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Chapter 17 : Ten Million Fireflies.
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I sighed and leant my head against my hand, my eyelids fluttering slowly closed. “It sucks,” I agreed tiredly.
“Why are you so out of it?”
I grinned sleepily. “Didn’t get much sleep last night.”
There was a moment of silence while the cogs worked in Scorp’s brain and I groaned loudly at the insinuations, dropping my face into my arms.
“I didn’t mean it like that,” I said, before Scorpius could start freaking out.
He let out a sharp breath. “Then what did you mean? You’re barely of age, Adele, you’re not ready to have kids no matter what I’ve been blathering on about –”
Ladies and gentlemen, meet Rational Scorpius. He has a brain and only shows up when he needs to be serious, which isn’t very often. So observe closely and add this to the ever-growing list of why Rose is an idiot and Scorpius is perfect for her.
“Rose yelled at us for four hours last night,” I cut across flatly. “Apparently, our meddling is ridiculously childish.”
Scorpius fell ominously silent, and I raised my head to look at him. He was staring anxiously at the wall behind me, chewing his lip in that absentminded way of his when he was thinking about something particularly depressing.
“She really hates me, doesn’t she?” he finally asked quietly, his handsome face falling into an expression of gloom.
I had to smile; at least this time I won’t be lying as I try to make him feel better.
His jaw clenched.
“She loves you,” I said softly.
And the expression on his face kind of made everything worth it, even though I had to use the dreaded L-Word, and our “ridiculous meddling” probably made things worse.
“I hate my bloody cousin,” Al groaned as he stumbled into the sitting room and collapsed onto the plushy sofa next to me. I opened my mouth to tell him to sod off because I was having a brother-sister moment with Scorpius, but he dropped a sloppy kiss onto my bottom lip and then put his head on my lap.
I froze. Scorpius started laughing loudly at the expression on my face.
I do not allow people to sleep on me.
No, I don’t think you realize how serious I am about this. Last time Rose fell asleep in my lap she found herself waking up with a faceful of grass.
(Yeah, so maybe I did let my best friend faceplant on the ground as I scrambled away from her. She was sleeping on me! Unacceptable, remember?!)
Al sighed and wiggled into the sofa cushions. He looked way too comfortable.
“Al, get off,” I said.
It’s only because I L-word him that he even got a warning.
“No,” he responded, “I’m comfortable.”
Scorpius started laughing even harder. Rule Number One about Adele Malfoy is that she does not appreciate being substituted for a pillow. Everyone knows that about me, and here is my husband, breaking Rule Number One.
He is so screwed.
Without further warning, I stood up quite abruptly and Al let out a loud yelp as he tumbled off my lap. I was allowing myself a short victory smirk when his flailing limbs caught my waist. I let out a shriek as his arm dragged me down against him…and the next thing I knew, I was lying on Al Potter on the couch.
I narrowed my eyes at him, unimpressed.
“No can do, dearest. You’re kind of on me.”
More glaring. He continued to smirk at me, the little git. Does he not realize that when I’m pissed off, it’s best if you just sort of let me simmer down? That’s Rule Number Two about Adele Malfoy!
“Then let go of me,” I said in my Tone of Danger.
Rule Number Three about Adele Malfoy: when she uses her Tone of Danger, she really means it.
He just smirked at me. “Actually, I’m kind of comfortable right now.”
And then he snuggled me up against him and promptly fell asleep.
Literally, I fell into shock.
“Well, see you later!” Scorpius announced as he turned to leave. “Try not to kill the bloke in his sleep, Adele. You enjoy his existence, remember?”
“What?” I hissed sharply, slapping away the poke before it could ram itself into my side again.
Al fell silent, and I sighed as I continued staring at a column of falling stars in my room. It kept swaying from the breeze that swept through my window. Oddly mesmerizing. Useful for bouts of husband-induced insomnia.
(Stupid Al and his stupidly comfortable chest.)
(*stupidly comfortable – muscular, defined, really fucking hot – chest.)
“I can’t sleep.”
I groaned and stuffed my face into my pillow.
“It’s your own fault,” I mumbled accusingly to him. Also your fault I can’t sleep, dunderhead.
“Actually, it’s Rose’s fault,” he said idly. He removed a strand of hair from my shoulder and pressed a kiss onto it. I closed my eyes, wishing it didn’t make me feel so incredible yet loving the feeling anyway.
“It’s always Rose’s fault,” I muttered.
He grinned against my shoulder. “Agreed.”
I turned over so that I was facing him, my breath immediately quickening slightly at the expression on his face. He grinned in response to that. I didn’t have the energy to deny feeling any type of attraction towards him. I’d be lying anyway.
“What do you want to do?” I asked quietly, tracing down his straight nose and then outlining his lips with a light finger. He leaned forward and kissed me.
“Well, it’s July,” he murmured against my mouth.
“Hmm,” I agreed, “I know.”
“And I’ve seen a lot of fireflies out…”
I sat up in bed, ignoring his protesting huff. “You remember that?” I asked in surprise. Hell, even I didn’t remember telling him about the fireflies.
He blinked. “Yeah. You made a promise, you know.”
I grinned. He remembers what I say to him!? “Come on, then.”
He sat up, but I’d already bounded out of the bed and towards the French doors in my room that would lead me outside to my massive backyard, complete with an entire forest. I could see the fireflies already, flickering through the trees like little floating lights.
“Wow,” Al breathed as he came up behind me. I couldn’t help the childish grin that spread across my face as I looked up at him. His expression was open and awed, like a kid that’s discovered magic for the first time.
“They look even more amazing close up,” I whispered, taking his hand and pulling him forward.
We walked along with the grass between our toes and fairy lights twinkling all around us and in that moment, I started to realize how romantic this all was.
And then I realized that I don’t really do romantic. In fact, romantic sort of makes me want to gag and then trip an old lady or steal something from a little kid, just because good things give me nausea.
Hey, I never said I was normal. In fact, I recall making it abundantly clear that I am an incredibly fucked-up-in-the-head person.
“It’s magnificent,” Al said in a hushed voice, stopping quite abruptly. And all of a sudden, I completely forgot that I hated anything to do with L-word. I forgot about falling grannies and crying babies because I guess being with Al was too much of a good thing, and I wasn’t quite throwing up yet, so why not enjoy it and let it last a little longer?
I twisted my fingers with his and laid my head on his shoulder. “I don’t think I’ll ever get used to this,” I said quietly, my eyes hungrily taking in the incredible sight in front of me. A lightning bug flashed in front of my eyes and I grinned.
He let out a breathless chuckle. “Me neither.”
Al conjured up a blanket and we sat there for hours, sometimes talking, sometimes just silent, surrounded by a cocoon of glitter in the air. And it was almost like we were in the middle of an incredible fantasy dipped in moonlight and scattered between stars.
It might have been nauseatingly romantic. But more than anything, it was perfect.
I got woken up by a firefly landing my ear. I sat up with a hysterical gasp at the contact, and Al groaned sleepily as I accidentally hit him over the head with a flailing limb. I squinted through the darkness. It must have been around three in the morning and we’d…bloody hell, we’d fallen asleep outside.
And bloody hell, I would get woken up as soon as I actually got to sleep. Bloody bug. Bloody Rose.
“Al,” I said, poking him on the shoulder. “Al, get up, we have to go inside before something comes out of that forest and eats us raw.”
Well, that got him up pretty fast.
“There’s stuff in that forest that would eat you?” He asked in a clear voice. Usually when I first wake up I sound like an inebriated troll.
“It would eat both of us,” I clarified, clambering to my feet and cracking my back with a satisfied sigh.
“And you’re still cool with hanging around here? Adele, that’s really dangerous –”
I rolled my eyes. “I don’t see you running to safety.”
He copied me, rolling his eyes right back. “I’m not worried about me. I’m the son of Harry Potter. Even monsters know not to eat me.”
I started laughing.
“I’m serious!” He insisted, pulling me down and poking me in the side. This only made me laugh even harder since I’m so bleeding ticklish.
“Oh, I’ll give you something to laugh about,” he muttered darkly, and then he sat on top of me and started tickling mercilessly.
“Stop! S-stop, Al!” I gasped between hysterical giggles, writhing around. Rule Number Four about Adele Malfoy is that she does not appreciate being tickled. Ever. No matter what the circumstance.
“Beg for mercy,” he growled, grinning manically.
“Can’t – breathe –”
This time all I could manage was a strangled sound somewhere between a choke, a gasp, and a giggle-snort. Needless to say, I sounded like a pig being tortured.
“I don’t hear any begging,” he sang. I wanted to point out that since he was tickling me and I was unable to breathe, he wasn’t going to hear much of anything from me pretty soon.
I can see the headlines now: Innocent Girl Killed by Husband’s Ceaseless Tickling. What a horribly demeaning way to die.
I tried to wiggle my way out of his death-lock on my poor hips, still making that seriously unappealing noise as he continued to assault me – a little wiggle to the left…maybe the right…maybe up?...and suddenly, he stopped tickling, a weird look crossing over his face.
Immediately, I gasped in the biggest, most refreshing breath I have ever taken in my entire life.
“You –” I wheezed, my chest literally heaving up and down from the sudden rush of air, “—are going to suffer for this.”
Unfortunately, this threat was not delivered under the best of circumstances. I pretty much sounded just about as scary as a pig being tortured.
You know, I used to terrify people. Literally, I’ve made them cry.
…what has my life come to.
“Stop wiggling,” he said in a constricted voice. He looked as though he was suffering. HA. SUFFER MORE.
A big evil grin spread over my face. “You mean this wiggling?” I wiggled my hips around underneath him. This time he didn’t even try to warn me again; he swooped down in one fluid motion and caught my lips in a forceful, bruising kiss.
I really don’t know what came over me. Maybe it was the way he was kissing me, urgent and needy and the kind of kiss that makes flames erupt on your skin and fireworks explode behind your eyes. Whatever it was, it had me tugging my fingers through his hair and kissing back just as ferociously. For a couple of minutes – or hours, I really don’t remember – it was a tangle of limbs and soft sighs and encouraging groans and kisses on my face and my mouth and my neck and my lips on every available surface I could get to, and hands trailing around and around it was all so dizzy but it felt so good.
Minutes blurred into longer minutes, and I don’t even remember when or how we’d made it back inside, but suddenly we were stumbling against my bed – and when did he manage to pull off my shirt? – and I was arching my bare chest against his and he was nipping at the skin of my throat –
“I love you,” I sighed, throwing my head back as he left a bruising mark on my skin. My hands were in his hair, tangled through the strands.
It took a couple of seconds for the words to hit. He pulled back to stare at me, but I was panting and my brain was completely gone, a million miles away…and before I could even think about recalling what was happening and how and why and Oh Merlin…he was kissing me again, faster, his hands drifting lower and lower and bloody hell this feels amazing…
yes, guys, they had sex.
(and i just saved myself from having to write an awkward sex-scene or whatever leads up to the actual sex which is just not something i'm okay with writing)
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