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Chapter 3 : Pushes and Secrets
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Today it was to convince Lorcan of why he should move on from Dom completely, rather than avoid him like he had been doing all week, as well a way of doing so. And as he watched his brother pace, Lorcan could admit that Lysander was an amazing Auror, whose plans were so well thought out at home and in the Ministry, that casualties were few in number out in the field, but that didn't mean he could be as patient. He wanted answers now, he did not want to watch his brother pace all day, even if it was to make sure that Lorcan could get past Dom without getting hurt.
"Sane! Help me before you drive me insane!"
Lysander stopped abruptly, spinning to face Lorcan too quickly and knocking into the couch. "I'm sorry, I just -"
"You just want me to be okay in the end, I know, and I will be," he promised, "I'm not fragile, Lysander. I am desperate, though. I need this. So, give me reasons. If I end up countering your reasons, you counter them or give me another. I'm bound to agree with one of them."
"He's almost thirteen years older than you," Lysander said, starting with what they both thought was the easiest one.
"He's twelve years and two months older than me and I don't care about that," Lorcan was quick to say. It made the fact that he'd had this conversation with himself many times obvious, but his brother already knew that anyway; Lysander just went back to pacing while Lorcan leant against his wall and watched.
"He's almost forty," Lysander said next.
Lorcan almost wanted to roll his eyes; he could not consider the second reason any different from the first. No matter how Lysander worded it, age was not the problem, not in his head; his feelings messing with their friendship was. "He's thirty-six, he only gets better with age and I still don't care about that."
"He's getting married and she's a woman."
Lorcan did roll his eyes that time. "I know your training has taught you that the best ideas are usually the simple ones, but don't tell me the bloody obvious."
"Sorry," his brother muttered, letting himself drop onto the couch, a frown set on his face; it made him look harder than he usually was.
Lorcan's own apology died on his lips, leaving the word unspoken; saying sorry to Dom was apparently a one time occurrence, not even his brother could have one from him. His family rarely heard an apology, his friends never did, but they always seemed to understand when they looked at him; Lysander nodded his head in acceptance and sat up.
"Maybe we shouldn't be coming up with reasons why, just ideas how," he said slowly, looking as though a plan was forming while spoke. Lorcan grinned, oddly proud; finally his way of thinking was working.
"If you want to see Dom as a friend again, then you need to be a friend, don't you?" Lysander told him with a slight shrug. "I know it'll be hard, but you need to go back to him. Hang out, listen to him talk about the wedding if he has to, be his friend."
"I've never really thought about our friendship before, though. It just happened," Lorcan tried to explain. "If I have to be around him as a friend, I have to know what to do to accomplish that, otherwise I'll ruin things or he'll suspect something. It sounds crazy, right? Needing to think about how to be a friend." Lysander shrugged again, probably just not wanting to say that he agreed, Lorcan presumed. "How are you and Hugo such good friends? Seven years may not exactly compare to twelve, but it's still pretty big."
"He doesn't treat me like a child," he answered without hesitation. "And I don't ask about certain parts of his life. It works for us. But we're not like you and Dom; Hugo used to avoid us until we were practically forced together at Rose's party a few years ago, whereas we grew up with Dom. He was our babysitter; he read us stories and showed us magic, he defended us when we got in trouble. He was the first person you'd go to if something was wrong, he knows more than our parents ever will. You have always loved him, it's just grown."
Lorcan buried his head in hands; he loved his brother, he really did, but the guy was so confusing sometimes.
"I feel like by explaining how my feelings came to be after telling me that I should be his friend, which is how my feelings came to be, you've contradicted yourself," he moaned.
"Your love for Dom has always been there, but in the beginning, it was more platonic, like loving your best friend. Now you're avoiding him because you are thinking of him as a crush, which is what you should not do," Lysander said, making a little more sense in Lorcan's mind. "Think of him as a friend again, hang out and talk about whatever it is you usually talk about. Maybe learn to accept Amanda."
Lorcan's head snapped up and he shook it hard. "No way. I hated her long before feelings became an issue. She's a horrible, spoilt girl and a huge bore. I can be his friend and not like her."
"If you say so," Lysander murmured, though he clearly didn't agree. Maybe he was right, Lorcan himself had accepted the fact that not hating her might help, that by understanding what Dom sees in her and stopping his thoughts of her being no good for him, he might allow him to stop thinking that only he was good for Dom. He knew those thoughts were there, buried deep inside his mind, but still there, wanting to be heard by Dom.
Lorcan accepted all of that, he still wasn't going to follow through. He wouldn't even pretend to like her. She knew where he stood, as he did with her, and that was never going to change.
He'd get over his love for Dom, but his hatred for Amanda was here to stay.
"So, when are you going to start being his friend again?" Lysander asked, interrupting the silence that Lorcan had unknowingly let come between them.
He shrugged noncommittally, hoping that he could avoid Dom for just one more day. He knew that from the look in his eyes, though, that Lysander was not going to let it happen; they had both agreed that Lorcan had to get over Dom now, but it seemed only his brother actually meant now.
"Hugo told me that Dom is at the Burrow, apparently he's been forced into planning. Why don't you go and help him?"
"Because I don't want him to get married," Lorcan answered before he could stop himself. "Because it's too much right now."
"Then distract him from it. Talk to him about something else, like the project Hugo said he's working on. Work is always a safe topic," Lysander smiled.
He was pulled up and forced into Lysander's fireplace before he could protest or at least try to get his brother to let him have one more day. Lorcan had enough time to ask what the project was, then thick green flames covered him.
Lysander's quickly yelled "how the hell should I know" was not helpful.
All Dom wanted to do was find Lorcan. Or sleep. Or find Lorcan and then sleep. Because all of those scenarios got him away from the Burrow, his annoying family, their questions and wedding planning. They also gave him access to Lorcan, but he knew the kid well enough to know that Lorcan wouldn't tell him what was wrong if asked. He'd have to be patient and wait for Lorcan to come to him, so Dom mostly wanted to get away from his family.
He was supposed to be happy about the date being set, wasn't he? Planning his wedding was meant to be a fun, happy time now that things were actually happening; Amanda was with her mother and friends, sorting out and dresses, while her father helped with venues. All Dom had to do was pick his best man and write his guest list, but just the thought filled him with dread.
He put the feeling down to the guest list; he only wanted three people to stand with him at the alter, Louis, Lorcan and his best friend Kieron, he wouldn't have it any other way. So, he knew that decision wasn't the cause. The thought of people staring at him freaked him out, though. He'd spent his entire life being laughed at and teased, called names because of his own name and his gifts. He wouldn't have people there if he could help it.
But Amanda wanted him to have other people besides family on there; apparently the Notts didn't count because, with Theo being Harry's friend and Grayson being Harry's godson, Kieron being his friend, Alexa married to Albus and Ash sharing a kid with Lucy, they were basically family now anyway.
It has to be that.
Dom suddenly wished they weren't, to keep his list on his family. He didn't have time to process his wish; Victoire jumped and elbowed him in the ribs when the floo activated and Lorcan fell out of the fireplace. He groaned in pain and rubbed at the back of his head, moaning about needing help.
Dom stood up, rubbing his side with one hand while holding out his other for Lorcan to take.
"Oh, my hero," Lorcan tried to joke, though it came out as a moan. He took Dom's hand gratefully and pulled himself up, crashing into Dom's chest. "Ow. You're stronger than I remember."
"Sorry," Dom muttered, hiding his face when Louis started to laugh.
"He's been hiding in the gym with Kieron and Xavier," his brother told him, grinning. "Apparently, Amanda has been a little cranky. Honestly, I think that's why he picked the date; it's kept her happy and busy so far."
"Be quiet, Louis," their mother Fleur scolded him, as though he was still a child and not a thirty-five year old man with a family of his own. "Dominique's reasons for waiting are his own, not yours. Leave him be. Hello, Lorcan."
"Hello, Mrs. Weasley," Lorcan muttered in reply. Dom bit his lip to hide his smile; Lorcan had drunkenly confessed that Fleur Weasley seemed to have this air about her that freaked him out. He could barely look her in the eye when she was mad or taking control and he made sure to never cause her anger. She was the only person Lorcan seemed to be cautious of.
"What brings you here, Lorcan?" Dom asked, smiling genuinely for the first time all day.
"Lysander said you where here to plan wedding stuff, I thought I could lend a hand. Show my support, you know? I haven't done much of that yet," he admitted awkwardly.
"It's fine, I promise," Dom said, his smile wavering ever so slightly. Lorcan wasn't supposed to talk about the wedding, he was meant to distract him from it. At least until he got used to the fact that Amanda wanted a big wedding and he could force himself to write his list. "We've got time."
"For the wedding, maybe. The bachelor party is another matter altogether," Lorcan whispered with a smirk, not letting Fleur hear. "We need to start now if we want to make it memorable. Where's Kieron? I have ideas already."
"He's away on business. He'll be back next week," Dom chuckled.
"Then we'll just have to start without him."
Lorcan led him to the kitchen table, away from the others. Louis frowned, not happy that he'd been left with his sister, mother and grandmother in the living room.
"Dominique, you should be over here," Fleur called.
"We're listening," Dom lied, rolling his eyes and pinching Lorcan lightly when he started mimicking Fleur's voice and calling him by his given name.
For the first time since the engagement party, Dom finally felt like things were normal between them again. Then Lorcan's smile dropped when he thought no one was looking and Dom was reminded that he was keeping something secret. Then he remembered his own secret, his feeling of dread that wouldn't quite go away. And things no longer felt normal.
A/N: Hey, guys. New chapter, finally. I have a list now. I hope you enjoyed this chapter, please let me know what you think. :)
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by Miranda Lupin