Chapter 16 : The trouble with letters
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“Apparently not,” Louis said, stifling a yawn, “what does he want that’s so important.”
“To fill me in on his new job he somehow landed. Want a piece of hilarious news, he’s only gone and got a job at Gringotts.” Horatio stated with a small laugh as he rubbed his bloodshot eyes.
“The bank?” Louis asked, trying to stifle a yawn and failing.
“No, I meant the country,” Horatio tutted. “Of course it’s the bank.”
“There isn’t even a country called Gringotts you idiot.” Louis shook his head at him, “Someone is being cranky today.”
“Well, I’m tired, so I’m not going to be making any sense today. But you would be tired too if you were kept up by having letters sent to you in the middle of the night.”
“I was woken up Horatio,” Louis told him. “In fact, you woke the entire dormitory up, by screaming last night.”
“How is it my fault that an owl, flew onto my face?” Horatio cried, turning to look at Louis and pointing to his face. “Not around me Louis, not next to me on the bed, but on my actual face. It was sent to kill me.”
“It wasn’t trying to kill you,” Louis muttered sleepily, pushing his bowl of porridge away from him so he could rest on his arms. He really needed to have some coffee to make sure that he was awake enough for his exams today.
“We really don’t need this,” Horatio muttered, leaning into Louis’s shoulder, Louis didn’t even have the energy to push him away.
“Why are you so tired anyway? I thought that you fell back asleep after I screamed and had been threatened by Rob.” Horatio muttered quietly as he was close to Louis’s ear.
“Hard to fall asleep when you’ve had the fright of your life. Wait – what do you mean Nikolos has a job at Gringotts?” Louis asked in outrage as he sat back up, the information that Horatio had told him earlier having just registered. Horatio nearly fell out of his seat when Louis moved; he straightened himself up and reached forwards so he could fill a cup with coffee. “Do they not do background checks to prevent people like your brother from getting a job there?”
Louis gave another yawn as he brought his porridge back over to himself and began eating it slowly.
“He’s a criminal; we can all say it out loud. He must have charmed someone, or is using a false identity. There’s no way on earth my brother would be allowed a job there, the Ministry should be doing their job properly, that’s all I’m saying.”
“I wonder if my dad knows about this.”
“He’s got to, he works there as well.” Horatio said, “I think we should write to him to let him know that Nikolos Demarcus cannot be trusted. Although he might be using an alias, just tell your dad not to trust anyone that has been recently hired.”
“I’ll talk to him when I get home. Let’s just worry about how we’re going to get through today’s exams without collapsing from exhaustion.” Louis told him honestly, shaking his head to stop the muggy feeling that was beginning to cloud his mind.
Horatio let out another groan, “why does my brother have to ruin everything?” He downed his coffee and began instantly coughing and spluttering. Gasping for breath, Horatio grabbed for Louis’s water, whilst Louis began patting him on the back.
“Whoa, are you okay Horatio?” Louis asked in concern. Horatio nodded at him as he began drinking the water, he finished the entire glass and gave a few more coughs.
“Fine, I’m fine. That probably wasn’t the best idea I’ve had. Coffee by the way is disgusting. Why did I think I would be fine drinking it?”
“Maybe it tastes better when it’s cooled down and isn’t scolding hot.” Louis suggested, removing his hand from Horatio’s back and going back to finishing his breakfast. People were starting to get up around him so that they could either go to their lessons, or wait for their exams to begin.
“I think downing those two drinks was a bad idea,” Horatio stated to Louis, running a hand over his tired face and letting out another groan.
“And why’s that?” Louis asked him as he pushed the now empty bowl away from him and filled up his glass again so that he could have a drink.
“Because I’m going to be pissing a lot later.”
“Delightful,” Louis said with a laugh, finishing his drink and placing his glass back down on the table. “Good thing we’ve got just under an hour before our first exam.”
“Why did my sleep have to be interrupted last night? The one night I went to bed early instead of the early hours of the morning, and my dickhead of a brother ruins it.” Horatio muttered darkly.
Louis sighed as he stood up and pulled Horatio up from the bench, so that the teachers could begin making the Great Hall ready for their exams. They both strolled slowly out of the room, hoping that their energy levels would pick up soon. Louis didn’t fancy falling asleep during the beginning of his end of year exams.
“Remind me to punch my brother in the face next time that I see him.” Horatio told Louis. Louis gave a nod, deciding to not mention to Horatio that the last time he had tried that, Nikolos had punched him back even harder.
“If these were our N.E.W.Ts, I would have punched your brother for you.” Louis muttered, stifling a yawn. Louis was thankful that Nikolos would be less likely to punch him back; Nikolos knew that Louis’s sisters would be after his blood if he did. Although Nikolos did seem to enjoy tormenting Dom for a reason that Louis wasn’t sure of. Louis knew that it must have been something big if both Dom and Kieron hated Nikolos so much, it couldn’t be just for bullying students back at school. He made a mental note to ask his sister about it when he finally got back home.
“Maybe we should stand outside for a moment; the fresh air might wake us up a bit.” Horatio suggested to Louis, who gave a shrug.
“I guess we won’t know until we try, Horatio.” Louis told him as they made their way out of the castle.
Their exams hadn’t gone as badly as they thought that they would do, neither Horatio nor Louis had fallen asleep during them, although Horatio admitted that at times he was close to. Louis wouldn’t know as he was nowhere near where Horatio was sitting in the hall. As they were alphabetical he was stuck in between Lucy and Molly, to which he was glad. At the times that he thought that he was going to fall asleep Molly would cough loudly behind him, startling him awake, or one time she accidently hit him in the head with her quill, that she had told the teacher she had ‘accidently’ dropped to the floor.
Louis thanked her as soon as they were out of the exam, and she scolded him for clearly not having enough sleep before hand. Telling both Horatio and Louis that after dinner that night she wanted them both to go straight to bed, after they had spent at least one hour revising for their exams. Horatio and Louis agreed to this, only having one helping of their food that night before departing for their dormitory. But as they sat on their bed, their books spread around them as they fully intended to revise a little, they were overcome by their lack of sleep and seemed to pass out after around an hour of words blurring in front of them.
Louis was awoken by something poking him sharply in the hand; he gave a frown as he tried to squint at what was poking him. Expecting to have to yell at Horatio, or throw something at his face, he was surprised to find an Owl was perched on his bed, its head cocked to one side as it peered at him.
Louis sat up suddenly, feeling a jolt of horror flood through him at the bird in front of his face. He heard a rip of paper and reached up to his face to find a page of the book he had fallen asleep on fixed to his face and drenched in drool. He peeled the page from his face and dropped it, before he reached out clumsily and tiredly to take the letter from the bird's leg. The Owl hooted quietly after he was freed from the letter and flew out of the room quietly. Louis frowned after the Owl as his brain still tried to process the fact that he has been awoken and he was trying to get used to his surroundings.
He could hear snores around him as he sat up straighter and rubbed his face and then his hair, squinting to get his eyes adjusted to the darkness of the room. No wonder Horatio screamed when the other Owl had flown onto his face, Louis was frightened at seeing this one so close, but it would have been worse if he had a fear of birds.
Louis groped onto his bed as he found the letter and flopped backwards onto his bed, so that his head was resting on the pillow behind him. He grabbed for his wand on his bedside cabinet and muttered a charm so that the curtains around his bed would close, he didn’t want to wake any of the boys with the light from his wand. He wasn’t up for being punched, like Rob had so delicately promised to do to Horatio last night if he was disturbed again.
Holding the wand in his mouth for a moment, he opened the letter with his now free hands, wondering just who was writing to him this early in the morning. Especially when he had exams the next morning, he dreaded to think what the time actually was.
Once he had opened the letter, he took the wand out of his mouth, scrunching his face up at the taste of it. Reminding himself to never do that again, or if he did to wash it first.
I’m so sorry that I’ve written this letter so late to you, but I didn’t know what else to do. I just.... I just feel so useless and like a burden on everyone. I know that you’re going to say that I’m not, and your family has tried to tell me that I’m not. But I feel like I’m taking advantage of your family. You’re not here and they’re still looking after me like I’m part of their family. That shouldn’t be their job it should be my own parents.
I wish that my parents would talk to me, that they would hear me out. But the only contact that we’ve had is them telling me that the only way I can come back home is if I give the baby up for adoption. It’s not right and I know that, but at times I can’t help thinking that they might be right.
It’s just that you’re not here, I’m all alone. Doing everything by myself and I don’t like it. How will I be able to cope with the baby once she gets here? I can barely cope now. You have no idea what it’s like to feel like I look as big as a Giant, to just burst into tears at the most random of times for no reason. My back is killing me, my feet are killing me. I can’t sleep because she keeps moving around and keeping me awake by kicking me, or pushing her feet into my ribs. It’s hard Louis and you’re not here to be with me.
I know I shouldn’t be thinking or feeling this, that maybe it’s my hormones playing up. But I really need you here; I don’t want to do this alone anymore. I just feel so fed up of everything, and your parents and sisters are being so nice to me that I feel terrible for thinking such things.
I’m sorry that I’ve woken you up, but I didn’t know what else to do.
I miss you,
Louis frowned down at the letter in his hands before he sat up and reread it.
“Fuck it,” he muttered as quietly as he could, as he pulled open his curtains and grabbed for his alarm clock on the side of his bed. It took him a few moments to realise that it was nearing three in the morning, way too early for him to be wandering around the castle.
None of the professors would be awake for him to beg to use their floo to get Freya a message, and there was no way that he would be able to get to the Owlery and back at this time of night. He wished that the owl that had delivered Freya’s letter had stuck around so that he could send a message back with it. But there was nothing that he could do.
Louis ran his hands over his face as he let out a tired groan, feeling absolutely and completely useless as he thought about how much more he should have been doing for Freya. Guilt washed over him at the thought that she had spent most of this pregnancy dealing with it without him, that he should have been there.
Wide awake Louis sat up in his bed and began writing out the letter that he would send back to Freya when he was able to take a trip to the Owlery, ignoring his aching body that seemed to tell him to go back to sleep, his mind yelling that he had an exam in the morning and he had little amounts of sleep as it was. But he knew he wouldn’t be able to sleep, not with the worry and guilt that had set in on him. There was nothing he could do now, but wait.
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