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Chapter 30 : The One With Colin Deacon
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The Easter holidays had started a few days ago, and I had really enjoyed being home. It was nice being around my family again, especially my dad. Although, dinner on the night I had come home had been filled with questions about James and me. My mother seemed excited, whilst my brother and dad seemed protective and weary, until I told them about me and James bonding over our mutual love for comic books. As well as James’ obsession with my dad, even though he didn’t know who he was.
My dad had warmed up to the idea of him immediately, he absolutely loved hearing about his fans, and would sometimes go in disguise to the comic conventions that took place around the world, taking me with him to the ones that were in England. It was a brilliant place to go and my dad loved seeing how much people actually enjoyed his work and hearing their real opinions about it all. As people didn’t know that he was Colin Deacon, it was easier to get real constructive feedback from them, and hear hints of what they wanted to see happen. It was how two men in one of my father’s series developed into a romantic relationship, because many fans had talked about how they had obvious chemistry.
My dad helped me come up with the idea on how to tell James who he was. And that was why I was waiting in front of my fireplace for James to come round, I had sent him a letter the previous night inviting him over, and he had responded quickly saying that he would love to.
I was beyond nervous as I paced in front of our fireplace. What if James hated me for keeping this a secret from him? What if he walked out and left me?
I couldn’t think long on my decision, because our fireplace roared to life and James stumbled out of the green flames. He stood up quickly, and looked at me with a grin, I wanted to run at him and hug him tightly, but I stopped myself.
“Well, I was planning a more dignified entrance into your house,” James told me with a chuckle, looking me up and down, and I couldn’t help but grin again at seeing him. It had only been a few days but I already missed him. I was such a hopeless case.
“So, what’s so urgent that you summoned me?” James asked, holding his arms out so that I would come over and hug him.
“I didn’t summon you,” I told him, wrapping my arms around him, and smiling in excitement. Maybe this plan would actually work. “I’m glad you came out in the right fireplace. Dad doesn’t normally allow the Floo network to be attached to our fireplace. But it’s a special occasion.”
“It better be good,” James smiled at me, as I released him and he looked around my front room in interest. I could barely hold in my excitement at what I had planned, the smile becoming an almost permanent feature on my face. “I had a very full day of sitting around and eating all of my Easter eggs.”
“Oh, it is, it’s really good.” I assured him, taking his hand and leading him out of the room, his smile widened as he realised that there was no one else around us.
“We’ve only been dating for a few weeks, I’m not sure I’m ready for the step.” He joked and I rolled my eyes at what he was implying.
“It’s not that,” I told him feeling a little embarrassed, although part of me was terrified that maybe he wasn’t joking and did expect that. I quickly tried to push those thoughts away. “I need to show you something.”
“Do you now? Well, I’m alright with looking at things,” he winked as we made it to the door of my father’s office.
“You’re hilarious,” I deadpanned, which I totally would have pulled off if I knew that my face wasn’t red in embarrassment.
“I aim to please. This is something that you should remember.”
I felt my cheeks practically burning as I hit him on the arm. He laughed at me and my reaction to his words, and I couldn’t help but grin along.
I opened the door and led James inside, turning quickly to look at his face as he shut the door behind him. James was looking around the room with his mouth open in admiration as he took everything in. All of the artwork that covered the walls, the bits of storyboard in frames, the ornaments and action figures that were on shelves.
“Wow, this is an impressive collection you have,” James admitted, awestruck. He walked over to some of the figurines that were on a shelf, looking at them carefully, “this is a lot of stuff by Colin Deacon.”
He seemed amazed as he turned to look at me for confirmation; I nodded at him, biting my lip as I struggled to stop the grin.
“It’s all my dad’s.” I told him, my excitement almost reaching boiling point, my face was seriously hurting from the amount of smiling I was doing, but I couldn’t seem to control it. I felt like I was going to burst.
“He must be a huge fan of Colin’s work,” James admitted, still looking at everything. I could tell that this was his idea of heaven, he looked like a kid in a candy store. “He puts my collection to shame.”
“He’s not Colin Deacon’s biggest fan, though, that’s definitely you.” I told him and I heard movement from the other side of the room, knowing it was my father.
“Did you bring me here to show me this?” James asked me, “because this is awesome and I must say that I am incredibly jealous.”
“No, I wanted you to meet someone very special,” I said, turning to look at my father who was waiting to be introduced to James.
“This is my father, Deacon Higgs,” I said, indicating my father, who had come to stand at my side. James turned to look at my dad, not realising that he was there, and moved forward to shake his hand politely. “But you’ll know him under his alias of Colin Deacon.”
James stopped shaking my dad’s hand instantly, but was still gripping it tightly as his mouth fell open in shock. The look was priceless.
James just stared at my dad, his eyes were wide, and he wasn’t moving. I was terrified that I had broken my boyfriend.
“You’re.... you’re Colin Deacon?” James stammered finally. I had never seen him this speechless or this shocked.
My father laughed and nodded. “That’s me.”
James turned to look at me, his hand leaving my father’s as he laughed and backed up a step. “You’re having a joke, this is funny. I don’t get it, but it’s funny.”
I shook my head. “No joke, James.”
James was still laughing, this time running both of his hands through his hair before they were rested behind his head and he began pacing nervously around the room. “This has to be a joke. I can't have just met Colin Deacon.”
His hands ran back through his hair and covered his face; the way that his hair was sticking out messily made him look cute and I couldn’t help but laugh along with his own excitement. “You’re not joking?” he asked us as he dropped his hands from his face and I shook my head.
My dad was just standing next to me in silence, watching James.
“Oh shit!” James said suddenly, before looking at my father in horror. “I didn’t mean that, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to swear, it’s just... you’re my idol.”
My father held his hands up and chuckled. “I understand, it’s fine.”
“Is it bad that I want to hug you? And tell you how much your work has changed my life? Would that be too creepy?”
“Creepy, yes, but I’ll allow it.” My dad said, holding his arms out and James instantly moved into them, hugging him tightly. Before letting out a loud giggle and backing away with the grin still on his face.
“Oh god, I just met Colin Deacon, and I hugged him.” James whispered excitedly to himself and I couldn’t help but laugh. “I can’t believe you didn’t tell me this.” He told me, looking at me and shaking his head slowly but the grin still on his face.
I instantly felt guilty and tried to think of what I could say to explain why I did. But James spoke again quickly. I had never heard him ramble this much before.
“No, I understand entirely. You wanted to make sure that I liked you for you, and not who your father was. Just like I do with my dad.” James admitted to me.
I was so glad that he understood why and he wasn’t mad at me for hiding who my dad was.
“Oh.... oh, I’m dating Colin Deacon’s daughter.” He suddenly said, I noticed that he was beginning to pale. “I never thought that this would ever happen - This is a lot to take in.”
“Did you need to sit down?” my dad asked, putting a hand on James’s shoulder and guiding him towards his desk. James nodded numbly as he took a seat in my father’s chair and put his head between his knees.
“Is this what a panic attack feels like? Have I died and gone to heaven?” James was muttering as he took in deep breaths and I couldn’t help the worry that filled me. Maybe I should have eased James into this, had I killed my boyfriend after only a few weeks? Was Harry Potter going to get revenge on me?
“Am I sitting in your chair? The chair where you sit when you think up your most brilliant ideas?” James suddenly said, looking up at my father who was nodding.
James gulped his fingers hovering just above the desk, and I noticed that his hands were shaking. He raised his shaking hands to his face again and covered his face as he took deep shaking breaths.
I walked over to James, wanting to put an arm around him to comfort him, but I was well aware that my father was in the room. He looked up at me, an amused expression on his face and I couldn’t help but wonder if my dad thought that my boyfriend was crazy. I shot my dad a wide-eyed look, asking him what to do now and he just shrugged, he looked like he was really enjoying this.
Thankfully, my dad walked over to where James and I were stood, reaching across him to pull down a piece of parchment that he had been working on the previous night, when we had both come up with the idea of how to let James know who my dad was.
“I actually wanted your opinion on this new character I’ve made.” My dad said, pulling a piece of parchment towards James, who moved his hands and looked down at it. “It’s a new person I’m hoping to introduce in ‘Minister of Destruction’.”
James’s eyes widened. “Is this me?” he asked suddenly in a terrified voice as he took in the picture in front of him. It was of a teenage boy that my father had named James; he had the power of invincibility and was going to be one of The Minister of Destructions sidekicks.
“I base a lot of my characters on people that I know. I’ve heard a lot about you James and how much you admire my work, so I wanted to do something as a thank you for being such a big fan of my work, after all I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without fans like you.”
James looked down in awe, his eyes wide again. “Would you think any less of me if I burst into tears?” James asked suddenly and my dad clapped him on the back.
“Not at all.”
We spent quite a bit of the morning in my father’s office, James listening intently to everything that my dad said and asking questions about everything and anything he could. He seemed so happy and I knew that this was the right decision to tell him, although I was worried that he would faint from the shock at some point. I was proud that he managed to keep a check on at least some of his fan girling, although occasionally bits would make themselves known.
I figured that in order to let my dad get on with some of his work, I would show James around the rest of the house and go and hang around in my bedroom. My father’s eyebrows rose at my suggestion, and he glanced from me to James, who was holding my hand as I pulled him towards the door.
“If you get up to anything,” I heard my father begin to warn, I turned at the door to look at him, James behind me. “I will stop writing Minister of Destruction. Indefinitely.”
James gasped and my mouth dropped open in shock. “You wouldn’t,” I said before I could stop myself and my father crossed his arms in front of his chest as he stared at us.
“Try me,” he stated. I could tell that he was enjoying this immensely, and with that threat above our heads, I knew that we wouldn’t even try anything. My dad grinned happily, knowing that his threat had worked.
“You’ve been warned.”
“Your dad is the coolest person in the Wizarding world,” James told me as we both sat on the edge of my bed; Snowball was lying on James’ lap, purring contently as James stroked him lazily.
“Your dad is Harry Potter, saviour of the entire Wizarding world,” I shot back. How could my dad even compete with that? “Some would argue that was a lot cooler.”
“None of these people have seen him throw a tantrum at losing to Uncle Ron at the Muggle board game Cluedo,” James stated, smiling as he looked around my room.
I was glad that we were left alone, and that the only other person in the house was my father. If Darryl or my mother were here, they would be bombarding James with questions about his intentions and not leaving us alone for a minute. They didn’t know that my father had the best way of keeping us in check, by threatening us with withholding our favourite comic book.
“Thank you for telling me,” James suddenly said after we sat in silence for a while. I turned to look at him and saw that he was watching me, a soft look across his face as his eyes flickered down to my lips, then back up to my eyes.
“You’re welcome, I would have told you sooner, but I didn’t know how and then it got later and later and I didn’t know how to bring it up.”
James nodded, leaning forwards so that his lips were inches from my own, my stomach squirmed in the only way that James made it do and I couldn’t help but beg in my head that he would close the distance. He didn’t, instead hovering just above my lips, and I could tell that he was beginning to smirk. I leant forwards so that our lips met, it was a small kiss, knowing that we could be caught and ended much too quickly.
“You know you’re going to have to come and meet my dad now, right?” James told me, sitting back up straight. Snowball meowed loudly at him, and James had to continue stroking the cat’s fur to get him to stop. I rolled my eyes at how demanding my cat was.
“The idea of meeting your dad is terrifying,” I admitted truthfully. I had only ever spotted Harry Potter from afar on the train station, and even then, I couldn’t help but stare at him.
“He’s not so bad, how about you come around tomorrow before we go and meet William and Isabella?” James suggested, and I nodded, nerves filling me again. What if they don’t like me, or think that I’m good enough for James?
James must have sensed my worry, because he wrapped an arm around me and pulled me closer to him, kissing the top of my head.
“He’ll love you, how could he not?”
A cough at the open door made us look up, and I saw my father standing at the doorway, staring at us. James dropped his arm from around me and I sat up quickly, my cheeks reddening even though we hadn’t been doing anything. My father smiled.
“How do you two feel about going out for lunch? My treat.”
I nodded happily, turning to look at James who was staring at my father again as though he were the most awesome person he had ever seen. I laughed and James pulled himself together and nodded slowly.
“Great, get ready and I’ll meet you downstairs,” he told us, before pointing at James, who gulped, and then at me. “I can keep an eye on you both, and I can make sure James knows what would happen if he ever broke your heart.”
I couldn’t help but stare open mouthed after my dad; I turned to look at James, who looked a little scared.
“Your dad scares me. He’s of course still my idol, but he scares me,” James told me as I picked up Snowball from his lap and put the cat onto the floor, Snowball meowed indignantly at me and stalked off to his bed by the window. “I love that man so much.”
“Am I going to have to fight my dad for your attention now?” I asked James as we both walked out of my room.
“Only all the time,” James told me jokingly.
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