Chapter 10 : A Long Over Due Holiday
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"You're lucky, Mr. Nott," she told him. "It just missed your major organs. The quicker we get you to the hospital, the quicker we can help. But you should be fine."
"You sure about that? Should we shoot you and see how you feel? Because it bloody hurts," Theo said through gritted teeth.
"Oh, he'll definitely be okay," Blaise told Harry thankfully.
They helped him stand, wrapped his arms over their shoulders, ready to take him to the hospital. Theo cried out as Harry leant into his bandaged side, but he didn't get a chance to apologize.
"Harry, we can't find him anywhere," Atkins said. "Danny Rayner and the rest of La Oscurità are gone."
"Keep looking for him," Harry ordered. "Get the Hit Wizards out, get everyone you can and find him. After everything he's done recently, I want him behind bars."
"Yes sir," Atkins replied quickly, then gave orders of his own for everyone else.
They Apparated Theo to the hospital, the rest following, but Theo didn't remember any of that. He passed out the moment they touched the floor.
He woke up groggy, sore and in a bed that he was sure was not his own, but he didn't focus on that. He woke up; waking up meant not dying and that was all he cared about. Danny Rayner had missed, Harry had caught Hermione, Hugo was okay; they were alive and that was all that mattered.
He stared up at the plain, white ceiling and let the memories come back, content in just lying there. He didn't know that he wasn't alone until someone squeezed his hand. His instincts told him who it was before he turned to face her, that and her perfume, and he wasn't surprised to find Hermione sitting next to him. By her side, sleeping peacefully in another chair, was Hugo.
"I don't want to let him out of my sight," she whispered. "How are you feeling?"
"Like I've been shot," he muttered dryly. "Where's Alexei?"
"He's outside with Astoria," Hermione explained briefly. "He's telling everyone his daddy is a hero. All he really knows about yesterday is that you got hurt getting Hugo, though."
"Yesterday?" Theo asked.
"You've been asleep for most of yesterday and half of today. It's almost five pm," she said. She pushed his hair back with her hand and smiled down at him. "After everything you've done, you deserved the rest."
He didn't disagree. Actually, he thought he deserved a holiday. Only he was confused as to what was happening in his personal life - he didn't know who else was coming with him.
"On the roof," Theo started softly. "You said that you loved me. Why?"
"Because I know that I can one day, if anything ever happened between us I'd love you," Hermione answered him honestly. He knew what the hidden message was, that she didn't know what would happen, that it wasn't exactly how she felt now, but he didn't care. It could happen; he could wait. "Why did you say it back?"
"Because I've been falling in love with you for almost a month now," he replied just as honestly.
"When the dreams started?" she guessed.
Theo nodded. "Just before I took the murder case. It was all connected. My dreams have a way of doing that. I dreamt that you lot would go into hiding long before you knew, I just didn't know what you were going to be looking for. Don't tell Harry that."
"I won't tell Ron that either," Hermione promised. "He'd go on about how you should have told us earlier, that it would have saved a lot of trouble."
"It doesn't work that way," Theo murmured, feeling sleep creeping back. The healer's must have given him something strong. "What are you doing during the weekend?"
"Why, Mr. Nott? Are you asking me out on a date?" Hermione teased.
"M-Maybe," he stuttered. "I'll tell you in the morning when I'm not feeling the effects of a sleeping potion."
"Then sleep. I'll give you my answer in the morning."
He barely felt her lips pressed against his forehead.
The next morning, Theo woke up sore but alert; no more potion ran through his body and kept him drowsy. He was awake and he refused to stay in bed another minute. He had to see his son. His healer wouldn't let anyone in until he'd eaten something, though. She even kept watch, so he wouldn't make himself sick scoffing it down just to get out. She also wouldn't let him change out of the hospital's gown and into real clothes, though she did let him change into more comfortable pajama-like bottoms and a t-shirt. He followed her to the ward's waiting room, stood behind her while she knocked on the door.
"Someone insists on seeing you all," she said, opening the door wider for Theo to enter.
"Daddy!" Alexei cried, running into his arms.
Theo picked him up, careful to make sure he held his son on his good side, and squeezed tightly. "God, I've missed you."
"You slept a lot," Alexei stated.
"I know, apparently I needed it." Hr carried Alexei to a chair between Astoria and Harry, sitting Alexei on his knee and caught up with what was happening, though they spoke briefly and in a code, so that the children wouldn't understand - Danny Rayner was still not caught, they had Aurors and Hit Wizards looking for him, his picture and name out to the world, including to the Muggle police, but nothing had come up yet. Hugo told them about the room he'd been kept in and the clues he'd left, but not much else; Rayner hadn't said anything in front of the boy.
The most surprising thing of all was that Hugo didn't seem as effected by it as they thought he should be; it was a traumatic experience being kidnapped, Draco had said. But Ron, Hermione and the rest of the Weasley family were so pleased to have him back that they didn't notice anything off, only Theo, Blaise, Draco and Harry did and they kept it to themselves. The only time Hugo had showed any effect was when he woke up crying during the night; nightmares were common according to Draco.
"Maybe Hugo is just trying to be brave during the day," he'd said. "He does have you as an uncle, after all," he'd continued, pointing at Harry.
No one spoke about Theo and Hermione, not until Theo finished dressing to leave the next day and Ron knocked on his room door.
"Harry has your discharge forms. Hermione didn't want to leave until she knew you were okay, so Hugo wants you to get your ass out of this room so he can go home because he was discharged yesterday. He may not have said it in those words, I'm just translating," Ron said with a small but amused smile.
"You're a good man," Theo said dryly.
"I try," Ron winked. He stopped joking then, looking sincere. "About you and Hermione? It's okay, you know."
"How did you know?" Theo asked. "When I was at your house, you looked at me like you were evaluating me. But you didn't know about my dreams."
"No," he assured Theo. "I didn't know about your dreams until Harry told me the other day while you were unconscious. But when your sister goes on about this great guy who would be really good for your ex, you just have to check him out. I like you," he said after a pause. "I think Ginny might be right and you're good with kids, so I don't have to worry about you with mine. You're okay, it's okay."
"Okay," Theo replied with a grin.
Ron rolled his eyes and left, but Theo felt better about the situation. Now he just needed to plan his holiday.
He found Harry in the main entrance, holding Alexei's hand while he and Hermione spoke. Ron stood a little away, carrying Hugo in his arms.
"Hey, Daddy," Alexei said, holding up his arms to he carried as well. Theo did as he wanted and held him tightly. "Are we going home now?"
"Yeah, we're going home."
"Wait, Hugo wants to say something to you," Hermione said. "Hugo."
"Thank you for finding me," the little boy muttered. "Sucks that you got hurt."
"I'm okay, it's you I was worried about," Theo answered.
Hugo shrugged and Ron carried him to the fireplaces to floo him home. "It was great talking to you," he called out. He turned to Hermione. "Nice kid."
"He's kinda quiet," she answered.
"Rose said he's shy, but Lily said he just doesn't like people," Alexei said to him. "I think Lily is right."
Theo whispered in his son's ear that he shouldn't say things like that about a person, especially in front of a person's parents, but Hermione just smiled and told them that Hugo himself said it.
"I should get back to him," Hermione said at last, saying good bye. Her smile was a little wider for Theo. "I'll see you on Saturday."
"Ginny's so excited," Harry sighed, clapping him on the back. "Come on, I'm here to take you home."
Harry led Theo to the fireplace, where he held the powder for him to take and said good bye. The moment he touched the floor of his apartment, he felt better, like life was finally normal again.
"Daddy, Uncle Blaise is asleep on the couch again," Alexei said, wiggling free from his dad's arms.
Yep, definitely normal.
Theo waited for Alexei to leave the room, then he moved to the couch and cautiously shook Blaise awake in fear of being hit like the last time he'd woken his friend up.
Blaise jumped up, groggy and half asleep, but thankfully kept his hands by his sides. "What?"
"You're on my couch."
"Oh. Yes." Blaise sat up and rubbed his eyes. "How are you?"
"I think that maybe I should ask you that," Theo answered honestly. "Why are you here?"
"To talk to you about Hugo Weasley."
"I just met him, he's a strange kid," he said. "He just shrugs and stares."
"Yeah, I noticed that, too, when we were held hostage," Blaise muttered.
"Sorry, I know it must have been hard."
"That's why I'm here, Theo." Running hand hand through his already messed up hair, Blaise checked the hall to make sure Alexei was in his room and shut the living room door. "They left us in that room, I was with Hugo the whole time until the end, and he just sat there. He freaked them out. There's something not right about that kid. It's like he doesn't notice the bad things that happen. If he were older, I'd say that he doesn't care. So I hoped you'd look into that, because I want to be sure that I'm not just a bad person who can't handle kids. I was useless until I broke the guy's nose and got us out, but even that went wrong."
"I'm on holiday, Blaise, I'm not working on of your little PI cases now."
Theo walked away, sure that Blaise was just paranoid and excited to eat normal food. He was stopped in his tracks by Blaise's strong grip on his shoulder and turned around.
"Don't think about Hugo as one of my crazy ideas, think of him as your future stepson," Blaise smiled, knowing that he'd gotten to Theo. "Help your future stepson."
"I hate you," Theo groaned. "Watch Alexei."
He Apparated to St. Mungo's before he could change his mind.
It was surprisingly easy to get into the hospital's personnel files. Theo flirted with the receptionist for five minutes before being allowed access into the ward. He suspected she was lonely and he tried not to feel guilty about it, but his mind had a surprising new ability to think about more than one thing at once. He focused on the work problem; it was okay getting on the ward and even finding the archive room. It was finding the file he wanted that was the problem.
Theo went through the room three times before he found the Ws, then shifted through each one till he got to 'Weasley'. After that finding Hugo's was a little easier and he found himself reading through the file a few minutes later. Hermione had been right about the medical doctor who'd examined her son and talked about his eidetic memory and IQ, but she'd never mentioned the therapists he'd been sent to. The information was small, not going into detail about the sessions, but the things the notes could mention referenced is 'quiet demeanor' and 'lack of response'. He figured out that they'd recommended more tests and a potential medical diagnosis because there was one scheduled into his notes by a healer on the next page.
Theo shut the file away and checked for alarms and wards before duplicating the file. He put the original file away and shrunk the second before sneaking away and flooing to the Ministry.
"Tell me about this," Theo asked, throwing the duplicate file onto Harry's desk. He'd known the man would be there because he'd heard him tell Hermione about a bit of paperwork he needed to write up. Harry was surprised to see Theo, he could tell.
He watched Harry open up the file and his mood darkened. "You had no right to take this, it's private and I'm not sure it's even legal."
"Then arrest me," Theo shrugged, though he really hoped the man wouldn't. "Do you think that Hugo has a medical problem?"
"Why do you need to know about a kid who isn't even yours?" Harry almost pleaded.
"Because according to Blaise he just sat there, apparently he even freaked the gang out, and he needs to know if Hugo is okay, or if he's just really bad with kids because he didn't feel like he was helping until he actually got them out of the room." Theo leant onto the desk. "Just tell me what's what, so I can kick the guy out of my house."
"Blaise is bad with kids, he hates kids" Harry said, positive it was true. "But he did nothing wrong with Hugo. I don't think he has a medical problem, he's just different. George calls him a brat. Draco calls him an evil genius - yeah. I've heard that. I have no idea. He's only six years old, he's just being different. Who knows what type of person he'll be when he's older? He's one of life's great mysteries.
"Now, this is a duplicate, right?" Theo nodded, not exactly sure what he'd learnt about Hugo, but sure he could satisfy Blaise's curiosity enough to get him to leave. Harry continued, "Good, because I'm going to get rid of this, so that no one ever knows that you took something and make me arrest you. Good bye, Theo."
Saying good bye, Theo turned to walk away. Then stopped when he remembered something Lily had said.
"Hugo is bad. Is Lily right?"
Harry shrugged, not knowing that answer at all. "I guess we'll find out when he's older."
A/N: Oooh, look at that sequel opening. Yeah, because this story is in three parts. True story. I don't know when book 2 will be up, but I hope it'll be soon. Till then, I hope you enjoyed this mystery and please let me know what you think. :)