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Chapter 4: I Can't Be A Weasley! I Have Blonde Hair!
‘Albus, I’m so sorry for the whole affair, but Ron seemed really stressed when I flooed him this morning. I don’t know what it is, but something about this-this—Gregory Tyler has him riled up.’ Molly Weasley said.
‘Gracen Thorne, Molly. And it’s no problem at all, we will get this straightened out and all will be fine.’ Albus Dumbledore replied, a mischievous twinkle in his eye.
Molly gave a curt nod of her head and fell into her own thoughts.
What if this boy is a Weasley? Oh, what am I going to do? She thought, oh – what will I tell him about Simon?
A knock sounded on the ancient door and Dumbledore called enter.
In walked Ron and McGonagall, as well as another boy Molly didn’t recognize.
She smiled at the boy, his face held no expression, and took a deep breath,
Here goes nothing.
I had never been in the Headmaster’s office. Even though I had made Prefect this year I had never once entered the office. I kept my emotions to myself as McGonagall motioned for Ron and I to take the seats next to the woman who I assumed was Mrs. Weasley. The red-hair always gave them away. My eyes looked up to my bangs and I sighed, except for me of course.
I got stuck in-between the two red-heads as McGonagall made her way to stand next to Dumbledore.
‘Welcome, Ron, Gracen.’ The Headmaster smiled.
Ron said hello and I simply nodded, sitting as stiff as a board in my seat. My nerves getting the best of me.
‘So we have brought you here today, because Mr. Weasley has voiced a concern that he has.’ Dumbledore began.
My eyes slid towards the boy, a brilliant wine-blush covered his face, I couldn’t quite tell where the blush began and ended.
‘Well, not as much a concern as confusion.’ Dumbledore’s blue eyes smiled.
My eyes shifted around the room, refusing to meet anyone’s stare. I could feel their eyes on me, but I wasn’t going to give into my nerves. It was just facts after all; I wasn’t going to get a family out of this even if I wanted one. Why get my hopes up for something that won’t happen? Something that I don’t want – I think…
‘So, what we have here is a mystery. So do you know what you have in common with the Weasleys, Mr. Thorne?’ Dumbledore asked, ‘Mr. Thorne?’
My eyes snapped back to meet his, ‘Sorry, Sir.’
‘As I was saying, do you know what you have in common with the Weasleys Mr. Thorne?’ The Headmaster smiled gently, next to him McGonagall stood as stiff as a statue.
‘The crest, on my journal.’ I replied. Again I didn’t feel any emotion towards my past; it was just more facts once again.
‘Correct, and this is what we are here to solve. You see, Gracen, there is no record of you as being a Weasley on their family tree,’ Here Dumbledore smiled once more, ‘but their crest is unlike any other family’s, pureblood or not.’ His hand rested under his chin in thought and the silents grew thick around us, 'Muggle or Wizard.'
‘Gracen, dear.’ I jumped as the red-headed woman next to me spoke, placing her hand gently on my arm. It was strange to feel her hand on my arm, but still I didn’t pull it free.
‘Yes?’ I replied calmly.
‘If you don’t mind me asking, who are your parents?’ She asked, her tone was motherly, which I did withdraw from slightly. Never in my life had I ever felt—peaceful? Or was it compassion?
‘Is there a way that they could have gotten Simon’s journal?’ She asked kindly, her face still held the smile she had when I walked in, ‘Did they ever mention Simon Weasley?’
My ears perked up at the name, ‘Simon? D-did you just say Simon?’
Mrs. Weasley withdrew her hand and her smile faded, ‘Yes, why?’
I tilted my head and glanced around the room, looking at everyone before coming back to meet her eyes, ‘He’s my father.’ I dared not meet anyones eyes.
You could have heard a pin drop. The deafening-silence was thick, if I had to stand it any longer I would suffocate.
‘Is that—bad?’ I whispered. The silents starting to grind on my nerves.
‘No, no dear, of course not.’ Mrs. Weasley patted my arm, her eyes focused on the floor in thought. I looked over to Ron, whose jaw was dropped and eyes focused on me, before I turned away quickly. McGonagall stood with her arms crossed, but her face less strict. And Dumbledore just simply smiled.
For some reason Dumbledore smiling seemed to make me want to react, my lips fell into a frown and I felt as if I just wanted to yell at him, ask him what the hell there was to be smiling about.
‘Mr. Thorne do you know this as a fact?’ Dumbledore’s tone made him sound older then he looked, curiosity mixed with knowledge, ‘Please, share with the rest of us.’
I sighed and told them about earlier that morning, and about what I had found in my journal. By the time I was done, everyone was trapped inside their own thoughts.
‘I see, I see…’ Dumbledore tapped his forefinger on his chin as he leaned back in his chair, ‘My I see this journal?’
‘Um…sure…’ I pulled out my wand, flicked the end, and in a minute I was holding my journal.
‘Show-off…’ Ron mumbled, sinking further into his chair, his arms crossed in frustration.
‘Sorry…’ I mumbled and slyly handed the book to Dumbledore.
I heard the gasp when it escaped between Molly Weasley’s lips.
‘Were did you get that wand? May I see it?’ She asked, grabbing the wand before I could answer.
‘Um, sure.’ I replied my hands still in the air as if I was still holding the smooth wand.
‘It’s made of Black Ash, exactly thirteen inches long.’ She said, holding it up to her arm, ‘I bet if you looked at the core it would be a single Thestral’s hair.’
My mouth just about dropped. She knew exactly what the core was. How was that even possible?
‘Why does it matter though? It’s just my wand; I’ve had it since I was eleven. When McGonagall—sorry, Professor McGonagall'—her lips turned up into a slight smile at my mistake— ‘came and told me I was accepted at Hogwarts, she give it to me then. It works really well for me.’
‘It can’t be…’ She held the wand in her open palms, and just stared, ‘Simon…Simon has been gone for-for…’
Silence once more. I sighed in frustration, I didn’t want everyone to be so calm and tranquil and held up with their own thoughts, I wanted to know everything that was going on, every detail of their thoughts, what they where thinking, and what they where feeling.
‘It is Molly.’ It was McGonagall that spoke this time. She held up the papers one at a time with the familiar writing and the scrawled-tree. It seemed like forever since I had seen it, when it was just a few hours ago that I had in fact discovered it.
Another gasp escaped her mouth, her hand hurried to cover it, ‘So—he is…he is…’
‘Simon and Rosalie’s son, Molly. Yes, he is.’ Dumbledore said, his hands folding together in front of his face as he took the tree from McGonagall.
‘Rosalie? Who’s that?’ Molly leaned forwards in her chair, and peered over the desk.
‘Rosalie Black. She’s sisters with the other three Black sisters, Narcissa, Andromeda, and Bellatrix.’ Dumbledore said, handing the paper Molly, ‘Well, she was. She died about fifteen years back. The causes where unknown.’
I felt everyone’s eyes on me once again. I pretended to be extremely interested in the dirt accumulating on the – now – empty portraits.
‘Dear, if you don’t mind me asking, when where you born?’ The red-headed woman asked me.
My eyes wandered back down to her, trying to seem uncaring, ‘November 13. I’m fifteen now.’
‘It says right there on the tree Molly. Simon and Rosalie’s names go straight to Gracen’s.’ Dumbledore said, pointing at the paper.
Another gasp, ‘So-so, you-you are a-a Black, a well as a Weasley.’
Silence filled the air again. My nerves where rubbed raw, and I couldn’t stand the quiet like I usually could. I could hear their uneasy breathes, Ron’s heart beating, and Dumbledore’s fingers tapping on the wood-desk. I felt like yelling at them. What did they have to be upset about?
I was the one that just found out that my parents where purebloods, I wasn’t meant to be left alone for my childhood – I wasn’t abandoned, I was being protected. But still I was left alone. So why on earth should they be upset? The Weasley’s didn't have to take me in, I had raised myself, I only had two more years until I was officially an adult in the Wizarding world, I could deal by myself. I didn’t need them, I didn’t need a family.
And then the stillness got to me, the wind and the birds even seemed to stop their songs as every annoyed and frustrated nerve that had been building up since I had found the damn journal settled in.
I needed a way out of here. Why didn’t I just say that Ron was wrong, it was just a coincidence? I need an escape. Now.
‘I can’t be a Weasley! I have blonde hair!’ I yelled. Everyone looked taken aback by my outbreak. I felt my nails dig into my fists and realized for the first time that I was standing, and shacking with built up frustration.
Mrs. Weasley’s nose scrunched up a bit.
She placed her hand against her mouth, ‘Well, Simon always did have the lightest hair—’
‘AND I’m good with Potions!’
She didn’t look like she had a good explanation for that one, ‘Well…something’s have no explanation Gracen…’
My nails dug farther into my skin, if I didn’t stop soon I would break the skin.
‘I don’t want to be part of your family. I don’t need anyone.’ I yelled, before anyone could react I had run from the room. My thoughts spun as I flew through the empty hallways, and shoved the doors to the outside open. I didn’t even fell the grass brush around my feet as I took off towards the lake.
I had to get away. I just needed space.
I stooped at the foot of a tree, gulping in the air as I bent over with a stitch. My eyes wandered up to look at the lake. So peaceful, nothing wrong with it.
My eyes fell back to the ground, a perfectly smooth stone lay at my foot. With out thinking I picked up the stone and threw it with as much strength as I could muster at the lake.
‘There! Now you’re not perfect either!’ I yelled, my voice bouncing of the empty space and echoing back to me.
I huffed and fell down against the tree. To tired to care that I was ditching class, to tired to care about the people I just left back in the Headmaster’s office, the people just as confused as me.
I just sat there, pushing all thoughts of the present as far away as they could go.
‘May I join you?’ My head whipped around at the voice. And there stood Molly Weasley, her hands holding her purse in front of her and her face just as motherly as it had been back in the office.
‘I don’t mind.’ I said as politely as I could muster.
She took the seat next to me, her body facing my side.
‘I’m sorry, this all has happened so fast. I mean, I’m spinning too. I just got the letter this morning, and I flooed here as soon as I could.’ She gave a forced laugh, ‘But, what I feel can’t probably hold a candle to your whirled wind of emotions.’
I shook my head. Out of the corner of my eyes I saw her nod once.
‘Ahh, this scene is beautiful.’ She replied, taking the seat next to me, ‘no view can ever compared to theses at Hogwarts.’
Silence once more.
‘Mrs. Weasley, why do you care?’ I asked. I wasn’t going to get out of this situation, I might as well deal with it now.
She tilted her head with a slights smirk, ‘About the scene?’
‘No. No—about me. I mean, does it matter if I’m part of you-your family?’ My eyes darted away from her, ‘I mean, I’m still an orphan – why should that matter to you? I have a place to live, I don’t need anything. You don’t have to be here. I’m not looking for a family. I can take care of myself, I have been.’ I picked up a twig next to me and broke it into smaller parts, ‘I’m not going to bother you.’
‘Bother me? Bother us?’ I was shocked to see her laughing – laughing – at the word, ‘Oh dear, you wouldn’t be bothering us.’
‘What, are you going to do? Adopt me or something? Is that like some family duty or something?’ I couldn't help but snap, but still, somewhere, deep down, there was a spark of hope. I might actually have a place of my own, maybe...no, it would never happen.
She smiled, ‘I would have to talk about that with my husband.’
And the hope was gone. Disappoint meant taking its place.
‘But I do want to invite you to-to stay with us during the Christmas break.’ She smiled. I looked up, she was sincere about it. Another emotion I wasn’t quite familiar with.
‘Why?’ I moved an inch away, if she was going to hug me I wanted a way out.
‘Oh, Gracen, because-because Christmas is a time for family!’ She replied, her hand resting on my shoulder.
I winched, ‘You didn’t even know about me until a few hours ago.’
‘Yes, but I-we, we want to get to know you. We can tell you about--about Simon.’
That caught my attention.
She saw it too, ‘And you could get to know us and us you. Family is a good thing, Gracen.’
‘You weren’t raised with out one.’ I mumbled under my breath.
‘No I wasn’t, but if we had known about you – I-we would have found you. If we had known…’ She seemed to become lost in her thoughts again.
‘Yeah,’ I shrugged her hand off, ‘But you didn’t, and anyway – it doesn’t matter. I’m grown up. I don’t need your pity.’
I stood up and offered her my hand. She took it and I helped her up.
‘Thanks, but no thanks.’ I replied, and walked past her.
‘Gracen.’ I froze, but didn’t turn around, ‘The offer is always open. Anytime.’
I nodded, and continued on my way. I felt a strange pressure against my skin; I reached in and pulled out the key from around my neck.
‘What are you for anyway?’ I fiddled around with the key as I continued up to the castle, and into my dorm. It was too much for one day, I needed time to think.
‘I’m home!’ Arthur called, as he shrugged of his cloak and walked into the kitchen, ‘So how did the meeting go? I just got your letter a few hours ago. Boy when you go head first into something, you go all the way. Didn’t you just get Ron’s letter this morning?’ Arthur laughed, ‘So, what did Albus have to say?’
‘He is Simon’s.’ Molly replied casually, folding the laundry. Trying to straighten her thoughts.
‘Really? How are you so sure?’ Arthur sat down at the table, ‘How did you find out?’
‘Well, the boy, his name’s Gracen, was left with the journal that Ron told us about. Apparently there were papers hidden in his journal, a tree and everything! Arthur he even had Simon’s wand!’
Arthur was silent as he took in the last part.
‘He even had his eyes. Simon’s beautiful brown eyes, with those same flecks of sliver.’ Molly’s eyes dreamed over before she turned back to her laundry, ‘He reminds me just of him too. He ran out of the meeting today, and guess where he went? Right to the lake! The same tree that we use to find Simon at all the time! He just sat there, watching the light reflect off of the water! I could have sworn I was looking at Simon again…well, except for one thing.’
‘Oh? And what would that be dear?’ Arthur asked curiously, leaning across the table.
Molly blushed, ‘He has blonde hair. Oh! But if you had just seen him!’
Arthur leaned back against his chair and crossed his arms ‘We can’t take in another one.’
Arthur knew his wife too well.
Molly’s eyes budded with tears, ‘Don’t worry. He doesn’t even want us – he doesn’t want a family. Oh I wish we could have found him sooner…maybe…just maybe…’
Arthur stood up and walked over to comfort his wife. She sobbed quietly into his shoulder, ‘It’s alright Molly. It’s alright.’
‘I invited him to stay with us.’ Molly whispered quietly.
Arthur stiffened, he knew that if Molly brought the boy into their house and once he saw her treat Simon’s son like one of her own he would fall in love with the boy too.
‘Don’t worry. He declined.’ She sniffed, ‘Oh, look at me.’ She pulled away and straightened her apron. Whipping her eyes, she turned back to her laundry, ‘I-I’ll start dinner soon, what-what do y-you want Arthur?’
Arthur sighed, he hated seeing her hold in the tears, ‘Anything’s good Molly.’ He kissed her cheek and excused himself.
He walked out the door and pulled off his glass, cleaned them and placed them back on his face.
‘I’m going to hate myself for this.’ He walked towards his shed and scratched down a quick note. He tired the note to Errol and sent him off.
As he watched the owl fly off – only running into one tree this time – he sighed and walked back into the house.
Molly finally pulled out her wand and finished the rest of the folding with a quick spell. Her tears still being held back, she walked back over to the stove.
‘So,’ Arthur said, taking his usually seat at the head of the table, ‘Where is he going to sleep?’
Molly flew around, and ran over to hug Arthur. Molly knew Arthur just as well as he knew her.
‘Thank you! But what are you going to do? He said he didn’t want to come.’ She said, pulling away from Arthur slightly.
He just smiled, ‘I owled Ron, he’ll think of something.’
Molly smiled and hugged her husband once again.
‘Only one problem…’ Arthur whispered.
‘What is that?’ Molly smile faded a little.
‘You said he had blonde hair?’ Arthur smirked at his wife’s expression.
‘Yes.’ She replied cautiously.
‘Oh, well, he’s still a Weasley! Blonde or not! Maybe we could dye it.’ And the two fell into spells of laughter together. Molly couldn’t help but smile.
‘Thank you.’ She whispered.
I looked over from my bed, where I lay playing with the silver key.
‘What is it Ryder?’ I replied.
‘This came for you.’ Ryder walked over and tossed a small paper at me, folded once.
I sat up and caught the paper, the key falling around my chest once again on the silver chain, ‘Who from?’
I unfolded the paper and looked back up at Ryder.
He flopped down on his bed and grabbed once of his many books, ‘That red-head from Gryffindor, um, Ron Weasley?’
My eyes grew and then fell down to the paper.
So listen. My Mum want’s you to stay with us for the Christmas Break. It would mean a lot to her, my dad too. Believe me; my Mum was being sincere when she asked you. Please, consider it. It would mean a lot to her. She likes helping people.
P.S. – Sorry about laughing the other day, when you said that you didn’t know your parents. It was stupid of me, and I apologize.
‘So what does it say Thorne?’ Ryder asked, his eyes still glued to his book.
‘Nothing, nothing important.’ I pulled my journal out form under my mattress and stuffed the note into a random page, ‘Nothing that concerns you, any way Hale.’
I heard Ryder mimic me under his voice, and I couldn’t help but smile.
‘So any plans for the Break Thorne?’ Ryder asked, boredom coated his voice as he read through his Potions book. Of course we had a test before the break, which was only four days away, Snape didn’t believe in not giving homework.
I thought about his question for a second, ‘I think…I think this year I will.’
‘Hey Ron, there’s someone at the door for you.’ Seamus Finnigan said as he walked towards the couch.
‘Who?’ Ron pulled himself up from his lazy-position and stood.
The Irish-boy shrugged, ‘A Ravenclaw I think. ’
That was all Ron needed, in under a second he was at the door.
‘So, you made up your mind Thorne?’ Ron asked, as he stepped out the common room door.
‘Yeah,' I replied. I stuffed my hands as deep in my pockets as they would go, ‘I-I-I’ll g-go.’ I shrugged.
‘Good.’ Ron started back towards the door as I turned to leave.
‘Oh, and Gracen?’ I turned back around at my name.
Ron chewed on his lower lip slightly, ‘I really am sorry—about what I said, yeah know.’ His hand rubbed the back of his neck.
‘It’s fine.’ I forced a smiled and continued down the hall.
‘Oh and Gracen.’ I turned around once more. It was already hard to swallow my pride and come down here to except his Mum’s offer, but now he was just pushing my limit.
‘There’s going to be seven of us kids, all of us come home for Christmas.’ Ron said, ‘You might end up sharing a room.’
‘That’s fine.’ I replied, ‘I have some studying to do.’ And with that I hurried off. Once I was far enough away I leaned against the wall and started to gulp in the fresh air.
Maybe, maybe this wasn’t going to be as easy as I thought it would be. I couldn't just put my head down and get through it.
I was going to have to work at it.
‘Aye, Ron, is that the boy—’
‘—Mum owled you about?’ Fred and George said.
‘So what is he like?’ Ginny asked, ‘Is he coming to stay with us?’
Ron nodded again.
‘Can you speak?’ George asked.
‘Yeah,’ Ron said, ‘And he’s-he’s—a Ravenclaw. What more is there to say?’
Behind the big stacks of books on the table, you could here a huff.
‘No offense Hermione. It’s just he’s…well, you’ll see.’
All three of the Weasley’s nodded, while Ron sighed and fell back onto the couch.