|SIYE Time:2:18 on 16th January 2018|
The Space Between
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Category: Post-Hogwarts, Post-DH/AB, Post-DH/PM
Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama, Fluff, General, Humor, Tragedy
Warnings: Dark Fiction, Death, Disturbing Imagery, Extreme Language, Intimate Sexual Situations, Mental Abuse, Mild Language, Mild Sexual Situations, Negative Alcohol Use, Rape, Sexual Situations, Spouse/Adult/Child Abuse, Violence, Violence/Physical Abuse
Summary: Harry and Ginny's lives have finally evened out. They've faced trauma, and loss, more than most have, but they've fought hard to find a normal.
If only things could stay that way... Old enemies find new ways to seek revenge.
This story is the sequel to Bound. It would be extremely helpful if you read that first.
Warnings are to be safe. It's probably overkill. Please message me if you have any questions or concerns.
Hitcount: Story Total: 78605; Chapter Total: 3130
Awards: View Trophy Room
My book is on sale! Go see my profile for links! I'm so excited, and nervous, and excited and thankful for all of the help and support along the way. GO LOOK! The publishing happening (at this moment it's tomorrow) has kept me insanely busy, plus I'm finishing the third book in the series, then I'll buckle down hard on this story and start knocking it out faster (hopefully!)
But REALLY! Go check out my book! SQUEEE!
Okay, must thank Arnel for all of her help. She's told me that she's loving the story so far, so hopefully you will as well.
Thank you for all the reviews. The next few chapters focus heavily on the kids, but then it gets to be a little more back and forth. Tell me what you think! The story isn't finished, so your input is valuable.
Thanks again everyone and if you read my book, let me know what you think!
Evening Sept 1st, 2017
Harry trudged into his house later than he’d meant to. They’d discovered someone attempting to make Inferi, and the resulting paperwork and media hoopla had taken hours to sort through.
The first thing he saw was his daughter’s bright smile. She was already in hot pink pajamas, with her long hair plaited down her back. He gratefully sank down next to her on the couch, and she crawled in to his lap, for a hug. He didn’t have any idea what he was going to do when she was too big for cuddles. Probably cry.
Lily was so unlike the rest of the family, that he didn’t know how to describe her properly. She was smart, funny, caring, and didn’t have a single ounce of guile to her. She was secure in her place as the baby of a very large, extended family. She was sweet, and so carefree that just being in her presence was like breathing in fresh, spring air. Nothing bothered her for long. Lily was truly her godmother’s replica, except not as batty. Harry missed Luna, but Luna was a free spirit, traveling the world with her husband Rolf.
Harry sometimes wondered if they’d sheltered Lily too much. She didn’t really know of the troubles that her parents had gone through to get to where they were in life, but Lily seemed to encourage being sheltered, so he’d never pushed. Neither had anyone else; Lily had been left to love the world like a fairy.
She looked like Ginny. They had the same coloring and build. Lily was tiny, just like her mum, but in personality they couldn’t have been more different.
They didn’t fight, though. Lily wasn’t a fighter. She had guts, and courage, and she’d speak her mind when she felt called to, but she didn’t ever go out of her way to upset anyone just for the sake of being mean or making mischief. She saw her mother struggle against James, and she didn’t want to add to it.
“I love you, Daddy,” Lily told him grinning.
Harry wouldn’t ever tell her, because she probably knew anyway, that he appreciated that he was still Daddy, and not Dad. He didn’t want to keep her a baby, exactly, but he wasn’t ready for her to be a grown up either. “I love you, too, Lily Lu,” he said shortening her middle name down from Luna. “Did you and Hugo have a good day?”
“Yep,” she nodded. “We went and bugged Uncle George for a bit until he told us to scram. Uncle Ron was working on paperwork, so we didn’t see him at the shop. Then we went to pet the kittens at the Magical Menagerie, and Hugo got bit by a lizard, but he was okay. Then we went to The Burrow to have lunch with Gran and Granddad, then we came home and we spent the rest of the afternoon flying.”
“A busy day,” Harry sighed, enjoying the normalcy that he could give his children. His own life had never been that idyllic. It was a joy knowing it was their reality. Everything he’d worked for had paid off.
Unless the note writer turned out to be a psycho killer, of course. With Harry’s luck they might. But after nineteen years of unimpressive threats, he thought it was unlikely that they’d act now. It hadn’t intensified, and nothing overt had ever happened.
He tugged gently at Lily’s braid. “I think it’s probably bedtime.”
“Yes,” Lily agreed heavily, her big brown eyes peeking up at him through long lashes. “I asked Mummy if I could stay up to say goodnight. I missed you.”
“I missed you, too,” he assured her as he hugged her close and kissed her one last time. “Off to bed with you, then.”
“I want you to come home on time tomorrow,” Lily told him as she stood. “Tomorrow is my day, okay?”
Harry grinned despite himself. He and Ginny had worked out a system where by she’d tell him exactly what she wanted, needed, or expected of him, and he did his absolute best to fulfill it. He was rubbish at subtlety, and this had saved them a lot of heart ache and fights.
Lily had picked up on this early on. Rather than sulking, or getting upset, she simply told him what she needed from him. It was a beautiful system.
“I had a bit of a mess today,” Harry told her honestly. “If I can get it cleared up tomorrow I will be home early. That’s the best I can promise.”
“Okay,” she smiled broadly and skipped off for the stairs. “Night!”
He let his head flop back against the sofa, and let out a long breath.
“Wrapped,” came a voice from his right. He looked over from the living room into the kitchen and saw Ginny holding up her little finger.
Harry shook his head, and chuckled. “Yeah, well, guilty. She’s got everyone wrapped around her little finger. How was I supposed to resist?”
She strode over and sat next to him, pulling his hand onto her lap and entwining their fingers. “Something is bothering you.”
“Inferi, and the idiots who think they can conjure them, but can’t,” Harry grumbled.
Her brows knit as she studied his face. “Something else,” she prodded. “It takes a lot more than idiotic criminals to pull this line out between your eyes,” she said gently, tracing the line with her finger. “Tell me. You’ll feel better.”
Harry sighed and slid down a bit on the couch so he could lay his head in her lap, and let her fingers sooth him as they played through his hair.
Her fingers worked their way through his tension, rubbing at the stress and worry. He didn’t want anything to ruin the tranquility of his home. It was no longer under the Fidelius Charm, but it was still magically protected to the best of the Ministry’s ability. Harry didn’t want his kids living in a prison, cooped up like Sirius had been. But just sometimes…
Ginny fingers danced over his brow. “What’s wrong?”
He pulled his eyes opened and looked up into her beautiful face. The insanity that had always plagued his life had slowed considerably. In fact, for a few years, it was Ginny’s career with the Harpies that had made the press go nuts, rather than anything he’d done. Whatever the note was, it wasn’t a threat at that moment. No one had gone after him for being ‘Harry Potter’ in a long time. Instead it was his title as Head Auror that had made him a target.
The world was peaceful, and he didn’t want to ruin that by telling her. But Harry wouldn’t lie to her, so there was no choice to it. “I got another note.”
“Oh,” Ginny nodded. She didn’t need any other information. She knew what that meant. “Are you going to investigate it?”
He shrugged helplessly. “I’ll try, but I doubt it will go anywhere.” He’d refused to waste any more Ministry resources on the anonymous notes, especially when there was no imminent threat. He’d put their house under Fidelius Charm several times because of the notes. But he’d given up after the fourth one.
“Are you hungry?” Ginny asked.
He shook his head. “Hermione had food sent to my office when she realized we were both going to be there late.”
She laughed and her chuckle was low and throaty. “Poor Ron looked harassed when he came for Hugo. I took pity on him, and fed them supper.”
“You took pity on Ron?” he questioned, raising an eyebrow.
“No,” Ginny waved that off. “Hugo.”
They arrived at the huge castle and Nat stared up at the lit windows and all the turrets, wanting to pinch herself. She couldn’t believe she was going to get to live here for seven years! They entered through a huge set of double oak doors and Nat was deposited in an anti-room.
“You’ll wait here,” Madam Pomfrey said. “The others will be in shortly.”
She left and a few minutes later a professor with a round face and kind eyes came in with all the other first years to wait for the Sorting. She’d been allowed to get up and Al gave her his arm, helping her to stand. “It’s all right,” she assured him. “I’m just a bit sore. Madam Pomfrey said it’s because I waited so many hours to get healed.”
Al continued to hold onto her as they walked into the Great Hall. Nat was thankful for his arm as she was a bit wobbly, although the room was amazing. It was huge with four long tables and the celling was beautiful, matching the night’s sky that she’d watched on her long ride up to the castle. The same man who had brought in the first years and had escorted them into the hall put an old, singed and battered pointed wizard’s hat on a stool up at the front of the hall and the hat began to sing, explaining all about the four houses. Nat couldn’t really concentrate, though. She was hungry and nervous and even though Al was helping to hold her up she thought she’d rather go lie down. The room was beginning to spin.
Al looked down at her and secured his arm around her more firmly. “You okay?” he asked.
A blond boy with a pinched face was on her other side. He glanced over at them when Al spoke and instantly moved to help prop her up on the other side. “You don’t look so good.”
Rose saw what was happened and said, “I’ll go tell Neville, er, Professor Longbottom.” She pushed her way up to the front and before the professor could start reading names she hurried up to him. Nat could tell Rose knew the man and knew him well even without her having slipped by having said his first name.
He bent down to her and after a few seconds he glanced back to Nat. He motioned to Madam Pomfrey as he walked over, the hat in his hand. “Here,” he said, gently guiding her down onto the end of one of the benches. His face was round and his eyes were very kind. “You’re Natalie Parker?”
“Yes,” she said and he plunked the hat onto her head.
It went straight down to her chin. “You’re going first and then you’re going up to the hospital wing.”
She vaguely heard Professor Longbottom and Madam Pomfrey talking and she said, “I just need to eat. Low blood sugar…” before the hat spoke into her head.
“You’re not difficult to place at all,” the hat said into her head. “Very smart and very kind, but above all you’re got a lot of courage, especially with the life you’ve led.” Then it shouted out loud, “GRYFFINDOR!” and she heard a bunch of people break into applause.
When the hat was pulled off her head so she saw a plate of sandwiches floating before her and she gratefully grabbed one and started to eat. “Thanks,” she said, trying to moderate her rate of eating. “I can’t go very long without eating, and my hip was hurting so badly on the train that I couldn’t each much.”
Madam Pomfrey helped guide her over to what Nat assumed was the Gryffindor table and Nat smiled at Fred whom she sat next to. “I’ll be all right, now,” she assured the nurse.
“We’ll look after her,” Fred told her and Madam Pomfrey went back up to the head table while the Sorting continued.
She looked down the table and blinked in surprise. “Fred…” she whispered quietly.
He turned his brown eyes back to her. “What’s up?”
“Is that a ghost?”
Fred looked down the table and then laughed. “Yeah, that’s Nearly Headless Nick. He’s the ghost of Gryffindor tower. He’s a good sport.”
Nat could only nod faintly and she was shortly joined by several more first years at their house table including the blond boy, Scorpius Malfoy, who had helped Al keep her on her feet. When the hat had shouted his house name there had been a brief pause, as if everyone had been in shock, before the Gryffindors began to clap.
“Scorpius, right?” Nat asked as he sat down across from her.
He slumped and nodded once. “My dad is going to kill me,” he told her quietly.
“Why?” Nat asked.
“I was supposed to be in Slytherin,” he grumbled.
She turned as she heard “Potter, Albus,” and watched as the hat rested on Al’s head for almost a minute before shouting “GRYFFINDOR!”
Al ran over looking happier than she’d seen him all day. He plopped down next to her and nicked one of her sandwiches. “Blimey, I’m glad that’s over. Dad was right; I just had to tell the hat that I wanted to be in Gryffindor.” He glanced curiously at Scorpius. “I thought you’d be in Slytherin.”
“So did I,” Scorpius said miserably. “I’m never going to be able to go home!”
Nat held out a sandwich to him. The plate kept refilling itself. “Here, take a few bites and you’ll feel better.”
He took it and after a big bite said, “Thanks.”
Rose was last, but finally she was called up. “Weasley, Rose,” and no sooner had the hat landed on her head than it shouted “GRYFFINDOR!” and she happily came over to sit next to Scorpius, across from Nat and Al. “I’m so glad!” she said.
Nat goggled in amazement as platters of food suddenly appeared before them, with all of her favorite foods and many others that she didn’t even recognize. She loaded up her plate.
“So Al,” a boy who looked remarkably like him only a little older and with brown eyes said, leaning towards them. “Did the hat want to put you in Slytherin?”
That must be James, Nat thought. She could see that Al’s brother liked to wind him up and from the pink that was staining Al’s cheeks, Nat knew it was working. “Are you James?”
He focused on her, then. “Yep, and you’re Natalie- the one who trips a lot.”
“That’s me,” she agreed affably. It took a lot more than one twelve-year-old boy to rattle her. She’d spent large chunks of her life in war zones and around guerilla fighters. Nat pitched her voice so that it would carry down the table. “Is it true that you got a month’s worth of detentions last year because you came down to breakfast in just your pink flowered underpants?”
Several people laughed. Fred spit pumpkin juice from his nose and James’ mouth fell open. “No! Blimey, where did you hear something like that?”
“A few third years were saying that as they walked by our compartment today,” Nat lied smoothly. “Hmm, amazing how these odd rumors start. Well,” she amended, lowering her voice again so that only those around her would hear, “if it wasn’t a rumor flying about before it certainly will be now.”
A red-haired boy next to James elbowed him. “She got you, mate.”
“Shut it, Louis,” James growled as his face turned beet red.
Ah, Cousin Louis, Nat realized. She could feel Al shaking next to her with suppressed mirth. Rose and Scorpius were openly laughing. James eyed her shrewdly and Nat thought he’d taken her measure. He wasn’t likely to try anything around her for a while.
Madam Pomfrey came over to her as they were getting ready to head up to bed and told her that she would let the house-elves know that Nat needed food regularly and that if she needed food at any time she would simply have to call out for food from a house-elf and one would bring her something.
Nat waited until she was walking up with Al, Rose, Scorpius and the other first years up to what their Prefect had called Gryffindor Tower to ask, “What’s a house-elf?”
“They’re these little creatures who help keep Hogwarts running. They clean and cook and stuff,” Al told her.
“I don’t know how I’m going to get used to all of this,” Nat whispered, but she didn’t really care. This was another new adventure in a life that had been full of them, and she was ready for the challenge. It didn’t even shock her too much when she saw all the people moving about in the portraits.
“We have our first letter!” Ginny called through the house as she gently took the scroll off the leg of Al’s owl, Nero. She patted the owl and gave him a treat before bidding him to rest for a bit so she could send a letter back. Nero nibbled her finger for a moment before taking off for the perch that they left in the kitchen. Slowly she walked over to the kitchen table and sat.
Lily came scrambling into the room and over to Ginny’s side. “Did he mention me?”
“Yep,” Ginny promised, pointing to the first line. “He says he misses us already.”
“What else!” Lily asked, trying to read over her shoulder. “Mum, please!”
“Hang on,” Ginny soothed. She frowned as she kept reading. “Woah, Harry! You need to hear this.”
Lily huffed as she sat next to her mother, and stared at her. As soon as Ginny heard Harry’s footsteps coming into the kitchen, she began to read.
“Dear Mum, Dad and Lily. We got here safely and I was sorted into Gryffindor, and so was Rose. I miss you already. School is fun, but hard, and it isn’t like home, only don’t tell James I said that.
Rose and me met a girl on the train named Natalie. She fell and we helped her get her things on, but she broke her leg or something. Victoire had to send ahead so she could be seen by Madam Pomfrey. She’s really nice, and she’s in Gryffindor too. James started to tease me, but she put him in his place and James hasn’t said anything to me since. I think she scares him, which is funny ‘cause she’s smaller than Lily and dead clumsy.”
Ginny paused there, and looked up at Harry, a little flummoxed. “How did a tiny, klutzy first year get the better of James?”
“I have no idea,” Harry laughed. “But if so I want to meet her. And learn her ways.”
“Daddy,” Lily rolled her eyes. “Please, I want to hear the rest of the letter.”
“Sorry,” Harry smirked at Ginny. “Please continue.”
Ginny took a deep breath, and read on. “My housemates are Fabien Smithe, but he goes by Smitty because he hates his name. I told him that was my great uncle’s name, though. Then there’s Ansel Leathen, Matthew Kingston, and Scorpius Malfoy. Scorpius isn’t what I thought. He was scared to be put in Gryffindor and he says his dad will disown him. He’s really nice, though, and him, me, Rose and Nat have been hanging out together.
“My first day was fine. Classes were hard, but it wasn’t too bad. I hated History of Magic, but Nat can memorize stuff really fast, so she’s helping. I helped her in Defense, which is my favorite class so far.
“We have flying lessons tomorrow, so I need to get to sleep. I’ll write again soon.
“Scorpius Malfoy,” Harry mouthed. “Oh, Merlin, Draco must be livid.”
“Poor kid,” Ginny said, frowning down at the letter. “I hate that he’s been put in this position.”
Harry came over and rested his hands on her shoulders. “If he was put in Gryffindor, he’s got the courage to go against his family. His house will help him with that. Remember Sirius did that with my dad.”
She patted his hand, and glanced up at him. Ginny read the concern on his face, and wondered if he’d discovered anything about the letter writer. He shook his head almost imperceptibly, like he’d read her mind, and she nodded.
“Can I see the letter, please?” Lily asked, holding out her hand for it. Ginny handed it over, and watcher her daughter’s expressive face as she read through it again quickly. When she looked back up, she looked upset. “His family wouldn’t really kick him out, would they?”
“No,” Harry said firmly. “His dad loves him, Lils, but he’s definitely going to have to get over the shock.”
She sniffed, and turned her troubled eyes back up to him. “I hope he and Al stay friends. Al will look out for him.”
“Yeah,” Harry agreed. Al definitely would.
“Madam Pomfrey told me I was not to get on a broom,” Nat told Madam Hooch right before their first broom lesson. “She thinks I’ll hurt myself.”
“Nonsense,” Madam Hooch boomed out. “You’ll do fine.”
Nat doubted that, but she went to stand next to Al. “Up!” Nat said to her broom as she’d been instructed. It zoomed away from her. She knew that wasn’t a good sign since Al’s broom had flown straight up into his hand. Could the broom tell that she was a walking disaster? It was a shame, too. Nat rather thought she’d like flying. She went to retrieve it and mounted it as instructed. They went up into the air a bit, and came back down. That was fine. They did that several more times, but the third time something odd happened. Nat was sitting on the broom, but before it could rise more than three feet off the ground, it suddenly turned over and dumped her onto her head. “Ouch!” she groaned as she sat up. Thankfully she wasn’t hurt, just annoyed. “That’s not nice,” she groused, shaking her fist at the broom. It seemed to be mocking her, though, because it flew away to hide behind Madam Hooch.
Al touched down next to her and Madam Hooch looked dumbfounded. “I’ve never seen a broom do that!” she said, utterly amazed.
“Come on, Nat,” Al said, holding out a hand to her. “Climb on with me.” He pulled her on in front of him.
“I’ve been flying since I was one and I often take my sister along with me. We’ll be okay. I won’t go high up.” Al sounded confident for the first time since Nat had met him. She relaxed back into him, his one arm around her waist, the other on the broom.
“All right,” Madam Hooch said reluctantly. “But not high, Mr. Potter.”
“You’re even smaller than Lily and she’s nine,” Al comment and he pulled the broom up in the air.
The feeling was amazing! Nat never wanted to land and she wanted to go faster. “Please, Al?”
“No,” he said chuckling. “Madam Hooch will kill me.”
Scorpius was fighting hard not to laugh ask they walked back up to the castle. “I have never seen a broom do that.”
“The broom can tell I’m a disaster,” Nat told him with a giggle. “It knows how clumsy I am and tried to get away for its own safety.”
“You truly do have a gift for getting hurt, don’t you?” Rose asked.
“I really do,” Nat agreed amiably. “I fell in this mass grave once in Russia, right on top of a skeleton. My dad just about had a heart attack. Told me to go sit in the truck and not move.”
“Ew,” Rose gasped. “What on earth does your dad do?”
“He’s a forensic anthropologist,” Nat explained as they walked through the doors and to the Great Hall for lunch. “He looks at people’s bones to tell how they lived and died.”
“Really?” Scorpius asked his pale gray eyes lit with fascination. “How does he do that without magic?”
Nat piled turkey onto her plate and took a bite before trying to explain. She needed to eat before she could think clearly. “Well, the bones tell a lot. For instance, the bones wear out differently depending on what your job was or where you were born. He can tell about how old someone is just by looking at their teeth. I’m pretty good at it, too, but I do better with living people.” She pointed to Rose and then down the table to Fred. “For instance, I could see in your bone structure that you and Fred are related and that clearly he’s half black and half white.” She turned back to Al. “Although your coloring is similar to James, and you share the same cheek bones, your nose and the shape of your face and eyes are different and I can tell that you’re going to be built more like Fred, more beefy. James is likely to be taller and on the thin side.”
“Wow,” Al said, a little stunned.
“That’s amazing,” Rose agreed and Scorpius nodded.
Nat shrugged, trying not to show what it meant to her. “I have an eye for it… I often helped my dad on missing children cases and using the age progression software on his computer. He still can’t turn it on without breaking it. It’s… it’s not a lot of fun identifying the skeleton of kids, but in a way it’s also really rewarding.”
This time it was Scorpius who spoke. “Wow. I can’t believe you’ve done that. When did you start?”
“I was about six, I think,” Nat said quietly. “My dad and this bloke from Scotland Yard were arguing over whether or not the girl was one or the other. I was playing on the computer in the room with them and I plugged both pictures in and aged them up. It became obvious which girl it was.”
The three of them stared at her in silence for several long, tense moments.
“You’ve had a really interesting life,” Al finally said.
“That’s a nice way of putting it,” Nat said, taking a drink of her pumpkin juice.
The first few weeks of school were interesting. She went with Al and Rose to have tea with Hagrid, whom she liked very much even though she doubted that he could be totally human. They even dragged a reluctant Scorpius along. Scorpius and Hagrid had stared at each other for several long moments before Scorpius asked him a question about dragons and the tension was broken.
Her classes went well. Not surprisingly History of Magic was her best subject, although it had been a shock to see the ghost that was teaching it. She did all right in her other classes and by October she really felt like she was fitting in. Rose was the best in the year, although Scorpius was no slouch. He and Rose were often in competition to get the best marks and they always had a good laugh about it when one beat the other. She, Al, Rose and Scorpius were friends. Rose had told her why it was such a shock that they were friends with Scorpius, but they all agreed he was a good sport.
Gryffindor house initially held back from Scorpius, unsure as to what he was doing when the Malfoys had so long been in Slytherin. Once or twice some of the older students had made derogatory remarks that Nat hadn’t fully understood. The Weasleys, who followed Al and Rose’s lead on this one, didn’t stand for that and before long everyone knew that if they picked on him they had the entire Weasley clan to answer to. Even James reluctantly backed him up.
The comments from the Slytherins started almost immediately after the Sorting and hit a crescendo around the middle of October.
“Can’t believe a Malfoy ended up in Gryffindor,” one brown haired boy with big ears sneered. “Your father is going to die of shame.”
A blonde girl let out a shrill laugh. “I knew the Malfoy family was going down. None of the respectable families will want to associate with your parents anymore.”
Nat didn’t understand a lot about the blood politics but she did understand societies and the hierarchies in them among the so-called elite. “Yes, Scorpius,” Nat said sweetly. “What a shame you’ll have to stop the incessant inbreeding that this lot is clearly suffering from. Won’t it be a disgrace to not have to marry your first cousin and have a three-eyed baby?”
Al snorted, Rose laughed and Scorpius shot her an amused look. “I dunno. I always fancied a three-eyed baby.”
“You stupid mu-” but whatever the Slytherin boy was going to say was cut off when Al stepped in front of her. “Say it to me,” Al growled fiercely. He wasn’t any bigger, but Nat could see by the expression on the other kid’s face that size didn’t matter in this case.
“You can’t tell from looking at a person if they’ve got inbreeding!” one of the girls said, trying to sound confident but failing.
Nat rolled her eyes at her and lied through her teeth. “Of course I can! It’s clear that your family tree isn’t branching out enough. It’s why your features are so… well… unfortunate.”
The girl flushed and would have retaliated if Professor Longbottom hadn’t walked by at that moment. “Aren’t you all supposed to be in class?”
“Yes, Professor,” they all intoned and he watched as they walked off.
Al wasn’t going to let it go, though. “You leave Scorpius alone or you answer to me and my family. Is that clear?”
“We’re not afraid of you, Potter,” the big-eared boy snapped.
Rose shook her head sadly and rolled her eyes. “Stupid and inbred. Not afraid of Harry Potter’s son or the Weasleys when there are so many of us, including the Head Girl? Idiots.”
They left them standing there and just before they entered Transfiguration, Scorpius stopped them. “Thanks,” he said a little sheepishly.
“You’d have done the same for us,” Al told him clapping him on the back and Nat knew Al was right. Scorpius may not have known why he was put in Gryffindor, but it was apparent to Nat that he had a lot of guts.
James made the Quidditch team as one of the Chasers and they all groaned when they heard the news. He strutted around the castle for several days before Nat convinced Fred, who was a Beater on the team, to tell her how to turn James’ underpants pink. They stayed that way for an entire week and James, who couldn’t prove she’d done it although he suspected her, had stopped shoving it in everyone’s face that he was on the team.
Rose showed her how to send letters to her parents using the school owls and soon after her parents both decided that they were each buying an owl so that they could always be in touch with her, even when one of them was in America and the other was in Tanzania. Her dad’s reply to her told her that he’d been called back to Britain to help on a case and he’d popped in to Diagon Alley to get the owls. He’d had to explain to the shop owner that he needed owls smart enough not to show up when other Muggles were around, and they’d found two. One was a large barn owl and the other a beautiful eagle owl. The post was always slow because her parents could be anywhere in the world. If her mum was in Ireland then the owls came back fast, but with her dad in Africa it often took the owls weeks. The letters, however, made up for the grueling waits. They were always big fat letters telling her about their lives and gushing about hers.
Nat managed to break her arm only once and land in the hospital wing only twice in the first term. She was certain it was because Al stuck close to her all the time. He was a great bloke and she appreciated it. She’d also figured out that the Hogwarts house-elves were just about the best thing to the place. Any time she felt faint she just called for one and they showed up with food. “It’s like pre-diabetes,” Nat explained. She only got blank looks. “My blood sugar dropped really fast,” she told them. “That’s why the doctors think I’m so small and why I eat so much, although no sweets and not too many carbs.” Again blank stares. She blew out a frustrated breath. “Okay, you know when you’ve not eaten for hours and you’re really starving and sometimes it’s hard to think?” They all nodded. “I get like that all the time, especially when I haven’t eaten in two or three hours. I stop being able to think properly and I fall more. Sometimes I start to stutter or shake-- especially in my hands.”
“Oh,” Rose had said and they’d left it alone.
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