Persephone's Promise

Chapter 3: Winter's Child

It was on my parent's sixtieth wedding anniversary that I learned their greatest secret. They always said there was a secret for a union as perfect as theirs and no matter how or what my brothers and I guessed we never got it right. Looking back now, I don't see how we could have or how it really would have mattered if we had guessed right but it does explain why we're all named after Greek myths.

My mother, always the perfectionist, had asked me to go find her pearl necklace that my father had bestowed to her on their first anniversary. She winked at me and said that it would melt my father's heart to see that she still cherished the small freshwater pearls strung on a thin sterling silver chain.

Mother kept all her jewelry in a wooden box with so many drawers you'd never run out of space to put things in, which is exactly why she bought it. It was when I was pulling those drawers open, searching frantically for the cherished necklace that I came across two envelopes. My father always said that I inherited my mother's thirst of knowledge and her annoying quality of curiosity. I can't even begin to count the times that he would find me lost among the many corridors of Hogwarts searching for a way back to our quarters when a talkative painting, friendly ghost or strange noise lead me astray. It was that childhood curiosity that had me glancing over my shoulder as I slowly opened the two envelopes and retrieved two very creased, tear stained, ink smudged letters.

I read both letters, twice, and realized that this was their secret. That my mother had left in fear that my father would reject her once he knew she was pregnant with his child. Pregnant with me. I had always known when I was a child that there was something a little bit different about me then my brothers Jason and Ajax but I thought that was because I was the only girl. At bedtime both my parents would linger a little longer saying goodnight to me and my birthdays were blown far out of proportion. Although, looking back, all of our birthdays were blown far out of proportion.

I still remember when my mother was pregnant with Jason; I was three years old and far too accustomed to being an only child. I hated the thought of a baby coming in and stealing all of my parent's attention away from me. I remember how mad I got at my father when he would suddenly drop anything that he was doing when my mother came into the room glowing with the ethereal light only pregnancy can grace. He would see her lighting up the room and would rush over just to place his hands on her growing belly to feel the baby kick, or to whisper "I love you" against it. Even after Jason was born and my mother became pregnant again this time with Ajax, when I was six and Jason three, my father would drop anything he held in order to rush to her side.

I carefully folded the letters again and placed them gently inside their envelopes and slowly shut the drawer on them. Outside of the bedroom door I could hear the deep rumble of my father's voice and my mother's laugh in return. I knew that he must have told her he loved her, a habit that was in force for longer than I could remember. My father told my mother he loved her three times a day and every time he did she would laugh, and kiss him in response. I knew why, after reading those letters, they had that small ritual and I smiled at it all. I opened another drawer and found my mother's pearl necklace nestled on top of a cleaning cloth. Lifting it up I watched momentarily as it caught the sunlight and for a moment I could see a rich amber glow fill the room, but, soon after, the moment was gone and I returned to my mother's side necklace in hand.

She stood nestled into my father's side, both gazing into each other's eyes with so much love it almost hurt to look at them they were shining so brightly. I handed over the necklace to my father who brushed my mother's hair away from her neck and gently clasped it on. I watched the two for a moment before retreating to my own husband who stood by my brother Ajax talking about the next quidditch world cup. Out of the corner of my eye I saw my mother watching me, tears filling her eyes but my father caught her face in his own hands and gently brushed them away before they could fall. He placed his forehead against her own and whispered softly, "I love you." And for the first time in my memory my mother did not quietly laugh, instead, she smiled and whispered the endearment back.

Sealing it with a kiss.

The End

A/N: I hope you enjoyed this story, complete with happy ending. Please leave a review on your way out, they let me know what I'm doing right or wrong and they just make me happy.

-(This is for you JRA, spread your wings and fly.)