Author's Note: This is my First Published Fan Fiction. The dates are best guesses based on the series information found online. Comments welcome.
Disclaimer: The Dresden Files is the Property of Jim Butcher.
"Tommy, wait up!"
It was after school and I was about to get into my ride back to the Mansion when I heard Melissa's voice calling to me; Melissa Miller, cute, popular, smart and the only one not totally weirded out by my family.
As I turned to look at her, I nervously pushed my glasses back up my nose. "Oh, hi Melissa," as she came up next to me.
"Tommy, I need a ride home. Would it be okay…?"
I think I might have blushed slightly, "Yeah, sure," holding the passenger door to the white Limo open for her. Once she got inside, I followed her then leaned forward towards the front seat, "Peters, can you take Melissa Miller to her home first?"
Peters gave me a terse nod then started driving. After a few minutes of silence, Melissa cocked her head slightly in a questioning manner, "Tommy, isn't your fifteenth birthday coming up soon?"
I put my book bag down on the floor of the limo, "Yeah, next week. You remembered?"
Melissa gave me a bright smile, "Of course I did! I'm class president. I'm supposed to know everyone's birthdays."
"Oh" My smile faltered slightly and I shifted nervously in my seat.
"So, what kind of party are you having? No one in class has received any invitations yet."
I shook my head sadly, "My, ah, family doesn't believe in birthday parties."
She actually sounded shocked, "You really should have one. Everyone deserves a birthday party."
"My sisters won't let me bring anyone home anyway, so…well, you know…they're kind of strict about that."
"Well, we can't have that. How about this, you come over to my house on the 14th after school. I'm throwing a Valentine's Day Party. We can even make it a birthday party for you at the same time."
I felt my heart race and my cheeks felt warm, "Your sure about that?"
"Sure! I think my Dad can even get Chicago to perform at the party. He's knows lots of people in the music industry. Everyone from class and their parents will be there."
"I…don't know. I'll have to ask my Sisters."
As we approached her mansion, "You do that and let me know tomorrow. Unless they cancel classes, I hear it's going to snow pretty hard tonight."
"Alright, I'll see you then." Peters had parked the limo in the driveway, stepped out and opened the door for her. Melissa got out and waved to me before running to her door.
When I got back to the Mansion, the place was strangely quiet, at least more so than usual. Walking down the hallway to my room, I passed by the Study and noticed Natalia talking to Lara. Reaching my bedroom, I dropped off my book bag at my desk and sat down. Looking out my window, I noticed the snow starting to come down lightly as the sky turned dark. Pulling out my books, I opened them up and tried to focus on my homework.
My thoughts kept racing between excited daydreams of Melissa's party and unease over seeing Lara back home. Usually Lara only returns to Chicago in advance of Father's return, which is never good. On the rare occasions that father is around, I try to avoid him as much as possible, not that he even notices it.
Pulling my amulet out from under my shirt, I looked at it and thought of my mother. I found myself thinking about how father drove her away, about how he forced her to leave me behind. My anger quickly changed to sadness then to a smile as I found myself thinking how she might have liked Melissa. Hearing footsteps approaching, I quickly hid the amulet back under my shirt and tried to focus on my math homework.
It was after dinner that night when I finally got up the nerve to seek Lara out. Since she is the oldest, getting her approval is about as good as it gets. She was walking to her room when I confronted her, "Ah, Lara…" I took a deep breath, and then got up the nerve to speak, "I need to talk to you."
Lara looked down at me, her grey eyes almost daring me to speak, "Tommy? What is it you wish to say brother mine?"
"Um, well, there is this girl from class, Melissa, and she's throwing a Valentine's Day party at her house. She says I should come and she'd make it a birthday party as well. And," I pushed up my glasses with my finger again, "I'm going.'
Lara looked bemused at first, "It is your birthday, isn't it? Fifteen, yes and I see your already growing tall like a weed. This girl, is she someone you are attracted to?"
"Oh, no, I mean, I like her and she's pretty and nice and everything, but we're just friends."
"Just friends…" Lara's expression suddenly went from thoughtful to harsh, "No, my dear Thomas I cannot allowed that. It is not yet your time, it would be too dangerous."
"Dangerous?" my voice rose up slightly, "How can it be dangerous? I promise not to drink or use drugs or anything like that. And there will be plenty of people around, so how could it be dangerous?"
"It is not yet time for you to know this. It is for your own good, so do not bring this up again. You will stay home and that is final. I will have the cook make you a cake; just let him know what kind you like." Lara then ruffled my hair like a child, "Run along and watch television or something, I have important work to do."
Pulling away from her, embarrassed and angry, "I am not a child you can buy off with a cake! You can't keep me a prisoner here! If Mother was here…"
"Stop living in the past, brother mine." Lara's voice was firm yet gentle, "Your mother is not here. She is gone and will never return. Go now, back to your room. We will speak no more of this." She then turned her back to me and continued to walk down the hallway.
As I watched her walk away, I felt an anger build up inside me. It filled me like the howling wind of the snow storm just outside the window; I could feel it not as heat but as a cold dagger of pain and frustration. My hand went to the amulet I wore under my shirt, the amulet that once belonged to my mother, and the emotions of years finally reaching the point of overflowing.
Suddenly the temperature in the hallway dropped below freezing as my mind imagined the snow and ice of the storm outside filling the area and freezing everything within, especially Lara. A cold wind blew down the hallway and the floor beneath her feet turned to ice. I watched with a slight smile as Lara stumbled on it, nearly falling over. Quickly regaining her balance, she turned to look back at me, an expression of horror on her face.
Moving at a speed I did not think possible, she grabbed me by my shirt and lifted me up with one arm, shoving me back against the wall hard. Lara's eyes flashed in a way I had not seen before, terrifyingly inhuman, almost like they were made of silver, and her voice cold, harsh and dangerous, "What have you done? Thomas, if you do not wish to die, never do that ever again. Understand me? Father will see you die a slow, painful death if he catches you using magic like your mother." She then put me back down, "Now get from my sight. Go back to your room and stay there until morning."
Terrified, I slipped away from her, walking at a near run back to my bedroom, slamming the wooden door behind me. I immediately went over to my bed and collapsed onto it, finding myself shaking uncontrollably in fear. Lying down and pulling the covers over my head, it was all I could do to keep from crying myself to sleep.
"She was only fifteen; she had her whole life ahead of her." I spoke softly as I kneeled beside the gravestone. My little brother, Harry, stood behind me surrounded by the monuments to the dead that is Graceland Cemetery.
"Thomas…" he spoke hesitantly, sympathetically
My hand brushed against the etched words, "Melissa Joan Miller, beloved daughter. Born January 2, 1968. Died February 16, 1983." then snapped back down as my face turned from it in shame, "She was my father's sick, twisted idea of a birthday present." Bowing my head, I finally stood up again and looked at my brother, "Lets' get out of here." Without waiting for him, I quickly walked away, anxious to leave. A part of me was buried in that grave, one that I might never have acknowledged until now.
"Hey, Thomas, wait up." Harry's voice called as his long legs quickly caught up to me, and then walking silently besides me as we headed back out into the world of the living.