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Chapter 4: Chapter 4 - Albus
Super Amazing banner by the amazing abendrot @TDA
Running off into Muggle London I cursed myself over and over for being so stupid. I could already see the kindness in her eyes... a kindness that I didn’t deserve. She would end up hurt, and I’m never going to inflict that on anyone again. Ever.
I hurried down streets and glanced at the watch I was wearing. I had time. And there was only one place I could think of going.
Apparating again would be too tiring (I apparated far too much these days), and I honestly enjoyed the walk through the streets as I rounded several corners and was faced with scenes full of people oblivious to my story. It was like pretending I didn’t have Magic ability, and I could live an ordinary life and forget everything that happened a year ago.
The bus left at five thirty, I knew the times by heart, and I had a little less than a minute to spare when I arrived at the bus stop. I boarded with all the other Muggles and watched carefully their unknown faces.
The bus jerked to a halt a few miles away, where London city had turned into greenery of a little village. I hopped off and wandered down the country lane, listening to the bus disappear down the road and the birds begin to sing in the trees.
Walking the short distance I could soon see the lopsided house growing out of the ground, but I wasn’t going there today, I veered left and ventured down a little path to a much neater, tidier garden with a little white fence nestled in amongst the trees.
Inside I could hear shouts of laughter from young children, it almost made me smile. Almost. I didn’t need to ring the doorbell, I knew who would be home and they wouldn’t mind me walking in on them.
I found three figures in the living room, Ted was on the floor, up to his elbows in playdough that was charmed to change colour at a child’s will, with four year old Sophia on his lap squishing the stuff so it shimmered blue and gold. Remus, only a few months old at this stage, was lying on a mat staring up at the toys enchanted to float over his head and making his hair change colour between blue and red.
‘Uncle Albie,’ Sofia noticed me first, yet again, and pointed her delicate little fingers at me, while Teddy attempted to free some of her dough from her golden curls.
‘Hello munchkin,’ I swept her up out of her father’s arms and held her close, removing what Teddy hadn’t managed to get from her hair. ‘How are you today?’
‘I’m fine,’ she smiled shyly, leaning into to nuzzle my neck.
‘When are you gonna be a father,’ Ted teased, ‘you’re cut out for this rubbish Al,’ Teddy stood up and ruffled my hair. He’d always been the perfect older brother. I looked at him sceptically.
‘Where’s mummy today, huh Soph?’ I asked, setting the little girl on the ground so she clung to her father’s leg.
‘Shopping,’ she grinned, ‘she brought me a toy yesterday,’ Sofia rushed off upstairs in search of a toy so I turned instead to Remus, and cradled him gently in my arms.
‘Hey little guy,’ I whispered, his hair flashed dark, the same colour as mine, as I came into his view.
Teddy laughed, ‘you’re like a male, Victoire.’ I wrinkled my nose in distaste at his comment and followed him into the kitchen, ‘so what brings you to this neck of the woods.’
‘I don’t feel like going to the party...’ I stated, it was so obvious that was not what was on my mind it hurt, but Ted wasn’t going to ask questions.
‘Well mate, find a date and suck it up because Gin’s starting to worry and I’m gonna have to stop covering for you some time.’
‘I’m not going with a date,’ I replied simply.
‘When are you going to get over this, Al, it’s been a year.’ Teddy leaned against the clean white counters and refused to let me ignore his questions.
‘I don’t know, it’s not the kind of thing you just get over.’ I almost snapped at him, but I soon remembered who I was talking to, and all he’d been for me. ‘I’m sorry Ted, I don’t mean to put you through this shit.’
‘Can you not talk like that in front of my kid,’ Teddy raised an eyebrow. There was a moments hesitant silence, and then we both burst out laughing. Over nothing or over everything, I don’t know but I felt better quite soon after that.
‘Sorry Teddy,’ I rolled my eyes and shifted Remus in my arms, ‘I hope I’m not too bad a Godfather.’
‘If he grows up with the foul language Freddie uses I’m blaming you,’ Ted reached out for his son and hugged him. Ted had the perfect life going for him; he was married to a beautiful girl into the most popular family in Britain. He’d been a star student and become a teacher and the best school of Magic in Europe (possibly the world). He played Quidditch, and was pretty wealthy and had two amazing kids and was generally a good guy.
Who would not want to be him?
‘So you’ll be coming with us to the party?’ Ted confirmed, as Sofia returned brandishing a toy wand for young children and sending harmless sparks up in the air, that Remus watched wide-eyed and captivated.
‘I suppose.’ I shrugged. And smiled to myself. It couldn’t be all bad could it?
‘What the fuck am I doing here,’ I groaned in disgust, pulling at the heavy dress robes that were making me sweat, and balancing Remus in one arm. Teddy was keeping a firm hold of Sofia who was still attempting to wriggle free of her father’s arms.
‘Can you not-’
‘And where the fuck is Vic, isn’t she supposed to be the mother of these monsters?’
‘-swear in front of Sofia and Remus...’ Ted raised an eyebrow at me as we walked up the well lit front lawn of Grimmauld Place, which, for the occasion was not hidden within the other buildings, though I still had a funny feeling Muggles couldn’t see it.
‘Sorry,’ I bent over Remus, ‘Daddy says don’t listen to the foul language I lose and don’t turn out anything like your godfather, got it kiddo?’
‘Why?’ Sophia squeaked loudly. Oh dear Merlin the why stage. I remember when Micaela, Molly’s daughter, went through that, I honestly thought I would murder myself. Thank Merlin Isabelle wasn’t quite there yet.
‘Ok here we are Soph, would you like to ring the doorbell,’ I felt a suddenly a little worried about turning up here; I hadn’t been to a family party in a while, and something about this one made me jittery and nervous.
‘No I want Remus to do it,’ Sofia folded her arms over her chest and pouted, nodding towards her baby brother.
‘How about Uncle Albie does it,’ I reached out and pressed the doorbell, hearing it ring inside and ignoring Sofia’s shouts of protest. They were getting so loud I was almost happy when the door opened and my older brother’s face appeared in the light that spilled out over us.
‘Al,’ he didn’t hide the surprise in his voice, ‘I wasn’t expecting you here tonight.’
‘Hey James,’ Teddy pushed past me, covering up for my pathetic, stuttered response, ‘your goddaughter has been dying to see you.’ Ted pushed Sophia into James’s arms and turned around to take his son, giving me a moment to rush inside unseen. Fortunately Ted wasn’t the only great older brother that I had, he let me be and didn’t complain. Knowing him he didn’t want to make a scene this evening, not when Charla asked him not to.
‘Hey Al,’ Charla sounded relatively surprised and leant over to kiss my cheek, ‘how are you honey.’ I’d known Charla Wood since I was a kid, she was James’s best friend when they were little, then they started dating and they’re gonna have their happily ever after. The one James deserved.
‘Hey Charlie,’ I embraced her petite frame and ignored the worried look plastered over her face, my eyes searching the crowd. I supposed I should go and greet Lily, she was my baby sister after all, or my mum who was loitering in a corner with Dad and Aunty Luna.
‘Hey,’ a small voice intruded from behind, I spun round and recognised the girl from the park, and the Leaky Cauldron, ‘Al,’ she grinned, ‘it’s-’
‘Belinda, yeah I remember,’ I smiled back, perhaps a little less widely than her, pulling her out of the way of the crowd that was eating people up.
‘I thought I might see you here,’ she blushed and held up a white shirt, pristine clean and folded neatly, ‘this, I believe, is yours.’
‘My shirt,’ my eyes widened, ‘yeah I wondered where that had got to, thanks so much for bringing it.’
‘Yeah,’ she smiled at the ground, ‘it was no big deal, I cleaned it too...’
‘Thank you so much,’ I took the shirt, placing it carefully next to the bag of Teddy’s stuff for his kids, ‘you didn’t have to though, I could have done it... though if I did it I probably would have set it alight or something...’ I frowned.
Belinda laughed her sweet tinkling laugh, her hair shook loose from where she had been clasping it and running her hands desperately through it. The dark golden light of the room made her hair glow. It was quite pretty.
‘Al,’ Belinda waved a hand in front of my face, my eyes snapped back into focus. She winked and dragged my hand, in turn preventing me from being knocked over my some party-goer.
‘You need to watch what you’re doing,’ she teased.
‘Says you who was busy staring at my abs just the other day,’ I stuck my tongue out childishly. Her cheeks burned deep pink. It made me laugh a little, which surprised me. ‘Hey, come and meet some of my friends.’ I offered her my hand which she slipped her fingers through and let me pull her along until we reached a crowd of cousins and friends of mine.
Louis was there, his arms wrapped around the waist of a little pixie like girl with jet black hair that fell dead straight. Opposite was Rose, her head leaning on Scorpius’s neck and her hand around Sophia’s who was dancing on her own. Dominique was there, but with her back to us, her arms wound around the neck of her boyfriend, with her baby cradled in one arm. There were a few people from Hogwarts who I recognised; Chris Thomas, the guy Roxanne was completely in love with and Lily’s best friend Alice Longbottom, who was practically a sister to me too, but was at Hogwarts most of the time.
‘Hey,’ I interrupted the conversation and pulled Belinda forward, ‘guys this is Belinda,’ I introduced her. She was instantly taken in.
I fell silent and into the background like I usually did these days, and just watched. It was easy just watching. But sometimes, I caught myself Just Watching Belinda; the way her hair danced and curled and the way she smiled and laughed.
Hey guys, so I hope I’m posting regularly enough but the queues been pretty long... Anyways please, please, please, please leave a review, I haven’t had many for this story and it would REALLY mean a lot if you just left, even one line, saying what you thought! I’d just really like to know how everyone feels about this story!
Also, chapters 1 and 2 have now got Chapter Images, so if you want you can go back and take a look (they are very beautiful and I’m sure the people who created them would be so happy if you like them).
Also as usual I have to claim to the Potter World; it belongs entirely to JK Rowling and anything else you may recognise isn’t mine either so glad we have that sorted.
Thanks for reading and PLEASE REVIEW!!!