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rosevalleynb

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FIC: K/M, M/T, OC/OC, Children of War, CH 4, PG-13

Title: Children of War
Pairing: OC/OC, Katie/Marcus, Theo/Millicent
Rating: PG-13
Chapters: 3 of ?
Summary: 19 years later not all was well.
Disclaimer: Not mine. I'm just playing in Joanne's sandbox.


iv. January 1999
It was shortly after New Year when Henry and Annie Barnes were called into a backroom at the Ministry, a place they hadn’t been since their banishing to the Muggle world the day they had become of age. Their brief return today, however, had a happier note to it than it had two decades ago. And it had everything to do with the sleeping little girl wrapped up in a crisp white sheet.

While Annie kept herself busy fussing over the small bundle in her arms, Henry studied the mindlessly rattling Ministry worker. Every fibre of his body told him that the story the woman was spinning was nothing more than plain old shite with sprinkles on top. As a constable for the Metropolitan Police, he had heard his fair share of rubbish stories, but this woman’s topped the cake. But choosing between calling her out on it and breaking his wife’s heart in the process, or keeping his gob shut, he chose the latter. He hadn’t seen Annie so happy in a very long time, and he’d like to see that smile on her face more often.

Still, he couldn’t let go of the fact that the tiny babe in his wife’s arms was a day old, at most, and even then, she was on the small side. No, no matter how hard the Ministry woman tried to convince him of the contrary, this child had not spent the first weeks of her life in an orphanage.

‘Two week old, my arse,’ he thought bitterly. How stupid did the woman think they were?

The baby girl still had the fresh looking, cord attached to her belly, clearly cut and tied off with string not so long ago. Dried up blood stained the sheet loosely wrapped around her. Why hadn’t they properly cleaned and dressed the poor thing? Heavens, even her nappy was nothing more than a hastily fastened towel. Common sense told him to take Annie by the arm and walk away without a glance back. Perhaps, stop at the MLE-offices on his way out to tip them off. However, his heart prevented him from doing either of those things for one simple reason: he wanted to see his wife happy. And deep, deep down, he wanted the same things she wanted. He wanted to call this little girl theirs regardless of the how or the why she had ended up in this dingy old room.

For years and years, they had waited for this day, the day that they would have a child of their own. Be parents like their friends, have someone else in their lives to love more than life itself. This little girl could be their last chance to continue the Barnes magical line so it wouldn’t die out with them, the unworthy Squibs.

“Are you sure she isn’t like us?” Henry grumbled, hoping for an excuse to do the right thing. There would be a sign of some sort if this wasn’t meant to be, wouldn’t there?

The woman, Edna Creekmill, nervously chuckled as she wrung her hands. Her eyes darted between the parchment with her cheat notes and the wall behind Mr Barnes. She wasn’t lying to these upstanding citizens, she told herself, just twisting the facts a little to suit her narrative. That was it, nothing more and nothing less.

“The mother refused to name the father, or doesn’t know, we don’t know. Anyways, we don't have any information on him. For what it’s worth, she is from a long line of Purebloods, diluted here and there in the past few generations to keep it from inbreeding too much, the usual. Nevertheless, her family is Pure enough for those who care. No known Squibs that we know of and the Ministry knows almost everything.”

It wasn’t an answer to his question, and Henry was in his right mind to tell her so. He was sure that Hogwarts kept a registry. How difficult could it be to have a peek and confirm? Even if the babe didn’t have a real name yet, she’d still be in there somewhere under her mother’s name if she had magic in her. Heavens, perhaps even under the father’s name even. There was bound to be something somewhere. However, before he could bring this up, Annie finally spoke up for the first time since their arrival. Her voice quivering and her look was one of worry.

“The mother, she won’t demand her back, will she? I mean, the last time...” she trailed off, thinking about the two weeks she had been able to call herself a mother. Now a decade later, returning that little boy to his real mum still hurt as if it had happened yesterday. Afraid of bursting out in tears if she did, she didn’t take her eyes off the sleeping girl in her arms when Henry put his hand on her leg, squeezing it in reassurance. “I-I can’t go through that again. I won’t.”

“Oh, no, no, no!” Edna Creekmill rushed to assure. This time, even looking at the wall behind the couple didn’t ease her nerves. She pulled out a two-page document from a folder with the official Ministry seal and a slew of signatures on it and waved it around as if it explained everything. “The girl got herself in trouble at Hogwarts. Death Eaters ran the school last year, if you know what I mean. She couldn’t even look at the child, begged us to take her away. So, you don’t have to worry about it; she won’t be asking her back.”

“Oh, my, that’s awful. Poor thing,” Annie muttered. She and her husband were well aware of the goings-on in the magical world last few years. Her uncle Florian, the only one who had cared enough to keep in touch with her after her ban, had disappeared without a trace quite early on in the war. Fallen victim to this Voldemort character the Ministry had informed them about after the fact.

Although her heart bled for the victims, especially for the mother of this little girl, Annie couldn’t help but feel a bit joyous. After all, if the mother had not gone through such a travesty, Annie would not be calling herself a mother as of today.

Unlike his wife, Henry kept his inquisitive gaze on the Ministry woman. Something was not right about all this, he was sure of it. What she told them sounded plausible, but it still didn’t mean the poor girl had wanted to rid herself of her baby. He had seen the contrary happen a few times with Muggles. He wanted to ask further, see the paperwork the mother must have signed from up-close. Again, he before he could open his mouth, someone beat him to it. This time, it was the little girl herself demanding attention with her shrill wails.

Edna let out a barely audible sigh of relief. She pushed the necessary documents and a quill towards the couple. “It looks like someone is eager to get home. I’ll need her new name and your signatures here and here, please.”

As Henry and Annie put their quills to paper, he couldn’t shake off the feeling that he was doing some unknown young woman wrong. However, when his wife put their daughter in his arms, he decided not to worry about it for now.

Ultimately, it took him more nearly twelve years before he thought about the faceless young woman again. By then, she had become nothing more than a nuisance he and his wife needed to inform their daughter about.


v. June 1999
From the Daily Prophet:
Kingsley Shacklebolt sworn in by the Wizengamot as Minister for Magic

[...]

Although one could consider the evening a success, a small disturbance at the beginning of the ball in honour of Minister Shacklebolt almost ruined the guests’ good spirits.

A young witch, unnamed due to legal reasons, broke through the security cordon, yelling and screaming for justice. Luckily enough, MLE’s Special Forces managed to apprehend the clearly disturbed woman. She has been taken to St. Mungo’s Janus Thickey Ward for further observation. Her family has been informed.

[...]
Tags: children of war, katie bell, katie bell/marcus flint, lj exclusive, marcus flint, millicent bulstrode, millicent/theo, multi chap, oc, theodore nott
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