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Chapter 8: Spreading the Joy

“This was a stupid idea” I expressed out loud as I was being squeezed to death by Amy and Peter. For some reason the seven of us decided it would be perfectly fine to be neatly packed in one train compartment.

“Yah” Amy agreed “I liked it better when it was just you and me, more leg room”

“And we liked it better when didn’t have whiney girls to listen to” Sirius let us know from the other side of Peter.

“He is alone when he says that” James said to a very tense looking Lily who was sitting between him and Remus across from us.

“So this new years thing at your house, that’s definitely happening?” I asked, a little part of me hoping that it wasn’t. I’m not really a party person.

Sirius nodded. “I couldn’t stop it if I tried, even though nobody said anything, somehow word got out and now I have to learn a good spell to keep my flat silent from my neighbours.”

I slumped a little in my seat and Amy pinched me in the arm really hard.

“Don’t ruin this” she whispered in my ear. “Everyone knows what happens at midnight at a new year’s party.”

“Oh” my brain kicked in as she tilted her head towards James and Lily. Then I broke out into a huge grin and subtly gestured towards Remus. She went red as a cherry.

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After what seemed like year we finally reached infamous platform 9 ¾. Why do wizards have to be so damn silly sometimes?

Amy gave me a bone crushing hug when we got onto the platform “I can’t believe I won’t see you until New years” she complained. “We’ve never been apart for so long.”

“Maybe we’ll realize we’re better off and live happily ever after” I told her but after seeing the actual worried look on her face I gave her another hug. “Don’t worry Aimes, we literally can’t survive without one another to keep us on track” I told her affectionately.

“Oh James how can I survive being apart from you, please never forget me” Sirius cried out dramatically and grabbed his best friend.

“I never will, you’ll always be here with me in my heart” James fake sobbed into his shoulder.

Amy scowled “You two are spending the entire break together at Potter’s house.”

They looked up. “Alright then, lets go mate” Sirius chirped and with a wave and two *cracks* they were gone.

“Boys, they are emotionless gits” Lily observed while fiddling with her trunk.

Remus chuckled “I’ll see you guys on New Years.”

“Yah see yah” Peter chimed in and in moments they were gone as well.

“Well my parents probably came to pick me up so I’ll see you two” Lily said from behind us and started to walk away.

We looked at each other and then at Lily before deciding to jump on her for a proper goodbye.

“Bye Lils don’t miss us too much” I said hugging her tightly. She laughed and hugged back. After we let go she walked to the barrier, waved and went through.

I looked at Amy. “Count of three?” she suggested and I nodded.

“1”

“2”

“3”

*Crack*

And I was on my doorstep. I could already smell hamburgers, my favourite since I was 5 years old. She was trying I’ll give her that. After a few deep breaths I rested my hand on the doorknob and twisted it.

And twisted it again

Than jiggled it with frustration until it dawned on me. The door was probably locked.

Immediately after my realization the door swung open and Layla Elizabeth Fraydon Springer stood on the other side of it, a wand in her hand. I guess when someone is jiggling you doorknob you don’t think it’s your dumb daughter forgetting that in this day and age, doors are usually locked. Her tense face relaxed a little and she gave me a nervous smile. She opened the door wider and moved for me to get in by her. I came in and dropped my trunk handle before turning to face her, wondering what to say. It was she who spoke first.

“Hi sweetie I’ve made you favourite”

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And that’s how the rest of my holidays were.

“Sweetie your favourite Christmas program is on”

“So dear, how is school and how are your professors?”

“Oh look a card from your Aunt Jennifer, isn’t that nice hun?”

I was bombarded with cute nicknames, delicious home cooked meals and sugary smiles and attitudes. To top it off, my dad was busy at the company he worked at and wasn’t going to be around a lot for the holidays. Somehow I think he didn’t feel bad about working so much on the holidays as it is gave my mother and I more “bonding” time.

I had been worried about his sudden forgiveness of her but when I realized that they weren’t getting back together or anything I felt better. He just wanted for us to have a connection again. I loved him so much more for that.

But no matter how many random facts she remembered about my childhood or how much she attempted to “get to know me” I was still suspicious. That git Malfoy had planted doubt in my head and every comment made by her was over analyzed in my mind.

On Christmas morning it was awkward. Dad and I had gotten each other the perfect gifts, I got him some movies for his growing collection and he got me the newest ACDC record. I had to get my mother’s gift at last minute. She said she loved it, but who were we kidding I didn’t know what she liked and probably vice versa as well. At first I thought she hadn’t gotten me anything and I was a little blown at feeling little hurt but she told me to sit down and she would explain her gift to me. Her present was a little different.

“While I was gone I put some money away and added to it every year as sort of a trust fund for you, I’ve recently transferred the money to Gringotts bank.” She revealed and paused, waiting for my reaction. I was pretty stunned and it took a little time before I could reply.

“Thank you” I said softly looking down. I didn’t know what else to say. I suddenly felt different.

She smiled and lifted up my chin in her hands “Of course I wouldn’t be a responsible mother if I just threw galleons at you, there is a condition.”

“What?” I asked hesitantly.

“Just that when your key comes, that you hand it over to me and your father, its not that I don’t trust you, but I want you to wait to have your money until after you graduate so you can start your new life with it.”

I felt a hint of happiness. It wasn’t because I had some money now, but the fact she had thought about me and my future over the years. Maybe she did actually care.

After a few moments I found myself actually returning her smile “That’s pretty motherly of you, mum.”

She laughed and pulled me into a hug “Mum, I’ve missed that name”

I hadn’t had a hug from my mother in so long, I felt young again. Then I remembered the years of waiting for her, wishing she would just come home and put her arms around me. I finally gave up when I set off to attend Hogwarts for my first year and there was still no word from her. I pulled back with watery eyes.

She looked at me and I couldn’t read her face. “It’ll take time honey, I know”

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I wanted this to work I really did, but I still had this nagging feeling. So that might explain why days after Christmas I found myself out and about Diagon Alley during the afternoons. Actually to be more specific, I was wondering the seedy streets of Knockturn Alley, and I was waiting for someone. Finally, on my third day, New Years day to be exact, I was pleased to see a gang of Slytherin teenagers going into a dodgy little shop. They were being led by my favourite blond male.

“Lovely day Malfoy” I called out through the crowd.

He whipped around and his eyes scanned the crowd suspiciously until he saw me. Then with a smirk he waved his little gang on and stalked over to me. I moved back so we were out of the crowd’s view.

“Now we can be alone Miss Springer”

Big mistake buddy.

I grabbed his cloak and rammed him against the wall, catching him off guard and had my wand pointing in his face before he could say a word.

“Like it?” I asked smugly. “Its Hawthorne, 8 inches, dragon heart string core, my pride and joy.”

He growled and I shoved it closer before continuing “Now I have some questions and I don’t want your elusive hints, I want the straight answers.”

I heard footsteps, and creepy looking lady holding a mangy grey cat walked by us without a word or a glance. I smiled; this was my kind of alley.

“What” he spat trying to maintain some dignity as his eyes darted towards the shop where his friends were. Unfortunately we were way too far out of view for them to notice us. I was now prepared to ask my questions.

“What did you mean by my mother being back because of another member of the family, and how do you know anything about me in the first place?”

He was silent “Answer me you scum or I’ll cast Furnunculus on your sorry ass” I threatened.

That did it; he winced and took a deep breath. “The Malfoys have always been friendly associates of the Fraydons, I picked up things from overhearing my parents and your grandparents talk.”

I had already figured as much, the Fraydons, (my mother’s family) as I was led to believe were pure blooded rich snobs, so of course they would associate with the people like the Malfoys. I prodded him with my wand to get him to continue.

“It started when your great grandmother was put in St. Mungos hospital, she had been very healthy up until last summer when she began to fall ill. Unfortunately ever since your great grandfather died, the entire estate and wealth has been tied to her.”

“So?”

“So, she has had a little falling out with the rest of the family, she was always quick to anger and left them only the estate but not the money, they figured it would blow over, it always did, but that was before she got ill and could barely speak let alone change the contents of her will.”

“And what does this have to do with my mother returning?” I asked with a bad feeling in my stomach.

He laughed “Every time she got in one of her angry rants she would yell the same thing.”

“And what was that?”

He smiled and let out a crude imitation of an angry old lady “I can’t trust or love anyone in this cursed family, I might as well leave my fortune to the only member I haven’t met!”

“But she was just rambling right?”

“That’s what everyone thought until she started dying and it was discovered she had changed her will, and left everything to the one person who shares her blood but she has never even seen or known much about”

“Me.” I was her heir. I was rich. A crazy old lady gave me all her money just to spite her family. I was now connected to that very family that I wanted no part of. As I contemplated this he spoke again.

“And just a few weeks ago your great granny finally bit the dust and once everything is in order, the key and vault number to which your fortune lies will be delivered to your home and into your greedy mother’s hands.”

that when your key comes, that you hand it over to me and your father I remembered what she said. She knew my dad didn’t understand wizard money and all that and that he would probably let her take care of the key. Then she could take the fortune and do as she pleased. She probably could have put a small portion into the account as a trust fund. Or put nothing at all and just take off again. She didn’t care, she never did.

I wordlessly put down my wand. I contemplated hexing him to take out my sudden anger and hurt but I couldn’t so I walked away and left him there. I didn’t expect an attack; he knew he’d already delivered a devastating blow.

“Happy New Year Paige” he seethed from behind me as I walked away and I felt more anger rise in me.

I stopped on the spot and spun around with my wand raised. Okay maybe just a few boils for this jerk. They may say don’t shoot the messenger but I’m sure exceptions can be made if they are being an abnormally huge git.

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Author: I was planning on having this out days earlier but computers are evil as you know. So sorry I’m about that. So this is the mother thing, grrrrrrrr Paige’s evil mom. I’ll start chapter 9 soon, I already have it sort of mapped out in my head. I've also realized I've been using the Canadian spelling for words so don't think i'm an idiot when i type "favourite" or "colour", etc. thats how we spell it here and i'm too used to it to change! Although you are free to think i'm an idiot for other reasons :)

ANOTHER BIG THANKS to my awesome reviewers especially the continuous ones. I’m almost at 50 reviews wahoo! Hopefully I can get to 100 before the story is over (hint) :)

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