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Chapter 3 : Tickle Monster
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The first was that his headache was practically a permanent fixture in his life. The second, there was something wrong with his daughter.
Those two things were the reason that Louis was sitting in the staff kitchen in the back of his Uncle’s shop, his head in his hands as he massaged his temples, in an attempt to relieve some of the pain. The potion he had taken was taking its sweet time doing its job and Louis was sure it would have been easier to just get a new head all together. He sincerely hoped that it would at least lessen before Victoire would be turning up with Samantha, which was going to be any moment now.
Victoire was supposed to be having Samantha until Louis finished his shift, which was in another two hours, but she had sent a message earlier stating that she was going to be arriving early. The reason?
Samantha wouldn’t stop crying and screaming for her ‘daddy’.
Louis had absolutely no idea what it was that had suddenly gotten her so clingy to him and not want to be with anyone else, even her aunts and grandparents. In fact, his dad was quite sad that Samantha didn’t even want to be with him, she didn’t want anyone apart from Louis, which was becoming a problem, because it was stopping him from working.
He had talked to his Mum, Aunts and Grandmother about their opinion on the subject and they believed that she was just going through a stage. He hoped that she would grow out of it soon, it’s not that he didn’t love her – she was his entire world – but he just wanted the screaming to stop.
His Aunt Ginny had told him that Albus was exactly the same with Louis’ Uncle Harry, that he would scream bloody murder whenever Harry was out of his sight. They had tried everything that they could to make him snap out of it, but it had taken them months to finally get him to stop.
Louis didn’t have months.
It felt like he had tried everything that he could to get her to stop, giving her longer cuddles before putting her to bed, having her fall asleep in his arms – which only worked until he put her into her bed, or tried to leave himself – trying to tire her out before bed by taking her out into the garden. Absolutely nothing was working.
His Aunt Hermione suggested maybe letting her cry until she went to sleep, but Louis could only manage ten minutes before he gave in and let her sleep in his bed.
“Is your head still hurting?”
Louis looked up at Rachel, who was clutching a mug in her hand as she walked into the room. She was giving him a concerned look as her eyes flickered over his face.
Louis nodded his head, his blonde curly hair shifting around him. He really needed to get it cut, but he didn’t have the time or energy to get it done, so it was growing out at the moment, just going passed his ears.
“Throbbing,” Louis muttered, “Although not as bad as before, I just hope it stops before –“
He heard Samantha’s crying instantly, turning to look in the direction of the noise and seeing that Teddy and Victoire had come into the warehouse. Teddy was carrying Samantha, who was already trying to reach for Louis, whilst Victoire walked behind them.
Victoire and Teddy had married a few months ago; they had their ceremony in France, in their Grandmother Delacour’s vast and beautiful backyard. Pretty much all of the family could make it to the ceremony, with them holding a separate reception in England for those family members that were unable to travel.
“She was perfectly fine until she realised that you weren’t there,” Victoire stated as Louis held Samantha in his arms. “I’m sorry we had to bring her over, but she really wasn’t stopping her crying, we tried everything we could to distract her.”
Samantha was sniffing as she wrapped her arms tightly around Louis’ neck, burying her head in his shoulders.
Louis understood why they had brought her, his daughter had a habit of having an almost ear splitting cry at times. His sister had commented at times that this screaming, as well as her stubbornness, part of her was clearly from Freya’s side of the family. His mother and father had backed Victoire up, saying that neither Louis, Dom nor Victoire had behaved in this way.
“Samantha,” Louis said tenderly, holding onto his daughter with one arm as he used the other to push his hair out of his eyes. “What’s with all of this crying?”
“I wanted daddy.” Samantha told him simply. “Uncle Teddy isn’t daddy.”
“What about Auntie Victoire? I thought you were looking forward to making cakes with her.” She had been this morning when he was helping Samantha put on her dress this morning, a dress that she needed to show her Auntie Victoire instantly, even though she had been the one to buy it for Samantha. Cake making was all that Samantha could talk about during her breakfast, talking to a bleary eyed Horatio, who hadn’t long finished work and was just nodding along and agreeing with Samantha’s words.
Samantha shook her head as she moved her tiny hand to grip the collar of Louis’s shirt, her fingers rubbing over the corner of the fabric, something she had been doing for so long that Louis didn’t notice it anymore, the fabric was already dog-eared and fraying from the amount of times that she had played with the fabric.
Louis glanced at his sister who was looking apologetic, “I had to pop out to hand an article into work. I thought that she would be fine with Teddy, she normally is.”
“Its fine Victoire,” Louis told her honestly, as Samantha’s tiny hands moved from his shirt collar to his hair. “I’m honestly surprised that she lasted this long.”
“I wish we could work out what it is that’s causing her to begin acting this way.” Victoire said moving over to her niece and running her hand through the girls blonde curly hair, hair that matched Louis’s exactly. “Maybe she’s sensing something that we’re not? People say that kids can sense things before they happen, maybe something big is coming our way?”
“I hope not, I can barely deal with the crud that I go through now.” Louis admitted, “Although if it stops Samantha acting this way, I’ll welcome it with open arms.”
“I better get going.” Victoire stated, “We’ll make cakes next time you come around Sammy. I promise I won’t have to go to work.”
Samantha nodded before leaning away from Louis to give her aunt a kiss goodbye. Louis had noticed that Samantha had cheered up considerably, if she didn’t have tear drops still on her face, he wouldn’t even believe that she had been so upset.
Victoire bid her brother and Rachel goodbye before leaving the three of them and heading out of the room.
“You’re a little monster, do you know that?” Louis stated to his daughter as he walked around the room, moving her so that she was in front of him but still in his arms. Samantha shook her head as she put her tiny hands on the sides of Louis’s face, pushing his face together slightly before laughing at the face he was making.
“I’m not a monster, silly. You're the monster.” She told him, still shaking her head.
Louis moved one of his hands to bring it up to Samantha’s side, tickling her and causing her to squeal loudly as she tried to move away.
“I’m a tickle monster.” He told her as he laughed, his headache was thankfully subsiding, but he would have forgotten it with the sound of her laughter. To him it was nothing short of magical; he wished he could hear it all the time.
Samantha was pushing Louis away as she continued giggling; he stopped tickling her and placed her down to the floor so that she could stand next to him. She smiled up at him as she jumped up and down, her hands outstretched towards him to be picked up again, it was then that she realised that there was someone else in the room with them.
Samantha stopped her jumping and stared at Rachel, moving closer to Louis and clutching hold of his leg as she attempted to hide behind him, her laughter instantly dying down as she suddenly became shy.
“Samantha, you’ve met Rachel before, why are you being shy around her?” Louis asked his daughter as he looked down at her, his hand running comfortingly through her hair, but she clutched tighter to his leg as she continued staring at Rachel. Rachel was offering Samantha her friendliest smile as she crouched down so that she was the same level as Samantha.
“Hello Samantha, I like your dress, it’s so pretty.” Rachel said with a bright smile. Louis smiled at Rachel before looking back down at Samantha, who was still clutching hold of Louis’s trousers, her fingers playing with the fabric of it.
“Auntie Victoire brought it for you didn’t she?” Louis answered, hoping that Samantha would answer as well; she only nodded as she peered warily at Rachel.
“It’s beautiful; I wish that I could have a dress as pretty as yours.”
“They’re for babies.” Samantha stated quietly.
“Maybe they can make one for me?” Rachel said, Samantha nodded slowly but still stayed hiding behind Louis.
“Sam, can you stay here with Rachel for a minute? Daddy needs to do something.” Louis said softly to his daughter, who frowned and shook her head quickly.
“I’m not that scary, I promise.” Rachel said to Samantha, her tone light and she hoped construed kindness.
“No, I want Daddy.” Samantha told her, moving so that she was hiding behind Louis, but peering at Rachel around his legs.
Rachel stood up and walked over to the kitchen area, taking a seat at the table and waving her wand, it wasn’t long before some paper and coloured crayons began making their way over to her. Samantha’s eyes followed Rachel’s every movement.
“That’s too bad, because I was going to do some drawing.” Rachel said, taking some paper and picking up a crayon, poised in her hand and hovering over the paper in front of her.
Samantha watched Rachel curiously and Louis smiled down at his daughter, who was leaning further away from Louis’s legs and trying to peer over at Rachel. Louis could tell that Samantha was interested, she loved anything to do with drawing, he had woken up many a time to find that she had drawn over the walls of the house with anything that she could find. No matter how many times Louis had hidden the crayons and the pencils, Samantha would always manage to find them. Louis had a sneaking suspicion that Horatio was involved.
Louis bent down to talk to Samantha, who moved to hold onto his arm and attempting to climb onto him so that he could lift her up, he done so effortlessly.
“What has Rachel got?” Louis asked her, pretending to be shocked. Samantha turned to look at him, her mouth open wide in fake shock as she copied Louis’s expression.
“I wish that there was someone who would colour with me.” Rachel said loudly to the room, her head still bowed as she continued drawing.
“Did you want to help Rachel?” Louis asked Samantha, who was leaning forwards and looking at Rachel curiously. Louis had to use both of his hands to hold her so that she didn’t fall in her attempts to look closer.
Samantha nodded, “Can I colour a picture?”
“Of course you can sweetie.” Louis stated, walking over to the table and sitting Samantha down on the chair next to Rachel. Just as he went to move away, Samantha let out a whine of panic and grabbed for Louis’s arm again to stop him.
“Daddy needs to colour too.”
“Daddy needs to get some special paper,” Louis told her, glancing up at Rachel, who smiled getting his meaning, he was going to try and do his inventory count whilst ‘searching’ for this paper. “Do you want to start drawing and I’ll be right back.”
Samantha nodded, letting go of Louis’s arm and reaching forward for a crayon. Louis used this time to move away from the table and begin trying to do his inventory count.
It seemed to work for a while, before Samantha realised that he had disappeared.
“Daddy?” Samantha said, sounding panicked as she looked around her for a sign of him. Louis rushed over from where he had been counting the stock so that she could see him.
“I’m right here,” Louis told her, which seemed to calm her. Samantha picked her crayon back up so that she could continue her colouring with Rachel. “Are you making a pretty drawing for me?”
Samantha nodded, “And for Uncle ‘Tio.”
“We can’t forget about Uncle ‘Tio.” Louis agreed, looking back down at his stock count and seeing how much more he had to do, it wouldn’t be long before Colin arrived and took over the rest of the shift; thankfully the staff members on the shop floor were working until close. The only problem was that Rachel would be finishing her shift soon and she seemed to be the only one who was keeping Samantha distracted enough that he could finish this before his Uncle Ron would collect it tonight.
“How’s it going?” Rachel asked Louis, looking up from the picture of a flower she was colouring in.
“Er…” Louis said flicking through the pages he had left to go through, “I’ve got barely any of it done.”
“Did you want me to stay behind and help you?” She offered.
“I can’t ask you to do that,” Louis stated quickly, ready to tell her that she could go home when she stopped him.
“No, its fine, I really don’t mind.” She told him, “Beside’s it’s keeping a certain someone busy. I think as long as she knows that you’re here she should be alright, so you can carry on.”
“Are you sure?” Louis asked her.
“I wouldn’t have offered if I wasn’t.”
“How can I ever thank you?” Louis laughed as he backed away and continued counting boxes, marking the amount down on the sheet in front of him.
“I like chocolates and flowers.” Her voice carried over to him and he smiled, glancing over at her and catching her looking at him, the crayon in her mouth absentmindedly as she watched him. He was finding it hard to resist the urge to join them and forget all about the stock count.
“Any specific ones?” he asked her, tearing his gaze away, knowing that if he didn’t he wouldn’t actually get any work done.
“Surprise me, Louis. Unless, you can think of another way to repay me?” Her tone sounded slightly suggestive and Louis couldn’t help but look back over at her, his eyes meeting her own. She was smirking at him, a faint blush on her cheeks as she waited for his answer.
He was was planning on offering to take her out for a drink, or at least inviting her to the party that Horatio and Molly had planned, but he was interrupted by Colin arriving.
“Hey, everyone, I know I’m early, but I really thought that I was in now. So, I figured that I might as well just start after I get some coffee down, and maybe eat my body weight in junk food. The usual shit I do before starting work.”
Louis opened his mouth to say something about Samantha being in the kitchen, so he should stop swearing, but he caught sight of her in the kitchen.
“Oh, Tiny Weasley is here. Sorry about the slip up with the swear words, Louis, My bad.”
Colin walked over to Samantha, who had gotten down from her chair and moved over to where Rachel was sitting, holding onto her arm as she looked at Colin.
“Still afraid of me, huh?” he asked her. Samantha didn’t say anything to him, but he crouched down next to her and held his hand out to her. “Even after I spent all that time teaching you how to give high-five’s?”
Samantha looked down at his hand before looking back up at him and turning to look at Rachel, who leant forwards to give Colin a low five to show Samantha that it was okay. Samantha grinned before moving forwards to hit Colin’s hand as hard as she could. Colin let out a loud ‘ouch’ as he pretended that Samantha had hurt him, Samantha gave a laugh.
Colin pulled his backpack off of his shoulders and began to rummage in it; he gave a noise of triumph as he took out a small bar of chocolate and handed it to her. Samantha took it slowly from him, glancing at Rachel again.
“Don’t tell your daddy,” Colin said, reaching forwards to ruffle Samantha’s hair, before standing back up and looking over at Louis, who had his eyebrow raised at him.
“Tell daddy what?” Louis asked walking towards the kitchen area.
“Nothing,” Colin said with a shrug, winking at Samantha. Who rushed towards Louis with a grin on her face as she held the chocolate out to him, cradling it in her hands as though it were the most precious item in the world. Louis looked at Colin in exasperation and rolled his eyes, but grinned thankfully all the same.
“What do you say?” Louis asked his daughter. Who said ‘Ta’ loudly.
“You’re welcome, Tiny Weasley.” Colin stated as he walked over to the kitchen counter, digging in his pocket for his wand and waving it at the kettle so that the water would begin heating up. “Now, the real question is, how many cups of coffee will I need to get me through this Bit-“ he caught himself before he swore again, “-this monster of a hangover.”
“How much did you drink last night?” Rachel asked him, smiling at Samantha who had walked back over to the chair she had been sitting at, climbing back on with Louis’ help.
“Too much, I should probably have stopped a few hours before I actually did.” Colin told them, turning back around to lean on the counter, his arms folded across his chest as he looked at them, waiting for the kettle to boil.
Colin had been working at the shop for just a little less time than Louis; he was in his mid twenties and enjoyed socialising. He was a very talkative person and could get on with just about anyone; he had the gift of the gab and was very rarely grumpy.
He was of a large build and taller than Louis, standing at almost six foot four with short brown hair and pale skin. He was one of Louis’ favourite people to work with on the shop floor, always cracking jokes and making a fool of himself to entertain others, the customers absolutely loved him.
“Have you still not finished the inventory count?” Colin asked Louis, nodding at the clipboard in Louis’s hand.
Louis shook his head, “Not yet, I had a babysitting emergency.”
“Did you want me to finish it?” Colin asked him, turning around to the kettle which had finished boiling.
“I couldn’t ask you to do that, I’ll be fine.” Louis said quickly, thankful that he was working with people like Colin and Rachel.
“Nonsense,” Colin stated, stirring the contents in his cup as he glanced back at Louis. “You’ve basically done everything that I would have needed to do tonight; Ron is coming in later to do the banking. It’s going to be quiet tonight and the shop floor is covered by a great team, they won’t need me out there for a while. If anything, you’ll be doing me a favour; I’ll have something to do.”
“Colin, I don’t mind. I don’t have too much left to do.” Louis stated again. Colin turned around this time to look at him, holding his hand out to Louis.
“Just give me the clipboard, Louis.”
Louis reluctantly handed it over to Colin, who flipped through it. “Now, get going. Go and have some fun with Tiny Weasley, Rachel’s finished now, maybe you could both find something fun to do?”
Louis brought a hand to his hair and pushed through it, feeling slightly embarrassed, as Rachel glared at Colin who was avoiding looking at her, instead he grabbed his cup of coffee and headed out of the kitchen area. “I’m going to check that they’re fine out there, I don’t want to see you two when I get back, or I might change my mind about doing you a favour.” He said jokingly, smiling at them both.
They watched him leave before turning to look at each other.
“Did you want to – er – “Louis began his hand still in his hair and pushing it around, as he looked at her nervously, just as she began speaking herself.
“I think the cafe might be open if –“
They both stopped speaking and gave awkward laughs.
“The cafe sounds good.” Louis said, nodding his head.
“Great.” Rachel smiled at him, “I’ll just go and get my things.”
Louis grabbed for the pictures that Samantha had been drawing so that he could take them home, before using his wand to clean the chocolate that was covering Samantha’s hands and face. All the while thinking about how fantastic Colin and his timing was.
If Louis didn’t know any better, he would say that Colin had planned it.
A/N: This chapter was originally meant to end a lot sooner, but Colin was having none of it and demanding that his scenes be longer.
More to come soon! :D
Let me know what you think!
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by aly grace