Return of the Slytherin. - Page 2

Return of the Slytherin.

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Re: Return of the Slytherin.

Post by Keiran Hayes on Wed Mar 16, 2016 1:52 pm

"Out of everything I've lost, I miss my mind the most."

Keiran was surprised by how quickly they managed to get their act together and leave the house, and he did feel bad about abandoning everyone after so recently coming back into their lives. It hadn't even been an hour. Had it been half of one? Merlin. Keiran leaned down to pick up Bean as they all gathered in the entryway, sending a reassuring wink Livia's way.

When their feet touched down in the home the Hayes had set up for themselves, he bent forward to let Bean down, and let his eyebrows lift at the sight of the starting bits of the kids' fort. They would need more blankets, he mused. He would've seen to that if he hadn't lost his wand. Keiran reminded himself he needed to go about getting another one soon.

Millie turned towards him and pulled his attention back in, making him blink away his thoughts. He couldn't say exactly why he was so happy to feel her fingers brushing over his temples and into his hair, but he was. He had missed it. That was definitely part of it.

"Always hot chocolate," Keiran agreed, a smirk pulling at one corner of his mouth and the matching eyebrow. "But first," he went on, drawing out his words, "I need to kiss my wife 'hello,' and tell her how much I missed her."

He took his time to approach and close the gap, letting his breath mingle with hers before their lips met. It was perhaps one of the gentlest kisses he had ever given her - one that lingered and just was. It was his favorite one, ever. It was almost like the proper first kiss they'd never had in that he would have wanted it to be just like this. If they had been given the choice, that is. But it had also been over four months, so it felt strangely new but wonderfully familiar at the same time.

His hands found her waist as he broke the kiss, murmuring, "I missed you." A brief, punctuation mark of a kiss. "Desperately." Another, this time at her jaw. Below her ear. "I love you, Missie." He returned to leave her with another proper kiss, despite the urge to cover each inch of her face individually.

Drawing back, Keiran reached out to move her hair in front of her shoulders on either side of her face, cradling her cheeks as she had his, earlier. "My beautiful girl. ...My wife," he grinned down at her. His smile softened at his next words, though. "I have so much to tell you. And I have things for you and the children. And something for mum and Peter, though it seemed the wrong time, earlier. Will you come with me when I give it to them?"

One hand drifted down to the string-drawn pouch resting in his jacket pocket, lifting it out to show her. "Perhaps we can make cocoa or snacks of some sort for everybody and then I can show you what I brought?"

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Re: Return of the Slytherin.

Post by Melissa Finnigan on Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:29 pm

Grinning, Millie hopped up onto her tiptoes to meet her husband half way and to absorb herself fully into the kiss on offer. Her arms came up and curled around his neck as a little sound of pleasure curled at the back of her throat. It was simple and everything she had ever imagined a kiss to be, then made all the sweeter by it being a kiss from him. Her husband. Her live, breathing husband, home in her arms where he belonged.

It was truly like being home for her, too. The house had been four walls without him, the spaces familiar but lonely. He was her home. She understood that not more surely than she ever had. She could have said it before, meant it too, but she never truly understood what it meant. What it felt like. He made her heart restart and opened her body up to life once more where without him she had merely been existing. Without him, the world had been dull and now it was bathed in an impossible kaleidoscope colour, joyous once more.

“I love you more,” she murmured, wriggling her nose at him playfully as another smile licked at her lips. “I was hanging on for you,” her voice dropped to a light whisper, “hoping that you’d do something like this … just turn up all of a sudden and everything would be okay again. I got my wish,” she smiled, her eyes watering a little as she brought her hand back to his cheek.

“Someone was looking out for us, I think.” She liked to think it was their dads, as much as it was whatever god that was listening. She had prayed to every one whose name could bend across her tongue. On the off chance that someone might be listening, she wanted to make sure she was heard. Her knees were sore with all of the kneeling. But it was worth it. Of course. He was home. Something must have worked.

“I just couldn’t … I couldn’t go to bed with the idea that you’d never come home. And now you have… I am just glad I was right about it all. I knew it would be wrong to give up hope. I couldn’t give up on you.” She leaned into him, wishing that they had the privacy to talk properly, to just sit and absorb the moment, of being together once more. She knew it would come. In the waning hours of the night when they children were asleep, they could talk until dawn if they wanted to.

“Keiran Hayes, I’ll follow you to the ends of this earth and beyond if you’ll still have me by your side,” she swore. A smirk lit up her features. “I’m impressed that you found the time to do a bit of shopping.” She laughed a little and reached up to kiss him again. “We’re all just glad to have you, my love. Above everything. But yes,” she slipped her arms down to his waist and cuddled into him. “cocoa and snacks, then the things. Do you want anything?”

Millie felt her cheeks colour a little bit. “I … in the airing cupboard … there’s a pair of pyjama bottoms and a t-shirt of yours. I’ve been keeping them warm for you so you could be comfy when you came home. Would you like me to fetch them? Some fluffy socks, too, maybe? Or something else? Name it. I’ll get it for you.”
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Re: Return of the Slytherin.

Post by Keiran Hayes on Thu Mar 17, 2016 12:13 am

There was a moment in there where he realized just how horrendously sappy they would have seemed to outsiders. Gross, actually, would be a word he'd consider fitting. But he didn't care just then. And, frankly, everyone else could shove it. They were allowed to be disgusting after all of the insane things they had made it through. After everything their marriage had survived. He wouldn't have been sure about how it happened, except that everything the pair said and did certainly added up, proving how strong their attachments had become.

Keiran could tell that he was looking at her a bit too hard. If the circumstances had been different, if they had been standing there months ago, without the children in the next room, Merlin knew what would have happened. Well, Keiran did know. But he didn't fully acknowledge it, as he was giving her his full attention.

"I'm so glad you didn't," he replied, his thumbs brushing over her cheeks. He chuckled at her comments, relishing in the novelty of just laughing for the first time in so long. "Yeah, something like that." Keiran let his hands fall away after she kissed him, instead letting them brush over her forearms.

He half wished that she would stop asking if he needed anything. Wanted anything. But he would have done the same thing, and it was truly endearing. She went on, though, and Keiran immediately knew that she had started a new tradition for their family. He would have to return the gesture one day, even if he didn't want to think about why he might be doing that. Merlin, he wished they had done something similar for Robin. Maybe it had been a good luck charm of sorts. That was ridiculous, he knew, but it would have made him feel better.

"Don't be silly, love. I can get them. Thank you," he added, realizing he hadn't said it yet. "I really don't mind, though. If you want to get the kids rounded up or the snacks started, that works. Then I can come in with their surprises," Keiran grinned, leaning back enough to look into the other room and catch sight of them. They were still there. It was still real.

He left her with a kiss for her forehead, then moved through the house to change. It hadn't bothered him too much to be in what he'd come home in, but it mattered to her it seemed. So he wouldn't argue. Besides, it would be that much easier to be ready for a nap later on. After changing and giving himself a bit of a shake to remind himself that he was home, that things were fine, he reached into his bag and pulled out the things he had brought back with him. Bridget and Peter's gift - his too, in part - he left in, not wanting to misplace it or let any of the pets poke at it. But he drew out Millie's and the kids' ones, and returned to the living room.

The twins looked up at his return, staring at what he brought with him. He knew he would have to explain it again to Darcie once she got older, as some of it might have been a bit beyond her, but the twins had been around magic long enough to recognize what he meant, Keiran hoped. Crouching down in front of them, he held out the three stuffed toys.

"These," he started, "are for you lot." He lifted his eyebrows teasingly, smiling at them. Going on, he spoke loud enough to Millie to hear as she came back into the room. "Before my wand broke, I was sitting in a hotel in a snowstorm, and it was Christmas Eve. I had picked up three sticks, though, on my way. One in each country. I was going to go for another, just to be cheeky, Mills, but I figured I'd need something to give you three since I missed holidays."

He passed Liam the frog he was reaching towards, smiling knowingly. Kelly got herself a Nessie, and Darcie a hippo to match her pajamas. As they started messing with the toys, he turned to Millie, holding a hand out towards her and leading her to the couch so she could sit next to him.

"These," he continued, holding out a poorly bound set of pages, "... I wrote one each time I changed cities. I knew that you would be curious, and I wouldn't know how to explain everything. And I... I just thought about home a lot," he concluded, his brows pulling together tightly. "The only thing I didn't get to write... Millie, when Henry found me..."

Keiran paused, shaking his head and reaching a hand up to rub at his neck. "I was in the middle of nowhere, basically, it was freezing, and I just... I found Robin," he said, his voice a bit more solid as he looked back up at her. "He was-.. It isn't me you should have been grieving, love. I already told Avery. I felt like I had to tell her before I came back here. But," he drew in a breath, releasing it on a heavy sigh, "the rest of it I wrote down. I figure if you have any questions after, we can talk about it."

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Re: Return of the Slytherin.

Post by Melissa Finnigan on Thu Mar 17, 2016 1:12 am

The witch lingered a while at the bottom of the stairs, her periwinkle blue eyes watching until her husband was out of sight. Once she was sure he was alright, unashamedly listening to the movement of the floorboards to do so, she pushed off into the living room on her way towards the kitchen. The children petitioned her for help as soon as she entered their playground. She had been meaning to tidy it but the time to do so had not really presented itself. She needed a Sunday morning to clean the house from top to bottom. This Sunday, she promised herself.

Promising to help them once they had finished their cocoa and snacks, Millie disappeared into the kitchen, leaving Bean behind to watch the children. Usually it was either Lucius or Narcissa who watched them as it was about this time that Bean took a nap. Lucius, by all accounts, was out. Narcissa’s presence was upstairs. Millie had a feeling she had probably curled herself up on Kelly’s bed for a little bit of peace and quiet. Bean would do, even if he was a far too willing participant in the trouble that the twins often found themselves in.

Digging a pot out from one of the cupboards, Millie set it on the hob. She prodded her wand under the frame and lit the gas before flicking a beam of magic in the direction of the plates piled on the draining board, waiting to be washed. They immediately lifted into the air as the sink sputtered into life, filling with piping hot water that was rendered frothy and bubbly by a generous helping of the washing up liquid waiting next to the scrubbing brushes.

Leaving that to sort itself out, Millie focused on getting the hot chocolate going. Once the milk was boiling, she took out the vanilla pod and her cinnamon stick, replacing them with the chocolate pieces that she had retrieved from the baking cupboard. Extinguishing the flame, Millie reached for a whisk and began to bring the hot chocolate to life. Grinning to herself, she lifted her head and summoned some mugs, watching as they lined themselves up on the side.

Letting go of the pan, she watched as the cocoa was distributed between the mugs. She poked her wand behind her ear and smiled as, once empty, the pan dumped itself into the sink to be washed by the scrubbing brushes beavering away. She waved her hand in the direction of the tea towels and set them to work wiping up before going to the cake box for some sweet treats. Red velvet was what Livia had made most recently, proof that she was past the sad cake stage. It was to die for and Millie couldn’t believe she had enough slices left for them all.

Re-entering the living room, the witch let her magic settle the things down on the coffee table that had been pushed up against the wall to make way for the pillow fort. As she’d thought, Bean was now in amongst the action, trying to help Liam pull a large sheet over the top of the structure. She decided to leave them to it, as much as she was itching to get involved. When Keiran returned, Millie couldn’t help but smile. The picture was complete now. He was in his own clothes, in his own home, with his family. She could finally believe it was all real.

The fort was forgotten once their father produced their gifts. Their mother opened her mouth to scold them for not thanking him but rethought it when her hand slipped into his. Sitting down onto the sofa beside him, Millie curled her feet up underneath her. She watched him carefully, her eyes absorbing every twitch of his face as it moved from expression to expression. She took the pages gently in her grasp, mindful of their fragility and already keen to preserve them.

She took in a breath as he confirmed what she had suspected. Robin. Merlin. She had loved him. He had been a friend and a half. Knowing he wasn’t coming back gave her a funny feeling in her stomach she couldn’t quite explain. She hadn’t seen him in so long, he’d become a fringe player on the plane her consciousness. Accepting he was dead was an even stranger proposition. She almost felt herself incapable of mourning him because he had been gone for so long that it seemed belated, almost crassly too late.

Linking her fingers with Keiran’s, Millie let the silence absorb them. She set the pages down on the cushion beside her and decided to let go of his hand. She leaned up onto her knees and wrapped her arms around him before pulling him to her, her lips finding the top of his head. She didn’t want to tell him she was sorry. He knew that. She didn’t want to tell him that if she could have, she would have kept him from having to go through all of it. He knew that, too. Of that she was sure. So instead she hugged him, because there was nothing else, really, that she could do until she had finished poring over the letters.

Now, she was at a loss. She didn’t trust herself not to admit how she felt about it. She felt guilty. She knew she was meant to care for Robin but Keiran superseded all of it. He was the man whose children would have had to have grown up without a father, and worse: without the memory of their father, too. She had known that time was running out, that she could only carry on for so long telling Darcie that he would be home soon when she asked for him at night. Peter had been the realist, on that front. She needed to let them get on with their lives. It would be a chapter they could revisit when they were old enough. But she’d waited. For him.

Her whole life had fallen apart around her and though she had coped with remarkable grace and a sense of sobriety that had surprised their entire family, she had still laid awake at night wondering when the other shoe would fall and the pain would really set in. She didn’t think she’d had more than a few hours, since. The piano that Declan had given her was her place of repose, now. A place to try and sort through what had happened, to put the mourning down on paper because she no longer had the energy to give it life and sound. She wondered absently what would come of it when she next sat down to the keys.

He’d been it. He would always be it. He was the one she had mourned. Even if the Robin part of the jigsaw had been filled in, too, it would have been Keiran’s loss which would have weighed on her soul. Which did weigh on her soul, in fact. Even with him back, she had yet to fully register it, to believe it. He still felt as though he would slip through her fingers at any time and she couldn’t square with any of it. Any of what had happened. Any of it at all.

“I love you,” she whispered in the end, finding the only thing she trusted herself to say.

And it was true. Every word. Every syllable. Every letter.
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Re: Return of the Slytherin.

Post by Keiran Hayes on Thu Mar 17, 2016 4:53 pm

Keiran twisted when she moved, his forehead settling where her shoulder became her chest, a shaky breath escaping. He had no idea what his body was doing; he just needed to breathe. It wasn't until a minute or two later, when he felt a tug on his fingers, that he realized his hand was resting on one of the cushions. Darcie was there when he turned his head, even though he still pressed his forehead against Millie's neck. She was so little, but so concerned. When she saw her father's eyes, she lifted up the hippo he had made her with his old wand, setting it on the couch and nudging it towards her parents.

Keiran's hand came up to Millie's wrist, gently moving her hand away so that he could give his attention to their youngest. He poked the hippo's stomach and then Darcie's nose, drawing forth a smile from her. It didn't fill the ache that his best friend had caused, but it did a lot to lighten his mood. He didn't want to scare her more than he already had seemed to.

She reached out with her hands, laying them on the cushion and plopping her chin atop them. Keiran leaned forward, breaking from his place at Millie's shoulder, resting his hands on either side of the hippo. "You're an observant little thing aren't you?" he teased. "Millie, we might've made a Ravenclaw with this one. One house to go," Keiran sent his wife a cheeky smirk.

Reaching out, he picked Darcie up without warning, spinning her and swinging her onto his lap. She let out a shocked squeal, but once she settled she realized what had happened, she kicked her feet about and laughed. Keiran wrapped his arms around her, wrapping her up like a little burrito. "Want a treat, Darce? Kids, 're you hungry?"

Keiran gave Kelly a fairly stern look when she attempted to feed the cake to her new stuffy, making her cheeks redden a bit before she set Nessie to the side. Her father was nearly done with his cocoa when he realized Liam was leaning against Millie's leg, half asleep. He tilted his head back to catch her gaze, lifting his eyebrows. "I think that we've all had a great deal of excitement today. Nap time?"

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Re: Return of the Slytherin.

Post by Melissa Finnigan on Thu Mar 17, 2016 11:34 pm

Arms came around the little boy whose eyes had grown too heavy to keep open. His head tumbled into the familiar crook of his mother’s neck and his form softened against her as he relinquished himself to his dreams. Smiling into his hair, the witch got to her feet. She picked up his frog and tucked it into his embrace, her lips pressing a kiss to the top of his head as she did so.

She reached down and tapped her index finger to the end of their little Raven’s nose, getting a smile as a prize. Millie couldn’t repress her own. She didn’t even try. She let it flood her features and she reached down to scoop up their elder daughter, putting her under her arm, much to Kelly’s delight. She squealed, giggling as she clung onto her Nessie. Millie smirked and lifted Kelly up, sending her levitating ahead on a gust of magic that made the little girl giggle even more.

Padding up the stairs behind their daughter, Millie traced the familiar path to what had become her room. The bed was unmade, covered in teddies and blankets of all kinds, belonging to the three children. She laid Liam down in his favourite spot, blinking his spotty blue blanket around him. Kelly was lowered gently down where she usually liked to lay and immediately reached for hers, knowing the drill.

Once Darcie was in, she drew the duvet up around them properly and leaned over to give them each a kiss. She flicked her wand in the direction of the blinds and got them to twitch round so they only let half light into the room in order to give the trio some peace. Then, taking Keiran’s hand, she retreated from the bedroom, bringing the door to behind them. She half wanted a nap but there were things to do, really.

Smiling, Millie disentangled her fingers from Keiran’s and made for the stairs, hopping lightly down the first few steps.

“I had better do a bit of tidying up and finish my drink, really,” she considered as she dropped down another.

She had rather let the house become something of her own space. Things needed to go back to where they belonged. Toys needed to be put away. Surfaces cleared. She’d finish her drink first but she needed to at least get things on their way. She didn’t want to let Keiran do it. That would hardly be fair given everything that had gone on. So, with a few flicks of her wand once she was back downstairs she sent the toys marching towards their boxes and set the blankets and pillows whirling back to where they had come from. I love magic, she thought as she picked up her cup once more.

Taking a sip, Millie picked up the pages Keiran had given her and wandered through into the room she had made into something of a study for herself. Declan’s piano dominated the main portion of the room with her desk pushed into what space was left. Bookshelves lined the walls, nigh exploding with a myriad of textbooks and novels. Paper, also, was everywhere – a cross between work things and the parchment she’d been using for her sheet music.

Her eyes strayed to the piano as she set the pages down on a clean bit of desk. Another flick of the wand sent the paper shuffling into some sort of order and all of the lost bits were sent up to sit on one of the less populated shelves. She promised herself a little bit of time in the evening, perhaps after dinner once the pages had been read, to go over what she had done. She eyed the bottle of wine on the top, sure that tonight she wouldn’t need a few glasses and a pepper up potion in the morning for both the headache and the sleep deprivation. She’d sleep tonight. Half of her wished she’d crawled into the space that the twins always left for her in order to claim a few hours.

Yawning, she wandered back into the living room and flopped down on the sofa. She let the cup levitate to the coffee table which had wandered back into its space and drew a blanket around her legs, tempted to turn the television on. However, she got the distinct impression that, actually, sleep would win out. She hoped not. She wanted to talk to Keiran some more. She considered, though, that even if she did fall asleep, at least she was comfy.
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Re: Return of the Slytherin.

Post by Keiran Hayes on Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:54 pm

Keiran wasn't sure how he felt about the fact that his daughter was being levitated up the staircase, so he just lagged behind, holding a bit more tightly to Darcie and stared after the other three. He could feel the way his jaw tensed, but nothing seemed too dangerous, given Millie's ability to stop things. Merlin, Keiran wished he had mastered wandless magic before his had snapped. Somehow, Millie had done it, and although he was glad for it, it did remind him that he needed to sort himself out sometime in the next week. Otherwise, he feared he would go a bit mad.

He nearly sat himself down on the edge of the bed, but Keiran knew that he would've been tempted to stay, and that just wouldn't do. Not when Millie was leaving the room and waiting for him to join her so she could pull the door to. He laced his fingers with hers until she was ready to bound down the stairs, seeming light-hearted and happy. He was glad for it, and just smiled to himself, glancing down at the stairs as he followed her back to the ground floor.

As she moved through the house, he let his hands slide into his pockets, ever a habit of his, and he wandered around behind her. He just needed to get a feel for the place again, he supposed. He did stop in the doorway of what looked to be a new office. Keiran didn't mind it, though he did wonder why she hadn't just taken his one upstairs. Then he realized that it was the same reason he hadn't ever used his father's.

That, of course, wasn't what struck him enough to impede his forward movement through the house, though. A piano, properly sized and covered in pages, sat there staring right back at him. His head listed to the side curiously and an eyebrow lifted but he decided not to ask, considering she was already leaving again. Instead, he returned to the living room behind her, watching as she settled into the couch, seemingly prepared for a nap. He couldn't argue with that mentality at all. It was just so novel to be at his leisure, to have her there for him to catch yawning in the middle of the afternoon.

When he sank onto the couch, he ended up a space or two away so that he could swing his feet up onto the cushions. Leaning himself back against the throw pillow at his end and against the arm of the chair, he pressed his side to the back of the couch. Patting the open part of the seat beside him, he gestured for her to scoot on down to his end.

"You alright, love?" Keiran asked once she had settled in beside him. Turning on his side a bit, he draped his arm over her and pressed a kiss along the collar of her shirt, just reaching the skin left exposed at the top of her shoulder.

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Re: Return of the Slytherin.

Post by Melissa Finnigan on Fri Jun 03, 2016 2:05 pm

A Few Weeks Later


Daylight nestled her face in through the slats in the blinds at a gradual, almost hesitant pace, as though she was loath to break the spell of peace that had fallen around the leafy house nestled into the Galway countryside. When she entered the master bedroom, creeping in as quietly as she could, she spread her tendrils of light over the form of a witch very much awake, indeed. More awake, even, than the birds who had resumed their songs in the small hours, never quite having stopped in the first place. Yet, this woman was not as plagued by nightmares as she had been when the sunshine had found her in the last few weeks. Tormented. Terrified. Desperate to sleep. Instead, like her house and the man asleep against her, his head buried in the crook of her neck, one arm flung across her middle, she was completely at peace, an easy smile even playing at her lips as she drew her fingers through the dark hair she so loved.

The contentment on both of their faces belied the lingering signs of strain that purveyed them in their wakeful hours. He looked as though he breathed easily, his heart a steady pace, utterly able to relax in the cocoon of warmth created by his wife and the duvet they had gathered under the night before. Younger, almost, the sunshine thought. That's what he looked. Carefree, on the precipice of his dreams, somewhere on the downward slope from what was fantasy to what was real. But what was real was not horror-wrought anymore. What was real was as good as dreams. What was real was finally beginning to soothe their wild hearts and settle their frames into truly relaxing. And indeed, it was impossible to remain ill at ease for long as the flowers bloomed around them and as their children played, mischief in their eyes. As spring's charms brought the promise of summer, all seemed right in the world and no cause had led to the entertainment of it being otherwise.

The sunshine had also wiggled into another room, one with its image painted on the walls, sparkling down over safari animals. The sunshine thought that the elephant looked somewhat lopsided, a sentiment that had been expressed by the Bulgarian man who had committed it to the hard canvas. It roused a smirk from the witch in the other room every time she saw it, recalling with great clarity the days and nights she had spent trying to make their house a home. But inside the safari room, three little people were decidedly rather awake. None cried. The eldest were already in the throes of escape, wriggling out from under the covers and tumbling onto the carpet. The youngest was a little more lethargic, content to snuggle amidst her sprawling teddy collection, her favourite being the hippo her papa had gotten for her. Knowing that her siblings were on the move, however, she kicked back the covers and rolled out of bed, lowering her feet tentatively to the floor. Their mother had long since dispensed with railings, seeing no sense in it when they would climb them regardless -- or, at least, the impish little boy would and his sisters would certainly follow after witnessing his success. It was easier to let them wander if they desired, with her watchful tendrils of magic fluttering about, making sure no harm came to them.

Their destination was invariably always the same. A short toddle across the landing to the bedroom that the sunshine had already visited. Once the littlest was cajoled into moving, they picked up their teddies and traipsed out of their room and into the next, both doors always kept slightly ajar for such purposes. They filtered in, the eldest of the girlies dragging her blanket along with her, and their mother turned her head, smirking a little at their fresh, sleepy faces. Like clockwork, the red lights on the alarm left unset clicked over to seven just as Liam reached the bed, dutifully turning around to present the back of his shirt to his mother for her to take hold of.

She could've laughed. Would've, too, if Keiran had been awake. She pulled at Liam's top and lifted him up onto the bed. He landed with a little bounce on the mattress and grinned toothily at her before beginning to wriggle underneath the duvet. Kelly wasn't a moment behind and, between them, the twins helped Darcie up. The three then cuddled into their mother's side, little cherubim and teddy faces peering at her as she took each one in, and then the beautiful features of her husband, memorising the moment and the way she felt: entirely irrevocably in love with her family.

"Papa's tired," Kelly assessed, her voice a pretty whisper.

"He'll wake soon," Millie assured her, reaching with her other hand to smooth a stray curl from her daughter's face. Her own voice was thick with sleep as she kept it low, not wanting to rouse him any sooner than he wanted to.

"Are you excited to go to to your nanna's this afternoon?" She asked, earning grins from the children. "You'll see Livvy, too, I bet."

"And Fin?" Liam asked eagerly, clutching hold of his frog.

"I don't see why not," she considered, tickling her fingers across his cheek.

Her eyes flicked down to Darcie, whose head was resting against the arm that her father had cuddled around her mother. Millie smiled softly, watching as the little girl's eyes grew heavier. Kelly got herself more comfortable and Liam propped himself against her. It mustn't have been a comfortable position but the pair seemed content enough, snuggled close to their respective toys. Millie let go of a little laugh that was more of a hum in the back of her throat than anything else and then let her head rest against her husband's, her fingers loose in his hair.

Sleep claimed them all, then. The peace that had taken its hold on every corner of the house absorbed them, too. And so, bundled under the covers, the Hayes family slept on as the sunshine danced around their home, filling every room and, ultimately, twinkling down over them, too.
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Melissa Finnigan
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Re: Return of the Slytherin.

Post by Keiran Hayes on Sat Jun 04, 2016 6:16 pm

If Keiran Hayes were to wake without his wife there, it would be less of a shock to his senses than one might imagine. Not because he wasn't disappointed to find her missing, but because the moment he opened his eyes and saw where he was, everything was alright, really. After rejecting - though politely - Theodore's suggestion that they take a trip down to Italy, Keiran had come up with a different plan. One that would have come much more easily to a different version of himself; one desperate to wiggle his way back into her life. That struggle had not made itself known to him in this incarnation, however, but the idea had come nonetheless. It had been borne out of snow and broken lampshades, and after one day when he was talking to Liam about the places he had been and the little boy accidentally made it snow in the kitchen, the thought had returned to him with a vengeance.

It wasn't as though Keiran hadn't had much time with just his wife since his return, although they hadn't necessarily been alone very frequently, either, thanks to the kids. He wasn't complaining, mind you. They just had not found the proper moment to let his idea come to life, what with taking over the shop with Oliver, spending as much time each day as he could with his kids (and thus, with the family as a whole). It worked out nicely, their little hidden pathway. The kids could play on a small lawn with window in the backs of each shop for their parents to watch them, or lunches could be shared while someone else manned the registers. It was probably the best idea that the pair of them had ever brought to life. Unless one counted the kids, which he did. So it was certainly in the top four or five, at that point.

All of that said and set aside, Keiran indeed would have been okay if Millie had gotten up. Even if it meant jostling him and waking him up as well. He was only sometimes a morning person, and much less of one since returning home and having the luxury of sleeping until whatever time he was needed. That had not been something Keiran was afforded while out searching for Robin, and Merlin, had he missed it. So his sleeping patterns may have been a bit mixed up, but despite that, he was certainly not against getting up to check in on the kids or take care of something if Millie wanted to sleep a bit longer. He had become incredibly skilled at sneaking out of bed without waking Millie, just to look in at the kids and make sure. He wasn't sure what, exactly, he thought would have happened, but he had to check either way.

He didn't ever linger too long, though. Perhaps it was something to do with vigilance, but he hated the idea of Millie waking and worrying upon finding him up and roaming around somewhere. Keiran knew he would've been forgiven if she had discovered what he was up to, but he retreated to their room quickly nevertheless. Perhaps that was how their arrangement had changed. Before he left, it wasn't unheard of for him to be the one essentially burrowing up against his wife, but it had almost become a habit now, and while Millie certainly hadn't complained about it, he sort of missed waking up that way. This other way was nice too, though, really. One wouldn't think it to look at him or listen to him when he got angry, but he was actually quite the cuddly fellow after being around those kids and his abundantly tactile wife.

He woke that morning, not when the kids arrived but when Darcie turned her head and her breath began brushing over his arm and irregular intervals. It threw him off, thinking it was Millie when he first rediscovered consciousness. Concern is what came to mind first, so he forced himself to open his eyes and check. Of course, it hadn't registered that actually, Millie had her cheek resting against his hair, so it couldn't possibly be her. He was oddly tangled up with Millie and Darcie, and the twins weren't far away. Darcie, though, was the one that held his interest, because it appeared that she was still feeling whatever discomfort had interrupted her sleep. A little bit of gentle maneuvering to try and avoid waking Millie later, he gently nudged at Darcie's cheek, rousing her without frightening her.

She frowned before opening her eyes, but when she saw her father leaning over her mum to check on her, she wiggled down into the sheets a little more. Keiran smiled at her but doubted she would actually find her way back to sleep after apparently waking twice - once to move rooms and once because he'd been concerned about her. He inched away from Millie, hoping to leave her and the kids to snooze a bit. As soon as he noticed Darcie starting to squirm, though, he moved around the bed and picked her up.

Downstairs, Darcie was set into her little high-chair, the one that used to be Kelly's. Now that she was nearing her first birthday, he trusted that she could sit there with at least a little bit of safety. He did still keep an eye on her and keep his wand close at hand, though, just in case. He, unlike his wife, lacked skill in the area of wandless magic, and he wasn't willing to take any chances.

He got to work in the kitchen, though, preparing a little something for each of them. He wasn't sure whether it was too much or too little, perhaps because he wasn't particularly hungry just yet, but everything was set out on the table and kept warm with a bit of magic. Darcie seemed unwilling to wait, reaching out for the little circle-shaped cereal bits that he had set aside. Picking up a handful of them and then lifting Darcie back into his arms, he handed them to her one at a time, careful not to drop them all over the stairs as they ascended once more.

She finished off the ones he had brought along with them as they reached the bedroom, and he set her down on the bed between him and Millie, leaning over to carefully kiss his wife awake. He supposed there were worse ways to greet the day.

"Big day," he murmured against her lips before sitting down on the mattress and lifting Darcie into his lap. She kicked her feet a little, as though it would help her settle in, and he smiled down at her before he looked over at the other three. "Hungry? I've got a bit of breakfast waiting downstairs."

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Re: Return of the Slytherin.

Post by Melissa Finnigan on Sat Jun 04, 2016 8:54 pm

Dear reader, please forgive the slight disorientation that assaulted the witch who was awoken so tenderly by her husband. She returned the kiss instinctively, her eyes fluttering open. Her first thought turned to how on earth he’d wriggled out of bed without her noticing. Then, her mind queried why she was on her side, her arm flung over her eldest babies, her head buried in between theirs. She supposed that, in the wake of Keiran’s body heat, she’d turned into them, drawing the duvet up tighter around them all. In spite of how awake she had been not so long before, she now felt groggy and as though she would prefer to go back to sleep instead of getting up. But now all three (four, technically) babies were awake. There was no more napping now. That said, breakfast… breakfast was an excellent plan.

Pushing herself up into a sitting position using her elbows, Millie let her eyes flick over her husband. They draped down over his shoulders and down his chest to their youngest who looked content in her father’s arms. Then she turned her head and observed their eldest, the eldest of the eldest already wriggling out from under the covers, the youngest of the eldest not too far behind. Apparently breakfast was most definitely on the menu for them, regardless of whether or not their mother was getting up. Millie’s gaze flicked up to Keiran and she smirked before lifting her chin. Just as the twins reached the door, they bounced down onto their bums firmly and they twisted around without skipping a beat, focusing their accusing glares in their mother’s direction.

“Just you two wait,” she cautioned.

Her gaze returned to Keiran and she chuckled before leaning up to steal another kiss from him, mumbling against his lips that he’d made overly-curious babies. Although they both knew that it was probably the Finnigan in them, their slippery Slytherin tendencies made them even more potently mischievous. They were also not particularly patient, staring at their parents pointedly. The phrase ‘hurry up’ might not have been in their vocabulary yet but, Merlin, did they know the meaning of it.

“Okay, okay,” Millie groaned, kissing Keiran again. She pulled back and leaned in to steal a kiss from Darcie, too. “I’m starving, actually,” she told him, bringing up a hand to rub her thumb across his cheek. “Did you sleep well?”

An impatient squeal, or squeak, or cry emanated from one of the twins and Millie turned her head, aghast. She raised her eyebrows at them and pushed back the covers.

“You’re so impatient!” She complained at them. “Such little pickles.”

Her feet found the floor and she got to her feet, wandering over to where the twins were sat. She picked up Kelly and set her down on her hip before scooping up Liam, curling him under her arm against her side. He cried out happily and kicked his legs, dissolving into giggles.

“Did you make enough for these greedy babies, maestro?” She asked with a laugh of her own, rapidly growing in wakefulness. “I think they could eat Bean.”

As if summoned, the dog nudged into the bedroom and, upon spying Keiran and Darcie sat on the bed, scampered across the room, leapt onto the duvet, his tongue already out to give Keiran a lick. Shaking her head, Millie looked down at Liam, as though to see if he really was contemplating eating his daddy’s dog. Bean wasn’t a delight very often, let alone a culinary one. Mercifully, Liam didn’t look interested. Millie didn’t want to have to find a new running partner.

“They’re going to run your mum ragged, love.”
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Re: Return of the Slytherin.

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