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Chapter 31 : Betrothed: Rose POV
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Scorpius? The father? The father in the prophecy? My head didn’t want to believe it, because my heart was leaping with too much joy.
Scorpius had stopped breathing. I could feel how still he was against me.
“How - ?” was the only syllable that I could manage.
“W-well...” Mum began, but stopped. I think the absolute look of disbelief on our faces had shaken her, so Uncle Harry stepped in.
“Your Mum approached this as a true academic, Rose. She was searching for the truth and then figured we would come up with the best way to deal with it.” I was nodding absent mindedly.
Uncle Harry continued. “The first line about the father being descended from death eaters is very general. Hermione made a list of all the known death eaters and their descendants. That was easy enough, but it left us with a bigger list than we wanted.”
Scorpius shifted behind me. His arms dragged off my middle and fell limp to his sides. I quickly grabbed both of them and pulled them around me, so mine were pinning him to me. I placed his hands around me and squeezed. He wasn’t alone. I knew what it meant to have a prophecy spoken about you.
“The second line was the one that originally made Hermione think that we needed to delve into the interpretation.” Harry nodded at Mum. “The ‘descendant from those who were the dark lord’s retreat.’ We are most certain refers to the fact that Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy used Malfoy Manor as the headquarters for Voldemort and the death eaters during the second wizarding war.” Harry spoke very matter-of-factly, keeping his voice calm. I noticed how he used their full names, instead of calling them Scorpius’s grandparents. “Scorpius, you’re their only descendant.” Again, he chose to be more formal with his wording.
Scorpius cleared his throat, but still sounded a little hoarse when he spoke. It brought tears to my eyes and I was glad he couldn’t see my face. “A-and what about the ‘lost soul?’”
“Scorpius, you lost your parents at such a young age.” Uncle Harry’s voice was firm and kind at the same time. “We all know how difficult that was for you. We think it is referencing that your loss was… erm - very great. Believe me, I can relate.” It didn’t seem so bad when Uncle Harry compared himself to Scorpius.
“Uh-huh,” was the only response. He pulled one of his arms out from me and scratched the back of his head. He lifted his other arm away and folded them across his chest, turning slightly away from me.
It was Mum’s turn to try. “If it’s any consolation to you, Scorpius, the rest of us are actually pretty excited that you’re the father in the prophecy. She nodded at my Dad and Uncle. It seems to make sense – since you and Rose are together – well, engaged actually and now having a baby…”
“Mum,” I started, the realization hitting me as the words came out of my mouth, “Is this baby,” I held up the parchment, “the one from the prophecy?” My voice wouldn’t make actual sounds so the last words were just a whisper.
“I think that’s what we have to conclude.” Uncle Harry answered for her after a few moments of silence. Her mouth just opened and closed a bit and she nodded when Uncle Harry spoke.
I couldn’t form actual words to respond. Instead, all I could do was blow out a puff of air in disbelief. I was just adjusting to the idea of being married and a Mum. I was in the middle of trying to figure out how I’d be able to fit in the rest of my training and still have time for motherhood. This added an entirely new layer of responsibilities. I turned to look up at Scorpius, who was now sitting beside me. He didn’t look back; he was holding his head in one of his hands, the other arm still crossed over his middle. He was taking this really, really hard.
After a few minutes when no one spoke, Mum decided to change the subject. Or so it seemed. “Rose, have you thought about when you would like to tell the family?”
I took a deep breath. “Well, Scorpius and I were tossing around the idea of having something at your place on Saturday, weren’t we Scorp?”
“Yeah,” he said from under his hand. It was more of a grunt than an agreement. He did not look up. I figured that was all the response I was going to get for the moment.
“However,” I continued. “We wanted to check to see what we should do, because of Stannous. Even though we now know that he isn’t the father from the prophecy, he is probably still going to think he is.”
“And there’s also the press to consider,” Mum looked grave. “We aren’t going to be able to keep any of this a secret for much longer.”
“All right,” Uncle Harry was always one to cut to the chase in sticky situations. “We really have three things to share: the engagement, the pregnancy, and the prophecy. Once word of your pregnancy gets out, Stannous is going to put two and two together and realize the prophecy isn’t about him. But don’t let that fool you into a false sense of security. He’s still a very dangerous criminal. This information will most likely infuriate him, which makes him more dangerous because we won’t know what tactics he will employ now that his main objective has been compromised.”
Scorpius shifted a bit further down the sofa. He held his face in both hands, elbows resting on his knees. Surprisingly, this upset me more than the information that Uncle Harry was disseminating.
I took a deep breath and tried to maintain my focus on what Uncle Harry was saying. “Many of the family know about the prophecy, but not about how Scorpius fits into it. I’ll make a formal announcement to the aurors at a meeting tomorrow morning. Since the prophecy is confirmed as being legitimate, we’ll treat it as such and keep to a minimum the number of people who are privy to the details.” Uncle Harry’s voice dropped a few notes. “I’ve seen firsthand what can happen when the general public is allowed to comment on prophecies.” His eyes briefly flicked to my parents and Dad pulled Mum a bit closer. I remembered the talk we’d had about her experiences in the Second Wizarding War - and the aftereffects.
But Uncle Harry didn’t linger on the topic. He spoke quickly, “Other than the necessary ministry officials and the family, we won’t be making it public. Obviously Stannous has discovered it somehow, so it’s fair to conclude that he and whomever is working for him knows as well.”
Scorpius didn’t move beside me and it was gut-wrenching. Not wanting to break down in front of everyone, I focused Uncle Harry.
He continued, his voice much lighter, “As for the engagement and the baby, it makes sense to just communicate all of it at once. Especially since you’re in your second trimester. This is good news for the whole family and it should be celebrated.” He had a twinkle in his eye and I smiled back. It’s not like I wanted his approval or anything, but the fact that he was genuinely happy for us made a huge difference. I tried to grab one of Scorpius’s hands, but he’d sat back heavily against the seat and had his arms crossed on his chest, so I settled for holding on to a few fingers that were peeking out from under his folded arms.
“What about tonight?” Mum blurted out.
“What’re you on about?” Dad countered.
“Tonight – it seems like it’s been such a long time since we’ve had good news to announce, I don’t want to wait.” She lifted her head in determination and set her chin. I knew that look. Mum was already planning the whole party in her head.
Dad must’ve recognized the look as well, because he put an arm around her and shuffled her a bit closer to him. When she turned her head to challenge him, he nodded toward my fiance.
Mum’s eyes followed Dad’s look and she faltered “Erm, I mean – if it’s alright with Rose and Scorpius of course. And if the Aurors think it’s a good idea…” She seemed less confident.
“It sounds lovely -” I was actually quite relieved that we were going through with this idea. Once Scorpius saw how excited everyone was for us, he wouldn’t be so upset about the prophecy.
“It’s brilliant,” Uncle Harry conceded. “You’re right that it’s been too long since we had a real celebration. We can’t hold off forever, anyway.”
“And what about Stannous?” I couldn’t help but ask.
“We have to continue on with our lives – but keep up our defenses as we have been doing. If there are any new developments, we’ll deal with them as they come up.”
“Then it’s settled,” Mum said. “We’ll tell the family tonight about all our good news! I must get going. Ron, you owl all the Weasleys. Harry, you tell the Potters. Rose, you let all your friends know, and Ginny, Molly and I will take care of the food. See all of you tonight at around seven?” Now that she’d been given the go-ahead from all of us, she was moving full speed ahead with her party organization.
“Sounds great Mum!” In typical Weasley fashion, we’d planned a party for upwards of fifty people in less than two minutes. It was happening so fast. Really, really fast. All the same, I felt lighter than air. I pulled at Scorpius’s fingers to try to get him to turn his head. He finally did, but looked past me and scratched the back of his head again. The tension was seeping out of him, and I wanted him to share in my elation.
“Er… why don’t you go on with your Mum?” he said distractedly. “I need to find Al and figure out what I missed at training today. I’ll catch up with you later.”
“Oh. Okay.” I knew he was taking the news really hard. It still hurt. The dramatic change in his mood from when we first came to Uncle Harry’s office to now was pressing against my chest. I tried not to sound too disappointed.
Whilst my parents and uncle spoke briefly, I leaned up to kiss Scorpius. For just a moment, I caught his eyes and saw all of his angst and turmoil in them. Before he could turn away, I grabbed both sides of his face and stood on my toes to lean our foreheads together. “Hey. I love you,” I whispered, drawing circles on his cheeks with my thumbs. “Always and forever. The prophecy didn’t matter to you before and it doesn’t matter to me now.” Before I could say any more, he had already turned his head away and said, in a strained voice, “See you tonight.” And with that, he was gone.
Mum came over to me. I think she knew that I wasn’t ready to talk about it right now. “Come along, love. We’ve got some food to prepare.”
As it always was with the Weasleys, everyone came together to pull off the party in just a few hours. It was fabulous. Nana Molly and Aunt Ginny sent over most of the food and Mum and I did the decorations. Mum and Dad’s house looked great after we put up bronze and navy streamers. I knew Dad would grumble about it later. He was really proud that I was a Ravenclaw, but his heart belonged to Gryffindor and he couldn’t change that.
We decided to tell everyone that it was an engagement party and then announce the news of the baby when they’d all arrived. The planning took up most of my afternoon so I didn’t even get to see Scorpius until he arrived shortly before seven. Mum and I were in the kitchen, getting the last of the food set out. Most of our parties are not formal sit-down dinners (except holidays) and we just had a bunch of hors d’oeuvres and drinks. He came by and gave me a quick kiss before excusing himself to go and say hi to the other Weaselys. I think Mum could tell I was a little hurt at our quick exchange.
“Rose, love, he needs a little time. This prophecy thing is really big.” I wanted to bite back that I knew how big it was, being that I’d been dealing with it for the past few months. I pushed my frustration down and took a deep breath.
“Dear, why don’t you make yourself a plate? You’re the guest of honor and people will start to eat once they see you’ve tucked in.”
“Mum, this is our family – they don’t need me to follow any special sort of decorum. Besides, Dad’s been eating since he came home two hours ago.”
She smiled, but handed me a plate anyway and pointed to the table of food. She’d been making sure that I had a meal or a snack about every two hours all day long.
“Did Scorpius tell you that the Healer said I need to gain weight?!” I finally copped on. “He went really barmy about that.” I shook my head and muttered.
“No…” Mum did not sound convincing and I stared her down. “Well… not technically. He may have mentioned something to your father who passed it along.”
“Uh-huh.” I was distracted from my annoyance as Aunt Ginny and Uncle Harry entered the kitchen.
“Darling!” Aunt Ginny wrapped her arms around me after setting down a large tray of sandwiches that she’d brought. “You look so wonderful tonight!” Squeezing both of my arms she said, “I sent some of your favorite treacle tart over to Number Twelve. You make sure Albus doesn’t eat it all, okay?” I nodded, smiling as I hugged her and Uncle Harry in turn.
“Thank you, Aunt Ginny,” I said, returning the hug.
She whispered in my ear, “Your Mum sent me a peek at the baby! It’s absolutely beautiful. Harry and I are so happy for you,”
“Thank you,” I said again, and quickly excused myself. I was trying really hard to be excited for this party but I wanted Scorpius to be excited with me - the way we’d been that morning after the appointment with Healer Chang. It seemed like months had passed and our elation was short lived. Why couldn’t we ever seem to be happy for long enough to enjoy it?
I managed to find Scorp talking to Dom. They looked like they were deep in conversation.
“Hey,” I said, sidling up to him. “Hi Dom. How’s training?”
“Oh,” she said airily, “Probably about the same as it is for you. We are knee deep in studying for S.N.A.K.E.s. Huh, Scorp?”
“Yup,” he said. He put his arm around me and I took a step closer to him. It felt nice, being close to him again. He began to rub my arm gently and I leaned my head into him. “It’ll be over soon. And then the hard part starts – assignments. Al is hoping to be paired with Teddy, but probably won’t be… because of the family connection.”
“That can’t be the reason!” Dom exclaimed. “If that were the rule, half the Auror department would be off limits for Al – and me for that matter. Rose, how do the Healer assignments work?”
“Well,” I began, “we put in our requests for which specialties we’re interested in. Each trainee lists their top three, in order. Then the Healers look at the requests and decide who to take on as their apprentice trainees.” Scorpius waved over to Teddy and excused himself. I smiled at him, but he didn’t seem to notice. Trying not to convey my disappointment, I turned back to Dom.
“So… what are your top three choices?” She was genuinely interested, but also not stupid. I am sure she saw the disappointment on my face. “Obviously, you’ll get your top choice, but I’m just wondering what specialties you have considered.”
“Actually, I haven’t decided,” I said, smiling at her compliment. “I really liked our seminar on healing dark curses. I also enjoy emergency care, but it can get a little tedious. After healing James’s and Albus’s broken bones and bruises for the past 10 years, I’m an old hat at most of that.”
She nodded in agreement. Over the years, I’d healed more than Dom’s share of damages from duels and pranks gone wrong. “I guess I haven’t really found any one specialty that piques my interest. Also…” I slowed down, “I have a lot on my plate at the moment. I might have to put training on hold for a bit.”
She raised her eyebrow at me. “What’s going on?”
“I can’t say right now. But you’ll know soon enough.” I felt guilty as a sigh escaped my lips. Suddenly, I felt the need to be near Scorpius. “I’ll catch you later?” I said, trying to make my voice light, but failing miserably.
“Sure.” Dom was clever enough to know not to push me right now. “Love ya, Rosie. Congrats to you and Scorp.” She went to find Victoire and I turned to see the rest of my family gathering around the house.
Everyone came – except Hugo and Lily, who were still at school finishing up their sixth year. The biggest surprise (for me) was when James tumbled out of the fireplace. I positively screamed in delight.
“Oooooo! James! How did you manage to come?!” For a minute, I forgot about Scorpius and the stress he was causing me. I threw my arms around my cousin and didn’t let go.
“Couldn’t miss it Rosie! Dad owled me earlier today and said you and Scorp were getting hitched. I needed to be here.”
“Thank you.” I felt my eyes getting a little teary. “And thank you, Uncle Harry.” I said as he walked over to greet his son. He just grinned at me.
“Now that everyone’s here, Rose, why don’t you and Scorpius make your big announcement?” Uncle Harry suggested.
“All right,” I replied and left Uncle Harry and a very confused looking James. My eyes scanned the room, looking for my fiancé. He was talking to Louis and Molly. I managed to catch his eye and summon him over.
“I think it is time that we told the… crew.”
“Sure.” He was scratching the back of his neck again and looking past me. I took a deep breath. He was usually the one who took the lead in these situations, but it didn’t look like that was going to happen. I grabbed his hand and pulled him along with me to the center of the room.
“Hi everyone!” I began loudly and they all quieted somewhat. The Weasleys didn’t usually make big, long speeches, so I cut to the chase. “Thank you for coming tonight - all of you,” I nodded to James, who was being greeted by the rest of the gang. “Scorpius and I are so happy to celebrate our engagement with everybody. But we have more news! We’re going to be parents! I’m due October thirty-first.”
Most of the family began clapping and cheering, led on by Mum and Uncle Harry. Dom, James, Fred and Al exchanged dark looks, because they knew about the prophecy. They convened together in a corner and I made my way over to them, Scorpius behind me. We were waylaid on our trek by congratulating family members, but we finally got there.
“Rosie!” Al started, “What the f-”
He was cut short by Dom smacking him over the head. “Don’t start, Al,” she said warningly. “This is a pregnant woman. And you don’t swear at pregnant women. Or say anything to upset them.” Scorpius shifted next to me and put his arm around my waist.
“I’m just saying,” Al began again, rubbing his head. “What – how the fu-” he ducked a second swat by Dom, but continued. “– is this going to work in with the whole ‘death eater’ prophecy thing?”
“Well,” I started slowly and looked around to make sure that no other family members were listening. Obviously, everyone had to know at some point but, given Scorpius’s current state, I didn’t want to start spreading around news to the entire family until he was ready. “Today, we found out that the father in the prophecy is Scorpius!” I leaned the side of my head into his chest. “Mum figured it out and checked it over with the Ministry.”
“Wow,” Dom was shocked. “That – that’s great Rose.”
“Brilliant!” was James’s response.
Fred just shook Scorpius’s hand and said, “Well done, mate. On knocking my cousin up – and all the other stuff.” I rolled my eyes.
Scorpius stepped forward to shake Fred’s hand and released his arm from around my waist. “Thanks,” he muttered. “I – I’ve got to go see…” he trailed off and just walked away.
Again. This was getting exhausting. I looked at Al and sent my question to his eyes. He didn’t say anything, but nodded and headed after his best mate, who had ducked down the side hallway. In the back of my mind I thought that having the party the same night as we found out he was the father in the prophecy might’ve been a bit soon for Scorpius.
I continued to talk to Dom, James and Fred for several minutes, halfheartedly. James had to head back in the morning, but would be home in two weeks. Fred was gearing up for the summer season in the joke shop. And Dom confided to us that she would really like to be paired with one of the female Aurors for her apprenticeship.
As they were talking, I started to get more and more irritated with Scorpius. Enough was enough. I knew he felt bad that the prophecy was about him – because I understood the enormity of that weight on his shoulders. But, this was really the best case scenario for us. What did it matter anyway? Our baby was going to have two parents that loved it and wanted it. I decided that I needed to talk to him. Right then and there.
Excusing myself from my cousins, I made my way decidedly down the side hallway where he’d disappeared earlier. I found him and Al sitting next to each other on the floor up against the wall. They both stood when they saw me.
“Er… I’m gonna go talk to James.” Al excused and slid past me.
“Hi,” I said, a little more curtly than I wanted to – or maybe not. “You know, it is our party out there. We should probably both be… present.”
“Yeah, I guess so,” he mumbled.
“Look,” I started again. “I know this is really, really big news. But it’s not that bad! We are together – just like it says. I thought you’d be a little more, I don’t know – excited that I’m not about to be attacked by some random death eater and…” I shuddered. The memories would always make me shudder. Then I started to get more than a little ticked off. Did he want it to be some random death eater instead of him?! What was wrong with him?
“Scorpius, you’re not being fair. I’ve had this hanging over me for months and I finally get some good news and you’re being sulky,” I was intentionally lowering my voice to control my emotions. He was still looking at the floor with his lips pursed together so I begged, “Say something, please.”
“I envisioned the father in the prophecy being…” he blurted, “Stannous or some other truly evil bloke. And – you would raise the baby from your good heart. The baby would be mostly-”
“No!” I began forcefully, frustration bubbling up from within, “You envisioned us raising the baby together. I know you did. That hasn’t changed. Other than the fact that is it our baby – your baby!” I poked him in the chest for emphasis. He took a step back. I wanted some reaction from him. Any reaction.
“You’re angry?” His voice was full of surprise. “You don’t ever get angry.”
“You’re damn right I’m angry, Scorpius. This is my family! There are a whole new set of rules. We have a baby to think about. A baby. The baby didn’t ask for this any more than you or I did.” A look of confusion shadowed across his eyes and it only made me angrier.
“Hey Scorp,” James suddenly appeared in the hallway and cut in from behind him, resting a hand on his shoulder. As usual, he was completely oblivious to the fact that we were having a private conversation. He entirely ignored the death stares I was shooting his way. “You have got to see the new Mercury eighty-five hundred broomstick. Each of us Cannons got one to test out whilst we’re touring in Germany. I have mine out back. Want to give it a spin? I’ve got to bring it back with me tomorrow.”
“Er… sure,” Scorpius allowed himself to be led away by James and me standing there in utter disbelief. He didn’t even look at me.
What. The. Hell. I knew he was upset. But leaving me standing in an empty hallway to ride a broomstick? It was inexcusable. For the first time in a LONG time, I was too pissed off to be weepy. Never mind me, how could he do this to our child? I reached into my robes and pulled out my wand. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to do with it. I racked my brain for a hex that fit the situation of ‘my fiancé is being a total arse because he just found out that we share the same prophecy.’ I figured I would just make up something when I caught up to him. It would be some sort of a combination between the bat-bogey hex and a knockback jinx.
I didn’t get two steps down the hallway when Albus rounded the corner. He held a butterbeer in one hand and a plate piled high with food in the other. Handing me the plate he said casually, “So… trouble in paradise?”
“Honestly, did Scorp tell everyone that I need to gain weight? I don’t think he understands that the Healer didn’t mean for me to gain it all in one day!” I took the plate but was way too full (and too upset) to eat anything. “I just can’t believe him right now. He’s being a total… arsehole.” I grumbled, effectively answering Albus’s question. Not a word that I would normally use, but I was too irritated to think about that.
“Well,” Al began, “I can understand.”
“What can you understand?” I said bitingly. I knew that I was transferring my anger to Albus, but I couldn’t help it. I was sick of men and their half-explanations of things. “Do you mean you understand me or Scorp?”
“I understand both of you,” he said softly, rubbing my arm. “He’s my best mate and you are my… Rose.”
“So you’re playing Switzerland. Neutral. Not going to get involved.” Anger was resurfacing and I thought that maybe I could just hex Albus instead and that would be enough to satisfy me. “I get it. Just don’t come here and act like you’re trying to make me feel better,” I scoffed and turned to walk down the hall and back to the party.
“That’s not what I meant, Rose,” he gritted, having a hard time hiding his temper and took a deep breath. “I understand that you are relieved. Happy, even. So are all the rest of us,” he calmed as he took both of my hands in his, the same way he did the night that I learned about the prophecy for the first time. “I can’t tell you how much stress this takes off of me – and Dad – and your Mum and Dad – you get the picture.” His voice was kinder now. Was he close to tears?
“But,” he began, steadier, “Scorpius is a different story. He didn’t see this coming and he’s devastated.”
“About the baby?” I choked. That can’t be. He was so, so happy earlier. When we were looking at the scan of the baby and asking all our questions to Healer Chang.
“No, Rosie. He – we – always knew you were the ‘good’ side of the prophecy and he used to say all the time how that made perfect sense to him.” I nodded. He’d told me that as well.
“It’s just…” Al twisted his mouth, searching for the right words. “He just can’t… reconcile with the fact that he’s the ‘evil’ side.”
“Evil?” I didn’t understand. “What do you mean, evil?”
“The prophecy says that the baby comes from two family lines: one good and one evil. I… think Scorp is distancing himself because he doesn’t want to… influence the baby with his – evil heritage.”
“That is the most absurd thing I have ever heard.”
Albus was really reaching now. I swear, the lengths he will go to make me feel better.
“I know it, you know it. Hell, our whole family knows that. He dropped one of my hands to sweep around in midair, indicating all our relatives who were in the next room.
“But it’s not about our family – it’s about his,” he said somberly. “His dad didn’t talk about the war to him all that much. And he died before Scorp was old enough to start asking some serious questions about it. Personally, I think Draco kept quiet to protect Scorpius. The less he knew, the less he would have to defend. The upshot of that is that Scorp doesn’t really know details about what his family did during the war. He has to find out in pieces – and in prophecies.”
My anger began to ebb. I had no idea he felt that way. I should’ve put all the parts together myself, but I’d been a little wrapped up in my own life situation.
I began, “I repeat: there is no way Scorpius has one evil bone in his body. He feels so much, loves so much; he’s an Auror, for Merlin’s sake, fighting the dark arts. Not exactly the calling card of evil.”
“Yeah, we all know that. But we need to give him time to figure that out himself. He’ll get there. But Rosie, please let ‘Lenia and me know if you need anything, anything at all.”
“Actually, I think you and I should tell Selenia about the prophecy tonight when we get back. Your dad is going to give a press release about everything tomorrow and I’d rather she hear it from us. It’ll be nice to have… to be able to talk to her about it.”
“That sounds great, Rosie.” He smiled and rubbed my shoulder.
“Great. Let’s do it as soon as we get home. I’m just so tired right now. This has been a really, really long day. Will you do me a favor – and check on Scorp from time to time? I know I keep asking this of you, but he needs his mates right now.”
“You know I was going to do that anyway, right?” Albus said, giving me his arm.
“Yeah, I do. Let’s get back to the party.” I took his arm and we walked back to the living room.
James was back from his test flight and showing off the new broomstick to my Dad and Uncle Harry. I scanned the room for Scorpius. He wasn’t there. I craned my neck and looked around again, catching Al doing the same thing. His eyes met mine and his face twisted with worry. Scorpius was gone. This was far from over.
Hello! I'm so, so sorry that it's taken me this long to update. I don't expect to have another break this long for quite some time. Thank you to everyone who's been reading this story. If you could take the time to leave a review, I'd be so very appreciative!
Special thanks to Emily (-BookDinosaur-) for the chapter name.
And as always special thanks to my beta reader, Joey (crestwood). He's been a writing MACHINE these past few months, so if you get a chance, stop by his page and check out his amazing work!
Edit: 15 April, 2015 - I just wanted to send a quick thanks to MargaretLane and CambAngst for the amazing cc. I've updated based on their recommendatioins (this AND many other chapters) and, as usual, I'm much happier with the story. Thanks you two! ♥ Beth
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