Sequel: In Unexpected Places

Against the Odds

Chapter Eighty Seven Part One

A/N: Okay. A couple things.

First, I seem to have found my writing ability again, which is great! Except I got super wordy with this chapter and it’s REALLY long. Like well over 20 pages. So after some great feedback from some lovely readers, I decided to split it and not dump so much on you at once. Second, I promised to reveal the gender of the twins in this chapter. And technically...I do. But in part two of this chapter. I’m so sorry, that’s just the way it worked out. But you WILL get it tomorrow. So that’s something to look forward to!

And always, I love hearing what you think of the chapter and look forward very much to hearing feedback from you guys!


While Winter hadn’t quite let go of it’s hold of London by the time they returned from their trip to Lesotho, it seemed as if was trying to. The temperatures ticked slowly upward, though the sheer amount of rain they were receiving made it feel if Spring wasn’t quite ready to make it’s appearance. If the old saying that ‘April showers bring May flowers’ had any truth at all to it, then they were certainly looking forward to a blooming May.

They were as busy as always upon their return. Meetings, engagements, and personal events filled up the calendar. And on top of those things, the Kensington Palace apartment renovation was nearly complete; requiring quite a few final approvals from Harry and Alex in the final weeks before they would be able to move in.

Emma’s tenth birthday was celebrated in the middle of April. The birthday girl wanted to have a sleepover that year and of course, her wish was granted. Alex recruited Charlotte and Kate to help, kicked Harry out of their temporary apartment at Clarence House for the night so that they could host ten of Emma’s friends (including Harry’s cousin, Lady Louise) in what turned out to be an epically fun night for all. And despite the fact that neither Harry or Alex could quite believe that their little girl was ten years old already, they were so glad that she was able to celebrate it in a way that she had enjoyed so much.

The rest of the month would be filled with more work and more preparing for their move. Alex’s next doctor’s visit was scheduled during the last week of the month -- just after Harry was to due return from a three day trip official trip to Scotland, where he was carrying out engagements with his Charles and William. Alex and Emma stayed behind in London, giving them a chance to attend some engagements of their own, including one that Alex was incredibly excited about -- the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. She hadn’t been since she’d going back to work after the ordeal with with Patrick the fall before, and she simply couldn’t wait. With Emma coming along (and also Gus, who was an RSPCA dog himself), it promised to be an eventful day.

And it turned out to be just that -- though not at all in the way she’d expected.


“Coming! Don’t hang up!” Alex called out, rushing from inside her closet to grab the phone ringing on the dresser. Harry’s ringtone continued to sing out until she snatched up the phone, letting out a puff of breath as she pulled the phone to her ear.


“Hello my darling,” Harry murmured, his smile tugging up at the corners at the sound of her voice. “You sound out of breath. Everything okay?”

“I just got out of the shower and was putting on my comfy clothes,” Alex sighed, holding the phone between her ear and her shoulder as she tied back her long blonde curls. “We just got back a bit ago from the RSPCA. We were a mess...mud everywhere.”

Harry chuckled. “I know. I saw.”

“Huh? Ohhhh. The pictures,” Alex giggled, still not quite used to the fact that pictures were published only moments after events happened.

“And video. Have you watched it yet?”

Alex thought she caught a slight hesitation in his voice with the question; like he wasn’t sure if he wanted to know the answer to that. Her nose scrunched up as she answered, “No...why?”

Harry sighed. “I’m sure Robin will be calling you soon; if Charlotte doesn’t get wind of it from home first. I know she monitors this stuff even if she’s still on maternity leave and…”

“Harry,” Alex interrupted with a nervous laugh. “You’re rambling. And you’re making me anxious. Why should I watch the video?”

“Sorry,” he winced. “I really don’t think it’s that big of a deal; at least not to me. They caught some audio of Emma speaking to one of the people you were working with today. They lady asked Emma if she was excited to be a big sister.”

Alex’s forehead scrunched in confusion. “Yeah?”

“And Emma said that she was excited of course, and that she couldn’t wait until you had the babies.”

“Ohhhhhhh…” Alex took a deep breath, understanding washing over her. “Are you sure? That she said babies?”

“Pull up the video for yourself,” Harry suggested. “I’ll email you the link real quick. Are you near a computer?”

“I have my iPad,” Alex said. “Hang on, let me pull it up.”

She opened up her email and clicked on the link Harry sent, waiting as it loaded. She couldn’t help but laugh and roll her eyes when it finally did.

“Really Harry? A tweet?”

“It’s from a royal reporter,” Harry laughed, shrugging his shoulders. “They picked it up right away.”

“Twins?!” Alex read out from the tweet. “Princess Emma appears to say, ‘I can’t wait until Mummy has the BABIES,’ during engagement today with Duchess of Sussex at the RSPCA. Requests for a comment from Kensington Palace have yet to be returned.”

“Click on the video link at the end of the tweet,” Harry instructed. And sure enough, there was her daughter, looking adorable in her mud splattered clothes with a wiggling puppy in her arms, saying she couldn’t wait until Alex had the babies.

Emma had slipped. And the whole world could hear it as clear as day.

“Well, I guess the cat’s out of the bag, so to speak,” Alex sighed.

“We were going to announce it eventually, love.”

“No, I know. But I feel bad that Emma slipped though. I mean, you’re right, it’s not a big deal. If there was going to be a slip though, I’d rather it have been you or I that took that on.”

“Sure,” Harry agreed softly. “You think she’ll be okay? I don’t want her to feel bad about it; though we’re going to have to tell her.”

“It won’t be anything a bowl of Blue Bell can’t fix,” Alex assured him, making him chuckle on the other end of the line. “Does your father know?”

“Of course. He laughed and just suggested we go ahead and put out a statement. You know how he adores her, even if she had come out and said, ‘My mum is having twins’ he would have still thought it was beyond adorable.”

“Sure,” Alex laughed.

“So, what do you think?” Harry asked, his voice growing a bit more serious. “Do you think we should go ahead and put out a statement then confirming it?”

Alex took a deep breath and then let it out slowly, wishing that he could physically be there with her. His presence was always so calming to her. And announcing that they were having twins had made her nervous from the start; just knowing the hysteria that would most likely erupt from it.

“Let’s do it, Harry,” she finally said, her voice firm and sure and making ache to be able to pull her in his arms right then.

“Alright then,” he said, and Alex could almost hear the grin in his voice. “I’ll go ahead and call Robin. They’ll probably want to go ahead and put it out tonight. Is that okay?”

“Sure,” Alex replied softly. “I’ll go tell Emma right now. Want to stay on the phone while I do?”

“I would love to, but I’ve got to be running out of the door in like two minutes. We’ve got a dinner this evening.”

“I’ll have her call you before bed then,” Alex murmured before letting out a soft sigh. “I wish you could have been there today, Harry.”

“Ahhhh me too, love,” Harry murmured, his own smile deepening on the other end.

“How is Scotland?” She asked with a soft sigh.

“Scotland is fucking cold,” he joked, making Alex giggle on the other end. “Seriously, three days here, doing these engagements outdoors with my father and my brother...London is going to seem like the tropics when we get back. And I miss both of you so much, Alex. I hate being away for even a day, much less three.”

“I miss you too,” she murmured, relaxing back into a chair and tucking her legs up under her. “I mean, we both miss you...but…” She sighed softly; in a way that made him ache to be with her in more than one way. “I really miss you, Wales.”

“Mhmm…” Harry sighed along with her, his eyes closing at he leaned his head back on the headboard of the bed in his hotel room. “Well, I’ll be home in a couple days. You can show me just how much you missed me then.”

“You’re on,” Alex giggled.

“Deal,” he grinned. “Alright darling, I’ve got to call Robin and let our lives take over his evening. And then I’ve got to go to dinner.”

Alex laughed. “Poor guy. I’ll have Emma call you in a bit to say goodnight. I love you, Henry Charles.”

“And I love you, baby,” he murmured, his voice dropping low and deep. “Talk to you in a bit.”

Alex’s took a deep breath as the call disconnected and she pulled her phone away from her ear, fighting back a crazy surge of emotion and tears that she absolutely would blame on the pregnancy if anyone were there to witness it. She simply hated the nights that they were forced to be apart. She hated that he couldn’t be there with her while they announced this big news to the world; though in reality she knew it really wouldn’t make anything better or worse that he wasn’t.

“Alright, Alexandra, pull yourself together,” she laughed. She stood from the big, comfy chair in their room that she had been sitting in and rolled her eyes at herself. She shook off her momentary melancholy, slipped her phone into her back pocket, and then went off in search of her daughter.


She found Emma in her bedroom, already clad in pajamas, but seated at her small desk, her legs tucked up underneath her in her chair and Gus sleeping dutifully on the floor next to her.

“Whatcha doin’, Em?”

Emma jumped a little, slightly startled, and then giggled as she looked over at her mother standing in her doorway. “Working on my maths assignment that’s due Monday.”

“Ahhh. I’m sorry you had to miss school today.” Alex felt a twinge of guilt for interrupting Emma doing her schoolwork, especially as it was work she was doing as a result of going to the engagement that day. But she took a deep breath and pushed it back, knowing she had to let Emma in on what was happening before she caught wind of it some other way; like the internet.

“It’s okay,” Emma shrugged. “I had fun. And the makeup work isn’t hard at all.”

“I’m glad you had fun,” Alex smiled and moved into the room, sitting down on the bed. Emma turned in her chair to face her mother.

“I really did!” Emma said excitedly. “And Gus did too.”

“Mhmmm,” Alex nodded, reaching down to scratch Gus behind his ears. “Hey Em, do you remember at the RSPCA today being asked if you were excited to be a big sister?”

“Yeah,” Emma nodded. “The main lady...Miss Martha? She asked me. I told her I couldn’t wait to be a big sister.”

“Well actually, said that you couldn’t wait until I had the babies,” Alex said with a gentle smile and a lift of her eyebrows.

Emma blinked as realization washed over her. “Oh. Did...did people notice?”

“Little bit,” Alex nodded.

“Oh noooo,” Emma whispered.

“It’s okay,” Alex reached out a hand and tucked a piece of blonde hair behind her daughter’s ear, trying to reassure her that she wasn’t in trouble. “I just wanted you to know that it was caught on video before you happened to see it online somewhere. And that we’re having to put out an announcement about me having twins a little early to answer all of the questions people have about it.”

“Because I messed up?” Emma asked, her cheeks flushing pink with what Alex was sure was embarrassment.

“Oh honey, you didn’t mess up. You--”

“Yes I did,” Emma interrupted, her voice higher than normal.

“You’re not in trouble, Em,” Alex tried. “You don’t need to get upset.”

“But it’s my fault!” Emma cried, tears welling up in her big blue eyes. “I was supposed to keep it a secret and I didn't!”

Alex tilted her head to the side, confusion flashing across her face. “Emma, why are you so upset?”

“Because everyone will think I didn't do my job!” Emma yelled as she stood from her chair, her body obviously full of tension. “Everyone will think…everyone…will think I’m a bad royal and...” Her face crumbled as she tried to get the sentence out and then, unable articulate her thoughts over her rapidly building frustration, she burst into tears, slammed down her book, and ran from the room, leaving a stunned Alex in her wake.


Alex had waited a few minutes before going to find Emma; wanting to give her daughter a moment before she delved into what had happened in Emma’s bedroom. She hadn’t expected her daughter to react like she had at all. Like Alex, Emma leaned towards being more level-headed; understanding that things happen and finding a way to either brush it off or deal with it positively.

When she did finally go after her daughter, it wasn’t hard to find her. She was in Harry’s office, flopped onto the soft leather couch in there, her head buried in her arms as she cried.

“Oh Em,” Alex sighed, hating to see Emma so upset. She moved to the couch, slid in next to her daughter, and pulled her into her arms. “My darling girl...” she soothed, her hand smoothing over Emma’s hair and she hugged her tighter. “Baby, why are you so upset?”

“I told you, Mum,” Emma mumbled into Alex’s shoulder. “I messed up.”

“Emma, people mess up,” Alex squeezed her arms around her daughter and looked down at her. “I really didn’t think you would feel so bad about letting it slip about the twins. I never wanted you to feel bad.”

“’s my job,” Emma hiccuped. She pulled back and sat up, sniffing and wiping the back of her hand across her nose.

“It is not your job,” Alex said, her voice firm as she reached for a tissue from the low table in front of the couch and handed it to Emma. “You’re ten years old, baby. Your job is to be a kid. Nobody expects more than that.”

“Everybody expects that Mum!” Emma replied, her voice cracking and tears threatening to fall again. Alex felt a lump form of emotion form in her throat as she slowly began to realize what was going on in her daughter’s head.

“Honey, do you think that me or Harry expect you to be perfect all of the time?”


“We don’t,” Alex shook her head. She bent down so she was on eye-level with Emma, her hands moving to smooth the blonde curls back from her little girl’s tear stained face. “Of course we don’t. I mean, don’t get me wrong, Emma Rose, you are an amazingly well-behaved kiddo, you always have been. I’ve never worried about you being able to make a mistake and learn from it. But I am worried that you think everyone is concerned about you messing up...and I’m worried about who exactly you think everyone is.”

“Everyone,” Emma said, stressing the word as she threw her arms wide. “You know, like...everyone.”

Alex sat back a little. “The public?”

Emma chewed her lip harder as she nodded. “Yeah.”

“Oh bug,” Alex’s breath caught on the nickname that her daughter had been called since she was little. “I’m so sorry that you think that. I’m so sorry that you’re worried about that. That is absolutely the last thing that I want. Emma, darling, you haven’t always been worried about this. What changed?”

“A lot changed, Mum,” Emma mumbled, swiping at her wet eyes. “Since you married Daddy a lot has changed. He got in that accident and then crazy Patrick tried…” A sob slipped from her lips and she shook her head, still unable to think about that whole time without being upset. “And now I’m going to be a big sister to two babies and I’ve always wanted to be a big sister but I…” She sniffed and took another tissue that her mother offered. “I don’t know, Mummy...I had to keep the secret when you found out about the baby and now I have to keep the secret that there’s two babies and there’s just always someone reminding me about the responsibility of being a big sister’s starting to feel not fun anymore...”

To be continued...