Disclaimer: All characters from popular animes or insanely loved books are not mine. I just play with them on rare occasions. DANCE PUPPETS! DANCE!! MWHAHAHA!
A/N: Wow. Almost two years. You guys must really hate me. Please don't. I mean, look at all the other fics I've written this year alone. And there are some others that haven't been posted here. It's not as if I've been deliberately lazy! I have college and a pseudo-job!
It took an insane amount of time but I updated! I won't stop until I finish. Even until it take me until grad-school!
They all had their ways of coming to terms.
The public was in turmoil, only fueled by the newspapers. About how the Boy-Who-Lived was gone and good riddance to such an attention seeking troublemaker.
Hogwarts; well the students had either a: despised Harry and were now celebrating or b: knew him in passing and had fleeting pangs of concern.
But life went on.
Hermione Granger, rather predictably, immersed herself in her school work. When she wasn't studying as if her very being depended upon it she was researching demons, every single entry or comment was devoured and added to her collection. She was becoming quite the expert. At the cost of her health and sanity.
Ronald Weasley was immersing himself into Quidditch, having become Keeper. Beyond that, he capitalized on his Prefect status. The only time he saw Hermione these days was either in class or when helping her with Demon research.
"Hermione?" the young woman in question looked up from her book. Her hair was somewhat wilder than usual, dark smudges under her eyes and a leaner face caused by too many skipped meals.
"Hermione, get up." Ginny Weasley had adopted a no-nonsense tone.
"What? No. I have to…"
"You have to get up and eat! You're killing yourself!" Ginny growled as she cut off the rundown girl.
"No! I have to help Harry. Goodness, if you could only read the horrors…I…oh Ginny we have to get him away from those despicable demons! I don't have time to eat!" She had taken up rather hysterically.
"What have you been reading?" Ginny questioned as she picked up books from Hermione's over laden table. " Demonic Compendium. Youkai. Daemons, Demons and Devils. Oni Houmon. Goodness! These sound awful. No wonder you look like death warmed over. Honestly Hermione, Dumbledore has everyone looking there's no need for you to kill yourself. Harry wouldn't want that."
Hermione frowned then sighed with weary fatigue. "I can't not do anything. But, I suppose that I can't do Harry much good like this."
"Exactly. So, let's get you to dinner and then to bed for a full night's rest."
Hermione smiled at her determined friend and reluctantly let herself be momentarily distracted from her arduous task.
He was warm.
She was humming.
He opened his eyes to meet her benevolent gaze but did not move from her embrace.
"I'm dreaming again?" he questioned softly.
"It is easier for me to come to you in dreams," she explained.
"Are you happy?" she murmured.
He nodded and almost purred when she started to card deft fingers through his hair.
"What makes you happy little prince?" she inquired.
"Mmm. Sesshoumaru-sama tells me stories, the history of my ancestors. Shin'ya tells me about the family. 'Suki-chan plays with me in the forests. Nozomi-sama gives me cookies. Yusuke treats me like a bratty kid. Hiei isn't treating me like I'm gonna break. Grandpa…he's just there. They're like family. I've never had a family of my own before. Feels good." he mumbled in contentment.
"Tell me about you and Grandfather," he requested drowsily.
Evadne sighed, "At least you asked me and not those over-dramatic romantics. Let's see. I love him very much but I'm waiting for him to stop his foolishness and let me go."
She laughed when his eyes flew open in surprise and confusion.
"I died, Harry. I'm dead. He loved me and I died. But he loved someone before me and now that I'm dead he's using me as an excuse to ignore the fact that he could love again! Any vow he made to me was voided with my death and…I just want him to be happy." she sighed.
"But…you were mates!" he argued somewhat belligerently.
He didn't want his Grandfather to forget his Grandmother! They loved each other.
Like any child he felt that the couples which constituted his family were meant to be together in a fairy tale sort of manner and that was that. True love. Eternal. Forever and always.
Evadne shook her head.
"Yes, and now we're not," she said a bit sharply.
She softened and scratched his head in apology. "Has Lord Sesshoumaru told you the story of your great-grandfather, the Inu no Taisho? He died in the protection of his human mate and hanyou child. Izayoi then died leaving Inuyasha bereft. There was such grief caused by their union but they loved each other."
She continued, "You see, it is difficult for a demon to love a human not just because of the human but because of the repercussions of such an action. Not everyone looks kindly on such a union and much less on the offspring of such a coupling."
"Kurama and I would have never happened had he not been cursed. It is likely that I would have continued my life and married a perfectly normal man. But I didn't. I married a kitsune. I loved him as best as I could but there were times…there were things which I could not understand. There was love and it was beautiful but there is no such thing as a perfect love. We love in different ways and we love different people. When we love once we can love again. He loved me and I loved him. That is enough. Now he lives and I wish him happiness. Do you understand?"
"I…I think so," he mumbled uncertainly.
"You love your parents don't you little prince?" she questioned softly.
"Does that mean that you do not love your new family because your parents are dead?" she inquired.
He shook his head furiously.
"No! I love Mum and Dad but I love Grandfather and Uncle and," he started naming the family in rapid fire.
"Oh," he breathed in the middle of his recitation "Just cause I love them…doesn't mean I can't love more?"
She laughed merrily with joy and wild abandon, "You are so wise and clever my little prince! A heart can never be filled. It always has room for more love."
"Who is it that Grandfather is going to fall in love with?" Harry asked with all the curiosity that kitsune are famed for.
Evadne shook her head, "That is none of your business baby-fox."
Harry grinned at the affection he was receiving as she cuddled him but pouted at the distinct lack of an answer.
"Please?" he murmured using all the power of cuteness his eyes afforded him. The same look that granted him more cookies from Nozomi.
"I'd be more inclined to turn into a pile of mush if your grandfather didn't have that same look. Now, sleep."
And with that, the dream ended.
Kurama regarded his timid grandchild with amusement. He form was equivalent to that of an eight year old human child. His luminous emerald eyes were almost completely obscured by his shaggy, dark locks. The pale skin, so prevalent among their family, was only highlighted by the pair of elegant silvery stripes. Dressed in the finest silks of black and green, he was the perfect picture of a prince. If only he would exhibit the fearless audacity that children were wont to.
"What is it Hari-chan?" he questioned kindly.
Harry fussed with his sleeves, something which he knew drove Nozomi to distraction.
"I saw Nana," he murmured lowly.
"Oh?" Kurama allowed curiosity to enter his voice. "What did you and Nana talk about?"
"Stuff," Harry mumbled.
"Anything I should know about?" Kurama teased.
Harry shook his head quickly in a manner that suggested that there was something.
"Hari, come here." Kurama tone was firm but not unkind.
With slow and measured steps Harry approached his Grandfather and stood before him as he'd been taught.
Kurama raised they boy's chin with a slender finger so that he might look him in the eye before earnestly inquiring, "What is wrong Hari?"
A filmy sheen of tears filled Harry's eyes. "Nana wants to leave," he whispered, utterly heartbroken.
"What? Hari, what are you talking about?" Kurama was beyond bewildered.
Tears slipped down Harry's cheeks, "Nana said she wants to leave because you love someone else. An' an' she said it's okay 'coz she wants you to be happy. I want you to be happy Granpa! I do! But I don't want Nana to leave!"
Kurama enfolded the sobbing child into his embrace.
Just what the hell had Evadne been telling the child?
"Shh shh. It's all right. Hari, it's fine. Hari, listen to me," he pulled back to stare earnestly at his grandchild. "I love your grandmother. She gave me a beautiful daughter and because of that I have you."
"But now you love someone else and I'll have another grandmother…or grandfather," he added shyly.
Kurama chuckled and shook his head.
"Where did you get the idea that I've fallen in love?"
"Nana said! She's sad," he confided. "Will you make her happy 'fore she leaves?" Harry's expression was heartbreaking. Earnest pleading.
Kurama was not immune to the tears and pleading of his grandchild. "I will speak with your Nana. Do not cry Hari, it makes me sad."
"Kay," Harry murmured as he wiped his eyes.
"Can we play with plants?"
"Evadne!" Kurama called out from within the confines of his private grove.
"Kurama? What is it?" she called to him as she stepped from behind a tree. The sunlight rendered her form translucent but it was the concern on her face that angered him more than the continued proof of how removed from him she was.
"You are leaving? You have finally decided to quit this place and be judged and you did not tell me?" he demanded icily.
"What? Kurama, what nonsense are you babbling?" She gave the impression of being confused and that only served to further enrage him.
"Our grandchild came to me in tears because his Nana is leaving him." 'Leaving me,' he did not say; could not say. "And I find that you have justified yourself by telling him that I'm having some type of affair and you're heartbroken! You're breaking that child's heart and using me as your scapegoat!" Kurama was practically spitting with rage, an image that was rather at odds with his more canine nature.
"Why?" His face was now serene, his eyes hard an unfathomable; he was detached and cold.
Evadne had been confused and then realization had dawned and she had become furious.
"Is that what you think of me? For decades I've-but no, I suppose that's only a drop in a very large ocean to you isn't it? Is that how I seem to you? Some selfish, petty mortal who would lie to a child in an effort to appease her own conscience? How could-" she broke off abruptly, tore her eyes away from his own as luminescent tears fell from her dark eyes only to disperse with a sparkle in the light of the sun. 'How could you?' she did not say though her eyes had conveyed the message more thoroughly than mere words ever could.
"Do you believe it has been easy for me? I live this half-life. I can't touch you, I can't touch anything. I cannot even be seen by those without some sort of spiritual awareness. I can't feel. Not the sun or the caress of the breeze. And still, I've stayed. For you. For Harry. I've faced this tortured existence with our love as my shield. But I can't-if you could believe that I would-maybe it would be better if I left," she finished with a melancholy whisper.
"Evadne," softly, her name fell from Kurama's lips. His hand were clenched, his entire body tense.
She smiled tremulously but did not meet his gaze.
"I-forgive me," he pled solemnly. "The thought of you…I could not bear to lose you. The mere idea…I have lost so much in my life. I don't think I could lose you now. I need you. Harry needs you."
Evadne shook her head, "I'm dead, Kurama. I'm already gone. This life…it hurts. I see you, I am a witness to your pain and cannot relieve you. My mere presence only causes you more anguish. If I left, you could go on with your life. Fall in love again. Have another family. Harry…he barely knows me. He certainly doesn't need me. He has you and his uncles, aunts and cousins. Maybe it's time you let me go."
"No," Kurama refused her obstinately.
She met his face squarely; her eyes roving his face in an attempt to drink in this sight of him. The curves and lines of his face, the exact shade and hue of his hair and the brilliance of his eyes.
"I…I love you," she cried as if it were some dark secret; as if she had not told him hundreds of times before.
The denial was quickly falling away from Kurama's countenance to be replaced by desperation.
And she was gone.
End Chapter 6
Hari- It's not a typo. I said I was going to give Harry a "demon"/Japanese name. Well, I kinda sorta changed my mind. I don't know Japanese. I plugged "Ha" and "Ri" into some random dictionary so it's probably completely wrong. "Ha" Edge(of sword) or leaf. "Ri"clever. I figure with Kurama as a relative "clever leaf" is a good name which still sounds like his own. Cool huh?
Okay. I honestly did not expect that. It was not supposed to be this angsty. And certainly not between Evadne and Kurama! I wanted to get rid of Evadne but in a nice way! Now my muse is zeroing in on their romance! I'm pulling my hair in frustration. Though, I got in some Harry/Evadne and Harry/Kurama bonding, no? Man, this chapter is pure fluff/angst. I'm so ashamed.
But shameless enough to ask for reviews. You guys are such lurkers! I mean, once I update an alert will go to over 100 people! This thing is on almost 40 C2's! and even more fav's! Where's the love?
Oh forget it. I'm wallowing in my "newfound" (since 2006 and stronger than ever!) Doctor Who love. I'll be in my corner with The Doctor and Rose.