James Potter woke to find green eyes looking down at him.
‘Morning love,’ James said slipping an arm around his wife’s back and pulling her down to meet his lips.
‘Morning,’ Lily said as she snuggled into her husband’s side. They remained quiet for a while until they heard the cry of their twins. ‘I’ll get them,’ Lily said as she slipped out of bed heading through the door into the other room. She smiled at her children who were both standing in their cots holding onto the bars. Lily picked Myles up and set him onto the floor watching him toddle into her room before grabbing Claudia and making her way back to her warm bed. As she entered the room she found James leaning against the headboard with his knees bent so Myles could use them as a slide.
‘Me!’ Claudia cried before her mother placed her on the bed climbing back under the covers. It had become a sort of ritual for them to stay in bed and play with the kids for a while in the morning. As Claudia tried to push her brother away from her father’s legs Lily sighed.
‘Yeah,’ James said distracted as he tried to keep his kids on the bed.
‘I want my boy home,’ James let his legs drop and quickly conjured some toys onto the bed before turning to his wife.
‘I know love, so do I,’
‘He shouldn’t have to do this. What if…?’
‘Lily we can’t ask ourselves ‘what if?’ or we’ll end up focusing on the worst.’
‘Lil, Harry’s strong and he’s determined to make the world a better place for AJ, Myles and Claudia. We all know that lives will be lost in this war but Harry will find a way to end this war and survive I know he will. We just have to have faith in him.’
‘I know and I do but the last time I spoke to him was at the hospital when Mattie was in the coma. Why is it that our son got burdened with this?’
‘You know we’ve been asking ourselves and others that question for years, I think now we have to focus on surviving and helping where we can and raising our kids.’
‘He’s missed so much. AJ will be in in a while and will ask us to tell him another story about when we were at school or about when Harry was younger and it breaks my heart to know that we’re missing a family member and that if things go badly it might always just be us and our three younger kids. What if we lose Harry?’
‘We won’t because we won’t let him die Lil and you know it. We’ll fight alongside him and by god I’ll die for him.’ Lily looked at James knowing they had only a few short minutes before their newly eight year old son would come into the room.
‘We will won’t we James. Fight so he can have the life he deserves. As his mum I hate seeing the burden he has to carry, a burden I can’t relieve him of.’
‘Harry’s strong Lily,’ James said hugging his wife tightly. They pulled apart as Myles stood on James knee and tumbled forward laughing.
AJ came in and was met by his little sister wrapping her arms around his neck as he sat on the bed. Claudia kissed his cheek leaving drool running down his face.
‘Thanks Claudy,’ AJ said pulling a face and wiping off his sister’s dribble. ‘Dad, tell me a story.’
‘Ok now which one,’ James said rubbing his chin. ‘Ah I know,’ James started and leapt into a story about how Harry had once swallowed a magic frog and had started hoping around when he was two. Lily listened, memories filling her head, she was hopeful, hopeful that Harry would come home soon and complete their family. Lily pulled her daughter onto her lap and cuddled her while the boys listened to James. Myles understanding hop and Harry only had awkwardly climbed off the bed, landing on his diapered bottom before starting to hop around.
‘Come on we should get breakfast,’ Lily said as AJ and James joined in, jumping around. Lily shook her head, smiling warmly at her men as she went into the other room to change her daughter. Lily came downstairs with Claudia perched on her hip jerking herself forward in an attempt to make her mother go faster. Ginny was holding her niece, trying to feed her while Tonks fed Teddy. Lily set Claudia in her highchair near to where Georgia sat eating quietly compared to her brother.
‘Oh she kept humming to herself so I told her I would mind Ruby so she could go play for a while.’
‘Then where’s the music?’
‘I’m not sure. She’s been quiet of late,’ Molly said fetching food for Claudia.
‘Could you watch Claudy for me, James will be down in a minute with the boys,’ Lily said before leaving the room. She made her way through the house until she found her goddaughter sitting in front of her piano nervously. ‘Hey pretty girl,’ Mattie turned at Lily’s voice and Lily saw her eyes were red. Mattie looked back at the piano as Lily walked over sitting herself on the spare space on the wooden seat. Mattie looked at her godmother.
‘I can’t play,’
‘Impossible you’ve been playing since you were like five. What’s bothering you, Matt? Is it Ruby?’
‘No she’s perfect. She’s even been sleeping better. It’s just I feel like my world is falling apart around me.’
‘Sweetie you’ve still got a lot of hormones in your blood stream.’
‘No Lil it’s more than that. My best friend is dead and I couldn’t help her.’ Mattie said grinding her teeth.
‘Lily I’m meant to be this all powerful witch yet I couldn’t save Ainsley, I couldn’t stop them from coming into my home and trying to kill me and I can’t help Harry when he probably needs me most. Instead I’m sitting around doing nothing.’
‘Matt…’ But Lily was cut off as a cry ripped through the room.
‘Sorry but Ruby wants you,’ Ginny said walking in. Mattie went to her and took her daughter, bouncing her tiny body gently, settling her. Mattie looked down to find her daughter staring up at her.
‘Mathilda, you can’t save everyone just because you’re a powerful witch. Stop beating yourself up, you’ll get your chance to help soon I know you will.’ Lily said before leaving the room. Ginny looked at her sister-in-law sympathetically. Ginny watched as Mattie sat down on the piano bench and rocked her daughter.
‘Fred sent word that he and Remus would be home tomorrow night,’ Mattie nodded at Ginny before looking up at her curiously.
‘Don’t you ever get tired of been strong?’
‘Sometimes and I guess that’s why I miss Harry so much cause he can tell when I’m acting happy even if I’m not actually feeling that way.’
‘I’ve been thinking of going to stay with my pop for a little while, just a couple nights and maybe leave Ruby there.’
‘Because it’ll be safer for her.’
‘No it’ll be safer for her been with you and if not with you then with the rest of us.’
‘Ginny, you don’t get it, they will try and kill me again and again and I’ll be damned if I risk her life just because I’m a wanted witch.’
‘Mattie nothing is going to happen to Ruby because of you.’
‘Everything happens because of me Gin I’m used to it so just let me deal with the fact that I’m useless to Harry, putting everyone I love including my month old daughter in danger and couldn’t save one of my best friends.’ Ginny was speechless and knew that the person Mathilda Black Weasley needed was the same someone no one could have; Harry. Ginny reached for Ruby and Mattie let the redhead take her baby before she turned and left the room feeling awful for the girl she had just left behind heading to find someone to help. Ginny found George and quickly told him everything; he said he would check on her soon but to give her some space for a while. The family sat around while Jonah and AJ played with Georgia outside on the playground, been watched by Ellanie the house elf. Ruby was been held by Sirius who was pulling faces, making the baby smile and drool.
‘She advanced for a one month old; most babies are about two months before they smile.’ Molly said watching her granddaughter.
‘Mattie was like that she was walking at ten months instead of twelve and knew how to say a few words by eight months.’ Sirius said remembering fondly his baby daughter. The conversation continued with some reading newspapers or playing chess or exploding snap. Tonks was bouncing her two month old son who had just mastered how to bear small weight on his legs. Teddy gurgled at his mother who was changing her face to entertain him. Myles was crawling around too lazy to walk, while his sister was holding onto her father’s legs as he sat on the couch and danced to no music in particular. Ginny was whispering quickly with AJ in a corner of the room, before following him up the stairs.
Mathilda sat frozen for a while, not doing anything and thinking of her friends. She smiled as she remembered one of her birthdays when she and her three friends had strutted into the Great Hall and had started kicking their legs high just for fun. Mattie shook her head knowing all she wanted was to return to school. She twisted, positioning herself ready to play and let tears trickle down her cheeks as she tried to place her fingers on the keys.
Why did she feel so useless and empty? Somewhere deep inside Mattie she knew she had to overpower that feeling if she was to be any help to anyone when the time came. She breathed and wiped away her tears before she started to play ‘All my life,’ by Thirsty merc before drifting into ‘Only hope’ by Mandy Moore. Mattie felt better after she had played though the idea of escaping for a while was still alluring. Mattie walked through the house into the living room where everyone was smiling pleased that she was playing again. Mattie sat down alongside George and joined in his and Ginny’s game of exploding snap. She stood quickly facing the group.
‘I want to leave for the day and maybe the night as well and I want to take Ruby.’ Everyone stared at her shocked.
‘What? Mattie, it isn’t safe,’ Lily said with similar things coming from everyone else.
‘No it isn’t but it’s what I need and I know exactly where I want to go so I won’t be in public all that much.’
‘Pop’s.’ Everyone was quiet, registering what Mattie was proposing. ‘Look Fred goes out to do his thing and he won’t be back until tomorrow night and I want to get out even for a few hours will help. Besides Shelby lives near Pop so I can check in on her as well. I would go and see Cora but her and her brother have gone into hiding last I heard with Audrey and Clarea because Derek and Cora were targeted as pureblood alliances. Everyone keeps telling me that I have to live out my life but there’s only so much I can do here and I know you all feel the same. Don’t you just want to walk down a street or be in a different house? Most of you at least get to leave to do Order stuff, while the rest of us were pregnant or looking after the younger kids.’ Everyone was quiet.
‘If you want to go then someone will go with you,’ Sirius said.
‘No, I’m a big girl I can look after myself.’
‘Really Mathilda? Can you?’ Sirius said harshly, ‘See I was under the impression that we had almost lost you numerous times and I’m not going to sit around here not knowing whether you even got safely to Eric’s.’
‘Dad, please,’ Mattie said her blue eyes looking at him in desperation. He was quiet for a moment, contemplating.
‘Fine but I’m taking you to the door and checking out the house and surrounding areas before I leave ok?’ Mattie nodded.
‘Thank you.’ No one else really knew what else to say. They understood why she wanted to leave. James, Remus, Tonks, Sirius, Arthur, Fred and George had at least left the house the rest had been in this house for five months straight with the exception of Ginny who had only been there for just over two months. ‘Do you want me to take some of the kids? Get them out of the house?’ Parents exchanged glances trying to decide.
‘How about Ginny and me come with you just to keep an eye on the other kids and give everyone else a bit of a break?’ George asked looking at Mattie.
‘Only if the other kids come if they don’t then I’m going on my own with Ruby.’ Mattie said looking determined, ‘I’m going to pack a few things and get her ready let me know what you decide. I’ll leave in an hour.’ Mattie took her daughter from her father, laying her in her arms and looking down at her as she started to leave the room. Lily got up and followed her.
‘Matt.’ Lily said causing Mattie to stop and turn around. ‘I think the kids would love to get out of the house but…’
‘You’re scared something will happen to them?’
‘Yeah, they’re everything to me and I…’
‘If they come with me I’ll look after them, nothing will happen to them, I promise.’
‘Are you sure you want them along?’
‘Yeah it’s fine as long as you’re ok with it.’
‘I’ll talk with James but I trust you,’
‘So if all systems go what will happen?’ Mattie said smirking.
‘Well we might just go out as a group and enjoy a night out without hopefully any trouble.’
‘That sounds nice, fingers crossed its good.’ Mattie said before hugging Lily and walking up the stairs. Mattie changed her daughter into white stockings as it might be cool and pulled on a long sleeved red velvet dress and little black booties. Mattie picked her up and rocked her gently from back and forth as she wandlessly packed a bag for Ruby and a few things for herself. She conjured a black capsule carrier and laid Ruby in it. Mattie covered her in a white blanket and grabbed the handle and bags and headed back down stairs.
She reached the living room and found it empty; looking around slightly confused she turned and walked towards the front door placing the capsule down with the bags.
‘Mattie!’ Jonah yelled running towards his sister with his backpack on. Mattie smiled as she registered what George, Ginny and herself were about to do. Mattie started to laugh and for a moment she felt like she couldn’t stop. She looked up gasping for breath, wishing Fred were there as he would have joined in. Sirius now stood near her beaming as AJ bounded over running into Jonah.
‘Careful,’ Terra yelled as she came forward shaking her head at her son. ‘Well, Matt you ready?’
‘Yep, all set.’ Mattie looked towards Ginny and George who had a bag each. Tonks had a bag and Georgia had a small one on her back while James and Lily each held one of their twins. Mattie took the bags from Lily and Tonks and placed them with her own, shrinking them down before placing them in the pocket of her jeans. Mattie looked to Lily who nodded before kissing her twins and AJ. ‘So Tonks you in?’
‘Yeah as long as you’re sure you’re ok with them both?’
‘Yes, I’ll be up all night with Ruby anyways. We just want to get out of the house I don’t care what I’m doing. You guys just have a nice night.’ Mattie was beaming and they all noticed how happy and relaxed she seemed.
‘Well James and I are coming to drop you off. I know George and Ginny are going but you have an extra kid and Ginny can’t apparate,’ Sirius said and Mattie nodded her head.
‘Ok but only to the alley that’s it, k?’ Mattie said before she held her hand out to Georgia and picked the carrier up. Molly conjured up a similar carrier capsule and helped Tonks place Teddy into it. Mattie told the others where to go and picked Georgia up before disapparating. George picked up the carrier holding Teddy and put an arm around Ginny before disappearing. Sirius took Claudia and put an arm around Jonah following his daughter’s lead while James put an arm around AJ, holding Myles and disapparating from the Potter Manor.
They all arrived in the alley and Mattie put Georgia and Ruby down for a moment conjuring a double stroller. Mattie took Claudia from her dad and placed her into the stroller before James put Myles in beside her.
‘Ok, we’re here safe and sound now you two get lost,’ Mattie said laughing before her dad pulled her into a tight hug. Sirius and James said goodbye to their kids but stayed and waited. Mattie picked up her daughter’s carrier and took Georgia’s hand while Ginny pushed the twins and George picked up Teddy. Before they left the alley Mattie told the younger boys not to be too loud until they reached the house and Mattie could put up some protection around the house and street. As they walked they were comforted by the fact that Sirius and James were watching as they made their way to the Mason home.
‘Watch over them, Rubes,’ Sirius said softly.
‘Always,’ a honey soft voice said within his head.
They made it to the house with the red door and Mattie knocked having placed the capsule down. The door opened and there stood Eric Mason.
‘Mathilda,’ Eric said before Mattie hugged him tightly.
‘I hope its ok that we’re here,’
‘Yes, of course come in,’ they followed him inside the living room and sat themselves down.
‘I’m sorry to just show up but things have been well dangerous in our world especially for me and those that know me so we went into a safe house and we just needed to get away.’
‘That’s fine, so who is everyone?’
‘Oh sorry. Um this is George, Fred’s twin and this is his sister Ginny. This is my little brother Jonah. The one next to him is AJ and the pair in the stroller are his siblings, Myles and Claudia. And this one is Georgia and her little brother Teddy.’
‘Nice to meet you all. Mattie you can let them out of the stroller and such, make yourselves at home, use magic whatever you like. Ginny you can have Naomi’s room and George you can stay in the one labelled David or Sebastian your choice and you can put the younger kids in any other including Heidi’s which might be perfect for the older girl. And which ever room George doesn’t use can be used by the two older boys. It’s Jonah, isn’t it? Well if Jonah and AJ wish they can go up to the attic and play with the things up there. It was made especially for my grandkids.’ Ginny and George stood up enlarging the bags and heading upstairs with AJ and Jonah.
‘Guys could you set up some cots?’ Mattie yelled at Ginny who nodded.
Mathilda got up and took Teddy out of his carrier and passed the baby to her grandfather who was now sitting down.
‘So whose child is this?’
‘Remus and Nymphadora,’ Mattie said as she undid the buckle on the twins’ stroller and pulled them out setting Claudia on her feet before taking Myles out. She conjured up a doll house and some other toys before sitting down and undoing the buckle on her daughter’s carrier. ‘Hey there darling,’ Mattie said smiling as she lay her down in her arms.
‘Wait whose this?’
‘Um ok well you know how I said that things were dangerous for me?’ Eric nodded. ‘Well Fred and I got our own place after the wedding and one day he went to work and I got a visit from some Death Eaters and well this’ll sound bad but I was tortured and stuff and before they left they collapsed the house. Fred and George came home and Dad, James, Tonks and a couple other Aurors came and fished me out and when I was in a coma the Healers told everyone that I was pregnant. And a month ago I had this little girl. Ruby.’ Mattie looked at her pop smiling.
‘Thanks,’ Ginny and George came back down with Jonah and AJ. ‘Well I want to see Shelby as she lives down the street and I want to take the kids to a park and go for lunch but it all has to be local as I’ll put up protection over the street so all we have to do is get across the border and we’ll be safe.’
‘Ok well I know a nice place for lunch within walking distance.’
‘Could you hold Ruby for me Gin? I’ll be back in a second.’ Mattie said walking outside with George to cover her if need be. They came back inside and got the kids ready to head off. Mattie conjured a double pram for Teddy and Ruby and placed the twins into the stroller. They left the house still alert yet more relaxed. Ginny pushed the twins while Mattie pushed the other pram and held Georgia’s hand. As they left the house, Mattie wandlessly sent a protronus to Shelby. George however was playing with the boys, running ahead.
Ginny let the Potter twins out and took them and Georgia to play in the sandpit and playground. Mattie turned and saw her best friend coming towards her.
‘Shelby!’ Mattie said walking the distance between them and hugging her tightly.
‘Mathilda, God I‘ve missed you, I just couldn’t believe the newspaper when it said you were dead,’ Shelby said as she sat down. Ruby started to scream and Mattie quickly picked her up bouncing her gently in her arms. ‘You and Fred had a baby?’
‘Yeah, this is Ruby,’ Mattie said looking from her smiling daughter to Shelby.
‘Wow, may I?’
‘Course,’ Mattie said as she past Ruby to her best friend.
They sat talking for an hour before Shelby had to go home before her family got worried.
‘I’ll see you soon, Matt,’
‘You bet,’ Mattie hugged her and watched her walk away, hoping that they would both beat the odds and meet again soon.
A:N: Ok so not a hugely eventful chapter but I wanted something new to happen and the original chapter was about 7000 words so I cut it in half which was really hard, so the next chapter picks up practically straight away. Sorry if that’s annoying but it just seemed too rushed and long. Hope you enjoyed and after writing so much for my fabulous readers please take a few minutes to write me some love. :)
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