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Out of Your Depth by BettyMaeStrange
Chapter 18 : CHAPTER 18
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 16

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last updated: c. 19 April 2012

|beautiful chapter image of James & Charlie by Bear&Fox@TDA!|

You were there and I was with you, longing for you.
You broke the locks, I grabbed on to you.
Lost in these rooms...
What did I see?

Empty Corridors – Luke Pickett

I didn't understand the point of alcohol, I decided. It wasn't that I disapproved of it, I just didn't want my inhibitions lowered like the last time I'd touched a drop of the poison. Of course, the chances of someone in this house beating me into a pulp were slim, but I liked to keep my wits about me. That and having no control over something scared more than I liked to admit.

The taste wasn't anything impressionable, either, but as some of the 'grown ups' had said to me in their stupor, to enjoy alcohol you had to have an 'acquired taste.' I supposed that was just their way of saying 'you're not old enough, so lay off it.'

The evening party was well underway by the time everyone had eaten their fill and the dishes from desert had been cleared away. I doubted Hermione would be using her hands to wash up tomorrow morning.

Eleven-thirty rolled around and most of the people in the house had drunk a bottle of wine each, giving the rest of the guests the opportunity to be graced with their singing along to the radio, or to hear them chatter loudly to someone who had no idea what they were on about. Then again, I supposed, neither did they themselves.

Albus was in the corner of the room with Scorpius and Fred drinking shots (their parents had long ago stopped reprimanding them. It would have been a little hypocritical considering their own states) and Rose was talking excitedly with Sophie Tanner and her cousin, Victoire, as she flashed the rock on her finger. She had, much to everyone's relief, said yes.

Teddy had drawn her out into the garden after the meal, just as the stars were beginning to shine and a fresh bout of snow was flurrying down on their heads. He'd led her over to the fountain and we all watched silently through the windows as he dropped onto one knee and pulled the tell-tale box from his pocket.

Victoire's hands rose shakily to her mouth as Teddy began to speak, and she'd already begun nodding before he had finished asking. It was clear that she'd been waiting a rather long time for him to pop the question if all she cared about was getting the 'yes' in. When he finished, Teddy gathered her up in his arms twirled her around as their whole family cheered and clapped from inside, a few with tears rolling down their faces. I watched the love-struck couple silently and thought I'd never seen something so beautiful.

Currently I was tiptoeing around the living room, searching for the familiar mop of black hair that belonged to one Harry Potter. I refilled my glass of water, more to see if he was in the kitchen than from actual thirst, and having no such luck, steeled myself to confront his wife.

I walked back into the drawing room where the curtains were closed and the room was filled with laughter, music, and a general air of drunken merriness. Hermione had been playing the piano earlier, but as the evening went on the songs become slower until she eventually stopped altogether, replaced by the radio. A bar was placed near where Albus stood, in place of the easel, and rather than the emptiness of which I had seen it in past days, the room was now almost full.

'Er, Ginny!' I called to the redheaded woman, eyeing her warily as she sung what I supposed was her own rendition of John Lennon's 'Happy Christmas.' She spun around wildly from where she stood in the centre of the room, eyes searching. I was standing in front of her.

'Genevieve! Darling!' She threw her arms around my neck and pulled me into some sort of hug, her hot, sticky breath tickling in my ear as she rocked side to side with the music playing from the radio.

'Oh for heaven's sake,' I muttered, knowing full well she wouldn't remember a word of this conversation in the morning. Maybe if I'd had a few drinks at dinner I'd be singing along with her, too, but I doubted it.

I squirmed from out of her grasp and gave her an apologetic smile.

'Ginny, do you happen to know where Harry is?'

She frowned and leaned forwards, tilting her head to the side. Like that would help her hearing. 'Who?'

'Er, Harry,' I said, louder. 'Your husband?'

'Oh, Harry, darling, Harry!' she shouted, nodding her head enthusiastically. 'I think he went to do some work, darling! He's not really into the whole partying bit of Christmas and you know what these Aurors are like - they never switch off!'

I thanked her, but I doubted she heard me, and slipped out of the room. I headed up the staircase. If what Ginny had said was true, then I supposed Harry would be in the Weasley's study. I turned left on the landing and then left again at the end of the hallway. I walked up to the door right at the end.

'Excuse me? Harry?' I said, tapping on the slightly ajar door.

He looked up from the desk and smiled at me, settling a bunch of papers down.

'Oh, hi, Genevieve,' he said, an easy smile on his face. His eyes look tired, though, and the lines around his mouth and on his forehead had grown more noticeable since I saw him that morning. 'Come on in.'

I returned the smile weakly and walked into the room.

Ceiling-high bookshelves hugged almost every gap of the walls, stacked with books and trophies, photo-frames of the Weasleys and their family, and office boxes of other items. A huge window, nearly the width of the back wall, was in place behind the desk, with a spectacular view of the grounds.

I could just about make out the Potter's house in the distance and their Quidditch pitch that I eyed with envy. Large brocaded red curtains surrounded the glass that fell to the floor. A great marble fireplace dominated the wall on the left as I walked in, burning its way heartily through a stack of logs, and a cream armchair and upholstered sofa had been placed in front of it, as well as two chairs in front of the desk.

My eyes settled back on Harry. 'Not enjoying the party?' he asked.

'No, it's great,' I said testily, 'I just… needed to speak to you about something.' His smile faded a little, like he'd been waiting for me to say that all day. If I thought back to lunch, I realised the look he gave me when he handed back that card held a little too much knowledge than it should have done. 'I guess the Christmas cracker prompted it.'

'Would you like to sit?' he asked, and motioned to the chair in front of his desk. I sat.

Harry remained sitting on the other side of the desk and clasped his hands on the wooden surface, leaned forwards and patiently waiting for me to speak, the crackle of the logs sounding like fireworks in the silence.

'I don't mean to keep you from your work,' I offered, nodding towards the papers, my hands wringing tightly in my lap. I grimaced as the time ticked on, the words trying to sew themselves together in my mind before I spoke them.

He shook his head and waved the notion away with a hand. 'I shouldn't even be working tonight. Headaches have become, unfortunately, quite a common companion for me, and the noise of the music isn't exactly helpful. Ginny thinks it's stress, so this probably isn't all that good for me either.'

I nodded absently, and when I bit my lip, remaining silent, he spoke again. 'Just take your time, Genevieve. Although, a word of advice: I often find the best thing to do is just… come out with it.'

I weighed his words and the honest look in his eyes, and then I nodded and took a deep breath, as if trying to draw courage in from the air itself.

'I've… been dealing with a problem for a long time now,' I began hesitantly. 'My whole life, if you're into specifics. You're the only person that will know, but I'm beginning to feel this… constant pressure. Like I'm a bottle filling up with the lid still on, and I don't know who else to speak to.' I shook my head. 'I don't know, maybe this is completely the wrong decision, but it doesn't feel like it. I'm hoping you'll understand, somehow. I'm hoping you won't just judge me like I perhaps think people would do, even though they probably should.'

I hesitated, and my tongue felt heavy in my mouth. 'I'm... I'm cursed,' I finally said. I felt like I was admitting it to myself, not just to Harry. He slowly moved his hands to rest upon the desk, leaning forwards with intent interest.

'It's an inherent curse that supposedly my third great-grandfather was… I'm not sure if given is the right word. He was, originally, a faithful supporter of Grindelwald during his purge of Europe. You could say one of his most faithful. His name was Felix,' I said. 'He was born around 1890 in Germany where he lived and stayed until he fell in love with an English woman called Elizabeth. He was only about twenty when they married and had a son.

'I say originally because around the time when he married Elizabeth in 1910, he began to shy away from Grindelwald's beliefs, and became more accepting of Muggles and Muggle-borns, dismissing Grindelwald's "For the Greater Good" notion. When Grindelwald discovered that Elizabeth was Muggle-born, he cursed Felix, thinking the Killing Curse would be too kind for his betrayal. At least, I think that's why he cursed him, though there's nothing to suggest he really had much against women or Muggle people themselves. He thought they were inferior, but not to the extent that Voldemort did.' I glanced up at Harry but his face betrayed nothing, only an enthralment of interest and curiosity.

'Grindelwald created the curse himself,' I continued, 'and based it on Ariana Dumbledore's condition – her unstable magic – and also her mother's death.' I looked up to make sure he understood. Harry nodded. 'He wanted the person that he cursed to feel the same loss that Albus and his brother, Aberforth, felt when she was killed in their duel. From what very little I've been able to find to explain the curse to myself, he had the thought that… what better way to experience the loss of a loved one, than knowing that you were the cause of their death yourself.

'When Felix realised he had been cursed he swore he would do everything possible to protect his wife and newborn son, but when Phillip was about two, his mother grew ill with Tuberculosis. In his anger and worry for his wife, who was soon on her deathbed, Felix lost control and killed Elizabeth, whom he loved the most. He was devastated, even though she was going to die anyway, and he blamed himself for everything and sank into depression. I read that he contemplated suicide at one point, if it wasn't for his son. He sent Phillip to England, where Elizabeth's Muggle mother and father lived, and so they raised him, aware of his magical blood but unaware of his curse.

'In short, the curse causes one's magic to become momentarily unstable when one has a feeling of intense negative emotion, such as anger, hatred or immense sadness. It also applies for when one is physically injured, as the pain is also a mental contributor. Grindelwald created it so that when the magic was… unleashed, so to speak, it latches itself onto the person whom is loved the most if they are near, and kills them, just as Ariana's mother was when Ariana lost control.'

I looked up into Harry's eyes so hauntingly familiar to Albus', and he nodded for me to continue, though not before asking the question, 'Why do they have to be near?'

I clenched my jaw and stared out of the window, steeling myself. 'To make sure you see the light in their eyes fade,' I said, so quiet it was almost a whisper. I cleared my throat and sat up straighter. 'I suppose that is one loophole in Grindelwald's sadism. As long as you're far away enough, you can't cause them harm. The relief of knowing that detail was... indescribable.'

I continued. 'Felix finally told his son about his curse when Phillip was around ten-years-old, in a letter Felix had given to Elizabeth's parents, and he included the reason why he was not the one to raise him – for his protection. They sent each other letters as Phillip got older, and in them Felix told him that he was living alone in a house in the Black Forest, in Germany, thinking he was a danger to all around him. He cut off his ties with everyone he knew, except his son.

'Neither of them were aware that the curse had been passed on to Phillip, and only when Phillip's own daughter, Anna, had a child, did he realise what had happened. Anna died during childbirth, as my own mother did, but her daughter — my grandmother, Esther — survived. Esther was not one to inherit it, for reasons I don't know why, and so evidently, if the child is not the cause of death, they then themselves are. The pain of labour had been too much for Anna but she somehow concentrated the magic on herself to save her daughter, ending her own life.'

'There is… one other theory, though,' I said. 'Esther wrote that the doctors said she had been born a still-born, and her mother had willingly drained herself, literally poured her own essence into her in order to revive her.'

'How did Esther know she didn't have it?' Harry asked carefully.

'You… you feel it. Inside you,' I said, pressing a hand to where my heart thudded away. 'It's like an ever-present ache in your chest and when it surfaces… it's nearly irrepressible. I've found diaries of my family who wrote about their curse and so I've been able to build up some sort of immunity to it. I'm still susceptible, of course, but I've learnt better control. And I need to have better control now… now that there are people at risk.

'Esther was my father, David's, mother, but it wasn't passed onto him, either. They thought the curse had finally gone, been diluted somehow to the point of non-existence, but… then I was born, and my mother, Eva, died. The same way as Anna.' I let out a shuddered breath and rubbed at my aching forehead.

'I don't… I don't understand why all these people – these people with so much evil inside of them – can have children, knowing it will kill either their wives or themselves. So many generations of deaths… And – and what if they love others, too? What happens to them if they have a sudden unstable moment – they can't afford to just slip up. They put so many people at risk – I put so many people at risk – and in the end they just throw their lives away, leaving behind those who then live a life of pain, suffering and an indefinite unbearable loss.

'And that was Grindelwald's intention, in the end, wasn't it? To feel the same loss that the brothers did? I suppose it was their way of admitting defeat; letting the curse kill their family.' I wiped my eyes surreptitiously, and finally looked up at Harry whose green ones were focused on me. I couldn't even fathom a guess at his thoughts.

'Your surname… you said it was Sanders, didn't you?' he finally asked, quietly, softly. I nodded.

'You're the girl from Wool's Orphanage, aren't you?' I nodded slowly, wincing at the meaning behind those words. You're the one that killed him, aren't you?

'Yeah. Yes, I am.'

Harry stood up, walking around his desk before perching on the edge in front of me with his arms folded.

'Genevieve, I understand what you must think of your ancestors, really I do. But the thing is, they don't have evil inside of them. They have love. So much love, that Grindelwald could never have understood it. Your family, it seems, has always understood the cost of love and friendship, unlike so many others, and because of that, they are the ones that love the most fiercely. Their lives may have a time limit on them, but they take the risk because to them their sacrifice is worth it.

'To me, it doesn't sound like Grindelwald's intention wasn for Felix to experience loss, but more to experience being alone, without love. It seems he thought Felix would run away from his family, to save them from himself. And he did in the end, but he didn't give in, in the beginning, only when he had no other choice.

'You're not evil, Genevieve. I'll quote my godfather Sirius, when I say this to you: You're a very good person, whom bad things have happened to. When the threat of Voldemort was at its highest all those years ago, I sometimes found it hard to understand why people didn't want me to give up, give in to Voldemort – so many people had already died whom I cared about. Of course, I didn't realise then that by doing so, their lives could have been infinitely worse: a life worse than death. If your family had lived their lives without having love, or friendship, or any sort of bond with another person, where would that have left them? Their existence would have been bleak; they would have little motivation for anything and, in the end, they would have been alone. No one should be alone Genevieve, and no matter how much you may think so sometimes, not even you.'

I was silent for a few minutes, but I believed his words. It was hard not to. Except for one thing.

'My father didn't seem to think so,' I said bitterly. 'He left me when I was born to an orphanage. If that doesn't tell me something then perhaps the letter he sent me was just a confirmation.'

'Genevieve, your father obviously loved you very much,' Harry said kindly.

'No, Mr Potter, I'm afraid you're wrong,' I replied, voice shaking. 'When I found all of this out about my heritage, I realised my father didn't love me. My father was afraid of me. He was too much of a damn coward to look after me so he could save his own precious skin.'

If Harry was taken aback by my comment, he certainly didn't show it. And I thanked Merlin that he had at least enough sense not to have shown pity for me.

'I cannot tell you what to think, Genevieve,' Harry said. 'Or what to feel. But if that is what you feel please don't let it make you become bitter. Don't let it ruin you in some way or make you less than who you can be.'

'I… I won't,' I said. I didn't know how much truth that contained, or how much confidence it exuberated, but I knew it would probably evaporate the moment I stepped back out the door.

'Do you feel better?' Harry asked. 'For telling me?'

I nodded. 'I do. I mean, I was dubious at first but now I just feel... relieved. Calmer, more than anything. I just... I don't know if I'm ready to tell anyone else yet.'

Harry nodded understandingly. 'When you're ready, Genevieve, you will know. It's surprising how right something can feel in our minds. When I had to face Voldemort, and I knew I was going to die, I was ready for it. It was strange. The human brain's soul instinct is to stay alive, and to do anything to remain within that state, and yet at that one moment, I was defying it so completely, so utterly, but it felt right.' He closed his eyes for a moment, as if remembering, and then opened them again, a kind smile on his face.

'You will know, Genevieve,' he said again.

I nodded, and then lowered my eyes. I whispered, 'I could kill your son.'

'But you won't,' he said, his voice clear and brimming with certainty that I felt had long ago abandoned me. Harry understood the double meaning behind my words.

'You don't know that – '

'And neither do you, Genevieve,' he interrupted. 'I know you won't, Genevieve. I just know. Trust me.'

He spoke the same words he had used with Teddy earlier and I wondered if this was what he had felt upon hearing them. Like there was hope – a light that suddenly appeared in the darkness and you somehow found yourself able to walk towards it, your hand outstretched. I wondered if Teddy was able to reach it, then supposed he must have if he finally fell to that one knee. I wasn't there yet. My fingertips could only just brush it. Could only get one sharp rush of the euphoria that it offered.

I didn't really realise my feet had begun walking across the wooden floor until my arms had wrapped around the saviour. I knew then that he deserved the title in more ways than one.

'Thank you, Harry,' I whispered, not yet ready to let go. 'Truly. Thank you.'

'Any time, Nieves,' he said. 'Any time.'

I pulled away, and then turned, walking back to the door.

'Genevive?' Harry called. I turned back. 'Have you ever considered the thought that the curse works both ways?'

'I'm sorry?'

'More than once this evening you smiled so magnificently that people couldn't help but watch you and smile themselves. If the warm feeling I felt was anything to go by, I'm wondering if an immense positive emotion can have an effect, too? Perhaps it's not a curse, at all? Perhaps that thought is something to hold on to.' He smiled, before walking around his desk and sitting back down, not looking up once.

I stared, open mouthed, and my feet unconsciously led me out the door. I closed it, and only then did I blink and suck in a shuddering breath. The curse works both ways…

The thought resonated within my mind as I walked down the hallway, but paused when I heard voices from inside one of the rooms, the door slightly open.

Charlie and James were in one of the spare bedrooms, the former leaning against the edge of an oak bureau with his arms crossed, the lamp on the dresser outlining his chestnut hair with a glow, and the latter sat on the ornate, wooden trunk at the end of the bed, playing with the silver cufflinks that must have come from his shirt. They glinted when he twisted them a certain way, bright spots flashing on the ceiling and the walls like stars.

'Go ahead. I'm listening,' Charlie said.

James looked up suddenly, as if forgetting that Charlie was there, and shook his head, seeming to clear his thoughts. He cleared his throat, face slightly red.

'Genevieve was in her pyjamas the other day, Charlie. She had this t-shirt on and I could see her bra and these cotton jogging bottoms, that… well, you know.' Charlie was giving James an odd look as if no, he didn't really know, but okay then.

Hell, if he didn't know I was at a bit of a loss. I took an unconscious step back. I was confused by his words, and it made me feel slightly uncomfortable, to be honest. This was Albus' brother. This was the Head Boy talking about me.

'Anyway,' he said. 'I'm standing there, just watching her and she's playing the piano with Lily sat next to her and you know what Al's instant reaction would be if he saw her.'

Charlie smirked. They both muttered something, too quiet for me to hear, and snorted, rolling their eyes.

James sniffed after a few moments and finally unbuttoned his sleeves. He rolled them up to his elbows, scratching at his arm, but then his hands were occupied once again by the small metal pieces that he spun round endlessly.

'But… there was nothing, you know? I mean, absolutely nothing, not even the slightest feeling of attraction. And yeah, you're bloody besotted with Sophie but still you can look at her and appreciate, right?' he said, a hand out in front of him, willing to get some sort of message across. 'And then even when Jenny Perriter comes along in those stupid shorts and bikini top even though it's about ten degrees out, there's still nothing. And I'm lying in bed some nights thinking about girls. None in particular, just… girls.'

Charlie was silent. His face didn't display any sort of emotion. He just listened, like no other friend could, and waited for James to speak and tell him what was worrying him so incredibly and thinking of a way to help him.

'But then I think of something else. And I feel like it's been in my mind for a while, but I can't remember when it started.' He swallowed, and then said simply: 'It's a bloke, Charlie. No one in particular, but suddenly my heart starts beating and I start sweating and… that happens, and – and I don't have a fucking clue. So I go back to thinking about the girls and nothing seems to be working, but then one glimmer of a bloke, still with clothes on and with his bloody back to me and it happens again.'

He looked up at Charlie, who was still looking blank, though not with misunderstanding. He simply knew that James wasn't finished, and if he did anything at that moment, he'd never hear it all. It was odd to hear James swear. Even in our rigorous Quidditch training sessions you'd be hard-pressed to receive a verbal assault like some of the other team's captains. Rory, to be exact.

'D'you understand what I'm saying, Char?'

Charlie nodded slowly, and suddenly James' face crumpled into a look of pure agony and self-loathing.

'I'm glad you understand, mate, because I fucking don't,' he whispered, his voice wavering, linking his fingers together on the top of his head and taking a few breaths.

'It was you, Char,' he said, his eyes closed. 'I remember you were getting changed one night in the dorm – last month, it was – and I didn't think anything of it, but suddenly you turned your back to me and I knew. I sort of screamed and you asked me what was wrong and I said that – '

'Everything was fine, mate,' Charlie finished for him, remembering, and James nodded hurriedly, almost desperately.

'And then you get into bed and I tried to forget, Merlin help me I did, but then it's Quidditch practice and I find myself watching you changing or watching Robin or watching Malfoy, and I don't know what's happened to me...' He trailed off at the end, sounding ever so lost, his eyes wild. His voice was shaking so much now that the words could barely form. 'I can't stand to even let a girl touch me anymore,' he said. 'I mean it makes me feel physically sick, and I know I'm not supposed to feel like that at all, because I'm supposed to be attracted to girls, not in love with my best friend or checking out blokes for fuck's sake.'

He wound his arms tightly around himself, as if trying to squeeze out the words that he was so reluctant to say aloud. 'And I'm thinking back to when I dated Alison. And I thought I loved her, you know? Well, at least until Hemingford goes and… does what he did. But the more I think about it the more I'm seeing how blindingly obvious it was. I kissed her and we had sex but I don't know how I could have called that love.' He sounded strangely impartial and detached compared to the intimate meanings behind the words he spoke.

'She was just… someone I was with – not even someone I wanted to be with, and I think even in the back of my mind I knew that I wasn't attracted to her or any other girl for that matter. And… I think Hemingford kind of knew it, too, because he didn't apologise or anything. Just sort of shrugged and gave me this look then walked away. Like he was trying to tell me something. I don't even know if he was or not but I can't even hate him anymore because it's like he was helping me. Just… chose to do it in a bloody shitty way.' He looked at Charlie finally. 'Did you? Did you know?'

His friend stayed silent and I stared, wide-eyed, as James stood up and walked across in three strides and pressed his lips bruisingly to Charlie's, clutching the front of his shirt tightly in his fists.

I knew I should have turned and walked away, should have done it long before, but my eyes seemed glued to the two men who seemed so much like boys at that moment.

Charlie's eyes seemed as wide as my own before he seemed to deflate, exhausted and closed his eyes, standing stock still until James slowly pulled away with a choked sound that sounded like a sob.

'James, mate,' Charlie muttered as his eyes opened slowly again, a torn look on his face. 'I'm straight, Jamie. And I'm kind of in love with Sophie.'

James let out a muffled cry as he pressed his fist against his mouth. Charlie rubbed him on the back. Not a manly, 'pull yourself together' pat that would have bruised in the morning, but a soothing, calming, 'I'm here for you' kind of touch.

'I'm sorry,' James whispered, falling onto the bed and tugging on his hair as he bent over, his forehead nearly touching his knees. 'I'm sorry, Char. I just – I just had to know.' His frame shook with barely suppressed sobs.

'I know, mate,' Charlie said softly, sitting down beside him. 'I know.'

He leaned over and sighed, resigned, as he pulled James into a hug, shushing him and rocking him as if he were a small boy. But I supposed that's what he felt at that moment. As if everything he thought was right and proper was suddenly twisted and flipped upside down until he didn't know anything anymore and he just needed someone to tell him what to do and he just needed someone to tell him that everything was going to be all right.

'I'm the Head Boy. I'm the Quidditch Captain. I'm son of the Chosen One, Char,' James whispered. 'I'm not supposed to be… to be… to be gay.' He spat the word as if disgusted more with himself than the three small letters. 'I'm supposed to be a hero like my dad. I'm supposed to make him proud and make him smile at me like everyone smiles at him.' He was crying now, hot torrents of grief leaking down his cheeks as he pressed his face into Charlie's shoulder, seeming to be in nothing but despair and desolation.

'He is proud of you, James,' Charlie said, his voice fierce but thick, as if he was trying not to cry himself. 'He is so, so proud of you, and he always will be. No matter who or what you are. Bloody hell, I'm proud of you and I'm not even related to you! No one will want you to be any different than who you are, Jamie, and if they do then fuck them – they're not worth you or your time.'

James only cried harder and Charlie only pulled him tighter, and so I stepped away, walking back down the hallway and towards my room with tears streaming silently down my face. For once I was crying for someone else's suffering.

UPDATE: c. 19 April, 2012. Revised + added CI by Bear&Fox@TDA

Original [cut] A/N: Well there you have it. You finally know all about the curse – sorry if it was anticlimactic, though I might just feel like that because I've known about it since the beginning.

One of my pet hates in novels/stories is when there's the clichéd gay character (the flamboyant, gay-best-friend, happy-happy kind of person), because so many people are so utterly not like that, and I wanted there to be a fragment of that in my story. Also, this was another way of confirming Genevieve's thoughts in a previous chapter. That the Potter's really are just ordinary people – that they are human and go through all the things that everyone else does. That perhaps – and forgive me for my blasphemous sins – the Potter's aren't perfect. No one is, really.

I've wanted to say this for a while – this story may be fantastical, and it may be shockingly bad, but it is essentially a story about growing up. It's about teenagers struggling with their fears and with what they want and with who they are and with what they are, and also how they try and control their futures and, in cases, try to face their pasts. I'm trying to show how they deal with those problems, be it a good or bad decision (a few things of which haven't yet happened), and I may be going about it in the wrong way, or you may not have thought so, but… that's what I'm doing. So. Yes.

I'd love to hear from you if you enjoyed this chapter or the story thus far!

As always,
Bethan. Xxx

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