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Chapter 34 : Not Going Back
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Louis shook his head as his best friend took a seat next to him. Horatio gave him a sad smile as he shifted on the sofa so that he could get comfortable. Louis had been sending Freya letter after letter ever since she had left, that was just over two weeks ago and there had been no reply or any word from her at all.
Horatio didn’t know what to do, none of them had known what to do. Louis seemed to just shut down from anything that wasn’t Samantha and it was taking a lot for Horatio to try and get his best friend back. He wanted the Louis he had come to love, not this broken shell he had become. That was another thing for Horatio to add to the list of what he hated about Freya Jackson.
It hadn’t been that long after Freya had left, that Horatio and Louis had found the letters her parent’s had been writing her. They were telling her that she should come home, that she shouldn’t be expected to stay there when she wanted to go back to Hogwarts, that she’s clearly not happy when they see her. It had broken Louis’s heart to see that they were implying that Louis was making her stay behind, that it was him that had convinced her to keep the baby she didn’t want.
That had seemed to become the final straw for most of Louis’ family, who at times couldn’t control their anger at the entire situation. That day both Kieron and Bill had to be stopped from going to Freya’s house and having a few more words with Ted Jackson, never again did Horatio want to try and take on Kieron Nott to stop him doing something stupid, he thought Kieron was going to break him in half.
The only one who seemed to still be making excuses for Freya was Louis, it broke Horatio’s heart that he still believed she was going to be coming back.
“How did your brothers’ trial go?” Louis asked, turning to look at Horatio. Who was running his fingers absent-mindedly across his own lips, as he stared ahead of him, completely lost in thought.
Horatio’s brother, Nikolos, had been arrested the day before Freya had left. Horatio’s family had been woken up by Aurors appearing in their house in the early hours of the morning. They had dragged Nikolos out of bed and had taken him into the Ministry, arresting him on suspicion of stealing an artefact from an old vault, deep in the heart of Gringotts. Nikolos’ trial had been set for this morning and Horatio had gone in support of his brother.
Horatio took a moment before he replied to him. “He’s been sentenced to two years in Azkaban. The Goblins wanted him to get a lot worse, but thankfully the Wizengamot and Chief Warlock didn’t choose a longer sentence.” Horatio stated, moving his hands away and running them across his jeans as he looked down. “Nik looked so defenceless, Louis. I haven’t seen him look like that in so long, that wasn’t Nik. Something’s changed in him.”
“Will you be able to visit him?” Louis asked him, reaching a hand out to place comfortingly on Horatio’s arm.
“Yeah, when I come back during the holidays. Nikolos has already told us that he doesn’t want Alyssa to visit him. He doesn’t want her to see him in that place, or even go near it. I can’t blame him. I wouldn’t want her to go there either.”
“What happened to Richard?” Louis asked, he knew that the reason Nikolos was stealing from Gringotts was all because of Richard Williams. He wasn’t sure if they had managed to actually find Richard and bring him to trial as well.
Horatio shook his head sadly. “They haven’t been able to find him. They all think he’s managed to skip the country somehow. Nikolos wouldn’t testify against him, though. If he admitted that Richard put him up to it, there’s a chance that he could’ve gotten less. Now he’s ruined his life, for that asshole.”
Louis didn’t know what to say.
“The only good thing about him being away is that he can’t get to my brother anymore.” Horatio muttered darkly. Louis knew that Richard had been a very bad influence on Nikolos’ life since he was sixteen, using him for his own gain. Louis didn’t know much about Richard, apart from that he was a very powerful man who ran many shady businesses and dealt with a lot of illegal things. That information he had got out or Kieron and even that had been vague, Louis knew there was a lot that they were hiding from him. All Louis knew, was that Richard was a very dangerous man.
“Did you not want to go home and see your family? Be all together through it all?” Louis asked him. Horatio shook his head in answer.
“No, mum and dad are taking Alyssa to Greece to spend some time with our grandparents. They don’t want to be around when everything goes in the newspaper tomorrow and they don’t want Alyssa finding out that way.”
“Why didn’t you go with them?” Louis asked, he would have thought that Horatio would have wanted to be with his family, especially Alyssa.
Horatio took a few deep breaths before he answered Louis, the tone in his voice sounded defeated. “Because I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to pretend that nothing has happened. I didn’t want to hear from my Grandparents that my brother is a terrible person. I didn’t want to face Alyssa’s questions of where Nik was, I’m not going to start lying to her. I also go back to Hogwarts tomorrow, mum said that she would have written to Professor Flitwick and explained, but I don’t want her to.”
Louis held Horatio’s hand tighter, Horatio ran a hand over his own face as he collected himself for a moment. “The hardest part of all of that was saying goodbye to both my brother and sister on the same day, not to mention saying goodbye to you tomorrow. I honestly didn’t think that it would be so hard.”
Horatio had sat on the sofa with Louis for most of the day, neither of them saying much, but it was nice. Both of them had a lot on their minds and they were each trying to deal with it in any way that they could, at the moment that seemed to be by sitting in silence.
They were interrupted occasionally by various family members coming to join them. Louis’ father had been, for a short while before he had to leave for work, to talk to Horatio about the trial. Bill was there as a witness and he wanted to make sure that there was no ill feelings between him and Horatio. Horatio had told him that he would never have bad feelings towards Bill for having testified against his brother, he had to do it, Nikolos had done something wrong and Horatio understood that he couldn’t get away with that.
Louis noticed that it was now night time. It seemed to go too quickly for him, especially because he felt like he hadn’t actually done anything apart from sit on the sofa and wallow in self pity.
He was sitting in the room with Horatio, his sisters and his mother, who had brought in Samantha with her. Horatio had taken Samantha off of Fleur as soon as he could, Louis knew that Horatio needed to just hug her. Louis knew that he missed Alyssa and this was the next best thing that Louis could offer.
Louis had engaged in idle chit chat with his family, not feeling up to much conversation. He wanted to send Freya another letter, but the family owl wasn’t back from delivering the last one. He was trying not to get his hopes up about the fact that this one was taking longer to come back. He would only be disappointed in the end.
Louis looked over after his sister nudged him in the side. He saw that she was nodding over to the sofa, where Horatio was half laying on it, Samantha resting with her head on his shoulder. Both were fast asleep, Horatio with his hands on Samantha protectively.
Louis gave a small chuckle at them both.
“He really loves her doesn’t he?” Dominique stated, smiling fondly at the sight of Horatio and Samantha, as their mother Fleur told them that she was going to get the camera so that she could take a picture.
“He really does. What’s not to love?”
“I’m so glad that he’s nothing like Nikolos. It’s strange to think that two brothers could be so different.” Dominique said. She hadn’t been surprised about the outcome of Nikolos’ trial, although
Louis noticed that she still seemed sad.
“I think Horatio is glad too.” Louis told her.
“He’s been amazing, I can’t believe he hasn’t left your side since it all happened. Well, I can believe it. He’d do anything for you, Louis. He loves you as much as he loves Samantha.” Victoire stated.
“How’s he been coping?” Dominique asked Louis quietly. Not wanting Horatio to wake up and hear them talking about him, thankfully he was still asleep.
“He’s doing alright so far, I just wish that I could be with him through it.” Louis replied honestly.
“You can,” Dominique told him, “we’ve all told you that you can go back to Hogwarts. We’ll be more than capable of looking after Samantha between us and you can come back during the holidays. Maybe we can arrange with Flitwick for you come home at weekends –“
Louis stopped her by shaking his head. “I’ve told you all that I can’t do that. I can’t expect you to drop everything for me. You’ve all already done enough and I can never ask you to do this. She’s my daughter, I need to stand up and look after her, I need to provide for her. I wanted her, so I have to deal with the consequences, which means no going back to Hogwarts.”
“You would have gone back if Freya was here, though. So what’s the difference?” Victoire asked her brother, joining in on the conversation. Fleur had come back into the room and had taken a few pictures of Horatio and Samantha, before sitting back down.
“That would have been different, Freya would be the one looking after her. I know that you all love Samantha and that you would do anything for her, but she’s not your responsibility and I can’t expect you to do what Freya and I should be doing to look after her. That’s why I’m going to stay at home, that’s why I’m going to start homeschooling if they’ll let me.”
Victoire nodded, but Dominique looked unconvinced.
“Dom, darling, Louis has thought this through. Me, Louis and your father have talked about this and as much as we disagreed with Louis not returning for his last year, I understand why he’s doing this.” Fleur told her daughter, who gave a sigh.
“I just don’t want to see you throwing your entire education away,” Dominique told her brother sadly.
“And I can’t ask you to sacrifice any more than you already have for me. I know what I’m doing, I want to provide for Samantha, I want to be a dad to her. Besides, I probably wouldn’t have stayed at Hogwarts for the entire year anyway, if Freya did stay. I wouldn’t have been able to stay away from them for that long without seeing them.”
“Not to mention that if you did go back, Freya would be there.” Horatio stated from the sofa.
They all turned to look at Horatio, not realising that he had woken up. He stayed in his slouched position so that Samantha could stay comfortable.
“If I saw her I would beg her to come back to me.” Louis told him.
“And as your best friend I would have stopped you. You and Samantha deserve better than her.” Horatio told Louis, who looked at him but didn’t respond. Horatio and he had, had this discussion many times and the outcome was always the same, they would nearly have an argument on the matter.
“Then be glad that I’m not going back.” Louis said before he could stop himself.
“I would never be glad of that, I can’t imagine Hogwarts without you,” Horatio told him honestly and Louis felt the anger slide from him at the look on Horatio’s face, he looked like he had lost everything. It was something that Louis felt he could relate to, Freya was his everything and he had lost her.
“Your father will be home soon,” Fleur said, before any more conversation on the matter could happen. She didn’t want anyone else to fight, she didn’t want any disagreements, she had had enough drama to last a while. “We can get some pizza in and have a nice last night as a family, before Horatio goes back to Hogwarts.”
Horatio’s face seemed to light up and his eyes seemed to be brimming with tears at her words. “You think of me as family...” he began before he could stop himself.
Fleur stood up as the front door opened, signalling the arrival of Bill. She stopped in front of Horatio on her way out of the room and placed a motherly kiss on top of his head. “Of course you are, Horatio. You’re like a second son to me.”
“Why can’t you see that she’s not coming back?” Horatio asked Louis, not turning to look at his friend. They were both lying on Louis’s bed, enjoying the last night that they would see each other.
The rest of the family had gone to bed hours ago and Samantha was sleeping soundly in her Mose’s basket.
“Because I don’t want to believe it. I don’t want to believe that she’s left us, that she’s left me. After everything we’ve been through, she just up and left us, and I can’t hate her for it.”Louis admitted to him.
“Why? Why can’t you hate her?” Horatio asked, trying to not let his voice raise in annoyance. He didn’t want to fight with Louis on his last night with him, but he also didn’t agree with his way of thinking.
“Because she can’t be thinking straight, she can’t if she can just leave Sam. I think she’s scared, and that she needs to just get her head around everything, then she’ll come back to us.” Louis tried to reason with him, like he had been for days.
Horatio couldn’t help but pinch the bridge of his nose in exasperation. “Louis, she’s going back to Hogwarts for her final year, I don’t think that she’s going to be coming back.”
Louis faltered. “She will, I know she will – She just needs time.”
Horatio knew that he hoped that Freya would leave Hogwarts and come back, that she would realise she had made a mistake and miss them both so much, she wouldn’t be able to carrying on without them. Horatio felt different, with no word from Freya in the entire time that had passed since she left, he had to face reality and admit that she wasn’t going to be coming back any time soon. Horatio hated that his best friend couldn’t see that and was in denial.
“She needs to be here for you and her daughter, she can’t just leave you to do everything by yourself, it’s not fair.” Horatio told him honestly, “Just like you told your sisters that you can’t expect them to raise your baby, Freya can’t expect you to raise hers.”
“I was expecting her to do the same.” Louis muttered sadly.
“Louis, I know you. You wouldn’t have lasted long at Hogwarts if she was here with Samantha. I can honestly say that I was expecting you to stay behind for your last year anyway. You would have been miserable without them, you would have dropped out. That’s the difference between both you and Freya, you would have sacrificed everything for her and Samantha, I don’t think she would have done the same.”
Louis knew that Horatio was right, but he couldn’t help but have hope that she would come back to him, that she would finally reply to him and they would be able to deal with everything together. Until that moment, he was going to keep updating Freya with Samantha’s life. Send her pictures after pictures so that she wasn’t missing out on Samantha’s life, so that Freya knew how much they both missed her and wanted her back.
They lay in silence for a few more minutes, before Louis turned to look at the clock on the wall. It was nearing three in the morning, Horatio would have to be up in a few hours so that he could catch the train back to Hogwarts. Louis had been trying to get Horatio to go to sleep, but Horatio had said that he was going to stay up so that Louis could get some much needed sleep and he would look after Samantha.
“Horatio, you’ve got to catch the train tomorrow. You can’t stay awake and look after Samantha, it’s not fair.”
“I can sleep on the train, it’s fine,” Horatio told Louis for what felt like the millionth time. Louis was trying to stifle a yawn.
“I can’t make you do this,” Louis told Horatrio sleepily.
“No you can’t and you also can’t stop me, so go to sleep.”
“Horatio –“ Louis tried, closing his eyes for a moment, before opening them again and looking back up at the ceiling.
“Louis don’t make me come tuck you into the bed myself,” Horatio told him, “Because I will do it.”
Louis smiled and would have said something back, but sleep was beginning to take over him.
It felt strange for Louis to be stood on platform 9 ¾ and not be going back to Hogwarts. To see his fellow classmates saying goodbye to their families and board the Hogwarts Express, each of them eager to start their last year. Whilst they would be studying for their N.E.W.T exams, he would be working and raising his daughter.
Louis couldn’t help but scan the crowd for a sign of Freya. He knew that she would probably be hiding from him, or would have gotten on the train early to avoid seeing anyone. He wondered how she would cope at Hogwarts, if anyone would know what had happened and why she was back. Would wonder why Louis wasn’t coming back.
“Did you want me to go on and drag her off of the train?” Horatio offered. Louis shook his head sadly in response.
“There’s no point, she won’t come out and see Louis, she’s a coward.” Molly muttered quietly. “That’s if she’s even on the train, her parents might take her straight to Hogwarts, to avoid a scene like this. If she wanted to avoid a scene she shouldn’t have done what she did.”
“This is going to be a fun year,” Horatio muttered sarcastically. Louis looked back at his best friend and his cousin. They were both standing with him and looking at him sadly, they knew that he was searching for her.
“I’m sad that you didn’t bring Samantha with you, I wanted to see her again.” Molly stated, pouting slightly, trying to get Louis’s mind off of Freya.
Louis gave her a smile and shook his head. “I didn’t feel comfortable having her around all of these people.” Louis stated, indicating the large crowd of people, who were pushing and nudging each other in their hurry. “Besides, I can’t take her with me to the Ministry.”
“You’re going to pass the test,” Molly told Louis confidently.
Bill, who was waiting outside the station for Louis, was going to be taking Louis to the Ministry so that he could finally take his Apparation test to get his license. Louis hoped that he still remembered everything that he had been taught by the instructor.
“When you pass, you can come and visit me all the time, I can leave school and come and see you in Hogsmeade.” Horatio told Louis, who nodded.
The two of them looked at each other sadly, a finality settling over them as they realised that everyone was rushing to board the train. Louis felt like he was saying goodbye to Horatio forever and he hated it. He knew he was being stupid, he was going to be seeing Horatio again in a few weeks time. Molly had left the two to say their goodbyes as she went back over to her parents.
“I don’t want to go without you,” Horatio admitted sadly, moving forwards to wrap his arms around Louis tightly in a hug. Louis held him back, knowing exactly how Horatio felt. “I don’t know how I’m going to be able to sleep in that dormitory without you there.”
Louis nodded, burying his face in Horatio’s shoulder. He didn’t know how he was going to cope with not being able to see Horatio almost every day. Horatio had become his rock throughout everything and it felt a bit like he was losing him.
“I’m going to have to actually make other friends, Louis.” Horatio cried, which caused Louis to chuckle.
“You’re going to have to spend a lot more time with Molly,” Louis told Horatio, looking over at his cousin, who was hugging Louis’s aunt and Uncle. He knew that Molly would keep Horatio out of trouble for him.
“She’s not you.” Horatio told him sadly, his voice breaking slightly.
Louis heard Horatio sniff as though he was crying or going to cry and Louis felt his heart tugging unpleasantly. He moved his head and gave Horatio a kiss on the cheek, before pulling away.
“You need to get going, the train is going to leave soon.” Louis told him, even though he didn’t want Horatio to go.
Horatio nodded sadly, his hands shoving themselves into his pockets as he took a deep breath and frowned.
“I’m going to miss you, Louis.” Horatio said as he began to back away slowly. “Make sure you write to me all the time. Tell me if you pass your test.”
“I will,” Louis said with a nod.
“Look after my little Koukla.”
Louis nodded again and waved at Horatio, who grabbed for Molly’s hand and pulled her towards the train so that they could board it. Moments later the train whistled and pulled away from the station.
It felt weird to be watching it leave without him, felt weird that he wasn’t ever going to be going back to Hogwarts. He was going to miss it a lot, but he wouldn’t trade Samantha in order to have gone back.
His life was going to be a struggle from now on, but it was all worth it for her.
Samantha would give him the strength to get through this all.
A/N: Koukla is Greek for doll.
Well, where do I start?
I can't believe that this story is finished, it feels strange that a story that I had a random idea for all that time ago is finally finished and I can click that little complete button. I really couldn't imagine back in the planning stages, just quite what the response for this story would be. Over 170 reviews and over 16,000 views and I treasure every single one of those.
I never expected such a big reaction to Horatio either, haha. I never expected everyone to want Louisio/Loratio to happen and that is amazing, that you could all love them both so much! It's even changed my headcanon about them.
Thank you all for sticking with this story and for giving me such amazing feedback. It means so much to me!
I honestly want to cry because this is over, but I'm happy because I have the sequel for you all! And guess what? It's ready to be posted! In fact, I'm going to post the first chapter as soon as I post this one.
The sequel is going to be called I'll Never Let You Have Her and the summary is;
"Louis Weasley’s life is changed further when he becomes a single father. But life goes on.
With a beautiful three year old, he’d do anything for, a potential romance he’s willing to give a go and a family always there for him, his life is relatively normal, until Freya comes back for their daughter.
And he’ll fight to keep that from happening."
So I hope to see you all there! :D Thank you all once again. I love you all so much!
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