Songs of Spring
Isolde was impatient. She wanted to talk to Harry, but Daddy wouldn't let her. She knew that Harry was sick and needed to rest. Daddy had explained to her about Harry's accident, and Isolde had promised to be quiet and not pester Harry, but Daddy still wouldn't let her see him.
She had spent all morning out in the garden, looking for flowers because it was the first day of spring. Grandmother Narcissa said that the weather wasn't warm enough yet for flowers, but Isolde looked anyway. She didn't find any flowers, but she did find a pretty white stone that glittered in the sun. She made up her mind that she would take it to Harry because such a pretty stone would make anyone feel better.
Carefully making sure that neither Grandmother nor Daddy was nearby, Isolde crept up the stairs and along the hallway to Harry and Daddy's room. Holding her breath, she pushed open the door.
Harry was lying in bed, staring out the window. He sat up quickly when he saw her, and Isolde almost ran back down the hall. Daddy had told her that Harry would love her, but suddenly she wasn't as sure as she had been before. But then she saw that Harry was just as nervous as she was.
"I'm Isolde," she told him, crossing the room and holding out her hand. Harry took it and shook it solemnly. "This is for you." She held out the white stone.
Harry took it slowly, his fingers caressing the smooth surface. "Thank you," he whispered.
"It's prettiest in the sun," Isolde explained, and took the stone back, placing it in a patch of sunlight on the windowsill where it sparkled. Isolde gave Harry her best smile, and Harry smiled back.
Isolde jumped up on the bed next to him and flung her arms around him. "We're going to be friends," she told him.
Harry froze for a second, but then he returned the hug. And when Daddy appeared in the doorway, looking very angry, Harry pretended that he didn't know Isolde was hiding under the bed, even though they had been talking loudly moments before. Daddy was silent for a few moments, but then he laughed a little, and Isolde knew it was safe to come out.
Picnics were the best thing in the entire world. It was so fun to be eating outside on the ground. Plus, no one seemed to care how many glasses of lemonade or how many slices of watermelon she had. Normally, Daddy would tell her she was being greedy, but he was too busy watching Harry to notice.
Harry showed her how to spit watermelon seeds so that they went soaring through the air and landed with a plop in the lake. Then they went wading in the cool shallows. Isolde almost caught a tiny fish, but it was too quick and slipped through her fingers. She accidentally splashed some water on Harry, and he accidentally splashed some water on her, and then suddenly they were both shouting and splashing each other.
Isolde was satisfyingly muddy and wet when they emerged. Grandmother fussed over her, casting drying spells with her wand. Harry, though, went and sat next to Daddy, who just put his arm around Harry's shoulders, even though Harry was wet, too. When Grandmother let her go, she clambered into Daddy's lap, and he put his other arm around her.
One night, she woke up to the sound of Harry screaming. Trembling, she crept out of bed and down the hall until she was in front of their door. She wanted to run inside and give Harry a hug to make him feel better, but she could hear Daddy talking to Harry in a low, soothing voice. Harry was crying, but gradually he stopped. Finally everything was quiet again, and Isolde went back to bed.
The next day, Harry took her for a walk out in the meadows, and they picked purple flowers. Harry told her how her mother's name had been Pansy. She had seen a picture of her mother once. The woman in the painting had brown hair and eyes, too, but Isolde didn't remember her. For a moment, she felt sad, but then Harry picked her up and lay back in the warm grass, and Isolde was glad that Harry was here instead.
Isolde didn't want Christmas to end. After the delicious pudding and pulling the Christmas crackers, she decided that she wouldn't go to bed at all. Daddy accepted this declaration calmly when she told him, and Isolde began playing happily with her new doll. But then the couch started looking very soft and comfortable, and her eyes wouldn't stay open. The next thing she knew, Harry was picking her up. Still half-asleep, Isolde wrapped her arms around his neck.
"For a minute," Harry was saying softly to Daddy, "when I was opening your present, I was sure it was going to be a sweater. Hand-knitted and green."
Daddy was silent and suddenly Isolde knew that something was horribly wrong. She whimpered a little and tightened her hold on Harry. Harry ran his hand gently through her curls.
"But I like what you gave me better," Harry added, and Isolde felt him lean over and give Daddy a kiss.
For a long time after Christmas, Isolde felt uneasy and afraid. She noticed that sometimes when Daddy was with Harry it was like he was trying to memorize what Harry looked like, what he felt like. She began to fear that Harry was going to leave them.
Finally she couldn't stand it anymore. One afternoon, when Harry was sitting out on the porch, she crept up to him and rested her hand on his arm.
"Harry," she began, but then stopped.
Harry smiled at her. It was their smile – the one they reserved for jumping in mud puddles, building snowmen, and eating cookies. Isolde tried to smile back, but a tear slipped down her cheek instead.
"What is it?" Harry asked, lifting her up into his lap.
"Are you going to leave, Harry?"
Harry hugged her close. "I'd never leave you."
Some of Isolde's fear left her, but she persisted. "Would you leave Daddy? He's afraid that you will."
"I won't leave Draco, either."
Isolde smiled and hugged him back. Together they watched the first butterfly of spring dance across the garden and disappear up into the blue sky, sprinkled with white clouds.
Author's Note: Many thanks to my beta carnilia for coming up with the idea of including Narcissa and Isolde's pov. The title is from an excerpt from the poem "Frost at Midnight" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge:
"Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether the summer clothe the general earth
With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple tree, while the night thatch
Smokes in the sunthaw; whether the eve-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon."