“Mummy,” a voice stage whispered over the rain. When Aurora didn’t immediately move, the voice got slightly louder and more annoyed. “Mummy!”
“She’s calling for you,” Dirk mumbled against her hair.
“I know,” Aurora said just as incessant poking started against her shoulder. She sighed before rolling over and looking at her youngest. “What is it, darling?”
On the one hand, Aurora thought she probably shouldn’t complain that her mother was taking enough interest in her boyfriend to take her out to lunch so that she could learn more about him before he came over for dinner. On the other hand, of course, she should have known it would come to this.
“Have you decided what specialty you want to join?”
Because what did they really have to talk about, once Aurora was finished telling her everything that mothers needed to know about their daughters’ boyfriends?
Aurora barely bit back a sigh at the futility of the conversation and where it would undoubtedly go. She had tried to explain her position and she had tried giving it a chance like she had promised she would. Nothing. Nothing had helped. It only made her more firm in her resolve that she wouldn’t ever want to be a Healer.
“Mum, I don’t want to be a Healer.”
“This again, Aurora?” her mother asked, making an exasperated noise.
“I’ve tried each of the departments. I gave them a chance, I really did, but I didn’t enjoy it. I want to try something else.” She tried to keep the pleading out of her tone as much as possible, considering they were in a public place, but it was hard.
“But they said you were doing so well! I heard you did a particularly fantastic job in the Potions and Plant Poisoning ward the other day.”
That was because that was the day Aurora worked with Hestia and had been much more open to doing things with a partner, particularly one that she knew and liked. She didn’t think bringing that up would help though. She opened her mouth to inform her mother that that fact didn’t change her mind when her mother continued.
“It isn’t as if you can be successful on your own, darling.”
Aurora stopped, her mouth opening and closing for a few moments without saying anything before she managed, “What?”
“Don’t say it like that, it’s very impolite.”
The thought of getting an etiquette lesson after a statement like that was absurd. When she didn’t repeat her question in a more polite way, her mother sighed, shaking her head slightly. “You see? You’re very stubborn sometimes, which might be a good quality if you were ambitious as well. But stubbornness without ambition is simply mule headed, and that will get you absolutely nowhere. However, in Healing, you have me as well as a long line of Healers on both sides to recommend you. What do you have without that?”
“Intelligence,” Aurora said, mentally forming a list in her head, but her mother cut her off.
“That’s all well and good, but plenty of people are intelligent. There’s an entire house of them. But that won’t get you very far, will it? I don’t see how you could do anything else. You would just fail at it, and I don’t want you wasting time trying to figure out that Healing is the career you should have had all along.”
Aurora gaped at her, feeling as if she had been slapped. After a moment, she pushed her chair back as calmly as she could and stood up. Her mother raised an eyebrow. “Where do you think you’re going?”
“Thank you for lunch, but I won’t be darkening your doorstep with my confusion anymore, so I’m leaving until I can figure it out. You can let Adam know dinner is cancelled because I don’t think I’ll be home tonight. I’ll see you at Christmas. And give my regards at St. Mungo’s.”
She turned to walk out of the room, but her mother’s voice stopped her. “Don’t throw away this opportunity, Aurora. I can’t get it back for you.”
“Good,” Aurora said shortly. “Maybe you’ll finally see that I don’t want it.” She didn’t bother waiting for her mother’s reaction before continuing out of the tea shop, hoping she could hold it together long enough to get somewhere relatively private.
Aurora’s first kiss was Michael Devereaux the summer before her sixth year. Although Michael’s older brother Daniel had attended Hogwarts and become close friends with Aurora’s brother Adam, Michael had decided to go to Beauxbaton’s, their father’s alma mater. Michael and Aurora had run into each other many times over the years as they tagged along after their older brothers during the summer on the days when both of the older boys were left in charge of their younger siblings. Although they had talked, at a year older and different gender, Michael had never seemed to have much interest in her. At a year younger and more interested in books than in boys, Aurora had never much cared either.
The night started normally enough. Or the normal of after the war, which was similar to the normal of a year ago but not quite the same. She made sure the boys had cleaned up. She helped Everleigh get ready for bed. She turned off the lights and locked the doors while reinforcing the wards out of habit. And then she climbed into the large bed she was still thinking of replacing for a smaller one and went to sleep.
Aurora hadn’t bothered questioning it too much when her brother showed up at the train station to pick her up. She had a few moments of regret that she couldn’t just claim she went to one of her friends’ house because no one had bothered to pick her up, but she knew how hurt she would have been if she had been completely forgotten. Now that he had helped her get her trunk inside and then left, she thought the initial hurt might be better than the conversation she was about to face.
In the aftermath of the Battle of Hogwarts, there was nothing she wanted more than to leave the castle and be with her children. She knew they were fine, but she felt the need to make sure. She was tired and just wanted to hug her children and tell them that everything would be alright now.
She flooed into their living room, brushing herself off. She was slightly surprised that Dirk didn’t immediately call out a greeting as he had every other night that week. She wondered briefly if had finished the project he was doing for work as she moved to the other room, smiling slightly at the sight that greeted her. Dirk slept on the couch, as sprawled out as it would allow. One hand trailed on the floor, a Gobbledegook dictionary next to it. The other arm was wrapped around the small form sleeping half on his chest, half nuzzled between him and the side of the couch.
For Beth, who gave me the prompt of Dirora staying in a cabin (ages and ages ago), and Mira, who requested Dirora smut, and Devan, who said she would be satisfied with baby making smut (which this actually isn’t).
Nominally, the war was over. She had tried to convince herself for weeks now that it was actually over and that people she had gone to school with and come to know over the years weren’t suddenly going to be… gone. She had missed an important part in the escalation of the war, running off to become an astronaut and things, and that made it that much harder to convince herself it was really over.
“We should get out of London,” she declared one day, making Dirk lower the newspaper – which she was more than half convinced had terrible news in it – to look at her.
He frowned slightly. “What d’you mean?”
“Not forever, just… for a week or something. For Christmas,” she added, having a sudden idea. “We both get time off that week anyway. Let’s just… go.”
He blinked before shrugging. “Aye, I can do that.”