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Chapter 29 : Volunteering
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The sound of a bell rung around the room, causing Louis to look towards the door to see the arrival of the new customers. He gave a smile when he recognised the people that had just walked in.
“I did wonder how long I would be here before you arrived,” Louis said with a smile on his face as Horatio walked towards him. This time Horatio wasn’t alone, he had brought Alyssa with him.
“I’ve brought Alyssa with me, she wanted to get some things.” Horatio said with a shrug, before looking back at Alyssa who was tugging on his hand.
“Can I go and have a look around, Ray?” Alyssa asked him sweetly, giving a wide smile at him. Louis noticed that she was missing her front two teeth.
“Of course you can, just make sure that you stay where I can see you and don’t leave the shop.” Horatio told her, Alyssa gave a loud cheer before letting go of Horatio’s hand and running off to look at the Pygmy Puffs.
“I’m going to regret saying that she can have anything she wants, aren’t I?” Horatio stated, turning to look at Louis, who nodded as he shook his head at him.
“I just can’t tell her no, I hardly see her so when I do, I just want to spoil her rotten.”
“I know that feeling, I see so many dolls and clothes I want to buy Samantha and she won’t be old enough for them for years.” Louis stated. “So how comes you’ve got Alyssa today? I thought you were going to be spending today with Molly.”
“Mum and dad needed to work and Nikolos is apparently working, but god knows what he’s really doing. So I’m looking after Alyssa, I thought that I would bring her in here and then take her out for some food.” Horatio told him with a shrug. He turned around so that he was facing out towards the store, keeping an eye on his little sister. Alyssa had picked up an electric blue pygmy puff and was laughing at it happily.
“Ah, Horatio, I wondered when I would be seeing you. Louis has only been here an hour, that’s a bit late for you to be arriving now, isn’t it?” George Weasley stated as he walked towards the two of them. He had a small brightly coloured box in his hands, which he placed on the counter next to Louis. “I feel like you’re another employee.”
“Maybe just a volunteer.” Horatio told him. “I don’t mind helping out if you need it, I just like being around Louis.”
“Well, you bring in business, so I don’t mind. Although if you could both keep the love to a minimum, I actually want Louis to do the work I pay him for.” George told them both with a wink, before he turned around an surveyed his store. He spotted Alyssa holding two pygmy puffs now and was clearly deciding on which one she should get.
“Ah, a customer who needs my help,” George stated before walking over to Alyssa and talking to her.
“Pygmy Puffs are a firm favourite with princesses like yourself.” George stated as he knelt down next to her and took a Pygmy Puff to hold, he pet it gently. “They’re a great sidekick.”
“I really like them,” Alyssa stated with a nod. “They’re really fluffy and cute.”
“Maybe you could ask your wonderful brother if you could have one?” George said, turning to look at Horatio with his eyebrows raised in question. Alyssa turned to grin at Horatio and gave him a pleading look.
“Oh, please, Ray. Can I please have one?” she asked him.
Horatio seemed to deliberate for a moment, but Louis knew that he was faking it, he had clearly already made his decision.
“Okay, you can have one.” Horatio told her. Alyssa gave an excited yell and jumped up and down on the spot, holding carefully onto the Pygmy Puff in her hand, George had taken the other one off of her to hold himself.
“Which one are you going to have?” George asked her, Alyssa stopped jumping to look between the two of them.
“I can’t decide, I love them both.” Alyssa said as she bit her lip in deliberation. She turned to look at Horatio for his help, trusting that he would make the decision for her.
“I suppose we’ll have to get both of them, then, although you’ll have to look after them yourself. I don’t want you to forget about them.”
“I would never forget about them, Alyssa said as she handed George the other pygmy puff and ran to Horatio to give him a hug. “When you’ve gone back to Hogwarts I can hug them and think of you and
I can think of Nik when he’s not here. They can be my friends.”
Horatio bent down to pick his sister up and hugged her tightly, “I love you, Alyssa. I’m never gone for long, I’ll always come back.”
Louis smiled as Horatio shifted Alyssa so that he could hold her properly. George walked over with the Pygmy Puffs to hand to Louis, so that he could put them in cages.
Horatio put Alyssa back down and she ran back off into the shop, George followed after her.
“You’re going to regret saying that she could buy stuff, you know.” George told him as he walked away.
Horatio rolled his eyes. “I just can’t say no when she asks for things,” he turned to look at Louis. “It’s because I don’t see her unless I’m back home for the holidays, so I want to spoil her rotten when I do see her.”
“I understand, I see so many things I want to buy for Samantha, but she’s way too young for anything at the moment.” Louis admitted.
“The amount that me and Nik spoil Alyssa is ridiculous, but she’s so grateful, so I don’t mind. Although I’m surprised with brothers like me and Nik that she turned out so nice and angelic.”
“Let’s hope she doesn’t rebel when she’s a teenager.”
“Oh, don’t worry, I’ll be around to stop that.” Horatio stated with a serious look on his face. “I can’t believe that she’ll be nine soon. Where is the time going Louis?”
“Don’t ask me. It seems to be going so quickly, I can’t believe that Samantha is over a week old now.”
“Really? That has gone quickly.”
“I know, I hate to think that soon enough I’ll be going back to school and I won’t be able to see her every day.”
“It still seems weird how quickly the whole thing has gone. It still seems like only yesterday that you told me you were going to be a father, now she’s actually here.”
Horatio moved away from the counter after those words so that Louis could serve another customer. He chose to look at the products on the shelves next to the counter until Louis had finished.
“Are you excited about your birthday in four days?” Horatio asked after the customer had walked away with their purchases.
Louis gave a shrug, “I’m more nervous.”
“Why?” Horatio asked as he began to straighten out the products on the shelf next to where he was standing, Louis was thankful. He would have had to do it otherwise, he already had the rest of the shop to straighten up. He couldn’t wait until he was old enough to use magic outside of the school, only four more days to go.
“Because I don’t want them to throw a big party. I actually don’t want them to throw a party at all. They’ve already given me so much.”
“You need to stop wallowing in self pity.” Horatio told him honestly. “You have a great family, who want you to celebrate your seventeenth birthday, you should let them. It’ll make them happy.”
Louis sighed before nodding, “Fine. You’re right. Although I know you’re only doing this so that you get some of the birthday cake.”
“Your mother makes amazing cakes,” Horatio stated. Louis could have sworn that Horatio had just started drooling. “I can almost taste them now.”
“If you drool on anything you’ll be buying it,” George stated from behind Horatio. Horatio turned to face George as he wiped his chin with his sleeve. He gave a frown when he saw that George had an ice cream cone in his hands, as did Alyssa.
“Where did those come from?” Horatio asked, looking at Alyssa who was grinning as she turned to look at George.
“Mr. Weasley brought it for me. I like coming here, Ray, we should do it more often.”
“Where’s my ice cream?” Horatio asked he looked slightly hurt at the fact that he didn’t have any ice cream himself
“I think that ‘Ray’ is a little jealous.” Louis stated from behind the counter, Horatio turned to look at him with a frown as he pointed his finger at him threateningly.
“What have I told you about calling me Ray? Alyssa is the only one I can tolerate calling me that.” Horatio stated in a warning tone. Louis chuckled, but held his hands up in defence, he knew that Horatio hated being called Ray more than anything else. Alyssa was the only one allowed to call him that. All because she had been unable to say ‘Horatio’ when she was younger and could only manage the word ‘Ray’. It had stuck around, but Horatio had forbidden anyone else to call him it, even Louis.
“Wow, if Louis can’t call you that, it must be really annoying for you, Ray.” George said with a smirk, which caused Horatio to glare at him instead. Alyssa gave a laugh before grabbing hold of Horatio’s hand and shaking it around.
“You’re so silly.”
Horatio dropped the glare and smiled down at his sister as he picked her up again and whilst she was distracted, stole some of her ice cream. She let out a loud yell and moved her ice cream away from Horatio, but Louis could see that some of it was now covering Horatrio’s face.
Louis gave them a warm smile as he watched Horatrio wiping his face clean by using his sister's arm. Which caused Alyssa to laugh loudly and tell him off. Louis couldn’t help but imagine what Samantha would be like at Alyssa’s age. He hoped that he would have as strong a bond as Horatio and Alyssa have. He couldn't help but wonder lately whether Samantha would be more of a mummy’s girl or a daddy’s girl.
He was secretly hoping that she would be a daddy’s girl.
“What have you been doing since I’ve been at work?” Louis asked quietly, pulling Freya closer to him as they lay in bed. Freya snuggled her face closer to him and sighed contently, holding him tightly before she placed a kiss on his bare chest.
“Nothing much,” Freya told him, “Your mum helped me bath Samantha, then we all had dinner together. How about you?”
“Horatio came to see me.”
“Horatio always goes to see you,” Freya stated, “he sees you more than I do.”
“I can’t help that, he just turns up when I’m at work. He came in today with Alyssa, he was babysitting her.”
Freya nodded, before moving so that her head was now on her pillow and she was looking at Louis. Her eyes studying his face as though taking in every detail. He gave her a sleepy smile in response and leaned forward to give her a kiss.
“Have you heard from your parents today?” he asked with a yawn.
“Yeah, they sent me a letter. I haven’t replied to it yet, I was a bit busy.”
Louis nodded, “what did they say?”
“I’ll show you the letter tomorrow,” Freya said, taking hold of his hand with her own. “I just want to stay here with you, I don’t want to move and get it.”
“Staying in bed with you sounds like a good plan to me. I actually can’t think of anything better than turning around and seeing your beautiful face looking back at me.”
Freya smiled at him before kissing him again, then moving her head so that she was laying back on him. Louis wrapped his arms around her tightly.
“I could stay this way forever.”
Freya nodded, but didn’t respond.
A/N: Most of the next few chapters have been written. I just need to do some editing, but I've nearly finished writing this. It makes me sad to think that it's nearly over... but happy that the sequel is going to be around soon. Wooo!!
Let me know what you think!
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