Chapter 14 : XIV.
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I hate her so much! She has ruined my entire existence; my entire state of being. All of these years I was struggling through moments of feeling different from my family, and SHE knew this whole time. At least I didn’t end up dating Tim, that’s one good thing.
But right now the universe is having a lot of fun laughing at how shitty my entire life is, and I really don’t appreciate it.
Dad knows now. He hasn’t spoken to me, but I know that it’s just because he’s scared of saying something that’ll make him lose me. Like, when you’re someone’s parent you can easily say “sure you hate me right now, but you can’t leave because your still mine.” But right now I really don’t feel like anyone’s. My mom’s lied to me all of this time, my dad is not my dad, Scorpius is only my half-brother, and I’ve never even met Tim’s—my “real” dad—. I’m a Malfoy by marriage, but not by blood, and that makes me feel so enraged. Throughout all of this time I’ve been defending a name that doesn’t even belong to me! I’ve been so proud of my family and my heritage, even with all of the awful things we did, only to find out that none of it is mine.
People say that you don’t tell children things because they are ‘not old enough’ or ‘not ready to hear it’. People think that they’re protecting them, but they’re not. At the end of the day, innocence and cluelessness gets you into a shitload more trouble than knowing “too much” ever will. Take it from someone who knows it incredibly well.
Eventually, Dad has regained his words. He invites me into his study, and we sit together on the couch. I crawl into his arms and cry my eyeballs out. “Hey,” he speaks. “Look at me.” It’s a command, not a suggestion, so I do it. “You, are my daughter, no matter what. I raised you with all that I could, and even if my blood doesn’t flow through your veins you will always have a part of me in you. I can always pick out my intelligence, and the stubbornness I don’t admit to, in you. There are so many other things we share. Our bond is more family than me being your real father could ever be.”
“You are my real father Dad.” I say back. “There are no fake fathers.”
“You are such an amazing and beautiful girl my darling. You are capable of so many wonderful and awe-inspiring things.”
“Thank you, Daddy.” I mumble, feeling like a little girl, scared once again by thunder and lightning.
I feel safe in my father’s arms no matter what hits me.
“Are you and Mother going to get divorced?” I ask quietly. I’m still horribly enraged at her, so there’s no way I’m calling her the warm endearing version of ‘Mother’ that I’ve used since my first few words. Right now she doesn’t particularly deserve my love. I’m not only mad because she was unfaithful to my dad, but I’m mad because she kept it from me all of these years. She let me believe that the person raising me was mine, but she stood there knowingly, while everyone else stood clueless.
I’m just pissed. That’s all I can say.
So now I know why I can play quidditch even though my whole family is bollocks at it; and why my hair is slightly browner than blonde; and why I’ve always felt like a part of me was just… Missing.
The other thing I give myself more time to think about is Tim. Thank Godric I didn’t end up dating him. Hallelujah to the fact that we didn’t make out and find out then. In a normal friendship or siblingship people hug and kiss each other on the cheek. Scorpius does it to me all of the time! Thank the lord and all of the Earth. The situation could have been much worse and that would have been so… Ew, gross gross gross gross gross. No. Maybe deep inside he felt something weird, and though he was focussing on school and quidditch, the strange ‘don’t do it, you’ll see why soon’ feeling was probably prodding him in the gut. He’s a guy, he’s got survival instincts.
Well, everything does happen for a reason. And I’m glad I don’t like Tim like that anymore.
But thinking about Tim leads me to think about something outside of this whole family debacle.
I do not need that shit show debate right now.
At dinner, Mother and Dad don’t talk to one another. There’s silence all around the dinning table, and even the house elves feel awkward when they come in to deliver our dishes to us. By the time we get to the chocolate mousse the silence breaks. Dad hands Mother a stack of paper, and the thump of the white pile echoes through the dinning room. I look to Scorpius and he grimaces. We both know what those are. They’re divorce papers.
We stare together as our father’s signature glares at us on one of the lines.
I stand abruptly and try to hold the tears in until I’m out of the room, scurrying away and up the stairs to my bedroom. It’s still early in the evening, but after flicking through a few pages of a novel sadly and deciding that I can’t possibly read right now, I decide to just get ready for bed.
Staring at the ceiling gets frustrating. By now it’s finally late enough to sleep, but the issue is that I’m not tired anymore. I take the restlessness for about an hour or so before I grunt in frustration and push myself out from under the covers. Flicking on the light, I stare longingly at Scorpius’ bedroom door out of my open one. I haven’t gone to my brother’s room in years, not since I was afraid of dragons and thunder.
Quietly, I make my way to Scorpius’ bedroom. I try not to wake him, but he’s a light sleeper, so he sits up and mumbles my name in a bit of a question. I haven’t really seen this place. The room is about the same size as mine. The furniture is old fashioned, because Scorpius thinks it looks cool, and there’s book shelves on every wall surface. He seems to have collected at rather motley crew of persian rugs over the years, but somehow they complement the room.
As I make my way to his bed, the moon shines through the windows, giving enough light for me to see that he’s been crying. His tear stained face glows in the white light, and it makes me feel bad for not being a bit more there for him in our normal life. If this is all some horrible dream, I vow then and there to try harder when we wake up.
“Can I sleep here tonight?” I mumble.
Scorpius doesn’t say anything, he just moves over a little to the left and pats the spot next to him. I crawl into his warm bed and press myself against him. He smells really good, like warm cinnamon. This is my brother, my family, my constant. I can lose friends, breakup with boyfriends, and get new co-workers, but Scorpius is irreplaceable. Even though sometimes he can be a pest, he’s always there and we have a symbiotic relationship. This is my brother, my family, my constant.
The next morning Scorpius and I mumble to each other for a little bit, and I cry into his arms before he leaves me in his bed and goes to find a house elf to send me breakfast. When the house elf arrives I eat solemnly and sniffle a little bit. Scorpius leaves me alone for the rest of the day, and eventually I fall back to sleep.
It’s five o’clock when I finally leave Scorpius’ room, so I just read for a while and eat some food and then try to fall asleep again.
When I wake up I yawn loudly and cover my face as the sun stings my eyes. TJ lives near me, so I decide that I’ll send him a quick owl to see if he’s up to anything. I get out of bed and tip toe across my large room to meet my writing kit.
I hope I’m not interrupting your lovely morning sex with Ben, but I’ve got a whole load of hilarious (on the outside) but deeply dismal (on the inside) shit to talk about.
Are you busy today? I seriously need to talk your ear off about how shitty my life is right now. Get a hold of Audrey too. And if you’re not already in bed with Ben, maybe it’d be best if we call a team meeting.
All the best,
His reply came within an hour.
Oh God mercy,
You haven’t even started talking and I’m calling mercy! I know I know, I could be less mean. No, unfortunately I am not in bed with Ben, I’m getting ready for a fancy brunch with my parents. And you’ve just saved me! I’m really glad, you have no idea how close to cracking on telling them about Ben I am. I know you’re about to call me a cowardly sod, but you need to understand that they were already so upset when Olivia died, and if they wouldn’t accept me I wouldn’t want to give them more to be upset about. My life is already about as melodramatic as it can get.
Whatever, come over in about half an hour, my parents should’ve left for bunch by then.
T. J. D.
I get dressed in a warm jumper and jeans with long socks, and then wash my face and brush my teeth and hair. Before I know it I’m jotting down a quick note to my family and leaping into the fire place. Shouting ‘Dashkin Family Home’, I throw the murky green floo powder down and brace myself for the ride. I tumble through a few fireplaces before falling onto the wooden floor of TJ’s living room. “Ow,” I groan loudly. TJ smirks, looking down at me from his spot on the red leather couch.
“Flawlessly executed sire.” He says to me. “Flooing’s never really been your specialty, has it?
“My life is in shambles and you’re criticizing me on how efficiently I use my least favourite method of transportation?” I gape in disbelief, standing up and noticing Audrey sitting on the brown leather arm chair and Ben lounging on the breakfast bar.
“So, what’s so important that we had to call a team meeting?” Ben questions. He gets up, pushing himself off of the counter and falling onto the red leather love seat next to TJ.
I take a deep breath in and then huff out the quick and simplified version of the story. “My mum cheated on my dad around nine months before I was born, so my dad’s not my dad, Oliver Wood is my dad, Scorpius is my half-brother, Tim Wood is my other half-brother, and I now hate my mum.”
Audrey, TJ, and Ben gape. Black hole mouths.
“So how did you find this out?” Audrey asks.
Two hours later I’m done my story and Ben is snoring on TJ’s lap, Audrey has her chin in her hands on the floor, and I am sunk in a fuzzy brown bean bag. We all have scorching hot mugs of tea (except Ben, of course), that we try to sip one but burn ourselves on and stop trying. Eventually Audrey moves her mug and falls asleep too. The fire inside the fireplace crackles as TJ looks up at me. “I’m sorry about how I was earlier.” He whispers across the room, so as to not wake Audrey and Ben.
“It’s alright. You didn’t know what was going on.”
“Well, now I do, and I feel bad. I just wanted to let you know,” he pauses to take a breath. “That I’m sorry.” Tears start roll down his face as he gets up to come sit with me. “I understand messed up shit going on in families. I’ve never gone through what you’re going through, but I know that this kind of thing really messes up your life and turns it upside down.”
I hug him tight, his tears rolling onto my shoulder, soaking it. It’s hard for him to talk about what went on with his sister and her heart attack, but here he is opening up to me.
I’m here for him
And them, the two weirdos sleeping at any angle, Ben and Audrey.
And here they are for me in return to catch me when I fall.
That is what real friends are. The kind that are stupid enough to jump with you, and smart and caring enough to catch you before you hit the water and never surface.
We are four friends that make up the most beautiful cohesive unit.
Author’s Note: Hello my pretty little chickens, I apologize for not having updated in forever (since May, gasp!), so unfortunately this chapter is not edited (are any of your chapters ever edited, Lily? The answer is no, not really), I’ll be editing as soon as all of the chapters of GTOLM are posted. Thanks so much for reading!
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