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Chapter 12 : Chapter Twelve
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I froze. Oh God.
“What do you mean ‘it’s Alice’?” I asked fearfully.
“Come on, Professor Longbottom wants to see you, he’ll explain whatever I can’t,” Scorpius replied.
I nodded, hastily shoved my textbook into my bag and left without a backwards glance.
I could feel ice spreading down my spine, through my blood, reaching every part of my body.
“Scorpius, tell me what happened,” I commanded as we began to march quickly through the school, our shoes slapping loudly against the stone ground in the otherwise empty corridors. “Is she okay?”
“I got a call in the middle of class from a nurse at a muggle hospital near home. Alice was in a car crash. She’s alive, but she took got roughed up a bit. They think she’ll be okay, but she broke her leg and took a bang to the head.”
“But she’ll be okay?”
“It’s looking okay right now but they’re not 100% sure. I think Longbottom’s gonna let us see her but this might be a tricky circumstance to dance around if he wants to speak with our parents or something. Or hers.”
“What the hell are we going to do then?!” I cried.
“Emerald, we’re Malfoys. We’re going to lie like fuck, and do it well,” he reassured me confidently, stopping for a brief moment to fix me with a determined stare.
I nodded unsurely, biting my lip.
We were just approaching the old stone gargoyle when I suddenly lurched to a stop, feeling so sick I thought I might vomit.
“Emma? What is it?” Scorp asked worriedly, stopping and turning to face me. He rested his hands on my shoulders and crouched slightly to see me better. “What is it?”
“Scorp. What about Maisy?” I asked hoarsely.
“She was in the car-” my heart stopped “-but she’s okay.”
It came back to life in my chest, thudding madly. I felt some of the blood that had drained from my face come back. Not all of it. I still had Alice to worry about. But I was quite sure I wouldn’t collapse now at least. “She’s okay?” I repeated.
He nodded. “They don’t know how or why, but she is. She’s perfectly fine.”
“Oh thank Merlin,” I whispered, my eyes involuntarily squeezing shut as relief flooded through me. I shook my head, opened my eyes, and Scorp offered me a weak encouraging smile, before he turned to the gargoyle.
“D.A” he said clearly, and the ugly gargoyle moved out of the way.
We stepped onto the steps, which began to spiral upwards until we came to a stop outside the office door. It opened automatically. Professor Longbottom was waiting behind his desk, two chairs in front of him. He gestured for us to sit.
“Right. I’ve talked to the hospital. They said Miss Tyler is going to be okay, but she’s a bit shaken up. She’s asking if you can come and see her, which I’m perfectly okay with. But I need to talk to you about Miss Tyler’s daughter. There’s no one to look after her whilst Alice is injured, correct? That’s why you two had to visit home last year.”
“Yes sir,” we replied.
“Miss Tyler says you are her daughter’s godparents, therefore you have the responsibility of caring for her child should anything happen to Miss Tyler,” he added.
“Yes sir,” we confirmed.
“Well whilst Miss Tyler is injured, her baby will need to be cared for by someone. If that needs to be you two, that’s fine, I can grant you permission to leave school. But you’re going to need to study and keep up with homework as much as you possibly can, okay?”
“Yes sir. Thank you,” I replied, relieved that Maisy wouldn’t be left alone. Professor Longbottom was the most understanding, wonderful headmaster I could imagine. And he didn’t have to be nice to us at all. Our dad was a bit of a prick to him.
“I don’t mind if one of you stays and one of you leaves, or you switch roles, just make sure you’re keeping on top of your school work. You two have had a few setbacks and distractions through your school careers but you haven’t let me down yet. I hope you can keep this up.”
“We won’t let you down Sir,” Scorp promised.
He nodded with a warm smile. “Now, go pack whatever you’re going to need and then Filch will let you out of the grounds so you can apparate. Just make sure you don’t apparate anywhere the muggles will see you. Good luck guys, I hope everything goes well.”
We thanked him once again and each shook his hand gratefully, before speedily departing from his office.
“What do you want to do?” Scorpius asked as we walked.
“I don’t mind Scorp. It’s kind of an important year for you, but… yeah, it doesn’t matter to me,” I reassured him.
“Alright,” he nodded. “Well we don’t need an immediate decision. Let’s just think about Alice for now.”
“Everything’s gonna be okay,” I told myself as well as Scorp. “It always is.”
I took his hand, and he squeezed mine, because that’s how we face everything that comes our way. Hand in hand. Together. Always have, always will.
We walked past my transfiguration classroom just as class was dismissed and pupils began to pour enthusiastically out of their classrooms. I came to a stop. “I need to tell them,” I explained. Scorp nodded in understanding.
“I better go find Al actually. I’ll meet you outside the main entrance.”
“I’ll be quick as I can,” I replied, and he ran off down the corridor. I turned and waited patiently for the guys to come out of the classroom, all looking urgent and confused.
“Guys,” I called.
They turned around and pounced on me with a group hug, Louis quickly retreating when he recognised that he was hugging Danny.
“What’s going on?” Dom asked worriedly, her forehead creasing. “Is everything alright? Is Alice okay?”
“She was in a car crash,” I informed them. “She’s in a muggle hospital. They think she’s going to be okay, but we need to go make sure, and then we need to take care of Maisy whilst she’s in hospital so I might not be back for a while. But with any look I’ll be back after the Christmas holidays.”
“Really? You know, with muggle treatment, it might take a while for her to get better,” Louis pointed out.
“Yes,” I smiled slightly. “But I have a plan. I’m going to find out who Maisy’s dad is. And if he’s as wonderful as Alice made him out to be, he’ll want to be a part of her life again.” Danny and Louis met me with uneasy, uncertain frowns, whilst Dom’s face lit up.
“I’m not just gonna dump a kid on him. I’ll be there to help them both, but if they readjust to one another, then the nurse who visits Alice every week, Linda, will be able to teach this guy too. We hired her before Maisy was born and she isn’t going anywhere for at least another two months. This might be Alice’s chance at happiness, and Maisy’s chance at a father. I have to try. I’ll be gentle. I will,” I pleaded as if I needed their permission. Really I was just seeking approval for a confidence boost.
Dom squealed and jumped at me, enveloping me in a hug before she bounced backwards, grinning at me excitedly. “Emma this is genius! Alice needs this. This is perfect!”
That was all I needed to encourage my decision, and now I was satisfied. I quickly reminded myself that I needed Alice to be okay first, and I needed to worry until I knew she would be.
“Thanks. I’ve gotta leave, but I don’t know how often I’ll be coming back, I haven’t worked it out with Scorp yet. I’ll be in the fireplace every night though, okay?”
Danny pulled me into a tight hug. “I’m gonna miss you.”
“I could be back in two days,” I chuckled.
“Even then,” he replied solemnly, so I tightened my arms around him until we let go.
I gave Louis a quick hug, and then pulled Dom into one. I stood on my tiptoes and reached up to her ear. “Please look after Danny,” I whispered.
She pulled back, a serious look in her eyes and nodded. “Thanks,” I smiled. I waved, and ran back to my dorm to gather some stuff, before I headed out to the gates.
Scorp was steadily edging away from Filch, who seemed to be muttering something about killing badgers. He looks relieved to see me. Filch opened the gates, growled at us a little, and then pushed us off the school grounds.
Shaking off the encounter, Scorp took my hand and we disapparated, reappearing back home.
Everything was just how we left it. It wasn’t as scary as it was before Alice moved in, when we came home to an empty, dusty house, or when our parents were still around and we came home to an ill mother and a confused father. It seemed like it could be a home.
We dropped our bags and a taxi took is to the hospital, where we rushed into A&E.
“Hey, I’m Emerald Malfoy, this is my brother Scorpius, we’re looking for our friend Alice Tyler?” I gushed at the front desk.
She directed me to Alice’s room. I thanked her gratefully and we took off in the right direction.
Alice was lying quite still. There were bandages around her wrist and head, a cast around her leg. Her face was cut slightly but clean. She looked up as we entered the room.
“Scorp! Emma!” she cried, delighted.
We crept up to her and in turn kissed her forehead. “What happened darling?” I asked gently.
“I don’t know. We were driving to see Louise and then this car came out of nowhere and just… bang,” she replied, sounding like she was still trying to work it out herself.
“Has the doctor given you any news yet?”
“Not much news but a decent amount of morphine,” she replied happily.
I giggled slightly. Scorpius chuckled before his face turned serious once again. “Alice, do you know where-”
I grabbed his arm quickly as the ‘m’ formed on his lips and shook my head. I didn’t want her to panic. He nodded.
“Your doctor is?” he finished instead.
“That would be me,” a man announced, and we turned around to see a middle-aged man in a white coat holding a clipboard. His forehead was lined and his short, curly hair was dark brown. He wore glasses on the end of his nose. “Hi, I’m Doctor Marks, I’ll be in charge of treating Alice whilst she’s here. I’m guessing you’re Scorpius and Emerald?”
“Scorpius Malfoy, this is my sister Emerald,” Scorpius replied, shaking the doctor’s hand. I offered him mine.
“What can you tell us?” I asked him.
“Well… we can’t be sure yet but everything looks good. Surprising as well because that was some crash. We can’t be sure yet because of the morphine Miss Tyler is on for the pain, but she doesn’t seem to have done any permanent damage. By the looks of things, she should be okay. She didn’t seem to damage her back and only very minor injuries to the neck. All in all we’re very satisfied with her condition as of right now, but we’ll keep running tests and checking things.”
“That’s wonderful, thank you,” Scorpius replied gratefully.
I lowered my voice slightly. “And what about her daughter?” I inquired.
“The baby came out of the crash with no injuries. She’s truly a miracle. Miss Tyler must have had her in the seat incredibly secure. Even then… we don’t understand, but she’s completely fine,” he murmured in awe. “I understand that… Maisy will be left in your custody whilst Alice recovers? Come and collect her whenever you can. Hang on… how old are you?”
I panicked, before a suddenly realisation struck me and I realised that we had just made the cut.
“I’m eighteen,” Scorpius informed him, a victorious gleam in his eyes.
“And you’ll be in charge of caring for the baby?”
You can’t say Malfoys are good for nothing.
“Very good. I’ll give you some time together.”
He left. I looked at my brother. “Scorp, could you give me a minute to talk to Alice?” I requested.
I’d explained my plan to Scorpius on the way here, and he approved.
“I think I’ll go talk about taking Maisy with the doctors. We might be able to bring her home tonight.”
He departed, and I sat down in a chair by Alice’s bed. “Hey,” she smiled at me.
“Hey. Alice, can we talk about something?”
“Of course,” she replied.
“Well… look… we could’ve lost you today. And I can’t help but think… what if we did, and Maisy’s dad didn’t know about it? And what if we lost her too?”
Her eyes filled with sorrow. “I saw him.”
“What?” I gasped.
“No, I didn’t meet him, I just… I thought I was going to die back there, and he just filled my mind. And I realised I love him so much. I miss him so much. I didn’t let myself think of him because I knew this would happen. But I couldn’t help it. And now I miss him so much. And I’ll put him out of my mind as much as I can like I did last time, but having that feeling back inside of me… it’s hard to shake it out.”
“Then let me help you,” I begged her desperately. “Please. Let me try. I think I can do this, Alice. You just have to tell me who he is, and I’ll find him, and we can just talk. I can’t make any promises.”
“No, that’s okay,” Alice realised, a look I only saw when Maisy was born burning in her eyes. A look that didn’t often appear, but when it did, it spread over her face, lighting it up. “It’s okay if I don’t see him. It’s okay if he doesn’t want me. I just want him to know about Maisy. I want him to know he has a daughter, and that she’s beautiful, and that she has his eyes.”
Tears filled my eyes and I kissed her head. “I’m so proud of you,” I whispered, wiping my eyes.
She smiled up at me confidently. “Will you find him? And tell him. And let him know… I love him.”
“Of course. You just have to tell me who he is.”
A/N: So there we have it ^_^ I know some of you already saw that coming but… yeah! This chapter isn’t very well written and I’m sorry about that, but at least it answers some questions :) Thank you so much for the response to the last chapter, you are all so incredible, thank you so much! Thank you RoonilWazlib7, ines0803, BBWotter, Meggnog, potterfan310 and ms4aisa for the lovely reviews, they’re really encouraging :D And thank you to christobel, Lotus, Meggnog and RoonilWazlib7 for adding this story to your favourites, it means a lot :) I hope you enjoyed this, please review! xx
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