If you know it, it’s JKR’s
The door to the flat burst open and Terese and Francesca staggered in with their bags, giggling and chatting non stop. Francesca was really pleased that she had decided to come home for a few days. Professor McGonagall had put up surprisingly little resistance as long as all her home work was done. She was also really amazed at the difference in her mother. She was much more relaxed and Francesca couldn’t remember the last time they had laughed so much together; especially when a mischievous side to Terese’s nature she had never seen before emerged. They had seen a skinny giraffe like woman, with a huge whiny boy about Harry’s age walking towards them whilst they were walking down Oxford Street. The woman had seen Terese, fleetingly looked horrified and hurried the boy passed. A minute later, Francesca saw her mother briefly waved her hand and all of the woman’s shopping bags split, spilling the entire contents over the pavement. Terese sniggered to herself and carried on walking.
“Mum! Did you just…” Francesca began.
“Did I what?” Terese asked, giving the exact same innocent look that Francesca used to get herself and Ginny out of trouble.
“That lady gave you a look and then her bags broke!”
“I know. What a coincidence. Come in, let’s have a look in here and get lunch in the café!” She had suggested as they walked by a well known department store, and Francesca had been distracted.
Now, as sorted through her shopping bags while her mother went put the kettle on and feed Colin the Cat, Francesca remembered the incident.
“Mum?” she asked tentatively, knowing how quickly the mood could change if she pressed her mother on certain issues.
“That lady with the broken bags- did you know her? She seemed to be giving you a look.” Terese grinned.
“Oh, her! That was Harry’s Aunt! And I presume the lump of lard with her was his cousin. I cannot believe he’s a relation of Lily Potter!” she grumbled.
“Really? Harry’s relatives?” Francesca was shocked. “They look so different.”
“Yeah, Harry’s definitely a Potter, He’s so like James. But he’s got Lily’s eyes.”
“So was his mum like his Aunt?” Francesca ventured, amazed her mother had said as much as she had.
“Not at all. Petunia wanted very little to do with Lils once she went to Hogwarts. Lily was…” Terese gulped. “Lily was fabulous!”
“Would you tell me about them?” Francesca asked softly. Terese looked at her daughter and sighed.
“Ok, sweetheart, I’ll tell you some things. Let me just get sorted and we’ll sit down.” Francesca sat on the sofa in a state of disbelief that her questions were being answered. When Colin jumped on her lap and curled up, purring, she almost believed that she was either asleep or had slipped into some kind of parallel universe. Five minutes later, Terese returned carrying a tray with tea and biscuits and sat down next to her daughter.
“What would you like to know?” she asked in a resigned voice.
“What were they like?” Francesca asked. She had long found it odd that she knew nothing about people that her mother had been so close to, especially as she was middle- named for one of them. Terese looked thoughtful. Francesca thought her mother looked as if she had even forgotten she was there as she immersed herself of the memories.
“Your Auntie Lily was not unlike Ginny I suppose. She was so kind. Professor McGonagall had her and another friend of ours, Athena, look after me when I arrived at Hogwarts. I don’t suppose she trusted your Uncle Jimmy not to ‘lead me astray’. They were so sweet to me, and Lily became the best friend I ever had. We used to laugh so much. Though she had a temper on her. She was your stereotypical redhead! She used to have your Dad and Uncle Jimmy running for cover when she was cross with them. Which seemed to be quite often.” Terese took a sip of her drink and sat silently for a minute as she remembered. “She was so funny though. She was more than a match for James.”
“She does sound like Ginny.” Francesca commented. Terese looked at her thoughtfully.
“We were very like you two are. When I stayed at her parents’ house, it used to drive Petunia mad that we were laughing all the time, and didn’t even need to use full sentences to communicate.” Terese laughed nostalgically, and felt a pang of loss for best friend.
“What was Uncle Jimmy like?”
“He was one of the best people I ever knew. Loyal to a fault, it turned out. He would’ve been devastated to know that little rat betrayed us all.” She sighed. “But yeah, he was brilliant. He looked after me all the time. When we kids, we were always getting in trouble for hurting someone who had upset either of us, or your Aunt Aurelia. Then at Hogwarts, when I was grieving for my family, he looked after me and made sure I was ok. The same with your Dad and Uncle Remus when either of them had… problems. And when your Dad and I used to fight, it was usually him that sorted us out.”
“Did you fight a lot?”
“We did seem to.”
“Do you think you will now that you’re back together?” Terese looked at Francesca, suddenly struck that her daughter had gone from being a precocious child to an intelligent young woman.
“I don’t know, sweetheart. Maybe. Maybe we’ll just enjoy being together again.”
“He told me you were amazing when you were together before. Not that he doesn’t think you are now…” she said, hurriedly. Terese smiled.
“Did he? I know I was different. But… It was a struggle. Adjusting, and grieving and bringing you up without letting any of it affect you.”
“I think I understand, mum. I wish I had known more, but I understand why you couldn’t tell me” Terese looked at her daughter with tears streaming down her face and opened her arms to her.
Suddenly, the back door opened and Remus walked in, accompanied by a huge black dog. Remus looked at the scene before him in surprise.
“I think we’re in the wrong flat, Padfoot!” he said as Sirius transformed. Terese wiped her eyes and frowned at them.
“We though we’d come and see Cesca while she’s at home” Sirius explained as his daughter walked over to hug him.
“Have you had a nice day then?” Remus asked as Francesca showed them everything Terese had bought her that day.
“Make up, Tess?” Sirius commented with a raised eye brow.
“Strictly a small amount on weekends only!” Terese said, with a brief wink at her daughter. Francesca grinned back. Both sensed that their relationship had grown stronger with their time together, and both were thoroughly relieved about the fact.