Can We Begin?
An offshoot from "Red Riding Hoodies and Teenage Wolves"
Warnings: Slash, Het, Language, Mentions of Suicide
Spoilers: Up to Eclipse but I threw Breaking Dawn under the tires of a truck. All of Harry Potter but throw out the epilogue. Some spoilers for "RRHTW." If you don't want to ruin the story for yourselves, don't read this.
Summary: All around her life moves on. Everyone gets married, has kids, and lives happily ever after. When does she get hers? When does her happily ever after begin?
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or Twilight.
AN: My blog is posted on my profile. If you care to read it, you'll get background info on this story.
"Calling...Calling Potter Harry..." she half whispered, half choked into the object awkwardly clutched in her right hand.
She waited in aching silence, feeling really tired with everything. There was eventually a crackling noise, and than a voice issued forth from the mirror.
"Leah? It's one in the morning. Is everything alright?"
"No," she managed to say without crying her way through it. She didn't want to worry him just yet, "I need someone here with me. I need you here, Harry."
"Do you want me to bring Seth?"
"No!" she exclaimed, wincing at the suspicion that crossed Harry's face. Leah could see the faint outline of someone behind Harry and knew it was her brother hovering over his shoulder, "Just-just you Harry. Please."
It hurt to sound so helpless, and even more to know she really was. There was muffled conversation on the other end of the line, and saw Harry move out of sight to give a parting kiss to Seth. The two of them were always unfailingly discrete about their relationship around her. Anything that went beyond hand holding and hugging was done out of view. She felt guilty some times about making them scared of expressing themselves around her. Her initial reaction to their relationship had made them afraid to offend her. Harry soon returned.
"I'll be there in a minute. Just let me throw on a shirt."
He waited until she nodded before cutting off the call. In the dark of her apartment, she sat in the chair against the wall, watching the hands of the clock illuminated by a shaft of moonlight tick. In what seemed like forever and no time at all, she heard a soft pop sound from the living room adjacent to the kitchen, and footsteps grew closer until she could see him silhouetted in the doorway.
"Now tell me what's wrong Leah," Harry said firmly, crossing the kitchen so he could kneel beside where she sat against the wall.
"I don't know," she whispered, "I just don't know anymore."
"You've got to talk to me. I won't know how to help you if you don't tell me what it is."
"I don't know why I'm alive anymore Harry," Leah said, staring down at her wrists blankly.
"Leah..." Harry moved closer to her, looking disturbed.
"I mean, after Sam left me, I wanted to die. I really wanted to die because being dead would be better than seeing him with Emily instead of being with me. Instead of marrying me and having 2.5 kids with me. But Seth and my mom were there for me. God knows I would've done it Harry. I would've done it, especially after Dad died. But they needed me. And the pack needed me. There were vampires to kill and Seth to watch out for. And as much as it sucked to be in Sam's head seeing him and Emily again and again, I could get over that. I could get over it as long as there were vampires and Seth and mom to take care of. But you know what happened?"
Harry stayed silent.
"Seth went to college in England so he could be with you. Even Mom left me, went and married Chief Swan. The vampires stopped coming. Just those fucking Cullens are left up on the hill and they don't even react anymore when I cross territory lines. I run the woods looking for something all the way into Canada, but all there is up there is snow and trees. Nothing to kill, no one to protect. And yet I'm still a Quileute protector." She paused flexing her fingers. "My job has stopped being necessary. I'm useless."
"Leah, don't you dare say that about yourself!"
"Why? It's true. Seth doesn't need me, he has you. Mom doesn't either; she's finally over Dad's death and trying to be someone else's wife again. I'm the only wolf who patrols anymore. Everyone else is out there having children, having a life. I'm tired, I'm just so tired, of being stuck like this. I want a family again. I don't want to be alone anymore Harry. I'm so alone and no one wants me or needs me anymore."
She tapered off. Tears leaked out of the corners of her eyes as she looked up at him, and her bottom lip quivered violently. Breath hitched uncontrollably and she burst into sobs, fiercely trying to wipe away moisture off of her face, her nails raking across her cheeks. Harry reached forward and grabbed each of her wrists, forcefully, trying to stop her from hurting herself.
"Leah, shh, shh, Leah, please stop, Leah," he repeated the mantra over and over again.
Her head shook, her eyes were shut tight, and she tried to draw into herself more tightly.
"They keep on sending me letters, Harry. They tell me how blissfully happy they are. And I don't want to hear it. They think they're being nice, keeping me involved but all they're doing is bragging. 'Look at our children. Here's a nice picture of something you'll never have due to your defective uterus and bad attitude, so sorry,'" she ground out bitterly, the tears pouring unimpeded now, "What the hell am I supposed to say to them? That I'm glad they have everything I want?"
"You know why I had to call you? Do you?"
"Because I've spent days sitting in front of the computer looking up ways to kill myself. I actually spent time trying to figure out what would do the job keep the healing from bringing me back. I'm not okay. If I'm left alone any longer, I'm going to down a jug of bleach and slit my wrists or shoot myself or something. I can't go like that. Not after everything. Killing myself, it's not- Please, just help me," she begged, her fingers grasping his shirt tightly, "Help me Harry, or I swear to God I'm going to kill myself."
Her desperate eyes settled on his face. He looked back into them with his own troubled greens.
"Of course I will," Harry told her, placing both his hand on her cheeks and wiping the tear tracks away with his thumbs, "I'm sorry you've had to struggle like this for so long. If I'd known, if Seth had known, we would've come immediately. You know that."
Shame coursed through her.
"I know. I was embarrassed. I felt weak. I wanted to be strong."
"We can't be strong all of the time. Werewolf, vampire, wizard, human. We're all weak sometimes. Merlin knows, I had my utter lows before Seth. But the only thing that can help us be strong when we can't do it on our own is having someone to lean on for support. Seth and I have always been willing to lend you ours."
Unable to speak with all the emotion clogging in her throat, she simply nodded, knowing he was right.
"I want you to pack some of your things and come back with to England with me."
"Are you sure?" she asked, "I mean, you and Seth, I won't be screwing anything up will I?"
"Don't worry about it," he reassured her, "Just get your ass moving already Leah. You're coming home with me whether you like it or not."
And so she did.
A couple months had passed since she'd moved in with her brother and his lover. Things were starting to settle since the initial awkwardness of her arrival. It was humbling to have had to rely on Harry that night to keep her from doing something stupid. Though she and Harry had their ups and downs over the years they'd known each other, Harry was the only person she'd trusted to understand what she was going through and offer support when she needed it. The worst part of that night was explaining to her poor brother just what she'd been planning. She'd expected Seth to be angry or upset with her, but he'd just hugged her and apologized for leaving her, thinking it was his fault she'd become suicidal. For the second time that night she'd burst into tears and yelled him, telling him he was stupid for ever thinking he was to blame for her own stupidity.
It was strange reconnecting with Seth after the years he'd spent away in England. He'd visit every year at Thanksgiving, but a lot of the closeness had waned during their time apart. Living together again breathed new life to their relationship as brother and sister. She was involved in his life again, learning what was new beyond just seeing him all grown up and taller than she was. Before he'd left, he'd had plans to go work at the garage in La Push once he was done with high school. College had always seemed like a very far off impractical dream for both of the Clearwater kids, considering how hard it had been to support the family before and after their father's death. Harry had made it a reality for Seth. This was his forth year of college, and he was working towards becoming a teacher. It was a shock to realize that Seth had always wanted to something like that with his life. When Seth had left, she'd resented his decision and Harry for supporting it. Now she knew that Seth had needed to go. Staying on the reservation would have completely crushed his spirit the way it did many of the other Quileute kids.
Being away from La Push herself had also helped her too. She no longer felt pressured to patrol, or have to meet up with the pack. She no longer had to go to her boring job at the burger joint. In fact, Harry had gotten her a job at the coffee shop down the street. The people there were nice, and it was amazing to see how fascinated customers and coworkers alike were by her American accent and exotic features. Most of the Brits she'd met had never met a Native American in their entire lives. In La Push, she hadn't been anything special. Here, she was. She wondered idly sometimes if this was what it had been like for Harry when he'd been staying in Forks.
Every day, she thought less and less about being depressed. There were so many things to distract herself with here. It was a whole new country. It was hard to be depressed when everything was new and exciting. Sometimes, things would creep on her. She'd pass a park and stare longingly at the mothers with their children. But whenever it felt too stifling, she'd call Harry. At first she refused to open up. After the first couple of times she'd locked herself up in the guest room of their flat to brood, Harry had stolen her door and threatened to dye her hair orange if she didn't promise to call on either him or Seth, regardless of importance or availability, if she needed to talk. Knowing he was just worried for her, she'd taken him up on that suggestion (order), and had come to find that it felt good. They had their serious conversations, their not so serious conversations, and even times where if she just felt the need to scream, and curse, he'd sit in the same room with her while she did so.
All in all, Leah was getting back on her feet, slowly but surely. She'd even managed to have a brief romantic relationship with a colleague of Harry's named Dennis Creevey. Even if it hadn't worked out in the end, Leah had enjoyed being girly for a while, dressing up for dates. It had been a mutual break up and she'd been no worse for wear after it.
Today had been a normal day at Dane and Deena's, average number of customers, at least one person hitting on her. The guy had been cute, tall with soulful eyes. She considered calling him since he'd slipped her his number. With a giddy sigh, she departed from the shop, waving goodbye to her coworker Lisa as she passed through the door. The walk from there to home was short. It made getting to work a snap most mornings. Fumbling with the keys, she eventually got the door open only to want to slam it shut again the minute she did.
Like many other times, she walked in on Harry and Seth "snogging" as Lisa had informed her the word was. It had never happened at the beginning of their relationship because the two of them always kept their necking and other activities within the confines of Billy's place whenever the man was out. Being under the same roof made it difficult to keep it out of sight. One thing that wasn't new about her brother or Harry was the intensity of their feelings for one another. Even after years together (and their postponing any intimacy at the beginning), Harry and Seth were still impossibly in love. Of course, that passion for one another lead to some awkward moments that Leah seemed destined to interrupt.
Now was one such moment. There were abandoned plates of food on one end of the table. On the other, Seth was on his back with Harry on top of him, kissing her brother heatedly, almost as if he was devouring him. Unfortunately, the door had caught Harry's attention even though Leah had hoped to slip past them and into her room unnoticed. She and Harry locked eyes with each another, both flushed, though Harry's flush was more from lack of oxygen from all of the kissing he'd been doing. Seth, still dazed from the assault on his lips, hadn't even acknowledged Leah's presence, remaining laid out on the table whining -whining! - at the loss of Harry's body laid across his own.
"Uh..." She shifted back and forth on her feet, "I'm just going to uh, go do something. That thing! Back there. In my room. And not be, uh, here. Yeah. That's what I'll do. Bye!"
Quickly, she sprinted out of there and into her room, and tried to drive the scene out of her head like all of the others she had to. One of these days, she was going to make a quarter jar for every time this kind of thing happened.
There was a knock at her door a couple hours later.
"What is it Seth?"
"Sorry about earlier."
She could practically hear his blush.
"S'Alright. I've learned by now that you and Harry'll never be able to keep it in you your pants."
There was a choke on the other side of the door, and she snickered at him. It was good to know she could still tease the brat.
"Can I come in?"
"Sure, your home."
"Yours too Leah," Seth corrected, letting himself in, "I wanted to give you the heads up. We have an unexpected guest. Harry's godson is visiting for the holidays."
Harry had talked about the kid once. He'd been telling her about one of his old friends he'd lost during the war. A werewolf by the name of Remus Lupin. Being a wolf herself, she'd been interested by the werewolves of his story. Apparently, the man had had a son before both he and his wife had died and named Harry his godfather. Harry had seemed very sad when talking about his godson. She felt it was because he'd lost his own parents to war, it was something he probably wished he didn't have in common with the boy. But what she did know was that Harry cared a lot for him, about as much as he cared for Seth.
"Is he here already?"
"Yeah. Do you want to go out and meet him?"
She considered it for a moment. She was still fairly presentable even after getting off from work not so long ago. Leah nodded and followed Seth out into the living room. The table had been cleared of the plates and thankfully, of horny men as well. Harry was seated in one of the chairs, talking animatedly to another person who was sitting in the chair across from him. The stranger had their back to both Leah and Seth. It was a bit of a shock to see how old the boy was. Even from behind, she guesstimated him being at about late teens early twenties. Considering he'd been a baby when Harry himself was a teenager, she was reminded of just how old Harry was getting, regardless of how youthful he looked. She knew he was older than her, but excluding his bursts of seriousness, he looked and acted like a big kid. Right at the minute, he was making funny faces at what she assumed was his godson. She watched the boy's shoulders shake with mirth at his godfather's antics.
"Oh, Leah," Harry said, finally noticing them approaching, "Hey! I'd like you to meet Teddy."
Her gaze shifted from Harry over to the boy and froze the moment the boy had completely turned around to see who his godfather had been addressing. Her eyes locked with golden amber eyes that eerily reminded her of the Cullens' eyes when not hungry. Such eyes would've usually unnerved her, but that didn't seem the case this time. She watched in awe as the shade changed to a darker brown than ocean blue hue. She should've been shocked, or freaked out by the sight of it, but all she could do was stare. In the back of her mind, she was faintly aware of Harry clearing his throat to start introductions. She ignored him though, taking step by step forward until she was standing closer than arms length to the boy. He stared back at her, a curious look upon his face as he observed her. Hesitantly, she reached out and pushed some of his unruly colored hair out of his face. His breath hitched a little as one of her fingers just brushed along his skin.
A jolt went through her as well at the contact. Unable to stop herself, she lurched forwards and her lips met with his. The kiss was soft, chaste. The second it started, it stopped as both of them stepped back from one another, Teddy now confused and she herself feeling horrified at what she had done. She looked at Harry whose mouth hung open in shock. Turning to face Seth, she could see some understanding mixed with concern in his expression. Swinging back around to look at the boy one more time, she prepared to run back to her room and pray that what she thought just happened hadn't really. Her attempt to flee was caught short when a surprisingly strong hand caught her elbow and halted her movement.
"Wait!" the beautifully unfamiliar voice spoke.
Unwillingly, she did.
"You're Seth's sister Leah right?"
She nodded, though she didn't look back at him.
"I'm Harry's godson Teddy."
Dear God, she'd just forced herself on Harry's godson. She wouldn't blame him if he tossed her out of his place. Glancing at Harry, she was shocked to see a rather smug look on his face.
"I'm not sure if kissing is a traditional American greeting, but I'm pleased to meet you."
Leah couldn't help the inward squeal at the kid's manners and naiveté. It was unbelievably adorable and unexpected considering his appearance and who his godfather was. She was startled when the hand on her elbow released it and pulled her face to his. He was kissing her! A moment of stunned disbelief melted into contentment as she kissed back. Eventually, he pulled away, out of breath. She on the other hand, instantly felt disappointed his lips were no longer on hers. Breathless for different reasons than he was, she finally spoke.
It wasn't the sappy poetry she could've spewed about how perfect this single moment was, but it would suffice. Teddy gave her a dazzling smile that made her heart beat two times faster than its already unnatural pace.
"Hi to you too."
Warmth spread in her chest. This was the beginning of something wonderful.