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Chapter 12 : Secrets out
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Terese looked around the cave hidden up in the hills near Hogsmeade.
“Are you sure this is a good idea?” she asked Sirius as he prepared to go and meet Harry and Francesca on the outskirts of Hogsmeade.
“They should know, Babe.” He told her gently.
“I just don’t know how Francesca’s going to take it.”
“We’re her parents, Tess…”
“I know. But so much has changed recently. She’s only just getting used to you being around. She’s just making friends with Harry…”
“Are you getting cold feet on me?” he asked, sliding his arms around her.
“No. You’re right, she should know. And Harry should as well.”
“I’ll go and meet them, give you a minute.” He transformed then in to the big Black Dog. He nuzzled her arm before wondering down the side of the cliff. She sat down on the dusty ground and pulled her legs up to her chest, wrapping her arms around them. She hadn’t sat like this since she was at school. It was funny how being in such close proximity to it could affect her so much. Maybe it was because she herself was still trying to adjust to everything. For twelve years she had been convinced Sirius had betrayed them all, and had instilled a strong sense of loyalty in Francesca as a result.
She was lost in her thoughts when she heard a voice.
“Mum! What are you doing here?” Francesca was standing in front of her with Harry and his friends, Ron, Hermione and, of course, Ginny.
“Hey sweetheart.” She said as she stood up to hug her daughter and godson. “Si… your dad told me he was meeting you here today and asked me if I wanted to come as well.”
“Oh, right.” Francesca mumbled. She was distracted then by Sirius transforming from his animagus form.
“Wow!” she said, softly. Sirius grinned at her, momentarily transforming in to the mischievous boy he had been at Hogwarts. “That really is cool.”
“Thanks.” Sirius said, smiling again at his daughter.
“You look…different” she said.
“I had a shower and a haircut” he grinned again.
They sat talking for a while; Francesca, Ginny, Harry, Ron and Hermione filling Sirius and Terese in on events at Hogwarts.
“So where have you been?” Francesca asked Sirius eventually.
“Here and there. Mostly here, recently.” He glanced over at Terese, moving his hand slightly towards her.
“What’s going on?” Francesca asked, narrowing her eyes.
“Your Mum and I… We’re… back together…” Sirius told his daughter tentatively. He glanced at Terese, who was looking anxious.
“You’re together?” Francesca said, looking between her parents. Terese nodded. Francesca stood up. “I don’t believe this.”
“What…?” Sirius began, bewildered.
“All my life you refused to tell me who my father is…”
“Do you really not understand…” Terese tried to interrupt, but her daughter cut across her.
“Now I’ve actually got him, you’re trying to take him away from me?”
“Cesca, sweetheart, it’s not like that…” Terese tried again. Francesca stood up and stormed off. Sirius looked at Terese, helplessly.
“I’ll go after her.” Terese stood up. Harry stood up as well.
“Shall I try and talk to her?”
“You can try sweetheart. She can be ridiculously stubborn.” Terese said. Harry followed Francesca down the hill, with Ginny, Ron and Hermione close behind him.
“Francesca!” they caught up with her just before she got to Hogsmeade.
“What?” she asked, petulantly. “Did my mum send you after me?”
“No. I offered.”
“Do you have any idea how lucky you are?” He asked her.
“Lucky? I didn’t know who my dad was for the first twelve years of my life…”
“I didn’t know anything about myself until I was eleven. I thought my parents had been killed in a car crash.” Harry told her.
“So you know what its like to be lied to.” She said sulkily.
“At least you had your mum Francesca.” She stared at the ground. “I had an aunt, uncle and cousin who hate me.”
“Come on, Ces’.” Ginny said. “Don’t you think your mum should be happy?”
“Not you as well!” Francesca exclaimed, glaring at her best friend.
“I’m not ganging up on you. I just think it might be nice for you if your parents are together…”
“My d… Sirius is never around, and now he’s only going to want to see her when he is…”
“Don’t be thick!” Harry said. “Sirius isn’t like that. He came back for you as well.”
“If you say so.” She said.
“Francesca, do you know how lucky you are?” Harry asked, losing his temper.
“Do you know what I heard when the Dementors got too close last year?” he asked heartedly. She shook her head, confused.
“What’s that got to do with anything?”
“I heard my mum just before she died. Pleading for Voldemort…” at the name Ron shuddered, Ginny gasped and Francesca raised her eyebrows in surprise. Harry ignored them and continued. “…to save me and kill her instead. She begged him not to hurt me. That’s why I didn’t die, because she sacrificed herself.”
“I’m sorry for that, Harry, really. But what…?” Harry interrupted his new found cousin hotly.
“You have your parents Francesca! Ok you haven’t always had your father around. But you’ve had your mother and you’ve had Lupin. Terese loves you more than anything. Any idiot can see that. She was prepared to throw herself at Sirius to keep you safe when she thought he was an insane murderer. Don’t you think she deserves to have some happiness seeing as she lost her cousin, her best friend and her husband while she was unconscious?”
“Think about it, Cesca.” Harry said, much more gently. He hadn’t planned on losing his temper with her. And she had been extremely loyal to him this year, when most of the school was angry with him over the Triwizard Tournament. They had let it become common knowledge that they’d discovered her mother was related to his father. And she had been in detention more than once for hexing someone she had overheard taking the mickey out of him. She looked up at him and sighed.
“Alright. Fine.” She turned and marched back up the hill to where her parents were waiting anxiously. As she appeared, Terese looked at her warily, expecting her to throw a tantrum.
“Ok.” Francesca said. “I’ll accept that you two are… whatever…” she began with a slight grimace. “But just… no PDA’s”
“No what?” Sirius asked, confused. As Terese explained, Francesca watched her parents. She still wasn’t sure if she was happy about it, but she supposed Harry and Ginny were right. Annoyingly.
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