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Chapter 13 : Three months
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His fears didn’t just present themselves in his dreams; they appeared at random points during the day. Only yesterday he had a sudden thought about how he had no idea what the hell he was doing when it came to looking after a baby, causing him to nearly have a panic attack in his Transfiguration lesson.
Horatio tried his best to soothe Louis through these moments, telling him that no one knows what they’re doing when their kid comes along and recalling his memories of his Aunt Sarah accidently leaving her son Leonard in The Leaky Cauldron and not realising until she was in Gringotts.
“Thank god that the owner of the pub was around and saw Leonard before someone else did,” Horatio had told Louis with a small laugh. “My aunt came back crying and apologetic, thankfully the Ministry wasn’t involved or that could have caused some real problems. But they’ve turned out fine.”
Louis had looked at him wide eyed, wondering just why Horatio decided that this was the right story to be telling Louis, who was trying to not freak out about the imminent arrival of his daughter.
He had tried to tell Freya about his fears when he had Owled her, but she hadn’t been much help, being terrified herself, she wasn’t able to offer much of a reassurance to him, in fact she seemed at times to not want to talk about it. Louis put this down to being terrified herself that their daughter was due in about three months time.
In three months he would be a father.
“Louis you’re not going to start hyperventilating again are you?” Horatio asked from his seat next to Louis at the Hufflepuff table in the Great Hall.
Louis took a few deep breaths and looked down at his cereal in front of him. Shaking his head slightly as though trying to tell himself to snap out of it.
“No… I’m fine.” Louis told Horatio slowly, he looked up at the sound of the Owls flying in with the morning post. Noticing Horatio’s face paling as he stiffened and looked at them warily, flinching away slightly as a large brown Owl landed in front of him, its wing nearly clipping him in the face.
Horatio reached out to the Owl and took the letter it was carrying, the Owl flew away quickly and Horatio looked down at the letter with a small frown.
“Isn’t that your parent’s Owl?” Louis asked Horatio, wanting to stop himself from thinking about how unprepared he was for being a father.
“Yeah,” Horatio said, ripping open the envelope and pulling out the parchment that was folded inside of it. “But it’s not my mum or dad's handwriting.”
Louis pushed his cereal away from him, not feeling hungry anymore.
“Horatio, are you okay?” Louis asked, turning to look at Horatio, whose frown had deepened across his face and was ripping up the letter he had been reading.
He waved his wand and the ripped up pieces ignited on the table, Louis quickly waved his own wand to put the flames out as he took a glance around. No teachers had noticed Horatio’s small bonfire taking place, Louis grabbed Horatio’s arm to stop him trying to set anything else on fire.
“Do you want the teachers to stop you from going to Hogsmeade today?” Louis hissed at Horatio, his hand still clutched tightly onto Horatio’s wand arm.
“It might be a good thing if they did,” Horatio muttered, moving his arm out of Louis’s grip and putting the wand back into his jacket pocket. He ran a hand through his hair, which was becoming quite long again, and then gave a small groan of annoyance.
“So you could abandon me and make me walk around on my own?”Louis asked him.
“You won’t be alone; your sister’s coming down to see you.” Horatio told him.
His sister Dominique was coming down to see him in the village as she had a day off from her Healer school, she was originally going to travel down with Freya if she could get the time off from her home schooling. But it seemed that she was unable to, apparently she needed to focus on doing her end of year exams that she was going to be taking early.
“My brother wants to meet me in Hogsmeade; apparently he’s got something to tell me.” Horatio told him, he was shaking his head. Horatio didn’t get on with his brother in the slightest and Louis could tell that he didn’t want to see him.
“Could you just not meet him?” Louis asked him.
“He’ll come and find me, he always manages to come and find me because he knows I can’t get away. I can’t wait until we start our apparition lessons after dinner tomorrow, at least then I could always apparate away from my brother when he wants to talk to me.”
“There we are, that’s a silver lining right there.” Louis told Horatio with a small smile, as they both stood up from their table, deciding to leave and get ready to go to Hogsmeade.
“Let’s hope that he doesn’t make it.”
Nikolos did make it, much to the annoyance of Horatio, who stormed off as soon as they arrived at Hogsmeade, leaving Louis to search for Dominique by himself. He found her standing by the Three Broomsticks.
They greeted each other with a wave and then a hug.
“How’s Freya?” Louis asked, pulling away from the hug and looking at his sister. She was growing her now red hair out it seemed and it now came down past her shoulders. Louis thought that it really suited her.
Dom gave him a sad look and shook her head. “She’s been throwing up again, her morning sickness has come back again it seems. It’s making her feel like crap at the moment, she couldn’t even do her home schooling today. But mum’s sitting with her to make sure that she’s okay, so she’s in good hands.”
Louis gave a nod as he thought about how much he wished that he could go and be with Freya. If he didn’t have to think of passing his exams so he could get good grades for the future, he would have left school by now to be with her and not cared about the consequences. But sadly getting good qualifications would be a massive help to be able to get a job where he could provide for both his daughter and Freya.
“So where did you want to go?” Dominique asked, looking around the village with her hands shoved into her skirts pockets.
Louis gave a shrug, “Well, I want to go and see Uncle George at some point, and possibly pop into that clothes shop you and Vic loved. I’ve been saving up a few galleons and I wanted to buy an outfit for my …daughter.”
Dominique’s face lit up as she gave a small squeal and hugged Louis, who gave a smile as well. “You’re really sweet do you know that Louis?”
Louis gave her a small smile back as she released him and they began walking slowly towards where the shop was located in the village.
“I want to do something; so far I’ve just been here whilst everyone else has done everything for me. I love you all for it, but I feel like I could be doing a lot more, and at the moment this seems to be the only thing I can do until I get home.” Louis told her.
They walked out of the shop, Louis, clutching hold of the bag that contained the first thing he had ever brought his daughter, feeling slightly better knowing that he had done something, and that in three months she would be wearing this outfit, a yellow dress that had a picture of a Badger on the front. The outfit had stood out to him the most out of the small selection they had in the store, something that represented the house of Hufflepuff, a house he was proud of being a part of.
Louis gave a smile as he and Dominique walked out of the shop and back down the village, crowds of students were walking passed them, loudly talking and laughing with each other, their laughter was infectious and Louis couldn’t help the happiness fill him.
“Hey, there are Molly and Lucy,” Dominique said, pointing in front of them to see Molly and Lucy standing next to a shop and in front of a path that lead up towards the Shrieking shack. Although they all knew that the shack wasn’t haunted, most of the other students still believed that it was and seemed to avoid going near it during Hogsmeade visits.
“I wonder what’s happening?” Louis asked. Dominique gave a shrug as they walked towards them. They could see worry across Molly’s face as they neared them and both he and Dominique turned to look down the path as they stopped next to Molly and Lucy.
Horatio was standing about halfway down the path, facing his brother Nikolos, and seemed to be yelling at his older brother.
Dominique gave a growl as she spotted Nikolos.
“You didn’t tell me that thing was down here.” She stated.
Louis gave a shrug. “In all honesty, I didn’t think he would even turn up.”
“What could they be arguing about?” Lucy asked, turning to her cousin, Dominique gave a shrug.
“It’s Nikolos; you don’t really need a particular reason to be yelling at him.”
“Do you think that we should go and stop them?” Louis asked, he didn’t like seeing Horatio fighting with his brother; he was worried about what Nikolos might do to Horatio.
They all gave a gasp as they saw Horatio bring his fist up quickly and connect it with Nikolos’s face, catching him square in the eye.
Nikolos stumbled back slightly, his hand raised to where he was hit in shock as he looked at his younger brother, who was cradling his hand as though the force of the punch had hurt him.
Dominique began making her way to them quickly after Horatio had punched Nikolos, and the other’s followed her. They knew the reason for this quickly as Nikolos’ own fist came up too quickly for
Horatio to notice, and caught Horatio in the nose, causing a sickening crunch that caused Louis to wince.
He looked in horror as Horatio fell to the floor, crying out in pain and holding onto his nose. Molly rushed over to him whilst Dom stood in front of Nikolos as though protecting Horatio from him. Nikolos gave a glare as he noticed Dom standing in front of him.
Louis grabbed for his wand and pointed it at Nikolos as he felt anger fill him, wanting nothing more than to cause him vast amounts of pain. Lucy grabbed his wand arm and pulled him towards her to stop him.
“I’m going to kill him,” Louis spat, his fist clenching around the bag he was holding, wanting to punch Nikolos, cause him pain, he didn’t care how he done it.
Dominique walked over to Louis and grabbed for his arm, telling Lucy to go and check Horatio was okay with Molly.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” Molly cried angrily, she was kneeling down next to Horatio, who was holding his nose tightly, a crimson red flowing freely from it.
Nikolos gave a shrug, “He hit me first, I’m not meant to defend myself?”
“That wasn’t defending yourself that was attacking him.”
“If he didn’t want to be punched back, then he shouldn’t have started on me first.”
“You should leave,” Louis spat angrily, Dominique had grabbed a hold of Louis’s arm tightly and was trying to drag him over to where Horatio had fallen.
Molly had produced a handkerchief from her pocket and had given it to Horatio to hold over his nose, telling him that it was a clean, whilst getting him to lean his head forwards. She had a face of thunder as she tried to stop the bleeding.
“Oh come on Horatio, you’ve got to admit that you started this.” Nikolos stated, pointing over at Horatio who was still sitting on the ground.
“Just fuck off will you.” Horatio growled, looking up at Nikolos darkly.
“Not likely little brother. I came here for a reason; I want to talk to you.” Nikolos growled down at him.
“Well, he clearly doesn’t want to talk to you so you should just leave.” Molly told him fiercely, turning to glare at him.
“I don’t think I was talking to you, so you can just stay out of this, can’t you.” Nikolos snapped, sneering at Molly.
Horatio stood up causing Molly to move away from him quickly in shock, Horatio wrenched the handkerchief away from his nose as he grabbed for the front of his brothers jacket and pulled him closer to his bleeding face.
“Don’t you dare talk to her like that,” He growled, ignoring the blood that was still running from his nose. “I don’t want to talk to you, can’t you see that? Can’t you see that no one wants you around.”
He shoved Nikolos away from him, seething angrily. Nikolos steadied himself and anger filled his own face, making the resemblance between the two brothers uncanny.
“You should be thankful that you’re my brother, not a lot of people would get away with what you’ve just done Horatio.” Nikolos warned him.
“Oh really?” Horatio asked, before walking forwards and shoving Nikolos again, wiping his nose with the stained handkerchief in his hand and wincing as it made contact with his nose.
“I’m warning you Horatio, I will hurt you.”
“No different from what you’ve done before.” Horatio gave a shrug; Molly had come over to him to pull him away from Nikolos.
“Horatio stop it,” Molly told him, trying to tug Horatio away. Horatio let her pull him away from Nikolos, but still kept facing him, seeming to want to block Molly from his brother’s view.
“You’re treading a very fine line Horatio,” Nikolos warned him, still angry.
Dominique released Louis and walked over to Nikolos, who looked her up and down with a sneer on his face, as though she wasn’t worth his time of day.
“You better leave before Kieron gets here, Nikolos,” Dominique warned him, the smile faded from Nikolos’s face at the mention of Kieron. “I don’t think that he’ll be best pleased to see you, especially after what happened when we were all back at school.”
“Fine,” Nikolos growled, backing away. He turned to look at Horatio, who had been turned back around to face Molly, who was dabbing gently at Horatio’s nose to clean him up. “We’ll have to talk eventually Horatio.”
“Unlikely.” Horatio told him, slightly muffled.
“I’ll see you at home.”
“You’re not allowed in the house.”
“That’s what you think.”
With those words he walked up the street, before apparating away from view further up the road.
“I hate him.” Horatio growled angrily. Louis and Dominique both walked over to Horatio to make sure that he was okay, Dominique pulling out her wand and pointing it at Horatio’s face.
Horatio felt warmth fill his face as his nose healed and the bleeding stopped, before Dominique waved her wand slightly and he felt a tingling as she began to clean it.
“There are a lot of people who do,” Dominique said, shaking her head as she dropped her wand and glanced in the direction that Nikolos had disappeared from.
“Is Kieron meeting you down here?” Louis asked Dominique, remembering what she had threatened Nikolos with.
“No, he’s caught up doing some assignments so I’m going to see him later. Nikolos fears Kieron, has done for a while now.”
“What happened between Nikolos and Kieron?” Molly asked, she was clutching hold of Horatio’s arm still but neither of them seemed to notice.
“That right there is a very long story.” Dominique told her, linking arms with Louis as they all began to walk back into Hogsmeade village so that they could go back to visiting the shops. “One that might have to keep for another time, just know that one of the reasons Kieron went into studying law was so one day he could be the one to put Nikolos in Azkaban. No offence Horatio I know that he’s your brother.”
“He’s no brother of mine, a spell in Azkaban is what he needs, preferably one that lasts a long time.”
“If you don’t mind me asking Horatio,” Molly began, she had finally let go of Horatio’s arm, but they were still walking quite close to each other, as though wanting to hold each other’s hand but being too scared too. “Why do you dislike your brother so much? I can’t ever imagine acting like that towards Lucy.”
Horatio gave a sigh as Louis looked over at him. Louis had known since both him and Horatio joined Hogwarts that Nikolos and Horatio had a very turbulent relationship, they never really got on well at school, Nikolos being two years older than both Louis and Horatio. The crowd that Nikolos hung around with weren’t a very nice group either, they were always getting into trouble, many times they bullied students much to the annoyance of Horatio, who was sometimes on the brunt end of the group’s taunts. Nikolos also seemed to spend a lot of time getting into fights with Kieron Nott, either physical or verbal; Louis never understood how their hatred for each other started.
“Apart from bullying me when he used to come here, he wasn’t a very nice person at home. He was always arguing with mum and dad, he used to sneak out a lot when he wasn’t meant to be going out.
There would be days that he wouldn’t even come home and not tell anyone, and then when he did come home he was off his face on drink and probably other things. Not to mention the stealing and bringing back his boyfriend a lot when everyone had gone out.”
“Was he not allowed his boyfriend over?” Molly asked Horatio, a sadness over her face at hearing that Horatio was bullied by his own brother.
“He was, but there’s a difference between having him over to hang around and being caught having sex in our parent’s bedroom.”
Molly gave a gasp and Dominique gave a sigh, telling them that she wasn’t surprised in the slightest.
“I think that was the last straw for my parents. They kicked him out after that, telling him that he clearly didn’t have any respect for any of them and that when he’s ready to apologise and grow up then he could come back.”
“Maybe he’s changed? If he’s allowed back in the house.”
Horatio gave a scoff, “If he’s still with his boyfriend then he’s never going to change. Everything started to go wrong when he began hanging around with Richard Williams at school, they’re on and off so much I don’t even know what’s happening with them.”
“Apparently Williams is in Azkaban for a month,” Dominique told them all, Horatio looked up with an eyebrow raised in question.
“Let’s hope that he stays in there for a lot longer, he’s a nasty vile man. What did he do?” Horatio asked Dom, who looked around her before whispering to them.
“I’m not meant to say anything as it’s not even been in the papers yet, but Kieron told me that he was caught after a massive fight with one of the people he hung out with at school. He put the man in St Mungo’s.”
Horatio shook his head, “Some people just disgust me. My brother is stupid for ever getting involved in that, or with him.”
“Shall we go and see Uncle George?” Lucy asked, Louis could tell that she sounded slightly worried about what had happened, and what Nikolos just might be capable of doing.
“I think that might be a good idea.” Horatio agreed.
When they walked into the crowded shop they decided to split up to find George. Molly, Lucy and Horatio went one way whilst Louis and Dom went the other.
Louis and Dom found their Uncle George filling up shelves with merchandise; the till was being manned by two other shop assistants. He gave them a smile as they neared him and stood up straight so he could talk to them.
“How are you guys? Enjoying Hogsmeade?” George asked them, a smile across his face.
Dom grinned and nodded as Louis agreed. “Yeah, it’s been good, I brought this.”
Louis pulled out the outfit he had brought earlier, and George beamed down at it.
“That’s really cute.” George told him, as Louis put the outfit carefully back into the bag. “How are you feeling about everything?”
“Terrified,” Louis told him honestly, “I’m not prepared in the slightest.”
“It’s a good thing that you’ve had all of us to help you out, then,” George told him with a wink.
“Very much, I can’t even begin to thank you all for everything.” Louis began, but George held his hand up for him to stop talking.
“We’re family, we stick together.”
Louis couldn’t help but grin at him.
“I hope you know just how excited all of the women in our family seem to be at the thought of another baby being born into the family. Your parents are the first out of all of us to become grandparents, I find it hilarious.” George told them, with a laugh.
“I don’t think its hit them yet that they’re going to be grandparents.” Dom said with a laugh.
“I don’t know how I’m ever going to repay them,” Louis admitted sadly, Dom gave him a pat on the back in comfort. “Which is why Uncle George, I wanted to ask you something. Feel free to say no, I know that you’ve all done so much for me already that I shouldn’t be asking for more favours. But is there any chance that you have any summer jobs going?” George looked down at his nephew and gave him a smile.
“As it so happens, I do have a few hours spare each week that need filling. We’ll work out the finer details when you come home for the summer.”
Louis gave his uncle a wide grin and thanked him, before walking over to Horatio, who could be seen in the crowd, to tell him that he would have a job this summer, so he could provide something towards his family.
“I thought you didn’t have any vacancies Uncle George,” Dominique asked her Uncle as they both watched Louis smiling with Horatio.
“I didn’t, but I can always move a few things around. The poor kid’s going to need as much money as he can get.”
A/N: Kieron Nott, although only mentioned in this chapter, belongs to the amazing TheHeirOfSlytherin.
So what did you all think of Nikolos? Or Louis's outfit that he brought his daughter? Let me know! :D
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