The Good Son
James Sirius Potter walked slowly as he made his way to the private graveyard on the grounds of Malfoy Manor, a wreathe of white roses in his hand as the wind tousled his hair, still a deep brunette despite all the grief he had lived through had threatened to grey it. He could see the grave in the distance, white marble. It was as simple as his brother's miscarried son's which gleamed brightly in the sunlight. Albus had been laid to rest on the Malfoy grounds in their private burial plot, though Ginny had asked that he lie in Godric's Hollow beside the other Potters and Weasleys who had fallen and Cassiopeia had been acquiescent in her mother-in-law's demands James had been adamant. His brother would lie in the place his heart truly laid, beside Leo and the people who accepted him without hesitation.
He sighed, there was already a visitor at the grave, he didn't need to go closer to see who it was though. The flash of platinum hair was enough.
Cassiopeia Potter knelt beside her late husband's grave, lovingly running the back of her hand along the cool marble, a few tears falling freely from her eyes. Beside her, sitting cross-legged on the soft green grass was his six year old niece Aurora Cassiopeia Potter, his goddaughter. He hadn't wanted to be named such, he was honoured but how could he be godfather to a girl whose father he had killed? Cassiopeia had insisted, telling him that it had been Albus' wish to name his godfather to their second child – they had decided on that when choosing Leo's godparents; Scorpius and Rose – and she would respect his choice. In the end he had accepted the honour, though looking at his niece often made himself want to blind himself to take away some of the pain.
They rarely saw each other though. Not that he blamed Cassiopeia for keeping her distance from her late husband's family, what widow would wish to willingly spend time with the man who had killed her husband and left her daughter fatherless. There was always a lingering sadness about the platinum haired woman, James often thought the only reason she lived was for Aurora. He felt sorry for her; she had buried her firstborn and her husband before she had turned twenty five. He was right on one count; Aurora was her only reason for living. The girl had her mother's beauty, porcelain skin and sleek hair but she possessed her father's colouring. That silky hair was sable, those eyes were emerald green.
It hurt James to look into her eyes . . . because to him it was Albus who stared back.
He felt himself tearing up at the sight, the girl beside his sister-in-law not knowing why her mother was so sad, yet still old enough to understand the concept and finality of death. Never had he seen a child so sombre – on the brief instances he had seen Aurora before; she had always been laughing and smiling – as when she sat beside the graves of her father and stillborn brother. The family she had never known.
"You don't have to keep your distance," said Cassiopeia without looking up from the marble, "He was your brother before he was my husband." The years had been good to her and despite the grief she had lived through she still held onto vestiges of her youthful liveliness. The only way of realising how incredibly anguished her life had been was to note the faint crinkles around her eyes, etched there from years of tears, and the haunted look buried in her silver-grey eyes.
"You loved him more than I did," said James quietly, coming up beside her, placing a reassuring hand on her shoulder. To his relief she did not shake him off, it was more for his comfort than her own. He felt guilty for feeling that way but Cassiopeia was the only person alive who felt the pain of Albus' death as keenly as he did. Lily, he hadn't seen his sister in years. His mother was a broken shell of herself, the only reason Ginny still rose from her bed in the mornings were her grandchildren. He didn't fault her, Albus and Lily were both gone – though differently so – and though Ginny hated herself for it, she could never look James in the eye since that faithful day he had left to stop his brother. There were days James could only look into the mirror and think murderer.
"There isn't a day I don't miss him," said Cass, not rebutting his statement even though she had often wondered if anyone had ever loved her husband as much as his brother had. The brothers had torn bloody holes out of each other's hearts through the years but she knew that deep down they had always been there for each other, mostly in the background, but always there at important intervals in the others life. James loved Albus, he loved him enough to let him go – Cassiopeia knew she never would have been able to do that.
"Me too," whispered James, gazing at the writing on the grave.
Albus Severus Potter
"You could have lived to be a God but chose to die a Man"
Cassiopeia stared into the mirror as she ran her comb through her hair, working out the knots and tangles, the moonlight shining through the window and painting the room with its silvery light. Aurora was asleep, dreaming sweet dreams that she herself with never know again.
She sighed softly, a tear welling in her eye as the moonlight caught the emerald of her wedding band. Six years she had been a widow and yet she had not once taken it off once despite people telling her that maybe it was time for her to move on. She was still young and beautiful, they all had told her. Why should she content herself to live in grief?
Because they didn't understand that she had given her heart away once and that even though he had died, Albus had never returned it. They didn't understand that he was her last love . . . just as he had been her first.
"Come to me," she whispered delicately, feeling the slight tug in her heart as the Shadow was summoned from where it had been bound. In the moonlight it coalesced, and even though it was night and he held no colour safe for inky shadow, she could still see his emerald eyes.
"You need to let me go Cass," he said softly, "You need to be happy again, you need to let me rest," running the back of his hand across her cheek in a lovers caress. She hissed slightly at the icy cold of his touch, biting her lip to keep from crying out. Her eyes gleamed wetly as she reached out her own hand and cupped his spectral cheek, her fingers slipping through him because of course he had no physical form.
"I can't," she said, tears running down her cheeks, "I can't let you go Albus."
-End of Book One: The Good Son
-The Sequel, titled "Call Me Home" has been published and can be found on my profile now.
A/N: So basically I would like to thank all my loyal readers, reviewers, followers and all those who have added this fic to their favourites. A special thanks goes out to the following individuals who have been reviewing this fic since the beginning and have stuck by me all the way – even through some of my more difficult story choices.
And so many more of you awesome people. I do hope you continue to read this series, "Call Me Home," takes up six years after the events of the last chapter and runs along the same time frame as this epilogue.
The main pairings are: James/Alison ; Rose/Delphin ; Scorpius/Lily ; Kat/Xavier; Draco/Hermione ; Hugo/Francesca and Cassiopeia/Shadow!Albus