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"ABAAAH!" cried Dyllen, as he reached up to try and grab Rabastan's nose, much to everyone's amusement. The infant was now six months old, and had already taken a shine to his parents' friends.

"Just you wait until he's bigger," grinned Merissa, as she made her way to take her son from Rabastan's arms. "Then your nose will really be in danger."

"I should hope not," Rabastan said, releasing the child. "I'm afraid of what he'll do to it, especially once he starts teething."

"Oh, he's not going to be that strong. Yet," Gillan pointed out. "Yer nose'll be safe for a while more."

Rabastan sniffed, then sniffed again, making a face.

"Excuse us," Merissa said as she hurried to the stairs leading to the bathroom.

"Good thing we've got this place all memorised, lad," Gillan mused. "Or we'd get lost in here trying to find all the rooms."

"It is rather grand," Elea agreed, smiling. It had been about a year ago since she'd moved in, and even now she was still taken aback by how fancy the home was. "Makes me wonder if you're used to living in such splendid surroundings, or if you grew a taste for them as you got older."

"Used to it. My family's holdings weren't as grandiose as some families', but it was certainly fine in its own way."

"I wish I could see it," Elea sighed, wondering what it looked like.

"Probably in the possession of the local municipality, now that the heirs of Lestrange no longer live there."

"You don't sound very said about it, lad," Gillan noted.

"I'm not. I have this place. What do I need another manor for?"

"If you ever wanted to go back to your old home, you could claim it..," Elea suggested.

Rabastan was about to insist upon not returning to his old world, when Merissa and a much cleaner Dyllen came into the room.

"We're finished," she said, wiping a little powder off her dress as she held her son one-armed. "What are we talking about."

"Rabastan's old home—" Elea began, but was cut off by Rabastan.

"This is my home now. Here. With all of you."

Dyllen gurgled, as if to agree, but Elea looked as if she knew Rabastan was keeping some unpleasant secret from her.

He would be wary of that look for a while to come.

"Do you want to hold Dyllen again, Rabastan? He adores you."

"Sure," Rabastan accepted, holding his arms out for the boy.

Merissa beamed as she settled Dyllen into Rabastan's arms.

"I'm surprised that you're not a father, the way that you dote all over Dyllen," Merissa observed. "You're a natural. Like you were born for it."

"Believe me when I say this, Merissa: I do wish I had a child. He or she would never feel unloved or unwanted."

"Oh you're so sweet!" Merissa cried, and leaned in to give Rabastan a kiss on the cheek. "Adorable! Elea, you're so lucky!"

"Yes. Well." Elea stammered, blushing. "I guess I am."

Rabastan smiled at her, as Dyllen once again tried to grab Rabastan's nose, feeling a longing build up in his chest.

I am willing to be the father, but who is willing to be the mother?

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Rabastan Lestrange

April 2016

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