Monday came with such little incident that I almost forgot to hate it.
When I woke up, Victoire had already gone to work. Louis was lingering by the fridge when I entered the kitchen, scowling at its empty contents.
“Merlin, d’you two ever buy food or not?”
I reached for the milk over his head. “You know, you could help out too, considering you’re living here now too.”
He grunted and I stuck out my tongue at him.
“Where’d Vic go?”
He began chugging down pumpkin juice. “She went to work early. Something came up.”
“Aren’t you going to leave?”
“Yeah, soon. We’ve been having a slow week, so Juniper won’t mind.”
Juniper Kwan was Louis’s boss, and the two had always had a friendly relationship. I rolled my eyes, wishing that Freddy was as lenient.
Today, the sky was a mass of grey. Louis grumbled about how all the rain always made the place look depressing, and I watched the skies slowly trace the coming waters. I had never seen the rain as anything less than liquid sunshine. Flowers and leaves were rejoicing in the waters and it seemed as though bit by bit, the world was flooding in the scents of potential.
Flourish and Blotts also had little going on that day. I filed and shelved books with an almost mandatory sleepiness. Nubia seemed to be sitting in her own little corner, so my only companion was the wind. Even Marlene – who was off to attend the birth of her grandchild – would have been welcome in all the eerie quiet.
Nubia and Freddy were very deliberately avoiding each other.
Whenever they were forced to see each other – he kept his eyes down and mumbled something stiffly and she nodded.
Since I was now stuck in between them, I could do nothing at all. I went back to shelving and ate in solitude, wishing I’d invited Claire along for the day.
So passed Monday morning.
In the evening, Maman and Dad arrived and fluttered over Victoire’s engagement. Dad sat stiffly at the sofa by the doorway, watching the trickling of the water on glass. Maman was on about a wedding boutique that she and Vic were going to visit the next day.
“Anything wrong, Dad?”
He moved over to give me space to sit next to him. Dusk was coming slowly across the skies and the stars were rippling under the skin of pink. “No, of course not.”
“You’re not angry?”
He laughed. “Why would I be angry?”
“Nothing about ripping Teddy into pieces?”
“No…no, of course not.” He cleared his throat and at the sight of my suspicious expression, laughed. “You don’t give me enough credit, Nicky. No, it’s – I’m happy, you know.”
I understood. Of course I understood. It was that strange fan of mixed feelings that I’d had just the night before.
Dad had always been so protective of Vic – of all of us – now that we were all grown up. First, Victoire had been five and falling over her own feet. She was still thirteen and a half and dancing around in her room, singing a Weird Sisters song loud enough to rattle the whole house. Then she’d been fifteen and falling for Teddy Lupin. She wanted – no needed – that brand new self-combing hairbrush from Mademoiselle and Maman was the most horrible person in the world for refusing her. Everyone had it, after all!
Then, somewhere in between the gum wrappers and the forgotten clothes, she’d grown up. Her yellow-hued nursery became bright pink when she was seven and then dark green and filled with posters when she was thirteen and then finally, empty, when she was eighteen.
But Teddy would take good care of her. I knew that. And now, so did Dad.
From the other side of the room, Louis piped up, “If you feel like killing Ted, I’ll help. A wedding, honestly…like our family needs any more…”
Victoire rolled her eyes and Maman said, her voice still excited from the news, “Oh Louis, weel you let your seester ‘ave ‘er fun? She eez getting married! Oh, we must not ‘ave any of zees wedding planners rubbish, Victoire! We can do eet ourselves!”
“Yes, I think I can handle it, Maman. The girls’ve all promised to help.”
Dad raised his eyebrows disapprovingly at Maman. “Now, Fleur, don’t go around giving her the wrong ideas about weddings. They’re a lot of work. And married life, Victoire, it’s a process in which – ”
There was a collective groan around the room. Louis flopped onto the ground next to us and gave Dad a look. “Please, not another story about your marriage.”
Maman gave us an offended look. “And what eez wrong wiz our marriage? Az I recall, you need our marriage to even be ‘ere!”
“Not that,” said Louis hastily, “but we’ve heard it like a billion times from you and Dad. Yeah, first you came from France – ”
“Without a Galleon on you,” added Victoire. Maman gave her a sharp look and Victoire shrugged. “Well, it’s true, Maman.”
“Then you started working in Gringotts to make some money,” I said, and the story continued in its ritualistic roundabout way.
“Then you met Dad. You thought straight away that he looked like – ”
“ – a prince from a fairytale – ”
“You two fell in love and all that rubbish – ” (Louis as always, was incredibly tactful.)
“But Nana Molly didn’t approve because you were French.”
“Eet waz not because I waz French,” said Maman haughtily, giving Victoire an annoyed look. “Eet waz for ozzer reasons entirely!”
“Yeah, then you won her over with your pure love.”
“The wedding wasn’t at all fancy like you’d hoped. It wasn’t even in France, but you managed because you loved Dad so bloody much and all that.”
“And you live in mostly wedded bliss. You had Vic, then me, then Louis. And lived happily ever after.”
Dad looked highly amused. “Mostly wedded bliss, eh?” He slung an arm around Maman. “Looks like we got our fairytale ending, then, Fleur.”
“Apparently not,” said Maman, sniffing, “since I ‘ad to ‘ave such rude cheeldren!”
At this, we all burst out laughing. Even Maman looked mollified at our fairytale rendering of her life. Of course the three of us knew that it hadn’t really gone that way – that Maman had had her fair share of troubles with living alone in England, with Nana Molly. Dad and Maman had argued sometimes after getting married, had fought for silly enough reasons, but none of that could shroud the fact that their marriage had thus far lasted for twenty-seven years, so something had to be right about it.
Maman patted Victoire’s hand sweetly. “Darling, you must be patient wiz your husband.” Victoire blushed at the new term, but Maman continued. “You must not forget ‘ow much you love each ozzer. Zat itself weel be enough for most theengs.”
At this, Maman turned to kiss Dad. He smiled softly at her and mumbled, “They’ll be just fine, Fleurette.”
Louis caught my eye and we both mimed gagging. Fleurette was Dad’s cute name for Maman.
But Victoire was watching them with admiration in her eyes. “I know, Maman. I’ll be alright.”
“Of course you will,” said Dad. “It’s in your blood, after all. Weasleys always have good, strong relationships.”
“Tell that to Freddy,” said Louis, giving me a look. Apparently, Freddy had divulged his side of the story to my brother as well. Dad gave us a curious look, but neither of us said any more.
“Well, zere is work to do,” said Maman, rubbing her hands together, “so shall we begin, Victoire? I ‘ave booked a time for you at a very nice wedding boutique. I ‘ave been seeing many bright green dresses zis year – so ‘ideous, ‘orrible things…we weel ‘ave only peach colored, do you agree? Zose weel be good for your complexion…”
With that, the conversation fell into mumbles of wedding talk. The rhythms undulated with my family’s laughter as the wind punctuated the rise of the curtains in the night winds. They laughed and I laughed and the sun sank past the skyline, but it seemed as though night would never come.
It was a time of forever sunshine.
Work came and went. Nubia and Freddy worked with their now-characteristic stiff silence in between them. Louis stayed in bed late that morning, moaning about his head hurting. I passed his bedroom on my way to the kitchen, only to hear him mumbling about Lisette in his sleep.
Things were going pathetically for the whole lot of us, save Victoire.
Outside, the street was flooded in water. Muggle cars were backed up and blaring at each other a few streets down in Muggle London. Colors and sounds blurred and the film of wetness under the pavement stuck on my feet.
Work finished itself neatly that day and I left, glad to be rid of it all. But none of that helped calm that horridly bubble feeling – made of bees and butterflies and children’s playthings – from lapping.
I stared at the address he’d scribbled on parchment. It had been engrained in my head for most of the day. It was a small manor in Bedfordshire, he’d said. None of that old, dark Malfoy Manor rubbish. His mother had seen that those medieval traditions had gone.
Sunshine and rose gardens, he’d said. And I clung on to the words desperately, hoping he hadn’t been trying to comfort me. I closed my eyes and breathed deeply, feeling the pitter of rain drops on my skin. I thought of butterflies and Sunday morning teas and biscuits in sunlight.
With that, I twirled my wand and felt the world – its rain and its spring flowers – twirl into nothingness.
I landed on soft mud. My boots – brand new light green ones from Maman’s store at that! – sunk in with a squelch. I closed my eyes and cursed.
Brand new boots!
I was going to enter Scorpius’s parent’s manor with my feet covered in mud! I desperately made to siphon it off with my wand, but even magic could only do so much when the rain kept pouring.
I looked up and my breath fell away to a whisper of the wind.
It was beautiful. Their manor was beautiful – rather like an old-fashioned Victorian manor that I had only seen in Muggle magazines. The main building was quaintly colored in a dusty peach hue, with plants on trellises weaving their way onto the path. Two gardens opened on either side, with small fountains scattered arbitrarily on either side.
Everything seemed to be chaotically beautiful. Plum trees cut umbrellas through the water and apples clung next to crocuses. Pansies fluttered and roses sang, the drops of morning still upon their lids. A large pumpkin sat merrily within the bedlam. There were a thousand different shades of green spilling from every corner; it was as though the dirt had been bestowed with a delicate layer of verdant silk.
The door opened.
“Does you think that is – ”
“No, don’t be ridiculous, Pipes! Mistress wouldn’t, Poppy says!”
Two pairs of brilliant blue eyes peeked from the edge of the door. I stood on the pathway, soaked and stared back at them. One of them shrieked at the eye contact and hurried away, but the other stared even more intently.
“Who is you? What do you want with Mistress?”
“Um – ” My voice came out in a twitter. “My – my name’s D – Dominique…”
It died out awkwardly. From the other side, there was a burst of jostling before the door opened.
Two house elves stood on a white marble floor, dressed in crisp white robes. At the sight of me, both bowed. The lean, lanky one, addressed me immediately. “My apologies, Miss, Pipes knew it was you. Mistress has been expecting you. Pipes hopes you will forgive Poppy, Miss.”
“Um, alright then?” It came out as a question. I entered the room. It seemed to be a hall of sorts, with white marble that sank into the ground. There were paintings on the walls – some of which were not moving and some of which were watching me curiously. A large, ornate chandelier in the shape of a harp hung from the ceiling, with diamonds rippling in the rainy breeze.
The short, stout one eyed me bad-temperedly. “Poppy apologizes as well, Miss, but if you’ll come along now…” She latched on to my hand and began walking me through the hall. “Mistress has been waiting, she has. Master’s not been in the best of moods, Miss, been on about punctuality. The young master’s always patient of course, always so – ”
“Excuse Poppy, Miss,” said Pipes earnestly as we hurried along. “Us house elves isn’t normally so rude.”
“Poppy is not rude!”
“Poppy is rude to the young miss! Pipes cannot – ”
We entered a dining room and they both fell into a respectful hush. The room was blank, save for another harp-shaped chandelier and a slender wooden table. An archaic stairway snaked around the back of the room and up into the floors above.
On the other side, a petite woman with flowing blonde hair was pushing in a chair. At the sight of me, she put down her goblet, clasped her hands and hurried towards me.
“Oh, you must be Dominique!”
“Yes, um, hello.”
I stuck out my hand, but she engulfed me in an embrace. I maneuvered out of it awkwardly and she looked me over, still smiling. Her eyes were the exact same shade of blue as Scorpius’s.
“It’s nice to meet you, Mrs. Malfoy.”
“Call me Astoria, dear. Mrs. Malfoy’s my mother-in-law.” She laughed. “Scorpius will be so delighted that you’re here! He’s told me so much – oh, I must call him – he always forgets – ”
“Allow me, Mistress,” said Pipes, his eyes huge.
“No need, dear, I can manage.” She walked one step into the stairway before yelling, “Scorpius, darling! Get down here at once!” There was a pounding of feet in a room above and Scorpius emerged, tugging at his robes. He gave me a small smile. It was a reassuring gesture – I felt at peace immediately.
Astoria Malfoy stared at the small encounter between us eagerly, before saying, “Get your father from the study, Scorpius.” When Scorpius turned away, she began ushering me into a seat, refusing my offers to help. “No, I won’t have any of your help, dear. That won’t do at all – Pipes and Poppy can more than manage, I’m sure.”
“I don’t mind, Mrs. Malfoy.”
She waved a hand airily. “No, no, you’re a guest. It’s rare, you know, that Scorpius brings anyone over at all. You’ll be taken care while you’re here.”
“Really?” I felt myself being pushed into a seat. Pipes and Poppy both disappeared into the kitchen beyond. Mrs. Malfoy took a seat across from me and stared at my expectantly.
She was short, with a sweet face and clear features. Her white silk robes flew in the winds and she chucked to herself, before turning to me. “So, tell me, dear, what is it that you do?”
“I work at Flourish and Blotts, Mrs. Malfoy.”
“Astoria, dear. It’s Astoria. So you met Scorpius there, is it?”
“Yes. My cousin actually introduced us.”
She laughed. It was a sweet, tinkling sound. “Freddy, wasn’t it? He’s such a – ”
That was all we managed. Scorpius had reentered with his father. I recognized Draco Malfoy immediately. He was clothed in black robes and had lightly thinning hair. He had a pointed face and a blank expression on his face.
He took the seat next to me, but Astoria shooed him up immediately. “No, darling, not there. Let Scorpius sit there, will you?”
I blushed. Scorpius sat next to me, smiling. Mr. Malfoy cleared his throat. I stared between everyone, uncertain of what to do. Mrs. Malfoy seemed to take the cue.
She turned to me brightly. “I’m so glad you came, Dominique. Scorpius’s told me so much about you.”
Scorpius groaned. “Mum!”
“Well, it’s true. It’s not often that he has a girl over, you know. The last one was – oh, let me think – it’s been years really. And she wasn’t very nice at all, that girl.”
I gave a sideways glance to Scorpius, who was keeping a resolutely blank face. “Yeah,” he said lightly, laughing, “I – I don’t get that lucky with – ”
“I wouldn’t say that, dear,” she said, looking at him fondly. “Don’t you remember all those lovely girls I tried introducing you to?”
“Wait, what?” Now my interest was perked. Scorpius rolled his eyes.
“Mum – ”
I stared at Scorpius, but Mrs. Malfoy gave me a reassuring smile. “No, it’s not quite like you must think, dear. My friends had daughters, you know, and they were rather interested, I daresay, but Scorpius wouldn’t have any of that.”
I smiled, almost in relief.
“Which is why I insisted on having you over,” said Mrs. Malfoy. “I do apologize if it does seem too soon, but I so wanted to meet you.”
Mr. Malfoy cleared his throat. “Astoria, we discussed this. You agreed – ”
“Oh, hush, Draco. You never let me have my fun.”
“It isn’t necessary, as I’ve told you. He’s not a child – ”
“And I’m insisting. Now why won’t you – “
Scorpius gave me a curious gaze. He leaned over and whispered, “They’re usually like this.”
“Do they argue a lot?”
“Sometimes, but mostly Mum wins.”
I laughed. The noise of it reverberated around the room and Mrs. Malfoy looked up from her argument and at us. We were leaning towards each other and she clasped her hands together and beamed. “Ooh, isn’t this just lovely! Darling, you’re doing splendidly! It’ll be just perfect!”
“Enough,” said Mr. Malfoy curtly. He seemed to see my confusion and sighed. “Do you intend to keep this up every time our son brings a visitor?”
“Nobody ever comes here,” said Mrs. Malfoy, pouting. “It’s so awfully lonely. I like having people over, but neither of you ever bring anyone!”
“As soon as you get better – ”
“I’m not having this argument with you, Draco. Not again, and definitely not in front of our lovely guest.” She looked up and waved an arm extravagantly. “Pipes, Poppy, you may bring out dinner now!”
Within seconds, both Pipes and Poppy appeared at our sides, arms laden with silver plates and silver goblets. With that, dinner began.
Dinner proceeded with little pomp. It was still raining unyieldingly outside. Mrs. Malfoy talked and prodded me relentlessly with questions. Outside, the purple folds of the plum tree were swinging.
Scorpius ate between gently chiding remarks at his mother whenever she seemed to be rushing me. Mr. Malfoy sat in a cool silence. He didn’t give me much of a thought, but rather seemed to be putting most of his effort into containing his wife.
If I hadn’t known better, I would’ve guessed that Draco Malfoy was the frail one, not his wife.
“So, tell me about your sister, darling.”
“Um, well, she works for Enchantress Monthly.”
Mrs. Malfoy clicked her tongue. “Oh, my fault entirely! My memory must be fading, honestly. Oh, of course I should’ve known that she did.” With that, she pushed the platter of potatoes towards me and smiled. “More, dear?”
“No thank you.”
“Mum,” said Scorpius quietly, “you should let Dominique be.”
When she turned up to get desert, Scorpius quickly gripped the side of my chair. “Ah,” he began apologetically, “She – is she – ”
“No,” I said quietly so Mr. Malfoy wouldn’t hear, “so don’t worry about it.”
Scorpius beamed and gripped my hand tightly under the table. I let our fingers interlock and he held it as though he refused to let go.
To be honest, I wasn’t bothered. I really wasn’t.
It made sense that she was so eager to see me – perhaps a little too eager, but still. It had occurred to me somewhere between the quietly sad gazes she gave to Scorpius when he wasn’t looking and the way she seemed to delight every time he made eye contact with me.
She missed this. She missed having people over and she missed seeing Scorpius happy. She felt guilty for holding her son back with her sickness.
Mrs. Malfoy reentered with Pipes and Poppy at her side. The two house elves were carrying a multi-layered white cake that seemed twice their height. She delicately took her place back at her seat, folding her grey robes carefully under her. Mr. Malfoy watched her with a pained look.
“Astoria – ”
“Don’t worry about me, Draco,” she said crisply. “Scorpius, serve our guest, why don’t you?”
“Astoria,” he said, sounding angrier this time, “Don’t exert yourself. You know what the Healers said – ”
“I won’t,” she said cheerfully, though she gave him an annoyed look. “Now eat, why don’t you? This cake is Pipes’s speciality!”
After dinner, Mrs. Malfoy pulled me aside.
“Could we speak for a moment?”
“Yes – um, of course.” My voice came out in a small trill. It was the ritualistic speech on how I had to behave around her son, wasn’t it?
Mr. Malfoy left stiffly, still not saying a word, though he spared the two of us an exasperated look. Scorpius was ordered to go to his room and the leave the two of us alone.
“Mum – ”
“I’m not letting you argue, Scorpius dear,” Mrs. Malfoy said cheerfully. He gave her a warning look, but I touched his hand silently, and he sighed.
“Ah – fine – ” he said helplessly, and trudged upstairs.
“Look dear, it stopped raining! Let’s go out into the garden!”
With that, Mrs. Malfoy – Astoria – and I descended into the garden outside. There was a small cobblestone courtyard that fanned out into an indiscernible eternity of greenery. The plum trees fluttered in greeting as we walked onto the grass, their skins wet with raindrops.
“It’s beautiful here,” I said, breathing in the fresh air – an intricate weaving of mountain air and spring moistness.
“Isn’t it?” She smiled. Among the folds of the garden, she looked much more at peace. She had the aura of one being in place that had only happy memories. “Draco didn’t want to move here, in the beginning.”
“Bedfordshire. He didn’t want to leave his mother and father behind. They’d gone through a lot together for his sake during the war.” She smiled softly, before taking a seat on a small stone bench so at place among the trees that I did not notice it was there. “It was understandable, of course.”
“Of course,” I said quietly.
“We lived together with his parents for the first two years of our marriage, if you can imagine that. Not one of my most pleasant experiences. His father – ” She broke off, giggling. “Well, his father was something. Didn’t say much to me at all. His mother – my mother-in-law Narcissa – she didn’t really like me much.”
That was a problem, I thought in relief, that I’d so far seemed to have avoided with Astoria Malfoy. “Why?”
“Oh, she’d been hoping Draco’d marry a mutual family friend – Pansy Parkinson. Of course I wasn’t going to let that happen. And Pansy went ahead and decided she’d rather have Blaise Zabini.” Her eyes twinkled happily. “Then, Narcissa’d been hoping for him to be interested in my sister Daphne. Too bad for her that I’d already set my sights on him.”
I laughed and she grinned like a schoolgirl caught doing something bad. “Yes, she wasn’t too happy, I’m afraid, but she had to get used to it.”
She was talking as though she hadn’t had someone to speak to for months – with a great sense of relief. “I waited quietly enough for two years. Two! But of course, as usual with Draco, it took something important to make him want to move out.”
She smiled. “We found out that I was pregnant with Scorpius. Even Draco knew that we couldn’t really try to bring up a child in that old horrible manor. I wanted somewhere new for Scorpius to begin his life without being constantly reminded of the Malfoy history.”
The leaves rustled quietly.
“And we began to look for a new house. We found this place when it was nearly abandoned. Plants everywhere – all over the house and inside it – it was chaotic.”
“What did you do?”
“Oh, I insisted that we buy this house. Draco was mortified. I won’t even tell you what Lucius – that’s his father - thought of it. Everyone thought I was going mad, but I knew it would be perfect. We spent four months renovating this place. I painted most of it,” she said proudly, “and getting more and more pregnant along the way. Three days after we were done, Scorpius was born.”
She sighed. “Isn’t it?” She arose and began walking around. “Draco made this garden.”
Draco Malfoy planted a garden?
“Now, don’t look too surprised. He did it as a gift for me and for Scorpius.” Then she looked straight at me. “Oh, I must’ve bored you, dear, you look so tired. You’ll have to excuse me.”
“N – no, of course you didn’t bore me, Mrs. Malfoy.” I stared at her as she began to turn away, still slightly lost on what the point of our conversation had been.
“Let’s get inside, darling. I think I’ve wasted enough of your time – Scorpius must be waiting for you.”
The minute we stepped inside, Scorpius was seated on the bottom step, his head tucked between his knees. He gave me a happy look when I arrived and pulled me away from his mother immediately. Astoria watched the two of us with an earnest look as he gestured upstairs.
“Let’s go to my room,” he said.
We ascended a spiraling staircase and after walking past several rooms, arrived at one with a plain white door. He opened it – to a room with light blue walls. Sand-colored bookshelves filled with books reached for the ceiling and a bed lay huddled in a corner. The walls were covered with paintings of mountaintops and oceans and photographs of his family. Several blonde children were waving up at me from one picture, all huddled around Scorpius.
He followed my gaze. “Those’re my aunt Daphne’s kids.”
“They’re lovely. Your whole family is lovely.” At this, he beamed. “Even your room’s lovely.”
“Glad you think so. Er – to be entirely honest – I was a bit scared of bringing you here.”
“My mum,” he confessed, “can come on – er – strongly. And my dad’s not exactly – ”
At this, we both began laughing. Perhaps it was the evening’s madness or the cake or the spring, but I didn’t much care. He smiled at me and we began to lean forward to what I knew we’d both been looking forward to the entire evening, but he stopped himself halfway.
I stared back, confused. “Um, is something wrong?”
To my surprise, he reddened. “Err – it’s not – just – ah, I don’t know how to put this – ”
He grasped my hand gingerly. “I – er – Dominique…”
“This is hard to say – I mean – ” he caught sight of my expression, “ – no, not like that – what I mean – ”
“What is it?” I took a seat on top of his bed and he sighed, taking a seat next to me. He ruffled his hair thoughtfully, before sighing.
He buried his head into his arms and groaned. “Why is it so hard for me to talk to you?!”
I laughed. “Is that what this’s about?”
“No – I mean – ”
He took a deep breath, as though calming himself, before grasping my hand again. “Be my girlfriend?”
I stared blankly. Then it came out in a rush of happy breath, all beautiful impulse. “Yes!”
He beamed, but said nothing. With that, he pressed his lips against mine and I responded back, smiling, feeling as though I understand how the sand felt when the ocean lapped against it.
The moments of quiet happiness and the slow pitter-patter of raindrops on the windowpane both came. Outside, the world again retreated into water and greenery, all under the finality that only night could bring.
When I Apparated back home, the landscape was littered with small puddles filled with the night sky. I stepped in each one deliberately as I made my way to the flat, splashing and laughing when I knew no one was looking.
Silver stars peppered the horizon and everything smelled like rainfall.
As I fumbled with the keys to my flat, I could hear muffled noises from the other side.
“ – stop it, both of you! – ”
“I didn’t ask for this! It isn’t my – ”
“You – you’re - ”
The door opened in front of me to reveal our sitting room filled with angular shadows. Louis stood on one side, looking distinctly ruffled.
Claire stood against the wall, looking furious. Somewhere behind her, was –
“Lisette?” I said, at a loss that after three years, I was seeing Lisette Doucet again. “Is – is that you?”
A girl with soft brown waves stared up at me from behind Claire, her hazel eyes clearly holding back tears. “Dominique?”
“What’s going on? What’re you doing here?”
Claire yanked at Lisette’s hand, shooting Louis a murderous look. “Leaving, actually. We’re both leaving.”
“Wait, hold on, what happened?”
“Ask your arsehole of a brother,” was all the reply I received from Claire before the door slammed and the two of them Apparated into the darkness. I turned to my brother, confused.
“Nothing,” he said before I could ask anything. “Nothing happened.” Louis marched stoically into his own room, without saying anything more.
I stood among the remnants of it all, still lost for words. I took a seat on the sofa and watched the water trickle slowly downward.
Despite it all, I couldn’t stop smiling at the thought of the whole evening.
Author's Note: Another long update! Hopefully, the wait was worth it! =D With this chapter, I've decided to officially change the format of this story to novella in the hopes that the new length will allow me to better develope all my characters. The formatting is also a little odd, but I'll get to editing that soon.
Nicky and Scorpius are now official! To be honest, Nicky hasn't really thought of Molly's reaction, so that should be a nice surprise. ;] How were Astoria and Draco?
And what d'you guys think happened with Lisette and Louis? I know Louis seems like a proper jerk at the moment, but hopefully that'll improve soon!
Thank you again for the continual support! I read and adore every review, though school has considerably delayed my responses. And as always, please don't forget to review this chapter!