Chapter 36 : Jumpstart
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October turned into November, November into December and Christmas break had arrived before we knew it. Our meetings in the Room of Requirement were never again as dramatic as they first were, but mostly full of updates. Mackenzie was approaching three months old. She’d started rolling over in her sleep, blowing bubbles and clapping a lot. Despite everything, Tyler and I rode the train together back to Daddy’s mansion. We’d started acting like close friends again and I wondered if he had started falling back in love with me yet. I didn’t try anything, still trying to give him his time, although I thought “time” would’ve ended three months ago.
We didn’t realize the awkward dilemma of sleeping arrangements until we dropped our trunks off in our bedroom. I stared at the bed for a few silent moments. “I can sleep in the guest room, if that would make things easier for you.” I whispered, trying not to let him hear the embarrassment, disappointment and sadness in it.
Things jumpstarted just as quickly as they stopped. Tyler became unfrozen and finished dropping his things. “No, that’s fine. I don’t mind sharing the bed again… unless you’re uncomfortable, and then I’ll sleep in the guest room.” He said nonchalantly.
I tried to pretend my heart hadn’t soared and I wasn’t hopeful that we’d spend the whole night in each other’s arms. “No, that’s fine.” I replied as soon as I was sure my voice wouldn’t give me away.
He smiled a small smile and I knew we were nowhere near fixed but it seemed we were doing better every day.
“I guess I’m going to go down and help Mum with dinner.” I said quickly, eliminating any opportunity for awkward silences.
He nodded. “I’ll watch Mackenzie.”
Dinner went by quickly, and as much as I wanted the chance to be close to Tyler again, I dreaded having to walk into that bedroom and face the awkwardness. We walked in together slowly, closing the door behind me. I envied him right now. He acted so unaware that this felt so foreign to me – even though it shouldn’t. We were married afterall. I opened my trunk and inwardly cursed. All I had for pajamas were the ones I’d bought with Mum during wedding shopping. I’d put the wrong ones in my trunk and left the warm ones at Hogwarts. “What is it?” Tyler asked.
“Um… Nothing. I walked into the bathroom empty handed and undressed, stepping into the shower. I’d have to scorgify and transfigure my clothes into warm pajamas when I got out. I made a mental note, to go to Diagon Alley tomorrow and get a few things. I made my shower longer than normal, hoping that by the time I got out, Tyler would be asleep. Shampoo ran down my forehead and into my eye unexpectedly and I hissed, stepping one foot out of the shower to reach for a towel. Wiping my face, I set it down on top of the toilet, bringing myself back into the shower. My left foot slipped and I felt myself falling. I let out a loud squeal without meaning to and collapsed on the shower floor. I’d laid there in pain for a whole millisecond before I realized my arm was throbbing horribly. There was a frantic knock on the door. “Alix!?” Tyler yelled through the wood.
I cursed and steadied my voice a little. “Ty, could you slide my wand under the door please. Quickly if you can. It should be on the bedstand or on my desk.”
“What happened?” He replied, but his voice was distant and I could tell he was looking for my wand.
“I fell. I think I broke my arm.”
“What?! I’m coming in!”
Before I could tell him no, or even make an attempt to pull the towel on top of me, he was inside the bathroom. He ran over to me, getting into the shower next to me, fully clothed and lifted me. He brought me to him and leaned me against his chest, gingerly holding my arm. I hissed. He had his own wand in his hand, I noticed, as he lifted it. “Episky.” He said, with great focus. With a sharp pain, I felt the pain go away. It took all of three seconds for us to notice our position and how horribly awkward it was. He helped me stand and then averted his gaze, stepping out of the shower and onto the mat, dripping wet. “Are you alright?”
“Yeah. Thanks.” I replied awkwardly. “You didn’t have to do that.”
“Just because we’re separated, doesn’t mean I stopped caring about you Alix. See you outside.” He replied and was it me or did he seem angry?
“Thank you.” I said back, just in case.
I finished rinsing out my hair, – carefully this time - brushed my teeth, and got into my transfigured pajamas. Taking a deep breath, I slipped out of the bathroom door and into the bedroom. Tyler still wasn’t asleep. He aid on his back, hands behind his head, staring at the ceiling. He looked towards me as I stepped into the room but didn’t say anything. He didn’t look mad anymore, but just like he was contemplating something.
“You alright?” I asked.
He nodded, and I didn’t push it, looking for a hairtie on the top of my dresser, and putting my hair into a ponytail. Well, no more stalling. This was it. I walked over to the bed – our bed – and laid down on my side, but instead of clinging to Tyler like I used to, I turned my back to him. Closing my eyes, I said “Goodnight Tyler.” I heard him sigh and felt the bed move. A second later, his body was up against mine and he had wrapped his arm around my waist.
“Goodnight Alix.” He whispered into my ear and it sent chills down my body. I briefly wondered if he’d notice, but a chuckle confirmed that he had. I fell into sleep quicker than I had in months.
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