Miranda has a lovely summer, some of it spent at Karen's and some in Italy and some at home.
She shows up with Karen at the train platform and they look for Minor.
And then they can get some sleep.
When he gets back to school Monday morning the word has preceded him.
"It's a rather permanent sort of scandal for what I had understood to be his tastes," Miranda remarks to Karen and Minor.
"I mean, if he had a kid, that's permanent like it or not."
"Why did he wait until there was a kid?"
"I don't know. It's not very responsible but - a lot of people do it, for such an irresponsible thing, so I've been assuming it is compelling in some way we don't understand yet."
"I don't mean why did he have one, I mean why didn't we hear about this six or seven months ago -"
"That he was secretly seeing Muggles? Maybe he was planning a dramatic reveal at some optimal moment - he already had two girlfriends here - or maybe he didn't, uh, eleven months ago? Maybe he just went out and seduced a Muggle for a night and didn't think about it again and then went back a year later and -"
"Well, at least he did go back, I guess."
"I don't think he's spent the last six or seven months debating whether to do the decent thing that doesn't seem at all like him -"
"It's not impossible he has hidden depths but yeah..."
"It's not that I can't imagine him being conflicted - I would never do that in the first place but I can imagine feeling horribly conflicted if somehow I had - it's that I can't imagine him handling being conflicted by being secretive and indecisive."
"It's not like he could duel her."
"Ignore her, support her, or marry her." He shakes his head. "Timothy must be so mad at him."
"He probably couldn't have kept it from Timothy so I guess he definitely didn't know she was pregnant till recently?"
"Good point. The baby's already two months old, I honestly bet he found out in the last week - that's more like him - well, it's more careless than I thought he was to get a Muggle pregnant in the first place but if he had -"
"And now suddenly you have a niece."
"Yeah. And a Muggle sister-by-marriage - I hope they can stand each other -"
"D'you know anything about her?"
"Michael hasn't written, I don't know anything that everyone else doesn't know. She's, uh, careless, that's not exceptionally promising -"
"Well, so's he, at least they match."
"Yeah but it might be better for him to have someone who wasn't, to balance him out instead of egging him on -"
"I am very happy. Can the wedding be on Saturday?"