Chapter 1 : A Cry in the Night
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Darkness. It is the time when everything and everyone is sleeping. The animals of the night are silent. There is no breeze whispering through the trees. All is quiet. Life can happen later. For now, it is the time for dreaming.
A cry breaks through the darkness. Wordless. Seeking help. Soft. But they hear it.
Neither of them are particularily heavy sleepers anymore. Not after years of terrible forces coming after them. They've been through too much, seen too much, to make the mistake of being asleep if an attacker comes. Both sets of eyes, one blue, one brown, snap open within seconds of the first cry. The red-headed man grabs a wand from beside him, his instincts rather than his brain taking over, after being awakened so abruptly. He is ready to fight the demons that were plaguing his dreams just moments ago. The brunette woman reaches over and lays a hand on his arm, steadying him. Reminding him that he cannot be touched. Not here. Not now. The man relaxes, putting his wand back. Neither speaks. They both listen, waiting for another cry. Though neither the man nor the woman says anything, both are thinking of different nights. Ones where they were cold, and scared, and young. Ones where the cries were filled with anguish, filled with pain, filled with terror. Nights when there was no speaking, no smiling, no laughter. They are thinking of a boy with green eyes and a big heart. A boy who made jokes with them, and did homework with them, and saved them from each other. A boy who taught them, and battled with them, and faced death for them. A boy who saved them. They are both thinking of him. Of his nightly battle with the dark forces that resided within him. But they do not speak of it. The subject is not one for late nights, when darkness can creep closer and infiltrate minds and dreams. No, speaking of war and death and all such things are for another time.
Another cry comes, this time stronger.
They look at each other, challenging the other to get up, to help, to soothe, to say that it's going to be all right. That everything is going to be fine. That nothing is going to happen tonight, or any night, not while they are there to protect and aid. That it's all a bad dream. Neither of them wants to leave the warm shelter of the bankets to face the cold air. But they are Gryffindors. They are brave.
The man sits up in bed, the woman smiling slightly as he does. He rolls his eyes in what might have been irritation, but for the tender smile that plays around his mouth (a smile he will never let his brothers see, for it would mean teasing for the rest of eternity). He leans down and kisses the brunette on the cheek before answering the cries.
He rubs his arms, trying to heat up in the cold night air. His fingers run across thin scars. Scars from fighting, and splinching, and memories. His fingers slow as pictures flash through his mind. A ten foot spider with many eyes. A snakelike face with a cold laugh. A red haired man with a frozen smile and empty eyes. His hands ball into tight fists, his breath shortening, his mind showing his terrible image after terrible image, when there is another cry, close, loud, demanding. His eyes clear. He breathes deeply. His hands loosen. He enters the room, and looks down. What was anger and heartbreak and fear just moments ago has changed into a smile ever more loving than the one he has just given his wife.
'Hello Rosie,' he whispers.
The red- headed baby smiles.
The cries have ended.