Chapter 13 : Chapter Thirteen
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Alice told me about your relationship. Something happened. I really need to talk to you about her. It’s severely important. Is there somewhere I could talk to you about this privately? There are some things I’d rather not write in a letter. I hope to hear from you very soon.
What happened? Is Alice okay? Did something happen to her? What’s going on?
I could tell by the way he replied that he still had feelings for her. The note was scribbled carelessly. He was frantic. He still loved her. My heart lifted. There was a hope that I could bring these two back together, and bring Maisy a family.
She’s going to be fine. But I have to talk to you, and I’m not going to do it through a letter. There’s something I have to tell you. Alice is okay though. Where would we be able to talk?
Meet me at Hogwarts on Friday. I’m sure Longbottom won’t have a problem with us speaking in his office. For what it’s worth, why can’t Alice write me if this is so important?
Alice was in an accident. She’s okay though. She’s going to be fine. I look forward to speaking with you in person. Good night,
I walked over to the crib and lifted Maisy. I began to dance carefully around the room, holding close and laughing. “Maisy, we might be able to get you your daddy back!” I told her happily, and even though she had no idea what I was saying, she seemed happy enough.
“What’s going on here?” Scorp asked, bemused, from the door of Alice’s bedroom.
“Me and Maisy are doing celebratory dancing,” I informed him casually.
“And why is that?” he grinned.
“James agreed to speak with me at Hogwarts on Friday. And look at this letter here. I’m pretty sure he’s still in love with her.” I pointed out the panicked letter. Scorp read it with a gentle smile.
“Sure looks that way. But don’t say anything to Alice okay? Tell her that you’re going to speak to him but don’t get her hopes up. He could just be concerned as a friend or… have really messy handwriting or something.”
“Don’t worry. I won’t get her excited. This will be between me, you and Maisy. Right, Maisy? Can you be sworn to secrecy?” I demanded.
She made a small tired noise in response and I giggled. “Maybe you can contribute evil genius to my master plot to take over the world tomorrow,” I suggested, placing her gently in her crib. I kissed her head and rearranged her blanket. I gently stroked her nose. Her eyes began to flicker shut. I smiled softly. “Sweet dreams, Maisy.”
I looked up and saw that Scorp was still in the room, watching me with an affectionate look on his face. Scorpius would be the best dad in the world one day. I just knew it. “I hope he loves her as much as we do,” I said.
This was going to be a challenge. I had thought about it a lot over the past week. And I still wasn’t sure if I was doing the right thing. I asked Scorp, but he was just as unsure as me. You see, we had been thinking about introducing James to Maisy as soon as he found out about her. It’s hard not to fall in love with Maisy. We weren’t sure if we should just bring a picture or bring Maisy herself.
But then Scorpius found out he had a test on Friday. And the options were to leave Maisy in the hospital or bring her. And leaving her in the hospital was hardly an option, because Alice couldn’t look after her, and I didn’t want to explain the whole ‘I have to go to a castle/boarding school in Scotland where they teach magic that you don’t know exists’ to a doctor because I’d probably end up in the psych ward.
So I had to bring Maisy to school. I’d written to Longbottom and explained the situation, and he told me to bring Maisy during lesson time so there’d be no problems in corridors, and she could wait in a room in his office until I had told James about her. It all seemed very complicated and stupid. But hey, I’m a teenager. It’s my job to be complicated and stupid.
I apparated with Maisy into Hogsmeade and walked up to the castle where Filch was waiting impatiently. When he lifted his hands ready to do a ‘security’ check, I shot him a demon glare and pointedly told him that I would hardly be carrying a baby if I was also carrying explosives, and that as of yet, no one has managed to disguise a bomb as such a convincing infant. He begrudgingly let me past without any touching, and I set off as fast as I could into the castle. I tried to avoid classrooms altogether, but whenever I had to pass them I was as quick as I could be, hoping no one would notice me. I never checked if they did.
When I reached Professor Longbottom’s office, he introduced me to an attached room equipped for young children (he was the father of five children ranging from fourteen to two) and told me he would look after Maisy until I needed her. After he told me this, I had to ask.
“Professor, why are you doing this for us? You let us visit Alice last year, you let us take time off this year, I don’t understand,” I said, shaking my head in confusion.
He turned to me and sighed. He stared directly into my eyes. “There is something in your eyes, and in Scorpius’s eyes, that no one saw in my eyes when I was growing up. It’s something that shows you’ve faced hardships. When I got to a certain age, everyone had that look in their eyes, because we were in the middle of a war. But we fought to try and stop that look from being in future teenagers eyes. But it’s in yours, and it’s in Scorpius’s. I don’t want to force you into giving up your privacy unless I have to, and the day may come when I do have to. But maybe I won’t, because maybe one day you’ll trust me enough to let me help you. Even if you don’t, I’d rather not make whatever is hard for you any harder than it needs to be. That shouldn’t be what a teacher does.”
I didn’t know what to say. People just didn’t have this attitude. Especially not teachers. Especially not to Malfoys. I’d never been treated with so much undeserved patience and consideration. “Thank you,” was all I could manage.
He smiled gently. “I think I best be disappearing into the next room with Maisy here. Mr Potter has arrived.”
On cue, there was a knock on the door. “Come in,” Longbottom called. I looked to the door to see James enter, and looked back to see Longbottom and Maisy weren’t here anymore.
“Emerald,” James greeted pleasantly. “It’s nice to see you again.” I shook his hand and gestured for him to sit. “Now what’s going on? What happened to Alice?”
I took a deep breath. “Alice kept your relationship a close-guarded secret with no exceptions up until Monday. We were contacted by a hospital back home and told Alice was in a car accident.” I couldn’t help but pause for just a second here to take in the way James eyes widened and filled with fear. They were Maisy’s eyes. “We got to the hospital and they told us everything was going to be fine. It’s just… Alice had been keeping a secret. And after what happened she decided it was dangerous to keep that secret to herself. I pulled a picture out of my pocket. James forehead creased in confusion as I handed it over.
“James… this is your daughter. Alice’s daughter. She’s five months old. Her name is Maisy.” His eyes were as wide as saucers. His stared hard at the picture for a very long time. I sat patiently in silence, allowing him to take it in.
“I don’t… why didn’t she tell me?” he eventually asked.
“She was afraid that you didn’t want to come back to her after her parents made you leave.”
He looked up and looked me in the eye. “I never stopped loving Alice. Not for a day. Not for a second. I never stopped thinking of her or wondering about her. I wrote to her once. When she didn’t write back, I figured she’d moved on. And then I started thinking her parents might have punished her, and I didn’t try it again.”
My heart lifted and I had to fight to wipe the beam off my face. “She moved in with us after she found out she was pregnant,” I explained. “Do you think… that, with help of course, you could become a part of this family again? I mean… I think Alice wants you to be. But if you can’t do this, then we’ll be her family. Just… you can’t mess her about.”
“No, no, I want Alice back. I want my daughter. I want my family,” he protested passionately.
I didn’t bother to fight the smile this time. “I’m so, so happy to hear that. I really am. Welcome to the family, James.”
He grinned at me. He looked excited. And I could see the love in his eyes. It let them up.
I bit my lip. “Maisy is in the room behind us with Professor Longbottom. You don’t have to meet her if you’re not ready, or if you want Alice to be here, but if you do, I can go and get her,” I offered.
He thought this over, and then smiled slightly. “I’d like to meet my daughter.”
I could barely contain a squeal. My heart felt like it was inflating in my chest. I’d never been so happy, because finally, finally, my best friend Alice was getting what she deserved all along.
I ran off into the next room, a huge grin plastered on my face. Longbottom saw it and met it with his own. “He’d like to meet his daughter.”
“That’s brilliant!” Longbottom exclaimed. He passed Maisy over and I took a minute to breathe and take it in, before entering the office again.
“James, this is Maisy,” I introduced. Maisy had thick, long (for a baby) red hair and beautiful brown eyes. James’s beautiful brown eyes. “Would you like to hold her?”
He nodded silently and I passed her over. “Hi,” he murmured. “Hi Maisy. I’m your daddy. I’m sorry I haven’t been around before now. I promise I’m gonna change that so long as your mummy lets me. God you look just like her. You’re beautiful.”
Tears began to run down his cheek, but he smiled like crazy. He just didn’t care. Maisy stared up at him, mesmerised. It was so sweet to watch that I had to force back tears from my own eyes. I let them have their moment, before James finally looked up at me. “Thank you, Emerald. Thank you so much.”
“Call me Emma. Family call me Emma. Or Emmy. Or Em. Digressing. Just. Welcome to the family. We’re happy to have you.”
He grinned at me. “Can I see Alice?”
“Are you ready?” I asked with a smile I just couldn’t seem to shake. Alice nodded her head, beaming up at me. “Alright.”
I turned to leave, but she grabbed my hand. “Emma, thank you,” she said.
“Don’t worry about it,” I replied, kissing her cheek.
I left her room and found James waiting outside with Maisy. He handed her over to me. “You ready?” I checked.
“I’ve been waiting for to see her since the minute I left her house,” he replied.
“Well now’s your chance. Go for it.”
So he did. He stepped into the room, and I peeked in to see them stare at each other, and him cross the room in seconds. He kissed her head and her cheeks and her nose and her lips and they both cried, and I’m pretty sure I did too. Then I looked away, and let them have the moment for themselves, because it was theirs. I looked down at the sleeping baby in my arms. “You’re gonna have a family. Oh God Maisy you’re gonna have a family. I’m so happy for you,” I cried. Because I really was.
And I had a rough time with my family. I hadn’t been raised the best way. But not having a dad didn’t matter to me, because I had a Scorpius, and I truly pitied people who had loving parents and lots of siblings and everything they could possibly want, just because they didn’t have a Scorpius, because to me, that’s all anyone could need. That’s all I could need. And all I wanted for Maisy and Alice was for them to have a family they loved as much as I loved mine. Because I really did. I really did.
I left Maisy in James’s care and returned to Hogwarts. He wanted to introduce her to his parents. Scorpius had already informed Albus that Maisy was his nephew with James’s recommendation. I felt on top of the world having put a family back together. And I went the longest time I’ve gone without thinking about my own broken family, my own broken past. With the Christmas holidays so close, the teachers were one by one giving up trying to teach us and just letting us arse about every lesson. We were all tired of working and ready for a break.
I thought that this was as good as things could get. It probably was. Because then something happened that brought back bad things from the past, and created new bad things for the future. It was something that had never happened before. It was something that downright haunted me.
There was only a week to go before the holidays when I received three letters. One was from Alice and one was from James, and I got so caught up reading them that I basically forgot about the last. I didn’t that it was in my pocket until I was getting ready for bed that night. I put my hand in the pocket of my robe and pulled it out.
It was barely a letter. Just a note really. It read:
I’m coming back.
That was it. And though I spent all night thinking about it instead of sleeping, there was only one person I could think of. But was it an empty threat, or was he really coming back?
A/N: Hey guys! This took way too long to update because I started writing it and then I decided I hated what I wrote so I re-did it today and I really hope you like it. And I feel like I should explain: I tried to write Emerald reacting and I just couldn’t make it interesting. So I skipped it. I hope you’ll forgive me. THANK YOU TIME:
Meggnog, ines0803, potterfan310, BBWotter, Olivia Webster, lilylunalover, RoonilWazlib7 and bananasareamazing, thank you all so much for reviews. And there were some really long ones too so just… thank you! Really a lot! And RoonilWazlib7, I’m sorry about the lack of Al in this chapter, he didn’t really fit, but he should fit perfectly into the next chapter so I will try super hard to make that happen quickly! And also, thank you lilylunalover for adding this story to your favourites. It makes me so happy that you guys seem to be enjoying it!
ALSO: I can’t really say this on my other story so I’ll say it here: thank you Kathrynen (who I don’t think reads this but STILL) for the review on Stay Warm and thank you so much Meggnog and RoonilWazlib7 for adding it to your favourites. I really appreciate feedback as long as it’s genuine so thank you so much :)
Digressing: Please leave a review and I will try to update soon! xx
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