"Did everyone head to St. Mungo's?" Persephone asked when she finally came down stairs mid-morning. Her father was crossing from the foyer.
"George almost took you on his back." Sirius gave a small laugh, "When your grandfather came in he knew you were in good hands." his voice grew a touch softer.
"I'm sure he knew you'd have helped me anyway you could." She comforted.
"Honestly, I was scared to wits end and didn't know what to do." her father scratched the back of his head nervously and curved to change the subject, "What do you have there?"
Persephone revealed the pocket watch Kreacher was hoarding,
"Kreacher said it belonged to your Uncle."
"Ah, Uncle Perce," her father took the watch for inspection, "He was probably the only family member I could bare during mandatory family events."
"Kreacher said he died young." she replied upon return of the watch. Sirius nodded,
"I believe he was about thirty when he passed. Some big to do with illegal transportation magic. Made my mother happy." He sighed. They both had an instantaneous shiver at the mention of Walburga, "You know not all of the Blacks were crude pure blood bullies." Persephone followed him into the family room. He pointed to Perseus Black. "There was of course my Uncle, a the first male non-Slytherin even before me. He was placed in Ravenclaw which was suitable enough." His finger followed to the side in the tree, "My cousin Tormec three times removed he invited a very handy spell called protego promixa."
"I've never heard of it." Persephone said with interest. Her father grinned placing them before the large mirror on the mantelpiece. "I showed this to your mother. She was highly impressed." his confident and cheese grin made her laugh.
"I like when you talk about her." She smiled.
"Wand at the ready." Sirius instructed inclining his wand toward the mirror, "I'm going to cast a spell and I want you to focus on casting protego like normal but on me as well." Persephone nodded. A green wisp extended from her father's wand and as it recoiled from the mirror,
"Protego proxima!" she shouted. A blue shield erupted from her wand but the green string of light crashed over her father's chest. He stumbled back with the simple push charm,
"Good try, let's give it another go."
They practiced until a familiar stumble over the umbrella stand and an inevitable screech of her grandmother alerted them to everyone's return from St. Mungo's. George had run into the room just as her father had shot off another charm. Persephone pivoted slightly,
"Protego proxima!" this time not only did a ripple of blue shield Persephone and her father, but George as well. After the shield dissipated the teenagers ran into a hug both of them firing questions at each other without answering each other per say.
"How's your dad doing?" Persephone asked.
"How are you feeling?" George replied.
"What did the healers say?" She asked.
"What did your grandfather say?" George continued.
Neither of them took into account how confused her father looked until they finally answered each other's questions.
"He'll be fine." George gave a small smile.
"I'm feeling okay." Persephone replied.
"The healers said he'll be out on Christmas Eve." he answered.
"Grandad says I need to cool it with the potions." she relayed with a touch of self-guilt. It wasn't until George gave a raised eyebrow that turned Persephone to see her father's quizzical expression, "Dad, what's wrong?"
"N--othing," Sirius masked his confused look with a chuckle, "Glad to hear Arthur is recovering."
Days at Grimmauld Place were pleasant. The kids slept in late, ran up and down the house trying to avoid chores from Molly, and spending time together; even a little too much time together… alone… for some of them. Sirius watched with a careful eye. Watched to make sure Molly wasn't dogging them with too many chores, and that they escaped for some leisure time. Persephone would spend a fair amount of time alone in the family room. She had told the other's she wanted a safe space to practice, but Sirius knew his daughter needed that time to prepare herself because nights at Grimmauld Place were not as pleasant; at least not for his little girl. J.J promised that once getting her back down to only three potions a day it would stop. They were only down to four on the night of Christmas Eve and it was starting to get to Sirius watching the fever and fear take over his daughter as they forced her to go to sleep. More than anything he felt helpless especially when she whispered in her sleep, "I won't let him."
"Son," J.J pulled him from a light daze, "Why don't you get some rest? Her fever has passed and I'll be right here."
Sirius glanced at his daughter who was finally peaceably dozing around four in the morning. He left his father-in-law to watch over her, but did not go to sleep. Instead Sirius made his way to the kitchen where he found Remus stewing over a cold cup of coffee.
"How many more nights?" Sirius asked his friend while drawing his own cup from the kettle.
"Two." Remus replied miserably meeting eyes as he was joined at the table, "How's Persephone?"
"She's managing." he replied swirling his cup, "She's so independent and strong sometimes I forget…"
"That she needs you?" his friend continued. Sirius nodded taking in the strong and bitter drink, "I think sometimes she forgets that well, she has some to be there for her."
Sirius cast a shrew glance across the table.
"I'm not trying to pick a fight," Remus started in his defense, "But think about it. She was raised by your mother and had no friends until she was thirteen years old. Persephone probably tells herself she can handle all of it even though she has an immense support system now."
Sirius sadly, agreed. Molly joined them around six to prepare a breakfast feast and to decorate as the kitchen was the only place big enough to squeeze everyone in to open presents. He didn't particularly pay attention to the giving and passing of presents.
With all the joy surrounding the families in the kitchen Sirius tried to keep up his expressions on par with at least Remus, but his exhaustion was wearing on him. He handed over Persephone's gift a simple book entitled, "Charming Muggle Objects" by Perseus Black. Sirius took his leave after everyone continued on.
"Dad, wait." his daughter called after the kitchen door closed behind her, "You didn't get your present from me." Persephone handed over the parcel, "It's nothing major. It's from Mr. Bernard's shop."
Out of the brown paper came a simple but rugged black vest. He couldn't help but smile.
The night before winter break was over. Sirius found himself unable to sleep. Watching over his daughter had turned his sleep schedule completely around, so when the house started to come alive around seven in the morning he was already preparing breakfast. Everyone filled in; Molly - who began assisting him, Arthur, Remus, Bill, Charlie, Fred and George, Hermione and Ginny and lastly Harry and Ron. He waited a while expecting his father-in-law to come down with Persephone as she had not been able to sleep past seven. Sirius handed the spatula over to Molly who melted into his position just fine and went up the stairs as fast as he could without raising the alarm. Before he reached the door he could hear J.J
"Persephone! You don't need it!"
He burst through the door to find J.J struggling to hold Persephone back from the spilled potion on the floor. Her eyes dilated more than he had ever seen; more black than grey. She was manic and determined wriggling against her grandfather, hand reaching out to the mess on the floor.
"I NEED IT!" she screamed savagely, "HE'S HERE! HE'S HERE AND IT'LL MAKE HIM GO AWAY!"
"Kreacher!" Sirius yelled before diving to help his father-in-law. The house-elf appeared with a crack, "Clean this up immediately!" he managed to maneuver through J.J to take hold of his daughter. J.J became a wall between them and the potion. Kreacher disappeared for a moment only appearing with a sponge seconds later. Persephone cried out as if in physical pain as the sponge soaked up the potion from the floorboards. She looked up at him in tears,
"Dad… make him go away." she beseechingly sobbed, "Please…"
Sirius looked up at J.J, speechless, asking his father-in-law on what to do.
"She has to get to three a day." it hurt J.J to say it, "Just let the crash pass, and she'll be better for it after."
Persephone could hear her father's voice, "It's okay,love." and she could feel him hold her tight, but the villain in the corner of the room was the only thing she could see as if her eyes would only singularly focus on him and nothing else. This wasn't a manifestation of her imagination, or the image would have been the same as when she had known him. Fenrir was taller, his hair was longer, and his expression was smug as if he was enjoying the sight of her struggle. Slowly the image started to recess. Before Fenrir dissipated completely he approached her reaching out a hand to her face. Her recoil made him chuckle. There was a pressure in the space between her face and his hand,
"I could end all this pain, ma reine."
Her father and grandfather finally came into full view.
"He--s gone." She managed. The three sat for a moment until Persephone spoke up, "Why -- why am I seeing him again?" she held her temples, "It's not been like this."
"It must be an effect of the potions." Her grandfather replied, "I can't see any other explanation."
"Am-- am I going to have to go through this every time my body wants the potion?"
"I don't know the answer to that." He replied ashamed.
Persephone looked up and in a determined tone, "Well, then I'll be ready for it."
For the second year in a row Persephone was going to miss Grimmauld place as everyone gathered to leave for Kings Cross. The thought of missing it still surprised her. She spotted her father in the family room. Harry was exciting the room and seemed deep in thought as she walked in.
"I'm sad Snuffles can't come with us." she teased. Sirius took her in a hug; a tight squeeze.
"Mad-eye already forbade me." he replied, "You could stay home you know. For a couple more days…" his voice got softer, "To make sure we can help you get it under control."
Persephone pulled away, "I'll be fine. I have students to teach, can't let them down. Umbridge could become their substitute."
"Well, we wouldn't want that." he pulled her back in once more, "I'm here for you, you know, always."
"Love you dad." her voice quiet to stop the tremble in it.
"I love you more." He replied finally letting go.
Woah, two chapters in a week?! I was on an inspiration roll. I hope you all are enjoying it. Thank you for all the favorites and follows.Savethemadscientist: I'm really happy your enjoying this! Unfortunatly, Fenrir isn't leaving just yet.Cheers!