22nd July 2047 (Aimez is 28)
AIMEZ: I watch the photograph on the mantle and smile to myself. It's mum's favourite post 2024 dad picture. It's from his visit to her fifty-fith birthday party.
Mum had been twirling around the dance floor with Uncle Neville, he's not really my uncle but sort of is as well, and Uncle Harry and Auntie Ginny were each dancing with my cousins Lilly and Sirius while James kept trying to get a decent angle to take a photograph of them when he saw him. He saw his Uncle Ron, my dad, walking through the big double doors to the function rooms we had hired for the party and looking around anxiously.
I saw James freeze and turn his head to check that it wasn't Bobby but he knew, he knew just as well as I did, that it was the only member of the family we hadn't been able to send an invitation to. James and I were the only two people in the crowded room to notice him. What's one more red head in a room full of red heads anyway?
I had only seen dad three weeks before. He had taught me three useful phrases when being apprehended in the nude:
1) Yes officer I would like to borrow your helmet.
2) I'm naked?
3) Hungry badgers ate my undies!
I knew I could grab him and hug him and get him to dance with me and meet my new friend Adam in person for the very first time after he found mum. He needed to find mum and she needed to see him right now more than ever. She had burst into my bedroom in tears that morning holding a birthday card that a travelling dad must have written and given to the post office in Diagon Alley with instructions not to send the owl until the nineteenth of September 2029.
Happy birthday babe! Save me a dance. Love you anytime, every time, all the time. Ron
Dad couldn't have been much older than twenty five, none of us ever got around to asking him when he had come from, and he looked so well and strong that I wondered if he was the same young guy who had almost died on our dining room table when he came to us the year before. He didn't often come to us hurt after he died but I still took all the lessons in healing and first aid I could at Hogwarts just in case. Seamus Finnegan induced injuries were still spoken about in our family with shudders and dark looks.
I could see him walking across the dance floor and held my breath in the hope of containing my excitement while several couples passed him by with friendly nods and comments about how uncanny the likeness young Bobby was with his poor dead uncle and how quickly he seemed to have grown. James still held the camera with both hands but had side stepped all the way across to me while not tearing his eyes from the now grinning figure that was almost upon the birthday girl and mumbled something to me that indicated he hadn't thought I'd noticed my father had arrived at the party. I put my hand on his shoulder and let out as quiet a laugh as I could manage while James' stunned face broke into a wide smile.
I saw Uncle Neville freeze and blink before beaming and looking into mum's eyes as she frowned back up at him, wondering why they had stopped dancing and Neville nodded over her shoulder. She turned just as dad was leaning in to whisper into her ear.
"I'm not too late am I?"
I found out from mum later on what he had said to her. Uncle Neville stepped back to nudge Uncle Harry who froze with Lilly and let out a shaky laugh while mum squealed and threw herself intodad's arms. This caused all the dancers around them to stop and stare while Auntie Ginny gasped and was about to run to greet dad but Sirius wisely held onto her and she hugged him tightly instead while tears welled in her eyes.
Dad had spun mum around while she laughed and squealed again and they kissed as he set her back down. James looked away uncomfortably but I love to see them like that, lost in the moment and genuinely happy, it reminds me of when I was a little girl and I would see it every day. They began to dance closely and I saw they were murmuring things into each other's hair, making the other laugh and occasionally pausing to kiss again.
After three songs dad's eyes finally fell upon me and whispered something to mum to make her look at me too. They both grinned and waved at me at the exact moment James took the photograph. The photograph I am staring at with the same giddy smile on my face I had worn that night. When the song ended my parents scampered across the dance floor to grab me and pull me out with them. I protested and turned to plead with James to save me but he was just enjoying watching this too much. Then I caught Adam's eye and he frowned and shrugged as my dad, the strapping young man who had just planted a kiss on his new friend's cheek before tickling her under the chin, twirled me around and began to dance with both of his 'girls' as he called us. Mum actually giggled. My mum's not a giggler but I swear to you she really did it. My mum giggled like a little schoolgirl on her fiftieth birthday.
After our family dance I signalled to mum that I wanted to introduce Adam to dad and she nodded encouragingly and took dad's hand to lead him over to my nervous looking friend.
"Adam mate!" Dad had said as he slammed his hand into Adam's before pulling him forward and slapping him on the back as if they grew up together or something, "Good to see ya again."
"Um...again?" Adam glanced at me with fearful eyes and I realised that this was only their introductory meeting for Adam and not dad.
"Oh sorry, is this...?" dad said as he patted Adam on the back a lot more gently the second time around, "...have we not met yet?"
Adam shook his head and then laughed suddenly, he does that at inappropriate times and I quite like it, before clamping his hand over his mouth in embarrassment.
"Don't worry mate, I like you," dad grinned and Adam visibly relaxed.
On seeing the dancing and smooching had stopped for the time being dad was swamped by the whole family but he didn't let go of mum for a minute of it. The two of them had to give Auntie Ginny a cuddle when she eventually burst into tears and soon Uncle Harry prized her away and mum and dad disappeared back home without a word. Dad had stayed with her until dawn the following morning.
There are letters and photographs and pressed flowers all over the place in my flat, tokens and reminders of visits. Dad once came to the cottage while mum was asleep and he somehow knew that he'd not be able to stay until she woke up in the morning so he borrowed her wand and filled every room of the cottage with twinkling white lights and blue irises before making her breakfast and writing her a little note that simply said.
Good morning sunshine, from the angel at your table.
It's strange to think that I seen dad so regularly while mum's visits took some time to even begin. She waited so long for him to come to her after he died that she doubted that he ever would. Then he went through a stage where every time he tried to see her or meet up with her he would be dragged away before she could get to him in time. Then he started to come as if there was a pheromone mum gave off whenever she was missing him more than the usual dull ache that would drag him through time to join her. The older mum gets the more time they seem to get to spend together.
Mum and dad beam at me from the photograph again before dancing on and I look at the diary dad gave me for my twenty-first birthday. He was only a few weeks away from his forty-fourth birthday when he handed it to me and mumbled something about it having as many dates as he could remember in it. I flick through it and my heart swells. Every visit I could expect from him was handwritten in his messy scrawl. So many visits, too many to ever count and covering so many decades, and there will be more besides as he has turned up unexpectedly no less than fifteen times already since I got the diary.
I look down at today's date.
Sometime in the afternoon. Your flat. I'll be there for three hours. Get the tea on and don't give me those manky biscuits you've got in the cupboard, they're revolting!
"They're not manky!" I chuckle to myself as I read the entry for the forth time in the past hour.
"Aim they are disgusting and I am not eating them."
I jump and look to the open door where my dad is pulling on one of Adam's shirts with that mischievous grin on his face.
"I got you some chocolate digestives especially," I scowl before breaking into a smile.
"That's my girl!"
A/N Okay, let's get right to it shall we?
Thanks and one of Ron's chocolate digestive biscuits each to all the following wonderful reviewers:
Scribhneoir - Look I spelled your name! Eternal thanks as ever for all the encouragement.
Roodle - You stalk my fics like a big stalky thing.
C.Fireball - The greatest reviewer in the history of reviewers. Chapter by chapter, blow by blow, and had a better grip on the timelines than even I did!
Magnolia Lane - Reviews and medical advice, you gotta love that woman.
NCC Jellybean – The 'Git' series will continue and never fear, I continue to use Brit slang without realising. (By the way, before you ask manky is just a general kind of grossness. E.g. If I don't wash my hair for three days it's gets all manky)
Baka No Katsu - You get TWO chocolate biscuits!
Lucid-03-days - Ooh I've got a new person to thank...I'm making new friends while torturing redheads!
diesel writer - Another new friend! Flattering reviews too, I like you.
rupertlovesme - I wrote this to make you cry...MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
JK Williams - You are another one who gets two biscuits!
Latanya Kassidy - Always so enthusiastic.
Jedi Pabst - You seem to review before I've even finished uploading the documents, I'm scared!
Mist - You're another one! You are also my best anonymous reviewer, you say nice things and then disappear into the ether. Is it nice in the ether?
Reader 1148 - Brief reviews but always encouraging. Have a biscuit!
marie fay - So many new people and you're another one! I know you begged me not to kill him and I'm sorry. I hope I'm forgiven. (Kneels and presents platter of chocolate digestives to marie with head bowed)
Harry Lvr - Oh my loyal old buddy! Always good to impress you, hope I did with this.
Dansgirl34 - I MUST TRY TO WRITE YOU A HARRY FIC!
Foxie xox, Persian muggle, mers, Avanell, Quatto - Lots of love and biscuits for all!
And a Jaffa cake for anybody I might have forgotten!
Well all this talk of chocolate digestives has just made me want to go out and buy a packet!
So as I always ask of you in my end of fic note, an overview of the fic as a whole is much appreciated. Especially for this one as I know how tough you all found it at the start. Did I pull off the whole disjointed narrative? If you could tell me your opinion on the origional characters too I'd appriciate it, I don't think I've ever had so many in one fic before...I hope it wasn't overkill.
I've also never killed Ron before and would like to know what you think about that too.
I'm taking a break to be kind to my eyes and get over my flu. I will keep posting the 'Git' series sporadically, there are six more planned so keep a look out for them, and you know me and my out of the blue one-shots don't you? I'm sure I'll do a couple of hit and runs. I might do something in the Lost for Words universe.
Right now I'm thinking of stepping back from the novel length fics, I've done four now and I don't want to go stale on you guys.
So that's it and I leave you with a warning: DO NOT ATTEMPT A TIME TRAVEL FIC WITHOUT A LOT OF PAPERWORK AND PRE-PLANNED TIMELINES BEFOREHAND! (This was tough!)
Love kisses and biscuits for all, me and my flu are off to infect fifty children at my theatre company now!