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in my daughter's eyes

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Blue finally agreed to bring her daughter to St. Mark’s Eve at the old church the spring Harriet turned ten.

“I first brought you when you were seven,” Maura reminded her every year.

Maura hadn’t been the only one bugging Blue to bring Harry to the church. Her daughter had begun suggesting and negotiating after her birthday in March each year, arguing that she was old enough this year to come watch Maura speak to the spirits.

(Gansey had firmly stayed out of it.)

Finally, Blue gave in.

Harry had her father’s horrible eyesight and her mother’s unruly hair. Her dark skin was peppered with freckles.

And she was currently bouncing in her seat in the back of the car.

“What are the rules?” Blue asked for the fifth time in as many miles as they neared the church.

“Stay with you no matter what, don’t make a lot of noise so you and Grandma can work.”

Blue smiled at her through the rear view mirror and tried to calm her own nerves.

When they got to the ruins of the church (whose only service in the last 100 years had been Blue and Gansey’s wedding), Harry unbuckled her seatbelt and shot from the car, making a beeline for Maura who was already waiting near the gap in old the stone wall.

Blue rolled her eyes, collected her notebook and pen, and followed her daughter.

Maura was talking to Harry when Blue got to them, once again confirming she knew the rules of coming with tonight. Harry rolled her eyes just like Blue had and recited the rules again.

“Harriet,” Maura said, crouching a little to look in her granddaughter’s eyes. “This is an important night. I’m glad you’re here and I trust you to take it seriously.”

Harry stopped bouncing and nodded, eyes wide.

“Alright?”

“Yes, Grandma,” Harry nodded again, then turned and grinned at Blue, ruining the effect of the serious nod.

“Alright, come here,” Blue wrapped an arm around her daughter’s shoulder and guided her to the spot along the path where she and Maura always stood. She dropped her arm from Harry’s shoulder and held out her elbow, which Harry dutifully slipped her hand around.

“No letting go,” Blue reminded her. “If I can’t feel your hand I will panic.”

“I won’t let go,” Harry promised.

Blue nodded. She trusted her kid, she did. For the most part, she was a good kid. But she’d always been so incredibly interested in her family’s psychic trade that it scared Blue a little. She was always worried Harry would try something she didn’t understand and end up hurt or worse. So far she’d only tried to read tarot cards (stolen from Calla) but Blue was always worried that it was only a matter of time.

But it was time. She was ten years old and if Blue kept her from this world much longer, she didn’t want to know what Harry would figure out on her own. Better to be there to supervise and educate herself.

They talked between themselves idly as they waited for the dead to arrive, Maura keeping an eye on the churchyard entrance and gazing down the Corpse Road with quiet anticipation.

Finally, Maura held up a hand and Harry fell silent.

“They’re arriving.”

Blue patted Harry’s hand, still wrapped around her elbow, then opened the notepad and clicked the pen, ready for the first name. Blue was watching her mother, waiting for her to ask the first spirit their name when she felt Harry lean forward, arm still firmly hooked in Blue’s, and heard her gasp.

Blue closed her eyes for a moment and let herself swear very quietly.

“Mom! I can see them!”

“Do not touch them. Do not speak to them. Stay. Right. Here,” Blue ground out.

“What is your name?” Maura asked the first spirit, and Blue began to write.

As she did, she could feel Harry trying very hard not to move. She seemed to vibrate with unused energy, but she did not make any move to try to speak to or touch the spirits Blue knew were wandering past the three of them.

Finally, the last spirit had passed and Maura turned to her daughter and granddaughter.

“What did you think?” she asked Harry.

“I saw them!” Harry exclaimed, finally giving in to her impulse to jump and shout in excitement. Her hand dropped from Blue’s arm but any potential danger had passed, so Blue let her dance around the churchyard and laugh with glee.

“She saw them?” Maura asked quietly as they watched Harry together.

“That’s what she says. I don’t know why she’d make it up.”

“I don’t either.”

“What do we do?” Blue looked at her mother.

“She may not come into any psychic ability for years yet, if at all. The line is strong tonight. Any bit of psychic will see the dead.”

“But?” Blue filled in.

“But if she does, we’ll be there to help her.”

“Thanks, Mom.”

“Of course. Now, you’d better catch her and get her home before she crashes,” Maura smiled.

“Probably,” Blue allowed. “Harry! Time to go!” She called.

Harry skipped over from where she had been tracing the path the spirits had taken before her. She flew past Blue and Maura and got into the back seat of the car.

“She didn’t see anyone she knew, did she?”

“I don’t think she would have been able to stay quiet if she had. I don’t think she’s ever met Gemma Patterson,” Blue named the only spirit whose name she had recognized.

Maura nodded her head, hugged Blue, and left for her own car.

Blue snuck looks at Harry the whole way home, but the frantic energy seemed to have been burned off and now she just watched out the window with a grin on her face.

Gansey had waited up for them, as he had waited up for Blue every St. Mark’s Eve since they had moved back to Henrietta after college fourteen years ago.

He stood as they opened the door to the house and Harry ran into her father’s arms.

While Harry was approaching Blue’s height, her father was still quite a bit taller than her, so when she spoke from the region of his diaphragm, the words were muffled and he had to ask her to repeat them.

She leaned back and looked up at him with wide eyes. “I saw them.”

Gansey’s eyes widened as well and he looked over their daughter’s head at Blue. She shrugged.

“You’ll have to tell me all about it tomorrow,” he smiled down at their daughter. “For now, it’s bedtime,” he continued, guiding Harry towards the bedrooms of their little house.

He came back a few minutes later, apparently satisfied that Harry was at least in her bed, and sat next to Blue on the sofa. She handed him a beer and clinked her own bottle against his.

“She saw them?” he asked quietly.

“Seems that way.”

“Well, how ‘bout that,” Gansey asked rhetorically.

Blue chuckled and leaned into him and he reflexively lifted his arm for her to cuddle into his side.

“What do we do?”

“Mom said any psychic abilities may be a few years coming if she gets any at all. But I think we’ll need to talk about all of this sooner rather than later.”

Gansey nodded and ran his thumb along his bottom lip, a habit he had never outgrown and made him look infinitely young in Blue’s eyes.

“Appropriate, don’t you think?”

Blue hummed in question.

“A gift from each Grandmother. A name from my side, psychic abilities from yours.”

Blue laughed, muffling the sound in Gansey’s shoulder.

“Your mother will be furious that Maura outdid her again.”

Gansey smiled at her and kissed her forehead.

“Let’s go to bed, I’m exhausted,” Blue yawned.

“Yes, a problem for tomorrow,” Gansey agreed, getting to his feet.

~

The next day Blue called Harry off of school, as planned. They knew she would be too tired after staying up late, and the added excitement of discovering she could see the spirits had made the idea of even waking her before 10:00 seem ludicrous.

The two of them had decided that it was best for Blue to stay home with her, as she would be better suited to answer any questions Harry might have.

But now Blue felt completely unqualified for this and spent the day distracting Harry from talk of churchyards and Corpse Roads, telling her that they would all talk about it together as a family.

When Gansey got home, Blue and Harry climbed right into the car with him and drove to 300 Fox Way.

Blue and Gansey left Harry in the kitchen with Orla to help start dinner and the two of them went with Maura to the reading room.

“You look like you’ve seen a ghost,” Maura teased Gansey when they were alone.

He shook his head. “My daughter has, and honestly that’s scarier to me.”

Blue reached out and grabbed his hand.

“We knew this was a possibility,” Blue reminded him, as though either of them could ever forget Blue’s psychic genes.

He nodded and swallowed. Blue turned back to her mother.

“What do we need to know?”

“Like I said last night, it’s very possible nothing will happen for a long time yet. And when it does it may be strong or weak. But being psychic in Henrietta is almost too easy sometimes. So even a weaker gift will be stronger here.”

Blue squeezed Gansey’s hand and he seemed to relax just a little bit.

“She’ll have to tell you what she needs, honestly. It’s a very inexact thing, discovering one’s gift. It may happen in a dream like mine did, or touching an object and being hit with the history of it suddenly and without warning like Calla’s. Or anything really. These things don’t tend to related to family lines or anything so we can’t say for sure it’ll be like mine or anything.”

“So basically, listen to her,” Blue summarized.

“That’s all I’ve got I’m afraid,” Maura gave them a small smile. “But she’s got this whole family if she has questions and she has both of you.”

“Should we encourage her to do anything? Meditations or something?” Gansey asked.

“It might help, but mostly these things happen on their own. She’s already shown an interest in tarot so if you wanted to get her a deck of her own that might be a good place to start.”

“I think we can manage that,” Gansey nodded, his decision nod, and Blue knew he was committing to helping Harry explore this new side of herself even if it scared the shit out of him.

“Shall we bring her in?” Maura asked.

“Give us a minute, Mom?”

Maura nodded and left the room.

“You okay?” Blue asked, facing her husband and taking his other hand as well.

“It’s not like I haven’t thought about it,” he murmured. “But I thought we had more time. She’s so young .”

“She’s not that young anymore.”

“Still my baby, though,” Gansey spoke to her hands in his.  

“And she always will be. And right now she needs us to be confident and collected and not scared more than is necessary.”

“I’m not scared,” Gansey insisted.

“I think we’re both a little scared,” Blue countered. “And that’s okay. Being scared for your kid is basically the definition of parenting. It’s how we keep her safe.”

He smiled, finally, and met her eye.

“We’re gonna be okay,” Blue insisted. “You and me, we can do anything.”

“So can Harry,” Gansey added.

“That she can,” Blue laughed. “Ready to talk to her?”

Gansey took a deep breath and stood, opening the door and motioning Maura and Harry inside.

Harry sat on a chair and grinned, looking between the three adults excitedly.

“So,” Blue began, and Harry stilled, focusing on her face intently. “The fact that you saw the spirits last night means you probably have some psychic talent. It probably won’t manifest for a couple of years yet, St. Mark’s Eve makes these things easier.”

“If there’s something that feels like it’s calling to you, you can ask any of us and we’ll help you work through it,” Maura added. “In fact, I insist you come to us instead of playing around with anything yourself.”

Harry nodded. “I promise.”

“If you want to get your own tarot deck, we can start there,” Blue continued. “Though you won’t be allowed to take it to school, I am not dealing with that Parent-Teacher conference again.”

Harry laughed. “I’d like that.”

Blue turned to Gansey and raised her eyebrows slightly.

“You can ask us anything, too, Harry,” Gansey said. “You mom and I may not be psychic but we know a thing or two. And if you just want to talk, you know you can always come to either of us.”

Harry sprang from her seat and flung her arms around her dad’s neck.

“I love you, Dad,” she said.

“I love you, too,” he answered, squeezing her tight. “So incredibly much.”

As she drew back, Gansey lightly took her arms and looked at her seriously. “I know I don’t have to tell you that this can be dangerous.”

“I know.”

“And that you aren’t to try anything without one of your aunts or your grandma. And they won’t be letting you try anything dangerous even with them.”

“I know, Dad. I’ll be careful and follow all the rules.”

“I know you will,” Gansey smiled. “You’re a smart girl.”

She grinned at him and hugged him again, then turned to Blue.

“Are you gonna give me a big spiel, too?” she asked.

Blue laughed and pulled Harry in for a hug.

“No spiel. I’m just going to remind you that I amplify psychic energy, as do the ley lines around Henrietta. So be careful when you do start experimenting with things because my energy and the ley line energy can make things harder to control.”

“I’ll remember,” Harry promised.

“Good,” she brushed an errant curl from Harry’s forehead and the girl made a face at her, shaking it loose again.

Last, she turned to Maura.

“Thanks for all your help, Grandma,” Harry hugged her.

“Anything for you,” Maura squeezed her tight.

“I’m glad I have you.”

“I’m glad I have you, too, Harry.”

“Even if I never develop anything psychic?” Harry buried her face in Maura’s shoulder.

“Of course,” Maura drew back to look at Harry. “I love you no matter what.”

From downstairs, Orla called that dinner was ready, and the four of them made their way to the kitchen, confident that they could handle whatever was coming next.