Leah White hurried down street after street, a pink bundle in her arms. Every few moments she'd look down and check to see if the little girl she was holding was still asleep. A few tears escaped Leah's eyes but she had no time to wipe them. She had to get to the Flannery's house soon, and despite the fact that you-know-who was gone, the streets were still too dangerous for a girl who just reached twenty and a baby.
Finally, she got to the right address that Dumbledore had instructed her to go to. She knocked on the door and a stout woman in her mid-thirties opened the door.
"Oh, you must be Leah White!" the woman smiled. "We've been expecting you." A man appeared behind her. His face looked not a day over thirty-five, but his receding hairline made Leah wonder if he was truly older than that. She held the child close to her, not sure if she should trust the couple in front of her. She knew the trouble was over, but her mind was still trained to not trust anyone, lest they be a death eater. But she knew Dumbledore thought this couple would do a swell job raising the orphaned baby girl of her best friend. She only hoped he was right.
"Where are our manners?! Come in, come in. You must be exhausted," the woman said and Leah reluctantly followed her. The house seemed welcoming enough. And definitely toddler-proofed. All the valuables were on high shelves, a baby gate was guarding the hallway entrance.
"I'm Rich Flannery, and this is my wife, Eileen. And this-" he motioned to the baby. "this must be Melanie. Imagine. The twin of the Boy-Who-Lived. Imagine."
It took all of Leah's self-restraint not to tell Rich to be quiet, that a death eater could be listening in on their conversation. The war had been going on too long. But it was over. Or at least she hoped so.
"Yes, I know. It's quite extraordinary. Lily was my best friend from Hogwarts. To imagine that her beloved twins were what stopped the Dark Lord. Well, it's unbelievable," Leah admitted. She looked down at the ivory face of the baby in her arms again. She had a shock of black hair, just like James and Harry, but when she opened her eyes, it wasn't James or even Lily's eyes that stared back at her. It was the silvery blue eyes of Mrs. Evans-Lily's mother- Melanie had inherited. Leah kissed Melanie's tiny forehead. She had seen little Harry briefly before he went off with Hagrid. His forehead had once been as unmarked as Melanie's, but now, that lightning bolt scar ran across it.
"May I-may I hold her, dear?" Eileen asked and Leah nodded, even though she wanted to keep holding the baby close to her heart. She handed Melanie to Eileen, who cooed at the sleeping child.
"So, do you and Rich have any children? Will Mel have siblings?" Leah asked, when Rich went to get some butterbeer.
"We have a four year old girl, Marie. And we do plan on expanding our family in the near future, so Melanie will have plenty of siblings. It's a pity though that she won't know her blood-brother."
Leah responded, "I know, but Dumbledore thinks it's best if they don't know each other even exists. He says it's for their own good and perhaps one day, they can know the truth, once their safety is certain."
"Aye, we understand the reasoning and will do our best to raise this little girl as our own. She'll never know any different," Eileen told Leah, trying to assure the poor girl. Rich returned with the butter beer and handed one to Leah.
Leah nodded solemnly. She had wanted to raise Melanie herself; who else would be better for the job than Lily's best friend and Melanie's godmother? But Dumbledore had told her no, because she was already targeted enough by the death eaters and he wasn't sure the threats would stop, even though He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named was supposedly dead. "I guess I better get going," Leah finished her butter beer and stood up to leave.
"Are you sure you wouldn't like to stay here a night, dear? You've been through so much this last twenty-four hours. Are you sure you'd be alright?" Eileen offered.
"No, I need to get back to my apartment. My fiancé will be worried about me," she explained, though the real reason was that she just wanted to be alone so she could grieve by herself.
"Okay, sweetheart. Would you like to say good-bye to Melanie?" Rich asked her, and Leah looked over to the one-year old, sleeping softly in a basinet in the corner.
"Mhm," Leah murmured, scared she would lose it if she said much more. She padded over to the child and kissed her cheek. Tears welled up in her eyes as she whispered, "Good-bye, Mel. "
So I'm not completely sure where I'm going with this, but I guess I'll just have to keep writing and see where it takes me. Reviews keep me going and will be appreciated forever :) ~Skye