Chapter 8 : Promise
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He came to Shell Cottage when he was okay to leave; they knew that he would go to Kieron's eventually and that it would be a while before he went to his own home - his friend was actually trying to get him to move in and his family agreed - but the ocean calmed him. The beach was peaceful and it allowed him to be as alone as his magic would let him.
Teddy found him sitting on top of the rocks, far enough away from the house that he could be alone, but close enough that they could make him out in the distance and could keep an eye on him. Fleur had always worried about her children falling from the rocks, Nicky especially when he wasn't well; Victoire was always 'too sensible' to go there and Louis was afraid of the water, but Nicky loved to sit there and pretend that he could hide.
He didn't want to disturb the boy, not after everything he'd been through, but there were things he needed to know and he couldn't let them go, he couldn't leave his questions unanswered and allowe fate to take it's course - he needed to know if there was a chance he could stop it. And if he couldn't, at least he'd know that and could deal with the aftermath when it came.
He cleared his throat before moving to sit, let Nicky know that he was coming first; he didn't want to startle the boy and have him fall into the ocean, Fleur would never forgive him. Nicky moved away, leaving room for Ted.
"Hi," Ted replied, feeling nervous and afraid. He didn't want to hear what he knew was coming. Because it would come; Ted wouldn't leave until he knew.
Either Kieron hadn't told Nicky that Ted knew about his magic and misunderstood the hesitation or he was putting it off; he guessed the latter, they told each other everything.
"The house is completely empty, you know?" he said first. "It's nice and safe and lovely to live in; the team you hired did great work."
"Thanks, but we're still going to sell, it's too weird now. I can't be in there," Ted told him honestly. He watched his hands as he counted to ten in his mind, each number a deep breath in and out, then he turned to face Nicky. "That's not what I want to talk about and you know it."
"Yeah, I know," he whispered, running his finger up and down the smooth, wet rock as a way of keeping his head down.
There was a few moments of silence, Ted wondering one last time if this was the right thing to do while Nicky waited for the question. Then he asked what he dreading hearing an answer to.
"The healers think that I have until I'm about thirty, then I'll become a permanent resident," he said softly, still refusing to look up. "After that, they think I'll be there for a couple of months, six at the most, before my own magic kills me. But my mind won't be my own by then, which is probably a good thing."
Teddy moaned, burying his head in his hands. Hearing the truth was so much worse than imagining what could be; he didn't know if he could take anymore.
"But hey, let's celebrate eleven more years of slightly sane Dominique Weasley, I hear he can be fun sometimes," he smiled weakly, finally looking up to face the man. Ted tried to smile, but couldn't quite manage it; if he had known the true extent to Nicky's powers, if he had known the consequences, then he never would have called the boy. He'd have found another way to save Ryan.
And risk losing him because you took too long?
He pushed the thought away.
"I wish this wasn't happening."
"So does Kieron," Nicky told him bluntly. "But it is and we can't change that. We have to accept the way life is and live with it any way we can."
"What you did for us -"
"I would do it again in a heartbeat if it saved my family. Even if it does cut years off the prediction," he added as an afterthought they both knew was true and could happen.
"It'll be okay, I promise," Nicky said when the silence became too much for him; Ted was being unnaturally still and it was starting to worry him.
His brother-in-law faced him skeptically.
"I'll be okay. It is just an estimate, I could very well live longer than that, and apart from the few too many hospital trips and the voices, I have a good life; I have a family who love me and a best friend who would do anything for me. I'm lucky," he said. Ted didn't feel the need to point out that Nicky's lower lip wobbled when he tried to smile again; he'd pretend that the boy's words about being okay were as honest as the rest of his speech, for him.
"I'm not afraid to die, I'm just afraid of how. I hope it's quick," he whispered.
"Why did this happen to you?" Ted snapped, apologising quickly because it wasn't anger toward him that caused it, it was the situation they were in. It really was inevitable, he didn't know how to stop it.
Nicky shrugged. "I don't know."
"The other side won't tell you?"
He shook his head. "There's a Reaper, he knows why. But he says it's not time to know and it's not his place to say. All I do know is that it's because I died. I shouldn't be here, Ted. I was meant to die that day, when I was a baby, and I didn't. There are consequences for that. It's all about balance, Reapers are big believers in balance. I don't fit. But that's okay."
Ted opened his mouth to retort, to get Nicky to see that it wasn't okay and he shouldn't have to die for something they did, but they heard Vic coming their way and he snapped his mouth shut.
"Don't tell them," Nicky murmured, fast and low. "They can't know, it'll kill them."
"Hey, Mum said to tell you that lunch is ready," Victoire smiled, stopping at the edge of the rocks. "It's your favorite, Nick, spaghetti, so you best come quick before Dad eats it's all."
"Ted says your selling the house," Nicky said, pushing their conversation to the back of his mind.
Victoire turned to Ted, so he smiled and tried to do the same. "Yeah. He kept going on about how lovely it is now that she is gone; he can have it."
"Don't even joke about that," Victoire shivered, wrapping her arm around her brother's neck. "I'm not letting you near that house and your picking our new one. Until then, we're staying here."
"It really is okay now," Nicky insisted.
Victoire wouldn't hear of it, though, not after everything that had happened. "We're definitely selling, Nick. But since we completely refurbished it, we could get double our money, maybe even more. Imagine what we could do with the next one."
"And so it begins," Teddy mock-whispered, earning himself a dig in the ribs.
They went into Shell Cottage smiling, feeling better than they'd been in days. But Nicky's words never left his mind and Ted knew that he would fear every episode the boy would ever have, he would blame her for potentially taking him away faster than they should and, more importantly and with regret he shared with Harry and Bill, he knew that he would keep his promise.
No one would ever know of Nicky's sacrifice to help them. It was better that way.
It never made it easier.
A/N: I died inside. That's acceptable, right? Knowing your character's fate - one thing. Writing said character's fate - something else. Headcanon sucks sometimes.
So, this is the last chapter and you know what Nicky's magic is doing. To be clear - He had leukemia when he was six months old and died and a Reaper brought him back, but there were consequences. Being on the other side became a part of him, it opened his mind to everything, magic and spirits. It's too much for a person to take, it shouldn't happen and it's killing him. Before this happened, his only special ability should have been telekinesis (the ability to move things with his mind). No one knows that, though. Just us. :)
I hope that you've enjoyed this story. Please let me know what you think and I hope to see you with my other stories. :D
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