Chapter 55 : Fearful
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Disclaimer: I want to thank the brilliant JK Rowling who gave us such amazing material to work with. Anything you don't recognise i am proud to say is from my own brain :)
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Remus looked tiredly down at his wife, her body still weak from her ordeal. Her usually bubblegum pink hair was now a straw colour. He felt himself tense as she moved. Lily had healed her as soon as she had collapsed onto the floor of the Potter living room after having disapparated from Knockturn Alley. He closed his eyes trying to rid himself of the image of his broken wife on the floor, as he heard his son’s cry. Been only four months old he couldn’t understand why his mother didn’t go to him. Remus sat frozen for a moment before he stood and walked into the neighbouring room, pulling Teddy into his arms. He rocked him to sleep before setting him down and returning to his wife. He flew to her side as he saw that she was struggling to sit up.
‘Dora, what are you doing?’ he cried.
‘Sitting up,’ she replied bluntly. He sat down beside her gingerly pulling her into a hug which she returned renewed strength.
‘I was so scared…’ Remus admitted though it was almost inaudible.
‘I know me too.’ She looked into his eyes and was relieved to see that they seemed to be returning to their normal calm state.
‘I love you.’
‘I love you too.’ The pair were in that instant more connected than they had been before.
‘Mummy!’ Georgia squealed running and jumping onto the bed, hugging her mother tightly. Tonks beamed as she breathed in the scent of her daughter as her hair changed to a light violet, which matched her now lilac eyes. As they talked softly they heard loud shouts from somewhere below.
‘Remus, go see if everything’s alright, I’ll be fine.’ He hesitated before nodding as the shouting became louder. He watched Tonks hug Georgia tightly to her as he left, making his way down the staircase. He froze as he discovered everyone outside a closed door. Molly held Ruby, bouncing her softly as they listened awkwardly.
Mattie had sat up breathing deeply as she felt the pain in her legs fade. Her body was quite prone to pain these days so it didn’t bother her, what was bothering her was the look Fred was giving her.
‘Well if no one has any objections I think I’ve had enough adventure for one day,’ Mattie smiled.
Fred appeared to mutter something under his breath, glaring. Mattie noticed and turned to look at him.
‘What’s your problem?’
‘Problem? I have no problem, I’m problem free…’ Fred said sarcastically. Mattie stood up swaying slightly.
‘What the hell has got your wand in a knot?’ The others looked uncomfortable as the usual happy, jokey couple seemed to implode.
‘You!’ The others got up rather quickly, leaving the room as Mattie’s eyes seemed to flicker dangerously. ‘Don’t you get it?’
‘Get what?’ Mattie asked confused though angry at how he was talking to her.
‘Why the hell do you keep risking your life? Do you get some sick pleasure about almost dying?’
‘Well that was a stupid thing to say,’ James said to the others from outside the room.
‘Are you kidding me? I don’t plan on dying, you prat.’
‘Then why the hell do it on a bloody regular basis?’
‘What are you thick?’ Mattie said glaring at him. ‘I would rather risk my life then stand there and watch others die and I wasn’t about to watch Tonks die because of me!’
‘Why can’t you be selfish for once?’ Fred asked his voice softening.
‘Why can’t you understand for once?’
‘Understand what?’ Fred yelled, fear in his eyes.
‘What I’ve come to accept. That at some point during this war I will inevitably lose my life. And I was going to do it so that the people I love…You, dad, James, Harry, Lily…everyone I love can live their lives.’
‘I ask myself the same question sometimes but for different reasons.’
‘I can’t accept that you’ll d…’
‘You will at some point and look at it this way it’s just a feeling, just a theory and you love to prove me wrong, so there might be hope yet. Now suck it up, boy.’
‘Matt! No this is stupid…God I hate you…’ Fred said flying from the room leaving Mattie looking as though someone had slapped her. Her knees buckled under her and her eyes rolled backwards. George leapt forward and caught her up in his arms before she could crash to the floor. Tears were in her eyes as she opened them slowly looking up at George hopefully. She stood up and pulled away from her brother-in-law.
‘He loves you too much you know? He doesn’t hate you; he hates the thought of losing you. Let’s just say you brought out the pansy in him,’ George said smirking before turning to follow his twin. Mattie looked incredibly pale and as though standing there was a huge effort. She walked from the room avoiding looking at her family. She walked up the stairs, she paused clutching the railing.
She breathed deeply before collapsing in a heap on the stairs. Emma Potter’s eyes were wide as she watched the girl crumble. She left her frame to make her way through the house, yelling for James and Sirius. James looked up, walking from the room as he saw his mother appear in a nearby photo frame.
‘Mattie collapsed,’ she said quickly before James leapt to his feet running up the stairs. He saw Mattie and fell down beside her. She was waking up, her blue eyes shining with hurt still.
‘Hey, take it easy,’ James said as Mattie’s eyes closed, trying to remove the dizzy feeling. ‘You need to take it easy, you might be superwoman but you just went up close and personal with Voldemort, you need to rest.’
‘James?’ Sirius yelled wondering where his best mate had suddenly disappeared to.
‘I’m here,’ James called still crouched by Mattie’s side. Sirius ran up the stairs.
‘I’m ok, just tired apparently.’
‘Come on, let’s get you up,’ Sirius said helping her up, her legs still weak, shaking as they tried to hold her weight. Mattie breathed deeply looking at her father and godfather. Tears in her blue eyes as she stumbled. Sirius was furious at the state of his daughter, he looked at James who nodded before Sirius touched Mattie’s arm gently before walking further up the stairs. James looked at Mattie who was now crying openly which would make anyone who knew this strong, determined woman, melt. He wrapped his arms around her stroking her hair, before her tears seemed to stop. She pulled back and smiled slightly before turning and walking up the stairs to her room.
Sirius knocked on George’s door, waiting. George opened the door and knew what was coming.
‘He’s going to sleep here tonight. He needs to cool off before he speaks to her again.’
‘Tell him I get why he’s angry, it’s a protective love thing, but he can’t take it out on her. She didn’t choose any of this. And if he hurts her again, even if it’s unintentional I’ll have to do something about it. I won’t stand for her been hurt by the man who’s suppose to be the love of her life.’ Sirius said before making his way back downstairs.
George turned and looked at his twin who had heard every word his father-in-law had said and looked as though he had realised what he had done.
Mathilda woke the next morning looking over at where Fred usually slept by her side. She shook her head.
‘Pull yourself together,’ she said to herself as she walked through a door connecting her room to the neighbouring one, where her daughter slept. There was a pristine white cot and matching change table. It was a pale purple room with a rainbow on the wall over the cot. The room was filled with baby equipment and toys. Mattie went over to the cot, looking down at her still sleeping child. Two and a half month old Ruby had grown quite a bit. Her dark hair was lightening slightly and her blue eyes were becoming an even lighter, brighter blue. Her little hands were balled into fists as she slept.
Mattie breathed deeply before heading towards the ensuite to have a shower. She pulled off her silk nightie and underwear before stepping into the warm water. She let the water run over her as tears built up in her eyes. She still couldn’t believe he’d said he hated her, whether he meant it or not was irrelevant, it still hurt for her to know that he had even thought that for a moment.
She turned off the water and wrapped a towel around herself. She walked into her room and pulled on a short black skirt and a ¾ red top before quickly braiding her long hair. A cry let Mattie know that Ruby was awake. She walked into the other room and slipped her hands under Ruby’s little arms lifting her up. She pulled her close to her so her bottom was seated on her forearm; while Mattie’s other hand remained under Ruby’s arm. She changed her nappy and changed her into little pink pants that covered her feet and a cream coloured t-shirt and picked her up walking down to the kitchen where her family were having breakfast.
‘Morning,’ Mattie said as Terra took Ruby while Mattie went to the corner to set up a bouncer in the corner where the younger kids played during mealtimes.
The room suddenly went quiet and Mattie stood turning around. She looked at her husband who was frozen in the doorway.
‘Matt, can we talk?’ he asked softly. Everyone went to leave but Mattie glared.
‘Matt, I’m so sorry. I’m…’
‘How would you feel if everything you did, were willing to do to help the world and save those you love pain was thrown back in your face by the one person you would do anything for. But it wasn’t only that but you said you hated me-‘
‘I don’t hate you, I couldn’t hate you.’
‘But for a moment you must have thought it, because you said it, Fred,’ Mattie said breathing heavily.
‘No I hate the feeling I get when I think I’m going to lose you. But I don’t hate you.’ Fred looked desperate. Silence fell between them as they watched each other.
‘Enough of this, mistakes have been made but you both love each other,’ Lily said pointing her wand to the middle of the table. A picture began to form and then words echoed through the room.
‘Got your claws into someone else aye, Black.’ Jason Henry hissed.
They all watched as the fifteen year old Mathilda paled, just as the present day Mattie did so as she heard the voice that haunted her.
‘I wouldn’t stay with her Weasley; she’s nothing but a tease and a whore.’
They watched the memory as the sixteen year old Fred clutched Mattie.
‘Don’t you dare talk to her like that!’ Fred yelled, ‘she’s the best thing that has ever happened to me.’ His brown eyes were blazing as Jason laughed and walked past them.
The picture changed slightly and they watched as Mattie walked down the stairs of the Headmaster’s office and into the hall where Fred was waiting. They watched as she walked quickly up to him, hugging him tightly.
‘Are you…’ He stopped talking when Mattie kissed him full on the lips.
‘I’m fine. Don’t worry okay?’
‘Can’t help it.’ Mattie laughed and said:
‘Well try because I’m fine.’ She slipped her hand into his and together they walked back to Gryffindor tower, Fred making her laugh and smile at every simple word he spoke.
The words Fred had spoken moments before the memory had appeared seemed to echo in Mattie’s head as she bit her lip. Fred walked forward and took her hand, looking at her intently. She leaned up and kissed him with every bit of passion she had ever felt for him. They broke apart and he wrapped his arms around her lifting her off her feet as he held her. The room filled with music; ‘Food chain,’ by Erik Hutchinson as Ginny clapped excitedly.
‘I love you,’ Fred said and Mattie beamed.
‘I love you.’
‘Good I thought he’d have to get down and beg,’ George said causing the room to laugh, breaking the tension immediately.
‘Me beg? Never!’ Fred said smirking, his arms wrapped around Mathilda. Even as he joked with his brother it was obvious in how he held his wife that all that mattered in that moment was Mattie. Mattie stroked her thumb along Fred’s forearm. He leant down and kissed her neck. Mattie reached her hand up and stroked his hair, turning her head, kissing him hard on the mouth. They pulled apart and Fred hugged her tightly.
‘Breakfast?’ Fred said softly.
‘Do I get pancakes?’
‘If that’s what you want, that’s what you get.’
‘Keep it in your pants,’ Ginny said smirking.
‘I’ll do my best but as soon as this one starts belly dancing.’ Fred said wiggling his eyebrows at his sister; Mattie poked her tongue out slightly as she started wiggling her hips.
‘Control yourself Weasley,’ James said smirking.
‘You’d be the same if your girl was shaking up against you.’ Fred said, smirking his hands on Mattie’s hips. James nodded at the idea and looked at Lily who laughed.
‘Looks like your forgiven, mate,’ George said laughing as Mattie glared playfully at him. Mattie turned around and looked into his eyes, wrapping her arms around him. He wrapped his arms around her pulling tightly. They all sat down and Mattie propped Ruby up on her lap. She gurgled, talking baby talk as Fred had an arm wrapped around Mattie. Conversation went on, simple happiness seeming to surround them.
Harry squinted at where Hermione had been standing only moments ago. Now stood a woman Harry loathed as much as Voldemort himself and had to control the urge to leap forward and strangle her. It was only the facial expression on her face that made him pause enough to remember that it was one of his best friends Hermione. Ron held out Bellatrix’s wand and Hermione hesitated to take it from him. Her lip trembled slightly as the realisation of what she was doing hit her.
‘That wand…’ She said softly while Griphook grew impatient, pacing the ground on which he stood. ‘Tortured Neville’s parents and killed Mattie’s mum and tortured and killed countless other people.’ Harry realised the truth of her wand and looked repulsed as he looked down at what appeared to be a simple wand.
‘Hermione, right now I want to kill you with my bare hands, just because you look like the bitch who ruined the lives of my family, so please lets get this over and done with.’ Harry said quickly, smiling softly as Hermione nodded, her frightened eyes looking odd on the face of Bellatrix Lestrange. ‘Griphook climb up, let’s do this.’
Mathilda woke up a few days before her nineteenth birthday on the first of May, 1998 to find her husband’s lips on hers.
‘Eww, morning breath,’ Mattie said smirking as she pushed against her husband’s bare chest. Fred smiled as he leant down kissing the line of her bra, working his way up and along her collarbone. Mattie rolled over so she was on top, as she kissed him. She pulled herself closer to him as she deepened the kiss. She sat up straddling him, removing her bra as Fred ran his hands up her legs. He watched her suggestively until quickly pulling her down and rolling on top of her. It wasn’t long until the two of them were lost completely in the moment.
Time past and they lay their in one another’s arms. She ran her fingers along his arm as she heard her daughter’s cry.
‘I’ll be back,’ Mattie said kissing him before stepping over him. She pulled her four month old daughter into her arms kissing her forehead.
‘Hello, baby girl,’ Mattie said holding her daughter close. She gently ran a hand over Ruby’s head, her growing hair sticking up at odd angles. ‘Yes,’ Mattie said as Ruby talked baby talk to her mum.
She walked back over to her bed, where Fred was waiting and walked around to her side, lying Ruby down on her back between Fred and her. They lay there talking and watching Ruby who talked to herself.
Mattie was watching Ruby raise her arms and watching her hands make fists. Mattie looked up to find Fred watching her.
‘You wanna know something?’
‘Sure,’ Mattie said softly.
‘I used to think I was lucky because I had a great sense of humour but I didn’t realise how lucky I was until I got to have you and Ruby,’ Mattie leaned across her daughter and kissed him.
‘You’re my best friend and I love you,’ Mattie said, smiling at him feeling complete, as Ruby squealed happily. ‘We should get up,’
‘Ok,’ Fred said sitting up grabbing his daughter and lifting her into the air, blowing raspberries on her stomach. He was topless and Mattie smirked as she watched his muscles flex. ‘What are you looking at?’ He asked raising an eyebrow at her.
‘Your ugly face,’ Mattie said laughing as Fred placed Ruby in her bouncer on the floor before flying across the bed and tackling his wife, tickling her.
‘Admit you were checking me out.’
‘Never.’ She said trying to catch her breath, as Fred growled at her. ‘Ok, ok I was watching you move,’ Mattie said as she stood up and swayed her hips as she walked into the bathroom. Fred changed and scooped Ruby up going into the other room to change her.
He put her in a yellow dress with pink shoes and watched as her small face lit up happily. They met at the door on their way out and for a moment they were the perfect picture family. They made their way down to the living room where almost two and a half year old Georgia came running up to her godmother.
‘Mattie, come play,’
‘I just got to feed Ruby, first.’
‘It’s ok, go and play with the kids I’ll feed her and bring her over to you,’ Fred said bouncing his giggling girl. Fred walked into the kitchen while Mattie took Georgia’s hand and sat down on a rug. It wasn’t long until they were joined by a little red head fifteen month old and her dark haired twin brother. They played with trucks and cars and dolls and a bunch of other muggle toys until Fred came back in placing Ruby in her mothers lap. He kissed Matilda’s forehead and left the room.
Mattie smiled as she played until she had a huge urge to play her piano. She stood up pulling Ruby into her arms.
‘Lets go draw pictures in the library.” The other kids beamed happily as they stood and followed her from the room. When they got there Mattie’s set up a large piece of paper on the floor and placed Ruby in her bouncer before walking over to her beautiful white piano. She sat down and simply started playing her fingers flying over the keys.
Lily Potter listened to the music that resonated around the house as she made her way to the library to get her babies. Her older son had gone to play on the large playground outside with Fred and George and Jonah and she had no doubt that the men would soon join in.
She walked into the room and smiled, shaking her head as she saw that there was no pictures on the paper instead all over one another including Ruby. Mattie stopped playing and burst out laughing as she waved her hand transferring their drawings to the paper before she and Lily magically cleaned them. Lily picked Claudia and Myles up and turned to the door, pausing for Mattie, who scooped Ruby up and took Georgia’s hand. Mattie turned her head, looking back at her piano as she left the room, wandlessly closing the door to the library.
Sirius and James fell into chairs beside Remus after transforming into their animagus forms to give the kids rides. James winked as he jumped up returning moments later with two bottles of muggle wine. They popped the cork and summoned three glasses, filling them to the top. It was 3 o’clock in the afternoon and they decided that they might as well have a drink as it was 5 o’clock somewhere. They sat talking and laughing watching the younger kids play.
‘Do you guys want something to nibble on?’ Lily asked standing near James’ chair. He grabbed her waist and pulled her onto his lap, kissing her. Even though she was surprised she responded happily. James wrapped her hair around his hand, pulling her face closer to his.
‘Lily, James,’ Molly Weasley said in a nervous voice. They leapt apart and looked at her as though she were going to lecture them.
‘Is it the twins?’ Lily asked making to get up, only to find her husband holding her waist, a look of fear on his face. She looked at Molly and felt as though she was going to be sick.
‘We just received word from Bill that Harry, Ron and Hermione broke into Gringotts and escaped on a dragon.’ Lily looked astounded before talking quickly with Molly.
‘But they’re ok?’
‘From what Bill told us yes they’re fine,’ Molly said as the women walked into the house. James sat frozen staring at the now open backyard.
‘My son broke into Gringotts, which is run by goblins and magically protected and escaped on the back of a dragon,’ James said to himself.
‘I bet it was a bloody big dragon,’ Sirius said looking impressed.
‘He’s definitely a Marauder’s son. But I must admit we never rode a dragon,’ Remus said beaming proudly.
‘My son,’ James said softly still looking gobsmacked. Sirius suddenly raised his glass.
‘A toast to Harry and his dragon taming skills, twice in a lifetime, bloody good job.’ They joined him in raising their own glasses.
‘To Harry, the best Marauder,’ Remus said.
‘To Harry, my bloody brilliant son’ James said before downing the contents of his glass.
They sat there for a moment in silence before the Weasley twins came out proposing a game of Quidditch. So James, Sirius, Fred, George, Mathilda and Ginny played three on three whilst Remus flew around with Georgia on the front of his broom stick.
Mathilda was one of the last to fly down from the sky. When she flew she forgot everything including the nagging feeling in her stomach that told her something was about to happen. She walked by her father’s side talking easily. As they got inside Mattie suddenly hugged him, her long hair falling in her face.
‘I love you dad’
‘I love you too, ‘Sirius said confused as she loosened her grip on him and walked from the room. Little did he know that the necklace that enabled Harry to use her magic and call her to him also meant that she could sense things about him and could obviously sense the beginning of his dream.
Mattie walked over to Arthur and took Ruby from him. She felt fear wash over her as she left the room, fear that something could tear her daughter away from her.
Once in her bedroom she ran a nice warm bath for herself and Ruby. She laid her baby on her bed and stripped off her clothes before doing the same of her own. She pulled Ruby into her arms and walked into the ensuite. She tested the water before carefully climbing in, pulling her knees up as she lay back so Ruby was in the water, leaning against her mother’s thighs.
Mathilda watched as her dark haired daughter played with her long hair. She was still amazed at how much she loved Ruby. And it was this that made her understand the reasons why her dad had done the things he had done to protect her and the reasons her god parents were so petrified of the fate of their eldest son.
‘My two beautiful girls in the tub, lucky me,’ Fred said smiling as he came and sat by the bath pulling faces at his daughter as he and Mattie talked. Mattie ran her thumb over her daughter’s still tiny foot, marvelling in her innocent beauty. Fred watched his wife before Mattie past her baby up to him and he bundled her up in a towel. He pulled faces at Ruby, making her squeal in delight before wandering into their room to get her dressed.
Lily lay her daughter down in her cot, and gently ran her hand along Claudia’s forehead pushing her red hair back. She turned towards the door, turning off the light her eyes still zoning in on her twins. She walked over to the bed and collapsed backwards onto it. She felt herself been pulled slightly upwards and backwards until her head reached the pillow. She smiled as James’ lips brushed against her neck, his arms wrapped around her waist.
He pulled her close and together they simply lay there together. After been together for nearly 21 years they had a flawless bond that didn’t require words anymore. They started to drift off, knowing that it was early but been incredibly comfortable.
It was just after 10 o’clock at night when the couple were woken by noises outside their room. They stood, confused and nervous, grabbing their wands from the bedside tables. Lily stood slightly behind James as he opened the door. They looked out and saw everyone running around in a panic.
‘George, what’s going on?’ James asked letting the door fall completely open.
‘We just got the call on the galleon we used for the DA. The Battle’s about to begin,’ George said quickly before walking swiftly down the hall, taking Ruby from Fred for a moment. James turned to his wife and saw in her face the uncertainty of what had just been said. This was it. They had reached the final point, where they might have to watch their son suffer.
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