-Disclaimer: Harry Potter is the property of JK Rowling
-So, here it is, final chapter! I said from the outset that this wasn't going to be a very long story, and, so it isn't!
Not sure when I will get to the other unfinished stuff as I will be starting Nanowrimo on Sunday, the national challenge to write an original novel in 30 days! If you would like more information on Nanowrimo, look at my profile, I will be putting up a link! Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy the conclusion to Correcting Mistakes II: Daisy's Choice.
Please review! I feel kinda sad that this has only gotten 9 reviews so far!
Correcting Mistakes II: Daisy's Choice
Nearly a week had passed since Daisy had visited the grave of Rolf Scamander. Things had quieted down considerably in the Weasley household for all four of the younger Weasley's had gone off to school. The first night they had been gone George had sighed miserably as he looked around at his empty dinner table, even RJ was gone again, "kidnapped" by Annie for the week to give her a little first hand experience before her own bundle arrived in April.
Daisy woke the morning three days after their departure, still unaccustomed to the unnatural quiet. As usual, a single face swam behind her closed eyes. A face with light brown eyes and a warm smile.
They had left things so ugly between them the week before, and Daisy had been itching to go see him to put things right. Still, she hadn't been able to bring herself to go. It was her fault that things were the way they were. Her denial of Roberts true nature that had led to James revelations of Roberts illegal activities, and now, Daisy had learned that he had been suspended...something else that was entirely her fault. How could she possibly face him?
Daisy was finding herself at loose ends a lot lately. She was only twenty one, her whole life was still ahead of her, and yet, she had no idea what to do with it. Her mother had been hinting about her coming on at the Quibbler as an assistant editor. Luna was getting older and she would welcome a little more free time. Daddy too had offered a job running one of his shops if she wanted, Lee had been hinting quite loudly lately about stepping down from running the Hogsmeade shop to have more time to spend with Angelina.
Daisy had no idea what she wanted to do. She reckoned she should take her mothers offer, after all, before he died, Grandpa Xenophilius had told Daisy that one day, the Quibbler would be hers, it was Daisy's birth right as Luna's first born. And someday, Daisy WANTED to take over the legacy. She just wasn't sure if now was that that time.
So much seemed up in the air, so much unsettled and it wasn't as if she had to work. Her grandfather had left her a great deal of money, and, as the only living Scamander heir, she received royalties on her great-grandfather's famous book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Over the years that money had been kept in trust for her and it had accumulated into a nice little next egg. Enough that she would never have to work if she didn't want to...not that was the case...not even close.
Deep down, Daisy knew it wasn't her career or lack thereof that was making her feel unsettled. It was her personal life, or rather one person in particular.
With a frustrated sigh, Daisy pushed the covers away and reached for her robe. She pulled it on as she hit the stairs. As always, she felt comfort in knowing that Daddy was downstairs, it was Saturday and she knew she would find him sitting in the breakfast nook poured over his books, like always.
But it wasn't George that she found.
"Freddy!" She said as she rushed forward to hug him "What are you doing here?"
"Nice greeting Daise." He teased "Thanks."
Daisy laughed and gave him a gentle swat. "You know what I mean. I was expecting to find Daddy with his head buried in those books of his, not you."
"I know." He said, getting to his feet so he towered over her. He put his hand on the top of the refrigerator and leaned in close...the stance so familiar it made Daisy's heart weep with happiness. She knew what he was going to say, long before the words left his mouth. "How YOU doin Daise?"
Daisy laughed and pushed him away, shaking her head. "I'm fine Freddy, and Sylvia never should have let you get that satellite dish. That American television has turned your mind to mush."
Freddy chuckled and poured a cup of tea before sliding back behind the table. "I know, but, I have to have something to keep me occupied." he wiggled his eyebrows "Witchy Wiggins went out of first run ten years ago."
Daisy laughed and sat down across from him. "And we are ALL thanking merlin to this day."
"Hey, Witchy Wiggins...."
"Was hot, yes, only heard that about three million times now, thanks. Mind sparing us three million and one?"
"If I must." Freddy said, looking greatly put upon.
"So, are you going to tell me where Daddy is and why you are here?"
"Well..." Freddy winced "Dad's at Annie's."
Daisy looked up in alarm, she was quite aware that Annie had been avoiding their father like the plague.
"I was there helping Matt install those new windows, and Annie went to take RJ for a walk to the store...Honeydukes of all places."
Daisy rolled her eyes. Between her grandparents, parents and the aunts and uncles, by the time she actually saw her son again he was going to be incredibly spoiled.
"Yeah, I see your impressed." Freddy laughed a little. "Anyway, she realized that Luna hadn't packed his jacket, so, she sent me down for it."
"Say no more." Daisy rolled her eyes. Her father had been just itching for an excuse to go to Annie's to talk some sense into her.
"Yes, I imagine they should be rowing quite well by now." Freddy looked at his watch. "But really, I'd be more likely to say 'Poor Dad.' You seem to have forgotten Annie's temper."
"Poor Matt's more like it." Daisy smirked a little "Knowing Daddy, he skipped Annie and went right to him, and, knowing Annie..."
"Exactly. As you may have reasoned by now, I am in no hurry to return to the ugliness."
"Don't blame you." Daisy stood and went to the refrigerator and pulled out a package of cinnamon buns. She put them on a plate, waved her wand over them to warm them, then got two saucers and butter from the fridge and returned to the table.
"Umm..."Freddy hesitated "Who made these, you or your mum?"
"Me of course, you ever known mum to be able to bake without the fire department being involved?"
Freddy breathed a sigh of relief. His step mother was a wonderful woman, sweet, funny, beautiful, and incredibly warm and loving. She had always treated Freddy and Annie as if they were her own. But Luna had one fatal flaw...she was deadly in the kitchen.
"So it skipped a generation..." Freddy said as he helped himself to a cinnamon bun and slathered it with a generous amount of butter. "This hopelessness in the kitchen?"
"Mummy never had anyone to teach her." Daisy said matter of factly "I had Daddy and Grandma."
"I heard you and Dad had quite a row last week."
Daisy took a deep breath and nodded "Heard did you?"
"Yeah, Poppy and Iris have big mouths, you know that."
"Did they tell you what it was about?"
Freddy's ears turned red.
"Damned extendable ears." Daisy rolled her eyes.
"I don't think they really understood what it was about, if that helps. They were just repeating words." He looked at her seriously "You can tell me if you like."
Daisy sighed and went into the short version of Roberts drug dealings, and the fact that George had talked Harry into keeping it from her.
"Wow." he said when she finished "I don't blame you for being angry."
Daisy nodded "I was, at the time...but, now...I guess I understand."
"Dad's always been like that with you, you know." Freddy smiled "I mean, he has always been over protective with all of us, but you were different. You went through so much more than Annie and I did when your mom and birth father divorced."
"You knew too?" Daisy looked surprised "About my mum and Rolf Scamander?"
"Oh yes." Freddy nodded his head, his face suddenly pale. "I remember. Annie and I were supposed to be sleeping, but we had been trying to stay awake...we'd been hoping Dad might have sent treats like he sometimes did. We sneaked out into the hallway and we heard mum, crying something horrible, telling Lee that he had hurt your mum really bad, and that he had taken you."
Freddy stopped and ran a hand over his hair.
"Me and Annie were both scared, Annie started to cry. I think she felt really bad then, for the things she said to you that time. Mum heard us and she called us into the room. She let us stay up until Uncle Ron's owl came, letting us know that you were both okay."
Freddy stopped and smiled, reaching across the table for her hands.
"We both saw it you know, how much happier dad was when he was with your mum. Even though it was hard for us, not being a family anymore, we wanted Dad to be happy."
"I wanted mum to be happy too" Daisy sighed "and George...Daddy always made her laugh."
They were quiet for a moment, both thinking about the past.
"So, that's the past." Freddy said simply "Over and done with. The question is...what now?"
"I've been wondering that myself actually." Daisy sighed "Thing is, I don't know. So much of what I thought my life was has turned out to be a lie."
"No Daise, you're still talking about the past. I mean, what are you going to do now, what are you going to do with your future?"
"That's just it!" She bit her lip, determined not to cry anymore. "I don't know! I don't...how do I know where to go, when I don't even really know where I have been? Where do I go from here?"
"I think you know." Freddy smiled and it hit Daisy really for the first time, how much his smile was like their fathers. "I think you've always known Daise, you just haven't gone there because something...someone...was standing in your way."
"Your heart has been there for fifteen years Daisy. Since you were both five years old. Can you honestly tell me, you wouldn't have married James if not for me?"
Daisy opened her mouth to protest, but found she couldn't. It was true. If not for the fact that she refused to hurt Freddy...she would have chosen James.
"I'm sorry." She whispered
"Don't be." He covered her hand again "It's not your fault. I was so selfish. I knew from the first time I saw you and James together that there was something special between you."
He stopped and took a deep breath "Do you remember, the summer Dad built the house? When James came to stay while Lily was being born?"
Daisy nodded, she could never forget that summer...the fighting between James and Freddy had been epic family lore since.
"You remember then, the big swing...and me and James, fighting over who got to push you."
"Oh yes, I remember." Daisy said with a small smile. "You began to tussle and I got pushed off the swing and got a bloody nose."
"Right. I ran and hid, scared of the whooping that I knew Dad was going to give me for hurting you. But James sat by you, he held you hand while you cried, and he was crying too...not because he was in trouble, but because he had done something to hurt you." Freddy shook his head
"I should have realized then...James was the better man. The two of you together...you had...have... a kind of...magic. The same kind of magic my mum has with Lee, and Dad has with Luna. I never understood it, what it was like to have something like that...until I met Sylvia. She's my magic..."
Freddy smiled and looked deeply into her eyes "Just like James, is your's."
"He hates me..." Daisy said weakly, realizing just how true it was.
"Daisy, don't be daft. James could never hate you."
"I don't know what to do Freddy." Daisy wiped her face on a napkin "What do I do, where do I go?"
"You do what your heart has been telling you to do all this time." He smiled and put an arm around her. "James has been waiting all these years, since you were five years old." He stopped and took a deep breath.
"I think maybe, he's waited long enough."
- - -
Daisy stood nervously wringing her hands by the glass patio doors that led to the Potters back yard. Just on the other side of the glass sat James in a white wicker chair, his eyes fixed on the full moon.
"Did you have to suspend him Uncle Harry?" She said softly to the only other person in the room. "I mean, that can't be making his mood any better...maybe if you go out and un-suspend him..."
Harry chuckled softly "Sorry sweetie, it doesn't work like that. James broke a major rule, he needs to learn to control his temper, or he won't have learned a thing."
"But, it was partly my fault too." She shook her head "If I hadn't been denying what Robert was like..."
"Don't blame yourself Daisy. James is a big boy, and he knew the situation. He should never have broken confidentiality."
Daisy turned her head and gave him a look, a look that reminded Harry eerily of the look Luna used to give them when they challenged her beliefs in rare mystical creatures.
"Let's get one thing straight Uncle Harry." She raised her eyebrow, making the resemblance even more uncanny "There should never have been any confidentiality to be begin with."
Harry rolled his eyes. "Point taken." He pulled his face into an irresistible pout "Am I forgiven?"
"Of course." Daisy relaxed her face and kissed his cheek, then went back to staring out the window.
"He won't bite Daise." Harry said softly in her ear "You should go talk to him."
"Its not his biting that I am afraid of."
"I know." Harry sighed "But, waiting isn't going to make it easier. So...how about I help you out with that?"
"What do you..."
Before she could stop him, Harry had turned the handle on the door and swung it open.
"James." He said cheerily. "Look who's come to see you."
James shot up from his chair as Daisy glowered at her Uncle. Harry gave her a wink. "I'll be inside if you need me."
"You've done quite enough already." Daisy said with a dangerous smile on her face. "I couldn't possibly ask anything else of you."
"Well..." Harry grinned again as he stepped inside"Alright then...play nice."
The door closed and Daisy turned around in time to see James slide wordlessly back into his chair. She took a deep breath and walked towards him, then sat in a chair next to him.
"What do you want Daisy?" His voice was sad, more sad than Daisy could remember ever hearing it. "You've already gotten me suspended, so, what more do you want."
Daisy gave him the same look she had recently given the elder Potter. "Actually, I believe you got yourself suspended. So, I'll thank you not to blame me for the repercussions of your actions."
James rolled his eyes. "Whatever."
"James, you were the only one who told me the truth, and I am so thankful for that. So, I am sorry you got in trouble for it."
He was quiet for a long, long time before he spoke.
"So, you do admit blame."
"No!" Daisy narrowed her eyes "I just said..."
"Hell Daisy, you can't even take a joke anymore." Daisy looked closer...James was grinning, just a little, bit it was a grin just the same. "I know it wasn't your fault. It was mine, I never should have told you...at least...not like that, not that way."
"I'm glad that you did. I never would have known otherwise."
"Daise, Dad, and Uncle George...they never meant to hurt you...they..."
Daisy closed her eyes and nodded. "I know. It was all about protecting me. I know. It seems a blur now...the weeks after Robert died. I was in horrible shape, I could barely take care of RJ, much less myself. The muggle police were making accusations...accusing me of being involved in drugs too. If I had known what Robert had been up to...what he had really been doing...I hate to think what might have happened."
James slid up and sat on the end of his chair. "No, Daisy, your stronger than that...stronger than they...than even you think you are."
"On the outside maybe. But, inside...inside I am still that little girl hiding in a closet." She looked up at him "James...what you said last week, about Robert, and how he treated me. It was true, all of it. I was in denial for so long, had denied to everyone so often, that I couldn't even admit the truth to myself.
"I never understood why...why my mother stayed with my birth father for so long. I always told myself, that would never be me. I would never, ever, be with someone like that. I guess in a way I looked down on her, for being fool enough to stay. Maybe I even blamed her a little. After thinking that way for so long...how could I admit to anyone, least of all myself, that I had married someone who was like him? I thought I was to blame for everything. For Rolf being the way he was, for Robert being how he was. I thought it was me...some horrible flaw inside me ..."
"But...Daise...it;'s not like that. Abuse, it's..."
"I know...I understand now." She took a deep breath and let it out slowly "Somebody hurt Robert, somebody made him how he was long before I ever met him. I don't know who that was, and to be honest...I don't care. All that matters is that I know it wasn't me."
James took her hands in his. "Of course it wasn't. Daisy, you are the most wonderful person I know. Robert...Robert was a fool."
"Well..." Daisy lifted her head and smiled "Maybe someday, I will believe that. It's just...right now..."
"I know, I understand."
"He was a hard man James, he was cold and uncaring. He wasn't even warmed by RJ...what kind of man doesn't feel warmth toward his own child?"
"A man who isn't a man?"
"A man like Rolf Scamander." Daisy whispered "God James...after all I went through, all the pain I saw my mum suffer...I married a man just like him. What does that say about me?"
James put his arms around her and pulled her close. Daisy lay her head on his chest, allowing his heartbeat to calm her.
"It means that you're human, and maybe...you need someone to talk to, someone who can help you sort all this out."
"A mind healer." Daisy nodded "That's what mum said too."
"I always did think Aunt Luna was pretty clever...and you know what they say about great minds..."
"Will you come with me?" She whispered, a quiet desperation twinging in her voice. "I don't think I can go if I have to go alone."
"Of course I will."
"I knew you would." She said softly and put her arms around him "You're always here for me James, always, always, always."
"It's always been you Daisy, there's never been anyone else for me. No one else who ever made me feel the way I feel when I am with you. I've loved you since we were five years old." He said softly as he stroked her hair gently. He bent his head and brushed his lips over her forehead.
Daisy wept into his chest "I love you too James. But I'm afraid...afraid of what that means. I want to be with you, but...I can't, not right now...and I don't know when I will be able to."
"I'll wait." He said simply
"What if you get tired of waiting? What if you leave?"
"I'll never leave you" He looked deeply into her eyes, his own offering a solemn and sincere promise."Ever. "
"Do you mean it? You'll wait for me?"
"I'd wait for you forever if that's what it took to have you in my life for even five minutes." He held her tighter and kissed her softly on the lips. "I'm yours Daisy, I always have been. I'll be here when you're ready. Until then...I'm still your best friend, always."
Daisy sighed and snuggled closer. A best friend....right now, that was what she truly needed. The rest...
...she'd trust her heart to decide when the time was right.
-Eighteen Months Later
"So, you ready for this?" Annie asked as she stared into Daisy's eyes via the reflection of the huge mirror in grandma Weasley's bedroom. Daisy's smile was huge, radiant. "I've been ready for this since..."
"Yeah, yeah, since you were five years old." Annie laughed and pulled a curl into place, then held it in place with a crystal hairpin.
"You know, given that fact that I am sharing my day with you, I should think you would be kind enough to not make fun of me in return."
Annie sat down on the bench and rolled her eyes. "If it were up to me, I wouldn't be doing this at all."
"I know, but, look at the bright side, your not only gaining a husband, but a house as well."
Annie patted her huge stomach. "Well, the way our not so little family keeps growing, the more room the better."
"I still can't believe it." Daisy shook her head "Triplets, and the twins aren't even a year old yet!"
"I know, I told Matt if he ever comes near me again, I am going to rip it off."
"Mommy Mommy Mommy!" RJ burst through the door and jumped into Daisy's lap, Grandpa on his heels. "Grandpas gonna get me!"
"Ooof!" Daisy let out of woof of air as he hit her hard in the stomach "RJ! Sweetie,remember what mummy told you?"
"Sorry mummy." RJ climbed out of her lap, then put his mouth by her stomach where a slight bulge was apparent under the off white silk. "Sorry baby."
"He had to remind me." George grumbled from the doorway
"Get over it daddy." Annie rolled her eyes. "We caved didn't we? Getting married and all that?"
"Well, you caved." Daisy grinned "I wanted to get married. Just...something beat us to the altar."
"Did it ever occur to either of you to wait until you were married to...to..." George blushed as he plopped into a chair by the window.
"To what Daddy?" Daisy asked with a mischievous smile
"Does he mean to HAVE SEX?" Annie supplied.
"You two are so funny, a real riot." George narrowed his eyes." Let's see if your laughing when you give the old man a heart attack and put me in St. Mungo's. Then who will walk you down the aisle?"
Daisy and Annie looked at one another and grinned. "Grandpa?" They said in unison.
"Really dad." Annie rolled her eyes "You mean to tell me, all the times we caught you and Luna snogging...and you two waited until you were married to get horizontal?"
Daisy laughed so hard she snorted.
"Annie...I'm warning you..." George was now as red as the rose he wore on the collar of his robes.
"Come on Daddy...tell the truth..." Daisy said, her voice ringing with giggles.
"Stop teasing your father." The girls turned to find Luna and Angelina standing in the doorway. "He's got quite enough to be going on about."
"Speaking of sex." Annie said with a wink at Luna"Is your condition one of the things Daddy has to be going on with?"
Luna sat down with a woof and rubbed her gigantic tummy. "I'll let you know in another three weeks smarty britches."
"Mummy?" RJ asked innocently from the corner "Whats Sex?"
"Thanks Annie." Daisy rolled her eyes
"Your welcome." Annie grinned cheekily
"What is it?" RJ asked again.
"That sweetheart, is something that I will let James about tell you ten years from now."
"Grandma...Grandpa..guess what? James is going to be my Daddy, right mummy!" RJ asked excitedly, bouncing up and down on the toes of his brand new dress shoes.
"We heard." George mumbled disagreeably as Luna elbowed him in the ribs.
"Yes he is." Daisy shot her father a warning look as she kissed the tip of RJ's nose. "Pretty soon now."
She smiled, thinking about the stack of paperwork sitting on her desk, just waiting for them to take them to the family affairs office that would turn Robert Jardin Hollingsworth into Robert Jardin Potter first thing on Monday morning.
It was something they ALL looked forward to.
- - -
"Your father keeps glaring at me." James said as he glided over the dance floor with his new wife.
"I'm not so sure it's you." Daisy said with a small smile "Annie and I were taking the mickey just before the wedding...I think he's still burning a little from that."
"He's angry that I got you pregnant."
"Well, there's that, yes. But, he wasn't that mad."
"He threatened to kill me Daise. Him and my father both."
"Oh, he was much more angry with Annie and Matt, he threatened Matt with disembowelment and to cut Annie out of the will if they didn't get married this time."
"He's buying them a house."
Daisy shrugged "Annie doesn't scare easily."
"That makes me feel much better." James rolled his eyes and dipped her so deep it made her squeal, then he pulled her close and whispered in her ear.
"I always knew it would be you Daisy. There was never anyone else for me, ever."
Daisy pulled back, her eyes moist. "I think...deep in my heart, I always knew it would be you too. For forever. Even when I was married to Robert...my heart wanted you."
James leaned in and kissed her, his lips so soft and sweet against hers. It was where Daisy knew she belonged...the only place she ever wanted to belong.
"May I?" George stood behind James, his hand out
"You're the only one I would let cut in."
"Suck up." George hissed as James let Daisy go.
"Is it working?"
"I'll let you know in twenty years kid, now, beat it."
James grinned and went to hunt up his own mother for a dance, meanwhile, George pulled his little girl into his arms and smiled down at her.
"Well, I never thought I would see the day...but, I guess this is it."
Daisy looked at him, puzzled.
"I finally understand why your Grandpa Xenophilius hated me so much at first."
"Grandpa loved you Daddy, you know that."
"Oh yes, after he had time to get used to me. But at first, he loathed me...and now, I understand why."
"And why is that?"
"Because he knew that I was the one, the one who was going to take his little girl away from him forever."
"How could he have known..."
"Because I looked at your mother the exact same way James looks at you. And you know, it doesn't help that I've had sixteen years to prepare for this moment, nor that I always knew it would be James. I still hate him."
"Hating is bad Daddy." Daisy softly admonished
"Can't help it sweetheart. It's a daddy's right to hate the bloke who takes his little girl away." He sighed deeply as a tear rolled down his cheek. "My little Daisy May is going away, and it doesn't help that I know you are going to a good place, to a wonderful man, nor that you will only be a few miles away. I'm going to miss you sweetheart."
"Oh daddy." Daisy hugged him tightly, giving up all pretense of dancing. "I love you so much...I am so lucky. I have the best Daddy in the world."
"No Daise...thank you. Thank you for getting lost that day." George said with a sad smile. "If you hadn't...I might never have been found."
"Is it my turn again yet?" James stood at George's elbow, his face hopeful for a return to his wifes arms. George kissed Daisy's cheek, then bowed and turned away.
It was time to find his other daughter...time to say goodbye to another little girl he loved with all his heart.
-Thanks to everyone who has read this story, and those who read Correcting Mistakes! Whew...it is such a relief to FINALLY get James and Daisy out of my head! Here's a little epilogue to the epilogue!
Daisy and James had five Children, (not counting RJ) three girls named Ginevra, Lily and Molly, and two boys James Sirius, Arthur George...and of course, RJ.
Luna's next, and last, child was a girl named Posey.
Annies Twins, which I never really went into, were boys, named George Charles and Fredrick Percy, her Triplets, were girls named Azalea Anne, Daisy May and Angelia Lee. The fact that Annie never had children after her triplets let to much speculation among the Weasley's that Annie had, in fact, "Ripped it off" However, after years of embarrassment and teasing, (and a fair amount of firewhiskey) Matt dropped his pants and proved that he was still in tact during a family picnic.
Freddy and Sylvia had two children, both boys. Over the years, Freddy and James managed to learn to be civil to one another, though for years Freddy continued to goad James over the fact that he would have been a "much more suitable husband" for Daisy. this ended abruptly however after James one Sunday dinner went up to Sylvia, put his arm over her head and leaned in and said "How YOU doin?"
Freddy never goaded James again.
Eventually, Daisy took over running the Quibbler. James returned to his job as an Auror until just before he and Daisy married. After, he took over running the joke shop in Hogsmeade. Harry was eventually offered the much rumored opening for Minister of Magic, he turned it down. Next, it was offered to his second in command
Ron, thinking it was all a big joke, owled back and said "Yeah sure, why not."
And that was how Ron Weasley, to his own considerable shock, at last topped all of his brothers achievments in one fell swoop...
By becoming Minister of Magic.