Half an hour later, Remus was standing at the cooker, stirring a pan full of vegetable soup. Harry was strapped
into his high chair, pushing a toy car around his tray and making Brrrm Brrrm noises. The rhythmic sounds of sawing
could be heard coming from the shed, which Remus found quite reassuring.
'Well, at least he's not trying to use the power saw,' he said to Harry.
There was still considerable damage that Sirius could do to himself and his surroundings with a handsaw,
but at least he wasn't likely to lose a leg.
A moment later, Sirius appeared with two shelves under each arm. He stood them against the wall and gestured
at them proudly.
'They're all the same length!' he beamed.
'Well, that's a good start. Maybe the house will still be standing at the end of the day, after all,' grinned
Sirius swatted at his head.
Harry clamped his mouth shut and shook his head vigorously.
'What's the matter?' asked Remus in exasperation, a spoonful of soup in his hand. 'You said you were hungry.'
He tried to inch the spoon closer to Harry's mouth, but the youngster squirmed in his seat, pulling at the restraining straps
and grunting with effort as he tried to climb out.
'Well there's nothing else until teatime. But if you don't want it...'
Remus made a show of picking up the bowl and slowly moving towards the sink. Harry made a whine of protest
and reached for the bowl.
'Me do,' he said.
Remus paused. He only had himself to blame - it had been his own bright idea to let Harry start learning
to feed himself. It had been implemented for the first time three weeks ago, after he had read the chapter on co-ordination
in a child development book. The result had been mashed-up chicken casserole spread over the floor, two walls and the ceiling.
A number of peas had even made it into the garden via the open window, and he and Sirius had been astounded that such a small
amount of gravy could cover such a large area.
But Remus found the ritual of coaxing food into Harry rather exhausting. He felt it was probably better for
Harry to eat something willingly, even if more food ended up outside his body than in it. He placed the bowl back on Harry's
tray and handed him the spoon.
'Alright, then. You do.'
Harry instantly deposited a spoonful of soup into his lap.
Remus sighed. It was lucky that he was planning to give Harry a bath anyway.
That Spock person has a lot to answer for, he thought grimly.
Feeding time was suddenly interrupted by the sound of the electric drill from the living room. Harry shrieked
and covered his ears with both hands. A cup began dancing across a worktop with the vibration, and Remus deftly caught it
before it could fall to its doom. Abruptly the noise ceased, and was replaced with the sound of Sirius whistling a cheery
rendition of Fly Me To The Moon.
'How's it going in there, Chippendale?' called Remus.
'Fantastic,' came the muffled reply. Remus suspected that Sirius was speaking with a mouth full of rawlplugs.
'Cup of tea wouldn't go amiss...' added Sirius.
Remus wondered how he had managed to land the job of domestic servant again. Then he turned to find
that Harry had both hands in his soup. He was fishing the carrots out and dropping them on the floor.
'Harry! What are you doing? You like carrots!'
Harry shook his head.
'Uck,' he replied.
Remus left him to it. He had learned the hard way that it was much easier to wait until there was nothing
left in the bowl before cleaning up. That way he would only have to do it once. Instead he turned his attention to the kettle.
Sirius was tapping away with a hammer next door. Remus half expected the plaster to start cracking, or the
head of the hammer to suddenly appear through a hole in the kitchen wall, but as yet there were no such disasters.
Just as he was about to pour the tea, Sirius marched purposefully through the kitchen on his way to the shed.
He said something about needing a bigger hammer.
Remus nearly dropped the teapot. He gave Harry a worried look.
'No good ever came of the words need a bigger hammer,' he observed.
'Mmm,' agreed Harry, thoughtfully dipping his toy car in his soup.