Chapter 25 : 25. Going, Going, Gone
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But in truth, Marcus Valois was my worst enemy.
”GO TO HELL!” I cried out, throwing a vase in the general direction of Marcus' head. Marcus dodged it easily, as if he did this on daily basis – which he might as well have done, if you asked me! I grabbed Em's teacup, ignoring her protests, and hurled it towards him as well. This time, it was all my fault for missing his head by a few inches. ”YOU CANNOT TELL ME WHAT I CAN OR CANNOT DO!”
”I AM IN CHARGE OF YOUR SAFETY!” he roared back at me. ”IF SOMETHING HAPPENS TO YOU, IT'S MY HEAD!”
I glared at him, unable to scream back at him when Theo appeared with the baby. ”What's going on?” he asked, confused by the scene in front of him. I was suddenly aware of Em's arms clutched around my waist, restraining me, and Marcus' defensive stance, ready to run. My eyes flew between them all, as I shoved Em's hands away. I reached already out for my son, and Theo automatically handed him over to me. I held him close to my chest, as if he was my lucky charm, my last bits of sanity – and also to control myself. ”You okay?” Theo murmured, taking his natural place beside me.
”Throw that spineless git out of here,” I snarled, stalking off to my room. Not a minute passed, until Theo showed up, closing the door behind him. ”Don't ask,” I sighed, as I slowly kneeled on the floor, placing the baby on his Quidditch playmat. We watched in silence as he gurgled and laughed at the tiny Bludgers, Quaffles and Snitches that floated above him. I sighed again, shaking my head. ”Marcus doesn't think it's a good idea for me to meet... you know... my...”
Theo nodded knowingly. ”Your dad?”
”It's weird to call him that, don't you think?” I said, wrinkling my nose in distaste. ”I have a dad – had a dad! - and he was perfect... now I have another one, and it's... different. I don't know him, he doesn't know me – and yet, he's the one who has witnessed one of my most important moments that I will ever have in my life – the birth of my son... - so... it's... you know.”
I shrugged lamely, staring at the baby blankly. Theo sighed, and I could tell he was nodding. ”I know what you mean,” he simply said.
”Talk about important moments,” I said, distracting myself from my own problems. ”How are things with your... you know... your affairs?”
I sounded medieval, ancient, and dirty, for some reason. Theo had suddenly become one of dearest friends, even if I hadn't known him for long. I could talk to him, he was like silent wall, who just took all my ranting and venting, and said intelligent stuff.
He reminded me a bit of Lily.
”You mean Max?” Theo said quietly. I nodded, and glanced at him, when he didn't respond. ”We broke up... well, we were never really officially together, if you know what I mean...”
”What?” I whispered, surprised. ”But you two seemed so... so...”
”Happy?” Theo snorted. ”Yeah, no, not really. He totally freaked after that one time... when you walked in on us. Yeah, I was more like a science project to him than the real thing, you know...”
”And you're the real thing, then?” I said in awe.
Theo narrowed his eyes at me, shaking his head. ”Don't you dare kiss me again, or I will hurt you, and I don't care that you have a baby!”
”You're not that special,” I huffed, pretending to be hurt. ”Oh well, can't win 'em all, can you?” I said, getting up. ”Watch him while I go pee, okay?”
Theo cringed visibly. ”No need to explain to so much detail, okay?”
I ignored him, and made my way towards the bathroom. The bathroom door was open, the light on. I approached it slowly, stretching my arms over my head. I stopped abruptly, as I heard voices from the bathroom – familiar voices. I took a quick step to the side, and saw Em's face, and the back of Marcus' head. Em and Marcus were talking in hushed tones, so I had to strain my ears to hear them.
”It's a pretty deep cut,” she murmured, her wand pointed at Marcus' face.
”Leave it,” Marcus' gruff voice said.
”You shouldn't hate her for her temper and stubborness, you know,” Em said, purisng her lips.
”I don't hate her,” Marcus said at once. ”I can't... she's my responsibility.”
Em froze, her wand still raised. ”Oh really?”
Their eyes met, and the silence stretched between them. ”Don't get any ideas, Jolie.”
For a split second, Em's eyes darted over Marcus' shoulder, and her eyes locked with mine. She quickly looked back at Marcus', and that's when it happened.
I covered my mouth with both of my hands, as I watched Em lean in, as in slow-motion, and kiss Marcus. I couldn't tell what Marcus' reaction was, and I didn't want to. I stared at them in shock, backing away. I had always thought that Em had a small crush on Marcus, but Em had a crush on everyone, maybe...
This was just so weird.
I returned to my room, my own personal needs all forgotten. I must've looked like a ghost, because it sure as hell made Theo worried enough to stand up.
”What's wrong?” he asked at once.
I swallowed, shaking my head. ”I just... feel so relieved,” I stammered, not feeling like repeating what I had just witnessed. ”After peeing.”
Theo cringed. ”I told you not to--”
”Yeah, yeah, yeah...” I said, grinning.
I watched the baby for a moment, before sighing deeply. After everything I had seen and heard, and lived through, he truly was one of the rare things that were pure, perfect and innocent in my life. And it gave me great joy to realize I had created him.
It was one of those nights I didn't look forward to. Theo was at work, Em was out, and I was all alone with my baby. I didn't like to be alone, I noticed, since I had too much time for my own thoguhts and feelings. It all would've been nice, though, if the baby hadn't decided to start screaming for a good two hours – nonstop. He wasn't hungry, he wasn't wet, he didn't want to fall asleep, either – I was totally and utterly lost with him.
”Shh, sweetie, shhh...” I hushed, holding him close to my chest. ”Mommy needs to think, mommy... mommy cannot think if you keep screaming, sweetie...”
But he would have none of it. Like his father, he rarely followed my advice. I held him tighter, looking around helplessly. The crying and screaming slowly began to be too much for me, and soon enough, I couldn't hear it anymore. I knew the baby was still crying, but it was like I was floating in some sort of daze. I froze, and stared down at the screaming baby in my arms. Without blinking, I slowly lowered him in the crib, and quickly took a few steps back. And then a few more... and another three steps, until I was in my closet. I closed the door, and felt my knees give in under me, as I buried my face into my hands.
And I cried.
I was vaguely aware of someone coming into the room, as the baby slowly calmed down. A low murmur was all I could hear, and soon enough, the door to the closet opened.
Marcus Valois stared down at me, holding a calm baby in his arms.
”Shit,” he simply said, quickly closing the door again. I sniffled loudly, trying to keep the tears back. Before I could pull myself together, Marcus was back, this time without the baby. He joined me in the closet, sitting down next to me. As if he did this all the time, he pulled me against his chest, and held me close.
So I cried some more. Not only because it felt good – in a strange way – but I had also missed the basic human touch of a man, which made it all even weirder than it already was. I cried for a few minutes, just letting him comfort me. I knew I would have to face him sooner or later, but I couldn't think of that at the moment.
”Are you hurt?” Marcus asked, his breath close to my ear. I shook my head, sniffling. ”Is the baby hurt?” he asked then.
I shook my head again, pulling away. ”I... I... I can't take t-this anymore...” I whispered.
Marcus cupped my face, and even in the dark, I could tell he was only inches away from me. ”What's wrong?” he asked calmly.
”He wouldn't stop screaming,” I said quickly, feeling the familiar feeling of hysteria take over me again. ”He just... just... just kept screaming and screaming, and he wouldn't eat, or sleep, or just stop screaming!” I said, shaking my head wildly.
”Shh, clam down...” he said, rubbing my cheeks. ”Take a deep breath, Susie...”
I took a deep breath, closing my eyes, and concentrating on the breathing. ”I'm fine,” I murmured, pulling my face away from his touch. ”Sorry.”
”You have nothing to be sorry about,” he said quietly. ”What you're feeling is... is completely normal. You've had a rough time, Susie.”
”I didn't actually plan to hurt him,” I whispered after a moment. ”The baby,” I clarified. ”I... I just felt scared. Scared of what might happen to him... what will happen to us. I feel so... so alone, so... vulnerable. If something happened to me, he'd be all alone, you know? He's so... so small, so pure... he's the only thing I've done right, you know?”
”You don't need to worry about that,” Marcus said gently. ”About what will happen to him, I mean. You've got loads of people who care about you two, you know,” he said, and sighed. ”And as far as I'm concerned, I'll be damned if something ever happened to you in the first place!”
I snorted, brushing away my tears. ”You're going to kick some ass, huh?” I joked.
There was a short silence, and I felt his hand find its way to my cheek again. His hand was hot against my tear stained cheek, but somehow soothing and nice. I was about to say something incredibly intelligent, when Marcus' lips found mine.
And I didn't resist much, either.
A/N: Ahhh~ I've been WAITING to get this out there! Like, for real... real action is going to happen from now on, I promise :D On a more serious note; I'm sorry for not bringing Sirius back xD
Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year! ^_^
- Lily xxx
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