A/N: Hello there my faithful readers, I have finally started posting the sequel to "Continuum", only about a month late. Had a bit of a medical issue (not that I ever have those) and it needed to be dealt with, which is what caused the delay. Two bits of news: 1) Continuum has won the award for the best completed on Sink Into Your Eyes. Anyone who is cross-registered at the two sites, thanks so much for nominating and voting. 2) I am participating in the National Novel Writing Month event, and if you'd like to read my original story entitled "Flight" please see my author page for the link. I'm having a blast writing it, and the fact that "Ranímer" is posted at all is due in part to my being able to get my creative juices flowing again with "Flight". Thanks to my awesome betas, MyGinevera and Arnel. They really have kept me from literary disaster. I hope you enjoy. I'll be posting on Thursday or Friday most weeks, so this is a once a week thing. Thanks again, MNF
by: Mutt N. Feathers
Ranimer (French): to rekindle a fire, restore, renew hope
January 5, 1998
Harry's mind was still reeling, and it wasn't just because he'd only recently traveled back to nineteen ninety-eight from nineteen eighty. To Harry, it felt like about an hour of his life had passed since he'd left the old time and arrived in this one, for everyone else, eighteen years had passed. His head was overstuffed with memories - two lifetimes worth - and in several places they conflicted wildly.
The first set, the ones that he was having an easier time sorting through, were from his "first" life, or at least that was how he was going to classify them. This was his life where his parents were murdered when he was one year old, the life where his childhood was spent in the house of his dreadful aunt and uncle and with his repugnant cousin, Dudley. This was the life where he was hunted by Voldemort, and where he'd finally taken matters into his own hands and gone back in time to rid the world of the menace before he could get too much of a stranglehold on Wizarding society. This was also the world where he had Ginny Weasley.
Ginny, who'd stood by his side through all manner of tangles that he'd gotten himself into in school. The girl who he'd saved from the Chamber of Secrets and was his best friend's sister. Ginny, who helped him out of his funk when he began to suspect, during that cold Christmas at Grimmauld Place, that Voldemort had some kind of hold on him Ginny, who laughed when he did, cried along with him, and fought just as hard and fierce as anyone he knew. Ginny who married him before they went back in time, together, to defeat the Dark Lord and save his family.
They'd succeeded on both tasks. Voldemort was gone, and Harry's parents were alive - he was sitting across from them right now and had grown up with his four younger siblings. This was the "second" life, the new one. Here, Harry grew up happy and loved, getting in trouble with his siblings, friends and cousins. In these memories, Ginny was always there too, but their bond wasn't forged by shared adversity but rather by parallel lives. He had her love here too, until he was reckless with her and her love. There was an emptiness inside Harry that he couldn't explain, but he knew wouldn't be filled with anything but the love of the woman that, until a short time ago, he called his beloved wife.
Being married hadn't been easy, at least not at first. Neither of them was really prepared, and if they were honest about it, there was a whole lot that they didn't know about the other when they wed. Harry had no idea that it took a girl over an hour to get ready in the morning, and it really didn't matter that she was doing it in the only loo. He didn't know that at night she brushed her hair out one hundred times on each side before she would allow him to get amorous or before she fell asleep. He had no idea that she liked to eat ice cream right out of the carton, or that raspberries were her favorite, or that she wore silky little knickers and bras, or that she liked to bury her toes under his calves on chilly mornings while they still lay in bed. He didn't know that she cried when she was frustrated or that she was more stubborn than he'd ever imagined. Those were things that he learned about her in the year that they were in the past.
Now, she was in France, he was in Scotland, and she refused speak to him.
He could also remember, ever since she told him to leave her alone on that awful August day, that he'd been trying to fill his life with other things, and regardless of how hard he tried, it didn't work. Harry couldn't fully put the pieces of that puzzle together, so he had decided to ignore them for now. He knew that he'd get back to sorting the mangled and shattered bits of his love life before too long.
The young man sat across from his parents, who looked older than when he'd last seen them, only minutes ago in his head but nearly eighteen years removed for them. His mother was still beautiful, her auburn hair pulled into a loose ponytail, wearing pajama bottoms and an oversized sweatshirt with the name of a Muggle primary school on it. He recognized it from his new memories as the one that he'd gone to, and that his sisters now attended. His brother was at Hogwarts with him. His Dad hadn't lost his youthful good looks, and he knew that it was still obvious that Harry was James Potter's son. His father had trimmed his hair short now, so it wasn't sticking out the way Harry's tended to, and there was grey at his father's temples. A few faint wrinkles were also written onto James Potter's face, but it made him look distinguished, rather than just old. All in all, Harry thought that his parents looked good for being nearly thirty-eight years old. They looked at him as if he should have something to say, but a coherent thought couldn't form in his mind, but he knew he had to say something.
"I'm just having problems," he stammered out. "How can I really recall things from two completely different lives?"
"I know that Albus went over all of this with you before you left," Lily told him in that motherly, almost–but–not–quite scolding way. "I was there. The memories of the life that you led before you went back in time will begin to fade rapidly and the new memories will take over. Eventually, all that you might know of that other life will be snippets, like dreams."
"Now, if there are things that you want to remember," James joined the conversation, "we can either copy the memories and you can keep them for the pensieve, or you can write them down. I suppose that you could do both, actually."
"Yeah, there are a few..." Harry trailed off, obviously lost in his thoughts. A moment later, he snapped back to the world where his parents were patiently looking at him. "Okay, I'm trying to get things straight here. We live at Potter Manor, and it's outside Portree, Scotland, right?"
"That's right, son. Your Mum here works at St. Mungo's in the Experimental Medical Potions Department," James touted his wife's accomplishments. Harry had a confused look on his face while he searched his memories.
"You've got your Potions Master certification," Harry half asked as he continued to probe his own memories. "You did it while I was still a little kid and when you were pregnant with...Evan?"
"Yes, your brother's name is Evan," Lily answered his question with a chuckle. "Can't believe that you are having trouble remembering that, you certainly screamed it often enough when you were younger At first you were enamored with being a big brother, then you hated it, now you like it again. You're especially fond of your little sisters."
"Huh," Harry distractedly answered.
"Your siblings are Evan Andrew, he's thirteen and in his third year at Hogwarts, in Gryffindor, plays on the Quidditch team with you. Then there's Emma, she's going to be eleven in a month."
"She's the one that wants to go to France for her birthday?"
"Yes," James answered with a shake of his head. "Emma's birthday is two days before Lilyan Black's. They're like two peas in a pod. Both have that dark hair, green eyes, and they are the best of friends, always have been. Emma would have found a way to get herself to France, even if we said no, not that we ever would have."
"Sounds like she's got you wrapped around her finger, Dad."
"No more so than you have your Mum wrapped around yours."
"James, don't go telling him that," Lily chastised her husband, but the playful banter between his parents seemed familiar and comforting to Harry. It was exactly like when they were all together before the battle.
"Yes, well, your sister, Emma Llyn is a force of nature. We'll try to run a little interference for you for the next couple of days. She's bound to figure out that something is off about you," James explained.
"Then there's Eva-Claire," he continued, "she's seven and the quietest of your siblings. She thinks that you are the greatest thing in the world, and will often curl up in your lap and ask you to read to her. Got the Potter hair too."
"Poor kid," Harry commented back, his hand instinctually going to his own messy mop.
"Lastly is Brynne Rose, and she's five," Lily explained. "She's, well, she's Brynne. Actually, reminds me a lot of you when you were her age. She's an Evans all around. Has my mother's eyes, hence the name."
"Okay, so there's five of us, and we spend nearly every holiday and such with the Blacks and the Lupins? Their kids are like my cousins or something?" Harry inquired as he riffled through his brain, trying to place the now–massive number of children who were crowded around dining tables and Christmas trees.
"Well, Anwen and Sirius' kids are your blood cousins, and yes, there are eight of them. You've also got Remus and Eva's four kids, and you call them cousins. You need to remember to call him Professor Lupin at school. Your brother sometimes forgets."
"Wait, Remus is back teaching at Hogwarts? That's brilliant! When did Eva get back? What about Tonks?" The questions were rattling off Harry's tongue.
"Sirius' cousin, the Tonks family? What does Remus have to do with them?" James asked, and Harry tipped his head to the side and looked at his father intently.
"Uh, in my other life...whatever...Remus married Tonks and she was pregnant with their baby when we left."
"Remus married who? Andi? What happened to Ted?" Lily questioned her son.
"No, he married Nymphadora Tonks."
"Dora, she's like half his age," Lily stated incredulously. "What in the world was he doing with someone as young as she is? When did she come back from Spain?"
"Spain? What are you talking about in Spain?" Harry was now as confused as his mother.
"Stop, you two, you're making me confused," James said. "Harry, think through this in your mind. You know that the Tonks family had to move to Spain because of the death threats that they were getting. People weren't happy that Draco had been sent to live with them when his mum was jailed and his father given the Dementor's Kiss."
"I thought that Draco lived with Sirius and Anwen," Harry stated, getting even more confused by this mess of thoughts in his head.
"Okay, let me go back to the beginning. Immediately after the battle, Lucius was in St. Mungo's, but then he was taken directly to Azkaban. There was a trial, and he and several others who were in Voldemort's inner circle were given the Dementor's Kiss as their punishment. The Lestrange's were among them as well. It was hard on Draco's mother.
"While the postwar investigations were going on, it was discovered that Narcissa Malfoy was in on a plot to steal the Black family fortune." James and Lily let a look pass between them that didn't go unnoticed by their son. Lily gave her head a small twitch, silently telling her husband to pass over some bit of information, and the whole exchange left Harry feeling suspicious. But James began talking again. "She was sentenced to one hundred years in Azkaban for her crimes. Draco was only four months old when she was sent to jail.
"He was initially sent to live with Andromeda and Ted, but they lived in a Muggle neighborhood, and with Ted's blood status, well...many of the extended and distant pureblood family members objected. They began to taunt and harass the Tonks family. Things weren't safe for little Dora, she was only seven at the time. Eventually, their house was burned to the ground, and they took it as a message to move. They decided to uproot and head to Spain, where they've lived ever since. Dora is dating a Muggle musician or something like that."
"Oh," Harry answered, confused; that was certainly something he hadn't anticipated happening. "Tell me about Remus and Eva then. The last that I remember, she had fled with her mother when her dad was murdered by Death Eaters."
"That's right," Lily started telling the story. "We all missed her, but none more than Remus. It took him a while to heal, the extra werewolf saliva from Greyback's attack impeded the medicinal potions from doing what they needed to. Once he was healed, he decided that Eva really was the most important person to him, something had changed in him, with the help of your dad and Sirius, Remus began looking for her. It wasn't easy, they had hidden themselves quite well. It took him more than a year and a half, but he did find her. In February of nineteen eighty-two he brought Eva and her mum home. They were married in July of that year."
Harry had closed his eyes while he was listening, trying to put together the bits of his memories in the right place. Suddenly his eyes sprang open, and he looked at his mother with awe and wonder.
"You cured him," Harry said excitedly. "You were the one who finally was able to come up with the antidote for lycanthropy." Lily smiled gently, but before she could answer her son, his father started to gush about his mother.
"Yes, she did. She wanted not only Moony, but all the people who had been bitten by werewolves to be free. She won the Prize for Humanitarianism from the International Confederation of Wizards that year. I was so proud of her, still am. She's working on a cure for catastrophic injuries now, using what she learned from the now–latent lycanthropy cells."
"You're pretty cool there, Mum," Harry said with pride about his mother, and she blushed. "Now, what is it that you're working on, in English please?"
"When we finally were able to stop the monthly werewolf changes, the disease went dormant in the bloodstream. While the monthly response to the moon was gone, the remarkable healing abilities that accompany being a werewolf were still there," Lily explained.
"Moony was always a quick healer. He'd break ribs or teeth or things while we were out at school, and two days later, he was back to himself, without Skele-grow or anything," Harry's father added, and Lily gave him a rather curt raise of her eyebrows, letting him know that this was her story.
"While too much of the disease in the body will slow down healing, and not enough has no effect, I believe that if we find the correct dosage of the now–neutralized disease, we should be able to help a person heal their own body," his mother continued. A lump formed in Harry's chest and his mouth was suddenly dry. His mother's motivations were perfectly clear.
"You're doing this because of Ginny. Because of what I did to her," Harry said quietly, the guilt about the accident threatening to overwhelm him. It was so confusing. He remembered how much they had loved each other when they lived in the London flat. They had been prepared for the fact that they wouldn't be married when they got back; they both had hoped to be students, and better still, dating each other. Harry promised that he'd do everything he could to make sure that they were together, and married, soon.
The last thing that she said to him before Dumbledore had done the spell to send them back to their own time still rang in his ears. "You are the only one that I love, Harry. Even if I am not legally your wife, I am your true wife in my heart. I love you."
Unfortunately, the hateful words said in frustration that Ginny had yelled at him in the hospital were also there: her promise that she couldn't forgive him, and that he should just stop trying to make something better that he never would be able to. She told him to leave and never come back. That was August of last year; he hadn't really talked to her since.
"Harry, you didn't do anything," James tried to correct his son, but Harry just shook his head at his father. "It was an accident," James insisted.
The boy looked at his father with hard eyes. "An accident that was my fault."
James closed his eyes and sighed, looking like he was attempting to get his emotions under control. "Yes, you did something that you shouldn't have, but it was still an accident," he told his son through a stiff jaw and somewhat clenched teeth.
Harry couldn't look at the disappointment that was written on his father's face any longer, and put his head in his hands, running his fingers through his now very sloppy hair. There was an uncomfortable silence which Harry finally chose to break.
"I remember, I was in Remus and Eva's wedding, right?"
"You were. You, Draco and Bastien were all ring bearers. All of you thought that you were carrying the real rings, when none of you had them at all," Lily joked.
"Bastien, he's Anwen and Sirius' son?"
James and Lily exchanged another look before Lily simply answered, "Yes."
"Anyway, Remus and Eva have four kids: Remus John, Jr. but he goes by R.J. and he's nine. Eleanor Belle who's seven and their twins, Chris and Andy, they're four, and quite a handful," she continued. "Little Ellie-Belle has a voice like her mum. When the twins get riled up, she starts singing to them," Lily continued.
"Professor Lupin is still at Hogwarts, right? The Defense professor?" Harry was quite hopeful about this. Lupin was the best DADA professor that they'd ever had.
"He is, has been since four years before you began. He was going to leave when you boys started at school, seeing how he's your uncle and all, but you begged him to stay," James answered.
"Auntie Eva, she's a counselor?"
"A family therapist, yes. She has a small office in Hogsmeade, just down the lane from their house. Remus either takes the floo, or walks up to school every morning. It all seems to be working out well for them, although he thinks that he'll leave the position when his children start. Believes that they should have a chance to enjoy their education without their father there."
"I don't know, he's pretty cool..."
"He is, but it would still be a drag," James observed.
Harry laughed at his father's slang. "Dad, drag hasn't been popular since you were my age."
"Very funny. For one part of you, yesterday we were the same age," James teased back and he and Harry shared a hearty laugh.
They talked a while longer, Harry working to put all the memories that he wanted to preserve in the front of his mind. They worked hard to avoid the topic of Ginny, and Harry was just as happy. Every time something reminded him of her, his gut lurched and he felt his palms go clammy. He missed her so much, but given the state of their relationship, he wasn't sure how he was going to begin to repair things. He only could hope that she remembered how happy they'd been while they were together in the past.
When they got to the point that Harry was emotionally overloaded by trying to remember everything, James took him into his study and pulled out his personal pensieve. While his father worked, Harry took in the pictures around the room. There were awards and placards on the walls, interspersed with his dad standing with the Minister of Magic; another with Professor Dumbledore, although he was wearing some very fancy robes; Sirius and he in front of a shop front; and his dad in the bright blue robes of the High Council of the Wizengamot.
"Dad, what is it that you do?" Harry couldn't quite seem to remember.
"Well, your Uncle Sirius and I own a chain of shops that sell Charmed household items. Many of them are things that we made for your Mum and Aunt Anwen over the years. Turns out that many women want clothes racks that automatically fold the dried laundry. I also sit on the Wizengamot, and I'm on the Council."
"Wow," Harry answered as he looked around the room more. Over the fireplace was a picture of his parents, Anwen, Sirius and Remus looking just like he remembered them. Anwen was still on crutches, and oddly, she wasn't standing next to Sirius in the picture. The only people who looked really happy were his mum and dad. Remus had that slightly pained and melancholy look he always bore, and Anwen and Sirius honestly looked like they'd rather be anywhere else than standing there. Below the photograph, was a brightly colored ribbon holding the Order of Merlin, first class award. "You were given the Order of Merlin?"
"After the war, yes," James said quietly. "Had you and Ginny stuck around, I'm sure that you would have been recognized as well, but we knew why you hadn't. Regulus was awarded one, too, but he was still in the hospital then. Frank and the second wave were all awarded the Second Class medals."
Harry perused the wall further. "You were the Deputy Minister of Magic? Geesh, Dad, I'm gone for a few days, and you turn into this responsible adult," Harry teased.
"Harry, I was a father and a husband, and most importantly, a Potter. The last name already garnered a certain amount of respect. When the heroics of the battle became public knowledge, what I said and did became very important to many, many people. All us of were public figures, our stories were told and retold - minus you and Ginny of course, Dumbledore saw to that. If your role had become public, it would have contaminated the whole timeline. Anyway, there was a great deal of rebuilding that needed to take place, so yes, I became the Deputy Minister of Magic, and Sirius and I were both seated on the High Council. Because we came from old families, everything that we said or did was highly regarded. We knew this; it's one of the things that we were raised with and that we'd been trying to teach all of you kids. Whatever you do in life, son, will reflect back on the entire family and its legacy." Harry looked down at his father's words, remembering some things that he wasn't proud of, so he was sure his father wasn't either. James chose to say nothing about the look on his son's face, instead moving on.
"I resigned as deputy after two years. Your mum wanted to get her Masters in Potion Making and things had quieted down. The trials were over, new laws had been enacted and a new minister had been elected. That's when Sirius and I decided to open the shops. I handle all the day to day aspects of the business, he's only involved in product development."
"Wow," Harry muttered again, impressed with the man that his father had become rather quickly. James had put the pensieve on his desk, as well as several small phials, similar to the ones that he'd seen containing the memories of Tom Riddle at Dumbledore's office.
"You remember how to do this?" James asked and Harry closed his eyes and found the memory of learning from his father when he turned sixteen how to pull his memories.
"Yeah, I do," he answered.
"I'll leave you to it, then," James told him as he walked to the door. "If you need me, or anything, just holler. I'm sticking close to the house today, as is your mum. Frank said that he'd pick up Evan to take him to the Express later this morning. Headmistress McGonagall knows that you're not returning today, and why."
"Oh, uh, okay," the younger man stumbled over a response. "Thanks, Dad." Harry watched his father leave the study and close the heavy mahogany door behind him. Late morning light was filtering in the windows to his right, and he looked out onto the back lawn, the garden, the Quidditch pitch beyond. It was strange for him to be able to remember his childhood birthday parties here, falling down and skinning his knee with his mum there to kiss it better, riding his first adult broom. Simultaneously, he could remember birthdays at the Dursley's, no one kissing away his tears and bandaging the brush burns and not knowing about Quidditch until he was at Hogwarts.
Harry rubbed his eyes, realizing for the first time that he still wore glasses here. That was something that he'd put a quick end to. He hated the things, and even though these frames were certainly better than the cheapest round frames that his aunt had made him wear, they were still cumbersome and blocked his field of vision. He was going to get rid of them, especially since Ginny liked the way his eyes looked...
He ended the thought mid-way through. As of right now, it didn't matter what Ginny did or didn't like. The jumbled feelings that coursed through Harry made him want to lose the small bit of breakfast that he'd been able to choke down. Panic coursed through him, and he laid aside his wand. There was something that he had to do. He looked over his father's desk seeing a quill and ink, and tore through the drawers looking for parchment and began scribbling.
A little before noon, Harry came out of the small room. His face was blotchy and his eyes were red. He let his feet carry him through the maze of the first floor, somehow both knowing and not knowing where it was that he was going to find his mother. He found her in the kitchen, rolling out dough for pasties, his little sisters each kneeling on high back chairs pushed up against the table, their own small rolling pins overworking scraps of the dough.
"Hawwy," said the littlest girl with wild curls and deep violet colored eyes dancing, "we're makin' pwasties!"
"I can see that," the teen chuckled as he leaned against the doorframe, reveling at the normalcy of the moment. If he were honest, it was something like this that was his fondest heart's desire when he was a child. "I think that you're wearing as much of that flour as you worked into the pastry."
"I's always messy," the little girl pronounced happily. "Mama calls me a ragamuffin."
"I can definitely see why." Harry padded the rest of the way into the room and leaned down and kissed the crowns of both the girls: the older of the two, the dark eyed, dark haired doll that must be Eva-Claire, and the other the precocious Brynne.
"Yuck," the littler girl responded, wiping her head with her flour caked hand, streaking her hair with dough. "If you kiss me, Hawwy, I get boy gems." Lily and Harry started laughing at the girl.
"They're germs, Brynne, not gems. Gems are the things that princesses wear," Eva-Claire corrected her.
"Well, I don't want those either!" the littlest Potter called out, making her brother and mother laugh even harder.
"Lunch will be ready as soon as these bake," Lily explained as she slipped the baking sheet into the oven.
"Mama, what about these?" Eva-Claire inquired.
"I will be using magic to bake those," their mum explained, very quietly adding, "sanitizing them as well." Harry sniggered at the comment before reaching into a cupboard that he knew contained the mugs and poured himself a large portion of tea from the pot that was set to steep on the counter.
"Mummy, Aunt Anwen is on the floo," a voice came from the entryway. Harry assumed that it belonged to the last of his sisters, the apparently very observant Emma.
"Coming, Em," Lily called back before waving her hand and cleaning up her small kitchen mess. "Do you mind keeping an eye on them for me for a sec? I've been waiting for Winnie to call all morning."
"No, not at all," Harry told her. "Take your time, I can clean them up. Will you ask how Ginny is? For me?" Lily laid her hand on Harry's cheek and smiled warmly and nodded at her boy before hastily walking out the door to the floo connection. A girl walked in, who could quite honestly have been the female version of Harry himself.
His sister had long black hair that had been charmed to stay in the plait down her back, bright bottle green eyes, a lithe but strong build made him wonder how good she was on a broom. She cocked an eyebrow at him before cracking the gum that she was chewing.
"What are you staring at, Harry? You look like you've never seen me before."
"Oh, um, sorry, just lost in space," he threw out.
"You got that right," she said under her breath. "Mum said to get them cleaned up for lunch. Eewe, I just did my nails, I don't want to deal with that goo." His sister Emma sounded like every girl he could think of at school...except for Ginny. He sighed at the thought of her, which only made the near–adolescent cock her eyebrow again and stare at him.
"Tell you what, I've got this," Harry announced, pulling his wand. "Okay girls, stand up and let your big brother clean you up." The little girls seemed excited, and both hopped down from their chairs and stood in front of him.
"You're going to use magic?" Emma asked him.
"Sure, why not?"
"Uh, house rules," she stated. "No unnecessary magic."
"Well, since your nails are all done so nice, I thought that it was necessary."
"You know, they will punish you," his sister replied with sass. "You're not at school, so there's no magic in the house."
"Emma, I'm of age," Harry reminded her.
"If you say so," she skeptically added. "Just keep me out of it." Emma Potter crossed her arms and leaned back against the wall of the kitchen. Harry magically scrubbed his sisters clean in an instant, and removed all their mess, leaving only the poorly shaped and oozing raw pasties on the baking sheet.
"There you go, all clean," Harry announced while Emma clucked her tongue. She suddenly reminded him of Hermione. Warm memories of his friend flooded his mind, and he was suddenly very excited to see her when he returned to school. There was so much that he wanted to talk about with her, most importantly, how to at least get Ginny to talk to him.
As the two little girls hopped down off their chairs, Lily re-entered the room.
"Do I get to go over to see Lilyan today?" Emma quickly asked. "All of my holiday assignments are done, my room is clean - well, okay it's neat - and I finished up the last of my history reading that Daddy gave me."
"I'm sorry sweetie," Lily said as she put a hand on her eldest daughter's shoulder, "today isn't a good day. Things are a little crazy over at Lilyan's house today."
"Mum," the girl whined. "I got everything ready so that I could go this afternoon."
"I'm sorry, but the answer is no. We'll be going over on Friday, though, for the weekend. All of us," Lily explained, her eyes lifting from her daughter to her son as she said this.
"Fine," Emma answered, sounding anything but. She turned to ease out the door that she was standing next to, and then threw a comment back into the kitchen. "Oh, and Harry did magic to get the girls cleaned up." Harry supposed that she hoped it would go off like a bomb.
There was silence in the room while Harry and his mother looked at each other as the little girls scampered from the kitchen.
"She's always like that, isn't she?" Harry inquired after his sister also left.
"Unfortunately, yes. Ten going on thirty. She's a good kid otherwise, just that mouth..." Lily sighed to punctuate the sentence. She shook off whatever thought about the girl had passed through her mind. "About the magic: we've had some issues with your brother doing magic in the house when he's home from school. He nearly burned the place down last year. I know you're an adult, but at least around the little kids, keep the magic to a minimum. I don't want them getting hold of one of our wands and deciding to give it a trial spin."
"Got it, Mum," Harry said as he leaned over to kiss her cheek. "You're really good at this parenting stuff." Lily's eyes got misty at the sentiment, and she smiled back at the nearly grown boy before wrapping her arms around him and hugging him.
"Don't lose hope, Harry," she whispered in his ear. "I haven't. You loved each other too much to give it all up."