Chapter 20 : Chapter Twenty
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A/N Okay can I say a big, big thank you to all of you read, review and favourite because I never ever thought I would get twenty chapters.
Two days until Christmas Eve, three days until Christmas day, seven days until Bentley and Aubri turn one.
Not a lot of time, I thought as I stared at the TV, which was blaring songs from some Christmas film about an elf. Every now and then I listened for the baby monitor which was currently on the coffee table, since Bentley and Aubri were upstairs taking a nap.
Ria came into the room humming away to herself and plonked a big cardboard box onto the floor. I didn't really take any notice but when Oscar came running in and came up to me and started to wave something right in face I certainly started paying attention.
"Oscar," I cried out and he took no notice of me so I tickled him which got him giggling and he stopped waving the thing. On closer inspection I saw in was an angel, the sort that sit on top of your Christmas tree. "Are we decorating the tree?" I asked.
"Yes, yes, yes!" Oscar screeched.
I sat up and saw Ri sat on the floor with the box open in front of her, tinsel was trailing out of the sides and I smiled to myself. Every year for as long as I can remember on December twenty-second we all get together and decorate the house and the tree. Even after mum left us we've still done it.
"Flick go wake Tessa up, it's nearly twelve," Ria barked at me and then chucked blue and silver tinsel at me. "Twist them together and then wind them around the top of the banisters, use a sticking charm." She told me as I stood up and picked up the tinsel.
"Around both sets of stairs or just the one?"
"Both, of course. And make sure it's not a permanent one."
I did as she said and as I made my way up the first set of stairs winding the tinsel through the gaps, I pulled my wand out of my pocket and muttered the charm. I smiled to myself because even though Tessa can do magic in the house as long as one of us is here, I can legally do it on my own and have been able to for nearly a year and it's a good feeling because it means I can do house hold chores with magic.
I wound the tinsel round the other banister before going back to Tessa's room. I knocked on the door and there was no answer. I knocked it a bit louder and then yelled, "TESSA!"
There was a noise from inside so I pushed the door open and went in. My eyes had to adjust because of the brightest of her room; it's painted a really bright aqua blue and is mainly decorated with butterflies because Tessa has a thing for butterflies. That and fairy lights, the headboard of her bed has a least five different sets wound through the iron pattern.
Apart from the colour of her walls the other striking thing in her room is the wall opposite the door, because in purple and aqua she's got her name in graffiti along with a huge butterfly. It does look pretty cool I have to say.
I went over to her bed and poked her which got me a groan, "Wakey wakey Tess."
"Go 'way Flick, it's early."
"Yeah I mean midday is early right?" I joked as I went over and open her curtains. She shot up which was quite funny since even she squinted against the brightness of her room and from the light coming through her window. "If you want to help, get up and dressed. We're decorating the house and tree."
I heard a groan as I left her room and went up to check on the twins. They were both still asleep and Bentley was snoring softly, just like his father I thought. The living room was scattered with a mixture of tinsel, baubles and paper chains when I entered.
As I sat down on the floor next to Oscar who was colouring paper chains, I heard the front door open and then close. Dad's voice filled the hall, "Children, I come with a gift." A minute later he came in the living room carrying a Christmas tree which was in a pot. He set it down in the corner and I could instantly smell the pine, since it was a real one rather than those crappy fake ones.
Dad pointed his wand at the bottom of the tree and I saw him mutter something, "It won't drop any needles now," He said out loud to no one in particular, "So it's safe for Bentley and Aubri to crawl around."
We started to decorate the tree with multi coloured baubles, stars, lights and decorations as well as tinsel and some of the paper chains Oscar had coloured. Tessa eventually joined us just as dad was lifting Oscar up so he could put the angel on the tree.
"Aww I've missed it." She grumbled.
"Should have got up early then shouldn't you rather than staying up late and reading." Ria retorted as Tessa sat in the chair.
There was mumbling coming from somewhere and I looked over at the baby monitor, I picked it up and could hear them talking to each other and I smiled. I went up to get them and found Aubri standing up in her cot, whilst Bentley was sat up. "My clever babies, come on lets go see the Christmas tree."
I picked them both up and headed downstairs, careful not to trip over the tabby, ginger and brown pile that were our cats peacefully sleeping in a big ball. Once in the living room I sat Aubri on Tessa's lap and laughed when she went to poke Tessa in the eye.
As I sat down Ria passed a small brown package to me, "Open it."
I did and I found a blue rocking horse, on it it had the words 'Happy 1st Christmas' and underneath it had 'Bentley'. I smiled as I saw one exactly the same but in pink with Aubri on it, "Thank you Ri. Are you gonna give Auntie Ria a big hug and kiss." I cooed to Bentley and Ria took him off me and spun him round the room, whilst covering him in kisses which made him giggle.
I took Aubri back off of Tessa and picked up her decoration, I gave it to hold and then tried to get her to put it on one of the branches but she was slowly putting it towards her mouth, "Ah ah Aub, it's not for eating."
She frowned at me as I took it off her and put it on the tree. "Mum-mum."
I spent the rest of the afternoon playing with them and trying to get them to let go of the sofa when they were stood against it, to see if they would let go. At one point Aubri let go and stood on own for a few seconds, then she realised what she had done and held back on tightly. Bentley however let go and wobbled slightly but then turned to face Tessa who was sat behind him, and then landed on his bum. He whimpered and crawled to Tess, but he didn't cry.
I spotted the time on the clock and realised we needed to get ready. Tessa offered to help me get them ready and we went upstairs.
Dad pulled up outside the muggle pub where we were going to be having our family Christmas meal. The outside has flashing Christmas lights on it and the one window was decorated with the nativity scene. I got Bentley out of his carseat whilst Tessa got Aubri, both of them looked adorable in their outfits. Aubri had a navy dress, with big white spots on it and a red petticoat underneath as well as red tights and cream shoes, and Bentley had on jeans, a white t-shirt, a red and navy striped jumper and blue shoes.
I had on a simple black skater dress with a pink belt, cardigan and tights and black shoes. Tessa had gone for red because it was Christmassy, Ria was in blue and Oscar had a brown and jumper on with jeans, whilst dad had gone for shirt and trousers.
Auntie Sarah and her boyfriend Jack Wilson were stood outside, both of them having a cigarette, "Long time no see kids." She called to us as we passed, only dad stopped to talk to her since A) it was cold and B) I didn't was the twins anywhere near the smoke.
Ria went upfront and told the young boy that we had a table reserved, under the name Saunders. Oscar's eyes lit up as we past the dessert cabinet, "Yum." He muttered as the boy led us into a big room that had huge table in the center. Auntie Holly and her husband Liam were talking to Nana Marge, their three children: Lily-Ann, Ivie-May and Liam Junior also known as LJ were here as well.
I spotted the two highchairs and took off Bentley's coat whilst Tessa took off Aubri's. "Pass her here Tess; I want cuddles off my great-niece." Auntie Holly yelled at us. I sat Bentley on Tessa's free knee and picked up Aubri and passed her to auntie Holly, just as Auntie Sarah, Jack and dad came in. Auntie Sarah took Bentley from Tessa and I smiled. Oscar had gone off with LJ since they're the same age and because LJ wanted to show him his latest action figure.
I sat down and started talking to Ivie-May who's ten and Lily-Ann. We were laughing about one of the pranks some of the sixth year Gryffindor’s had pulled on Minnie on the Wednesday just gone and I asked Ivie-May if she was excited that she'd be starting Hogwarts next year.
The young waiter came to take out drink and food orders and went off to inform the cook. Bentley and Aubri were being passed between my family and I could see they loved it and at one point Aubri was chewing on Liam's tie.
When the food came I had Aubri in a highchair next to me and then Tessa on my other side, Ria sat opposite with Bentley in a highchair and Lily-Ann sat next to him. It's quite strange since it's mainly dads family with the exception of Nana Marge who was here as well. Dad's parents, his brother, his partner Jessica and their son weren't here either but that wasn't really surprise since my grandparents hate travelling and because of the argument there is no way Uncle Toby would come.
My auntie Kathleen (mum's sister) isn't here either because she lives in Australia with her fiancé and her daughter Gracie. I mean it's a bit far to come just for a meal; she's not a big fan of floo travel either which makes it hard.
From out of the baby bag I pulled out the bibs I had brought, they were ones which were kinda like overalls as they had long sleeves. There was no way they were getting food on their pretty outfits.
"Is your boyfriend not coming Flick?" Asked Jack, "He was nice and he liked Quidditch."
I frowned because none of my family apart from Tessa and Ria have met Aaron.
"Is that the one I got the Quidditch shirt for? A certain famous son of the chosen one." Chimed in Liam.
I realised they were on about Al, "Yeah that's the one but he's not my boyfriend anymore, we broke up over a year ago." I told them as I put some more stuffing and carrots into the bowl on Aubri's highchair.
"What happened?" Asked Ivie-May, simply because she's a nosy child and according to Lily-Ann she loves to gossip.
I didn't say anything because I was trying to come up with something.
I think Auntie Holly realised I was stuck in an awkward situation, "Is he coming over at Christmas to see the twins?" I looked up at her and my mouth opened and then closed, "Flick he is their dad right?"
"Um, yeah but please don't say anything," I begged, "Any of you, you can't say a word. I never told him and he still doesn't know."
None of them looked surprised that Al was their dad; I mean it is a bit obvious when you see Bentley and you knew that I had been dating Al. I never told them who the twins’ dad was and they never asked since it wasn't really anything to do with them.
"Flick you're family, why would we say anything. It's you who has to tell him, not us." Dad said as he gave me a small smile.
I sighed, "I know I screwed up big time by not telling him when I found out and I've had to deal with the consequences."
There was silence and then Bentley burped rather loudly which broke it and made us all laugh.
"We all knew Flick; I mean it wasn't hard to work it out." Dad added, "Now who's up for pudding."
The chocolate fudge cake I had was amazing, and afterward dessert we said out goodbyes and exchanged Christmas presents with each other, the only person who didn't give presents was Nana Marge because she was coming to our house for Christmas just as she has ever since mum left. I knew I could count on my family that they wouldn't tell everyone and I did feel a bit happier knowing that they knew. "Just gotta tell Al." I muttered under my breath as dad pulled away from the pub.
The car was quite except for Bentley and Aubri who were playing with their noisy rattles. I was tired when we got in since it had been a long day and all I really wanted to do was have a long hot bath and snuggle up in my pyjamas with Bentley and Aubri. I got out of the car and took Bentley out of his carseat. When we got in I hung my coat up and then Bentley's.
"Wait up," Ri called to me as I went to head upstairs with my baby boy. "In the living room, come on," I frowned but followed her anyway, "Sit, dads bringing Aubri in." I sat in the corner of the sofa and Ria sat Bentley on my left and then when dad and my baby girl came in, she sat Aubri on my right, "Now smile because I want a picture of the three of you." She lifted up the magic camera I had bought last month and started to take pictures, she was acting like a proper photographer as she made me move and then took pictures of the twins together.
"What are you doing Ri?" I questioned once she finished and the twins were quite happily playing on the floor.
"I'm taking a night class at the local college, it's in photography. That's what I want to do Flick, I want to go into muggle and wizarding photography. At the moment the course I'm doing is muggle obviously but I want to open my own shop. I'm doing this because you haven't got a nice picture taken recently of the three of you."
Dad came in the room whistling, "Ahh Ri whilst you're all still dressed up sit on the sofa so I can take one of the six of you so you can give it to your nan along with that big box of chocolates." Once we caught the twins, Ria sat on the end with Aubri, then Tessa and Oscar were in the middle and then it was me with Bentley on my lap.
"Smile." He called and we did.
"I think you'll make an awesome photographer," I told her as I gave her a hug once we stood up, "Can you watch them whilst I go wrap some p-r-e-s-e-n-t-s and have a bath." I said spelling the word presents because Oscar was still in the room.
"Course I will Flick."
I went up to my room and started wrapping the present I had bought yesterday for the twins, Ria and Aaron and then the presents that Ria had got for dad, Oscar and Tessa. Instead of using magic to wrap them, I did each one by hand because it I thought it was nicer. I stuck the labels to each of them so it would be easy to identify who's whose. In total it took me an hour to wrap all of the Christmas presents and then another forty-five minutes to wrap Bentley and Aubri's birthday presents.
I put them all back in the storage cupboard and then went into Ria's room which is ever so neat that it puts my room to shame. It's purple with cream carpet and white furniture; nearly all of her clothes are in their correct drawers and the wardrobe except for the few that were currently strewn over her double bed.
I picked up one of the magazines that were fanned out on her bedside table and left to go downstairs. From out of the airing cupboard I grabbed a big fluffy towel and went into the bathroom, in the hope of a nice hot bubble bath and a chance to relax.
Up Next - Christmas Eve and Christmas day at the Saunders' household.
Edited - 16/08/13
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