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Chapter 9 : World Cup
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Terese was woken by an incessant knocking at the front door. She dragged her dressing gown on and grabbed her wand.
“Who is it?” she called.
“It’s me.” Remus’ voice came through the door. She unlocked it and he rushed in, brandishing a copy of the Daily Prophet.
“What’s up?” Terese asked, yawning and not noticing the paper. “Long time no see.” She said, somewhat sarcastically. He held the paper out to her. The front page was dedicated to the appearance and subsequent chaos caused, by the Dark Mark at the quidditch World Cup. Where Francesca and Harry were, with the Weasleys! Terese went white.
“Oh God.” She whispered. “Was anyone hurt?”
“No, the Death Eaters… tormented a few muggles but it was a show more than anything as far as I can tell.” Terese ran to the desk in the corner, yanking open a drawer and pulling out a packet of floo powder. She threw herself in front of the fire and contacted the Weasleys.
“Molly? Molly. Are you there?” she called. Molly’s face appeared after a minute.
“Are they back? Have you heard anything?”
“I haven’t heard. Arthur and Bill are with them.”
“Oh god. Oh, God, do you think Cesca’s ok?” Terese asked, her eyes filling with tears.
“Sweetheart, I’m sure she’ll be fine…” Remus began, kneeling next to her.
“Do you want to come and wait here for them?”
“Thanks Molly. I’ll get dressed and floo over.” She stood up and ran into the bedroom, pulling on the soft cotton trousers and vest top she had worn the previous evening. She ran back into the lounge, pulling her hair into a ponytail.
“You alright, sweetheart?” Remus asked gently. She nodded.
“She’s ok isn’t she?”
“They didn’t say anything about any casualties. Come on, let’s go to Molly’s.”
They sat around the Weasleys’ kitchen table until they saw flashes in the garden and a huddle of figures appeared. They ran outside; Francesca saw her mother and, temporarily forgetting that she wanted to appear mature in front of her peers, and that she was furious with Terese, threw herself into her waiting arms.
“Mum!” she said tearfully.
“Sweetheart. Are you alright?”
“Yeah, I’m fine. It was horrible though.”
“Oh darling.” Terese hugged her daughter. She glanced up and saw her godson nearby.
“Harry, sweetheart…” she said holding out an arm. He walked over and gave her an awkward one armed hug. He was unused to such freely given maternal affection.
“Are you ok?” he nodded.
“What does it mean, mum?” Francesca asked. Terese glanced over at Remus.
“I don’t know sweetheart.” She said softly.
That night, after Francesca had gone to bed, Terese and Remus sat in the lounge. They hadn’t spoken for a while why they pondered the implications of what had happened at the world cup. Neither of them wanted to admit what it could possibly mean.
There was a sudden scratching and whining at the back door. Terese shot out of her chair as if she were on springs.
“I thought he was out of the country.” Remus said. Terese hurried to the back door and ushered in the big black dog. Sirius immediately transformed.
“I heard about the world cup. Is she ok?” he asked. Terese nodded.
“She’s really shaken up. It was Harry’s wand.”
“Crouch’s house elf stole it apparently.” Remus said.
“You think it was him?” Sirius snapped.
“No, I think it’s odd that Crouch’s house elf managed to conjure the dark mark.”
“But is Harry ok?”
“He’s ok, a bit shaken. Some of the Ministry officials tried to blame it on him.”
Sirius looked at his wife and saw the strain and worry plain on her face.
“Tess, are you ok?” he asked softly. She looked up at him, startled.
“Me? Yeah, I’m fine. Just… you know…” she smiled weakly. As she thought about what could happen if Voldemort’s supporters started gathering again. Automatically, Sirius reached out and pulled her to him. Without thinking she rested her head on his chest and allowed him to comfort her. He stroked her hair and rested his cheek on the top of her head. Remus looked away, trying to ignore the bitter feelings that were beginning to surge through him.
The door opened and Francesca stood in her nightie.
“I thought I heard voices. What’s going on?”
“I heard about the world cup. I wanted to make sure you’re ok.”
“I’m fine. What’s going on?”
“What do you mean?”
“Your mother was upset.”
“Cesca, sweetie, are you alright? Are you having trouble sleeping?”
“Yeah. Can I have some hot chocolate?”
“I’ll make some…” Sirius said quickly. “If that’s ok?” Terese nodded. “I always made the best hot chocolate.” Terese smiled.
“Moony, you want some?” he asked Remus.
“Why not?” Remus said, shrugging. Sirius grinned and went into the kitchen.
“Are you alright, sweetheart?” Terese asked her daughter, who was staring at the door thoughtfully.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” She said. She took a breath and pushed the kitchen door open. Terese smiled.
“I think she wants to get to know him.” she said, looking at Remus hopefully.
“That’s good” he said.
“I know you’ve always been there for her Remus, but we can’t expect you to…”
“Terese, we’ve talked about this before.” He told her softly.
“I know, but I still think you should…”
“Let’s not talk about this now, sweetheart. And Cesca should have a relationship with Sirius. He’s her father.” Before she could answer the kitchen door opened and Sirius and Francesca walked out. Francesca was giggling.
“Mum did that?” she asked.
“Yup. Right rebel, your mother.” Sirius told her.
“What did I do?” Terese asked.
“Exploded a potion over the Slytherins.”
“They deserved it.” Terese mumbled as everyone grinned at her. “Just don’t get any ideas, young lady. I don’t want to have to go to Professor McGonagall’s office again.” Sirius grinned at his daughter proudly.
“You’ve done a brilliant job, Tess.” He said. “And I know you helped Moony.”
“I think so.” Terese smiled at Francesca. She was pleased that she was forming a relationship with her father, if things were going to go the way events at the world cup were showing, it would be at least one positive thing to hang on to.
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