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It’s amazing how sometimes the things I think I’ll never be able to make it past are the things that I find it easiest to forget about. That’s not to say that I’ve forgotten about all of my problems. It’s just that I seem to have so many these days that I can only focus on one at a time. Hell, if I had to think about everything that was wrong with my life at the same time, I’d probably kill myself. Or go crazy at least. 

Sometimes I found myself asking “why me?” or “what did I ever do to deserve any of this?” And the only answer I kept coming up with to those questions is “why anyone else?” It was true. I was no better than anyone else out there. Everyone had their problems – their burdens to bear. These were mine. I would deal with the cards I had been dealt. It could have been worse, I supposed. I could have cancer or dragon pox. 

Besides, things were already starting to look up, a little bit at least. I had Al back. I had two great best friends. I had relatively good grades. I was a pretty good Quidditch player. Most people would have considered me lucky. I just had to content myself knowing all of those things.

But it was so hard sometimes.

“Hey Rosie,” Tony said, sliding into a seat next to me at breakfast a few days later. “How’ve you been?”

“Hey Tony,” Noel piped up from across the table, smiling at the dark skinned boy next to me.

“I’ve been okay,” I replied, noticing that Tony didn’t even acknowledge Noel. “Struggling a little bit, but I’m getting better.”

“I know it’s hard,” Tony sympathized, wrapping his arm around my shoulder comfortingly. “He’s not too pleased with me right now either.”

I sat under Tony’s arm uncomfortably. Lately he had been rather touchy-feely, and while it was nice to get a hug once in a while from my friends, I was beginning to feel awkward around Tony. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I was pretty sure that Noel liked him. Or maybe it was the fact that he was Scorpius’s best friend and yet he was sitting over at the Gryffindor table with me instead of with Jack and Scorpius at the Slytherin table.

“Really?” Noel asked gruffly, her voice dripping with sarcasm, “I wonder why?”

“Well, you have been spending a lot of time with me,” I reminded him. “You’re supposed to be his best friend, not mine.”

“But Scorpius acted like a dick and hurt one of my friends. And I’m not going to support that,” Tony replied, squeezing my shoulder lightly.

I bit my lip to stop myself from crying again. I really did not like this topic. The best way for me to move on was not to even think about Scorpius. It still hurt too badly. It seemed like the pain was never dwindling – it would just become numb for a little while until someone triggered my memory. Then I would have to start the whole damn process over again.

“Can we not talk about this?” I asked quietly once I had my emotions under control.

I saw Tony’s face soften with understanding. “Of course.”

“Hey guys,” Al said, grinning a bit and taking a seat across the table next to Ashley. “How is everyone this morning?”

“All right,” I replied, feeling a grin tug at the corners of my own lips. Seeing Al seemed to be one of the only things that made me smile lately. He seemed to understand what I was going through unlike anyone else, and he never brought it up. Like the other night, he would just sit quietly next to me on the couch in the Common Room as I stared into the fire, crying a little bit and just generally trying to cope. It was just nice knowing that there was someone there with me.

“You know, you still owe me a rematch for the other night,” he chuckled, grabbing a piece of toast and taking a large bite out of it.

“You’re ready for another slaughtering?” I challenged, smirking.

“I was not slaughtered!” he insisted, throwing his half eaten piece of toast at me. I ducked it easily and flicked a spoonful of my oatmeal at him. It landed in his hair.

“Oh, gross,” he moaned, reaching his hand up and gingerly touching his hair. He turned and glared at me. “Oh, you are so going to get it now.”

He grabbed a sausage off the plate in front of him and chucked it at me and I shrieked slightly, not ducking in time and taking a sausage to the eye. I wiped the grease off my face and chuckled, hearing Tony, Ashley, Noel, and Al all roaring with laughter around me.  

I was just about to throw a piece of bacon back at Al when the sound of hundreds of beating wings filled the air and the owls carrying our daily mail swooped down upon us. I scanned the skies by rote, but I didn’t see my mother’s usual owl or my father’s. I went back to my oatmeal quietly, but started when I felt the sharp prod of a beak on the top of my hand.

I looked up to see a beautiful, rather large barn owl perched on the table in front of me, a purple letter tied to its leg. 

“Is that a Ministry letter?” Tony asked, eyeing the bird’s leg. “What’s it for?”

“I don’t know,” I answered honestly, feeling slightly nervous and confused. I reached out and untied the letter from its leg with shaking hands. It hooted feebly and I gave it a sausage absentmindedly, hardly noticing when it took off into the air again.

I stared at the rolled up parchment for a moment, looking at the few words scribbled on the outside of the roll. To Miss Rose Weasley – URGENT

I didn’t recognize the handwriting.

“Well, open it,” Ashley said from across the table. I glanced up at her for a second and then down again at the parchment. I took a deep breath and opened it, seeing a few more lines scribbled in the same messy penmanship.

Hello Rose,

I hope that you have had a good return to school. I’m pleased to inform you that your parent’s divorce is moving along swimmingly and smoothly. However, your presence is required at the Ministry of Magic on January 21st, 2023 to discuss custody arrangements. Seeing as you are of age now, it would usually not be an issue, but considering that you are not graduating from Hogwarts for another year, we feel it would be prudent to get both yours and your brother’s input on which of your parents you would like to live with. Do not worry, this trip has already been cleared with Headmistress McGonagall, and you are able to Floo to the Ministry via her fireplace. Thank you for your cooperation and time.

Sincerely,

Justin Finch-Fletchely

Head of the Magical Law Enforcement Department

I reread the letter and stared down at the piece of parchment in shock. Was he serious? He really expected me to do this?

“What does it say?” Tony asked, peering over my shoulder to see what was written.

I crumpled the ball up in my fist angrily and turned to look at all of my friends. “That letter was from Justin Finch-Fletchely,” I told them, my voice sounding astonished. “He wants me to go into the Ministry on the 21st.”

“What for?” Noel asked, her eyes narrowed suspiciously.

“I think he wants me to choose which one of my parents I want to live with,” I replied, horrified at the thought.

“Merlin,” Noel breathed. “I can’t imagine having to choose between my parents. I’m so sorry, Rosie.”

“Yeah,” Ashley piped up. “That’s so horrible and unfair.”

“I’m sorry, hon,” Tony added, his knee brushing mine under the table.

“It’s okay,” I replied, my thoughts so jumbled that I really wasn’t aware of what they were saying or what was coming out of my mouth.

“Well, at least you have some time to think about it,” Ashley tried to reassure me.

“Isn’t the 21st tomorrow?” Al asked.

The whole group went silent. I did a mental tally of the days in my head. Yes, tomorrow was definitely the 21st.

“Yeah, it is,” Tony said somberly. I felt everyone’s eyes on me, but I didn’t look at any of them, instead choosing to draw little stick figures in my oatmeal with my spoon.  

This was too much. First I lost Scorpius, now I was going to have to lose one of my parents. But unlike what my friends thought, I wasn’t worried about having to make my decision. Ever since I had read the letter I’d known who I’d pick to live with. The choice was obvious.   

I was just worried about my father would say when I admitted that I didn’t want to live with him.

 

 




 

I’ve noticed that time, a cruel and flighty mistress in the first place, always seems to speed up when you want it to slow down. And whenever you want it to speed up, it drags. 

Of course, because I was dreading the morrow, it came upon me all the faster.  

I sighed and slipped on the pair of new white trainers that Hugo had gotten me for my birthday, bending down and tying the laces swiftly. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was supposed to wear to the Ministry to discuss custody arrangements, but Noel, Ashley, and I had decided last night that a sweater and jeans were probably fine. 

I ran my fingers through my hair tiredly and glanced in the mirror. Eh, it could be worse. I smoothed out the grey wool sweater that Noel had loaned me and picked a stray strand of hair off of my shoulder. I was as ready as I ever was going to be.

I walked away from the mirror and accidentally tripped over one of Lucy’s pairs of shoes. I swore loudly, not worrying about waking anyone up, considering the dormitory was empty, as classes had started over two hours ago. 

I walked down the stairs and into the Common Room, which was mostly empty, save for a few seventh years that had a free period. I slouched out of the portrait hole without attracting too much attention to myself and set off towards McGonagall’s office without really registering where my feet were going.  

Before I knew it I was standing in front of the two gargoyles that guarded the Headmaster’s office.

“Password?” the right one asked, glowering at me.

“Uhh,” I said. I had no idea what the password was. No one ever told me.

“I have no idea,” I admitted, shaking my head uncertainly.

“No password, no entrance,” the left gargoyle insisted.

“Look,” I snapped, feeling extremely agitated, “I have to get up to that office, okay? McGonagall is expecting me.  I have an important meeting at the Ministry this morning.”

“Tough luck, sweetheart,” the first one said, smiling a grotesque smile.  

I huffed and felt my fingers twitch towards my pocket. I was going to blast that stupid, smug smile right off that annoying gargoyle’s face.

“Don’t know the password?” someone asked from behind me and I started a bit, not having expected seeing anyone wandering around the castle at this time of day. I turned on the spot to see Hugo sauntering down the hallway, his hands shoved in the pockets of his jeans and his shoulders slouched beneath his navy sweater.

“Not exactly,” I growled. “Why, do you know what it is?” 

“Yeah, move aside,” he mumbled, bumping me with his shoulder unnecessarily and squaring up to one of the gargoyles. 

I bit my lip to keep from saying something I would regret and glared at the back of Hugo’s head angrily. I hadn’t talked to Hugo since the last incident on the train. And honestly, I still really had no desire to, especially when he was being so mean.

“Tabby cat,” he told the sentries, and they instantly sprang aside, revealing a long, winding staircase leading up to McGonagall’s office.  

“That was obvious,” I mumbled darkly to myself, following Hugo up the stairs. When we got to the top, Hugo didn’t even bother to stop and knock, rather just pushing the door open and slouching into the office.

“Good morning, Miss Weasley, Mr. Weasley,” McGonagall said from behind her desk, the look on her face not at all surprised by the fact that we had just barged into her office.

“Good morning Professor,” we replied. I stared down at the carpet that we were standing on, not wanting to have to look at McGonagall. Because even in the few seconds that she had said hello to us, I could see the pity in her eyes – the look that said “look at these two innocent children, obviously falling apart more every day with no one there to catch them.”

I didn’t want to be pitied. I didn’t want everyone to feel sorry for me. I was really sick and tired of always having to be the damsel in distress. I was really sick and tired of having to wait for someone to come along and save me, for someone to come along and put back the pieces of my shattered life. Especially now that my knight in shining armor was gone.  

“Are you ready to go?” she asked, her eyes scrutinizing us over the rim of her glasses.

“Ready as ever, I suppose,” I replied, glancing up at her briefly. That stupid look was still there.

“All right then, the fire is ready over there,” she told us, gesturing behind her to the fireplace.

“Thank you,” Hugo mumbled, stepping round towards the fireplace and I followed him. We both stood before the giant stone structure for a moment, neither of us wanting to be the first one to go.

“Well, I guess I’ll go first,” I muttered, reaching up and grabbing the jar of Floo powder off of the mantle and taking a pinch in my fist. I held it out to Hugo and he did the same. 

I placed the jar carefully back on the mantle and squared up to the fireplace, staring into the crackling flames as if they were the flames of hell. I really, really did not want to go. I would rather have had to see Scorpius and Anna together again. Well, maybe not that much, considering that my insides burned painfully just thinking about it. But I would have rather cursed off my own nose than go. Yeah, that was better.

“Are you going to go, or do you want me to go first?” Hugo growled.

I glanced behind me at him, and for the first time noticed the fear in his eyes. If it was possible, a little bit of my heart broke further. I hated seeing Hugo like this. He may have said some horrible things to me, but he was still my baby brother.  

“I can go,” I told him quietly, taking a deep breath and tossing the powder onto the flames. They instantly became green and I closed my eyes and stepped inside, doing my best not to think about anything as I shouted “Ministry of Magic!”

I felt the green flames lick at my ankles and then I was spinning away, too fast to actually get a good look inside any of the fireplaces I swirled past. The ride was faster than the one to Zambini Manor had been and before I knew it I felt myself slowing down. I braced myself for the landing this time and only slightly stumbled as I stopped.

I straightened up slightly and brushed the extra soot off of my clothes and then looked up to find my mother or father, or whoever was supposed to be waiting for me. The first thought that crossed my mind was that I wished I hadn’t. Because I was instantly blinded by a million flashbulbs going off.

“ROSE! Would you like to comment on-“

“Rose! Can I ask you a few questions?”

“Is it true that you spent the holidays on the streets?”

“Where were you over Christmas?”

“What-“

“Why?”

“Rose.”

“Rose!”

“ROSE!!!”

It felt as if the world was spinning. I looked around frantically, trying to find a familiar face in the crowd or a way out, but I could barely see anything due to the incessant flashes of the cameras. A tremor of terror rolled through me as I realized that even if my mother or father was calling out for me I wouldn’t know it, because I couldn’t hear anything other than the loud roar of the paparazzi.

I felt lightheaded and dazed. Had I really landed in the Ministry of Magic? I must have. How else would they have known where I was? 

Suddenly I heard their chanting of my name stop, as they had taken up a new prey.

“Hugo, can you comment on-“

“Hugo!”

“Hugo, over here!”

I spun around wildly, reaching for my younger brother and grasped something that felt distinctly Hugo like behind me.

“Rose?” I heard him cry.

“Yeah, it’s me,” I shouted back, pulling him closer to me.  

“What’s going on?”

“I don’t know!”  

“EVERYONE GET OUT OF HERE RIGHT NOW OR I WILL HAVE YOU PERSONALLY SENT TO AZKABAN FOR THE HARASISMENT OF CHILDREN!”

The flashbulbs stopped as did the roar of the reporters and I blinked a few times in confusion to try to clear my vision. I swore fluently under my breath as I saw for the first time exactly how large the crowd of reporters actually was. They spanned almost the entire shiny entrance hall, the only thing holding them back from trampling Hugo and me a long, purple velvet rope that hung about 7 feet in front of us, blocking their path. 

The hall had grown instantly silent at the sound of that loud, familiar voice, the only sound now was that of clacking heels and shuffled dress shoes against the floor. The crowd of reporters parted down the middle as the steps grew louder and then through the chaos I saw my mother and father, flanked by Justin Finch-Fletchely and Cho Chang emerge.

“There you are,” my mother said, her voice clouded by a mixture of anger and anxiousness. “I don’t know how these sharks learned that the two of you were coming here today.”

“Don’t worry,” Justin said, placing his hand on my mother’s shoulder comfortingly. “We’ll find out.”

“Of course you will,” I heard my father hiss.

“Ron,” Cho reprimanded.

“Maybe we should take this elsewhere,” Hugo pointed out, throwing a discreet glance at the pack of rabid reporters leaning in to catch their every word.

“You’re right,” my mother sighed, pulling her long, royal purple robes tighter around her thinner frame and tucking a stray strand of hair behind her ear. “You kids don’t need to be in the spotlight.”

I nodded and bit my lip anxiously. This was worse than I’d thought it would be.  Reporters, anxious parents, Hugo being all angsty. Why couldn’t I have a normal family?

“Shall we go up to my office?” my mother asked to no one in particular.

“Of course,” my father spat bitterly, turning on his heel and striding past us. Cho shot Justin and Hugo and I an apologetic look and strode past us and I heard my mother sigh wearily. I could imagine that after having done nothing but deal with the divorce settlement with my father for the past few weeks that she was growing tired of his constant sighs and biting sarcasm. 

I followed my father and Cho out of the main entrance through the small aisle that still remained in the reporters. Hugo walked silently by my side, scuffing his shoes against the floor with loud squeaks. I glared over at him as a silent warning to stop but he did not notice because he was staring determinedly down at the shiny hardwood as if his life depended upon it.

I sighed quietly and followed suit, suddenly feeling the hundreds of eyes upon me. Why was it that everywhere I went, that people were preying on my business and my feelings like a pack of vultures? What made it okay for people to stick their nose into my business and my life? Why was it okay for hundreds of women everywhere who were following this sudden juicy piece of gossip to have an inside view into my pain and my life as if they knew me, and as if they really cared?  

We paused before the giant golden grilled lifts and my father tapped his foot anxiously against the ground. I could tell that he was looking at Hugo and I, but I kept my eyes trained steadily forward, not wanting to look up at him. It would be too painful. For one thing, because I knew I would see anger and disappointment in his eyes. The last time I had seen my father face to face he was standing at the side of the road, watching me pull away from him after having been punched in the face by Scorpius. For another, I was afraid that if I looked at him, I wouldn’t have the courage or the strength to tell him that I didn’t want to live with him.

 Some Gryffindor I was.  

 

 




 

The walk to my mother’s office had to be one of the longest of my life. No one spoke. No one cleared their throat uncomfortably. The only sound was their footsteps against the hardwood floors and the soft sounds of breathing.  

I wanted to scream.

Finally we reached a set of enormous wooden doors with gold inlay and my mother walked inside first, followed by Justin and then my dad. I let out a soft sigh of relief. The sooner we got this over with, the sooner I could go back to school. Wow, that was an odd feeling. Just another sign that my life was going to hell – I would rather be in class.

I was the last into my mother’s office, and I instantly stopped once I was through the door. I had known all along that the Minster of Magic’s office would have been spectacular, but this was really incredible. The ceiling was painted a dark blue, light blue and grey clouds and thousands of what seemed like real twinkling stars scattered throughout it. The office was lined with dark wooden bookshelves which were all completely filled; some of the titles of the tomes written in languages that I was not sure could have been human. There was only one painting in the room, but it didn’t really seem to have any significance, as there was only a muddy brown backdrop. A humongous desk sat at the very back of the room and was flanked on either side by long, dark wood, gold gilded staircases that lead up to a small study. Behind the desk was an ornate golden chair.

“Wow,” I breathed, looking around me at the splendor of my mother’s office. “This is beautiful.”

“Do you like it?” My mother asked, smiling a bit smugly. “Every minister gets to put their own personal spin on this room.”

“It’s great, Mum,” I replied, shaking my head slightly to return myself back to reality.

“It’s not that great,” I heard my father mutter mutinously.

“Maybe we should get things started,” Cho said with a warning glance at my father. “The children have to get back to school soon.”

“Good idea,” Justin replied, putting a hand on both Hugo’s and my shoulders and ushering us up the stairs towards the study. “Shall we?”

I wanted to ask him why he thought it was okay that he was pushing me up the stairs, let alone how he knew it was okay to just take us up to my mother’s private study, but I thought it would probably get me in less trouble to keep my comments to myself. A quick glance at Hugo confirmed that he was thinking the same thing, because he had an angry grimace on his face and I could tell that he was trying to dig his heels into the floor to stop himself from moving forward.

I elbowed him sharply in the side to tell him to knock it off and he glowered at me, mumbling something that I couldn’t understand under his breath. I glowered right back at him.

“This should be cozy,” Justin said, pulling back the purple curtain that provided privacy for the study and giving us both a forceful push inside. I stumbled a bit and caught myself against a high backed chair. It appeared that what I had once thought was a study was more of an actual conference room, with a long, dark wood table running across the length of the room.

“What the hell?” I heard Hugo mutter darkly and I didn’t bother to elbow him this time. I was thinking it too.

“Watch your language, Hugo,” my mother chastised, coming in and taking her seat next to Justin on one side of the table while my dad and Cho shuffled in behind her and took their places on the opposite side of the table.   

I stood awkwardly off to the side, not sure about where to sit. Part of me wanted to sit next to my mother, just because it would be easier to tell my dad that I wanted to live with her while sitting right next to her. As an added bonus, then I would be out of his reach. On the other hand though, I didn’t want to make it seem like I was picking sides already. 

“Why don’t you each sit at one end of the table?” Cho asked kindly, gesturing to the two throne-like chairs that sat at either end.

I nodded and started off towards the far end, making sure to keep my eyes on the ground as I went. I could feel everyone’s eyes on me as I went, but I tried to not let it phase me. If I could endure everyone talking about me at school, I could endure this.

I pulled out my assigned chair and sat down quickly, folding my hands into a tight knot in my lap to keep from drumming on them on the table like I suddenly wanted to. 

“Okay then,” Justin said, placing a thin, manila folder on the table in front of him without opening it, “I think you both know why you’re here.”

“Yes,” Hugo and I answered from opposite ends of the table at the same time.

“Now, I just want to reiterate a few points before we start, just to clear up any confusion,” he continued, looking back and forth between us.  “First of all, I’d just like to remind you both that custody battles are usually fought between parents in the courts. But considering that Rose, you are of age, and Hugo, you are a young adult, both of your parents have agreed that it would be better that you both got a say in where you live. I’d also like to tell you that just because you are both getting to choose which parent you want to live with, this does not mean that you will never see the other parent again.”

“Yes,” Cho interjected, looking first at Justin, then Hugo, then me. “Your parents have opted for shared custody of the two of you. The parent you choose today will be your primary guardian – which means that you will live with this parent most of the time, and see the other parent on assigned weekends or nights. Does that make sense?”

“Yes,” we both echoed again.

“Good,” Cho smiled. “Now, I don’t want to put any pressure on either of you, but I just want you to know, that the court systems usually do not like to split up siblings. But both of you are older now, so I do not know how much of a problem it would pose if you chose separate parents.”

“So we have to choose the same parent?” Hugo asked, looking over at the pretty Asian woman, a pained expression in his eyes.

“No, not at all,” my mother answered. “Your father and I want you to choose whoever you want to live with. Any problems it may pose we were already aware of when we decided to let you both pick. We are fine with whatever you both choose.”

“Really?” Hugo asked his voice hard and dark. “So you won’t hate us if we don’t choose you?”

My mother opened her mouth and then closed it again, pain and confusion evident on her weary face. “Oh, no, no, no, no, no, Hugo. Not at all. Your father and I love you and your sister more than anyone else on this earth. We just want what you want and what is best for you. We won’t be at all upset if you do not choose us. As long as you are doing what you really want to do; that is what matters to us – right Ronald?”

My father looked over at my mother from where he had been staring at the wall opposite him and I could see his body stiffen and his eyes become filled with anger and hurt as he looked at her. “That’s right,” he said gruffly, looking at Hugo for a long minute and then glancing at me.  

“Okay, then,” I nodded, looking up but at no one in particular. I could hear my heart pounding in my ears and my stomach felt like it was doing cartwheels in my abdomen. I licked my lips nervously, as if this would make the words I knew I was soon going to have to say come easier.

“Do you both already know who you want to live with?” Cho asked curiously.

“Yeah,” I said at the same time Hugo said, “Sure thing.”

“Go ahead,” Justin encouraged. “Tell us.”

“Mum,” I said, not daring to meet eyes with my father and looking over at my mother, who was smiling at me, her eyes glassy with unshed tears. She mouthed a quick “I love you to me” and I shot her a weak grin back. 

I could feel my father’s enraged glare on my back and I felt my shoulders stiffen apprehensively. I turned slowly to him and unwillingly my eyes locked with his. I could see that he was hurt and disappointed, but more than anything he looked angry. I gasped slightly, feeling almost like I had déjà vu. I had not seen him glare at me with such hate since that day in McGonagall’s office. 

After a moment he tore his eyes away from mine and looked down at Hugo, as if he could not stand looking at me anymore, as if I was just another huge disappointment to him. I felt immense guilt twist in my gut and I opened my mouth to say something, but I couldn’t find my voice. Even if I could have, I had no idea what I would have said.

That I was sorry? No, I was not sorry for choosing my mother. My father had been so cruel to me for the past few years. Why would I have wanted to live in an environment where I would be constantly hurt? I would be crazy to want something like that. So, no, I could not tell him I was sorry for choosing my own health and happiness for once in my life.

“Dad, I-“ I said, struggling to find something, anything at all to say.

“Rose,” he growled, turning to glare down at me. “There is no need to justify your decision. It has been made.”

“Dad, really, I love you too,” I tried again.

“Just stop,” he hissed, dragging his hand over his face wearily. “It’s fine, Rose. It’s over.”

I stared down at the table, feeling the bitter sting of tears behind my eyes again. It was most definitely not fine. If my father had hated me before, he hated me ten times more now. Now it was like we had lost the only connection keeping us together – that he was my father and I was his daughter. I had just willingly given up that last bond. And no matter how much he hurt me or hated me, the idea that things were really gone between us was unbearable. It was almost agony to think that I had just laid the final straw that broke the camel’s back.  

I heard a strangled sob escape my lips and soon felt the hot tears spilling down my cheeks. I bit my lip hard to stop myself from crying – I had promised myself I would not cry during this whole ordeal – but soon I tasted the metallic zing of blood on my tongue. I released my lip and a slight hiccough escaped me.

“Here sweetie, have some tissues,” my mother soothed, conjuring up a box of tissues and passing them down the table towards me. I took one gladly and swiped angrily at my streaming eyes, trying to stem the flow of my tears before they became out of control. Soon my sobs died down and the hiccoughing stopped.

“Feel better?” my mother asked. I looked up at her and nodded meekly, even though in reality I felt so shattered inside that I never thought I would be able to become whole again. It was as if the last spark of hope had died in me.  It was as if someone had taken a sledgehammer to the already fragmented pieces of my heart and smashed them into a fine powder.

I had walked away from Scorpius. I had now just proverbially walked away from my father. I had lost the two most important men in my life of my own accord.  

And now I was reduced to practically nothing.    

“Well, now that that’s over,” my father barked, looking down the table expectantly at my younger brother. “Hugo, it’s your turn. Who would you like to live with?”

The whole table turned as one to look at him. Hugo stared back at us all with a look of defiance that seemed macabre and extremely out of place on his face.

“I’m living with Dad.” 





 
A/N: Whew, it's finally done. I know I promised that I'd have this done over the weekend, but time just gets away from me. But it's here right. And I hope you all liked it. 

So, what did you think? Surprised? Not surprised? Did you like it? Hey, if you want to, leave me a review and tell me what you thought. I hope you all liked it though. I'm pretty pleased with this chapter. 

Anyway, I know you're all probably wondering what happened to Scorpius. Don't worry - we'll hear more from him soon. I promise. But I figured we hadn't heard from her parents for a while.

All right, I'm going to go before I write another novel. Thank you all for reading. Please, please review! :)

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