Dear Wizarding Britain
Disclaimer: I own nothing. If I did, I probably wouldn't be playing around on fanfiction.
A/N: Thanks to DaV1nc136 for sending some suggestions to my inbox. While I may or may not be using all of the actual suggestions in this chapter, our conversations were what made me decide to add a few scenes that I may not have otherwise added.
A/N-2: I've written and rewritten this chapter so many times, as I've changed my mind so many times about the direction I wanted to take, and that is the reason for the length of time between updates this time.
I guess I should say for the record, that I have no experience with abortion. I don't know anyone that's been through the abortion process, and I've never been in a situation where I even once thought that abortion was an option. I've tried to not color my opinion and thoughts on the issue of abortion during the course of this story, and as I write this note, I am still undecided as to which route the characters are going to choose. It's a difficult topic and it falls under one of those "exceptions" where the mother's life is at risk, but also it was, essentially, a forced conception. I tend to let the flow and direction of the story sort of flow the way it wants to. Even with all the rewrites I've done on this chapter, the abortion aspect of it hasn't been one of the parts that I've written and erased and rewritten much of.
A/N-3: I've reposted this story, because I realized I needed to change no-mag to no-maj. No other changes have been made.
Time passed and life moved on. After having rescued Astoria, life on the island moved forward at a steady pace. The friends took more frequent day trips into the muggle world, spending time at theme parks around the world; unless it was Disney related, Skylar and Samanta joined them.
At Skylar and Samatha's suggestion during one of the day visits to the USA, the group of friends, minus James, who had stayed behind with the house elves, were introduced to the cinema. Armageddon was the movie that was decided on.
As the group were waiting in line at the concession stand, Blaise and Hermione were whispering quietly together, as she attempted to simplify the explanation of muggle films and cinemas, since this was the purebloods' first experience with watching a movie/film of any sort.
"All you need to know right now," Hermione whispered to Blaise, "is that none of what happens in this film is real, none of it really happened or is actually happening. The only concept that is real is the fact that muggles have the technology to allow them to travel to space. But this film we are about to see is only a fictional story that is played out by actors. Okay?"
While Blaise was still a bit confused as to the concept of a film, not having seen one before, nor did he fully understand why Hermione would stress the fact that it wasn't real, his mind was struggling to wrap his mind around the tidbit that muggles have been to space. So he just gave Hermione a nod of acknowledgement and kept his mouth shut, as she ordered the snacks and drinks for them.
Soon enough, the group of magicals followed the directions into the theater where they would be watching the movie from, the purebloods had to be talked out of going straight to the front row. When Fred asked why, it was Harry that said, "Well, mate, if we sit in the front, with all the muggles behind us, it's going to be much harder to keep the Statute of Secrecy intact. If we sit in the back of the theater, we can put up a muggle repelling charm with a mild notice-me-not charm, then when one of us has any sort of outburst, we'll, hopefully, be able to hide it from the muggles better."
"I think they should have just tried to find a bunch of wizards that could all cast the vanishing spell at the same time," Blaise commented after the movie. Inwardly, he was hyperventilating about the fact that muggles can go to space and was continuously reminding himself that the movie was fake.
Before Hermione could comment, Astoria was crying, "Why couldn't father love Daphne and I like Grace's father did?"
Daphne was equally upset and jealous over the parental love depicted. That was how a father should be for their daughter, loving and protective, wanting nothing but the best for them. Her throat was hurting from the tears she was trying to hold in and she could only nod in agreement. Harry, as always, just held her in comfort, letting her know he was there for her.
"It was nice that A.J. didn't die up there, that way Grace only had to lose one person she loved and not both," Luna said quietly.
"Do you think wizards could go to space?" Fred wondered.
Samantha replied, "Yeah, if a wizard took the time to learn with the no-maj folks, then they could probably go to space, but it likely wouldn't be a good idea to use any magic around the space equipment without the proper runes being applied to them."
"A wizard or witch would also have to be very careful about using magic, even if the equipment was enchanted to handle it, because they have started putting satellites and recording equipment in space, and they could potentially record someone using magic on film," Skylar added.
Harry sighed and said, "It probably won't be long before magicals are unable to hide, because of the technology that the non-magicals keep inventing. He-Who-Has-No-Nose is going to be in for a rude awakening when that day happens."
The rest of the summer was spent in the same way, taking a day trip to a theme park or going to the cinema. Everyone had a great time and the purebloods enjoyed learning more about muggle culture and had many good-natured debates on which was the best part about it.
Also by the end of the summer, George and Fred found themselves spending less and less time on the island, choosing to spend the majority of the time with their new girlfriends. Considering their girlfriends lived in the United States, they figured that was far enough away from Britain to be safe from the DEs and the Dork Lord. They had even applied for magical citizenship and had plans in the works for opening a new shop. The name currently being considered was Out of the Box.
Harry was fascinated with watching James steadily grow. He was now in the sitting up stage and close to being able to crawl. Thankfully, Dobby and Winky had baby proofed the home there on the island within days of Harry bringing James home, so the only thing he needed to worry about in that regard was to make sure that random bits and pieces did not remain within the growing baby's reach.
Another thing of note was that Harry and Daphne were still trying to figure out their upcoming nuptials. While Harry had a legal alias through the goblins, Daphne did not have any such documentation, so getting married by muggle means would be problematic without using compulsion charms to excess.
Making arrangements with another magical community could potentially lead to more problems, because one never knew where Flight of Death had his spies stationed. Harry could easily get married using his alias with no problems; however, unless they created an alias for Daphne, having her name crop up on a marriage certificate, even in another country, could draw them unwanted attention.
Looking into obscure magical bonding ceremonies was being researched as an option, but finding one that doesn't require some sort of ministry official was proving quite difficult for them to find.
It had been several months since Harry had rescued Astoria, yet she was no closer to deciding what she wanted to do about the pregnancy. She was now sporting a small little bump, and try as she might, it was difficult for her to not start to grow attached to the life that was growing inside of her. It was also taking a noticeable toll on her overall health as well.
Daphne was constantly in Astoria's ear about terminating the pregnancy, as if the baby was nothing more than an unwanted parasite. To be fair, Astoria understood why Daphne would think that way, after all, Astoria had gone to great lengths to prevent a pregnancy, only to turn up pregnant anyways.
Daphne, in Astoria's opinion, had been lucky in that she hadn't been the one that was born with the blood curse, nor was she the one that was currently pregnant with a spawn of a Death Eater wannabe. And while Astoria saw all the reasons in the world in favor of termination of her current pregnancy, a big F-U to the wizard bigots that were in charge of Wizarding Britain and all that, she really didn't know that she could live with the guilt that she was sure to feel afterwards. Could she kill this future magical, who had not asked to be conceived under such awful circumstances? She and her magic bonded more and more to the life growing inside her every day, she knew she needed to make the choice soon, before it was past the point to do so safely.
Astoria also considered the fact that she was living on borrowed time as it was, it's not as if terminating the pregnancy would suddenly cure her of the curse that was already cutting her life short. Would terminating the pregnancy even grant her a more than a few months or years to live than she was already expecting to have?
The bigger question for Astoria was though, if by some miracle she survived the pregnancy and the delivery, but still died due to the blood curse while her baby still needed her, would Daphne love the baby enough to raise it as her own, regardless of who the father was and how the baby was conceived? She didn't want to fight to give birth to a child that her own flesh and blood would despise.
Daphne, in the meantime, was torn between joy at her engagement with Harry, and depression at the thought of losing her sister. Granted, after they started Hogwarts, they had a very poor relationship and they didn't show each other who they really were, she had still cared about her baby sister. And as much as she advocated termination of pregnancy, she called herself a hypocrite, because had the baby been conceived out of a loving relationship with someone she could respect, she probably wouldn't have objected to the pregnancy so much. She would lose her sister either way; whether her sister had conceived by love or by force, she'd still lose her to the blood curse eventually.
Harry and Daphne were cuddling together one evening, after an enthusiastic round of lovemaking, when Harry decided to broach a subject that had been bothering him a little.
"Love, I've been wondering about something that I'm not quite sure how to ask you about," Harry spoke cautiously, as he held Daphne to him, her head on his shoulder, legs entangled.
"Hmm. What would that be?" Daphne asked with a contented sigh.
Harry paused, trying to still his nerves before he said, "You seem to be a very strong advocate for Astoria to terminate her pregnancy," he felt Daphne stiffen, but braved onward, "I just wondered what you would do if you found out you were pregnant before we bonded. I haven't even once considered if we should be using birth control, or asked if you were taking some sort of potion to prevent it."
Sighing, Daphne started to pull away, but Harry tightened his arms in desperation and whispered, "Please don't leave." The 'me' in that sentence was left unspoken.
Daphne huffed, "I'm not going to leave you over asking a question, Harry." Feeling Harry's grip loosened, she added, "I just felt that maybe this conversation would be better had when we can see each other."
Shaking his head, Harry said, "If we sit up to face each other, we're going to have to get dressed, because I'll be too distracted to have a serious conversation."
"I suppose that makes sense," Daphne replied. "Well, to answer your question, I'm not on a potion, but I have been casting a contraception charm every night when I go to the loo."
Harry was silent for a moment, waiting to see if she was going to answer his other question, or if he was going to have to ask again. He was somewhat glad that she had been thinking about contraception, because James was still very young, but he realized that he would also love to have children with her and the timing of such didn't matter to him in the slightest.
When more answers from Daphne didn't seem to be very forthcoming, Harry asked quietly, "Am I to infer from your reluctance to answer my question to mean that you would terminate, if you had gotten pregnant before we were married?"
Daphne started sobbing, and Harry could do nothing but hold her while she got it out of her system, trying not to think about the non-answer, but it was difficult. It made part of Harry feel like maybe the Durlseys were right, who would want to have any children with a freak like him. His children were likely to be born metamorphmagus like he was, even in the magical world, that's a rare thing to be, a freak, but if she felt that way, why did she love James so much? Was it because James was adopted and only a part of Harry through magical adoption?
While Harry's thoughts were in turmoil, Daphne had cried herself to sleep. When Harry noticed she was sleeping and that he wasn't going to get any answers tonight, he carefully extracted himself from her and climbed out of bed. He needed to think. So he grabbed some clothes and got dressed, before he quietly left the room and went for a walk.
It was nearing dawn, when Harry had just about decided that maybe he and Daphne needed to spend some time apart to really think about what it was that they wanted. While Harry was sure that he loved her - and she confessed that she loved him - he wondered just what kind of relationship they could have together if she couldn't bear the thought of having his children, even if they should be conceived before they were married.
Harry conjured a reclining chair with a footstool, sat down to listen to the waves, and waited for the sunrise. The next thing he knew, he was being shaken awake by a concerned Dobby.
"Hmmm," Harry hummed, as he continued to snooze.
"Harry, sir, needs to wakes up," Dobby said urgently, shaking Harry by the shoulder once again.
Blinking his eyes in the sun, Harry forced himself awake and took stock of where he was. "What's wrong, Dobby? What time is it?"
"It's being 7:30 in the morning, sir," Dobby answered the second question first. "Mistress Daphne beings frantic looking for you, sir."
Harry sighed, rubbing his eyes with his knuckles, and then sat up. "Thanks, Dobby. I'll go check what's wrong," he said. Though he didn't necessarily feel ready to confront the issue, he wasn't feeling quite as insecure as he had felt the night before.
Before Dobby could leave, Harry asked, "Dobby, can you bring me some coffee? I believe I'm going to need it before I go see Daphne."
"Dobby will do," Dobby said, before he popped to the kitchen and back.
"Thanks, Dobby," Harry said, as he took the mug from Dobby and took a tentative sip, before finding it the perfect temperature.
"Yous is welcome, sir," Dobby squeaked, before leaving to do whatever it was he would normally be doing at this time.
Harry took a little time to sip on his coffee, before standing up from his chair and vanishing it and the footstool, then he trudged his way back up to the house, with one hand holding the mug, and the other shoved in his pocket, shoulders slumped.
Daphne had woken up to find Harry's side of the bed empty and cold, as if he hadn't been there all night, causing her to think back to last night and Harry's questions. Unconsciously, her hands moved down to caress her stomach and the new little life she had only recently realized was growing there. While she had been using a contraception charm every time after the first, she hadn't remembered to cast one during their first time together.
She hadn't told anyone about it yet, she was only just trying to come to terms with it herself, her sobbing last night was partially to be blamed on her hormones; however, it was partly due to her festering guilt, because she had for the slimmest moment considered terminating - if only because she'd been pushing so hard for Astoria to have one. It would seem hypocritical for her to advocate so much for Astoria to terminate her pregnancy, if she wasn't willing to do the same for her own unplanned one.
Shaking herself out of her thoughts, Daphne stretched and climbed out of bed and went about her business in the loo, before getting dressed and seeing if she could find Harry.
After checking on James and seeing he was still asleep, Daphne climbed down the stairs and made her way to the kitchen for some tea, then started searching all the public areas of the house.
Not finding Harry in any of those locations, she started to feel a little panic, she began checking all the empty guestrooms to see if he had decided to sleep by himself in one of the rooms. Her heart was starting to race, as she finished checking the last room and still had not found Harry.
Trying not to hyperventilate, Daphne returned to their bedroom and called Dobby.
Daphne was pacing back and forth across the bedroom with tears running down her face, when Harry quietly walked back in the room and closed the door behind him, then leaned his back on it, as if he was afraid to walk in any further.
She barely took in the time to take in the bags under his eyes and his hair sticking out more than it used to when his body was locked in its base form, before Daphne was launching herself into his arms, legs wrapping around his waist and arms wrapping around his neck and shoulders. Harry barely had time to vanish his coffee mug and catch her, before she was bawling in his arms again.
"I thought you were gone," Daphne sobbed into the crook of his neck. "I couldn't find you anywhere, I thought you'd left me."
Harry tightened his arms around her minutely, debating on what he should say. He finally settled on, "I couldn't sleep, so I went for a walk along the beach. I ended up falling asleep for an hour or two to the sound of the waves in the chair I conjured, before I woke up to Dobby shaking me." Harry yawned, before adding, "I'm sorry I worried you, love."
Daphne sniffled, before nodding and loosening her grip, to indicate she was ready to slide down, which Harry reluctantly let her do.
After she was back on her own two feet, Daphne summoned a tissue to attempt to dry up her tears and clear her nose. Having taken care of that, she said, "I suppose we should talk, before James wakes up. I'm surprised he's not awake yet."
Harry nodded in answer and called Winky to ask her to bring them breakfast and to take care of James when he woke up, and that they would come retrieve him from her after they spoke.
Once Winky had left to carry out her task, Harry led Daphne to a private sitting room where they would talk and eat breakfast in private.
Harry waited until Daphne took a seat, before taking a seat himself, then waited in awkward silence, as he waited for Daphne to speak.
Finally, Daphne cleared her throat and said, "There's no easy way to say this, Harry, so I'm just going to say it. I didn't lie last night, I have been casting a contraception charm every night, but…"
Daphne trailed off, seeming at a loss for words, but wasn't making eye contact with Harry, who was doing his best to be patient and allow her to speak in her own time. When it seemed she wouldn't, Harry prompted, "But?"
"I didn't cast it that first night," Daphne whispered, "and apparently that first night was all we needed."
"All we needed?" Harry asked, confused.
Daphne sighed and whispered, "I'm pregnant."
Harry froze in shock for a split second, before his face broke out in a grin and he exclaimed, "Really?!"
Daphne giggled a bit at his response, "Yes, really."
Harry whooped in joy, and pulled her up from her seat and into his arms, and spun around the room once, in his excitement, before putting her back on her feet, only to pull her towards him again to bestow her with a deep and passionate kiss.
Pulling away, after a moment to breathe, he smiled down at her, and rested his forehead against hers and whispered, "We're having a baby."
"To be fair," Daphne replied, amused, "we already have a baby. Now, we're having another one."
"Very true," Harry responded softly, "I thought the worst, when you wouldn't answer my question and cried yourself to sleep last night."
Closing her eyes in an attempt to keep any more tears at bay, Daphne confessed to Harry that her sobbing stemmed from the guilt she'd felt from having had the thought to do just what he'd feared, then she began sobbing all over again when she felt him stiffened slightly. She then hurriedly rushed through explaining her jumbled thoughts about Astoria's pregnancy and her feelings of hypocrisy about keeping their child while encouraging Astoria to terminate hers.
By the end of their talk, Daphne felt a little bit more at peace, even if her feelings about Astoria, her blood curse, and pregnancy were still a confused and jumbled mess. And Harry was thankful that he had decided to come back to the house, rather than grab James and leave for a few days to have some space to think, as he had originally been thinking. And they were both ecstatic that they were having another baby.
A/N: While I did proof most of the above chapter, I didn't do it with a fine-toothed comb, so if you see something glaringly obvious that needs to be fixed, let me know.
Below is the portion of the story that I changed my mind about. After I finished writing this scene, I came back to it the next day and thought, "What am I doing? They are two adults that should be able to have a conversation without resorting to the drama of someone running away."
I'm leaving it here for you to read, but you can consider this to be a DELETED SCENE and no longer part of the story. It has not been proofed, and likely has some grammatical errors.
It was nearing dawn, when Harry had just about decided that maybe he and Daphne needed to spend some time apart to really think about what it was that they wanted. While Harry was sure that he loved her and she confessed that she loved him, he wondered just what kind of relationship they could have together if she couldn't bear the thought of having his children, even if they should be conceived before they were married.
Not ready to bring himself to go back inside, he called Dobby quietly.
"Yous called Dobby, sir?" Dobby asked after he popped in.
Harry sighed and said, "Please bring me a pen and notebook, Dobby."
"Dobby do," Dobby replied, before he popped away and then back and handed Harry the requested items.
"Thanks, Dobby," Harry said. "I'll call you back in a few minutes."
"Dobby will be waiting," Dobby replied, before he popped out.
Harry walked down to the shore and conjured a chair and a floating globe of light, placed the notebook in his lap, and began to write. After a few minutes of writing, he tore the page from the notebook and carefully folded it up.
Harry quietly called Dobby, who arrived with a small pop, and Harry started speaking before Dobby could say his usual greeting. "Hi, Dobby," Harry said quietly, "I'm going to go away for a little while, I'm not quite sure for how long, but I just need some time. I need you to pack enough clothes for James and I for a few days, I'll call you if I need anything else. Then Harry held out the letter and said, "Please leave this letter where Daphne will find it when she wakes up."
Dobby nodded as he took the letter and said solemnly, "Dobby will do."
"Thanks, Dobby," Harry said. "I'm going to quietly go get James. I'll call you when we get to where we're going, so you can bring us our things."
And so Harry quietly made his way back into the house, after having placed a silencing spell on himself and covered himself with his Cloak, to keep from being seen and to avoid being stopped by anyone wanting to ask questions. He softly made his way to James' room, slowly making his way into the room and casting a silencing charm on the room, as he pulled away the Cloak, grabbed the nappy bag, and and picked James up, soothed him back to sleep, then wrapped the Cloak back around them, and made his way back out of the room. He was tempted to peek back in at Daphne, but decided that he should just leave to think about everything and try to come to terms with how he felt about the possible ramifications of Daphne's non-answer and why she began sobbing in response to his question.
After exiting the house, Harry thought about where they should go, as he stood on the shore watching the sunrise, holding James to his chest, still hiding under the Cloak.
After the sun had risen and James had started waking up, Harry made his decision and spoke soothingly to James as he woke up. "Hey, little marauder," Harry whispered, giving a kiss to his little cheek. James blinked his eyes at the brightness of the sun and gave Harry a toothless grin. Harry's heart filled up with so much love for the boy at seeing his sweet and happy little smile.
"All right, little guy," Harry whispered as cheerfully as he could manage, "we're going to take a little trip, you and I." James just smiled sweetly in response to the sound of Harry's voice.
Firming his grip on James, Harry silently apparated from the island and arrived in a muggle area of Perth, Australia. James looked at Harry startled when they arrived, but Harry managed to soothe his cries before they got really started.
Looking around, Harry looked around for a safe place to remove the Cloak and allow them to blend in. As he walked, Harry was changing his features to blend in with the locals, quietly encouraging James to change it up as well, and then making sure to lock James' appearance in place for the time that they would be away from the island.
Knowing James was going to be ready to eat soon and that he was going to need a nappy change, Harry quickly found an empty alley, out of view of any street cameras, then cast a notice-me-not charm before he pulled off the Cloak and stuffed it into his pocket. Next, he found a loose thread and transfigured it into a baby sling with straps that he could carry James against his chest as if he were wearing a backpack backwards. Finally, he adjusted the notice-me-not charm to gradually wear off, so that it wouldn't seem as if he had just appeared out of nowhere.
Five minutes later, he was walking into a quaint little muggle cafe. And after a quick trip to the loo, where he struggled to change a nappy the muggle way due to the lack of a baby changing station in the men's loo, he was soon seated at a small table and placing James into a highchair, and looking over a menu to order the two of them breakfast.
Daphne woke up on her side, suddenly realizing that she was alone in the bed and that Harry's side of the bed was cold. She thought back to the previous night and sat up in a rush as she remembered Harry's question and her response to it by breaking down in sobs.
Sighing, she started to climb out of the bed to get dressed, so she could find Harry and hope that he would hear her out. After getting dressed, she went to look in on James and noticed he was gone from his room, so she assumed that Harry had already carried him down after he had woken up.
Turning back to hers and Harry's room, she started to walk to the door that led to the hall before something caught her eye. Looking around, she noticed a letter sitting on the nightstand, causing her to frown when she saw her name written on the outside in Harry's handwriting. Curious and just a little bit worried, she sat down on the edge of the bed to read the letter.
I'm not sure how to start this letter. I couldn't sleep last night after you'd cried yourself to sleep. I walked along the beach for most of the night as I tried to wrap my head around everything we talked about, or didn't talk about, rather.
I'm not upset with you that you've been using the contraception charm, if I'm honest, I was too caught up in my passion for you to even think about it properly. So I'm glad that one of us was thinking responsibly, since we do already have James to consider. However, I do want you to know, even if you hadn't been using the contraception charm and you had gotten pregnant, I wouldn't have wished the child away, nor would I have demanded that you terminate it. Growing up an orphan, I would welcome someone else to call my family.
You didn't answer my question last night when I asked if you would terminate if you had gotten pregnant before we got married. I don't understand what it meant that your response to that question was to cry yourself to sleep as if you were heartbroken. I don't understand what could have caused such a reaction.
The way you've been dealing with Astoria's pregnancy and her lack of decision either way, it made me curious as to whether or not your reaction to her pregnancy was how you felt about all pregnancies. I hope that's not the case. I really hope that I'm overthinking it. With the way my relatives treated me growing up, it's difficult for me to accept that someone like you would even want to be with someone like me, and I'm even more of a freak than I was when I still lived with them.
Hmm. I'm rambling now. I just wrote to tell you that James and I will be gone for a few days or weeks. I'm not really sure. I needed time to think and I didn't want to assume you or the rest would just take care of James for me while I was gone.
I love you, Daphne, that hasn't changed. I hope that this whole thing turns into a huge misunderstanding that we can laugh about when we're old and grey, but I can't find my Gryffindor courage right now in order to be there when you wake up. I'm afraid to find out what it is that upset you so badly last night.
I hope you still want me when I return.
Daphne dropped the letter in shock and started sobbing all over again.