Chapter 11 : Family Reunion
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Although Harry was 'only' her son-in-law, her affection for the boy had always been as if he was her own child. Harry had come into her life in the form of Ron's best friend but had conquered each and every one of the Weasley's hearts, specially her daughter's. He had given her daughter a fulfilled life, with love and happiness and they had built together a beautiful family. So no, Harry wasn't just her son-in-law, he was her son. And Molly had lost yet another one.
Arthur was still asleep when Molly decided to get off of bed and get ready for the day ahead. As she took a warm bath and figured out what to wear, she wondered about all her family, all that was going on with her children and grandchildren. How Audrey and Percy have been skipping family commitments or the mystery around who's Molly II’s baby daddy and even the fact Teddy hasn't been all that supportive about Vic's pregnancy. She even noticed just how something was bothering Hugo. All things she wanted to fix or help, but after what happened, the Burrow wasn't as frequented as it once was, except for the mothers who would leave their babies there before going to work.
When Arthur finally woke up, he found his wife at the kitchen, placing breakfast only for the two of them, as she checked if everything was in place. Most of the food was being brought with Ron, Alicia, Katie and Heather while the cake and pastries were Fleur's responsibility.
"Good morning, love." Greeted Arthur, kissing Molly's cheek before sitting down in front of one of the plates filled with a fried egg and two slices of bacon. "Excited about the party?"
"More or less." She answered truthfully as she too sat down next to her husband. "It's still a bit early to be cheerful about family reunions, don't you think?"
Arthur reached for her hand. "I understand."
"I heard Lily had something big to tells us." Molly changed the subject as she grabbed the fork and tried to eat some of her breakfast. "Do you think it's something concerning the baby?"
"Well, I overheard she was going to meet with a gallery owner." Arthur told her.
"You overhead?" Molly laughed. "Where, may I ask?"
"You know very well no one can keep a secret in this family." Arthur explained. "Evan told Albus, who told James, who told Teddy, who told Vic, who told Fleur who, finally, told Bill that told me yesterday when we went to play chess."
Molly blinked to her husband as she tried to pick up the gossip sequence.
"Wow." That's all she could say, as she was too impressed with her family's communication system.
Just before midday, the first ones (Ron and Hermione) started to arrive and, before lunch time, the Burrow was completely full of people, sitting in every open space possible, including outside, where Ron and Bill had placed some warming spells, as the temperature had considerably diminished.
Ron, Katie, Alicia and Heather together with Fleur and Victoire shooed Molly out of the kitchen, assuring her that they could handle the food and beverage. They argued it was her birthday party and that she should enjoy it, just like Angelina was. So the old woman started to walk around the house, observing all of her family and how different they all were without Harry. And that saddened her heart.
Molly was about to look for Arthur when she noticed her granddaughter that was named after her having what looked like an argument with who was supposed to be her best friend and partner in crime, Lysander. They were both outside, out of earshot of the Potter's and Longbottom’s who were all outside chatting. Finding it odd the way Molly and Lysander talked, she decided to go to them and try to help them figure it out whatever the reason they were fighting.
"I will not marry you, Lysander, for crying out loud." Molly II hissed at the boy who was showing her a diamond ring. Molly suddenly stopped in her tracks and for some reason she couldn't understand she decided to overhear instead of interrupting. "I'm telling you, no one needs to know you're the father, I don't even want this baby."
"Molly, come on, you say it like that night didn't mean anything to you." Lysander begged. "I know it wasn't how I would picture it to happen, but it wasn't all that bad."
"It wasn't?" Molly II repeated, full of sarcasm. "Fuck, Lys, I'm fucking pregnant. Me! The one that has been making little of every single one of my cousins for having children! If there is one thing I am is coherent."
Lysander looked down. "I can't hate that child like you do, Mol."
"I- I don't- I don't hate it." She admitted, looking down at her discrete baby bump that was easily overlooked by the amount of sweaters she was wearing. "You make me sound so evil."
Lysander snorted a laugh. "Mol, we are evil."
That statement made Molly I's heart break into a million pieces.
Molly II sighed. "Lys, you think you're in love with me, but you're not. You're in love with an idea of a perfect little family. And we both know that doesn't exist." She added, pointing to where most of their family were.
"I'm beginning to think that maybe we were wrong, Mol." Lysander finally admitted. "Perfection doesn't exist. I know that very well, I deal with the scum of our society. But even the worst criminals know what love is. I've seen murderers cry for missing their children or wives. And after what happened to Mum, I-I don't know, Mol. I feel like we lost the ability to love, we lost so much by separating ourselves from the rest. And that's so sad. We can't even love each other, and we've been inseparable ever since I remember."
"They don't love us." Molly II spilled, looking to the Potter's laughing between themselves.
"Maybe it's because you never gave them a chance." Molly I finally regained consciousness and intervened. "You both rejected them all ever since I can remember. Even before Hogwarts, and before being Slytherins. Louis is a Slytherin too and he's loved just like everyone else." Molly pointed to where Louis was laughing with Dylan, Lucy and Roxanne.
"Nana!" Molly II gasped.
"Molly, dear, you have been blessed with a loving family and now with a baby in your womb. Why don't you let us in?" Molly II and Lysander stared at each other in panic, but the grandmother carried on. "You're both grown ups, it's not my place to tell you what to do, but you're also old enough to rethink your attitudes." She gave a stern look to both her granddaughter and Lysander before wondering off thinking in what Lysander meant with what happened with his mother.
Molly found herself inside the house again, unconsciously looking for Luna and finding her next to Neville, Hannah and Lorcan, talking secretively near the fireplace. Finding it suspicious, she decided to go talk with them.
“Molly!” Neville greeted with a smile, bringing the older woman to a tight hug. “Happy Birthday!”
“Oh, my, thank you, Neville.” Molly thanked, her cheeks turning red from the attention.
“It’s a lovely party, Molly.” Hannah praised. “I wouldn't expect anything different from you, though.”
“Yeah, Nana.” Lorcan agreed. “I’ve been missing the Burrow.”
“Well, you’re welcome to come by as you wish, Lorcan dear.” Molly smiled, grabbing the boy’s hand. “You know that. But, why is it I have the impression you’re trying to hide something from me.”
“Wha-what?” Neville stuttered, smiling to Luna and Hannah nervously.
“Way to go, hon.” Hannah rolled her eyes.
“What’s going on?” Molly worriedly asked, turning her loving eyes to Luna, who hadn’t yet said one word.
“Molly, hm,” started Luna, looking between her son and friends. “It’s complicated.”
Luna sighed, looking as beaten as Molly has ever seen. Her own light seemed to have been shut. Luna decided it was better to tell her because she knew Molly Weasley way too well to think she would give up. So the blonde woman reached the redheaded’s arm, bringing her to Arthur’s study and shutting the door.
“You’re scaring me, Luna dear.” Molly admitted, coming closer to the girl.
“Molly, remember my last trip with Rolf in the summer.” Luna started and waited for Molly to nod. “We went to Africa; we had heard about a magical forest that some german researchers had found. And you know me and Rolf, we needed to go.”
“What happened there, Luna?” Pressed Molly.
“I touched a wild poisonous plant, Molly.” She told her. “Lorcan and Hannah are working to find what’s going on with me and find an antidote while Neville and Rolf is concentrated on the plant itself.”
“Oh, my.” Molly gasped, bringing her hand to her heart.
“I found out about it just when Harry died. The poison apparently had a big incubation time, because the symptoms only showed almost 5 weeks later.” Luna carried. “My face is filled with make-up because my skin looks more like cement. I throw up blood every morning and have high fever every other day.”
“Oh, Luna.” Molly only managed to say before bringing her to a tight hug. “I’m sure it’ll all be ok. Lorcan and Hannah are genius Healers and Neville is an incredible herbologist.”
“Please, I would appreciated if this stayed between us.” Luna then asked. “I wouldn’t handle everyone’s pity.”
“Of course.” Molly promised.
In the mean time, Ginny was outside with her family and Dean, incredibly having a good time. It seemed everyone had an agreement to be happy for Nana’s birthday and it was working. Lily told everyone about her art exhibition, James wouldn’t shut up about Leo’s new abilities in his toy broom while Albus told everyone that he and Gwen would be going on a trip next summer. The only one who didn’t seem to be in the mood was Teddy, as always.
“I wonder from whom Lily gets her talent.” Dean commented to Ginny.
“I think that must come from the Potter side of the family. Because Merlin knows I’m a denial.” Ginny laughed. “But we’ll never know. I like to believe she gets it from her grandmother.”
“Harry’s mum?” Dean asked.
“Yeah.” Ginny smiled dearly to her daughter who was excitedly talking with Albus and Gwen. “I like to think Harry’s mum was a bit like my Lily.” She sighed.
Dean couldn't ignore the pain in Ginny’s voice, so he reached out for her hand - a tiny gesture that had capture two men’s attention from inside the house. “You still miss him, don't you?”
“I’ll always miss him.” Ginny answered with a tear leaving her eye. “No one will ever fill his shoes.” She added unconsciously.
Dean felt a kick in the nuts with her statement. He knew she didn't mean to hurt him, of course. He knew Harry and Ginny’s love was beyond anyone could understand. Maybe they really were soulmates. Perhaps. And Dean knew she only saw him as a fellow friend, that shared with the loss of a spouse.
Ginny rapidly cleaned her tear and forced a smile, looking around to her family. And her attention was caught by her sister-in-law, Audrey. Sitting in an armchair by herself, Audrey looked a bit blue, as she tried her best to pay attention to whatever Lucy was telling her.
“Dean, excuse me, will you?” Ginny asked, getting up. “I-I remembered I needed to ask something to Audrey.”
“Sure.” He smiled, moving his legs to give her more space to walk.
Ginny nodded and went inside the house to where Audrey was. She captured some parts of conversation of some people on the way, but nothing captured much of her attention. Angelina was telling some gossip around her Department to Bill, Roberta was telling Tristian all about going back to Healing School, Dom and Vic were sharing pregnancy experience and Louis and Roxie were playing chess.
“Ginny!” Audrey tried to sound cheerful, but Ginny knew her for decades. The woman seemed more relieved than anything.
“Hey, Audrey.” Ginny took a seat next to her. “Lucy, how’s engagement treating you?”
“Oh, aunt Gin, it’s so stressful!” Lucy admitted. “I was just telling Mum that John and I are almost eloping so we don’t need to plan a wedding.”
Ginny snorted a laughed. “Sure, you're not even going to hurt your grandmother.”
Lucy sighed. “Yeah, I know. That’s why we haven't done it yet.” The girl looked to her Nana with Scorpius and decided to get up. “I’m going to have a word with grandpa.”
“Bye, Lucy.” Ginny waited for her niece to be out of earshot before turning to Audrey. “So, are you going to tell me what’s going on with you and my brother or will I have to beg?”
Audrey tried a laugh. “Like you ever needed to beg anything from me, Gin.”
“That makes my heart warm, but don't try to distract me, missy.” Ginny scolded, going for her hand. “You guys have been distant and missing every reunion you can. It doesn't take a genius to put two and two together.”
“Nothing misses you, hah?” Audrey joked. Ginny opened a big smile. “Please promise you won’t hate me.”
“Come on, Audrey.” Ginny rolled her eyes. “I didn’t hate you even when I did.”
“Funny!” Audrey nervously placed her hair in a messy bun, before turning to her sister-in-law. “Percy and I are getting a divorce.”
“WHAT?” Ginny yelled, getting them the whole room’s attention. Noticing what she had done, she looked around with an awkward grin. “She met a Quidditch idol of mine,” Ginny lied, with a nervous laugh. “And didn't take a picture! I mean, what? Right?”
Everyone furrowed their eyes in suspicion but decided to accept what Ginny told them and keep with what they were doing before.
“Smooth.” Audrey laughed.
“Sorry.” Ginny apologised. “I-I just can’t believe it. Why?”
“Our marriage has been outworn for years, Gin. And I-I don’t love Percy anymore.” Audrey admitted, looking into Ginny’s eyes. “Nor does he love me.”
“I’m so sorry, Audrey. I really am.” Ginny gave her a quick hug. “But why would I hate you for that? You’re family.”
“Well, although we don't love each other, at least there was some respect between us, that’s why we were still together. For our daughters’ sake.” Audrey took a pick at Molly II and Lysander. “At least for Lucy’s sake.”
“What happened then?”
“I met someone, Gin.” Audrey admitted, her eyes glowing again. “And well, one thing led to the other…”
Ginny gasped. “You cheated?”
“I know I should feel bad about it, but I can’t. I really like this man, he makes me feel like I’m the best person in the world. Like Percy once made me feel.” Audrey explained. “And also, there is the fact- hm…”
“The fact?” Pressed Ginny.
“Percy was cheating on me too.”
“Wha-what?” Ginny literally lost her voice. That was just too much information in one conversation. Percy? Cheating? With whom? Ginny loved her brother, but come on, she never knew what Audrey saw in him, in the first place! Imagine other women!
“Surprised me too.” Audrey laughed.
“You seem ok with it, though.” Ginny pointed out. “But why you look so beaten up?”
“The fact we haven’t had the guts to tell the girls.” Audrey explained. “And it’s killing me to lie to them. Molly already doesn't believe in love, despite the dozens of examples she has in the family. What would she think if I tell her that her parents are getting divorce and don't love each other anymore?”
“I understand.” Ginny smiled. “But I don't hate you, Audrey. Whatever happens, I’ll always love you and you’ll always be my family.”
“Thanks, Gin. That means the world.”
It took a whole of fifteen minutes for everyone to take a seat and start to have lunch. Ron, Katie, Alicia and Heather had done a terrific job with the food and soon everyone was delighting themselves with the delicious meal.
Arthur found himself next to his wife that looked like she had seen a ghost. Molly tried to keep a normal conversation with Susan and Dylan, but Arthur knew her best. She was sad about something. Later he would ask, now was not the ideal time.
“Grandpa? Are you listening?” Hugo called for Arthur’s attention.
“Wha-what? Yes?” Arthur answered, forcing himself to pay attention to his grandson.
“I was telling about Remus and Neal making a bet with some bullies at school.” Hugo repeated, while the two boys beside him gloated with pride.
“They did?” Arthur suddenly was very interest. “What happened?”
“Grandpa, these bullies were torturing our friend, Julie. They were making fun of her hair. Just because it was purple. Her mother is a metamorphous.” Remus started to tell him.
“So we pushed them away, telling them to mess with someone their own size.” Neal continued for him. “And then one of them challenged us to a Quidditch two-on-two.”
“We didn't need to think twice to accept it of course. Like, seriously? Did he really think he could beat us in Quidditch?” Remus finished. “And, of course, we kicked their arses!”
“Remus!” Victoire called out. “Language!”
“Sorry, mama.” Remus looked down.
“But, auntie Vic, it was so epic!” Neal seemed to be jumping up and down with excitement.
“Not for us, who had to go speak with Hugo about it!” Ellie hissed.
“It was epic, indeed.” Hugo confessed to Arthur. “But I had to call Vic and Ellie in, as well as the bullies’ mothers. That wasn't very pleasant.”
“I imagine. Having to scold your own nephews.” Arthur agreed.
On one other side of table, Jenny and Peter were talking with Carter and Alice. The future Mrs. Wood was telling all about her job proposition in Egypt. A rich sultan had heard about the success The Leaky Cauldron was having after Alice had taken over the pub, despite the new establishments that had been thriving around Diagon Alley. The sultan too owned a pub in Wizarding Alexandria and contacted her to take over the pub. It was a temporary job of course, she would come back as soon as she manages to bring prosperity to the Pharaoh’s Dungeon. Carter was too brought into the deal, since he was an accouter and had as much credit in The Leaky Cauldron’s success as Alice.
The couple would be moving to the deserted country just after the New Year and had their wedding planned to be on November 2037. Neither one was in a rush to get married or even had plans to have babies (for much of Hannah’s and Katie’s disappointment), but having a date made their return home more reachable. Despite being excited about the adventure, they knew it wouldn't be easy to be 18 months away from home.
“But, Jenny, tell me,” Alice suddenly called out, abruptly changing subjects. “Don’t you ever think about settling down. I think you’re the only one in the family afraid of commitment.”
Jennifer shocked on her own food while Peter drowned in his pumpkin juice. They were only dating for a couple of months, maybe a little bit more. Peter had no intention on settling down. And for as much as Jenny was a good company and such, he didn't see himself entering that family.
“Ali!” Carter called for her attention. “You’re sounding like our Mum. And aunt Alicia.”
“What?” Alice made an innocent expression. “She’s not getting any younger. And although we don't think about having kids, I wouldn't mind some nieces and nephews.”
“As if Alena, Maya and Eleanor didn't take enough of your time.” Carter rolled his eyes. “Not counting the one in Lily’s belly.”
“Ali,” Jenny finally spoke out. “I’m not the only one afraid of commitment. There’s Hugo, and Lorcan, and Dylan and- and, Molly!”
“Molly doesn't count because she’s pregnant.” Alice argued. “And thank you for admitting you are afraid of commitment.” She added with a winning gloat.
“Aff.” Jenny hissed, before turning to Peter. “If you want to run, now it’s the time.”
Peter smiled. “I-I think I’m ok.”
“Don’t worry, mate.” Carter assured to the boy. “I bet Alice is working together with my Mum or something. Or Dad. Because you must be only the second or third boyfriend Jenny has brought home. Can’t blame them for being hopeful.”
Peter’s eyebrows furrowed to the girl next to him. “Really?”
“Is it really?” Jenny laughed uncomfortably. “Hey, I heard Dylan is in love!” She added, a tone louder than she intended to, getting the whole family’s attention. “Oh, no!”
“He is?” John devilish smiled.
“Son! Why didn't you tell us?” Seamus immediately asked, bringing the boy to a tight hug. “Who’s the lucky girl?”
Dylan shot daggers to Jenny, wondering how the hell did she knew that, he hadn't told anyone about- unless, oh, no, he didn’t!
“I can’t believe you told her, Lorcan!” Dylan accused over the table, getting him out of his own theories around his mother’s disease.
“Wha-what? Tell who what?”
“It wasn't Lorcan, Dyl.” Jenny hurriedly defended the boy. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to say it so loud. I heard you talking on the phone the other day, outside the Ministry. I was going there to get some construction permits and I was going to say hi, but then I didn't want to interrupt.”
“Oh.” Dylan felt his cheeks turning red, his eyes suddenly searching for someone. “But you still haven't said who it is!” Arthur wanted to know.
“Hey!” Hugo called out. “Dylan doesn't want to share! Could you all respect his privacy for just one minute? For crying out loud!” He scolded, before rising from the table and storming out of the room.
“Ok, that was unexpected.” Roberta commented, getting a little snorted laugh from Remus and Neal. “Even for us.”
Lily looked between her friend, being harassed by his older brother and parents, and where her best friend had gone, pieces being put together in her mind. When Hermione started to rise to go talk with her son, Lily didn't let her.
“I’ll go, aunt Mione.” She informed. “And everyone get back to your own conversations, please?”
And slowly that’s what they did.
Lily easily found Hugo in Ron’s old room. They had a feeling of ownership of the rooms that belonged to their fathers (or in her case, mother) and whenever they were there and wanted some time alone or a nap after so much food, they would go to the respective father’s or godfather’s room.
“Hey.” Lily said, knocking lightly on the door and entering it. Hugo was standing by the window, looking out through it. “Is everything ok? I know they are a bit overwhelming, but they mean well.”
“I’m sorry, Lil, I just freaked out.” Hugo turned around and found Lily’s loving eyes on him. “Have you noticed that most of the sensitive news are brought up when the person doesn't want to?”
“How come?” Lily sat on the bed and waited for him to explain.
“When you have something you’re not ready to share, that’s when someone opens their big mouths to talk. But when you actually want to tell them, it’s like no one cares.” Hugo talked with a low voice, going to sit by her side. “Remember when we found out about Vic and Teddy? It was James’s big mouth. Or when Rose was pregnant of Moses? Roxie didn't manage to keep it to herself, overlooking the fact Dad was going to kill Scorpius and make them get married - not that they needed to be obligated to that. Not to count on every embarrassing thing Molly has ever written on the Prophet about us. I guess she’s the worse.”
“It’s Dylan, isn’t it?” Lily only asked.
“Yeah, it’s him.” Hugo admitted.
“And you’re afraid of everyone, aren't you?” Lily placed a hand on his cheek, cleaning a lonely tear. “I won’t tell you everything will be ok and fine. But I don't think it’ll be half as bad as you picture it in your head.”
“You’re probably right, Lil, but that doesn't make it any less hard.” Hugo pointed out.
“Hey, why did Lorcan know?” Lily suddenly remembered.
“Not counting the fact he’s Dylan’s best friend?” Hugo reminded her. “He’s also gay.”
“Lorcan?” Lily gasped in surprise. “Really?”
“Oh, you knew about me, but not him?” Hugo joked.
“Knew what about you?” Hermione echoed, coming into the room with Ron in her heels. Her eyes showed love, but now they also showed concern.
“Geez, aunt Hermione, you scared me.” Lily jumped from the bed, ending up falling on top of Hugo. “Ops, sorry, Hugh.”
“No problem.” He guaranteed before turning to his parents and then back to Lily.
“I should go, excuse me.” Lily announced, leaving a kiss on Hugo’s cheek and hurriedly leaving the room.
Lily was surprised to find everyone helping out on the kitchen before Fleur could serve the cake and sing ‘Happy Birthday’. But before she would too go help out, she noticed her godbrother outside, talking on the cellphone while Vic and Ellie talked in the living room. She didn't need to think twice before going to Teddy.
“Ok, thank you, Matt.” Teddy said over the phone. “Sure, I’ll tell them. Bye.”
“Hey!” Greeted Lily, jumping in front of him with her best smile.
“Hi, mini Potter.” He greeted back, putting the little gadget away on his pocket. “Is everything ok with Hugh?”
“It’ll be.” She assured him. “But I’m more worried about you, Blue.”
“Wha-why?” Teddy wondered, leaning to the railing in the porch and facing his godsister. “Why are you worried, tell me?”
“Teddy, don’t joke about this.” Lily scolded him.
“I’m not! I really want to know.”
“Look, I know it’s been hard.” Lily started, coming a step closer. “I miss Dad so much it hurts. I-I was at the cemetery on Thursday.”
“You were, Lil? Why?” Teddy’s heart suddenly ached for her pain as he reached for her chin and brought it up so he could stare into her eyes. “What’s wrong?” He added as he saw her watery eyes.
“Stupid hormones.” Lily turned her face away, standing next to him on the railing and staring to the Burrow’s property. “Dad always believed in my art and it took me losing him so I could stop being a coward and do something about it. And he’s not here to see it.”
“No, Teddy, you don't understand. Everyday I wish I had had more time with him. I would go to the end of the earth to get him back, I swear it. But I can’t and neither can you. I feel bad about feeling bad, because I know it can’t be good for the baby, and at least I have Evan there, day and night, to my every need.” Lily turned around to find Teddy’s green eyes she knew it was because of their father.
“Oh, Lily.” He reached her cheek to clean yet another tear.
“You’re such a good man, Teddy.” Lily continued. “I love you so so much, but it’s killing me to see you the way you are. Not only are you damaging yourself, what hurts me, but you’re ignoring Vic. She too is pregnant and also lost someone dear to her. I would never expect that from you.”
“I-I-You’re right.” Teddy let go of her face and let his head fall to his chest. “I’m happy for the baby. I swear I am, Lily. Please believe that. But this happiness feels so wrong. It’s like the universe is mocking me. Giving me a blessing when I just lost Harry.” The man rose his head and turned it to look inside the house. His wife was talking to their youngest, probably scolding about mischief with Neal.
“The universe is not mocking you, Blue.” Lily calmly explained him. “It’s giving you a second chance at happiness that you wouldn't find otherwise.”
“When did you grow up to be so wise, mini Potter?” Teddy asked, with a small grin on his lips.
“I’ve always been more mature than you and the boys all together.” She too joked.
“Can’t argue against that.” Teddy agreed, bringing her to a tight hug and kissing her in the head. “Sorry, Lil. I love you, ok?”
“Love you too, Blue.” Lily parted from the hug with a smile. “Go to Vic, smartypants.”
“Sure thing, boss!” Teddy saluted to her before entering the house and going in the direction of his wife.
Lily decided to stay outside for a bit, until she got called for the ‘Happy Birthday’. She overlooked the orchard, imagining how the lake must be freezing and how it’s been so many summers she hasn't gone for a swim. She started to remember her childhood, playing with her cousins, escaping James’s and Fred’s prank, being jealous of Albus and Rose because they were better at Quidditch than her and Hugo.
“Was it you who managed that?” Her mother’s voice echoed behind her, taking Lily from her memories. She looked in the direction of Ginny’s finger, finding a loving Teddy talking with Vic, laughing and caressing her, like he always were when he was with her.
“Maybe.” She smiled. “Vic came by the other day to ask me to come with her to an appointment with Dra. Wong, because Teddy couldn't leave work. Ever.” Lily began explaining. “Dom couldn't get off work to go with her, Fleur was losing her mind about baking for today’s party and she didn't find you. I almost didn't took it personal that I was her 4th option.”
Ginny cracked up. “And did you go with her?”
“Of course I did.” Lily smiled. “Unfortunately, we still don't know the gender.”
“I have a feeling it’s a boy.” Ginny confessed.
“If it is, the name is clearly going to be Harry, isn’t it?” Lily joked, making her mother laugh again.
“Girls,” Alicia came and called them. “Come sing ‘Happy Birthday’.”
“Happy Birthday, aunt Angie!” Tobias wished once again, before going home. The night had fallen and little by little everyone was saying their goodbyes and heading home to get ready for one more working week.
“Happy Birthday, Angie.” Ellie too wished, kissing her on the cheek.
“Thank you, sweeties.” Angelina thanked with a smile. “Thank you for the presents too! Bye, Neal! Keep those Quidditch bets going!” She then added to the little boy. “Make us proud.”
“Don’t worry, I will, aunt Angie.” Neal promised with a large grin. “See, Mum, Nana Heather, aunt Angelina supports me and Remus.”
“Sure she does.” Ellie rolled her eyes. “It’s not her that has to go explain it to the school.”
“Come on, Ellie, I can’t tell you how many times Davina and Minerva called me and George to Gaillard and Hogwarts together with Harry and Ginny.” Angelina laughed. “After some time, you don't mind anymore and you go for the lovely tea and biscuits.”
“Now, let’s put this little guy in bed.” Heather said, trying not to laugh, with Bernard next to her. “See you all!” She waved goodbye to everyone left just as did Ben.
The Bennett’s were going to the Maxwell’s for some night tea. Tobias and Ben wanted to have a much needed talk that they didn't risk having surrounded by so many people. Roberta was the last one to join them, running to them with a smile in her lips, saying Tristian and Lorcan promised to take her along in their next shifts.
One apparation later, the six of them found themselves in front of a apartment building in Oxford, where Tobias and Ellie lived. They had chosen there so to be closer to Ellie’s side of the family, who were mostly composed by muggles.
Their apartment was bigger than it appeared from the outside, something that always made Ellie’s family very confused. The living room was large enough for a small gathering, just like the dining room that had a table that could easily seat 16. The kitchen was large, but neither Tobias nor Ellie were very given to cook (Merlin knows how Nikki and Neal survived). On the other side, Roberta was the one to more use it to cook everything her nephew and niece asked of her. It had five bedroom (Roberta had one for herself) and 4 and ½ bathrooms. And not to count Tobias’s office.
“Would you all want some tea?” Ellie immediately offered as soon as they all steeped into the apartment.
“Please, Ellie.” Heather accepted, sitting on the couch.
“Ladies, do you mind if Toby and I talk in the study for a minute?” Bernard asked, looking to his wife.
Roberta rolled her eyes. “You always do it. Why ask our permission?” Heather was about to scold her daughter when the girl rose from the couch. “Come, Neal, I’ll put you in bed.”
“Yey!” The boy commemorated. “Aunt Robbie, could read me a story, just like you did when I was a kid?”
“You’re still a kid, buddy.” Roberta argued as they both entered the corridor to the bedrooms.
“Am not!” Neal answered back.
“Well,” Heather said, getting up too and heading to the kitchen. “Don’t take too long.”
Both Bernard and Tobias nodded before going to the study and closing the door. After the fingerprints results on Thursday, the two Aurors promised they would keep an eye in their primer suspect during the party that Sunday.
“I still can’t believe it was a match to Dean.” Tobias commented, going by the bar and serving a glass of firewhiskey. “Want some?” He added to Ben.
“Please.” The Head Auror accepted, sitting on the chair in front of the big wooden desk. “We must admit that his rapprochement to Ginny is weird. Exactly after Harry’s death?”
Tobias gave his step/godfather his drink before going to sit behind his desk. “I don’t remember anyone talking about this Dean before. I only know of him because Teddy explained it to me, that day on Maya’s birthday.”
“Harry once told me about him.” Ben shared. “He was Ginny’s boyfriend before him. And well, on their wedding day, Dean went to see Ginny and begged her to elope with him.”
“So, he’s still in love with her?” Tobias suggested.
“I don’t know. He then went to America and married-” Ben continued telling him, but was interrupted.
“America?” Tobias repeated, chocking in his drink.
“Yeah, why?” Ben had his eyebrows furrowed.
“The credit card that bought the gun.” Tobias explained. “It was from a false account in America.” He added further.
“Do we have the dates in those pictures in the ATM?” Ben wondered. When Tobias nodded, he continued. “We could check where Dean was at that date. It certainly explains a lot. Dean married a muggle - Sky if I remember correctly. He had lots of muggle knowledge to plan a murderer the muggle way.”
“It’s a little messed up, isn’t it?” Tobias questioned not to Ben in special. “For what Teddy told me, Harry and Dean shared a dorm. I mean, there should be some friendship in there.”
“I don’t know.” Ben sighed. “But I agree with you. If Dean really was the responsible for Harry’s death, and with it, he intended to conquer Ginny, it’s messed up. Believe me, I loved my best friend’s wife and I almost died when I saw Heather’s sadness when she lost him.”
Tobias eyed his step/godfather with admiration. He had never talked about that with him. And somehow it was nice to know just how honourable the man that married his mother was. It mustn’t been easy to love the woman your best friend married. From what Tobias had recollected over the years, Bernard loved his mother way before his father started dating her, but he never had had the guts to do something about it.
“Well, tomorrow let’s see if our theory is correct.” Tobias finally said, noticing Ben’s sad eyes. He had already lost two best friends. Tobias couldn't ever imagine losing Teddy. “Because if it is, I don't want him getting any closer to aunt Ginny!”
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