up. Her diaper is soggy, and I rub her back as she snuggles into me.

     “Hey sleepy head. You have a good nap?” she nods her head at me as she buries her face in my neck. “Yeah? Let’s get you all cleaned up, shall we?” I kiss her temple and take her to the changing table in the nursery. I get her cleaned up and pick her back up so she can snuggle close to me. “I need to tell you something baby. We’ll be heading to my estate tomorrow so you can be somewhere private to acclimate to being Little. You’ll be taken care of and won’t have to spend a minute away from me. I think you’ll like it there.” Charlotte looks up at me with a questioning stare. “It’s our home now. I think you’ll like it there.”

     “Home?” Charlotte looks almost scared for a moment and I realize her past meant that home was a dangerous place to her.

     “Oh, baby, home won’t ever mean pain or sadness again. Not if I can help it. You can call home a safe place for now on. I promise, home means your safe haven from now on,” I stroke her hair, trying to reassure my baby girl that home is nothing to be scared of. “Do you think you could be okay with going home for a bit? Your father will never be welcomed there, I swear it.”

     Charlotte seems to think on this for a bit before nodding, a bit hesitantly, but nodding all the same. I cuddle her close before bringing her out to the living room and letting her pick what she wanted to play with. I let her play for the next couple hours while I finish packing and start on dinner. One of the last meals I’ll have to cook for the next little while. I know Aaron and Alex will be coming over soon, so I’ll have to explain to Aaron what’s going to happen. He won’t like it at first, but I’ll be sure to let him know that I fully intend to get him access to the door while I’m gone.

     After dinner there’s a knock on the door. Aaron was being ever the polite gentleman, what a bother. I hand Charlotte her bottle to hold onto for a moment while I go open the door. She started suckling on it before I could get back to her. I smile as I lift her up and carry her to meet Aaron and Alex in the sitting room. Aaron instantly notices the packed trunks.

     “Going somewhere?” he asks me, his voice verging on nervous.

     “Yeah, we’re going home for a couple weeks. But don’t worry, you’ll still have access to me you worry wart. There’s a portal door in the office of this apartment and the Headmistress is going to have it connected to my estate for the duration of my stay. I’ll have more help if I can essentially live at home and come here. Plus, Charlotte needs to get away for her adjustment period. I think it will be good for her to see her new home life and what it will be. I intend to make a copy of the key and place my locking charm on my apartment before I go. I just wanted to talk to you before I truly sealed this place better than a house common room,” I explain. Charlotte finishes her bottle and I bounce her a bit, gently, and pat her back as I face her over my shoulder.

     “Well I was just going to say stay safe but I’m glad you thought ahead. While you’re gone, I can talk to McGonagall about our situation. Maybe I can convince her to let me and Alex bunk with you two. At least for next year,” Aaron grins. Clearly, he didn’t think I’d have the brain capacity to think about him and his worrying ways.

     “Well, good luck with that. I have a feeling convincing her it would be best for the Quidditch team will be a great help. The Gryffindor team that is,” I wink at Alex who sticks her tongue out.

     “At least he’s not making me stop playing,” Alex comments. I grin and hand her Charlotte, who I was done burping, so that she can entertain Charlotte and herself.

     “Yet,” I whisper to Aaron after she walks to the couch with Charlotte. “Anyways. Worst case scenario I put Alex up in my estate and you two have access to each other through my portal. I’ll be here longer than you after all.”

     “True, but I hadn’t had that option before. I still want to try for the roommate thing. Cause we will be whether she acknowledges it or not. So, it’s just a matter of avoiding trouble from it,” Aaron winks at me, showing his mischievous side.

     We spend the rest of the evening relaxing and me going over the Spell I’m going to use. Aaron helps me tweak it so it’s more secure of a spell and then I cast it. Aaron being one of the only people who will have the password. If people knock, they can still be let in if I so choose. But I can also check who it is, without their knowledge, without opening the door. I laid Charlotte down for bed right after they left to make curfew. Starting tomorrow, it should be much easier to keep Charlotte to a schedule.