Chapter 10 : Part 2, Chapter 1: Now Suffer My Wrath
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You know what’s so wonderful about being a part-Veela dude?
They love me.
“LOUIS! GET YOUR FAT SELF OUT OF BED BEFORE I COME OVER THERE AND MAUL YOUR PRETTY FACE TO RESEMBLE A GOBLIN’S PIMPLY ARSE–”
My hand swung around and smashed into my snooze button, abruptly cutting off Rose’s shrill – yet funny – tirade.
Yeah, my alarm is Rose screaming at me to wake the hell up. She gave this Christmas present to Al, Scorpius and me. All of us hate it. None of us know how to get rid of it.
Rose still controls all.
“What was that?”
I froze with my head halfway down to my pillow, and then I realized I still had Lena – Laura – Lauren? – er…
Well, I met her yesterday. At eight. We were at my flat by eight thirty.
Like I said, girls love me.
“I have to go to work,” I said, turning over onto my back and rubbing at my eyes. L-something leaned over and draped her arm over my stomach. She pressed a sleepy kiss against the side of it, and I nearly squealed like a little girl.
Damn ticklish stomach.
“Go late,” she sighed.
“I can’t,” I groaned, stroking her hair a bit as I sat up. “I have a really important meeting.”
I almost laughed. Dude, I don’t even know you. I just needed to get laid.
“Sorry, love,” I said instead, leaning down to kiss her. She smiled into it – uh oh, she’s going to ask for a date and I’ll have to say no. Get the hell out of here now.
I climbed out of bed and pulled on a pair of boxers off of my floor. “Need help finding your clothes?” I asked, stretching.
She sighed from behind me, thankfully understanding the fact that I was probably never going to see her again. Smart girl. “No, they’re right here.”
When I turned around again after pulling on my pants from last night, she was already out of bed and halfway dressed. I smiled at her – she really was pretty. Smoking body, too. Maybe I could take her out on that date…
Then she beamed back and I decided that I liked girls who put up a bit of a fight. Thrill of the chase and all.
“Want some coffee?” I asked.
She shook her head. “No, I really should be going.”
I waited nicely until she was gone, and then checked my watch – shit. I need to get there in fifteen minutes, otherwise Rose will have my head on a plaque in her living room.
Fifteen minutes later, I was showered and dressed in the clothes that Rose had picked out for me weeks before – really, I need to find a best friend who doesn’t treat me like a small child – and sprinting out of my apartment building at top speed. Stupid fucking important meeting.
Five years is a hell of a long time. Five years means having graduated Hogwarts, gone to law school with Rose, Al and Scorpius, and become a prominent lawyer in a firm co-owned by aforementioned people. Five years means Victoire and Ted getting married, me becoming an uncle to many children – and counting – and finally getting rid of Dom in the form of a ‘modeling job’ in fifty different places that none of us really care about.
(Really, I’m just happy that she’s gone.)
Five years means Rose and Scorpius figuring out their fucked-up relationship and settling down (Rose Malfoy still, to this day, cracks me up. Uncle Ron’s reaction cracks me up more.), and Rose getting preggers, much to the chagrin of Al and me, who like to pretend that Rose and Scorp sleep in separate beds and maintain little to no body contact.
Five years means no more girlfriends, no more bets, and just…general awesomeness. As a single pringle. And loving it. Obviously.
The door bounced off of the wall with a bang as I barreled into the meeting room, clutching four cups of coffee like they were my only lifeline. Immediately, Rose launched into her YOU-ARE-LATE-NOW-SUFFER-MY-WRATH speech.
She has a lot of (insert crime here) -NOW-SUFFER-MY-WRATH speeches.
They’ve gotten worse as Junior develops in her body.
“Oh my god, you are so late. I am this close to squishing you with my abnormally large stomach, and – coffee!” Rose yelped, reaching towards me with a gleeful look on her face. I grinned briefly through my panting, silently thanking Merlin that I’d remembered to bring coffee as a distraction for Rose.
“She’s been ranting about you all morning. Mungo’s will be here in five minutes, you moron,” Scorpius said to me in a low voice after casting a surreptitious glance at Rose to make sure she was properly engaged in her coffee.
“I know,” I huffed, “I got a little delayed this morning.”
Al sniggered into his coffee cup. “You’re a slut.”
I smirked. “Jealous.”
He shrugged and grinned. “I won’t be the one riddled with STD’s.”
“Still can’t believe you have a girlfriend. Are you sure she’s fully sane? Maybe she lost her mind a bit after you knocked her off her broom during school…”
I got a punch in the gut for that.
“Alison’s a Quidditch Agent, her brain is perfectly functional,” Al snapped. Scorp smirked at me; Al’s always really touchy about Ali because she hated his guts for most of his life and therefore he has this whole ‘I-don’t-deserve-her’ complex. We, being the wonderful friends that we are, take the mickey out of him daily for this.
I mean, come on – he did knock her off her broom over a stupid little snitch. He deserves all the crap he gets from us.
Yeah, I’m a really sensitive and mature bloke. These five years have done simply wonders for my personality.
“Three of you, sit,” Rose snapped from the table. We scurried over to her without a single protest – she’s gotten even more dangerous now that she’s pregnant. Just two more months of the funfest! – and quickly took our spots. Al and I sat on either side of Rose, and Scorp sat next to me. He used to sit right next to Rose but that proved to be a bad idea.
I literally had to go to therapy in order to repress the memory of having my brother-in-law try to play footsie with me under the table.
…okay, well, I went and talked to Lily. But she is a therapist, so it counts. Who cares if she just told me to piss off? Details. No one cares about those pesky things.
“Okay, so, we all know that this is really a huge case –” Rose started rambling, shuffling nervously through the papers in front of her.
“ – it’s just a merger,” I said calmly, taking the papers out of her hands. “Rosie, we’ve been over this countless times, it’s not that big of a deal.”
“Yes it is,” Rose snapped, but she didn’t bother trying to get her papers back. “We have to go through investigations and a lot of legal work here, Louis. It’s the medical field, we can’t take anything lightly, especially in a case like this where Mungo’s is buying another small hospital system–”
“Why does she always yell at me?” I muttered resentfully to Scorpius.
He smirked. “You’re the only one stupid enough to piss her off.”
“Mrs. Malfoy,” our secretary Shannon called in a soft voice, effectively cutting off Rose’s YOU-ARE-SO-STUPID-NOW-SUFFER-MY-WRATH tirade. “Mungo’s is here; should I let them in?”
“Oh!” Rose said. She smoothed back her hair, smoothed back my hair (pointlessly making me feel like a small child, thanks Rosie), and took a deep breath. “Sure,” she smiled pleasantly, completely different from her former face of ‘raving bitch’.
I still don’t know how Rose does that.
Al and I exchanged grins over Rose’s head and Malfoy bumped fists with me in our traditional gestures of moral support during times like these.
“Mr. Potter, Mr. Weasley, Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy, this is Mr. Everdeel, Mrs. Raick, and Ms. DiMarco from St. Mungo’s Hospital,” Shannon said with a huge smile as she let them in.
Rose immediately shot me a frantic glance, and my brain seemed to pick up on whatever Shannon had said so brightly.
Aisha’s last name is DiMarco.
…but it can’t be her. There’s no way it could be her. There must be a billion DiMarcos in this world. I’m sure it’s an extremely common name. Hell, I’m sure every other person just has the last name DiMarco. There are probably DiMarco conventions, and all the DiMarcos go and I don’t even know what I’m saying anymore but there’s no way Merlin hates me that much. There’s no way that he’d give me this project – possibly one of the biggest projects of my career – with the girl whose heart I callously broke during school.
There’s no way.
But even as my frantic thoughts ran through my head, my eyes zeroed in on a head of gently tumultuous curls. I know that hair.
It is her.
SERIOUSLY, MERLIN?! SERIOUSLY?!
Letting out a strangled noise of shock, I scrambled towards my folder and held it over my face before Aisha could see me. I don’t know why I hid. Maybe I was scared she would take one look at me and burst into tears. Or whip out her wand and hex my arse halfway to Jupiter.
I couldn’t decide which was worse.
Maybe I just didn’t know what I was supposed to say to her, what I was supposed to do, how I was supposed to act. I need some sort of self-help book for this kind of thing before confronting her! At least give me time to prepare! WHAT IS THIS POOPAGERY.
Rose shot me a glare as she realized I was bloody hiding. I responded with a panicked expression from behind the folder, and Al leaned around her to smirk patronizingly at me.
I am going to hex his arse later.
My heart thudded painfully in my ears as I stared at the side of Rose’s face. She was smiling politely at the Mungo’s team as they took their seats on the other side of the table. They must have given me some really odd looks – stupid, stupid, stupid! Aisha probably thinks I’m more of a freak now, what the hell was I thinking?! – because Rose glanced at me before jumping in with one of her ever-ready stories.
“Oh, I’m terribly sorry about Mr. Weasley,” she said in that adorably sweet little voice she never uses with us, “he just hit his face on the side of the table, and he’s quite embarrassed about the consequent facial injury.”
I glared at her. What the fuck was that?! Way to make me look like a weirdo, Malfoy. Weasley. Granger. Bitch.
No, we’re completely disregarding the fact that I actually am a weirdo.
Just shut the fuck up.
“Oh,” Mr. Everdeel said in a rumbly voice, “well, Healer DiMarco is right here, I’m sure she can look you over and fix that up for you, Mr. Weasley.”
a) Hell no.
b) Healer?! She’s a fucking Healer? Why the fuck is she over here? WHY DIDN’T SHE JUST STAY AT MUNGO’S TO FUCKING HEAL PEOPLE?
Rose looked pointedly at me.
“I’m just going to fix myself up in the loo, actually,” I said numbly. For a split second, I could almost sift through all the emotions rolling around in me. Predominantly, I felt guilty. Also scared. A bit worried.
Clearly it’s all just a big fucking batch of sunshine and rainbows.
Rose stabbed her spiky shoe into my foot and I suppressed a yelp. Bloody shoes. “He’ll be back soon,” she added.
“Like hell I will,” I hissed at her.
She just gave a glare that promised me deep and intense pain for an extended amount of time if I didn’t show my face back here again. Al shot me a look that clearly said to just listen to her. Scorp nudged my back, which I took to mean ‘grow some balls you wimp’.
Damn these people.
Go heal someone, Aisha. Go back to wherever you where before coming into my life again and making me feel so bloody guilty.
What the bleeding hell am I supposed to do in this situation?!
Someone tell me what to do, for Merlin’s sake.
I sighed and stood up, still refusing to remove the folder from my face. “I’ll be right back. I’m very sorry.”
“Not at all!” Everdeel rumbled again. “Are you sure you don’t want some help from Healer DiMarco?”
“No, really – I’m fine,” I said, and practically sprinted out of there.
The next ten minutes consisted of a heavy Muffliato charm and the use of some very colorful expletives.
I have a way with words. It’s actually quite poetic.
“ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? FUCKING GODDAMN MERLIN-SCREWING SHIT!”
Then I kicked the wall for a bit.
That helped, too.
Finally, I figured my time was up and it was about anytime now that Rose would come barging in with Junior, ready to slowly peel off my skin and sprinkle salt over the wounds.
You think I’m joking. She actually threatened to do that once.
One must take Rose Weasley very seriously, as she has sadist tendencies and a disappointing lack of morality.
And they’re letting this psycho become a mother.
I pity her spawn.
I splashed some water on my face and used my damp hands to slick my hair back neatly away from my face. I stared at myself for a couple of seconds, watching as the redness on my face slowly faded back to normal.
Okay. Deep breaths.
Debrief to self: You’ll be working with your ex-girlfriend, the girl you callously used to win 100 galleons for a bet. You’ll be spending time investigating medical files and shit in proximity with said girl, who probably got really hot – just because life likes to fuck with me – and most definitely hates your guts and wants your bowels on a skewer in someone’s front lawn.
I can do this.
I can do this.
I rotated my head a couple of times and cracked my knuckles, then nodded decisively at myself in the mirror – I am a successful lawyer who gets mad biddies, I am a successful lawyer who gets mad biddies, I am a successful fucking lawyer, damn it – and turned around to go back to the meeting and do some intense winning after that major fail.
(I brought the folder, just in case.)
“I’m so sorry for that,” I said as soon as I walked in, adrenaline pumping through my body and clouding my ears slightly. I glanced over the table and nearly stopped short – after all of that preparation, the head of wildly curly hair was…absent?
Oi, what the hell.
“Oh,” Mrs. Raick patted her hair absently, “it’s quite alright.”
I forced myself not to smirk as I sat down next to Rose, who, for once, gave me an encouraging smile and offered me her laptop to hide behind without looking like a prat.
I seized it and ducked down behind the screen.
She’s gone to the bathroom, Rose had typed out discreetly on the blank document. I breathed a sigh of relief. There are a million and one Weasleys in this world, she’ll never know it’s me.
…then again, since it’s Aisha, she probably will. Chit’s smart, after all.
The door opened and Rose put a hand on my knee as I froze in my seat.
“Pardon my absence,” said a smooth voice. I gulped; she sounded exactly the same. “I suppose we can begin now?”
“Yes we can, Healer DiMarco,” Al said cheerfully.
Pretend nothing ever happened. Good tactic, Potter.
“Potter,” Aisha said lightly, “you don’t have to be so formal; call me Aisha. We did go to school together.”
There was a short beat of silence while I cringed at the coldly polite tone she had adopted. Who knows how she’s going to act with me. Probably bitchy to the max. Shit.
“Then you can call me Al, Aisha. It’s what all my old friends do,” Al shot back smoothly.
“I’d hardly be considered an old friend, Albus, but I appreciate it.”
Damn, she’s gotten really feisty.
“Rose Weasley – or should I say Malfoy,” Aisha said, a slightly more pleasant tone to her voice. “You make a very beautiful mother-to-be.”
Rose blushed. “How did you –?”
“I’m a Healer, Rose, I can tell.”
“She’s also been trained in law,” Mr. Everdeen popped in, “she was the best candidate for a transaction like this.”
Old man sounded practically in love with her.
Malfoy nodded at her from my other side. The fact that Aisha had completely ignored my presence wasn’t lost on me; I didn’t really know how to react to that. I swallowed and placed my hands on the keys to seem like I was typing something important.
The next hour was…well, let’s just say that Rose let me type out every single little detail so I’d never have to show my face. As a result, every second was excruciatingly painful and I kind of wanted to die by the time we were done with it.
Everyone seemed really pleased with the results – I checked the screen. “Thank you so much for taking this case!” Well, that explains it – and Mr. Everdeen-the-fucker invited us all out to lunch. Rose went and accepted, the idiot. Aisha declined politely, saying that she had some patients she needed to attend to.
I mentally took back the comment about Rose being an idiot. I could finally start acting like a normally functioning human being again. These people probably think I’m a freak.
The two old farts excused themselves from the room to wash up, while I breathed a sigh of relief and unfolded my back from the hunched position I’d been using to sulk behind the computer screen. Scorpius patted my back for some reason, but I just shot him a weird look.
“Well, thank Merlin –”
My voice died in my throat as I slowly turned my head, my face fixated in a horrified expression. The next second involved the breath being totally knocked out of me as I stared at Aisha.
Bloody hell, she’s beautiful.
It’s not like anything that major changed about her either – same bright blue eyes, same light dusting of freckles and perky nose and pretty lips and crazy hair – but something about her just seemed so brilliantly different, so incredibly beautiful.
Maybe it was the way she held herself. Her eyes seemed to twinkle with defiance – is that makeup? Why do they seem so bloody blue? Were her eyelashes always that long? IT LOOKS REALLY GOOD SOMEONE KILL ME – and she stood straight with her chin held up, the wildly curly tamed to fall gently down her shoulders instead of springing all over the place. She was wearing a blue blouse – it matched her eyes, and no I am not practically female for noticing that – and a skirt that cinched at a tiny waist with a belt and fell right above her knees.
It had a slit.
I swallowed and forced myself to breathe.
Rose elbowed me roughly in the ribs for checking Aisha out so blatantly and my eyes snapped back up to meet with deep blue.
I took another breath.
“It was nice seeing you again. Or, rather, the top of your head,” Aisha said, holding my gaze levelly as a light smirk graced her features. Fuck. Al turned a snort into a cough – yes, we all know she’s lying and hates me, ha ha – and Scorpius kicked me under the table.
My brain had literally fizzed out. I think I must have croaked out some sort of appropriate response, because her mouth curved up into a sexy little smile – breathe in, breathe out, try not to lose it – and she turned around to leave the room. My mouth ran dry as I stared at her wonderful arse.
Always loved that arse.
Rose smacked me upside the head.
“Oi, shit-for-brains,” her voice swam into the light buzzing sound currently overtaking my hearing.
She smiled in a way that told me I was really screwed. “You might want to get your wits back. You’re doing all the investigations with her.”
I stared at Rose while she beamed like she had just done me a huge personal favor.
Well, fuck me.
not gonna lie, this new Aisha is incredibly fun to write. GOTTA LOVE DEM BITCHY REVENGE-SEEKING FOLK.
hell hath no fury like a woman scorned? oh yes. aisha dimarco is out to prove it. watch out, louis.
mweheheh. oh i have so much planned for this poor man.
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