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'It's what we thought. No, it's what we knew. A hundred times over. I can't explain it; I can't explain you. None of us can. You shouldn't exist, Hannah, and yet you do.' He laughed sheepishly. 'We're calling you a miracle.'
'I'm no miracle,' she said. 'But it's given you hope, hasn't it? It's given you all a shred of hope. For a future, I mean.'
Gabriel was silent for a while. Quietly, he said, 'That depends on you.'
She didn't know what to say to that. So she squeezed his hand instead.
'You haven't told me what you learned from Seb,' he said.
Hannah shrugged. 'He says my father worked it out. From the diaries. Don't ask me how. Do you remember I told you about Albert and Anna? My great-grandfather and great-grandmother? They lived in Sopron, fled to Germany when Jakab tracked them down. For a time, while he was preparing to kill Albert, Jakab supplanted him. Just like he supplanted my father. And when Anna fell pregnant, it was Jakab's baby growing in her belly.'
'Which means Jakab was your ancestor. Your great-grandfather, in fact. Do you think he knew?'
'No. And I don't think it would have made much difference if he had. He was too corrupted by that point. Too insane.' She shuddered. 'Come on. I don't want to hear his name any more. He's dead. Gone. Out of our lives forever. Where's Leah? Have you seen her?'
From the trees, Hannah heard a rustle of movement.
'Have you been sitting there all along?'
'Come over here, scamp.'
The aroma of toffee and chocolate. Of salty skin.
'What have you been doing?'
'Starting a diary,' the girl replied. 'One of my own.'