Disclaimer: I have little money. Let me be.

A/N: This is a new story I'm trying out. It's a little darker than previous ones, but it will have its light moments.


CHAPTER ONE

November 7, 2000
Donnerton Lane, London

"Ava."

"Ava."

Numb. As Ava stared at the picture in her trembling hands only one emotion came over her. A deep numbness that ate through her leaving her empty, and cold to everyone around her.

"Ava, are you ready?"

Ava nodded her head slightly. Her pounding headache was too much to take.

"Jamie, are you-?"

"Not now, Ava. It's not the time. Let's go find mum." Ava stood, smoothed the silky material of her black skirt, and followed her older brother out of the door.

"Is everyone here yet?" Ava asked as she carefully treaded the stairs. She could hear a low murmur coming from the kitchen.

"I believe so. Mum says it's going to be quiet. No more than immediate family."

Ava once again just nodded. Her headache only seemed to intensify as they got further and further down the stairs.

"There you two are. Everyone's round in the kitchen."

"Thanks, Tonks." Jamie replied as he continued to lead his sister. They entered the kitchen to find it moderately full of their closest family and only a handful of trusted friends.

"Are you okay?" Ginny asked as she reached out to hug her daughter. Ava dissolved into sobs and clung to her mother's black wool jacket.

"I had a hard time getting her down here." Jamie remarked as he watched the exchange. A boy with red hair approached him from the corner.

"I'm sorry, mate." Nate commented as he shook hands with his cousin.

"I know. Thank you." Jamie responded. "Where are your mum and dad?"

"They're outside," Nate said quietly, "saying their goodbyes."

…...

June 11, 1996
The Burrow

"Daddy!" Four year old Ava shouted as she ran across the yard.

"Pumpkin!" Harry responded as he caught the small child and lifted her above his head.

"Grammy and me made cookies." Ava chattered happily as Harry made his was into the house.

Harry eyed the plate of cookies on the table. "Where's Jamie?"

"He's playing with Nate." Molly responded as she noticed the troubled look on Harry's face.

"Grammy put a plait in my hair."

"I see that Ava." Harry set her on a chair at the table and handed her a cookie. "Could we talk in the living room?"

"Sure." Molly replied as she led the way into the adjoining room. "It's about the baby isn't it?"

Harry nodded quietly and rubbed his eyes. "Miscarriage."

Molly reached out and enveloped Harry into a hug. "How's Ginny?"

"Heartbroken. That's three miscarriages in a row. I was hoping to bring the kids by to cheer her up."

"I'll go and get Jamie and I'll drop Nate off at Remus's. You take Ava. Jamie and I will meet you there."

"Thank you, Molly. Really."

"Your welcome, Harry."

…...

November 13, 1991
Donnerton Lane, London

Ginny sighed happily as she tucked in her two week old baby girl. Born on Halloween and christened Ava Lilly, she was quite plainly a joy to the Potter's.

"Jamie finally settled down."

Ginny turned around to find Harry leaning against the doorframe. He smiled at her and approached the crib quietly.

"I still can't believe she has my eyes." Harry mused as he wrapped his arms around Ginny.

"I still can't believe she has my hair." Ginny laughed as she settled into Harry's embrace.

"She is definitely going to be the Prime Minister."

"I would hope not."

"Healer."

"That wouldn't be bad. She could find spells that would cure hundreds of ailments!"

"Professor?"

"At Hogwarts?"

"Anywhere, it doesn't matter."

"I just want her to get top marks. Head Girl."

"Maybe she'll be the next Hermione Granger."

"We can only hope, Harry. We can only hope."

"Are you ready to nip off yet?"

"Harry!"

"What?"

Ginny reached up and kissed Harry on the lips. "I love you."

"I love you too, Gin."

…...

September 12, 2008
Hogwarts

Ava hurried down the stairs nearly tripping as her feet hit the cold stone of the Entrance Hall. She quickly passed by the doors leading to dinner and instead quietly slipped through the doors leading out onto the grounds. The grass was damp from an earlier rain shower and her dress shoes slid easily on the unstable surface. She slowed her pace now that she was out of danger of being seen, and directed her steps to the Quidditch Pitch. She checked her watch and noticed that she was slightly ahead of schedule.

She could see one lone light shining on the field as she dropped her bag and set off at a run.

"Daddy!"

"Pumpkin!"

Ava collided with her father, and tears began to trinkle from her eyes.

But before she could spend any real time with her father, Ava awoke in a cold sweat, her sheets twisted around her legs, and her pulse racing.

Ava was used to his dream by now. For nearly two weeks at the beginning of every new school year, she would have the same dream. Her father waiting for her on the Quidditch pitch, and calling her by the nickname nobody had used since his death.

She looked around the quite dormitory and glanced at the only other person in the room. There hadn't been many children born since the war, and because of this the population at Hogwarts' had dropped dramatically.

Ava untangled herself from the covers and almost silently made her way to door, down the stairs, and into the common room.

The reds and golds that draped the Gryffindor common room were a warm welcoming compared to the dark dampness of her dream. She curled up on one of the chairs by the fire and watched as the embers slowly died down. Some nights she would come down to find her own brother sitting here. Sometimes, but not all the time, he would dream about their father.

Maybe it occurred more than he let on, or maybe he was able to disguise it better than Ava was able to. Burying the feelings deeper and deeper until all you felt was numb.

Ava could remember right after her father's death more than ten years ago, feeling numb for quite a while. She covered up and hid those feelings until one day the dam burst and they all came flowing out. Ever since then, she's tried to be more open with her feelings, never wanting to go back to the point where she couldn't feel anything.

…...

Present Day
Penning Drive, Kingston

Ava's feet pounded the pavement as she ran down the street, passing her flat for the second time. She just couldn't bring herself to go home yet, knowing who and what was waiting inside for her. She'd told her mother that she could stop by, which according to Ava, was her first mistake.

She paused at the stoplight, trying to tame the knot that had been forming in her chest. As she breathed deep, and it slowly loosened, Ava hesitantly turned around and began to approach her home at a slow walk. She had to drag her feet up the stairs and it took all of her willpower not to turn around and run as fast as she could away from that building.

But, she had to go in sometime. So taking a deep and calculated breath, she used her key to unlock the door and began the slow descent upwards towards her flat. Up two floors and down a narrow hallway, she finally came to flat 24-C. But Ava didn't even have time to open the door; before it was thrust open and her harassed mother's face appeared before her.

"You've been gone for two hours!" Ginny exclaimed as she ushered Ava in.

"I'm sorry mum. I got a bit carried away." Ava shrugged off her jacket and threw onto the back of her couch. "It's not like there's anything exciting happening."

Ginny briskly turned away and headed for the kitchen.

"Mum? What did you do?"

"Nothing, darling. I just invited over a few people. A small gathering if you like."

"Names mum."

"Jamie."

"Who else?"

"Grammy and Pop."

"And?"

"Jamie's nice new lady friend."

"Lady friend? Are you bloody kidding me?"

"You shouldn't swear it's not very ladylike."

"I'm 19 years old! I'll curse if I bloody well feel like it!"

"Did I mention that Uncle Ron, Aunt Hermione, and Nate are coming as well?"

"Mum!"

"Why don't you go wash up? I'll finish setting the table."

Ava angrily marched up the stairs, making sure to emphasize exactly how annoyed she was with her mother. She entered her bedroom and nearly screamed.

Sitting in a chair by the window, was her brother Jamie.

"Holy shite!"

"I heard you and mum having a row. So I hid up here until you were finished."

"You Apparated here? How is that possible? I have wards!"

"You had wards. I disabled them. I'll put newer, better ones up before I leave tonight."

Ava eyed her brother. Sometimes she wished she'd been born into a different family. A family that didn't invite people over for the hell of it, and a family who wasn't so bloody smart. And cocky.


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