Harry woke with Olivia jumping up and down at the end of the bed they had been sharing. She was giggling and babbling enthusiastically as she hopped from one side of the bed to the other, avoiding Harry's body as if he were some obstacle course. Harry groaned, covering his head with a pillow and began muttering obscenities into the fabric. She had stayed out until four o'clock in the bloody morning, how the fuck was she up so early?
"Daddy the clock says it's after two! I let you sleep so wake up!" Olivia ordered, pouncing on Harry's back making him groan in frustration; Olivia giggled with delight, she thought it was the funniest thing in the world.
"Alright, alright Devil Spawn! I'm up!" Harry snapped throwing the pillow off his head. Still half asleep he rolled out of bed landing hard on the wooden floor still disoriented. Groaning at the hard landing, Harry laid there for a moment until he got his bearings. Olivia continued to watch him now perched at the end of the bed with an amused grin.
"If I'm devil spawn, it's your fault!" Olivia replied with a cheeky grin. Harry snorted, the girl hung out with his men too much if she was already coming back with clever retorts.
"I suppose you're right." Harry consented as he got to his feet. "Since you're already dressed, why don't you head down the stairs and watch some telly. I'll be down there in twenty minutes—you can time me." Harry raised his brows suggestively knowing watching television was a treat for his young daughter. Generally his men took over the electronics, and the crap they watched was far too mature for a four year old to hear/watch. Apparently cartoons and nursery rhymes weren't his men's 'thing'. Harry wouldn't hold it against them, they would humor his daughter and play games with her whenever she gave them a little smile—she had everyone wrapped around her little finger, she was such a spoiled brat.
Olivia sped out of the room as soon as he mentioned television, allowing Harry a few minutes of peace to get ready for the day. The first thing on his to do list: a nice warm shower.
Harry exited his bedroom twenty minutes later feeling clean and more awake. He opened his door to find Greg exiting his own quarters.
"I see Olivia let you sleep in." Gregory stated with a chuckle, the two men could hear the television blaring downstairs. Some nameless children's television show no doubt captivating his daughter's mind and brainwashing her.
"Yes, she's getting better at that. Teaching her how to make her own breakfast was the smartest thing I ever did." Harry laughed, knowing he was a terrible parent. But at least if he was going to lack in the parental supervision arena, his daughter knew the basics on how to take care of her needs. His fat, ugly cousin couldn't even muster the will to wipe his own ass at Olivia's age. "What time did you get in?" Harry asked as they reached the bottom of the stairs.
"Hmm…a little before seven." Harry chuckled, knowing his friend was still exhausted.
"I'll make the coffee." Harry offered as he headed towards the kitchen. As he approached his destination, the aroma of pancakes, sausage, bacon, eggs, and coffee flooded his nose in an overwhelming aroma that made his empty stomach grumble in need. He knew Preacher was working, Olivia was in the living room—no one else should be there. Tugging at his wand, he released it from his holster and kicked the swinging door of the kitchen open, a frightened scream emitted from within. What the hell?
Harry poked his head inside, his mouth nearly dropping in surprise to find a lovely female specimen hard at work cooking in a hot kitchen—it was kind of arousing. Shaking his head, Harry stepped further in, a small smirk slowly forming on his face as he folded his arms at the frightened young lady who was trying to cool her body by airing her shirt out—giving Harry a perfect view of her voluptuous breasts.
"Carla, what are you doing here?" Carla was a steady fling Harry had been seeing over the last year and a half. She seemed to always have a way of finding him. She was a hot little thing, Italian with long legs like a spider that he loved to wrap around his…. Um, what was she doing in his kitchen again?
"I ran into Greggie at the bar last night, he told me you were in town." Carla stated with a smile as she came over and wrapped her arms around Harry's neck, pulling him in for a deep, sensual kiss. Carla knew her place in Harry's life—she wasn't his 'girlfriend' or his official 'woman'. That place had been specified only for Sonja. However, Carla was respected and Harry's boys knew she was off limits and to leave her alone. Carla knew Harry had other girls he occasionally slept with when he partied with his boys, but she knew they meant nothing to him. At the end of the day, he'd always come back to her—and she seemed alright with that. Harry thought it was weird, what kind of girl was accepting to the fact of their man going behind their back to sleep with other girls on a whim?
It wasn't that Harry was bad with relationships; he just didn't care to be in a full-on committed relationship. In his eyes, no one was going to replace Sonja. So why bother pretending by leading other women along? Carla knew the rules, she knew Harry's boundaries, and everyone was happy—the end.
"I made you breakfast." Carla announced, finally pulling away from Harry, a smile crinkling her face. Harry smirked, Carla never cooked—she wanted something, hopefully not more money. Harry thanked her with a peck to the cheek, and began to put some food on his plate. He called for Greg and Olivia to get in there and get some food. Greg thanked Carla much in the same fashion as Harry did, Olivia was less enthusiastic, but she didn't care much for Carla.
"Sweetie, you should let me cut your hair." Carla suggested, running her fingers through Olivia's tangled ends. Olivia winced as Carla's fingers got stuck at the ends of her hair. Harry had to withhold a chuckle as Olivia glared at her father, wishing he would call Carla away from her. Harry didn't say anything though, Olivia needed some form of motherly figure in her life—given it wasn't a 'stable' motherly figure, Carla wasn't around that often to make that much of an impact.
"I like my hair the way it is." Olivia mumbled around a mouthful of pancake. Carla ordered her not to talk with her mouth full as she poured Harry and Greg some coffee. Olivia continued to give Carla hostile looks through the rest of the meal as Harry, Greg, and Carla made small talk. There wasn't much to talk about. Unlike Sonja, Carla was kept out of the family business. Carla didn't talk about her family life, and Harry never truly got a sense of what she did for a living. Like himself, Carla was a mystery—perhaps that's why they stayed so long together, they matched.
Gregory left to go to his regular day job. At the moment that meant some garage downtown where he served as a part-time mechanic when it suited him. Olivia had left as soon as her plate was clean, the television beckoning her. Harry helped Carla clean up the kitchen, he using his magic, Carla of course going about it the muggle way.
"How's work going for you?" Harry asked as he dried the rest of the dishes. Carla frowned as Harry took the easy way out to use his wand to put the dishes away. Harry smirked at the look on her face; she always told him using magic to do manual chores makes people lazy. He supposed it was because she didn't understand the concept. He took his seat back down at the kitchen table to finish up the last of his coffee. His eyes assessed the beautiful woman in front of him. Carla was twenty years old, why she preferred a younger guy—Harry had no idea. He questioned at times if she even knew his real age, but he wasn't going to be the one to burst her bubble. Her long dark chocolate brown tendrils were pulled up into a twist, held back by an oriental clip he had gifted her a couple months ago while they had been out shopping in London. She wore a bohemian styled skirt and a lacy camisole that barely concealed a very sexy black pushup bra that was turning him on the more he looked at it. She was seductive without ever really trying. The complete opposite of the other sluts that generally threw themselves at him at the bars he went to.
"I'm thinking about quitting to be honest, my boss keeps breathing down my neck." Carla confessed, wiping dishwater from her face, grabbing loose pieces of her hair that had escaped her clip as she did so. Harry finished his coffee and came to stand behind her, resting his hands upon her hips as he traced the back of her neck with his lips. She let out a gentle moan and turned around to capture his lips with her own. Pulling away, her dark eyes stared back into his; something was troubling her—something more than this job. Stepping away, Harry ran his hands through his hair, a thoughtful frown tugging on his lips.
"Carla, what are you doing here?" Carla licked her lips, an action that made Harry nearly groan—ugh, he needed to get laid.
"Can we talk—out in the garden, there's something that I've needed to talk to you about." Carla admitted, looking down at her feet. Hmm, was the girl finally going to break up with him? Well, it would be a first, but Harry wasn't going to knock it until he tried it—snorts. Harry nodded for her to go on ahead; he walked passed his daughter in the living room, gently kissing her on the head as he went by. She barely paid him any attention, her eyes transfixed to the stupid television screen.
The garden was a descent size; they definitely needed to get some workers back there to get it cleaned up. It was overgrown, spells had been used to keep the weeds away—but it seemed as if Mother Nature had unleashed her wrath in the backyard. Harry had trouble finding the water fountain he used to take Olivia to when she was a toddler. They had kept large koi fish there, and would often feed them during the spring and summer. Enchantments were used to keep them alive during the winter beneath the ice. Harry would be surprised if they were still alive.
Carla sat down at the fountain first, smiling as she ran her fingers through the water. Sure enough, beneath the rippling surface Harry saw the koi he and Olivia would visit—they had gotten huge. Their vibrant colors looked like underwater balls of flame as they swam about the fountain. "I love this house Harry; it's a pity you don't come here more often." Carla stated with a sad smile, wrapping her arm around Harry's waist, trying to get warm from the cool breeze.
"What did you want to talk about?" Harry asked, wanting to get this conversation over as soon as possible. It bothered him when people were hesitant about telling him something, that usually meant bad news, or they did something to piss him off—it was usually the latter of the two. Carla moved away from him, her arm slipping from around his waist in order to look him directly in the eye. Harry had to reframe from raising his brow sarcastically at her all too sudden move to become dramatically serious. He decided to bite the inside of his lip inside, hoping it wasn't quirking with his hidden smirk.
Carla closed her eyes and took a deep break, her fingers becoming entangled with the fabric of her skirt as she rested her hands in her lap. "Harry, I know you're going to be angry—I mean we made sure to take precautions and everything. And I know how you feel about any for m of commitment with women at the moment, I'm not delusional. These things just happen, and I couldn't control it—please don't be angry with me!" Carla was babbling unintelligibly at that point, but Harry was getting the idea—he knew where this conversation was going, and he didn't like it one bit. Standing up from the fountain, his back turned from Carla, he lit up a cigarette and took his first long drag of the day, allowing his brain cells to die and that beautiful high feeling to calm his anger.
She told him she was on the fucking pill. She didn't want him using contraceptive potions or charms because she thought they were 'unnatural'. So he respected her rights as a muggle and decided to take on the muggle pharmaceutical approach, fat shitload of good that did! He was barely able to take care of his own daughter properly, but adding Carla and another child into the mix—he couldn't do it. Turning back to look at Carla, he noted the tears falling down her face and tried to control his anger as he finished off his cigarette rather quickly. Clenching his hands a few times until he heard his knuckles pop, Harry finally took his seat beside the distraught mother to be.
Taking her hand into his, Harry counted back from ten and allowed himself a few more moments of silence to collect himself. "So you're pregnant—how far along are you?" Harry asked, trying to seem somewhat interested with the new of a child on the way. Carla smiled, thinking Harry was happy about the baby.
"A little over four months, but I wasn't keeping anything from you Harry, I swear. I've known for less than a month, and I haven't been able to get a hold of you. Your cell changed again, and then you switched locations twice. No one at those houses ever seems to give you my messages." Harry reframed from telling her he got every single one of her messages, he simply chose not to call her back as he had other important things to do—like run a gang, take care of his daughter, and have a 'personal life'—or what was left of it.
"Four months along, how could you possibly not know? Don't you women bleed like a slaughtered cow once a month or something, and if you don't that means you're knocked up?" Carla scowled at him, apparently not at all amused at Harry's identification of how the human body works.
"You don't have to like the fact I'm having a baby Harry, but you can't deny the child is yours. You know I would never be loyal to anyone but you—even if that promise is only one sided." Harry knew she'd throw this back in his face one day, but he knew now was not the time to bring up the definition of their relationship again, and how it was going to continue to work. What they needed to work out was the child growing in Carla's stomach and how the infant was going to be taken care of.
"Let's not fight Carla, just tell me—what do you want to do about the baby?" Harry asked, having to light up yet another cigarette—feeling terrible that he couldn't even manage to hold off until he was out of Carla's perimeter. Second-hand smoke was bad for regular blokes; he imagined it was twice as bad for women that were knocked up. Carla seemed to agree, as she snatched the butt from his lips and threw it directly into the pond. "That's not very nice." Harry stated with a grin, utterly amused at Carla's fiery temper.
"Can you just be serious with me, for once? I have to quit my job because my boss keeps stressing me out to the point that he's making me sick! My parents disowned me two years ago so I don't have them to turn to during this pregnancy, and now my baby's daddy who runs an entire underground operation can't give me ten minutes of his time to discuss his future child's life!" Ouch, talk about going below the belt. Groaning, Harry cracked his neck and turned back to Carla, this time taking on a serious persona.
"I'm sorry, but honestly, what do you want to do about the baby? Obviously you plan on having the child, or else we wouldn't be having this conversation right now, yes?" Carla nodded, tears still coming down her cheeks. "Do you want to keep the child after it's born, or is adoption even an option?" Harry was treading carefully; noting wanted to make the pregnant woman blow a fuse. Carla was silent for a long time though, and that made Harry realize that she too had been thinking things over.
At last she finally looked up at him, a certain sparkle in her eye that Sonja shared the day that she came home with the news of being pregnant with Olivia. It was that determination that said there was no way in hell this mother was going to give up on the flesh and blood growing in her womb. Harry had to smile back, proud that he had found another woman who was strong and would protect her young as fiercely as Sonja, and Harry's own mother had. "The child is mine, ours—it is a part of us, and no matter what I won't allow anyone to take that away from me." Harry nodded in consent and leaned in giving her a gentle kiss on the mouth.
"I'll take care of you, and the child. It might not be a glamorous life, but I'll try to make this happen. I'll buy you a house someplace quiet and safe where you can raise our baby without fear." Harry wondered if life's cards were played out right, he'd be able to leave Olivia with Carla as well. Then, given a few more years of hard work—he'd be able to leave the Seekers to Sly, or Gregory, or even Preacher. After all, he didn't want to be a leader of a gang forever that would just be pitiful. One day he would move away from this godforsaken country, move to the America's, change his name, and start all over.
He'd have a life where no one had heard of Harry Potter, the boy-who-lived. Where muggle gangs like the Crips and the Bloods ruled, and the Seekers were a simple legend other gangs thrived to live up to. A place where Shadow would be a distant memory and Harry could be just Harry. He could daydream of a life where Olivia could go to a muggle elementary school, and Harry would live as a domesticated house parent. As odd as it would seem to some people, Harry would love nothing more. He wanted stability, and though the Seekers had been his family for nearly all his life, stability was the one thing they could never offer him.
But right now, he had business to take care of. The first thing he needed to do was contact Landon and see if he had heard from that spineless shit, Fingers. He wanted retribution for putting his daughter's life on the line to be swift, painful, and infamous. No one from his gang will even utter a thought in their dreams of turning their backs on the Seekers when he was done with Fingers, Harry would make sure of that himself.
So that was chapter 2, I know COMPLETELY different than the original. I kind of like it though, it's not so rainbow spewing daisies. This chapter was slow, but it will definitely pickup after this. What did you guys think, old fans and new fans?
Hey, sorry to bug people with this—but what I really need right now is a Beta reader that will look over my finished chapters, edit, send it back and give feedback when needed. I tried going through the whole
Beta lists they have on this site. Not only was it confusing, but I couldn't find anyone I was looking for.
If there are any Beta readers out there that are a fan of The Seekers (we all know how bad my grammar is) I would love your help. I'm one of those editors that no matter how many times I will skim through my projects for mistakes I will miss the most obvious things.
So if you could contact me through the e-mail on , or leave a way to contact you through reviews I would forever appreciate it. I just need a fresh set of eyes to look it over. So the quicker I get some help, the sooner updates will most likely be.
Thanks for your time everybody,