Ginny: Morrigan was taking the trash out when I found out, and for some reason I just didn’t want to tell her. How could I tell her? Just stop it casually into the conversation; “Hey, remember the family I left behind all those years ago? My mother’s dead now.” I don’t think so.
Ginny: The other reasons I didn’t want to tell her just yet was because the twins birthday was coming up soon; I didn’t want to spoil their day or take anything away from them. I left everyone behind years ago, I wasn’t going to ruin the present with them too, no matter how much it hurt me.
Ginny: And the second reason? We’d found a new house! It was in a much more central location, on the main street near the centre of town. There would be more space for our boys to grow and develop, and even a garden out back for them to play in.
Ginny: We didn’t bother packing the furniture; the only things we packed were our clothes and the boys toys. They didn’t really seem to understand what was happening, so that was a small relief that we didn’t have to console two wailing toddlers.
Ginny: It was a gorgeous house, and pulling up to the front I knew it would be our forever home. We’d never need to move again, and it was so beautiful I don’t think I’d want to move again.
Ginny: Max loved the TV room, although Morrigan always wanted to supervise him – I think she just wanted to watch the kids show, personally!
Ginny: The boys had their birthday shortly after we moved in, too. Elijah thankfully grew out of his astoundingly pink skin; Morrigan had assured me he would, but I worried anyway.
Ginny: Seeing them age up, however, brought everything I’d felt when reading that notice come rushing back. Bubbles would never get to see her grandkids because I’d been so selfish in running away. If I’d just taken the time to think, just once, I could’ve gone back. She could’ve met them as babies, she could’ve met Morrigan, she would’ve known what happened to me.
Ginny: That may have been the worst thing to realise, knowing that she died without knowing what happened to me.
“Do you regret it?” Morrigan asked, quietly, as she sat down next to me, putting her hand on my shoulder.
With my hands over my face I couldn’t see her, but I leaned into her touch as I said, “Regret what?”
“Leaving.” She paused. “Coming to Dragon Valley and starting everything over again.”
I sniffed, scrubbing my tears with the heel of my hand. “No,” I shook my head, “No, I don’t regret it. I just regret not going back, even to visit so they knew I was okay. And now – and now it’s too late!” My voice cracked as a fresh wave of tears rolled in, and I pressed my hands to my face as if I could stop them. I wasn’t embarrassed to cry, exactly, it just felt so stupid. This was my choice and my fault, I should just suck it up and get on with it; I don’t deserve to cry about it.
“Hey. Hey! Look at me.” Morrigan grabbed my arms, turning me towards her. “It’s not too late. Maybe it’s too late to see your mother, but you could still go back and see the others, if you wanted.” She said, stroking my arm in comfort. “Who did you say won the heir poll? Remus?”
I nodded. “Yeah, Remus did.” I sniffed again. “He was probably the person I got on best with, in the end.”
“Well, there you go then. It’s not too late – you could still ring him. Do you think he’s the kind to hold a grudge?”
I huffed a laugh through the flow of tears, “Oh god, no. Remus was the softest of everyone, especially once he got that damn dog.” I dragged the back of my hand across my eye, and smiled sadly. “I’m glad Remus won, of everyone I think he deserved it the most. I…”
I paused, the words coming slow in realisation, like a silhouette as it emerges from the fog. “I miss him.” I said, and the words tasted funny in my mouth. Surprise, mostly, to realise how true they were. I missed him. I missed my goofy brother and his silly dog. I missed my brother.
“Then ring him.” Morrigan said, as if it was so simple. “I know it won’t be easy but if it’s something you want to do then know I’ll be here for you. I’ll support you through whatever you choose, be it calling or not. If you want me with you then I’ll be there. If you want me to leave you alone then I will. This is your choice, but know that I am with you.”
Her words brought another wave of tears down on me and I collapsed into her, sobbing. I couldn’t stop the tears, then, as every memory hit me in one go. Family is what you make it; Morrigan, Max, and Elijah are my family and my priority, but I wanted to see my brother again.
I wanted to share my new life with my brother, and I could only hope that he wanted to share his life with me.
“I’ll do it,” I said, once the tears had subsided. “I’ll ring him.”
“Are you sure?” Morrigan asked, softly, “I don’t want you to feel like you have to because I bullied you into it or something.”
“No,” I said, leaning my head onto her shoulder, “I want to. I miss him.”
Tucking my legs up underneath me, I said it again. “I miss him. I miss my brother.”
With her leaning her cheek against the crown of my head, I could feel her smile as she said, “Good.”