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In the medical world, no news was considered good news most of the time, if only because it meant there was no bad news. And no news became the words Mum spoke to me every time I went to visit Cinda at Hampton Memorial. I went every day after work and every time, Mum was there. She had taken time off work to remain with Cinda at all times and despite Victoire's insistence, I did not do the same. There was just too much work to be done. Patients to be seen and potions had to be brewed.

Two weeks passed with no news and I could tell that the no news was turning into bad news. I spent all my free time at Hampton, leaving little time to spend with Victoire and Teddy, as well as little time to spend with Dillan. But Dillan was busy getting his restaurant on its feet and did not seem too put out by the fact that I declined every single one of his dinner invitations.

“I spoke with the doctors today,” Mum said quietly as she set a few boxes of take away on the coffee table.

Mum had spent the day at the hospital and then we had gathered at home since it was the night of the full moon and Matt was in no condition to visit Cinda. Dad had sent me an owl earlier asking me to go to their house rather than go visit Cinda after work. They had something to tell me and I knew it could not be good.

“There's nothing that can be done, right?” I asked, staring at the take away but making no move to eat any of it. I was not hungry.

Mum nodded as tears began leaking from her eyes. “They said,” her voice caught, “they said we should think about taking her off life support.”

My eyes burned. Death was such a normal part of my career, but it was completely different when it was a matter of your own family. Deep down in my mind I had a feeling this was what it would come to, but I hadn't wanted to believe it. Now, I had to.

I looked up and glanced at my family. Mum was sitting with her head in her hands, Dad looking stony while absent-mindedly rubbing her shoulder. Matt was laying on the couch, looking forlorn.

“When?” I asked. “When will you...do it.”

“We haven't figured that out yet,” Dad answered. “We'll all say goodbye in a few days, once Matt has recovered.”

I nodded. Saying goodbye. It seemed surreal. Saying goodbye to my only remaining grandparent. My grandmother, whom I thought would survive anything.

******


As it turned out, I never had the chance to say goodbye. Neither did Mum, or Dad, or Matt. Mum never had to make the decision of when to turn off the life support. Mum's mobile rang at one in the morning. I had not gone back to my flat since I would not have slept anyway. We all knew who was on the other end of that phone. Cinda had died at 12:48 a.m.

Everything seemed to happen in slow motion after that call. Mum set the mobile down and went immediately up to her bedroom. Dad followed. I sat for hours in the living room, unsure of what to do, unsure of what to feel. Sadness, of course. But what else?

When the moon set and the sun rose I went down to the basement to assess Matt's injuries. I healed them and took him up to his childhood bedroom to recover. I did not tell him about Cinda since he was half-asleep and in pain. He needed rest and grieving over Cinda would not get him that rest. Luckily, none of his injuries would require him to stay at St. Mungo's.

Dad emerged from his bedroom just as I was preparing a few potions to take up to Matt. He sat down at the counter and I noticed that his face looked more lined than ever.

“We'll be heading to Australia as soon as Matt can travel. We'll have Cinda transported there and plan the funeral,” Dad said quietly.

“I'll go into Mungo's and get time off,” I replied. “How is Mum?”

“Not good. She has not stopped crying. She's going to need our help with this. With the funeral.”

“Of course,” I said. “I'm going to take these to Matt and then head out to Mungo's.”

Dad nodded. I left and went upstairs. Matt was asleep. I gently woke him and he wordlessly swallowed the potions and went back to sleep. Once again, I did not tell him what had happened. I could not bring myself to be the bearer of such horrible news while he was already in pain from a transformation.

******


It did not take me long to track down Morris. The ward was bustling with activity since it was the day after the full moon and I felt guilt in the pit of my stomach knowing that I'd be leaving him with so much work to do.

“Amy,” he greeted me as I stepped into the ward. “There you are. How did Matt do?”

“He's fine,” I answered. “No worse than usual. Listen, I'm going to have to take about two weeks off.”

Morris looked up from the patient he was examining. “Oh no,” he said, his face falling. “Your grandmother?”

“Yes,” I replied. “She passed early this morning.”

“Oh, Amy, I'm so sorry,” Morris said. “Give my condolences to your parents and take as much time as you need. I can handle things here.”

Finding Farina proved more difficult. Eventually I tracked her down on the Spell Damage floor. Her hard looked softened as soon as I told her what had happened and she also told me to take as much time as I needed. I didn't see Victoire, but I did not have the energy to find her. Word would get around quickly, as it always did at Mungo's.

Sighing to myself as I left the hospital, I realized there was one more place I had to go before I went home. One more person I had to tell.

******


Dillan was directing the construction at his restaurant when I arrived moments later. Despite my grief, I could not help but smile when I saw the big cheesy grin on his face as he watched his restaurant taking shape. It reminded me that life went on, that grief could not last forever.

“Amy!” he shouted when he saw me. “I feel like I haven't seen you in days. Wait, what happened?”

I drew closer and knew he had seen the sadness etched on my face. “Cinda, my grandmother. She- she died early this morning.”

“Oh my God, Amy,” Dillan said as he hugged me. “I'm so sorry.”

“I just-” my voice cracked and I could feel my eyes starting to tear again. “It's not like it wasn't expected, it's just still so sad.”

“I know, I know,” he said as he rubbed my back. “Is there anything I can do? When's the funeral?”

“I don't know,” I answered. “But it's going to be in Australia so you don't have to come.”

“I figured. When are you leaving for Australia?” Dillan asked.

“In a few days. My brother is ill, so we can't leave yet.”

Dillan nodded. “Keep in touch. Owl me. Let me know when you're back.”

“I will,” I promised. “But I'd better go. I'll owl you soon.”

“Ok,” Dillan replied. He hugged me one more time and gave me a quick kiss on the cheek. “I'm here if you need anything. Anything at all.”

******


It took Matt three days to recover enough to travel. Dad booked four plane tickets since he was still very leery about arranging for a Portkey with the Australian Ministry. It was strange how as much as things changed, they stayed the same.

Those three days all merged into one. Mum spent most of it in her room, not wanting to talk to anyone except Dad. Dad arranged for Cinda's transport to Australia and set up meetings with the funeral home and the Minister at the church that Cinda and Richard had occasionally attended in their younger years. I spent all my time at my parents' house, not wanting to be alone. On the third day I went to my flat in order to pack a bag for Australia and to collect some clothes for Matt. Once there, I discovered a sea of flowers and baked goods in front of my door.

I heard footsteps behind me and turned to see Albus Potter. He looked exhausted and had a days old beard on his face.

“Whoa,” he said, eyes resting on the flowers. “Came up to see if you knew where Matt was. Just got back about twenty minutes ago.”

“Another mission?” I asked as I unlocked my door.

“Yeah,” Albus replied and started picking up bouquets. “What happened?”

“Cinda died a few days ago,” I replied. “I haven't been here and I guess people sent stuff.”

Albus's eyes grew wide. “Cinda? But she wasn't even ill, was she?”

“She had a stroke a couple weeks ago,” I replied as I brought in cakes and cookies. “I guess you were on your mission?”

“Been gone about a month with no contact,” Albus answered. He carried the last few vases into the flat. “I'm so sorry.”

I nodded. “You want any cakes or anything? We're leaving for Australia tomorrow and can't exactly bring any of this.”

“Sure,” Albus said.

“Take it all. Give it to your cousins. Or John and Kaden. They're always hungry.”

“Where's Matt?” Albus asked.

“Our parents' house. Full moon was a few days ago. I'm going to collect some things for him for Australia. He's taking a nap, but you can stop by if you want.”

“I will. Give me an hour or so to shower and I'll be over,” Albus answered. “See you in a bit.”

I left the flowers on the counter, knowing they'd die before I got back. There was an even larger amount of flowers at my parents' house, along with countless baked goods. I quickly grabbed a bag and threw some clothes into it. I then walked down to Matt and Albus's flat and did the same for Matt.

******


My parents' house was similar to my flat, in that it was also overcome with flowers and baked goods. The only difference was that there were also numerous casseroles covering the table. Why was it that people always sent food when something awful happened? Loved one die? I'll make a casserole.

I knew the answer of course. People wanted to feel like they were making a difference, like they were easing the pain in some small way. A fair few also did it to ease their guilt about how thankful they were that the tragedy had not happened to them. I was all too familiar with it.

When Matt got bitten when he was five and we had to bow out of the public's eye in both the Muggle and magical worlds, my parents told the Muggles that Matt had come down with a rare blood disorder, rendering him sick a lot of the time. The result was casseroles and cakes, all sent to our house.

While it was nice not to have to cook anything, none of us were really hungry enough to take advantage of the plethora of food. I hadn't eaten more than one meal in the past three days combined, I hadn't seen Mum eat anything, and Matt wouldn't have wanted to eat anything even if Cinda hadn't died. Dad ate the most, but even his appetite was suppressed.

Mum and Dad were busy packing in their bedroom when I arrived back at the house. Matt was laying on the couch, but he wasn't asleep. I sat down on a nearby chair.

“Albus is back,” I told him. “I think he's going to stop by in a bit.”

Matt just nodded and continued to stare up at the ceiling.

“Are you all right?” I asked.

“Fine,” Matt replied. He toyed with a blanket that was draped over the back of the couch. “Amy?”

“Yeah?”

“You've cried, right?” he asked quietly, not looking at me.

“You mean about Cinda?” I swallowed.

“Yeah,” Matt muttered.

“Plenty of times,” I answered. “Why?”

“I...well...haven't yet,” Matt said. “And that's not normal, is it? I mean, she was my grandmother. Shouldn't I have cried by now?”

I tried to hide my surprise. “Er, well, you're sad, right?”

“I guess, well, yeah, of course.”

“Not everyone cries when they're sad,” I told him. “And you had a different relationship with her. We moved when you were only eight and we only saw her once a year at most until she moved here. She wasn't as big a part of your life as she was in mine.”

“But still. I cried when Richard died,” Matt went on. “And I didn't see him more often than I saw Cinda.”

I smiled. “Richard was different. Richard never once saw you as different from other little boys. He never once thought you needed the coddling that Mum and Dad gave you after you were bitten. Nor did he think of you differently after the fact. He's the one who would convince Mum to let you go outside and scrape your knees and get dirty. He let you play like any other little boy. I don't know if you remember, but you used to live for the days we'd spend with Richard and Cinda so you could romp around in the backyard.”

“Vaguely,” Matt said. “Cinda was like Mum and Dad?”

I took a deep breath. “No, not exactly. And don't be mad that none of us ever told you about this, but we didn't really see the point since we were moving anyway and Mum and Cinda did make up about it. But Cinda did not agree with what Mum and Dad did for you, in terms of moving and finding you a new school. She thought we were just running away from our problems. She just never understood what your condition meant in our world. Mum and her had a huge row about it right before we moved, but they did make up.”

“And you never told me this?” Matt asked.

“No.” I sighed. “I guess it just slipped my mind until now. Don't get me wrong. Cinda loved you. She loved having grandchildren. She, well, she was just never one of those grandmothers who bake cookies and constantly give hugs and stuff.”

“She adored you, though,” Matt said. “I do remember that.”

“She adored the challenge.” I grinned at the memory. “I never wanted to do what she wanted me to do. I hated the parties, the fancy dresses, the fact that she always gave me presents better suited for Muggles. And more recently, her trying to get me to settle down.”

Matt laughed. “I guess so. I will miss her, despite her hounding.”

“Me too,” I said wistfully. “Me too.”

******


I've always hated riding in airplanes. The turbulence. The small cramped seats. The awful food. And that's something that did not change as I got older. I've managed to avoid flying for many years, but that did not make it any better.

The ride was long and grueling and when we got to Australia all I wanted to do was sleep, despite the fact that it was the middle of the day. The rest of my family had gotten sleep on the plane, but I've never slept well on planes.

Dad rented some sort of car at the airport and we all piled in to make the drive to Richard and Cinda's mansion, which had been untouched ever since Cinda moved to England. My heart rate sped up as we got closer. I wasn't sure I wanted to see the house without Richard and Cinda in it. It would be far too weird. They had owned that house since before I was born. Since before Mum was born. It was the house she grew up in and the house I spent a good portion of my own childhood in.

But despite my not wanting to go, we arrived all the same. The place looked well kept since Cinda had hired both a gardener to keep the outside looking nice and a housekeeper to clean the dust off everything inside. In fact, it looked just as it had when I was a teenager, like if I went inside I'd see Richard reading the paper and Cinda gossiping on the phone with a friend. I shook the thought from my head. No. The house would be empty.

Mum's hands shook as she unlocked the door. It creaked as she pushed it open. None of us moved an inch as we stood on the porch. No one wanted to be the first inside. Eventually, Mum stepped in and the rest of us followed.

I felt like crying again as soon as I stepped in. It just was not right. We should not be in Richard and Cinda's house without them. It was almost eery, as if I'd see their ghosts floating down the staircase.

I immediately went upstairs to my old bedroom, which also had not changed a bit. It was still pink and still flowery. The furniture was still white. Upon looking in the closet I saw that all the dresses I had worn to Cinda's fancy parties were still there. I shuddered. It was too creepy. I climbed onto the canopy bed and laid down. Despite the old ugly bedspread, the mattress was still comfortable, and I was asleep within minutes.


A/N: Bit of a shorter chapter, but this was a good stopping point. Thanks to all who have read and reviewed! You guys are awesome. I'm home for the summer and HPFF unfortunately does not work right on my Internet at home and one of the issues is not being able to respond to reviews. I get to the library every so often and respond to a few, but review responses will be slow for the summer. But I do read every single review and they all make me happy.

On a more serious note, I've had issues with people plagiarizing my other stories and characters from my stories. Please be aware that no stories on this archive may be taken and posted elsewhere without the author's permission and will not be tolerated. Nor will any outright plagiarism of plots, characters, and whole stories. I haven't had issues with this specific story, but I wanted to post the warning anyway.

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