Chapter 10 : Hurry Back
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‘Daddy’ Aurora said with tears sparkling her black eyes ‘D-do you really h-have to go?’ her voice was a bit higher than usual, he expected that as soon as he left she would burst into tears.
‘Yes sweetheart, Daddy’s got to do some work away for a few days, I’ll be back in a week’ he soothed ‘Just a week’ he smiled at her, but the smile felt tight and false.
Her bottom lip trembled as he placed his small leather trunk by the fire place in the living room. Hermione was sat in the kitchen; she hadn’t said a word to him since they got back to Spinners End. He suspected that if she did open her mouth to say anything the roof would soon shatter from the argument that was bound to break loose.
His mind went over the letter he had received at the Burrow once again.
I hate to contact you while you are home but I do so in the wake of a dire emergency that should land in no one else’s hands but your own as Head of the Potions Division. I have just received word from the Minister of the American Ministry about an experiment that has occurred in their own labs. The experiment, it seems, was unauthorized and has gone terribly erroneous. Apparently the Wizard involved had been testing on Muggle Weaponry and decided to mix magical potions with a substance that the Muggles call gun power. Anyway, you’re the expert on Potions, and so I told them you would travel to their Ministry as soon as you could. Sorry to be the bearer of such bad travels, you’re one of the top three Potioneers in Europe after all.
Upon reading the letter Severus had told Hermione the bare details and they had all Flooed home at once.
Severus patted down his pockets to make sure he had everything, then he checked his bag once more. He expected he would be in America for a week, but if he could cut it shorter he would be happier. He hated leaving his family, and Silas was still so small, so young, a week was worth so much of his growing time.
‘Pl-please Daddy’ Aurora tugged on the back on his cloak and he turned around and picked her up.
‘I have to go Aurora’ he hushed ‘There are people that need me now’
‘W-we ne-need you too’ she whispered, and those few words very nearly broke his heart. He kissed her on her cheeks and she hugged him tightly, wrapping her arms around his neck.
‘Pl-please Daddy… I don’t want M-Mu-Mummy to go’ she whispered, Severus pulled her away so he could face her.
‘Mummy’s not going anywhere’ he said clearly, his eyes staring deep into hers ‘Why did you say a thing like that?’ she shrugged and wiped a hand across her face.
‘I don’t want the M-Monster to t-take her Daddy, I d-don’t like his eyes’
Severus stared at her a moment longer and then set her down, crouching next to her.
‘What have I told you about Monsters Aurora, I told you that Monster’s aren’t real. Do you remember when I told you that the other night?’ she nodded her head in agreement.
‘B-but Daddy, his eyes are sc-sc-scary, and his f-face is ugly, it’s all b-bumpy and I always t-try to st-stop him bu-but he’s a-always t-too strong’
His eyes glanced over to the table on which her picture of the supposed monster lay face up. It was a child’s drawing, nothing more than scribbles and lines and blocks of colour. Yet it looked frightening, the long dreads of dirty blonde hair were visible, and beneath were a pair of dark eyes. He was covered in black patches of crayon. He turned back to Aurora, whose lip was trembling again.
‘Listen to me’ he said grasping her shoulders ‘when I’ve gone, you’ve got to be a big, brave girl. You’ve got to be the big sister and help your mum as much as you can okay?’ she nodded tearfully ‘you’ve got take my place and make sure your mummy and your baby brother stay safe until I get back, right?’ she nodded again, this time with the ghost of her father’s smirk on her face ‘We’ll shake on it’ he said and held his hand out.
She looked down at it and then held her own hand out to grasp it. Just as her fingers were going to touch his, he snatches his hand away and picked her up beneath her armpits, spinning her around wildly.
‘Too slow!’ he laughed as she giggled loudly. He set her back on the floor and kissed her on the cheek. She was smiling now, the tears long forgotten ‘Go and do some colouring, and I can see them all when I get back’ she nodded and skipped out of the room merrily.
Severus watched her before finishing his final check inside his bag.
‘That won’t last long you know’ Hermione’s surely voice sounded from the kitchen doorway. Severus turned, she set down the Moses basket that Silas was sleeping in, his thumb securely placed in his mouth.
‘What won’t last long?’ he asked.
‘That reassured mood your daughter is in. that won’t last five minutes once you’ve left, then the tears will start, and I’ll have to be the one to dry them’ she looked at him sternly. He buckled down his case as an excuse to turn away from her.
‘I’ll be a few days’ he muttered ‘I have to go on this trip, the Ministry needs me’
‘And since when did the needs of the Ministry come before the needs of your own children… before me?’ she crossed her arms over her chest as Severus turned back to her. Her bright brown eyes sparkling with bottled anger, her lips tightened into an irresistibly kissable pout. Severus stepped towards her.
‘Since the need for money suddenly became a priority to a man whose wealth is as vast as a puddle’ He saw Hermione’s lips change, she was going to laugh at his simile. But she quickly re-arranged her face to be passive. At least she wasn’t pouting anymore.
‘Can they not send anyone else?’
He shook his head ‘To be honest, I wouldn’t trust anyone else with the job’ he moved closer to her, wanting to kiss her, wanting to have a pleasant farewell. She stared over his leather trunk.
‘Do you have everything?’ he nodded slowly, leaning into her gently. He kissed her on the lips, but her lips did not respond so he pulled away with a sigh and turned to Silas who was sleeping soundly on the armchair in his basket.
He grazed a finger over his son’s cheek and whispered ‘I’ll be back very soon Silas, so very soon’ he got up and walked to his trunk, he pulled it into the fire with him. He didn’t look at Hermione as he reached out and grasped a handful of floo powder.
He held it in front of him, ready to shout his directions, but a pair of hands gripped his cloak at the collar and he was pulled hastily out of the fireplace, stumbling over the now floo powered covered rug.
Hermione wrapped her arms around his neck and crushed her lips on top of his, he responded by pressing his hands to the small of her back, pulling her closer. He breathed deeply through his nose, taking in that comforting smell of her shampoo, peaches and cream. He remembered how that smell had been the source of all their trouble what seemed so long ago.
She pulled her lips away from his, shut her eyes and rested her forehead against his.
‘Be careful’ she breathed.
‘And you’ he replied back in a whisper.
‘Send me an owl at some point’
‘Alright’ she opened her eyes and looked directly into his. A sudden bubble of butterflies seemed to burst in his stomach, as if something in the air didn’t feel quite right.
‘Hurry back to us’ she smiled.
‘I will’ she pulled away from him and he reached into an inside pocket of his robes. He pulled out a long vile filled with a creamy gold solution and placed it into Hermione’s palm. Hermione looked at him confused.
‘It’s a little remedy I put together, a lighter solution for dreamless sleep, it’s for Aurora’ he closed her fingers over the vile and held her hand for just a moment before he stepped back into the fire.
‘Hurry back Severus’ Hermione whispered. He smiled at her as he grasped a handful of Floo powder and held it in front of him.
He saw Aurora enter the room with a few sheets of paper and her tin of colouring pencils. She flashed him a quick smile before he shouted out his destination. The sudden roar of fire and the engulfing emerald flames licked up his body, and with a last glance at Aurora’s face, he was suddenly filled with the memory of the night she was born.
When he stopped at a chimney within the American Ministry of Magic, he had to wipe his eyes hastily before he stepped out and shook the Ministers hand.
Hello All! How are you all, and how did you like this chapter? I would love to know all of your thoughts and suggestions! Thanks!
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