*J.K.R. owns Harry Potter! Thank you all for the input on the sequel, it means a lot! Yesterday, I got a PM, notifying that my story's been translated into Russian! How cool is that? It wouldn't have been possible without all you lovely readers! Thanks for reading )


"I can't find the remote control," I sigh, ducking under the sofa for the fourth time. "This is the last time I let Rose and Hugo watch television in here by themselves. I don't even know what they were doing in here." It absolutely irritates the living hell out of me when I can't find things.

"I don't think it's under there," Holden says sarcastically. I roll my eyes. Well, obviously not.

"Don't make suggestions when you aren't even helping me," I huff.

"Why don't you just change the channel from the telly?" Holden suggests. I stand up to look at him.

"What?" I ask, glaring at Holden.

"You don't need the remote to change the channel," Holden informs me. "You can do it on the telly." No, he must be joking.

"Why didn't you tell me that before?" I demand, even more annoyed than I was earlier. Holden shrugs.

"Well, I figured you might eventually want the remote, but it doesn't look like you're going to find it any time soon," he reasons. I scoff. Men's logic, if it can even be called that.

"I give up," I sigh, shaking my head and climbing onto the sofa beside Holden. "I'll just ask Rose what she did with the remote later."

"Fair enough," Holden agrees, putting his arm around me. "But, I like this movie."

"What's it about?" I ask, cuddling up to Holden's side. I let my eyes close as he explains the plot of a film I've watched with Rose at least twice already, but I like to hear his voice. I just lay there and let my breathing even out, taking in Holden's fresh smell. He rubs my arm in a rhythmic pattern.

"Belle, are you even listening to me?" Holden questions quietly, looking down at me. I nod as he pulls me closer to him. "Fine, then what did I say?"

"You said that I'm the most incredibly amazing girl you've ever met," I answer, rolling my eyes as if it's the most obvious answer ever. Holden smirks at me.

"I think I'm rubbing off on you. Where else would you have gotten that overly confident attitude of yours?" He questions.

"Oh, so it's not true? I'm just being overly-confident?" I ask, sounding offended. Holden frowns slightly.

"No, Merlin- I didn't say that. I just meant that… well,-"

"Getting a bit flustered, are we?" I question, a teasing lilt to my voice. "That isn't like you. Are you feeling alright?" Jokingly, I press the back of my hand to Holden's forehead.

"Well, you don't have a temperature…" Holden takes my hand off his forehead and twines my fingers through his, holding it awhile. I tilt my chin up so that I can look Holden in the face.

"What?" He questions, raising his eyebrows at me. I shake my head.

"Nothing…" I can feel the familiar sting of exhaustion at the back of my eyes. I didn't really get to bed until very late last night. Nothing in particular kept me awake, other than my thoughts. I heard from Dad that Mr. Zabini said that Astoria's hearing is going to be in the next couple days. I don't know if I would have to go, but I know that Dad will. He won't come outright and say it, but I can tell that he's dreading the hearing. As of late, it's been pretty obvious that Dad's been seeking a lot of comfort in Mum. She doesn't do anything in particular, but she knows how Dad's feeling about everything, and she just understands him. Mum's also been helping out a lot with Scorpius. He doesn't mind in the slightest.

"Done daydreaming?" Holden questions, watching me with an amused expression on his face.

"What?" I ask, looking at him. He smirks at me.

"You were completely zoned out. I had to tell you something."

"I'm sorry," I apologize quickly. "I had a long night last night. What were you going to tell me?" Holden nibbles on his bottom lip lightly, the hold on my hand slackening a bit.

"Well, er… my parents invited Aunt Hermione over for dinner tomorrow night…" Holden begins awkwardly.

"That's good, isn't it?" I ask, not really sure where this is going. Holden nods quickly.

"Yeah. But they also invited you and your Dad. They want to meet you both," Holden tells me uncomfortably. I don't know how to feel about this. There's definitely going to be tension between Holden's parents and my Dad, maybe Mum even. But it's only fair, considering Holden met Dad and Astoria.

"Oh. That's um, nice of them," I choke out dumbly. Holden notices the hesitant look on my face.

"What's wrong?" He questions suddenly, pulling back.

"Nothing," I answer quickly. "Why?"

"You just look worried or something," Holden answers. "Are you?" Am I that easy to read?

"Just a bit," I admit hesitantly. "I just want to make a good impression with your parents." I really don't like meeting new people at all, especially when I'm almost positive that Holden's parents have already developed some sort of opinion on me based on my family.

"You will. Really, Belle, don't worry." Holden kisses my forehead gently. I don't know why, but I can't bring myself to believe him. I know that I'm probably going to do or say something completely stupid and ruin things.

"Okay," I say quietly, yet I still don't feel any more at ease.

"You're still worrying," Holden notices. I shake my head.

"Am not." Holden nods in protest.

"Are so." Merlin, he's good.

"How can you even tell?" I ask in an irritated tone.

"Well, your breathing goes all shallow, and you wrinkle your eyebrows, and you're also squeezing the hell out of my hand," Holden answers.

"Oh, er, sorry," I apologize.

"Don't worry, it'll be fine. I'm sure my parents are going to like you," Holden assures me.

"Really? They will?" I ask hopefully. Holden nods.

"Yeah. At least better than the last four girls I brought over, I hope," Holden answers nonchalantly.

"Last four?" I croak, feeling a wave of insecurity. And how long ago was this?

"I'm just kidding," Holden tells me. "Calm down."

"That isn't funny," I mutter. "Not at all."

"Sorry," Holden apologizes. "Seriously, though, my parents are going to love you just as much as I do," Holden promises. Him telling me that at least does something to placate me.

"I love you, too," I say quietly, looking Holden in the eyes. He has an adorable softness in them, and it melts right down to my heart. Without thinking, I press my lips to his. It doesn't take Holden half a second to start kissing me back. I'm sure it sounds stupid, but I used to feel somewhat guilty about being so close to Holden when neither of my parents was in a relationship themselves. But now that that's settled, I feel a lot better.

"I know," Holden whispers against the corner of my mouth. He cranes his neck to kiss me again, putting his hand on my hip. I wait for him to try and venture off to other areas, but he doesn't. I'm sure this would be ten times more romantic if we weren't in the playroom right now. Hugo fell asleep in my bed, and I received strict instructions from Mum not to wake him, since he's finally sleeping at his scheduled nap time.

I put my hand on Holden's chest, keeping him at bay for a second. He gives me a questioning look. "Did I do something?" I shake my head.

"No, of course not. I just wanted to say thanks." Holden stares at me like I'm speaking in some kind of foreign language.

"For what?" He asks. I shrug.

"For everything. For meeting me, and getting to know me, and talking to me, and listening to me, and understanding me, and kissing me and hugging me and just…everything," I answer in one long breath. Holden smiles at me.

"You don't have to thank me. I like doing those things," Holden tells me. I'm not sure that I'll ever meet anyone else who actually likes dealing with my problems. I know Holden's special to me, and I should do my best not to let him go. I lean down to kiss him again.


"Isobelle, you look fine," Mum assures me, watching me stare disapprovingly at my reflection. Why must my hair be so unruly?

"I do not!" I protest, half-ready to shatter my mirror to pieces out of frustration.

"What's the matter with you?" Mum questions, sitting on the edge of my bed. Must I even point it out?

"My hair," I sigh. Mum frowns slightly.

"Your hair looks the same as it normally does," Mum tells me, I'm sure in what she assumes is a helpful tone. I put my head on my forehead and groan. "Did I say something?" I roll my eyes.

"You aren't helping. I just need you to do something with my hair before it attacks my face."

"Well, what do you want me to do?" Mum questions.

"Something. Anything." I hand Mum the hairbrush that sits on my night stand. Mum begins brushing my hair gently.

"Lucky for you, I've had thirty-something years of experience dealing with my own hair. Yours doesn't seem to be as unmanageable as mine, though. I suppose you have Draco to thank for that," Mum says with a small laugh to her voice. Apparently, Mum does have a talent for taming her hair, because it looks very nice. If only I was so talented.

"Is Dad downstairs?" I ask. Mum nods.

"We were waiting for you. I imagine he's growing a bit impatient." I bet he is, too. Dad really hates waiting on people.

"Do you think tonight's going to go well?" I ask quietly, looking up at Mum in the mirror.

"Are you nervous?" She asks.

"Yes. I don't know if Holden's parents will like me, or if Holden's parents will like Dad, or if they'll stop liking you because you like Dad," I explain. I just thought of that an hour ago. What if Holden's parents think that Dad's still a Death Eater, and he's going to try and make Mum like that? I'm sure many people are going to think that, but they should also know that Mum is a lot smarter than that.

"You don't have to worry about that, Isobelle. Both of Holden's parents are very kind people, and I'm sure they'll like you. As for Draco, I'm not sure. Holden's family has some history with Death Eaters as well, and I'm sure that those things may be complicated," Mum answers seriously. "There, I'm done." Mum hands my hairbrush back to me. I turn to admire my reflection for a moment. My hair does look a lot better. It's shinier, and less frizzy, and the curls are more defined. I'm going to have to learn how to do this myself.

"Are things always so complicated?" I ask.

"I'm afraid so," Mum says dismally. "Everything worth going through gets complicated at times. But this may not even go badly. You just might be getting all worked up over nothing." Despite Mum's hopeful tone, I don't know if I can be that optimistic.


Mum reaches out to knock on the front door of Holden's house. I turn around, looking across the street at Teddy's house. I have half a mind to take off and run there. I don't know if I can do this.

"Calm down, the both of you," Mum says quietly, glancing Dad and I over.

"I am calm," Dad replies stubbornly. If he's nervous, he won't ever say so.

"Of course, not, Draco. Just remember, this is for Isobelle," Mum says mindfully, shaking her head dismissively at Dad's unwavering pride. Dad looks at me, but he doesn't say anything. I look forward at the door, my insides rolling. When I see the door knob turn, I have even more of an uneasy feeling in my stomach. I might just vomit. The front door opens.

"Hey, Aunt Hermione. Hello, Mister Malfoy," Holden says formally, smiling at Mum and nodding in Dad's direction. Mum smiles back as Holden opens the door wide to let us in. I look around Holden's house, but I try not to make it too obvious, because that's rude. It looks so different from mine. There are photographs everywhere, on the walls and framed on shelves. I don't see many normal photographs; they're mainly those still muggle ones. Holden's house is very different than the Manor. It actually looks very warm, like a normal family lives here.

"Where are your parents, Holden?" Mum asks.

"In the dining room," Holden answers. "You look nice tonight, Belle," He tells me, smiling. I smile back, and Mum gives me a small smile as well.

"Thanks. You look nice, too." I peek at Dad out of the corner of my eye, but he doesn't say anything. Holden opens a door on the left side of the hall. It's the dining room. Merlin, Holden's parents are in here. I don't mean to, but my step slows down just a bit. I feel Holden's hand slide into mine slowly.

"Don't be nervous," he whispers. How can I not? I take a deep breath.

"Okay," I say back, not even bothering to lie to Holden and tell him that I'm fine. The smile on Mum's face widens.

"Susan, how are you?" Mum asks, smiling at Holden's mother. She looks very kind. She has dark blonde hair, hazel eyes, and a smile.

"Oh, I'm wonderful, Hermione," Holden's mother answers. Mum gestures to Dad.

"Susan, this is Draco, my- er, Isobelle's father," Mum says awkwardly. It's only now that I realize that Mum probably doesn't really have anything else to introduce Dad as. Holden's mother smiles warmly at Dad. He doesn't smile back. It isn't that he's being rude; Dad just isn't the type of person that smiles often.

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Mrs. McKinnon," Dad says. He returns the slight nod that Holden's dad has given him. Holden's father looks like a very serious man, and I can already tell that Holden got his personality from his mother's side of the family. Holden looks just like his dad, though. They have the same dark hair and bright eyes.

"Likewise, Mister Malfoy, thank you for joining us tonight," she says kindly, still grinning at Dad. Holden's mother turns to me, and I feel my heart catch in my throat. At least, she doesn't seem too terrible from the way she spoke to Dad. "And you must be Isobelle. You look so much like your mother! Holden has told us so much about you!" Holden's mother tells me. I may be overreacting, but I have a sudden urge to know what exactly Holden's told his parents about me. I'm pretty sure that they weren't bad things, of course, but I'd still like to know.

When we're all settled down for dinner, I busy myself from having to engage in the conversation by listening to Mum and Holden's mother talk. Dad seems to be completely bored, but he doesn't say so. Lucky for us, we've got some practice at being in muggle-like settings from going over to Mum's so often. It's interesting that Holden's family pretty much live like muggles even though they aren't. I suppose it's because Holden's mother is a half-blood, and his father does a lot of work with the ISS. Whether or not, he actually works with muggles, he'd have to be around some type of non-magic stuff quite often.

"Tell me, Draco, what is it that you do these days?" Holden's father asks suddenly, looking at Dad. He says 'these days' as if he's subtly implying 'Now that you aren't a Death Eater anymore?'. Mum and Mrs. McKinnon stop talking.

"Well, I work for the Department of International Magical Cooperation," Dad answers brusquely. Holden's dad raises his eyebrows.

"Interesting. I wouldn't have ever expected you to go into such a social profession. You always seemed so… in your own," Mr. McKinnon tells Dad. What does he mean by that?

"People can change, William. I'm sure you're aware of that more than anyone," Dad answers knowingly with a satisfactory smirk. Holden's father glares at Dad, but he doesn't say anything more on the matter. Mum wrinkles her eyebrows.

"Do you the two of you know each other?" she asks. Dad nods slightly, avoiding my gaze. He already knows Holden's father? Why would he keep that from me? But, it does make sense. Holden's father is a pureblood, of course they know of each other. The pureblood community is a very small one. Holden and I glance at each other, wondering what this might mean.

"Oh, yes. Draco and I go back quite a bit," Mr. McKinnon answers condescendingly. I don't like the sound of that at all.

"It's such a small world, isn't it?" Holden's mother asks, smiling still. It seems that I like her far more than I like Holden's father.

"Yes, it certainly is," Dad agrees. Nothing can describe the awkward silence that we fall into after that. All of the fears I had about this dinner came true. Well, I knew that it wasn't going to go too well.

"Isobelle, Holden tells me that you have quite a talent for art," Mrs. McKinnon mentions kindly. I nod.

"Yes, art does seem to be one of the only things that I have a talent for," I inform her.

"There isn't any problem with that. I used to be quite into the arts myself," Holden's mother tells me. "I actually have quite a few old paintings of mine around the house."

"I saw some of them on the way in; they're amazing," I compliment her. Holden's mother smiles at me.

"Why, thank you for that, Isobelle. It seems someone appreciates fine art when they see it." She gives both Holden and his dad annoyed glances. Mrs. McKinnon looks at me a long while. "Excuse me, but this is just such a wonderful surprise. Hermione, I still can't believe that you have another daughter!" I can't help the slight frown that crosses my face, and I see Dad has one, too.

"Yes, I still can't believe it myself sometimes," Mum answers, smiling at me. She's had fourteen years to get used to the idea, but only three months if you count how long she's actually been in my life.

"Excuse me, but where is your restroom?" I ask politely.

"Down the hall, third door on the right," Holden answers, watching me get up from the table. It's not that I really have to go to the loo, I just need some air. I was hoping that neither of Holden's parents were going to mention the whole I'm-Hermione's-daughter-that-no-one-knew-about thing, but I suppose it was inevitable. I know that Holden's mother didn't mean to go about it in an offensive way, but is that how meeting people is going to go for the rest of my life? There's never going to be a plain and simple 'Nice to meet you, Isobelle', but instead, exclamations of 'I didn't know Hermione had an older daughter!' or 'Hermione Granger had a child with Draco Malfoy?'. It's only going to get worse from here on out. I just know it.

I stop in the hallway, taken by some of the photographs on the shelves in the hall. One of them is a portrait of Holden's family. His parents are smiling as if their lives couldn't get any better. Holden is smiling as well, and he's holding a little girl who I assume is his younger sister, Grace. He mentioned that she wasn't going to be here tonight. She looks a bit younger than Hugo, two years old, maybe. Holden and his sister look alike, except for their difference in hair color. There are also many pictures of Holden from when he was younger. He was cute little boy.

"Caught you," A voice whispers, making me jump. I turn around to see Holden smirking at me.

"You nearly gave me a heart attack," I whisper back.

"Sorry. Are you okay? My parents can be kind of-"

"I'm fine," I say quickly. I look back at the photographs and then at Holden. "You have a very nice family."

"Er, thanks, but my dad was kind of a jerk," Holden tells me apologetically. Well, my dad was a jerk to him, too.

"I don't mean that. I mean your family's obviously very close and caring, and you must have had a great childhood. I'll never have that," I say with remorse. Holden puts his arm around my shoulder.

"Just because you didn't have a normal childhood doesn't mean you had a bad one," he tells quietly. I now that's true. My childhood wasn't normal, nor was it great by about the time I turned five.

"I did. I mean, look at this. Look at all these birthday photographs and Christmases, and first days of school. I don't have any of that in my home, and it's not like my memories of any of those things were so great either," I confess. You never really know how much not having something bothers you until you see someone else with it. I've been struggling for a while with the concept of whether or not I had an actual family growing up. The only person I really counted was Dad so, in my perspective that was a family. But, with families like Holden and Teddy's, does that really even compare? Aunt Ginny and Uncle Harry aren't even Teddy's parents, and they love him like their own. I, on the other hand, spent fourteen years of my life wondering who my own mother was.

"But see, Belle, now your parents are getting the chance to fix that. Maybe they didn't give you such a great past, but they can give you a better future," Holden reminds me. "Don't forget that, okay?" Okay.

"Okay," I nod. Holden gives me a weak smile.

"So, our dads know each other, huh?" he asks, changing the subject.

"It looks like it. I didn't know, did you?" Holden shakes his head.

"Nope, I was just as surprised as you were. I mean, it kind of seems like they-"

"Dislike each other?" Holden guesses. I nod.

"Exactly."

"I wonder why that is, though," Holden says, his eyebrows furrowing.

"Knowing my family, the reason probably isn't too good. And, as Mum says, everything worth going through gets complicated at one point."


Dinner with Holden's family didn't go too terribly. Of course, it was a bit uncomfortable, but I suffered through it just fine. Holden's mother proved to be very kind. Holden's father seems more like Dad than I'm sure either of them would care to acknowledge.

"Dad?" I ask, reaching across the table and tipping over his newspaper with my finger. Dad frowns at me.

"Yes?"

"How do you know Holden's dad?" I ask, looking over my shoulder to make sure Scorpius hasn't somehow snuck back into the kitchen. He practically inhaled his food so that he would be able to hurry back and play with his toys. "Better yet, why didn't you tell me?" I question, narrowing my eyes suspiciously at Dad.

"Both of your questions have the same answer," Dad tells me nonchalantly, taking a sip from his mug of coffee.

"Which is?" He has to tell me. Dad gives me a very serious look.

"Isobelle, what I am about to tell you is strictly between you and I, and I don't want you telling Holden, your mother, Teddy, or anyone else. Is that understood?" I nod.

"Yes, I won't tell anyone. I promise." I wait for Dad to tell me the answers to my questions.

"Holden's father came from a Death Eater family," Dad informs me. No, that can't be. That has to be a lie.

"That's not true. Holden isn't like that- he doesn't…. he doesn't act like a Death Eater," I tell Dad, completely at a loss for words. Dad raises his eyebrows at me.

"You come from a Death Eater family. Do you act like one?" He questions. I shake my head, realizing how stupid what I just said was. "Alright, then. Besides, he doesn't know. His father decided to clean up his act when it mattered."

"But, Dad, it doesn't make any sense. Holden told me his Aunt was killed by Death Eaters. Why would his Dad be one, then? Or their parents?" I ask. I'm just so confused, none of this goes together. Dad said he didn't know anything about Holden's aunt when I asked, but apparently, he does.

"Holden's father was far younger than Marlene, he never knew her. But, being somewhat close to my age, I knew of Holden's father as I was growing up. He was one of the most bigoted purebloods around, even more so than his parents, who weren't prominent Death Eaters, but were Death Eaters nonetheless." That's terrible, and I feel bad that Holden doesn't know. I know how I felt when I found out about Dad, and although I hated that feeling, Holden has every right to find out.

"But, how did he find about his sister?" I ask. Dad shrugs.

"Someone told him, I imagine. I'm sure his parents made up some lie to cover the truth for the time being. Regardless, when he found out, he was quite devastated that it was people who shared the same beliefs as he did who killed his sister," he explains. That's terrible. In a way, Holden's father kind of deserves it, though. Not for his sister to die, of course, but I'm sure if something like that had happened to Dad, he would have realized the error of his ways much sooner than he did.

"But, how do people not know, though? Nearly everyone in the wizarding community knows that the Malfoys used to be Death Eaters," I point out.

"Depends on who you tell, and I don't think he ever took the Mark. You aren't really considered a Death Eater if you don't take the Mark. Besides, there are far more Death Eaters than anyone on the outside will ever know about," Dad tells me. I look down at my plate, suddenly not hungry anymore. Is anyone who they ever seem to be?

"Is that why Holden's dad seemed to dislike you? Because he thought you might have said something about it? "I ask. Dad nods.

"Yes, I'm almost positive that's the reason. But I, of course, wouldn't have said anything. It isn't my place," Dad answers. Dad was a Death Eater, yes, but apparently, you can always trust him to have some sort of social graces.

"Did you dislike Holden for the same reason? You can't have known that he didn't know anything about this, and you thought that he could have possibly told me even more about what I already knew," I realize. "But now I know."

"Like I said, I don't want you telling anyone about this. How Holden's father goes about telling him is his choice, if he wants to, even. I wouldn't expect it, seeing as he's trying to clear up his image. You said Holden's mother was a half-blood?" Dad asks matter-of-factly. I nod.

"Yes. What does that mean?"

"Well, I'm sure he'd only do that to make himself feel better, or clear up his image to anyone who's paying attention," Dad tells me. Is he any better, then?

"Mum's muggle-born," I remind Dad stiffly. Dad looks at me a while before he realizes the slip he's just made.

"Isobelle, what I told you is still true. I don't care about Hermione's blood one bit anymore. You have to believe that." I purse my lips and sigh. Just last night, I was sure that Holden had the perfect family. Now, I know that that's far from the truth, and Holden's completely oblivious.

"I'm sorry, Dad. I do believe that, but it's just… this isn't fair. Holden doesn't deserve-"

"Isobelle, you're far too old to think like that. Do you actually know anyone who has the life that they deserve?" Dad questions. It depends what kind of perspective you put it in. Dad was a Death Eater, but he isn't a bad person. Did he deserve to have his wife end up as some crazy selfish bat? I wouldn't say so. Does Mum deserve to be hated by a lot of people just because of the way she was born? Not at all. Did Teddy or Uncle Harry deserve to be left orphaned by a war that wasn't even supposed to be theirs? Of course, not. Did I deserve to have my mother abandon me and leave no signs that she actually wanted to know who I was? I didn't deserve that. No one deserved any of what they got. So, why do all these things happen to us?

"No," I answer quietly.

"Don't you believe that's enough questions for now?" Dad asks. I nod.

"I guess," I sigh. I glance at a letter sitting on the table equal distance in between Dad and me. It's from the Ministry, and it looks like Dad tossed it haphazardly on the table after opening it. "What's this?" I ask, reaching for it. The dirty look Dad casts at the parchment tells me that it most likely isn't good news.

"Read it if you want," He says dismissively. I take the letter out of the envelope and hold it in front of my face, skimming it over. After I read the last sentence, my mouth drops open.

"Astoria's hearing is tomorrow? They moved it?" I half-shout.

"Lower your voice!" Dad snaps. "Scorpius could be in the other room!"

"I'm sorry, this isn't exactly news one can express in a contained manner," I mutter under my breath. "Are you still going?"

"Of course, I'm going."

"Did you talk to Mr. Zabini? What did he say about Grandfather? He's not going to be arrested is he? Of course, he wouldn't, because no one would listen to anything you, Teddy, or I say-"

"Teddy?" Dad questions, raising an eyebrow. Oops. Damn my stupid mouth.

"Did I say Teddy…?" I stammer, trying to think of some feasible excuse as to why his name would appear in that sentence.

"Yes, you did. Isobelle Malfoy, you explain yourself to this instant," Dad orders. Looks like I'm caught. I sigh with defeat.

"Teddy was there, too," I confess. Nothing can describe the look of sheer anger Dad gives me when I tell him this. I feel like I should say something else to soften the blow. "But it was my idea, Dad. I made Teddy come with me. I swear we didn't hear that much, and Teddy's going to talk to Uncle Harry to see what can be done-"

"You told him to ask Potter?" Dad demands, not caring how loud he is. I nod ashamedly.

"I was just trying to help," I explain, my voice barely audible. I didn't think that would make Dad so upset.

"You aren't helping me by spreading my damn business everywhere! You're meddling in things that you shouldn't be!" Dad yells.

"It's affecting me, too!" I protest. "And it has been for a while now, and I'm trying so hard not to be angry about things anymore! But what am I supposed to feel when you're yelling at me like this, and I can't understand why everything is so messed up for everyone?" I can't help the tears that I feel welling up in my eyes. Dad's expression changes slightly.

"Isobelle, I didn't mean to yell at you. I'm just… things are just difficult, right now. Do you understand that?" Dad's speaking to me like I'm a young child. I do understand what he's saying, but that doesn't mean that I have to like it, or think that it's fair. I thought that if I improved my behavior, things would go better for me. But now, I can't tell anymore. Sometimes, the good and the bad of situations are just so hard to separate.

"No, I really don't understand. I don't understand why I expected things to go on like they always did, but why so much has changed for us, and I can't tell if I like it or I just want it to stop. Does that make any sense?" Dad takes a deep breath and nods.

"That makes perfect sense."


(A/N: So, I think in this chapter, Isobelle's learning a bit more about families. I still think she's a bit confused about why some things happen to certain people, and that these things aren't always in her control. At the end of the day, no matter how much she denies it, Isobelle, is still pretty young, she doesn't understand as much as she thinks she's does, and she's hurting. Thanks again all of you for your lovely amazing reviews, and I hope that you guys enjoyed this chapter and you can put me over 600! Thanks for reading J )