Chapter One

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June 2033

Harry awoke alone in the bedroom, again. Rolling over, his hand spread out on the sheet of the bed, to find Lucy gone, again. His blue eyes fluttered open, and for a second, he forgot where he was. He forgot about the life he lived. He just waited for Lucy to come back to bed. She wasn't going to come back to bed. There was silence, never ending, as it pumped through his ears. It covered his body. And it wasn't peaceful. The sound was sickening, and he wished for it to leave. He wished to return back to reality.

Upon returning back to reality, voices filled the house. All of the voices were sound, all screaming for something, more like someone. Yet there was a voice missing. Harry rolled out of bed and rubbed his feet. Immediately he left the bedroom, in search for the missing voice.

"Mummy!" screamed a little voice. Harry peeked into five- year- old Louise's room. "I don't want to wear it. It's ugly."

Bent down beside the little girl was Harry's wife, and she wore a frown. It wasn't even seven in the morning yet, but she had a worn out expression on her face. Dark bags hung under her eyes. Her eyes were somewhere between unimpressed and tired, on the boarder of annoyed or angry. "You thought it was cute yesterday." Lucy didn't try to keep her voice light in front of her daughter.

"But it's ugly now, Mum. I want another-- get me another."

"Louise," Harry said to her daughter, keeping his tone light, "wear it today and we can see what we find for you tomorrow."

"Okay, Daddy." The girl smiled at the compromise.

"Do you need help putting it on?" Lucy asked.

"Mum, I'm almost six." Louise placed a hand on her mum's shoulder. "I'm almost an adult."

Lucy bit her lip so a remark didn't come out.

"You can leave now."

Slowly, Lucy stood, anger radiating off her slowly. Louise needed an attitude check, which would've come soon enough from Lucy if there were four other children in the house that kept calling for their mum as well. Lucy said nothing as she left the room. Harry watched his daughter but said nothing either. The door closed behind his wife.

A sly smile slid onto Harry's face. "I didn't see you this morning."

Lucy tried to move past him, to get to the four other children calling for her, but Harry blocked her path. "The kids woke up early, again, and I had to deal with them."

"Why didn't you wake me up too?"

"You came in late last night."

"You look tired, Lucy."

"Thanks, Harry." Lucy scoffed and walked around him, finding the next screaming child: Beatrice, who had a hard time with her hair.

"Lucy," Harry whispered, but she paid no attention to him. She strung up Beatrice's long blonde locks into braids that crowned her head, a technique she ended up needing to learn as a mum after Louise saw a girl have them at school. Louise had talked non-stop about them. "Lucy, can we--?"

"Harry, five kids-- three kids are still in need of attention. Go deal with one of them," she snapped.

Swallowing, Harry said nothing, even when he hated-- hated-- when Lucy spoke to him like this. He wished it wasn't this way but after six years of five kids, most of the life was like this. Though they had three nannies, already criticized for having too many and how much money it cost by the public, Lucy had cut down the nannies. Yet, three was necessary. However, only one belonged to the family, especially the last two years. "Where is Nanny?"

"She has the flu."

"So, she won't be in?"

"Obviously."

Harry rubbed his face. "Why do they need to look pretty and dressed today?" he asked. "They're not going anywhere. There aren't any events."

"I know that, Harry."

"Then why?"

"Because they bloody want to be, Harry." Lucy finished with the hair and pushed past Harry again, who followed her again. "Harry, there are three kids in need of attention. Go see one of them." Yet all the kids screamed for her, even the eldest, Freddie and Henry, who were looking for something. Lucy moved into the next room, Emma, who dug around in her closet for something. "What is it, Em?"

Suddenly, there was a crash from downstairs. Something shattered on the hardwood floor. The whole Kensington Palace apartment seemed to go silent as everyone waited for the next shoe to drop. The next shoe happened to be a mum named Lucy.

"Shite," Lucy muttered as she got out of Emma's room. "Freddie, Henry, what did you do?"

Both boys had gone silent downstairs.

Lucy's feet were heavy on the stairs as she descended. Harry called down to her, "What do you want me to do?"

"Emma still needs something. Go help her." Lucy bit her lip so she didn't say anything else and she moved down the steps. "Frederick! Henry!"

Harry paused at the top of the steps and waited. Listening he heard his wife ground both of the boys for breaking something; they would have no video games or television privileges for two weeks. Harry found that to be rather harsh, but you didn't step into front of a train and the boys had done just that. He was sure that he could've been able to get the sentences reduced when he spoke to her later. Harry wasn't sure when later would be but hopefully soon.

"Daddy!" Louise called, even though Harry made his way to Emma's bedroom. Louise stood in the hallway, in the outfit she picked out just yesterday and said how much she loved it. Now, she hated it. Unlike Lucy, Harry compromised with the children, which seemed to anger Lucy even more.

"What is it, sweetie?"

"This outfit is ugly."

"It's pretty, sweetie."

"No, it's ugly." The little girl shook her head fiercely. "I don't want it."

"You wanted it yesterday."

Louise stripped down and held the dress out for her father. "I hate it." She went back into her bedroom and closed the door.

Harry stood there dumbfounded as many voices rang out from around the house. Silence and peace were long gone. Lucy's voice was gone for a second before rocketing in again, as the boys continued to argue with her. Harry wished to believe that his days weren't always like this, and it was true that they weren't, but some days, these days seemed to last a lifetime.

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