Just A Smile

Dorea Potter III

Disclaimer: I do not own the Harry Potter series.

Chapter Fifty-Eight

Dorea Potter III

'My Dearest Son,

Nothing brings great sorrow to a mother until she knows that her own child is consumed by it. I was one of the few that Remus had told about what happened that night and it saddens me, James, because I know you're likely suffering as of the moment. I want nothing more than to come to Hogwarts and comfort you, just like the times when you sought me out at night back when you were a child because of a bad dream.

Everyone makes mistakes; it's not uncommon. It's a part of being human. So, stop wallowing in your self-loathing because I know you, James. You're likely brooding right now. You must know, my son, that I do not blame you for what happened because it was not your fault. That night was supposed to be filled with happinness and celebration but she ruined it all because of what she did.

You must feel like the world had ended because of the rift between you and Hermione. Some part of you had shattered whilst the other parts are slowly breaking the longer you two continue on like this. There will come a time when you want it all to end and I pray that you won't do something foolish when that time comes. You are not alone, my dearest. You have me and your father. You have Sirius, Remus, Peter, and Regulus. They will help and comfort you. Listen to them because they have your best interests at heart. Don't forget that we are here for you.

Every couple goes through a series of complications that test their relationship and their love for each other. I know how much you love her, Hermione. From the moment you spoke about her, I knew that you would do absolutely anything for her. You would capture the stars and bring her the moon. You would swim the deepest part of the ocean and burn in the sun if she asked you to. When I met her, I also knew that she would do the same thing. For your happiness, she sought me out to invite me over to your birthday party. Not many would do such a thing, especially if the mother of their chosen is a Black.

You have chosen well, my son. I wholeheartedly approve of her. Do not let go, my dearest. I can tell that she is one of a kind and you will likely regret the moment when you let her go.

I know you already memorised the story of your father and I but I would like to remind you of the story again. You had heard of this story a countless of times, my dearest, but I never told you the struggles your father and I encountered throughout our courting. I believe that this is the right moment to tell you the truth.

Falling in love with your father was one of the most unexpected and most wonderful thing that had ever happened to me. Knowing that your father returned my feelings was one of the most beautiful monents in my life. However, things weren't as happy as we made it out to be. My family had protested heavily against our upcoming union and they had nearly disowned me for accepting your father's proposal. My own mother threatened me, my father shunned me, and my brothers ignored me. It was one of my most darkest moments in life and only your father was my light.

I remembered feeling as though I wanted to give up, to return to my family, and beg for their forgiveness. I knew that your father had somehow caught wind of my thoughts because he had been quiet; he was willing to let go of me if it meant I would be happy again. There was a time where I thought that I could not go on any longer, and I was ready to give up the greatest love I have ever known to go back to the family who had hurt me because I just wanted the torment to end. The night I was about to leave your father and end the engagement, I heard him speaking with Euphemia, your grandmother, and Fleamont, your grandfather.

They were arguing over me, over harbouring a Black princess into their family. Your grandparents weren't as fond of me as they are now and they wanted to end our engagement as much as my own parents did. However, Charlus did something that neither his parents nor I expected: he knelt before them and begged them to give the both of us more time. I was so shocked when I saw him that night; the proud man I knew would do this because he loved me so much, too much, to let go of me. Even though he knew that I was about to break apart and return to my family, he begged his parents because he wanted to treasure the few moments he had with me before I leave him.

That was the night I realised that I would rather hold on to your father and never let go than to live the rest of my life without him.

Marrying him was one of the decisions that I had never regretted.

It was hard at first but the reward at the end was all worth it.

You have a great love, my darling James. One that you don't want to lose. The kind of love that is worth fighting for. I pray to Hecate and Circe that you have the strength to fight for it.

Love, Your Mother.'

Dorea was staring at the beautiful rose garden that her mother-in-law gifted to her, her tea cold in her cup. She heard his footsteps behind her and she closed her eyes when she felt him pressing a light kiss on her head.

"What are you thinking about, love?" Charlus sat on the seat right next to her.

Dorea put her cup aside. "James," she said. "I wonder how he is faring. How he and Hermione are faring right now."

"You're worrying too much," her husband pointed out in concern. "James is a big boy. He'll get through it."

"Will he?" Dorea doubted it.

"He will." It was spoken like a promise. "After all, he is our son. He's a Potter and a Black. That, my lovely wife, is the most dangerous combination in the Wizarding world."

Dorea couldn't help but smile slightly. He looked so handsome, with his unruly dark brown hair and his hazel eyes. He was nearing fifty but his body was as lean and toned as it was when he was in his twenties. Age had been kind to her husband.

"How did you know?"

He raised one eyebrow. "Know what?"

"That I was going to leave you," she said. "How did you know?"

Dorea saw his shock. They had never spoken much about the problems they encountered throughout their very long engagement. It was one of the things they had kept mum about ever since they had gotten married. There was no point dwelling in the past when they were so happy in the present.

His gaze flitted to the view beyond. "Because... Because I was ready to give up just as you were." He smiled at her dumbfounded expression. "Don't look too shock now. You're not the only one who had doubts."

Dorea brought a hand to her lips. "Why didn't you tell me?"

"Because if I told you, you would've left me," he said matter-of-factly. "And honestly? The thought of you leaving me scared me more than the problems we had with our parents. I loved you too much to let you go, Dory. Even though they had hurt you, I was selfish enough to hold on to us. That's why when I saw the look on your face, I knew and I promised to myself that day that if you told me that you wanted to leave, I would let go of you even if it killed me inside. I was willing to let go if it meant you would be happy again." He flashed her a roguish grin. "Of course, I had never been happier when you married me."

Dorea stared at her husband, unable to comprehend that he, too had doubted. He was so resilient, so strong. He had been the one to comfort her and to act as her rock. She hadn't thought that he was having doubts of his own, that he was ready to break just as she was. But, unlike her, he hadn't broken apart because the thought of losing her and the pain that would come was enough for him to keep on going.

Just like that, more love that she couldn't even imagine blossomed in her heart.

She slowly smiled at him. "I'm sorry for doubting you, my love."

He reached out and grasped her hand before bringing it up to his lips and pressing a soft kiss on the back of her hand. "I forgive you, my sweetest. I'm also sorry for the pain that I caused you those many years ago."

Because if he had been selfless and let her go, none of it would had happened.

Doea shook her head and gripped his hand tighter. "Oh, Charlus. Don't be sorry for the choices you made. You're my light and joy. I would not trade our life now for anything else."

She turned to the view, her hand still gripping his. She slowly closed her eyes and started praying to the gods as the sun bathed her with light.

A/N: TWO UPDATES IN A ROW! Hah!

I know that in canon, Euphemia and Fleamont are James' parents and Dorea and Charlus are more likely his aunt and uncle. However, in this story Euphemia and Fleamont are James' grandparents. I chose Dorea and Charlus to be James' parents in this story because I wanted James to be related to the Black family (making him and Sirius second or third cousins).

Although James and Hermione are definitely the main pairing of this story, I can't help but add other pairings like Alice and Frank, Peter and Mary, and now Dorea and Charlus. It's probably because I don't want the other characters to act like a background or wallpaper in the story. I'm tempted to add another one...

Reviews are welcomed!

~ NR xx