‹ Prequel: Essential Hope
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Into Forever

Just In Case

April had come and gone in a blur of happiness; and I mean literally a blur. Fred and I were so sleep deprived that I had a hard time telling what was reality and what was my subconscious.

Brielle and Cameron were on a polar opposites schedule; Cameron would be up and crying in the morning, and at night, he’d fall asleep and Brielle would start up. Which meant one of us was up all the time, and that, paired with the joke shop and of course the looming threat of the Dark Lord made for a very stressful thirty days.

Thank God Lee and George came back after the first week. George had gone to spend a few days with Angelina (who we all greatly missed) and Lee had gone off to see his parents, just in case. There were a lot of ‘just in case’s going on lately that they didn’t even affect me any more. At first it had greatly depressed me when Fred had actually written up our will, ‘just in case’. And when Uncle Remus left for a while to go see Teddy and Tonks ‘just in case’, I’d been out of my mind with sadness.

But now it was just another part of the day; I’d called my mom and told her about the twins, and told her I’d loved her, no matter what, ‘just in case’. I’d called Lakey and Carson and told them they meant the world to me, ‘just in case’. I had really wanted to get away and visit my family, even for just a day, but I had no spare time, and Fred and the kids needed me here.

So, when Lee and George had left for their own ‘just in case’ business, I hadn’t minded in the slightest.

Until I realized that taking care of twins was so much easier with four people instead of two. By the beginning of the second week, I hadn’t slept in two days, I could barely see straight, and I was on the brink of collapse when George burst through the door, took Brielle from my arms, and swept me off to my bedroom to get some shut eye. When I awoke the next day, Lee was there changing Cameron’s diaper while Fred was passed out on the couch.

We’d transformed the living room into a spare bedroom when George graciously let Fred and I turn his old room into our nursery. The best thing about the Weasley’s was that they’d had so many children (and thankfully one of them was a girl) that we didn’t need to buy a single baby thing. We’d gotten Ginny and Ron’s old cribs, all their old clothes, toys, bottles, blankets… everything we could possibly need from the attic in the burrow.

It was April 30th, and in the morning the six of us would be traveling to the Burrow to stay with Molly and Arthur, ‘just in case’ it was the last time we’d all be together as a family. Apparently, Ginny had sent a message last night on her DA coin telling Fred and George that things were starting to get (even more) hectic around Hogwarts, and the final battle could break out any day, and when it would, we’d be ready.

However, at the moment, I was literally the only one packing. George and Lee were finishing up an intense game of exploding snaps, and Fred was on his back with Brielle and Cameron lying on his chest; he was making a variety of faces at them, and I could hear the delightful sound of baby laughter.

“Lee, could you hand me that sock to the right of you?”

Lee, intent on the game, reached over and patted the sock.

“I handed it to you, get it Kels?” he laughed, making George and Fred laugh as well, which in turn made Cameron laugh. Brielle turned her face towards me, listening to my voice as I said to Lee,

“You can either hand me the sock or I can shove it up your-“

“Okay, okay,” he said quickly, tossing me the sock, which flew several inches over my shoulder. I barely resisted the urge to throw one of the knives on the counter into his skull.

Knowing that was all the help I was gonna get, I began my hunt around the living room for the essentials we’d need. The way I saw it, we wouldn’t be returning to the flat until after the battle. As I passed Fred with a bundle of clothes in my arms, he reached out and grabbed the leg of my jeans, saying,

“Kelso, I’m worried about Brielle.”

This of course had me immediately drop the items in my arms to spin around and look down at my daughter; Fred had managed to sit up and he was holding both of them in his lap, supporting their heads they way I’d shown him. Brielle and Cameron’s gazes were locked onto mine. Cameron laughed and smiled as I smiled down at him.

“What’s wrong with my baby?” I asked in a sugary sweet voice, dropping down to my knees to give both my kids a kiss on the head.

“I still haven’t seen Brielle smile,” he said, a frown on his face. I opened my mouth to reply, but then shut it again as I realized I hadn’t seen her smile yet either. Cameron, on the other hand, always seemed to be smiling now. To demonstrate his point, Fred made one of his weirdest faces; I burst out laughing as Cameron let out a peal of laughter, but Brielle only blinked at Fred, then turned her gaze to me. I frowned.

“Looks like Freddie’s got himself a critic,” George laughed, leaning over the edge of the couch to grin down at the twins. “I’m sure she gets that from Percy. He never laughed at any of our jokes.”

“Well, my daughter is ten times better than that no-good, dirty rotten-“

“No-good?” Lee laughed, getting up from the floor.

“Dirty rotten?” George added, snorting in amusement.

“Being a daddy has changed me,” Fred said with a dignified sniff. “I can’t just throw out prat and thick headed prick-“

“Don’t say that around the babies,” I told him, thwapping him over the head; Cameron laughed again, and Brielle only stared.

“Don’t worry, mate. She’s bloody brilliant, she’ll smile when she wants to,” Lee assured Fred, giving me a supportive smile, trying to get back on my good side. I narrowed my eyes at him and stuck out my tongue.

“You and George need to pack the things you want to take to the burrow,” I told him, scooping up the clothes and carrying them to the table. With a flick of my wand, mine and Fred’s things began to fold themselves and place themselves inside the appropriate suitcases. Mrs. Weasley had taught me that spell last week.

“Why doesn’t Fred have to pack his stuff?” George grumbled, reluctantly coming over to the table to dig out his clothes.

“Because I have to run to the store for a few moments,” Fred announced, skillfully getting up from the couch while keeping Brielle and Cameron safely clutched to his chest.

With another wave of my wand, I set up the rocking swings beside the table so I could keep an eye on them. I took Brielle from Fred and propped her on my hip, beginning to hum a soft melody as Fred strapped Cameron into his swing, giving his son a kiss on the top of the head. Cameron made cute giggling noises as Fred started up his swing.

Returning to me, he took Brielle from my arms and swung her up in the air, hoping to coax a laugh from her; she just stared down at him with a serious look on her face, which made me laugh. Nevertheless, Fred gave her a kiss on the head as he buckled her in beside her brother and started her own swing up.

As he grabbed his hoodie off the back of the kitchen chair, he wrapped an arm around my waist, pulling me close and giving me a deep kiss. George and Lee wolf-whistled as Fred dipped me low to the ground, pulling out of the kiss and grinning down at me.

“Until I see you again, Mrs. Weasley,” he told me, making me blush as I said,

“The same to you, Mr. Weasley.”

Fred lifted me back up, giving me one more swift kiss on the cheek as he rushed from the flat. He was gone nearly an hour, which in these conditions seemed like forever. He’d been gone long enough for George and Lee to shove all the things they needed collectively into one small suitcase.

I was still gathering Brielle and Cameron’s things when I heard voices outside the door; more than one person was coming up the stairs, and now adays unless you were expecting visitors, it almost always meant trouble. And of course, the bloody door was unlocked. George and Lee had heard it too; George and I rushed for the twins, pulling them out of the swings and stepping back as Lee stood to the side of the door, his wand ready. George and I sat the twins in Cameron’s crib; George went out to the living room as I stood guard at the doorway of the twins’ room, my wand at the ready.

So when the door opened and Fred called out, “Kelso, come see who’s here!” I nearly collapsed from relief. Lee slumped to the ground, taking a huge breath when he saw Fred step into the flat.

“Bloody hell, Georgie, don’t point your wand at me like that!” Fred exclaimed jumping to the side to escape George’s firing path.

“You made enough noise for an entire battalion of Death Eaters,” I told him, clutching my chest as I tried to calm myself.

“It wasn’t just me, love,” he said, a huge grin spreading across his face as he stepped forward and opened the door a bit wider. My little brother launched himself into my arms, hugging me so tightly I could barely breathe.

“Oh my god, Lakey!” I exclaimed, wrapping my arms around my little brother as I burst into tears. “I’ve missed you so much!”

Lakey had grown a lot in the-what, two years?- I’d been gone; he was much taller, his chin reaching my shoulder. He was eleven now, and his long brown hair hung down around his face; Carson looked a lot older now too. He was more slender than before, his blonde hair askew and his blue eyes gleaming at he took in the sight of me.

My mom stood beside Carson, her eyes watering and a tissue pressed to her mouth as Fred said,

“I figured you’d like to see them again, before we head off.”

I locked eyes with him, unable to express how happy I was. Lakey pulled back from my hug and exclaimed,

“I missed you so much, Kelsey! Guess what!”

“What?” I asked him, ruffling his brown hair as George and Lee watched with bemused expressions.

“I’m on the rugby team for next year!” Lakey exclaimed, throwing a fist into the air; my jaw dropped. He’d been talking all about the middle school rugby team on our vacation last year.

“Really? That’s great!” I exclaimed, pulling him into another hug. As we separated again, Carson approached me, a grin on his face.

“It’s been lonely at the house without you,” he admitted, holding his arms open for a hug. I immediately rushed into them. We held each other for a few moments; we were always really close, for step-siblings that is. As we pulled back, I saw my mom had come up behind Carson; he stepped aside and let her pull me into her hold.

“Oh Kelsey, I’ve missed you so much honey,” she breathed, stroking my hair as she let a few tears leak onto my shirt. I rubbed her back comfortingly as I said,

“I missed you too, mom. Really I have.” As we pulled back, I looked around the flat and said,

“Mom, Lakey, Carson, these are my two best friends, George-who is Fred’s brother- and Lee, our best mate. Guys, this is my mom, Lynette, my little brother Lakey, and my step-brother Carson.”

‘Hello’s were exchanged as I turned to my mom and said excitedly,

“There are two little gingers who would love to meet their Grandma.”

“Oh honestly,” she said, brushing her thick blonde hair over her shoulder. “Call me Nana.”

Laughing, I wrapped an arm around Lakey’s shoulders as I led the way into the twins’ room. My mom drew in a breath as Carson said,

“Wow, Kels, you’ve got some pretty cute kids!”

Grinning from ear to ear, I picked up Cameron.

“Mom, this is Cameron Blake Weasley,” I said, handing him off to my mother. She was putty in my hands holding that baby; if I’d have asked for all the money she had, she would’ve given me her wallet without a second thought. Reaching into the crib again, I picked up Brielle and said,

“And this is Brielle Ginevra Weasley.”

“Ginevra?” Carson asked, stepping forward to hold his baby step-niece.

“That’s Fred’s little sisters name,” I explained, beaming as my mom continued to coo at Cameron.

“I want to hold him!” Lakey begged my mom, holding his arms out. Reluctantly, she said,

“Okay, but be gentle. He’s just little.” Carefully, she transferred him to Lakey’s awaiting arms; my little brother grinned down at his nephew. Cameron laughed at the sight of Lakey smiling.

Carson passed Brielle to my mom, and she melted as much as before as she smiled at her granddaughter; Brielle blinked up at her, but didn’t smile.

“She doesn’t smile?” my mom asked; her voice wasn’t worried, just contemplative.

“No, we haven’t gotten her to smile yet. Cameron smiles enough for the both of them, though,” I said as another peal of laughter came from Cameron.

“It’s funny,” my mom said, glancing up at me. “You didn’t smile for a while either. You were such a serious little girl. And so is my little granddaughter.”

As I watched my family pass my children around a bit more, I asked,

“Are you all staying for dinner? I know the boys’ll be hungry soon.”

“If it’s not a bother…” my mom began, to which I said quickly,

“No! I’d love to cook for you!”

And so that night, my mom and brothers sat in the living room, holding the twins as they exchanged stories about me. Fred was telling the riveting tale of the night we’d met, when he’d rescued me from our old house next door to Harry.

“Well, I saw Kelsey falling, and of course, I stood on the handle of my broom, see, and made a dive to catch her. And just before we hit the ground, I grabbed my broom handle and we soared off into the night sky!”

Just like the first night he told the story, so very long ago in the Weasley’s kitchen, George and I burst out laughing. And, just like before, George cut in,

“From what I recall, Fred just happened to be flying close to the ground, since he lost control of his broom, and when he heard Harry shout to grab Kelsey, he paused for a moment and she practically fell right into his lap!”

Lee was doubled over, laughing so hard tears were coming to his eyes. Lakey had to hand Brielle over to Carson as he began to cackle with laughter; I sat the wooden stirring spoon aside as I clutched at my side, trying to catch my breath.

“Well, my version sounds cooler,” Fred defended, throwing his shoe at George.

“Of course it is, sweetheart,” I agreed sarcastically, ladling the stew into seven different bowls, setting them onto the table and pulling up a few more chairs for my family.

I switched off feeding Brielle and Cameron as I took bites of my stew, laughing at the jokes and smiling fondly at old memories. Once I’d put the twins to bed, it was nearly time for my family to leave. We walked and chatted all the way to the Leaky Cauldron, where they’d enter the muggle world again.

“I’ll come visit you as soon as this is all over,” I promised my mom, holding her close.

“Please be safe, Kelsey. I couldn’t bear to loose you and your father.”

“I’ll keep her safe, Mrs. Werner,” Fred promised, resting a comforting hand on my shoulder as I stepped back from my mom. She dabbed at the tears below her eyes. Lakey was teary eyed as well. Though I’d already hugged him and Carson and told them goodbye, Lakey came back for one more.

“I’ll really miss you, Kels. I really will,” he said, burying his face in my shirt; for a moment, it felt like the old days at the house back in Surrey. But times had changed; I was a mother of two, Lakey was almost a teenager, and I was getting ready for the biggest battle the wizarding world had ever seen.

“I’ll miss you too, kiddo,” I said quietly. “But I’ll be home to visit you before you know it. Kick butt in rugby, okay little man?”

He nodded, wiping a stray tear off his cheek.

As I backed up again, I caught Carson’s eye and smiled at him; he smiled back.

“You’ll be fine, Kels. We’ll see you on the other side.”

With that, Fred tapped the appropriate bricks on the wall, and it slid apart. With one last smile at my mom, Lakey, and Carson, they turned and disappeared into the tavern.

Fred and I stood there as the wall closed again, the streetlight flickering above me. It hurt more saying goodbye this time, because this could have been the last time I’d ever see them again.
♠ ♠ ♠


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Things are getting set into motion. All I'm saying is, in the story, it's April 30th, and the battle of hogwarts takes place may 2nd. DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNN

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