Chapter 30 : Seeing Nikolos
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“Maybe they’re sent out automatically?” Louis suggested to Freya as she looked down at the letter in her hands. The Hogwarts letters for their seventh year had arrived, including Freya’s.
Freya shook her head as she looked at the letter in her hands. Louis could see the shock on her face, he took hold of her hand comfortingly.
“Why would they send it here? Why not send it to my parents house?” she asked.
Louis gave a shrug, “It must know that you live here now.”
Louis couldn’t help but feel sorry for Freya, he knew that she missed being at Hogwarts, that she missed being around her friends. Friends that Louis knew Freya hadn’t heard from since she had been at school.
“I don’t think I want to go to Diagon Alley with you and Horatio anymore,” Freya said, shaking her head. She moved away from Louis as she folded her arms around herself, the letter still in her hand.
“Freya...” Louis began as he reached out for her again, but she shook her head and backed out of his reach. She was looking anywhere but at him, with tears brimming in her eyes. Louis wondered just how he could fix this. He had finally managed to convince Freya to come with him and Horatio to Diagon Alley. Horatio was meeting up with his brother after Nikolos had finished work. Louis had hoped that being outside would help Freya feel better.
A cry was heard from upstairs and Louis almost gave a sigh. Samantha had only been asleep for twenty minutes after keeping them up for most of the night. He had really been hoping that she would have slept for longer, she had to be exhausted like they were.
He turned to look at Freya, who had her eyes shut tightly.
“I’ll go and get her,” she told him, before moving passed him and up the stairs. Louis watched her until she disappeared from sight, before finally letting out his sigh.
Louis didn’t know what to do. He didn’t know how to help Freya out of the mood that she had been in for quite some time. He wanted to help her, wanted to make her feel better. But every time he asked how he could help, she would either shut him out by clamming up, or Samantha would begin crying, or they would be interrupted by someone.
He heard Samanthas crying getting louder and looked up to see that Freya was walking slowly down the stairs, with her safely in Freya’s arms.
“Did you want me to take her?” Louis offered, about to hold his arms out. He was surprised when Freya shook her head at him.
“Do you think she’s hungry?” Louis asked as he followed Freya into the front room. They had given Samantha a bottle before she had fallen asleep twenty minutes ago.
“No, I think she’s just tired.” Freya stated as she sat down on the sofa and moved Samantha so that she was laying on Freya’s chest. Freya placed a hand on her to keep her secure, whilst gently rubbing her back with the other one. Samantha’s cries were beginning to lessen.
“Then why won’t she sleep?” Louis asked.
“I don’t know. Why do babies for any of the stuff they do?” Freya told him, before placing a kiss on Samantha’s head. Samantha fidgeted and let out a tiny grunt as she moved her head around. Louis was worried Samantha would headbutt Freya, like she had done to Louis last night. Louis didn’t realised just how much it could actually hurt, especially when Samantha ended up catching him in the mouth or nose.
“You’re doing really well with her.” Louis stated.
“I’m really not.” Freya said quietly.
“You are. She’s stopped crying hasn’t she?”
“Your mum told me that babies are soothed by heartbeats, because she would have heard mine when I was pregnant. I just hoped that it would work if I placed her over my heart.”
Louis took a seat next to Freya and gave her a kiss.
“I think that you’re doing amazing.”
Freya smiled before kissing him again.
A loud thump and the sound of something crashing to the floor caused them to jump away from each other in shock, which startled Samantha and caused her to cry again.
Louis and Freya turned to look at the source of the noise, to see Horatio slowly getting up off of the floor in front of the fireplace.
“I’m sorry.” Horatio stated, holding his hands up and an apologetic look on his face. Freya tried to get Samantha to stop crying again, but it wasn’t working.
“What were you doing Horatio?” Freya asked in annoyance.
“I really didn’t mean to. As soon as I used the Floo network I sneezed and just fell out here.”
“Why were you using it? You never use the Floo Network if you can help it.”
“I was feeling too lazy to apparate.”
“How can you be too lazy to apparate?”
Horatio shrugged. “I just am. So, are you all ready to go? Nikolos will be meeting us soon.”
“I’ll go and get you Samanthas things.” Freya said as she stood up and went to pass her daughter to Louis, but Horatio swooped in and took her first.
“Are you not coming with us?” Horatio asked her, as he rocked the crying baby in her arms. Freya shook her head.
“I know you probably don’t want to come with us to see Nik, but Dom will be meeting you at some point, won’t she?”
“Yeah, she is, but Freya wants to stay here and get some rest. It was a rough night last night.” Louis stated, Freya nodded at his words and left the room to get Samantha’s things.
“Is she okay?” Horatio asked Louis quietly, nodding after Freya.
“She’s really tired, Samantha kept us up all night.”
“Did you want to stay at home as well?” Horatio asked, still rocking on the spot. Samantha was still crying.
“No, I’m fine.”
“You look exhausted.”
“Of course I do, I have a newborn baby.” Louis stated with a laugh, before taking Samantha from Horatio and attempting to soothe her.
“We’re still taking her with us, right?” Horatio asked Louis, who nodded at his words.
“I want Freya to get some rest. I’m hoping that being outside will help Samantha to fall asleep. Mum was telling me about how fresh air is good for her or something?” Louis stated, a sceptical look on his face at the idea.
“It’s true. When Alyssa was a baby, and wouldn’t stop crying, mum would put her in her pram and sit in the garden with her. She went to sleep straight away.”
“Well, we can only hope it works, I’m not sure if I could handle her crying this much in public.”
“She obviously takes after her father in that department.”
Louis glared at Horatio and shook his head. Horatio gave him a wide grin in return.
* * * * * * * *
Louis was extremely thankful to have Horatio around to help him carry Samantha’s pram and changing bag. He was terrified enough to be bringing Samantha through the Floo system without having to worry about everything else. But they had all arrived in the Leaky Cauldrons fireplace in one piece and with no problems. The only problem that they ended up facing was putting Samantha’s pram back together. Neither Louis or Horatio had any clue how to even work it and struggled for a good ten minutes. Thankfully, a barmaid had taken pity on them and had shown them how to unfold it.
Apparently they had forgotten to press a few buttons to unlock it.
With a thank you to the barmaid, they left the pub and walked to Diagon Alley. Louis pushing his daughter in her pram, as Horatio tapped the bricks with his wand so that they could enter the street.
They had spotted Nikolos quite quickly, he was standing outside of the cafe he had arranged to meet them at. Dom had arranged with Louis that she would come and take Samantha from him at some point so that he could have some alone time with Freya, when she was originally going to come with him.
Nikolos smiled when he spotted them walking towards him. Louis noticed that Nikolos had changed quite a bit since he had last seen him. He seemed thinner and his face looked more gaunt and sunken in, not to mention paler. He looked like he’d been ill.
“So, this is the famous Samantha that Horatio keeps talking about at home?” Nikolos asked as he looked down at Samantha in the pram. Louis was thankful that she had stopped crying, although she still wasn’t sleeping. “Isn’t she beautiful? She has your hair Louis.”
“Thanks. The only part she seems to have from me is the hair, the rest is all Freya.”
“How would you know that I keep talking about Samantha at home, when you haven’t been there?” Horatio asked in annoyance.
Nikolos took a deep breath and let it out through his nose before answering. “I wondered how long it would be before you started demanding answers. Shall we go inside? I need some food before I’m faced with an interrogation.” Without waiting for them to answer, he walked into the cafe, holding the door open so that Louis could push the pram in.
Once they had taken a seat and gotten settled, Horatio started quizzing his brother.
“I haven’t seen you in days, none of us have as a matter of fact. You do know that we’re worried about you.” Horatio stated, his arms were folded across his chest and he had his eyebrows raised at his brother as he waited for Nikolos to explain himself. Louis looked between the two as he gently pushed his daughters pram back and forth, rocking her to sleep.
“I know.” Nikolos stated as he looked at Horatio, he grabbed for the menu in front of him and began to look over it. Louis thought that he was doing it so that he wouldn’t have to look Horatio in the eyes. “I’m an adult, I can make my own decisions. I don’t need to be babysat.”
Horatio huffed slightly, but kept his arms folded. He licked his lips before frowning at his brother, Louis knew that Horatio was getting slightly annoyed.
“Alyssa misses you.”
Nikolos glanced up at Horatio at that comment. “I’ll come back and see you all soon, it’s just... things are a bit difficult at the moment.”
“How? How are things difficult?” Horatio asked, uncrossing his arms and leaning closer to his brother across the table.
Nikolos ran a hand over his dark hair before running his hand to the back of it and down his neck, before giving a sigh. He looked like he was deliberating something, he opened his mouth and glanced up, before closing it again and staring behind both Horatio and Louis.
They turned around to see what he was looking at and Louis saw his sister walking towards them. Louis could see that Kieron was waiting outside and seemed to be looking out onto the street.
“Dominique,” Nikolos said in greeting, a smirk crossing his face as he continued to stare at her.
“Nikolos.” Dominique said, before looking down at her brother, glancing at Horatio and giving him a smile in greeting as she did so. “Did you want me to take her now? Me and Kieron were thinking of going to visit dad for a while, if you wanted to stay here or go shopping.”
“Yeah, sure.” Louis stated, standing up and looking down into the pram and at his daughter who had her eyes open and was staring at the side of her pram. Her gloved hand was in her mouth and she seemed to be sucking on it. “Hello, beautiful.” Louis cooed down at his daughter as he placed a finger gently on the side of her face, stroking it tenderly. “Are you going to be a good girl for your Auntie Dommie and your Uncle Kieron?”
Louis leaned forwards and placed a kiss on the side of her face, before standing up straight and placing a hand on Dom’s shoulder. “Thank you for taking her Dom.”
“It’s no trouble, I love spending time with her.” Dominique said as she took hold of the handles of the pram and began to wheel it out of the cafe, “Bye guys.”
They all chorused goodbyes and Louis watched her leave the cafe and disappear with Kieron out of view. Louis turned around with a sigh and looked at Horatio, who had a small smile on his face.
“You miss her already don’t you?” Horatio said knowingly. Louis gave a nod at his words.
Horatio shook his head as a waitress came over to their table to take their orders. Once they had ordered and she had disappeared, Horatio went back to his questions.
“You have got to explain something to us,” Horatio said to Nikolos. “What on earth has or is going on between you, Dominique and Kieron.”
Nikolos gave a small scoff, “are you sure you want to know the answer to that question?”
“Yes, I want to know why they can’t bear to be around you. Aside from the obvious of course.” Horatio stated with a tight smile as he took his drink from the waitress with a thanks.
Nikolos scoffed again as he took the drink. He flashed a charming smile at the waitress, and watched her walk away from him before he answered Horatio. “Why of course. The basic gist of it all is that girl fancied boy, boy took advantage of that because he wanted said girl’s hot best friend. Girl’s friend becomes interested, so boy begins dating boy. He just doesn’t stop dating girl.”
Louis and Horatio both looked at him in confusion as they tried to process his words.
“That made no sense. So you’re telling me that you...” Louis said slowly, trying to get his head around just what Nikolos was trying to tell them.
“Slept with both Dom and Kieron, yes I am. I know, I’m a very lucky guy.” Nikolos stated with a smirk, enjoying the look on both Horatio and Louis’s faces.
Louis’s mouth was wide open in shock and Horatio looked like someone had just slapped him in the face. “So you’re telling me that you and Kieron...”
“- Were at it like animals behind Dominique’s back?”
“No. No, stop it. Stop talking.” Horatio said, holding his hands up to his ears and shaking his head as he tried to block out his brother's words.
“But, Kieron’s not gay.” Louis stated, when he had gotten the use of his voice back again.
Nikolos let out a laugh at Louis’s words, “Oh, Louis. Kieron’s not very fussy when it comes to people he’ll sleep with.”
“Obviously!” Horatio stated loudly before he could stop himself. “What the actual fuck?”
“Keep your voice down, Horatio.”
“You just tell us that not only were you sleeping with Louis’s sister, you were also sleeping with Louis’s sisters now boyfriend. And you want us to keep our voice down? What the fuck is wrong with you? Why did... how... No, not how, never how –“
Nikolos smirked again. Horatio had his head in his hands and Louis was just staring at Nikolos, trying to get his head around his own sisters complicated love life.
“Do they know?”
“Of course they knew about each other.... Well, they did in the end.”
“I actually feel a little sick.” Louis stated, pushing his drink away from him as he frowned. That was way more than he ever wanted to know about his sister’s love life.
Nikolos shrugged at them and gave a small laugh, “hey, you wanted to know why there’s so much tension between us.”
“I understand the Kieron part, but not the Dom part.” Horatio stated, “I thought that you only ever slept with men.”
“The only woman I would and have ever slept with is Dom. I actually did like her, a lot. It just so happened that I liked Kieron a lot too.” Nikolos admitted to them a smile crossing his face, his dark eyes seeming to brighten for a moment.
“We really need to stop talking about this now.” Louis stated, his head in his hands as he tried to think of a way to block this entire thing out of his mind. He wasn’t sure if he could look at his sister or Kieron in the same way. Especially Kieron.
They were silent as the waitress brought their food over to them. Nikolos seemed to be enjoying the fact that he had stunned the two teenage boys into silence. They didn’t begin speaking again until they were starting to eat the food in front of them.
Horatio frowned as his eyes flickered over Nikolos’ face. Nikolos was chewing his food slowly and looking down at his plate.
“Why do you keep staring at me?” he asked, finally looking up at him. Louis glanced up and could see why Horatio had been staring. A Large portion of the side of Nikolos’ face was covered in a faded purple bruise which was yellowing around the edges. It had extended to Nikolos’ right eye.
“What the hell happened to your face?” Horatio demanded a little loudly. Nikolos’ face seemed to get paler as he reached for his wand in his pocket quickly, pointing it at his face. He muttered a spell under his breath and Louis could see that the bruise was beginning to fade again. Louis knew that he had used a glamour charm to hide the damage, but it had obviously worn off.
“It’s nothing.” Nikolos muttered, putting his wand away and shaking his head.
“It isn’t ‘nothing’ Nik, what happened?” Horatio demanded angrily, before his face fell into realisation. “Oh, no. It was Him wasn’t it? He did this!”
Nikolos went silent, his food now forgotten in front of him as he stared at Horatio.
“Richard did that to you, didn’t he?”
“You don’t know what you’re talking about.” Nikolos spat out, his hand reaching into his pocket again. Louis was scared that he was going to go for his wand again, but he had pulled out a handful of coins. He slammed them down on the counter, Louis noticed it was a few Galleons too much for the entire meal, before standing up quickly. Horatio followed his brother’s actions quickly, as the older Demarcus brother stormed from the cafe. Louis rushed out after them and made it outside in time to see that Horatio had grabbed Nikolos’ arm to stop him from running.
“-leave him. Nik, I am begging you to leave him.” Horatio pleaded.
Nikolos shook his head. “You don’t know what you’re talking about, Horatio. It’s not that easy.”
“I’ll help you. Me, mum and dad will help you. Come home, we’ll go to the Ministry, we’ll –“
“You can’t. I’m sorry Horatio. Just... don’t. It’s too late.” Nikolos said, before wrenching his arm away and practically running through the crowd of people that were shopping, in his attempt to get away. Horatio tried calling after him, but it made no difference, Nikolos disappeared from sight.
“For fuck’s sake,” Horatio growled. “Not again. Not A-fucking-gain.”
“I am going to kill him myself.” Horatio snapped angrily, pacing back and forth and clenching his hands into tight fists. “I will fucking find him and kill him myself.”
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” Kieron stated, causing Horatio to turn and look angrily at him. They were all stood just outside of Gringotts bank. Horatio and Louis had arrived just as Dom and Kieron were coming out of the building. Bill had yet to have a chance to go on his lunch break, so they were all waiting around for him to come out when he could. Louis had given them a quick, low down on what had happened with Nikolos, leaving out the part of how he knew what went on between the three.
“Why not? He’s my brother. I need to protect him.” Horatio asked, a dangerous look on his face.
“Do you even know who Richard Williams is?” Kieron asked him seriously.
Horatio scoffed, “Yes, I happen to have met the prick a few times. Mum’s invited him around for dinner on the odd occasion to try and get Nikolos to open up to us all. Fat lot of good that’s done for us.”
“You haven’t heard what he’s rumoured to have done? What he’s capable of doing?”
Horatio stopped pacing and shook his head, he looked to Louis who shook his head as well.
“Have you read those articles in the Prophet about those vicious assaults that have taken place the past few months? The businesses that have been burnt down? Drug smuggling right under the Ministries nose? Those disappearances?”
Horatio and Louis both shook their heads and Kieron sighed.
“You two need to start reading and stop being in your little Loratio bubble.”
“What on earth is a ‘Loratio’ bubble?” Louis asked with a frown.
“It’s the couple name for you and Horatio. What I mean, is that you’re both too focused on what’s happening with each other, that you have no idea what’s even going on in the ‘real world’. My point is, the men rumoured to be behind all of those ‘incidents’ work for none other than Richard Williams.”
“If they know that Richard is involved, how comes he hasn’t been charged?” Louis asked.
“Because, they have no evidence that they can pin onto him. He’s very careful about keeping his own hands clean and using ‘pawns’ to get what he wants. If Nik is becoming involved with Richard again, it’s going to end badly. Richard has only ever used him, so it’s clear that he needs Nik for something, it’s just not clear what for.”
“How do you know this?” Horatio asked him.
“Because, Nikolos told me.” Dom stated with a shrug, causing them to all look at her. “It was a while ago and he was very drunk. He told me that he needed someone to talk to. I don’t think that he remembers ever telling me. But you really need to be careful Horatio. Richard is a dangerous man.”
“We just need to work out what he wants Nik for.” Horatio stated slowly. “Which is hard to do when I can’t even work out where Nik is.”
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