Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Rating: Strong PG-13 (just to be safe)
Pairing: Katie Bell/Marcus Flint
Summary: Katie and Marcus finally decide it's time to come clean about their relationship.
Spoilers: SS/PS, CoS, PoA
Author's note: Third in my Bell/Flint series of one shots. Follows 'No Denying Fate'. For the purpose of my story the ages of everyone are as follows: The Golden Trio, Blaise, and Draco, are all 18 and graduated from Hogwarts three months earlier. Ginny is 17 and going into her seventh year. Katie, Angelina, Fred, George, Oliver, Adrian Pucey, and Terence Higgs are 20. Marcus is 21. (HP Lexicon lists Higgs as being older, but I felt he was needed in this story, even if only in a small role).
The Bad Boy Appeal of Slytherin Males
No one knew exactly what was going on. Viper, the fairly new, and only, nightclub in Hogsmeade, was closed for a private party, with current and former Slytherins and Gryffindors alike gathered inside. The room was practically divided down the middle, green and silver on one side, red and gold on the other. The only person who had not chosen a side was Tamesin Flint. She could tell that no one really knew who she was or why she was there, but that was part of the fun. As far as she knew she was the only one in the room who had any idea of what was to come. None of them needed to know that though.
She could see the entire Weasley clan, a mob of red heads, standing on the far right side of the room with none other than Harry Potter. He really was a good-looking young man. If she had a daughter he would have been just the type she would have liked to see her settle down with. Thank god Marcus had made a decent choice. Since finding her son in bed with a young woman she had done everything she could to find out about her.
Using some of her husband's old Ministry connections she had found out quite a bit about Miss Kathryn Bell, including the fact that her son used to torment her when they were in school together at Hogwarts. She had spoken to Albus Dumbledore about some of the incidents and was horrified to learn what a bully Marcus had been to the poor girl. She was amazed that Miss Bell had been able to forgive him, let alone get into a relationship with him. She was quite put out though that they had been seeing each other for three years before their seven-month break. It vexed her that Marcus could have been so stupid when dealing with his feelings toward the girl, not to mention that he never once brought her name up in discussion. She was pleased though, by the thought of a grandchild.
She really did hope they would arrive soon. She could tell that despite the fact that the room was segregated at the moment, the animals would not be held back long and many fights would ensue. Her son's business partner stood in a dark corner, his gaze constantly drifting over to a petite brunette who was sequestered with Potter and the Weasleys. Every once in a while the girl in question would glance his way and smile slightly before being dragged back into conversation. She smirked. 'Yet another secret relationship,' she thought silently.
Out of the corner of her eye she could see two young women, both Weasleys by marriage, discussing what was going on. They were Miss Bell's best friends Alicia and Angelina Weasley, formerly Spinnet and Johnson. Their husbands were off with their family and she could just barely hear what they were saying to each other.
Angelina glanced at Alicia. She was worried about Katie. No one knew what this was about. All that they knew was that they'd each received a very cryptic invitation to be at Viper at six o'clock pm on Saturday. She really had no clue as to what was going on with her friend.
When Katie had informed them of her pregnancy, both of them had been shocked, because neither of them knew she was involved with anyone and she'd never been the type to indulge in casual sex. Which meant that Katie had been hiding a lover, though she refused to say who he had been. Angelina knew that the relationship had ended, though the reasons as to why still remained a mystery. She and Alicia had discussed it at length but they couldn't come up with anyone that Katie might have been seeing. They had even tossed out a few names of former Slytherins, but were of the opinion that Katie would never involve herself with one of them.
"Have you seen her recently?" she asked Alicia, frustrated with her blonde friend.
"No. She's been busy a lot lately, getting things ready for the baby. She was so depressed at the beginning of the pregnancy that she put off buying anything for a while. I really wish I knew who it was that broke her heart and left her to have a baby on her own. I'd pop him one for doing that to her. Katie's the nicest person I know. She's the last person that deserves to be hurt like that."
Angelina hesitated before speaking up. "I was supposed to meet her a week ago at the Leaky Cauldron for a chat. She never showed up and I waited for an hour. I haven't heard from her since that morning when we made the plans and none of the letters I've sent have been answered. I think she might be involved with this guy again. For the past seven months she hasn't broken a single meeting or date, but that night it was just like it has been for the past three years, including our final year at Hogwarts. I don't like the fact that she's hiding a possible relationship from us. If he was good for her why wouldn't she bring it out in the open?"
"Maybe she knows it's someone we might not approve of."
"Who could it possibly be? I don't think there's one person any of us really wouldn't approve of; unless it was someone like Marcus Flint…" she trailed off. It was like a light bulb had gone off in her head. She glanced at the Slytherins on the other side of the room. Each one was a known friend or associate of Flint. She shook her head in denial of the thoughts in her brain. No. No. No. Katie wouldn't. She was smarter than that. They'd always hated each other, right up through sixth year it was always hair pulling, taunting, pushing each other around and, at one point, actually punching each other. They had never used wands against one another. Their fights had always been very physical in nature. It was almost like it had been their twisted way of flirting with one another because they hadn't been able to admit their feelings. Except, it all changed in seventh year, when Flint came back looking damn sexy. 'Oh Lord, Katie what did you do?' was all she could think.
Alicia seemed to be following her train of thought and her mouth dropped open. "You don't think…?" she whispered harshly.
"Let's not jump to conclusions. We may be completely off base with this. It's just that now that I think about it, during seventh year the way they taunted each other changed. It was more like foreplay." She took a deep breath. "I'm gong to trust Katie. If it is Flint and they've decided to make a go of it, I'm going to be supportive. She'd do the same if it was either of us."
"Yeah, but neither of us would have gotten involved with him in the first place." She glanced toward her husband. Oliver had joined the twins in a very animated conversation about Quidditch. "I'll be supportive, but Oliver's going to go crazy. He hates Marcus, always has and always will. If Flint and Katie are together, Oliver will look at it as Flint having stolen what was his. He may never have wanted Katie for himself but that doesn't mean he wants anyone else to have her either."
"Well if the worst happens and a fight breaks out just duck and run cause Fred and George will likely be right in the middle of it with Oliver. Where one goes the others follow."
Katie glanced at her reflection in the mirror, making sure that she looked all right. She was wearing beautiful white robes that molded to her figure, enhancing the glow that being pregnant gave her. Her hair hung loose, spilling over her shoulders in golden waves. She seemed to shimmer with innocence. She looked over at her lover and smiled. He was dressed in black trousers and a black silk shirt that was untucked. He wore a black robe unbuttoned over the outfit. His hair had a natural wave to it, curling slightly at the nape of his neck, and she was pleased that he kept it a little longer now. She loved running her fingers through the soft ebony waves. His dark eyes glittered when he looked at her and she was tempted to remove the clothing hiding his gorgeous body from her view and drag him back to bed.
"Are you ready to do this?" he asked, coming up behind her and wrapping his arms around her, molding his body to her back. In the mirror he looked like her opposite, light and dark, but she knew it wasn't as simple as that any longer. She loved the feel of him against her. She felt cherished when he held her like this. It was hard to believe that they had come so far in just a week. They had discussed everything, from that disastrous morning seven months ago to the baby and what it meant for them. And then last night, he had proposed. It was a proposal seven months in the making. Apparently the morning she'd chosen to break it off, he'd planned to tie her to him, permanently. But that was neither here, nor there. They were together again and this time they would make it work. They'd come too far for it not to.
"I'm ready," she whispered, kissing him on the cheek.
"I love you, you know. No matter what any of them might say, I love you. I always have, ever since the first time I saw you, even though you only had eyes for Wood." He kissed her cheek softly. "I know I didn't show it well, and went about everything the wrong way…." He never finished what he was going to say because she placed a finger against his lips, stealing the rest of his words.
"I love you too, Marcus. And yes, I did have a crush on Oliver, but I never felt for him the way I do for you. Never forget that. And the rest doesn't matter. We're together now. We're engaged and it's your child growing inside me. I wouldn't have it any other way." She picked up her purse and slipped it over her shoulder. "Now we better get going, before our guests kill each other."
Blaise Zabini stood in a darkened corner of Viper taking in everything going on around him. Marcus had asked him to arrange this little soiree, but this was strangest get together he had ever seen, or hosted. The room was divided down the center with Tamesin Flint sitting right in the middle of it all. Of course he was fairly certain that no one knew who she was. He did though, and he knew what was coming. Thankfully his ability to go unnoticed allowed him to sit back and observe the guests, making sure that nothing untoward occurred, like a fight between the Gryffindors on the right side of the room and the Slytherins on the left. He sighed, annoyed with everyone. The war was over, Voldemort was gone, they had graduated Hogwarts, and yet they were still divided by House rivalries. He wished they would all just grow up, but it wasn't likely with Potter and Weasley at the helm of the Gryffindor brigade. Frustrated he turned his observational skills to a small group on the Gryff side of the room. He could tell that despite the conversation Puddlemere United's famous Keeper was having with Fred and George Weasley, Oliver Wood was looking distinctly uncomfortable, as if he knew the announcement that Katie Bell was going to be making. Sure the girl was pregnant but no one knew who the father was, and that allowed Oliver to pretend that the girl would always be there for him, despite the fact that he had never done anything to show that he wanted more from her than friendship.
Then there was Harry Potter and Ron Weasley. They were guarding Hermione and Virginia like pit bulls, making sure that no one got near the two young women but them. They even had a hard time talking to each other without Harry or Ron breaking into the conversation. If he wasn't careful they were going to notice that he was watching Hermione with more than a passing interest. They wouldn't notice though, that she was watching him the same way. Draco was by his side, glaring out the window, upset that Ginny hadn't been able to escape her family to even say hello to him. Not that her brothers wouldn't have trounced him the second that she did. It bothered him sometimes that both he and Draco had to hide the fact that they were involved with anyone. He'd been with Hermione for almost six months and wanted the world to know that he was proud to be seen with her. He knew Draco would run into more problems than he, because for the past nine months Virginia Weasley had been sleeping in his bed, sneaking into the Head Boy's room every night while they had still been at Hogwarts, and using a portkey to get to Malfoy Manor every chance she got since Draco graduated and summer began. He didn't know how the two were going to see each other once she went back to school. Unfortunately, the fact that her six older brothers could beat him to a pulp was why Draco and Gin had been keeping the relationship hidden. Blaise knew though, that his blond friend was just as tired of hiding as he and Hermione were.
His gaze moved to the door and conversation slowed to a grind when it opened. Katie Bell walked in, light shining around her giving her an air of purity and bliss. Her smile was blinding and the white robes she wore only enhanced it. She was holding someone's hand, pulling the person through the entryway. At first no one could really see whom it was, his or her features lost in the light filtering in. All they could tell was that it was a male, one with a fairly large build. Then the door closed and silence reigned.
Oliver froze when he saw Katie step through the door. She was perfect, golden and serene. How had he never looked at her as more than a friend? He knew it was too late now, the fact that she was pregnant making that abundantly clear. Still, his chest hurt at the sight of her, his heart beating so fast he thought he would have a heart attack. She was pulling someone behind her but he couldn't see whom at first. And then the door closed. He blinked several times, as if trying to process the identity of the person she walked in with. Finally his eyes slid shut. Katie Bell was never further from his reach than at that moment, because Marcus Flint had wanted Katie for years and was nothing if not possessive. He would never let her go. Not when Katie was carrying his baby.
Katie bit her lip when silence descended on the room. Pulling Marcus further into the club she glanced over at her friends and the Weasley family. Angelina and Alicia didn't seem too shocked and she wondered silently when they might have figured it out. She was grateful when they both came up and gave her a hug of greeting. Hermione and Ginny did the same, glancing at Marcus and smiling before stepping away.
They both stood there in the middle of the room, aware of all the eyes on them. Marcus wrapped his arms around her, earning an indignant sound from Fred and George who were gaping at her. Oliver was with them and he just looked sad. She didn't want to hurt anyone, but they were going to have to get used to this. Marcus was the father of her baby and she was going to marry him.
Holding Katie tight, as if he could protect her from the tense silence that filled the air, he glanced around the room, noticing that most of his friends were handling it quite a lot better than hers. Adrian Pucey and Terence Higgs both had maniacal grins on their faces. They knew how long Marcus had wanted Miss Bell and now that he had her they both couldn't keep from smiling. Zabini was in the corner with Malfoy, both of who gave a nod of approval in his direction. The person he was most worried about seeing though, stood up and he had to fight the urge to drag Katie back out the door. Tamesin Flint was a very formidable woman and if she didn't approve of something, no one wanted to cross her on it.
"Marcus, do be a dear and introduce me to this lovely young lady," she said, the whole room watching her with curiosity.
"Hello mother. It's lovely to see you too," he drawled sarcastically. He grimaced though when Katie smacked him on the arm. "What?" he asked innocently when she glared at him.
"Don't be sarcastic. That's your mother you're being rude to. Now introduce me."
"Oh dear me, Marcus I like her already. She knows how to put you in your place." Smiling at Katie, she extended her hand. "Tamesin Flint, dear. This one's mother."
"Katie Bell," she replied, shaking the older woman's hand. Marcus's mother looked nothing like she would have expected. She could see where Marcus got his hair from, as the older woman's was just as black and hung in loose curls down to her waist. There were only a few strands of gray that belied her age, otherwise Katie would have thought her quite young. Her skin was pale and the combination reminded Katie of Snow White. If ever there was a woman who epitomized the fairy tale princess it was Tamesin Flint. Though Mrs. Flint did have several laugh lines around her mouth and some crow's feet by her eyes, it relaxed Katie to see them. This was obviously a woman who laughed a lot and enjoyed life. Tamesin Flint was beautiful. "It's a pleasure to meet you."
"The same goes for me dear. I'm sure we'll get along just famously if you continue to keep my son in line so easily."
Katie smiled radiantly, pleased that this woman was making everything very easy for her. "Thank you Mrs. Flint," she said, clutching Marcus' hand.
"Please, call me Tamesin," she said giving Katie a hug. Before she pulled back she whispered in Katie's ear, "After all if that ring on your finger is any indication, we'll soon be family." With a final smile at her son she stepped back and sat down once more, waiting for the announcement that she knew was to come.
Both of them took a deep breath but it was Katie who actually spoke. "Well, I guess you're all wondering why we asked you here," she began, not letting go of the hand gripping her own. There was a murmur of ascent from everyone, thought most seemed to have some idea what was to be announced, judging by the way Katie and Marcus were acting and Miss Bell's very rounded belly. "I know most of you are a bit surprised to see me with Marcus," she said, smiling up at her fiancé briefly, "especially since most of you are well aware of the past animosity between us. But what most of you are not aware of is that we've been seeing each other for three years." She felt no need to mention the seven-month separation. Only those closest to her, specifically Angelina and Alicia, would know about that, even if they hadn't known whom she had been separated from. Taking another deep breath she said the most important part of her little speech. "He's the father of my child." She rested her right hand on her stomach. "And as of last night, my fiancé." She held out her left hand slightly, allowing everyone to catch a glimpse of the diamond and emerald ring that graced her finger.
Her announcement caused a riot of talking and noise to pierce the veil of silence that had pervaded the room since their entrance. Hermione and Ginny pushed past Harry and Ron to hug her again. They each even planted a soft kiss on Marcus' cheek. Katie laughed lightly when he blushed slightly under the attention. She stiffened though, when Adrian and Terence approached, but judging by the Cheshire grins on their faces she had nothing to worry about. Adrian hugged her tight, his hands drifting a little too close to her arse causing Marcus to growl low in his throat. He pulled away, bussing her on the cheek. "Couldn't resist, love. He's been right possessive about you, even back when you were at each other's throats. He actually threatened to hex all the Slytherin males if anyone even approached you. It's about time he got off his lazy arse and made you his…permanently." Terence was much quieter in his sentiments, merely clapping Marcus on the back and pressing a soft kiss to her cheek while congratulating them.
She watched them walk away and didn't notice Blaise Zabini and Draco Malfoy approach until they were right in front of her. Both men congratulated Marcus first then moved to her. Blaise kissed her hand and wished her luck with the stubborn one before going to change the music, tired of the slow, soft tunes that had been playing very quietly in the background.
Katie's smile faded slightly when Draco moved to stand in front of her. She knew that he'd put all the pureblood, mudblood, stuff behind him, but it still didn't make it any easier to face him. He was known for his vicious tongue, supposedly inherited from his mother who was notorious for being caustic and sarcastic. "Congratulations," he said seriously, bowing slightly. He gave her a peck on the cheek and stepped back. Katie couldn't help her reaction. She laughed. Loud. It stopped suddenly though when she saw the scowl on Draco's face.
She reached out, touching his arm lightly. "I didn't mean to offend you by laughing, but I've just never had anyone bow to me before. You looked so serious and formal. It's really not necessary. After all, you're friends with Marcus, and seeing as I am friends with Ginny, I anticipate that we'll be getting to know each other quite well. Perhaps we'll even be friends one day." She smiled and kissed him on the cheek. New music began to play and she pushed him toward the Weasleys. "Now why don't you go ask Ginny to dance? I'm pretty sure that she is quite ready to escape those overprotective brothers of hers. Especially Ron."
Draco smirked. Marcus had chosen well. She was perfect for him. "Thanks Bell," he said before wandering over to Ginny. Katie watched as he braved the wrath of the Weasleys by asking her to dance. Surprisingly it was Molly who ordered them to back off so that Ginny could dance with Draco. They joined Blaise, who was already on the dance floor with Hermione. Both Harry and Ron were glaring at the two couples from where they sat, sulking.
"Wonders never cease," she murmured, glancing up at Marcus who had noticed the couples as well. "It's got to be the whole bad boy thing. There's must be something about Slytherin males that appeals to us Gryffindor girls."
Marcus swept her toward him, kissing her soundly. They lost themselves in it, forgetting momentarily where there were and the fact that there were people in the room with them. When she pulled away her eyes were glassy with desire. Only the soft coughing of someone in front of them pulled them back to the present. Katie looked away from Marcus to see Alicia, Fred, Angelina, and George standing there.
They all smiled, though Fred and George's looked more forced. She received big hugs from all four of them, Alicia and Angelina both gushing over her ring and insisting on being bridesmaids as well as helping her find a dress. She could tell that they were concerned, but knew they wouldn't bring anything up until they had a chance to talk alone, probably on their next shopping trip or lunch together. At least she knew she definitely wouldn't need a wedding coordinator with those two on the loose. Fred and George both hugged her, making her promise to tell them if 'the git ever hurt her'. She promised and was surprised when they both shook hands with Marcus, congratulating him. He was pleasant in return, turning the conversation to Quidditch. Soon they were embroiled in a heated debate about who the best teams and players were and who would be going to the World Cup this year.
She left them to it and made her way to Arthur and Molly. Both of them were happy for her and Molly actually cried a bit. With her own parents long dead and no real family to speak of, she asked Arthur if he would walk her down the aisle. She was surprised to see his eyes water before he told her that he would be honored.
The person she really wanted to speak to though was lounging in a dark corner, glaring at the room. People were finally mingling, talking, dancing, and eating some of the food that Blaise had ordered for the day but he was ignoring it all. Katie approached him warily; certain that he was gong to be angry. "Oliver?" she asked softly, making her way forward slowly.
The Quidditch tyrant looked up at her, stunned by the golden halo that seemed to make her shimmer. She was gorgeous. She was engaged to Marcus Flint and having his baby. "Katie," he said quietly, indicating that she should sit. She did and for several minutes there was nothing but tense silence between them. Finally Oliver broke, unable to take it any longer. "Bloody hell, Katie! Of all the people in the world why did it have to be Flint?" His voice was a harsh whisper, so that no one heard him, but Katie flinched. She wasn't going to let him make her cry though. Straightening her spine she returned the look he was giving her.
"Despite what you may think, I think it was always going to be him Oliver. I know you don't understand, but sometimes things happen for a reason. I believe Marcus and I were inevitable." She cast her eyes downward for a moment before meeting his gaze again. "I know you don't understand it, but from the second we met it there was a connection between us. We may not have understood it, we were really young at the time, but it was there, deny it though we did."
"Katie, this Marcus Flint you're talking about! The same git who pulled your hair and knocked you off your broom and basically made your life hell for six years, remember?"
"Of course I remember Oliver. I remember that yes, he did all those things, but I also remember that he actually saw me. He looked at me and didn't just see someone who was only useful to him on the pitch. We were together all of seventh year and you never even noticed. For six years I waited for you to see me as something other than a chaser but it never happened. You never noticed me. That's what it all boils down to Oliver. Never once did you look at me and see a girl. Marcus did. And it may not have started out as love for either of us, but it is now. It took us three years and a lot of lies and hiding to get here." She sighed and stood up. "You're one of my best friends Oliver, but I won't let you ruin this for me. I love Marcus and I'm having his baby. Nothing you say will change that. I just hope you can come to accept it, and Marcus. I want you at my wedding Oliver, but not if you're going to act like this. If you are, I'd just rather you stay away."
Oliver glanced over at Flint, amazed to see the man's eyes on Katie as if she held his heart in her hands. He supposed she did. That's what made this harder than anything. It would be easy to be angry if he knew Katie was being used, but she wasn't. They truly loved each other. He couldn't believe he'd been so stupid as to ignore her all these years. Now she was engaged to someone else and his chance had long passed. "Congratulations Katie," he managed to choke out past the lump that had settled in his throat. Taking her hand he led her over to Flint. Even as Katie wrapped her arm around his former rival, he held out his hand, determined to be civil. "Be good to her," he said, shaking the man's hand. "If you aren't I'll hunt you down and kill you. Slowly." Without another word to Marcus he dropped the tan hand. "Send me an invitation," he said to Katie, smiling at her softly. "I wouldn't miss it for the world." He was gone before she even had a chance to reply.
Marcus couldn't believe that Wood had actually congratulated him. He knew it must have been a damn near impossible thing for the former Gryff to do, but he respected him for it. If their roles had been reversed Marcus wasn't sure he would have been able to do the same. He smiled at Katie, leaning over to kiss her softly. It didn't end though. One minute it was a chaste kiss to convey his happiness, the next they were devouring each other. She was pressed tight to him, her rounded stomach not hindering them in the slightest.
With a quick glance around the room she noted that everyone seemed to be having a good time and probably wouldn't notice if they slipped away quietly. "Shall we go?" she practically purred, her fingers slipping up under the black silk shirt to tease across his abdomen where she knew he was ticklish.
"You're going to pay for this, Bell," he promised, even as a small laugh escaped his lips.
"Oh I hope so," she said with a saucy grin. "I'm sure you'll be able to come up with a suitable punishment. Slytherins are supposed to be very creative with punishment." She stood on her tiptoes to whisper in his ear. "I'm sure there are quite a few things you could do to me that would be appropriate. And when you're done, there's a few things I know that I could do to you to make you scream." She pulled away, her eyes smoldering, and Marcus felt himself harden at the lust and promise of pleasure that filled her loving gaze.
Without a second thought, he turned and addressed the crowd, speaking hurriedly, placing Katie in front of him so that none of them would notice his obvious arousal. It wasn't something he wanted his mother, or his friends, to see. "Thank you for coming. Stay as long as you like and enjoy the food and drinks. If you need anything talk to Zabini. Have a good time." He grabbed Katie and pulled her to the door. Katie waved goodbye as her fiancé dragged her outside, a large smile splitting her face.
"Did we act shocked enough, do you think?" Fred asked his twin, who was watching their wives dance with Harry and Ron, both of who were blushing furiously at their poor attempts to not step on the girls' toes.
"Yeah. Bell never was very good at hiding anything. We're just lucky Alicia and Angelina don't know that we knew about Katie and Marcus all along. And Wood would kill us if he found out we never told him," George replied.
Fred nodded. "So when do you think Zabini and 'Mione will let everyone know about their relationship?"
"About them same time Gin and Malfoy stop hiding theirs, which will be sometime close to never, since they know how well Ron, Percy, Mum, and Dad will take it. What is it with Gryff girls and those scaly gits anyway?"
Silence reigned between the two for several minutes before George finally spoke up. "You hungry?"
"Yeah. Let's eat." The two headed off together for the food table leaving all talk about crazy Gryffindor girls and the Slytherin bad boys they couldn't seem to resist behind them.