Chapter 11 : Christmas, hugs and gifts...
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sorry for the really really long wait..I had a block *sob* and I couldn't find any of the things I'd written satisfactory! Anyways, after a looong try, I felt this was the apt version, and decided to post it asap!! hope you'll enjoy it!! as always, r&r
Christmas is my favourite time of the year.
I just love all the snow, the twinkly lights strung everywhere, wreaths of holly on every door, mistletoe hanging from the ceiling and the best part- Christmas trees!
Of course this year Christmas was more special because I got to spend it with my friends.
And I got to spend it at the-
-wait for it-
-wait for it some more-
Be jealous, bitch.
I just saw you turn green and heard your heart burst with envy.
If it’s any comfort, I couldn’t believe what was happening was actually happening to me.
I mean, Christmas at home is fun and all, but this, this is a whole new level of ‘fun’.
I think the Wotter clan have successfully redefined the word ‘fun’.
I’ll bet the word ‘fun’ has a picture of them underneath it in the dictionary (thought how would all of them fit in is beyond me).
The day before Christmas, all of us reached the Burrow by Portkey. It was my first time using a Portkey, and let me tell you judging by the way I got my shoulders banged by James and Fred (they’re huge boys) and the way I oh-so-attractively fell on my arse (all the others where upright) and have the idiots (mostly Al) laugh in my face is definitely Not my favourite means of transportation. I wished we could have Floo-ed, but as Harry had explained it to me earlier, the kitchen would be crowded and we were a large group. It would be as polite as knocking the door down.
He sounded like Dumbledore when he said that.
By the time we reached the Burrow, we were tired from lugging our bags through almost the entire town and we were, as Ron subtly put, “huffing like the Hogwarts Express on September first”.
I just can’t imagine how attractive that would have been, me blue in the face with red cheeks and huffing out steam.
I bet I looked like a Smurf.
Exactly how I wanted to appear to the woman who resents being scruffy and the woman who killed Bellatrix Lestrange.
The house was just how I imagined it would be, with an overgrown messy garden infested with gnomes, a pond that had frozen over, stray chickens loitering about and more of them shut away in their coops, a small garage that held Mr. Weasley’s most prized possessions, wellington boots scattered around the yard and pixies poking their heads from the bushes. Ginny had explained to me that they hadn’t wanted to change any aspect of the house, except maybe to add a few rooms for important guests, as it held the most important memories of their childhood.
All of their faces split into a wide grin as they spotted a couple standing by the door waiting for them. Mr. Weasley was tall thin and bald, but his eyes had a kind light and his face split into a smile identical to the woman who was standing next to him. Mrs. Weasley had the same kind smile as her husband’s as she took in the whole lot making their way towards her. She had the look of a woman who had aged gracefully, her red hair streaked with grey, and the slightly run-down look of a once-plump woman who had lost weight in her old age. Nevertheless, her gentle eyes and loving smile were ever-present.
They took turns hugging everyone, and Mrs. Weasley finally spotted me standing a few feet away, giving them some family time.
“Rose, where are your manners?” she chided, looking at me.
“Oh, sorry Nana. This is our friend Layla. She is staying with us for Christmas” said Rose, giving me a push.
“Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley. It’s a pleasure to meet you. It was kind of you to have me over. Thank you” I said, smiling at them.
“Oh it isn’t a problem, dear” Mrs. Weasley smiled, pulling me into a soft hug. “And call me Nana, love. All of Rosie’s friends do”
“So, where are you from Layla?” inquired Mr. Weasley, shaking my hand.
“I’m from a small partly-Muggle neighbourhood near Sutton, Mr. Weasley” I said, smiling at him.
“Really?” he asked me, his eyes lighting up “We must catch up on that. So tell me, how exactly-“he broke off on seeing Mrs. Weasley glare at him and quickly cleared his throat, “Never mind that. Let’s all go in” he said, and that was the cue for everyone to rush inside at once, to the dinner table laden with food. The boys and Ron groaned and started eating at once, while the girls tried to see if they could get some food.
There’s a lost cause if I ever saw one.
Mr. Weasley caught my arm as I hung back and whispered, “Later” and winked at me before joining the group around the table.
I couldn’t help grinning at that one.
The next day, I met all the most important and distinguished people of the Wizarding World (aka the rest of the family) at the Burrow. Percy and Audrey Weasley had come with their daughters, Molly and Lucy, who had graduated out of Hogwarts the previous year and taken a year off to look for jobs. Bill and Fleur Weasley had come with their children, Dominique, Louis and Victoire Weasley. All of them had graduated along with Molly and Lucy the previous year. Dom was a successful model and Louis was working at Gringotts like his Father. Victoire was studying further, researching Herbology. George, Angelina had come with their children, Fred and Roxanne Weasley. Fred was working with his Father at the Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes during hols and Roxy played Quidditch with the Holyhead Harpies, as a reserve player. Even Charlie Weasley had come from Romania, though he had arrived the previous evening and had a haircut given to him, curtsey of Nana Weasley. This, apparently, was a tradition.
The house was full to its bursting point, which is why dinner was set out in the yard, with four tables placed end to end with a huge Christmas tree in the yard which was bought in by Hagrid and decorated by us. The tree looked beautiful, with streamers that glittered and ornaments that flashed and changed colours and lighted up every few seconds. There were golden baubles that kept swelling and receding with a musical note every now and then, icicles glittered on the tree with a lot of candy canes strung almost on every branch and Hermione had performed a tricky charm that made the branches of the tree flutter subtly so that gave the whole tree an attractive rippling effect.
The food was delicious, with mounds of roast chicken and mashed potatoes and boats of thick, rich gravy and mountains of steamed vegetables and cranberry sauce and wizarding crackers, followed by Nana’s famous pudding and trifle. We managed second helpings of everything, and the talk went on for hours, filled with laughter and joy.
I was sitting at one of the end tables with all the cousins, and you could tell by the way they spoke that they were a closely knit bunch and loved each other very much. Despite most of them being elder, they were in constant contact with their ‘little ones’ as they put it, and took a genuine interest in the happenings at Hogwarts. Molly and Lucy were fun to be around, and they told us their various hilarious job interviews they attended recently.
Dom, on the other hand, was a surprise. I would have thought she would be high and mighty and all that, but she was grounded and cool and took her share of teasing with good sport. Her cousins helped her keep a straight head, she told me later. Louis kept the conversation going by sharing his adventures with us, but I could tell he was a smooth talker and a bit of a womanizer, which he got from their Dad, Dom explained. Victoire was also a lively person, but she seemed distracted, and kept glancing at the gates, as if she was waiting for someone.
Fred and Roxy were a riot, and it was perfectly clear they had inherited their father’s sense of humour and mischief. They kept us entertained with their jokes and Fred told us about the new joke products they were working on at the shop (Ha! If you think I’ll divulge that information to you, think again! You lot will have to wait until it’s officially out). I could see where Rose and James and all had gotten their good natures from. I was sitting between Dana and Ian, and they were almost like a part of the family, considering they’ve been over so many times. They were even on first-name basis with all the cousins.
We were almost done with dinner, when there was the unmistakable pop! of someone Apparating into the yard. I turned around to see a handsome lad with blue hair strolling towards us, his hands in his pockets and whistling a merry tune.
“Teddy!” there was a chorus, and Victoire launched herself into his waiting arms and kissed him soundly, to which he responded with enthusiasm.
“Oi! Get a room, you two!” shouted Fred, to which Teddy just winked.
“Hey you lot!” he grinned at us, and was immediately caught up in the mass of people hugging and kissing him.
“Teddy Remus Lupin” came the low threatening voice of Nana Weasley, and the crowd backed away real quick “Have you no sense of punctuality young man? Is this how we raised you?”
“I’m sorry, Nana” he said, giving her a sheepish smile “I was caught up in work at the Ministry, you know how it is” and gave her a kiss on the cheek.
“They always make you work too much at that darn place. That too on Christmas day! Do you ever get a day off?” she said, her fierce look softening and giving him a hug “Have you been eating at all, Teddy? You look so thin!” she fretted over him and he just shrugged.
Nana tutted and made him sit at the table and started serving him food, “Eat that all up” she ordered.
“Happy to oblige” Teddy smiled and dug into his food, his one hand still holding Victoire’s.
After he was done, he went around greeting Harry, Ron and the rest and was quite busy for some time. We were helping to clear the table when I almost collided into someone and almost dropped the stack of dishes on them.
“I’m so sorry” I exclaimed, and looked up to see Teddy smiling at me.
“Let me help you with that, love” he said, and took half the dishes from me and we carried them inside, when he said, “I’m sorry, but have we met before?”
“We haven’t” I smiled at him and set the plates down, and held out my hand “I’m Layla Lewis, a friend of Rose’s from school”
“Pleasure to meet you” he said smoothly, taking my hand and kissing it gently. (I may or may not have swooned) “I’m Teddy Lupin” he said.
“Yeah, I know” I grinned at him, the blush slowly receding from my face.
“Are you a Gryffindor too, like the rest of the lot?” he asked, as we made our way back outside, where the others were gathered.
I laughed “No. Hufflepuff”
“Hey! That’s my old House” he exclaimed, his eyes lighting up. I can’t say I didn’t know that before, I mean, Teddy was very popular when he was at school. He graduated the year I got into Hogwarts, but he was just one of those people who was always around, you know? The person who was good at everything, the person people looked up to, the sort of person who becomes such a legend that even after they’ve left school, the things they did sort of remain in the school history. Teddy was that sort of a person. And he was from my House, so I did know quite a bit about him, but I hadn’t spoken to him until today.
We joined the crowd gathered around and Teddy made his way next to Victoire and gave her a quick peck on her cheek.
“Honey, did you meet-“started Victoire, looking at me, but Teddy already said, “Just now, love” and gave her a quick smile. Those two were really made for each other.
“Wait” Teddy called, as I made my (apparently not-so-discreet) attempt to move away and give them space.
“Did you say your name was Lewis? As in, related to Logan Lewis?” he asked me, eyebrows scrunched up in the middle.
“He’s my brother” I grinned, “And he sure seems to be popular in this family” I remarked.
Teddy laughed “Yeah, he did hang around with these idiots” he gestured at Ian, Fred and James, who were doing some sort of weird Christmas dance-chant around the tree, while Ginny, Angelina and Nana were shouting at them to stop, Ron, George and Charlie were egging them on.
“True, that” I replied, dearly wishing for my unscarred memory back.
“How did you end up with this lot again?” Teddy asked me, curious. I hesitated, not knowing where to start.
“She’s best friends with Dana” said Hugo, coming to my rescue.
God Bless you, child.
“That makes sense” laughed Victoire, “seeing as how similar, the both of you are”
He looked at her laughing and then she gave a small nod, and he cleared his throat and called out, “Hey!”
Everyone turned around to see him holding hands with Victoire and Teddy said, “We have some news for all of you. Victoire and I are engaged” he said, causing loud gasps and cheers from the audience.
“OH MY GOD!” shrieked Dom, Rose, Dana and Lily, and rushed forward to hug them both.
“Good one, mate” said Ron and George, Hugo, Ian, Fred, James, Al all clapped Teddy on the back.
“Congratulations” said Harry and Ginny, Harry rushing forward to embrace his godson “I’m so proud of you, Ted”
“Now you’re actually, truly a part of this family” squealed Lily, crushing them both with her hug.
“This is absolutely wonderful news” said Mr. And Mrs. Weasley and hugged the couple in turn as well.
“Good job, son. I wish you all the happiness in the world.” Bill said, clasping hands and hugging Victoire, who was smiling shyly and had tears in her eyes “Thank you Papa” she said as he hugged her fiercely. “Take care of my little princess” he said; his face stern for a moment and the scars on his face made his expression more threatening.
“I will, sir. I love your daughter very much, and I will do all there is to make sure that she’s alright” said Teddy, and an understanding passed between the two men.
“I’m glad to ‘ave you as my son-in-law. Victoire ees veerrry lucky” said Fleur, dabbing at her eyes with a dainty napkin, and blew a kiss twice on each cheek to the couple.
“Congrats” I said, walking up to the both of them and grinning. Teddy winked at me and said, “Why does the name Lewis still make more sense to me? More than the connection with Logan, I mean”
I quickly shot a panicked look at Hugo who was trying his best not to smile, and my face flooded with dread as I saw realization dawn on Teddy’s.
“Holy Mother of Merlin! You’re her!” he exclaimed in delight, causing all of the chaos to stop.
“Um, who?” I asked, rearranging my face into what I hoped was an innocent and curious expression.
“The girl who got rid of Muriel!” he exclaimed in delight, as several voices shouted “What?” in unison.
“I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to insult her! I didn’t know what to do at that time and it was an honest mistake I swear” I rushed out, backing away slightly, scared of offending the people who have been so kind to me so far. Needless to say, I was blushing brilliantly.
“You’re that girl?” asked George, delight covering his voice as he pushed his way in front of the crowd that was quickly cornering me.
I shot Teddy an annoyed look, but found him with his face buried in Victoire’s.
That sneaky bastard!
Just because he wanted a chance to play tonsil tennis, he threw me in the line of fire!
Oh you wait, Teddy Remus Lupin.
You are So DEAD!
And so are you, considering the crowd surrounding you right now.
Thank you, brain. You’re so helpful.
I turned to glance at the crowd in front of me, their expressions varied from delight (Ron, George, Ginny, James, Fred, Ian and Charlie) to apologetic (Harry, Hugo) to bored (Al) to giggles and ‘oh-you’re-so-caught’ (Dana, Rose, Lilly, Dom, Louis) to impassive (Hermione, Percy and Nana). The rest of them were nowhere to be found.
“Um, I guess so” I muttered, my face a brilliant shade of puce.
“I am so proud of you” said George, scooping me up in a bear hug.
“You, my dear, have accomplished what none of these tossers” he gestured to the Wotter boys “have managed to do so far. You got rid of Muriel. You are the person who has proved to be capable of greatness, after myself that is. I must say, you have more spunk in you than I thought. It is truly my honour to have met you. Are you interested in the business? Maybe you could intern for free there this summer” he said, his eyes glittering with joy at me.
“Um, Mr. Weasley, thanks for the offer, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to decline” I said, still embarrassed, and after facing several glares from the aforementioned tossers.
I was suddenly surrounded by people, begging to hear the story, and after, all congratulating me on my ‘work of pure genius’ as Charlie put it, clapped on the back several times, kissed on the forehead, and generally violated in every way possible.
The only people who were maintaining their distance were Nana and Percy, though I did catch a sly grin on both their faces more than once.
Maybe Nana was going to let me live.
“Have you guys decided on a date?” asked Harry, looking at the couple fondly, and taking the focus away from me.
Thank you, the Saviour of the Wizarding world and mine!
Maybe it’s such an ingrained habit of his, to save people.
Not that I’m blaming him, though.
Handy, this is.
I mouthed “Thank you” to him and I got a wink in return.
“Not yet” admitted Teddy (I shot him another ‘look’ which he missed. Dammit! I need to work on those) “We wanted to give the ladies a chance to plan a proper wedding for us”
“Awwww” there was a chorus and another round of hugs and kisses.
Merlin, I don’t think I have ever seen people getting hugged so many times in one day. Heck, I don’t think I was even hugged that much in my entire life!
“They’re really into hugging, aren’t they?” muttered Ian from next to me.
I nodded fervently in agreement.
We returned back to the Potter’s that night, which was when we got our gifts. They had been transported magically from under the tree at the Burrow, to the tree at the Potter’s.
Ron and Hermione had gotten me a bumper box of Honeyduke’s best assorted chocolates, with a refilling coupon that can be used twice. Harry and Ginny had gotten me the best broomstick servicing kit there was, specially made for my brand of broomstick, the Firebolt platinum series. James, Ian and Fred had gotten me a gift voucher to shop at the Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, Rose had given me a bag that could hold anything and still be weightless (a special trick of Hermione’s that Rose had also mastered), Lily had given me assorted quills- spell-checking, auto-correcting, colour-changing, one with limitless supply of ink, a peacock quill, eagle feather quill, special sugar and chocolate spun quills were all a part of the package. Hugo had gotten me a magical blanket that could also be worn as a stole or a shawl or a drape that kept the wearer cool during warm weather and warm during cold weather. Dana had gotten me a special charm bracelet with various charms on it, that can activate specific spells when tapped- there was one for protection, one like a tracking charm, one for Disiilumination, one for healing minor injuries and more. There was also a huge package of homemade chocolate fudge and a knit sweater in yellow with a badger on it, courtesy of Nana Weasley.
Now it was their turn to open presents.
“Wow!” exclaimed Harry, “This is such a thoughtful gift! How in the world did you manage to find this Al?” Al had gotten him a picture of his Quidditch team at Hogwarts, the one where he was the Captain and Ginny was also there on the team that year. “It’s such a lovely picture too” said Ginny, smiling at picture, where she was giving Harry a hug and Ron was glaring at the pair of them. “Thank you so much love” she said, her and Harry both hugged Al. I smiled at them, and gave them my gift of a silver backed photo frame, in which Ginny immediately put that picture.
“How is it that Al got the picture and you got the frame?” asked James slyly.
I immediately blushed a crimson red and mumbled unintelligently, while Al was looking everywhere except at me.
“Well...you know..it’s not..I didn’t know..” I trailed off hopelessly, while there was a bout of cat-calling and significant throat clearing.
Harry and Ginny looked like they couldn’t contain their laughs and Ginny said, “Don’t worry about it love, it fits” and gave me a wink, at which my blush deepened.
“Hey Lewis! Where’s my gift?” demanded Ron, impatient because we were making him wait.
“Honestly, Ron! Slowly, please” said Hermione, opening hers as well. I had gotten Hermione an all-purpose, self-cleaning apron.
“Wow! An authentic sneakoscope! Merlin, I was looking for one ever since I lost one and broke the replacement” said Ron, grinning at me.
“Who gave you the job as an Auror again?” asked Ginny, an innocent expression on her face.
“Ask your husband, the head of the department” retorted Ron, sticking his tongue out at her.
“Leave me out of this” muttered Harry, while Ginny said, “Mature Ron. Real mature”
“Oh my God!” Rose’s shriek drowned out their argument, as she had just opened her gift from me “Thank you so much” she hugged me, and continued to shriek in my ear.
“No problem, love” I laughed, hugging her back
“I’ve been looking for this specific book for ages and they never had a copy anywhere!” she said, beaming at me. I had gotten her a book on the toughest jinxes and curses, that was not available even at the Hogwarts library restricted section, which Rose had wanted for a very long time. “How did you manage to get a copy?” she asked, curious.
“That’s for me to know” I said, winking at her.
“Hey where’s our gift?” frowned James, Fred and Ian, sorting through their respective piles. I kept quiet. I didn’t want to spoil the surprise for them.
“Wow, Lay! I love these” said Hugo, opening his gift of new Quidditch gloves. I knew he had worn out his own pair during our last game with them, so I figured he would need this. “Make the best use of it mucker” I said, while he hugged me. “You bet your arse I will” he grinned back at me.
“I love this” exclaimed Lily, as she opened her gift, a keychain that had miniature replicas of all her favourite Quidditch team’s logos dangling from the chain.
“I can’t find mine” whined Fred
“Layla! This looks so beautiful” squealed Dana, uncovering her brooch, which was a delicate and intricate golden brooch set with rubies in a stardust pattern, that can be activated into a Shield charm.
“Anything for you, love” I said, giving her a hug.
“Mine either” frowned Ian.
“You really shouldn’t have gone to the trouble, dear” said Hermione, smiling at me.
“It was nothing, Mrs. Weasley. You were all so kind and generous to me, and you treated me like I was part of your family. I really hope you all like them” I said, smiling at them all.
“Dude..” said James, still in shock at not getting his gift.
“Oh give it a rest, Jamie. Your gift will be in the pile. Maybe it got missed while sending the gifts from Nana’s place. We’ll owl them later and see if yours is there” said Lily, patting her brother on the back. Fred and Ian looked equally disappointed too.
“Thanks for all your lovely presents too. I loved them. You all made this Christmas so very special. Thanks a lot” I said, and there was another round of “awww” and “don’t mention it” and hugs.
“Alright everyone” said Ron, “Let’s head to dinner”
“You just ate, Ronald” said Hermione, shaking her head at her husband
“So?” asked Ron, already on his way to the kitchen.
As the group slowly thinned out, I stopped Fred, James and Ian and said “Guys, can I talk to you for a moment?”
They raised their eyebrows at me, but followed me into the room.
I stood in front of them, and rolled up my sleeves, took my wand out and pointed at them.
“Whoa! What’s wrong?” exclaimed Ian
“What did we do?” said Fred
“Please don’t hurt us” that was James, ever so manly
They all backed up.
“Oh shut up you sissies” I snapped at them, and slowly waved my wand in a complex movement, and five minutes later, they all stood stunned in front of me.
“Dude..” said James
“Is that what I think it is?” said Fred
“No frickin’ way in hell” said Ian, his voice hollow.
“Yeah” I grinned at them “That’s your Christmas present”
They all looked at me, still in shock.
I couldn’t blame them. See, my brother had this secret prank spell that he made the guys beg him for, but he never gave them, because it was still a prototype and in the testing phase, and quite dangerous. Little did these people know that the master inventor of that awesome spell was yours truly. I had recently perfected the spell, and added a special safety clause to it so that it can be used for pranks without backfiring or going haywire. Since these tossers claimed to be the ‘best pranksters of the age’ I decided that they would get more kicks out of tricking people with it and showed it to them. (I’m not giving them their reciprocating spell though. I shall have the copyrights to that myself, thank you very much)
“How do you know?” they asked me.
“Well you nutters, who do you think invented the spell?” I asked, an angelic smile on my face, as I blew on my nails.
They beamed at me and then proceeded to squeeze the living juice out of me.
I think my body is physically nauseous from so many hugs and is protesting.
“Aren’t you freezing out here?” came the quiet voice, and I turned to find myself staring at the gorgeous green eyes of Albus Potter.
I shook my head (my voice had surprisingly abandoned me).
“Oh” he said, his voice strangely hollow, as he noticed I was wearing the all-weather blanket Hugo gifted me.
“What are you doing out here at this time? And how did you even find this place?” he said, still standing, his hands in his pockets to keep them warm, his breath fogging in front of his face.
“Um, I was just walking around and I noticed this and wanted to rest my legs a bit” I said, my voice slightly hoarse due to lack of use for some time and the cold.
It was just the weather, I tell you.
He nodded and asked, “D’you mind?”
I shook my head once more, and he came to sit by me on the steps leading down to the pond.
We were quietly gazing at the water, when suddenly, the air became warm and I turned to see Al holding a jar of bluebell flames in his hands, looking at me.
“It’s a special trick of Aunt Hermione’s” he explained, “She taught me when I was younger”
I nodded, and he placed the jar between us, providing warmth. I could still see him shivering a bit, so I quietly extended a part of my blanket and he gazed at me for a moment before moving in closer to share the blanket. His warmth spread to me, and I must admit, I felt a bit better.
It would have looked weird, if anyone saw us right now, out in the cold, cuddled in a blanket for warmth near the pond, surrounded by bushes so were practically hidden from view.
We gazed out for a long time, each wrapped in our own thoughts.
“Layla?” he called me, and I turned to look at him and saw that he was quite close, the blue flames dancing across the water had reflected on his face and turned his green eyes a gorgeous deep blue.
My breath hitched for a moment when our gazes met.
Holy mother of Merlin!
I raised my eyebrows at him, not trusting myself to speak right then.
“Thank you” he said, smiling at me.
“For what?” I asked, scrunching my eyebrows.
“For helping me out earlier with the gift” he explained.
I suppose I owe you an explanation.
See, the other day, Al was not sure on what to give his parents for Christmas, and he kept brooding over it for days together. In the end, I gave him the idea of the Quidditch team picture. I had heard Rose and Lily discussing one day that Harry never got a chance to take the picture of his team at Hogwarts, because he couldn’t play at the Finals and never had a chance to come back for his seventh year. I had to contact Dana’s Mum, who was in the team along with them, and she had to contact other people and finally we were able to procure the picture.
“They really loved it, and I guess I owe that to you” he said, his eyes turning serious.
“No trouble” I said, giving him a smile.
“Um” he began awkwardly, and started to fidget a bit.
“What?” I asked.
“I got you a gift as well” he mumbled, “I didn’t want to give it in front of all of them, that is why I didn’t place it under the tree. Sorry” he said, and handed me a wrapped present.
I took it silently, surprised at the thought and also by the fact that I had also gotten him a gift and had refrained from placing it under the tree for those very same reasons.
Both of us thinking alike?
Now that’s something new.
“Go on” he urged “Open it”
I opened it to find a beautiful oval shaped mirror, with delicate designs inlaid in pale gold all around it. It was beautiful.
“It’s beautiful. Thanks” I said softly, giving him a smile.
“That’s not all” he said, “It’s not only a mirror. I charmed it so that when you’re sad or feeling lonely or when you’re generally down, it will show you your happiest memories and the person you want to be with” he finished, his eyes boring into mine.
When I finally managed to tear my eyes away from the green/blue fire blazing in his, I said, “I got you a present as well” and gave him his present.
He opened it, and found a spun-glass bottle of clear blue-green liquid.
“It’s cologne made by Merpeople” I explained, and he gave a quiet gasp.
“That’s supposed to be very rare and very hard to find. Merpeople just don’t hand it out to anyone, unless they prove themselves worthy. How did you manage to get this?” he asked, curiosity burning in his eyes.
“That doesn’t matter, Al” I said, looking back at him “I guess this is my way of saying thanks, for all that you have done for me. If not for you, I would have never had the chance to meet these amazing people, and I would have spent a miserable Christmas all alone. What I’m trying to say is, thanks for everything” I finished.
He just kept gazing at me in that weird intense way.
The flames made his features more defined, the angles and the planes of his face were sharper, and his eyes, Merlin, his eyes simply mesmerized me. They seemed to hold some sort of fire in themselves, and they way he looked at me right now, it seemed like the fire in his eyes was warming me from the top of my head to the very tips of my toes, and it sent tingles running through my skin.
What is this boy doing to me?
He drew in a shaky breath, and his eyes still held mine, as he moved closer so that our bodies were touching now. His warmth had completely enveloped me, his heat searing through my body and warming it up to a burning point. You could feel the sparks of electricity that was coursing through our bodies, seeming to jump from one to another. His arm was placed along the length of mine, and his thigh was grazing mine.
He slowly raised one arm, his eyes never leaving mine, to very lightly graze my face with the back of his fingers, from my cheek to my jaw and beyond. His hand dropped away from my neck, and I could feel a trail of fire on the course it had run.
My eyes widened, and my breath hitched, but I was trapped by the energy between us, I couldn’t move.
His eyes were still boring into mine, and I couldn’t seem to move my eyes from his face, or blink.
His breathing had tuned ragged and shallow; and I could feel my own breathing respond to his. Our bodies were so close now, I could feel his heart beating through my shirt, and my traitorous heart beat picked up its pace to bang against my ribs, to match his pace.
This was something entirely new to me.
I mean, I have had relationships before, and I have kissed boys, but until now, no other boy had ever made me feel this level of intensity without even touching me.
He moved in closer, and his hand moved up to grab my chin and tilt it up. He was so close now, that our noses were almost touching, and I could feel his warm breath fan my face. His breath smelled of peppermint, and he smelled like soap, like he just had a shower. It was heavenly, and my head was rushing, spinning out of control. I couldn’t even unscramble my thoughts now.
He opened his mouth a little, and moved closer, and was a millimetre away from my lips, when-
“Huh?” I turned suddenly, at the sound of someone calling my name, so that his lips met my cheek instead.
“Come in before you freeze!” said Rose, before jogging back to the house.
I blinked, and she was gone.
I turned to see Al, who had gone back to his previous place, at a safe distance from me. His face was impassive, and his expression blank.
“Um” I cleared my throat.
“You’d better get back in, before they realize you’re missing” he said, his voice rough and his gaze on the water.
I nodded, and said, “Thanks, for the gift” and stood up.
He said nothing, still gazing at the water, his hand a fist by his side.
“See you later” I whispered, and moved away.
I turned back to see him still in the same position, his hand fisted around the jar of bluebell flames, and his shoulders stiff.
I was almost at the house, when I could have sworn I heard a voice exclaim “Fuck”.
I'm sure it was just my vivid imagination, turning wind to voices.
hey! it's me again!
what did you think of the chapter??
love it/ hate it??
read and review, please!!
will try to post the next ones soon!!
till then, toodles *waves*
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