New story! I own nothing!
"I don't understand why you feel the need to leave."
Hermione Granger sighed as she packed the rest of her belongings. "Because we're divorced," she suggested, refusing to turn around to face her now ex-husband.
"And it's necessary for you to take the girls back to London?"
Sighing, she finally looked at him. Before her stood Marcus Flint, star Chaser for the Falmouth Falcons and, until a week ago, her husband of eight years. "We can't stay here," she explained sadly. "The team gave you this house. It's yours."
He stepped closer, tentatively resting his hands on her waist. "I'm on the road so much though," he replied. "You and the girls should stay. There's no point in uprooting them. I know I've done a lot of horrible things to you, but that doesn't mean that I've stopped loving you."
"I know," she murmured because a part of her still loved him too. "I just can't stay."
Nodding, he let her go and left the room to say goodbye to his daughters. Surveying the room for anything she had left behind, she spotted their framed wedding photo on Marcus's nightstand. Their relationship had been perfect back then. They had been reintroduced by Ginny Weasley when she was a member of the Holyhead Harpies. She had been surprised to learn that he was nothing like the boy she remembered from school. Tall, dark, and handsome described him perfectly, but he was also sweet and intelligent. They started dating not long after meeting, and a year later he proposed.
Turning back to her trunk, she shut the lid and charmed it to float into the hallway. Standing in the doorway of her daughters' room, she watched the tearful goodbye. Marcus knelt on the floor, one arm around each girl. "It's okay," he told them. "I'll come see you all the time."
"Wanna stay with you, Daddy," Emilia, their youngest at five years old, sobbed.
"I know baby," he murmured, kissing the top of her head.
Alexandra pulled away first when she spotted her mother. Twenty months older than her sister, she was old enough to see the problems in her parents' relationship better than Emma. Joining her mother, she wrapped her arms around Hermione's waist and gave it a squeeze. "I'm all packed, Mum," she said.
Hermione nodded. "Why don't you wait downstairs," she suggested.
Marcus stood with Emma still clinging to his leg. "So," he said.
"I'll let you know when we're settled in," Hermione promised. Marcus nodded and pried the little girl's arms from his leg. "Emmy, go find your sister. I need to talk to Daddy for a minute."
Reluctantly, the little girl left the room. When they were alone, Hermione stepped into the room and wrapped her arms around Marcus's neck. "I'll miss you," she whispered.
Strong arms held her tightly as Marcus buried his face in her curly hair. "I'm sorry I wasn't a better husband," he replied.
"I'm sorry I wasn't enough for you," she said, letting him go.
Shrugging, he ran a hand through his dark hair. "I don't know. I think you were," he told her. "I just wasn't smart enough to realize it."
Hermione chuckled despite her tears. "Make sure to visit," she said, pulling away from his embrace. "It'll make the girls happy to see you. And I'll try to get them to a couple of games."
Sighing, he sat down at the foot of Alex's bed. "I hate this," he said, rubbing his hands over his stubbled face.
Sighing, she backed towards the door. "Yeah, I know," she replied sadly. "I hated it when you slept with groupies."
Tiredly, she walked downstairs to find her daughters waiting. Emma's brown eyes were red from crying, while Alex stood by, stoically trying to comfort her sister. Hermione knew her oldest child wasn't as composed as she attempted to be by the way she continuously tucked her dark brown hair behind her ear. Bending down, she tugged one of Emma's brown curls and tried to smile.
"It'll be okay, sweetheart," Hermione promised her. Emma nodded as she sniffled. "Come on, let's go."
Hermione charmed their belongings to be small enough to fit in their pockets. Taking their hands, she led them to the fireplace and all three stepped in. They exited the fireplace in The Leaky Cauldron. By the bar sat her old friend, Harry Potter. Catching her eye, he smiled and waved.
"Hey," he greeted her, hugging her tightly. "Welcome home."
"It's nice to be back," she murmured. "Thanks for letting us stay with you while we find something more permanent."
Harry nodded as he let her go and bent down to greet the girls. "Hey, guys," he said cheerfully. "How about we grab some ice cream before we head home? I know Aunt Ginny is looking forward to seeing you both. Oh, and you can see your cousins again."
Alex rolled her dark eyes. "We're not guys," she stated, sounding so much like her mother. "And this isn't home."
"Alexandra," Hermione scolded.
Rising to his feet, Harry shook his head. "It's fine," he murmured. "Besides, she's not wrong. Gets that from you."
Hermione grinned despite her desire not to do so. "Still, she needs to apologize for being rude."
Once again, the little girl rolled her eyes. "Sorry, Uncle Harry," she muttered.
"Such conviction," Hermione replied. "Come on, let's get that ice cream Uncle Harry promised to buy."
Emma took her hand as they left the pub. "And then we'll go home to Daddy?" she asked.
Hermione sighed, not sure how to make her daughter understand. All she could think to say was, "This is home now."
Nodding resignedly, Emma said nothing more until they entered Number 12 Grimmauld Place. Ginny greeted them at the door with a little boy in her arms. "Is that Albie?" Emma asked her sister.
Alex, lips pursed, nodded her head and tucked her long brown hair behind her ears. "He threw up on me the last time we saw him," she muttered. For the first time since Hermione told them they would be leaving Falmouth, Emma giggled.
Beside her, Harry wrapped an arm around Hermione's shoulders. "I think they're going to be okay," he whispered.
Glancing up, she smiled at him. "I really hope so."