Chapter 9 : A Dream Come True
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But for now he was content to lie in the small, single bed, with his arms wrapped around Hermione's beautiful body. His fingers grazed along her back, loving how soft her skin was, reminding himself of how she'd felt underneath him. He moved his finger up and down softly until she started to wake up; he felt her hand move up from his hip to his chest, tapping the place over his heart before leaving a chaste kiss there.
"We should get up," she whispered. But she didn't move.
Theo wanted to tell her to stay here with him. Then he wanted to tell her to get dressed and sneak away back to his place with him, so they could stay in bed all day without being disturbed. But he wouldn't; he refused to let the thoughts linger a moment longer than they should have, let alone speak them out loud. And she wouldn't follow through with it either; they had to get up. He had to rescue Hugo.
He wouldn't forget that.
"I know," he said instead. He even pulled the sheets away to show he would.
"In a moment," he finished, moving down to kiss her chest, then her neck, before finally finding her lips one last time. Theo pulled away reluctantly and rested his forehead against her's, looking into her soft, brown eyes. "The circumstances are horrible, but I'm glad I met you again."
"Me too," she said quietly. "But that's not much of a surprise; I've followed your career for a long time."
"Yeah?" he asked surprised.
Hermione nodded her head, hitting his, and shrugged. "You're friends with Ginny and she talks about you a lot; I had to know more."
"I don't know want to know what she says," Theo muttered, getting up.
"Nice things," Hermione promised while they got dressed.
The did so in silence, stealing glances and brief smiles the whole time; it was enough, given what was about to happen, to tell Theo that he'd done the right thing. Today was going to bring great loss to a group of people Theo felt he was just getting to truly know, a loss which wasn't supposed to happen at all, but his loss would be for the right reasons. He wouldn't spend his last moments regretting his night with Hermione, though part of him wished they'd been in his own bed and not one covered in Quaffles.
It was a welcome surprise when Hermione shared one small kiss with him, then she snuck out of the room. Theo counted to ten and followed, trying to fix his disheveled shirt and hair, only to stop in front of Harry. His friend's frown seemed to be set on his face and his eyes told him all he needed to know - he knew all about his night with Hermione. And he wasn't pleased.
"Theo, are you up? Breakfast is ready," Ginny's voice called up the stairs.
"I'll be right down," he said back, louder when Alexei called for him.
Theo turned back to Harry, his mouth open and ready to give his friend an explanation, but Harry held up a hand to stop him. "Conference room," was all he said, turning to walk down the stairs.
No one knew that anything was wrong between them when Theo joined them for breakfast, not even Hermione. They ate breakfast as though it was a completely normal day, not wanting to worry the children. When Harry told them he had to get things ready at work, Theo took that as his cue to leave as well. He called Alexei to him, so they were alone in the hallway, and knelt down so they were eye-level.
"I have to go to work now, I have one last thing to do for Hermione and Ron," he started gently.
"You found Hugo then," Alexei whispered.
Theo nodded hesitantly and fixed his son's collar, just to look somewhere else for a moment. He was afraid if he looked at Alexei, he wouldn't be able to finish his job, he wouldn't be able to leave his baby. It didn't work; he didn't want to leave Alexei anyway.
"I found him. I have to go get him." Theo pulled Alexei into a hug, holding him tightly. "You're going to stay here with Ginny, she'll take you to Aunt Astoria if I can't. I love you so much, Lex."
"I love you, too, Daddy."
Theo kissed the top of his head and let go reluctantly. "I'll see you soon, kiddo."
With one more nod and a quick good bye from everyone else, Theo floo'd into the Ministy and took those heavy steps to the conference room.
He found Harry sat on top of the table and shut the door. They stared each other down in silence, both waiting for the other to speak, and when Harry realized that Theo wouldn't be starting, he slid off the table.
"Sleeping with Hermione was not part of the plan when we hired you, Theodore," he said quietly.
"You're going to tell me who I can and cannot sleep with now, Harry?" Theo countered angrily. "You have no right to demand answers from me or even think that you can talk about my love life."
"I have every right, given that I'm currently your employer and you're sleeping with the mother of the child you've been hired to look for," Harry shouted. His eyes were dark and dangerous, causing Theo to step closer to the door.
But he wouldn't give in.
"It's not your call to make. We're not children, our decisions are our own," he replied. "I know where Hugo is and I'm ready to leave my son and die to get him back, so if I'm able to find comfort with another person, to have one night that doesn't involve thinking about death, I think I deserve it. Hugo is coming home today, I'm not."
He didn't include his dream, that Hermione wasn't coming home either, that she deserved that one night as well, but he knew it was time it came up. If anyone needed to know, it had to be Harry. He could tell Harry, he didn't know Ron well enough to deliver that kind of news. He couldn't tell the ex of someone he loved that she was going to die.
Not yet, though. There was something else he needed to talk about first.
"And while we're on the subject of Hugo, why don't you tell me what you wouldn't yesterday?" he demanded. "Why have La Oscurità chosen Hugo? They wanted me, so why not take Alexei?"
"You're the lead investigator, we're just helping, telling you what you need to know," Harry said after a pause. "That's what they wanted. If they had taken Alexei, you wouldn't have been in charge of the case, you couldn't have. It's all for you, this case. You needed a mostly clear head to find them, no way would you have if they'd taken your son."
"But why Hugo?"
Harry let out a breath, as though it was literally his anger he was releasing. But it didn't remove any trace of his despair; his nephew was taken from him and now he was knowingly losing one friend, while unknowingly losing another. It was horrible to watch, but Theo just stood by and waited.
"They don't pick people randomly," he muttered, a small measure of anger suddenly returning. "They look from a young age, for people with... unique abilities or talents, ones that they can use. Hugo is so smart, his mind is better than anyone I've ever met, even those older than him, and his magical ability just grows. He doesn't understand half the things we've caught him reading, but it's like he just soaks all that information up, like a sponge. He's brilliant, he will be brilliant, and he's exactly what La Oscurità are looking for. That's why they picked him, I'm sure of it."
"They're recruiting him," Theo summed up. Harry nodded. "I won't let it happen, I promise."
It was a while before Harry spoke, but eventually he nodded. "I know. So, now that I've shared my secret, you need to share yours."
"What secret?" he asked, confused and alarmed that Harry would know anything.
"You and Hermione," he said. "You've been acting weird around her from the beginning, too weird. I want to know what's going on."
Even though he knew he had to talk, even though he'd decided that now was the time, Theo's mouth felt dry and he just stood there. It was harder than he expected, even telling a friend, but he'd never told anyone except Draco and Blaise when they were children. Not even Adam and Hannah knew of his dreams. His father had known, but he'd figured it out himself.
"I have dreams," he finally murmured, moving forward to sit on the table beside Harry. "Sometimes they come true."
"And you had a dream about Heemione," Harry finished quietly. Predictably, he asked, "What was it about?"
"I'm looking for her, running so fast that I keep falling, but I get right back up and I find her on the edge of the roof. She calls my name and I go to her, then she falls." Theo stopped to catch his breath, as though he really were running. It was even harder to talk about the dream than it was telling Harry he had dreams. "I grab her hand and try to pull her up, but I can't and we both know it. So, she tells me that she loves me, I say it back and she slips. I wake up screaming every time."
He turned to Harry suddenly, looked him in the eye as he finished. "I think it's today. I know it's today. I can't stop it, Harry. She's going to die and I don't know what to do."
"It'll be alright," Harry promised, not knowing what else to say. "I'm good at impossible situations, remember? You and Blaise joke about it enough."
Theo only nodded; he couldn't bring himself to tell his friend that no one could stop his dreams from coming true. He kept his eyes on his knee, preferring to follow the creases in his trousers than look up at Harry.
"Why didn't you ever tell me that you're a Seer, Theo?"
"Because I'm not," he answered quietly. "Seers are all knowing, they can look into the past, present and future when they want and they're very powerful - when they practice anyway. I just have dreams. I've never had a vision any other way. It's why I ran away, you know? That day I met Adam. My father kept trying to get me to See Voldemort coming back, but I couldn't. I didn't want to help him. I didn't want to be a Death Eater. I didn't, I don't, want to die."
"Yeah, well, I've got Draco ready to fix that, too," Harry said. "You're going to be fine, so will Hermione. And when we've got Hugo out and everyone safe, then we'll talk about you sleeping with my best friend. I recommend that you hide from Ginny for a while; she's going to be so excited."
Crap, Theo thought to himself, but Harry could read the word on his face because he smiled briefly for the first time that day.
They didn't say anything else; Ron came in, with news that the teams were ready.
"Where's Hermione?" Theo asked as they stepped out of the conference room.
"She forgot Hugo's book, she said he'd want it when we got him back, so she said she'd meet us," Ron replied. "She'll won't be long, she'll be alright."
They left for the warehouse, lead by Draco, one of Harry's senior Aurors and Theo.
Hermione didn't show up.
The warehouse looked completely empty, but the law enforcement department trusted Harry's judgement when he trusted Draco's - they'd had to spend a lot of time together in the beginning and though their friendship was tentative, he knew that Draco was good at his job. If the man said that La Oscurità had Hugo in there, then they had Hugo in there.
"You know the plan, Theo?" Draco asked.
He nodded hesitantly. "I go in and confront Danny Rayner, providing a distraction while you lot come in. You get Hugo, Atkins gets La Oscurità, I try not to die in the process and we all live happily ever after." He turned to Draco. "Did I forget anything?"
"No, that's pretty much it," he said, slapping his shoulder. "Off you go."
"Astoria knows what to do... if anything happens," Theo told him quietly.
"Yeah, I know. Though I thought he'd have gone to Harry and Ginny," he joked halfheartedly.
"Are you kidding? Astoria would have killed me," he played along, though he thought it might be true if he hadn't made the woman her nephew's guardian. "Ginny understands that."
"Well, he hasn't told her yet," Harry cut in. "But I think she'd be okay. Come on, Theo, before Ron pushes you inside."
The serious tone fell over them, like a thick blanket ready to suffocate them all, and it took a slight push and sheer willpower to force himself to move forward. But once he told himself it was all to save a little boy, that he was finally the hero he wanted to be when he was seven, it was easy. He opened the door, letting it squeak and bang closed; they were waiting for him after all. Once inside, he followed his instincts, a feeling he know thought had something to do with his ability. He just felt like he knew the way, since he'd never actually dreamt of this.
At the end of the corridor, he stopped in front of a man; he was young, with dark eyes and a nose that looked like it had recenty been broken and hadn't yet been healed.
"He's waiting for you," was all he said. Then he turned, expecting Theo to follow.
The guy led Theo into a large storage facility, with boxes, large and small, along the wall, and a little boy in the corner standing next to a familiar looking, grown man.
"Blaise!" he called, both shocked and relieved that his friend was here.
"What trouble have you gotten into this time, Theodore?" Blaise growled.
"Adam's Theo," the little boy cried out before the man could comment on his friend's question.
"Yeah," he answered. "I've come to take you home, Hugo."
"How sweet," came a new voice. Danny Rayner stepped into the storage room, circling Theo before stopping in front of him. "Hello, Nott. Remember me?"
Theo did, he'd seen him every day in the court room during Marcus Rayner's trail. But he shook his head, acting cooler than he felt. "Nope, sorry. Remember your brother, though. Is he enjoying his cell? I haven't had a chance to visit yet."
He should have anticipated the pinch, but it came too quick and blood gushed from his nose before he could act. Theo turned to Hugo, thankful that his friend had turned the boy around, hiding his face in Blaise's shirt.
"I'm going to enjoy this, Nott," Danny promised. "I'm going to make your last day on this Earth hell. Starting with your new girlfriend."
That got Theo's attention, as well as Blaise's. Danny snapped his fingers and one of his men, not the guy with the broken nose this time, dragged in Hermione. He knew she was scared and confused, but she hid it well, kicking and screaming until she saw her son.
"Mummy?" he called back, but he didn't turn around.
"Theo, what's happening?" she asked him.
"I'm so sorry," he said instead. He glared at Danny. "You have me now, let them go."
"No," he said. "Besides I like her, she has spirit." Danny pulled Hermione roughly to him and stood behind her, his breath on her neck. She tried to get away, revulsion clear on her face. "Should we tell her, Theo? About your dreams? I've been watching you for a while, both of you, and I know all about them. Mostly anyway; I know you dream about her, I just don't know what they're about."
"What's he talking about, Theo?" she demanded to know. "Tell me."
"Theo's a low-level Seer," Danny answered her when Theo didn't. "He only has dreams, he doesn't practice. He doesn't open up his mind to more. He could have been a good ally until he locked up my brother."
"He deserved it," Theo spat. "It's true. I have dreams. I've dreamt about you, Hermione. For a while now."
"What do you See?"
He didn't answer, he shook his head and glanced at Hugo. Hermione understood, but Danny wanted him to talk. The curse came out of no where; Theo fell to his knees, he bit his lip because he refused to cry out. Blaise held Hugo tighter when he squirmed, trying to get free, and whispered reassuring things to him.
"You die," he whispered. "I lose you."
"That was his 'evidence', you know,?" Danny continued bitterly. "That's how he locked up my brother; he Saw it. He Saw the evidence and he took the police to it. That's it; no fancy detective work, just a couple of dreams."
"Good," Hermione bit out. "Your brother is a monster, you all are."
"Family is family," was all he said, his wand pointed at Theo again. Then he moved it to Hermione's neck. "He loves you, you know. Or he could have anyway."
No one knew exactly what had happened; one moment everything was silent, the next an explosion echoed around the room, distracting Danny. The boxes blew up simultaneously, all around the room.
"Blaise!" Theo yelled, clumsily getting to his feet.
It was all his friend needed to move into action, picking Hugo up and carrying him out of the room. From the corner of his eye, he saw Draco's team. Hugo was safe now; he had to get Hermione. He scanned the room for Danny to find him gone, Hermione as well.
He knew the way. It played out exactly as he remembered it; he fell to his knees on the stairs, he found the door to the roof of the warehouse and he moved to Hermione. She fell as he got there and he grabbed her arms.
"I've got you," he whispered reassuringly, needing the empty promise.
"Don't let me go," Hermione said. But she wasn't an idiot; he'd told her he dreamt of her dying, she knew this was it. "I love you, Theo."
"I love you," he finally replied.
She fell and he screamed; the dream played out exactly. But he'd never Seen what had happened after she had fallen, he'd never looked over the edge of the roof. And he wished he had; Hermione seemed to fall in slow motion and he recognized the spell as the one Dumbledore had used to save Harry during a Quidditch game in third year. Arms stretched out through a window he'd seen on the ground and caught her.
Breathing out, he ran down. His breath was gone by the time he got to the ground floor and he found Harry holding Hermione his arms, Hugo in her's.
"I told you I was good," he said.
"Thank you," Theo whispered gratefully. He'd never seen the end the dream, he felt like he'd missed the happy ending at the end of a movie. He stepped out to move to her...
And stopped. The gun shot scared everyone, people screamed and ducked. Theo stared in silence, his eyes on Danny Rayner, then he looked down at his side.
Then he fell.
A/N: One last chapter, already written and ready to be posted. You'll find out why Hermione said she loved him in the last chapter, as well as some other things... ;)
Hope you enjoyed. Please let me know what you think and I'll post the last chapter soon. :)
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