Ha ha. I finally finished this chapter. Wynter cuteness in this chapter and some stuff starts to happen. I hope you enjoy it!
Meant To Be
After the whole thing with Ron and Hermione the week before, Harry and Tom were a lot more careful. Tom would no longer come over on Saturdays so that they wouldn't catch him again, or almost catch him. No matter how funny they thought it was after, Harry did not want to go through the anxiety again. It didn't help that the next Saturday Ron and Hermione came over, they looked around suspiciously and teased him about his "boyfriend." They, of course, tried to question him about who was over and at first, Harry vehemently denied it, but as they kept asking he finally just told them that he had just had a little fling with someone he had met in town because he was horny, that had shut them right up. Hermione had turned bright red and Ron had fallen into hysterical laughter and had quickly changed the subject. At least it had gotten them off his back. They just told him "whenever you are ready to tell us." Ha ha, yeah right, like that would go well.
Tom wasn't too happy about his pretend fling that he had made up, even though it was exactly that, pretend. But he had to say something, Ron and Hermione had obviously knew someone was there and that was what he had come up with on the spot. Also, it wasn't like he could go with the fake boyfriend story, Tom had put a stop to that immediately. Harry had never known that Tom was the jealous type, or was it possessive? It could be a mixture of both, but the point was that Tom didn't even like the idea of Harry seeing someone else; it had made him feel very happy and warm and he didn't know why.
Well, that wasn't exactly true. Deep down he knew, but it wasn't something that Harry wanted to happen. Sure, he was happy that they were all together; Tom, him and Wynter, as a family; and yes they slept together, frequently; but there was no...emotions involved, no feelings. It was just...sex, sex to keep the pulling sensation at bay. But lately he had been feeling...something when around Tom and he couldn't stop it. Every time they made love when they kissed when Tom would look at him, he would feel it and it scared him as to what it meant, and what else was it was dangerous to think that way, especially with who it was about.
It was fine to think that they were a family, Wynter needed that, a warm safe place with parents that love her, spoil her, and make sure that she was happy and had anything she needed. But for Harry, to have something more...no, it was best not to dwell on it. Nothing good would come out of it anyway, so he squashed down whatever it was that he was feeling and shoved it away. The only thing that mattered was Wynter. But what about what I want? a tiny voice in the back of his mind asked; he immediately squashed that thought too. His life was hard enough as it was without having to deal with something like that. It didn't matter though, his main focus is and always will be his little girl.
Though nowadays she wasn't so little anymore. It was hard to believe that Wynter was almost 6 months old, she was growing up so fast! She was already sitting up on her own and would look around, fascinated by everything around her for a few minutes before falling back again because she couldn't hold herself up. That didn't stop her though, she would only try again. She was a lot like him in that respect, not giving up. Her curiosity she also got from him; it will undoubtedly be a problem in the future, but as she couldn't move around yet it was okay. Mostly she just stared at things like she was trying to figure out what it was and probably how she could get to it; that and trying to pick up an object with just her thumb and her finger. She had yet to figure out that she could use her whole hand to grasp things, but she was getting there.
Harry was laying on the floor across from Wynter, watching her do just that. She was propped up against the side of the couch playing with one of those stacking toys that Hermione had bought for her, the ones with different colored donuts that you put on a peg to stack it. She was carefully trying to pick up one of the donuts with her two fingers, unsuccessfully, yet she persisted, slowly trying to wrap her fingers around it to pick it up. She let out a huff of air, in frustration and Harry laughed.
"She must have gotten that from you."
Harry turned slightly to look behind him and felt his heart beat faster as he saw Tom standing there. "Maybe."
"You do it often enough, it makes sense that she would pick up on it. I just hope she doesn't pick up anything else."
"What is that supposed to mean?" Harry retorted in mild annoyance.
"I wonder," he said, then smiled down at Wynter. Her eyes brightened as she saw him and gave a little shriek, waving her chubby little arms at him.
"How are you doing, princess?" Tom asked softly, sitting down next to her on the floor. Wynter gave him a gummy smile and held out her hand to him, which Tom took. She wrapped her fingers tightly around his finger and tugged on it happily.
Harry smiled as he watched the two of them together, as much as a bad person Tom was, he was a great father. She now seemed to know who he was and would reach out to him when he came over and would curl up in his arms completely content with this new man in her life. Harry guessed it was just intuition that she knew that Tom was her father because she treated Ron differently and he was the only other man in her life and had been for a while before Tom came into the picture.
"I have something for you," Tom said to her. He reached into the pocket of his robe and pulled out a fluffy brown teddy bear wearing a white dress with red polka dots and matching bows in front of its ears. Wynter's eyes widened and she reached out her hands for it, grasping at air for it to come closer.
Tom glanced at Harry. "Is this okay?" he asked gesturing to the stuffed animal.
Harry nodded and Tom handed it over to Wynter who wrapped her arms around it and pulled it close to her. It was as big as she was!
"Where did you find it?" Harry asked sitting up and touching the little bows that were attached to the ears and letting his fingers trail over the dress.
"I saw it in a store and I couldn't help myself."
"You were in a store? Wait is this Muggle made?"
"I was and it is. I am allowed to go to the store you know. It helps that no one knows who I am," Tom said smugly.
"But what if you're caught?"
"It's also why I go to the muggle world. No one would expect me to go there. Besides, there are hidden magical shops out there too you know."
"Huh..." Harry said thoughtfully, "I did not know that; well, you learn something new every day. Anyways thank you for this, she loves it. It's really cute."
"I'm glad, I was hoping that she would."
"I think she would love anything that you give her," Harry commented as he watched Wynter gently touched and grasped the bear's nose. "I just hope she doesn't get it dirty."
"It won't. I put some spells on it to keep it clean and in mint condition no matter what she does to it," Tom said.
"Uh huh, and what else?" Harry asked raising a brow.
"Just some protection spells and the like, standard ones."
"Standard for everyone or standard for you?" he asked. Tom smiled slightly but said nothing. Harry sighed and sat back to watch as Wynter examined her new toy. He trusted Tom to protect their daughter. "I hope those spells hold up," he said as the bear's nose went into her mouth.
"They will. Is she teething?"
"Yeah, she is. Nothing has come up yet, but she puts things in her mouth a lot."
Wynter looked up at Tom with love filled green eyes as she pulled her bear close, then held out her hand wanting to be picked up. Tom did as asked and lifted her gently into his arms, bear and all and she settled against him comfortably before she resumed her examination of her bear.
"Are you going to stay with daddy?" Harry asked her. Wynter tilted her head back to look up at Tom, then gave what looked like a nod.
"Okay," he said and got up, his back cracking as a testament to him being on the floor for too long. "I've got to put the food in the oven."
"You haven't eaten yet?"
"No, I got distracted."
"That can happen," Tom agreed looking down at Wynter.
Harry took a few steps toward the kitchen then stopped and turned to Tom. "Do you...I mean," he paused and ran his fingers through his hair, "do you want to stay for dinner?"
Tom looked up at him in surprise; Harry had never asked him that before. "Sure."
Harry smiled, "Cool," he said and headed into the kitchen.
Dinner, huh? Tom thought. If it was anything like his cookies, he was looking forward to it. Tom looked down at Wynter who was gazing down at her fallen bear mournfully, but before he could pick it up for her, she got distracted by the little snake design on his robe. Her little fingers reached out for it and before her eyes, it moved out of the way.
Wynter gasped and looked up at Tom, green eyes wide in surprise. She then looked back down at the little snake coiled on his arm and slowly reached out for it again, and again it moved out of the way. She shrieked in glee and continued to try to catch it and each time it slithered out of her grasp.
Tom smiled as he watched her. Harry had been right about how Wynter found anything entertaining. The fact that she found his robe design was proof; she kept bouncing in his lap each time the little snake eluded her, clapping her little hands together. She was comfortable in his arms and trusted him and that meant the world to him. What was more, was that she knew who he was. She had nodded when Harry had asked if she wanted to stay with "daddy;" he was her daddy. It was unbelievable and he felt his heart swell with what he now knew to be love. How could he not? This little angel in his lap was his daughter; one that he created together with Harry, it was impossible to not love her, and Tom just knew that Wynter loved him too by the look in her green eyes as she stared up at him. He just felt so lucky to be here to see it.
Harry came back into the living room and watched Tom and Wynter from the doorway, smiling at his daughter's enthusiasm. Tom looked up, feeling like he was being watched, and spotted Harry leaning against the wall. He gave him a little smile and then looked back down at Wynter as she got tired of the snake and wanted her bear again.
"She loves that thing," Harry said walking toward them and sitting on the couch, trying to still his racing heart from that smile.
"I can see that," Tom said, relieved. He hadn't been sure if he should have gotten it, but he was glad he did just to see her smile.
They continued to watch as Wynter played with her new toy, relaxing back against Tom; completely comfortable, until the beep of the oven sounded and they got up and headed to the kitchen for dinner.
"Okay Wynter," Harry said opening a cabinet after he set the table, "what do you want for dinner today? Carrots? Peas? Sweet Potato?" He asked as he lined jars of baby food up in front of Wynter who was sitting in her high chair.
Tom watched as she looked at them, then up at Harry and then reached out and tried to grab a jar.
"Okay, carrots it is!" Harry said and picked up the rest of the jars to put them away, then opened up the carrots. He sat down at the table and taking a spoon, scooped some and feed it to her. He glanced at Tom who was watching them. "What?"
"Nothing, it's just you do this so easily. I thought babies fuss about eating."
"They usually do, but Wynter is usually pretty good about listening. Plus, I figure if she has a hand on picking what she wants, she won't be fussy."
Harry shrugged, "It works. You can start eating," he said gesturing to the plate in front of Tom. Tom glanced down at the chicken casserole and mixed steamed vegetables on his plate and it made him mouth water, it smelled really good too. "It's not poisoned you know," Harry added.
"I know," Tom said, and picked up his fork and picked up a piece of chicken. He glanced at Harry who was watching him expectedly and took a bite. The explosion of flavors hit his taste buds as soon as he put it in his mouth and he immediately wanted more.
"So?" Harry asked nervously as Tom chewed, "is it good?"
Tom said nothing for a minute, chewing until he swallowed and speared another chunk of chicken, "Very," he said and continued eating. He paused when Harry smiled brightly at him and he had to look away as his heart did something in his chest.
Needless to say, after that meal Tom continued to come over just to have Harry's cooking. It was better than what the house elves made up for him back at the manor, but he guessed that was just the fact that it was a home cooked meal, or because it was made by Harry. It didn't matter, it just gave him another excuse to see the both of them for longer.
Tom would come earlier than he usually did just so that he could stay for dinner and play with Wynter until it was time for bed. Sometimes he would help Harry give her a bath, which would turn into a big wet mess, but he didn't care, Wynter would have fun and it would tire her out faster. After Wynter was down for the night; it was Tom and Harry's alone time. They wouldn't jump into bed together right away, though sometimes they did just that, they would just sit in the living room and just talk, taking pleasure in each other's company; though eventually, it would lead to the bedroom. Then Tom would leave and it would start over the next day, always the same, not that either of them had a problem with that. It was just with the moments after when Tom had to leave that was getting harder.
Neither of them would want to move after a great round of wonderful love making, but in the end, Tom would always leave. Harry never asked him to stay and Tom never offered to; it was like, if Tom did stay, it would turn into something that neither of them wanted or were ready for. Not that they didn't drag it out as far as they could.
Harry would stretch out his tired muscles and snuggle close to the warm body next to him and would place his head on Tom's chest to listen to his heart beat. It was Harry's favorite thing to do after mind numbing sex; just listening to Tom's heart beat just as fast as his own made him feel alive and oh so satisfied that he could make Tom, a normally stoic man, lose his cool. His own personal victory. In response, Tom would wrap his arm around Harry's waist and pulled him close; allowing himself to relax and calm himself down, enjoying the comfortable weight of Harry pressed against his side. The both of them would just lay there listening to each other's breathing and the bugs chirping outside the window, it was quite peaceful.
Though this time it felt different, maybe it was just something in the air, it could have been the home cooked meal that Harry spend hours preparing or just the agonizing, wondrous love making they just had, they both just felt really lazy and didn't want to move. Neither of them said anything as time slipped by and with the gentle caressing of Tom's fingers on his back, Harry felt himself drifting off to sleep.
With sleep clouding his mind, Harry started to think of how nice and how comfortable it was to have strong arms wrapped around him, protecting him. That it wouldn't be too bad if Tom stayed the night. He wouldn't have to move out of his cocoon of warmness and fall into the most comfortable sleep he's ever had without being knocked unconscious. Then in the morning, he would wake up and Tom would still be there...and like that the moment was gone.
Harry felt Tom tense slightly and his fingers stopped moving down his back at the same time Harry started thinking about the consequences of Tom staying. Tom's thoughts had taken the same turn as Harry's did. It had felt nice being there with Harry, as it always did, but when he started thinking of what would happen in the morning...What would it mean if he did stay? Being a family was one thing because it was for Wynter, but this, whatever it was between them. It was fragile enough as it was and it scared him, hell it scared the both of them even though they didn't talk about it. That was why he didn't stay, why he shouldn't.
The moment was ruined yet neither of them moved. It was Tom who eventually broke the silence. "I should go."
"Mmm," Harry murmured, just because his thoughts were all jumbled up now, didn't mean he didn't want to move out of his cocoon. Tom didn't move either.
After a moment, Tom sighed and started to sit up and Harry allowed himself to slide out of Tom's arms and onto the now cool sheets. He sat up and watched as Tom got dressed and wanted nothing more to just lay back down with him.
"Tom?" he said before his brain caught up with him.
"Yes?" Tom asked stopping and turning to look at him.
Harry opened his mouth, then closed it, the word trembling on his lips. Stay. "Any preference for dinner tomorrow?"
"Anything you make will be fine. I know it will be delicious."
Harry smiled and allowed the warmth of his words spread through him before he got himself out of bed and dressed in pajamas. He then walked Tom to the door, but not before Tom said goodbye to Wynter as she slept.
"I'll see you tomorrow," Tom said as he stepped outside.
Harry nodded and shivered as the cold night air hit his heated skin. Tom's warm hand gently cupped his face and Harry turned it upward to let Tom's lips meet his in a sweet kiss.
"Good night, Harry."
"Night," Harry whispered.
Tom walked down the steps and then was gone.
Harry sighed and closed and locked the door, then checked that everything was closed and locked before heading back to bed. He slipped into the cold sheets and tried to get comfortable. It took a while because no matter what he did, he just couldn't really find a comfortable position, at least not the one he had before with Tom. But eventually he did and he was able to fall asleep.
Later he would think of what would have happened if he had told Tom to stay.
Two dark figures wandered up the deserted path under cover of the still dark sky in the early hours of the morning. Turning off the main road they followed the stepping stones, fallen leaves crackling under their weight, yet all was silent. Stopping, the two figures turned to each other and smirked.
Dun dun dun! This doesn't look good. You'll have to wait and see for next time to see what happens, though all of you will probably have a good idea what will happen. Hopefully, I won't take as long this time.
Picture of the teddy bear that Tom gives Wynter is on my photobucket link that I have on my profile if you want to see it.