Leonie stood at the window of her family’s back parlour, a dark haired baby girl in her arms. She had the same, strikingly dark locks as her father, and a shocking amount of them considering her age. The little girl, Karissa as Anthony had told her, was to be seven months in a few weeks time. Her eyes were large and round, a surprisingly light shade of blue for her age. Her eye colour nearly matched Leonie’s own. The small girl held Leonie’s finger tightly in her small fist and giggled as Leonie bounced her up and down. Anthony had come to their home to speak with her parents, and had left little Karissa in Leonie’s care. There were only seven people in the world who knew who’s child Karissa was, and Anthony had said nothing about her birth to anyone in the household when he had arrived. He had merely handed Karissa to Leonie, gave Leonie a small kiss on the forehead, and went in to speak with her parents.
She knew why had had come. He was speaking with her parents regarding a marriage between the two. One upon a time, everything had been well and good between the young couple. They were in love, and had the blessings of both her family and his. They would have been married upon their graduation from Beauxbatons, had it not been for stubbornheadedness on both parts, and extreme family loyalty. He had been close to his family his whole life, and she had wanted to go back to hers to try to forge a bond with her sisters, one that lacked as they had attended separate schools. Anthony already had that connection with his sister, and Leonie wanted it. He wanted to go home to Italy, she had wanted to go to her family in England. Neither one wanted to give in, and in the end they had thought that family was more important than love. Leonie knew she was wrong, but she wouldn’t realize it or accept it until she would see him more than a year later. Several drinks too many, a mistake and nine months later there had been another human being added into the equation of their love. “Karissa,” Leonie whispered to the darling little girl in her arms. The girl had been torn from Leonie the minute she was birthed; Leonie hadn’t even been giving the option to hold her daughter. Two weeks went by before Leonie would return home, which where she was ultimately headed. She had been in England since.
Leonie had no idea what the fate of her daughter was. She had heard her parents speaking about which orphanage the girl should be sent to, but past that, everything was kept very hush hush. That was, until the letter. Leonie hadn’t heard from Anthony since her parents took her away from his home back in January and she hadn’t bothered trying to contact him, either. There was a small part of her that was hurt because he hadn’t put the effort forth to try to contact her, to see if she was okay and how well she was faring. She was faring miserably and would’ve had the sense to tell him otherwise, but it would’ve been nice to know he cared. It was a complete surprise to her when his letter came in May, stating that not only had he come to England to find her and be with her, but that he had rescued their daughter from the orphanage that she had been sent to. Leonie couldn’t stifle her excitement and her joy to hear such news, and the two began to plot right away as to how best further approach their situation. The best answer was for Anthony to find his way to Baudelaire Manor and speak with her parents directly. It was a miracle that they would see him; she had allowed her parents to believe that she was raped and that was what had resulted in a pregnancy, but her parents were not stupid. When they were there during her delivery, it was plain to see Anthony’s concern. It had been more than that of a past suitor, and more than that of a best friend. Leonie’s father had been able to read the concern on Anthony’s face and knew it all too well- it was fatherly fear. Leonie’s parents had approached her about the topic when they had arrived home, but she neither confirmed nor denied their suspicions.
There was a cough from somewhere behind Leonie; she had completely forgotten that there was a chaperon in the room with her. Oh, yes. Brilliant. Because anything was going to happen between Leonie and her daughter other than falling completely and madly in love. Anthony had been right about Karissa; her personality was seemingly all that of her mother’s. She was a good baby, curious and loving, perhaps too trusting and always happy. He had been wrong about her looks, though. Karissa had Leonie’s eyes and her nose, but she was going to have her father’s dark locks, and his smile, the smile that had captured her heart. Leonie spun on her heel and looked at the chaperon. “Elizabeth, you are free to go about your everyday business. You are of no service here.” The woman stood and looked worried. “Go on, leave,” Leonie urged. “I will take the fault if it is to come to that.” The woman took another minute to think about her actions before curtseying and excusing herself. Leonie sighed and ran a finger across Karissa’s soft cheek. “Oh sweet darling, my sweet baby girl,” she whispered to the daughter she had longed to meet. Leonie brought her face to Karissa’s and rubbed their noses together, eliciting a musical symphony of giggles from Karissa. Leonie’s heart melted and was taken away from her. This was what she had waited her whole life for. She had felt completely empty on the inside the last seven months for good reason. Karissa seemed to fill the gap in her life, and having Anthony with her made it all the better. Leonie couldn’t believe her luck. “My little mistake, and my most precious miracle.”