A/N: Dear my lovely readers, school is already becoming harsh. I hate chemistry, I hate it with a thriving burning hate. hate. hate. God what the hell is a cyclopropanal supposed to look like! Anyways, the story is becoming awfully hard to write. This particular chapter was, in my opinion, the hardest to write. And I think i did terribly at it. I think it's rather disbelieving...but I will try to write more sensible ones later this week. Perhaps even rewrite this chapter for the good of my self esteem, but until then, please comment on it and if anything, tell me what to fix bcause I have no idea how to reroute this one!
Other than that, Enjoy and Review~
Already the pain was reverberating through his stomach. Clutching the side of his belly, he watched as the red liquid seeped lightly onto his hands. Rolling his eyes at the blandness of the situation, he found it all too familiar.
Harry quietly stalked to the bathroom cabinet where he kept all his potions. Grabbing a tonic for pain and some bottles of blood replenishers, he settled himself near the kitchen table. Of course, he could already feel the guilt sinking through, he needed to hurry and apparate back. Unconsciously avoiding the tonic's prescription, he spilled it down his throat in one gulp. Lastly polishing off all the blood replenishers, he messily bandaged his chest with stretchy gauze. Oh yes, he felt like shit— Like he was run over by a car and left there to be run over some more.
He knew it was wrong to leave Tom there. He was wrong. And yes, he was going to immediately apparate back to get Tom. After that, he assumed would be followed by some subsequent pitiful groveling on his part and perhaps—if he was lucky— he would be able to influence his son to get another pet. Doubtful, but that was all he had in mind at the moment.
Unaware of the lulling, drowsy fog overcoming his mind, he slowly yawned but didn't make to get up. He slowly blinked, heavy-eyed. Perhaps… he dazedly thought, he would give Tom just a few more minutes to think about his son's actions. The drowsiness overcame his mind in seconds. Placing down his glasses, he laid his body comfortably on the couch. Yes…just… a few minutes. And with that, he slowly closed his eyes in surrender to the alien sensation.
Waking up with a rewarding yawn, he lazily stretched himself out. That was an incredibly delightful nap. Grabbing his glasses, he instinctively called out, "Tom!" Shortly after, when no reaction met his ears, a faint remembrance of earlier that day sparked into his head. Tom…and a green snake. Sudden realization tore through him and everything came rushing back. He flashed his dark brown orbs at the clock and gasped, leaping into a standing position. A cold daunting sensation shadowed him as he reached for his jacket before sprinting outside, into the night air.
Three hours. And it was raining. Merlin's beard! He had left Tom there for three hours! On the midst of shear bloody panic, he somehow managed to apparate to the closed school without getting splinched.
"Tom!" He shouted desperately, grasping the locked iron gates.
The rain poured in liters and lightning applauded the skies. It was Mother Nature's vindictive way of laughing at his slip-up. He would've chuckled at the thought, if it was any other time.
"Tom!" Harry cried once more, searching the outer courtyards and the fields. He circled the school twice and twice again, still finding no sign of where Tom could be. He didn't even know if his son was even anywhere near the school!
Alarm racked through his whole body. He ran through the rain, not wanting to think about it. Wherever Tom was, if he was attacked, or hurt, or kidnapped, it was again his fault. His stomach knotted and twisted and his heart burned with flustered nerves.
With a slight hesitance, he stalked away from the school and advanced towards the playground they always went too. An image of Tom's gleeful smile as his son played on the swing sets, flashed through his head. However, as he reached his hands in the direction of the pale blue swing set, Tom wasn't there. It was, like how he felt, empty. The first few drops of tears drew from his eyes. He let them freely stream down his face as he continued shouting Tom's name.
He went everywhere he could think of, even all the way to the Leaky Cauldron. But there was no Tom. He searched throughout the night, not bothered even the slightest at the coldness of his soaked jacket. Finally, as he walked home with his hopes to shambles, completely crushed inside and out, he peered depressingly at his porch…And there Tom was, shivering underneath the porch light with his knees drawn up to his chest, staring emotionlessly at the ground. His viper was coiled lightly around his neck, whispering quietly into his ear.
Harry gasped in surprise, before a gloomy expression donned his face. With mild uncertainty, he carefully treaded closer towards Tom, steadily watching as smoldering brown orbs flew towards him. The look in them was sharp, filling with recognition, then betrayal, then disdain, before reverting back to an empty nothingness. Harry rather preferred the anger rather then the unsettling blank expression. Feeling altogether miserable, he placed himself right in front of his son, both of them still dripping wet. He parted his lips, but couldn't sound out any of the words. Not like he knew what to say. 'Oh Tom, I'm sorry for leaving you for the last three hours. Interestingly, your father was stupid enough not to read the labels printed on the back of his tonic!' He pathetically shook his head.
Silence permeated the awkward atmosphere between father and son along with a general discomfort. The beat of the rain, which in the past comforted Harry, was becoming a harsh reminder that Tom was left in the rain, with only a blazer to keep him warm. Harry hovered nervously next to his son, under the porch, shielding himself from the rain. He was as speechless as he was ten minutes ago.
"I…" He gripped onto that word and finished, "I'm sorry."
Tom dryly nodded his head, never meeting Harry's eyes. Harry watched desperately for any reaction, but Tom's face stayed unresponsive. He hated that. He wanted the little boy to scream at him, hit him, anything! He'd gladly let him. But after ten minutes of the cool gaze, he concluded that whatever he had with Tom was now ruined.
After that day, nothing seemed the same ever again.
As months went by, distinctive coldness replaced the loving warmth that used to be present in their home. Tom hardly spoke to him anymore and chose to avoid him at every possible chance. The little boy had purposely selected his own room which was located to the far right side of their house, opposite of Harry's, and moved out all his clothes and belongings from his Harry's room. When Harry inquired to why, he thoroughly explained that as a growing boy he would need his own space and that it was inconvenient to share his father's.
No more morning wake up calls, Harry had to purchase an alarm clock. Half the time, it didn't work.
Tom systematically created his own schedule to completely evade contact with his father. Every morning he would wake up at an earlier time for school, officially dodging Harry on weekdays. And on weekends, he would do his homework and take every chance he got to get out of the house with Nagini.
Harry noticed, of course, as he laid awake the first few months, incapable of sleeping without Tom. He was so familiar with the sensation of hugging Tom while sleeping that his body couldn't cope resting without the little boy. He continued tossing and turning for hours on end and waking up feeling as bad as he looked. Harry did his best to press Tom for a conversation now and then, but the little boy hardly took it to kind. Tom responded monotonously with one worded answers before making an excuse to go finish his homework. Eventually, Harry found it easier to accept his terms and wholly stopped.
It continued on through winter and spring.
One day, somewhere in the middle of May, Harry came home early from his business trip to China. He tiredly stepped through the door, expecting Tom to still be at school. Hanging his coat up, he proceeded to the kitchen to make himself some tea. He turned on the kettle and leaned against the wooden countertop, lifting his head back to stare at the white ceiling.
For the last couple of weeks, he had completely drowned into his work. Just enough to keep him busy. Through the total of five months, he had traveled to Italy, China, Egypt, India, and perhaps the whole of Europe in search of whatever treasure Gringotts commanded him to find. However, in the span of those five months, he had found himself dearly missing his beloved Tom, although the lad still refused to talk to him. He sent a letter to Gringotts requesting a prolonged vacation and was quickly met back by unbinding acceptance.
The afternoon sun covered him warmly.
His expression grew sour and he quietly sighed to himself, nothing was going right anymore. His frustrated mind screamed in contempt and he felt like turning this whole kitchen upside down.
A small hiss from the corner caught his attention. The slithering viper instantly revealed itself and glided out from its spot. He glowered at it. The snake didn't even know how much damage it had caused. Maybe he could kill it without Tom ever knowing, he lightly considered.
'It's you.' Harry spitefully sneered.
'Yes. Tom had forgotten me today.' She stated, gazing at him in interest.
'Well frankly your presence is not wanted here either.' He snidely stated, standing up to turn off the hissing kettle.
'My apologies…I was alarmed by another sudden presence in this house so I came to see if it was that old caretaker you left us. However, I was surprised to find you here. We have not seen you for weeks.' "We" probably meaning her and Tom. Harry raised an eyebrow at this, the boy had thought of him?
'I was away on business.' He exclaimed, pouring the hot water into his cup. Placing the kettle on the stove, he hesitantly asked, 'How is Tom?'
'He is well, perhaps a little concerted at times. His academic rigorousness strains him a little too much, but I do try to convince him to sleep more.'
Harry's gaze softened, it caught him a bit off guard at the sounded lisps. Nagini cared for Tom's wellbeing, maybe even more than him.
'You should know that Tom misses you.' She was blunt and her tone completely dry.
'Why would he miss me?' He sighed. 'He has you.' The tone came out with a hint of scorn.
'He does not express it in words, but I know how the young Prince thinks. His mind, is my mind.'
'He refuses to talk to me…'
'Because you sullied his trust.' The viper leveled itself on the opposite chair.
'I know what I did.' Harry glared before giving out a long sigh, 'H-how do I get him to talk to me again?' He dispassionately lowered his head. 'I…I want him to be able to come to me for help.'
'You'll just have to prove to him that you can once again be trusted.'
'But how? He hardly even looks at me anymore.' He sighed, taking a sip of his tea.
'You'll find a way.' She stated before slithering back to Tom's room.
He sat there and stared at the drifting clouds outside the window, what could he do? At the slightest show of wanting to talk Tom would already be heading the opposite direction of him. He rubbed his disheveled locks in frustration. It took him a few moments of thinking before he came up with an idea. He grinned to himself. It might have been just stupid enough to work.
Early in the morning, Tom sauntered out of his room to make breakfast. As he entered the kitchen, he raised an eyebrow at the sight. The dining table was filled top to bottom with all assortments of breakfast: Pancakes, muffins, pies, scrambled eggs, and a few more varying items. Tom raised a brow at the cupcakes, its colorful icing formed into the words, 'I'm sorry Tom!'
He stood still for moment, searching the room for his father. After a few minutes of assessment, he calmed down and took a seat. He inhaled the lovely spiced scent of Harry's wonderful pumpkin pie. He couldn't remember the last time he had a taste of it. Digging his fork in, he greedily munched and sighed, lolling in taste-bud heaven. He was completely unaware that his father was hidden under his invisibility cloak, right across the table from Tom. Harry happily smiled at the sight of Tom enjoying his cooking. He had spent hours making everything.
Once Tom was done, he briefly glanced at the grandfather clock. A half hour until school starts. He washed his hands and sauntered back into the living room to grab his bag. As he did so, he felt a heavier weight in his messenger bag. Calmly opening it, he rifled through his papers and books and saw a small lunch pack with his name on it. Again, under his name were the words, 'Forgive me?' that correlated with the first message. He narrowed his eyes and was about to scrunch it up, but paused. He sighed and squished it into his coat pockets. Harry gently smiled at this, wanting to gather his son into his arms.