Carol of the Bells

Disclaimer: All characters belong to J.K. Rowling.

Author's Note: Spend the holidays with Marcus and Katie. Okay, this was written as a chapter for "The Heart of Everything." So, everything's not really explained. If you want to know, what's going on, read it please. Yeah, I'm bad at keeping up on updates.

Italics: Vision

Bold: Katie's Dream/Flashback

Time: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Genre: Drama and Romance

Date Finished: November 25, 2011

Rating: PG-13

Eighteen-year-old Marcus Flint laid back against his pillow. He looked out his window and watched the snow fall on the soft, rolling hills of southern England. He was trying to fall asleep, but found that he could not. Tomorrow was Christmas. He would be spending the day with his family, but that night he would be going back to Hogwarts for the Yule Ball. He really did not want to go, but it was either that or have to go to his mum's family. He really did not want to do that either.

Either way, he was doomed.

He sighed and turned his head. His clock read twelve o'clock am. He rolled back over and muttered, "Merry Christmas."

He was actually quite surprised with himself. It was the holidays and he was in bed before one o'clock am. He was also sober and alone. He was not alone in a bad way, but in a good way. If that was even possible...

And he was at his parent's house.

Outside, the Christmas lights came gently into the room causing a rainbow on his walls. It reminded him of a Muggle toy that he could not think of the name at the present moment. Katie had one and had told him the name, but it was not coming to him at the moment.

Whatever, it did not really matter.

It was a silent night and all was calm, just as Christmas Eve should be.

Katie Bell laid on her bed at Hogwarts. This Christmas was very difficult. Yeah, it was going to be fun, but it was also her first Christmas away from her family. She was always home for Christmas. Heck, even Marcus was with his family on Christmas. She knew for a fact that he had not been home since mid-August. Well, since Quidditch season started. He was centre Chaser for the Falmouth Falcons.

She watched the snow fall. Tomorrow was Christmas, the greatest day of the year.

She was excited for the Yule Ball. She had a real pretty dress to wear. It was a deep purple, but it was not so deep that you could not tell that it was not purple. The top of it was tight fitted and it sparkled in the light. The bottom of it was wavy and it flowed out gently from her in magical waves. It made her feel like a princess. Her shoes were purple shinny flats. Heals were a big no-no for her. She did not want to fall down the stairs and kill herself. She was going to cruel her long, blond hair into gentle waves. She was going to pin the top of it up and then let the rest fall around her face. Yes, she was even going to do her makeup. She planned on doing her makeup in light pink. Light pink lip-gloss, light pink blush, and light pink sparkly eye shadow. She was planning on wearing mascara and eyeliner with it. She was not sure about perfume yet though...

What Marcus was wearing was another story. She had no clue what he would be in. She knew that he owned dress robes and seen him in them once. He probably had not even thought about it yet and probably would not think about it until fifteen minutes before. She hoped that he will shave before. She hated it when he did not do so.

Please, please, please let him shave.

Marcus was in a deep sleep and he was dreaming a strange dream.

Bellatrix cursed the door in. While two Death Eaters grabbed Marcus, she took one look around the room, and then she looked at her Draco, who was lying on the floor. She gave him his voice back and he immediately began to tell her about Marcus. When he was done, she narrowed her eyes at Marcus. "Take him to the courtyard," she ordered to other Death Eaters. "I will personally deal with him."

Marcus's heart skipped a beat. He knew that this was going to hurt. The two Death Eaters dragged him down the stairs, out the kitchen door, and into the large courtyard. There they threw him on the ground and kicked him. He grunted in pain. They covered him with their wands. Every time he moved, one of them kicked him in the stomach.

After what seemed like a lifetime, Bellatrix, followed by Draco, entered the courtyard. She dismissed the other Death Eaters and went over to stand over Marcus. "You know what I do to traitors?" Marcus shut his eyes. "You're going to find out." She turned to Draco. "Make him lie down on his back, pull back his robes, and bare his chest."

Draco glared at Marcus as he did as he was ordered. "This is what you get," he hissed, "for betraying your friends, for being a traitor."

Marcus narrowed his eyes at Draco. "Well, at least I didn't take the easy way out," he hissed back. "At least after this is over, I won't have a jail sentence." This little comment earned him a kick in the stomach. He gasped, but didn't say anything.

"You have to win first." Bellatrix took a step towards him. She pulled out her wand and knelt down next to Marcus. "And the way, it's looking it won't be to promising for you, boy. In the end, it's all about power." She stood up and pointed her wand at him. "Now, it's game time. I'm the cat who caught the rat. Crucio!"

His body arched. He tried to ignore the pain, but the pain wouldn't go away. It lasted for what seemed like hours. When she finally quit, he was about really to pass out.

She placed a foot on his chest. "So, kid, how's the Order?" He didn't answer. "You know they're here don't you?" She took her foot off his chest and seized his head. She twisted him so that he was looking into the forest. "You see that big tree; your daddy is hiding behind it. Over there is the werewolf. The rest of them are in there too." She let go of his head. "See, they're here to watch you die. You know what's funny, kid, not one of them is making a move to save you. You must not be that important."

She cursed him again and again. Each time he gasped in pain, she laughed and kept on cursing him.

After several rounds of this, she turned to the trees. "Oh, Bradley, guess what? I'm going to hurt your son." She pulled a knife out of her robes. "And it's going to hurt!"

Once again, Bellatrix turned to her nephew. "Move his arm."

"Which one?" Draco inquired.

She smiled. "You chose."

Draco chose Marcus's right arm. He held it away from the older boy's side.

Bellatrix raised the knife and stabbed deep into Marcus's side.

"Marcus, MARCUS!"

Someone was shaking him and yelling his name.

He woke up with a jerk and found himself looking at his thirteen-year-old sister, Haley. "Dad said that you have to get up."

Marcus rolled over and looked at his clock. It was nine o'clock in the morning.

Haley hit him. "Now! The little ones are wanting to open their presents!"

Marcus groaned. His stepbrothers were here with their families. "Give me a second to put some clothes on."

Haley stepped toward the door. "Yeah, you might need those."

She slammed it behind her.

~***~
Katie rolled over and stared into the soft flames of the fire. Christmas was here. She climbed out of bed and looked at the stack of presents at the foot of it. They looked so pretty in their lovely wrapping. She did not want to ruin it. On her right, Leanne began to move.

"Merry Christmas," Leanne whispered to Katie.

"Merry Christmas."

Leanne sat up and looked at her own mound of presents and jumped out of bed. She was more awake then she ever had been. "PRESENTS!" She began to tear into them.

Katie turned back to her own pile. She picked the one up from Marcus and opened it. After nearly two years of dating, she still did not know what to expect from him. She opened it and saw that he had gotten her the new Chaser gloves that she wanted. She smiled and tried them on. They fit wonderfully on her. A smaller package fall out of the wrapping. She bent down and carefully picked it up.

Leanne's head shot up. "What is it?"

Katie stared at the package. "Who knows? It's from Marcus."

Leanne raised her eyebrows suggestively.

Katie threw wrapping paper at her. "You're sick."

Leanne shrugged. "You never know."

Katie turned her attention back to the package. He would not think about that, would he? Great, now Leanne had her thinking provocative thoughts. She took a deep breath and opened the package.

Leanne leaned over her shoulder and swore quite loudly once the contents were revealed. "That was not cheap."

Katie stared down at the object in her lap. It was a purple stone on a gold band. It was the ring that she had been wanting. She could not believe that he had gotten her that, let alone that he remembered she wanted it. "It's my ring," she whispered.

"The one you always talked about?" Leanne inquired.

Katie nodded. "I can't believe her remembered."

"Well, it is Christmas and miracles do happen."

Katie slid the ring on and stared at it. Maybe this was her Christmas miracle.

Either that or he just wanted a heated make-out session.

Marcus walked downstairs. His old injuries were bothering him again. He sighed. The stupid weather was changing again. He just wished that it would stay one way and end his suffering. He could hear the young children screaming with joy and excitement. He winced. Another thing that he was not looking forward to. He loved his nieces, but sometimes they made him a little insane. (Yes, he just had nieces. None of his half brothers had produced a son yet.)

Haley was sitting at the bottom of the stairs. He sat down next to her. She looked up and offered him a butterbeer. "You're going to need this," she told him.

Marcus took a drink. "Where's yours?"

Haley shook her head. "I don't drink."

Marcus shrugged.

"You shouldn't either."

"I think I'm going to need something stronger than this to get through the day."

"Yeah, you've got the Yule Ball tonight."

Marcus sighed. "Don't remind me."

Haley smiled. "Glad I'm not going."

Marcus looked at his sister. "Didn't anyone ask you?"

Haley nodded. "Like three or four boys."

"Why did you say no?"

"Dances aren't my thing."

Marcus stared straight ahead. "They're not mine either."

Haley patted him on the back. "See, brother, that's what you get for having a girlfriend."

Marcus made a face.

Now, it was Haley's turn to shrug. "Just saying."

Marcus took another drink.

Haley reached up and took it from him. "You might want to do this sober. Katie would kill and so would Dad."

Marcus stood up. "Wouldn't be the first time."

"True."

Katie looked at the clock. She had seven hours until the dance. She sighed and laid down on her bed. Within a few moments she was asleep.

Marcus had just gotten done with a rough practice and he was sore. Bole had hit him in the back of the head. It knocked him out for a few minutes. Even though he should have gone to the hospital wing, he hadn't yet. It was a place he tended to avoid.

Since he had to gather the balls up, he would be the last one in the locker room. If he took his time, then he would be the only one in there. He really didn't want to listen to the others complain about their problems. He already had a headache and really didn't want another one.

It took about twenty minutes to gather the balls. Slowly he walked toward the tunnel. His skull felt like it had been cracked in two. Instead of his head feeling light, it felt as if he weighed the amount of two bricks.

When he came out of the tunnel, he saw her. She was leaning against the exit like she had been waiting in him. Her smile revealed her prefect teeth. It was also the kind of smile that said she wanted something.

"Yes?" he asked.

She walked over to him. "You're hurt."

"What makes you say that?"

"Your pupils are dilated."

"And?"

"It would take something really big and/or hard to hurt you're thick head."

Marcus smiled. "Are you saying that it's my brain that's big?"

She was really close now. "No." He could see every individual lash. "I'm just saying you have a big head."

Wait! Marcus froze. This was sweet, innocent Katie Bell. He couldn't do anything to her. Yet, it seemed like she was hitting on him. This wasn't right, but, yet, it felt so right.

"If my head didn't hurt, I would feel insulted by that little remark."

She leaned in so that their foreheads were touching. "So, are you going to do anything about it?" she whispered.

"Yes," Marcus whispered back.

"What?"

"This."

"Stand here and talk to me."

No, I mean this."

And he kissed her.

Katie awoke with a smile on her face. She rolled over and looked at the clock. Only half an hour had passed. Great. Today was going to be a rather long day.

~***~
Marcus leaned back against the sofa and looked around the living room. It was a mess of wrapping paper, packaging, and tape. He did not know how little kids could make such a mess. He figured that he was just a bad when he was little, but that was before he got elected to clean up duty.

Lovely, lovely.

He cracked his neck and looked at the mess once again. Maybe he could con one of his nieces into cleaning it up. Hum...He could tell them that Father Christmas would bring them more presents next year if they did. However, that would mean that he would have to buy more presents. Was it worth it? He was thinking that he was. Decisions, decisions. What to do, what to do?

His mum stuck her head inside the living room. "Marcus, lunch is ready," she said as she stepped into the room. She put her hands on her hips and looked the mess. "Well, this will just have to wait. What time are you meeting Katie?"

"Seven-thirtyish," Marcus said.

"Do know what you're wearing?"

"Sort of."

"Shouldn't you be getting on that?"

Marcus looked at his mum. "Probably."

She walked out of the room. "Don't come to me whenever she kills you."

~***~
Katie got up and looked at the clock. It was six o'clock, a reasonable time to get ready for the Yule Ball. Well, if she took a half hour shower, half hour to get dressed, and an hour to hound Marcus to get ready. Yeah, it would all work out.

She walked over to the closet and pulled her dress out. She normally was not the dress kind of girl, but she really did like this one. Her dad and stepmother had not been able to afford one, but she did have access to Marcus's bank account. He's the one who gave her the information and it was not like he was going to miss a few hundred Galloons. He got paid quite well as Quidditch player. He also had a large trust fund from his parents and other relatives.

She was still amazed at all of beauty that the dress offered. She held it up against her and looked at herself in the mirror. It was so magical, so wonderful. It left her wonderstruck, enchanted. It left her mystified, charmed. So many wonderful feelings were rushing through her at the current moment.

She sighed and ever so gently laid the dress down on the dress. She grabbed her shower things. Before leaving the room, she touched the dress one more time.

Marcus fell back on his bed. He looked up at his clock and swore. He had an hour until he had to meet Katie. Right on cue, his mobile went off. He looked at it and was not surprised to find that it was Katie. He answered it. "Hey," he said.

"Are you getting ready?" Katie demanded without any sort of proper greeting.

Marcus hopped off his bed and began to look around his room for his dress robes. "Working on it." He opened his dresser. "Don't I get a hi or Merry Christmas?"

There was a brief pause. "Nope."

"Why?"

"Because you need to hang up your phone and get ready."
Marcus slammed his dresser shut and looked around his room. "I am getting ready."

"Do you know where your robes are?"

Marcus moved over to his closet and opened it. "That's a work in progress."

"MARCUS!"

He just about the dropped the phone. "I'll find them and be there."

"On time?"
"I'll be on time."

There was a click. Marcus sighed. He did not know how people could believe that she was a sweet, quite, and innocent girl. He got over that statement a long time ago.

He found his robes in the closet, grabbed them, and went to shower.

Yule Ball

Katie stood in the entrance hall waiting for Marcus. Yeah, she knew that she was early and, yeah, she knew that he would not be here until the last possible second. She felt someone standing behind her. She backed up into that person. This allowed her to determine the sex of the person, who was male.

"I told you that I would not be late," Marcus breathed into her ear.

Katie jumped as his breath sent cold shivers down the back of her neck. She looked up into his soft chocolate eyes. "Good."

"Were you doubting me?"

"Just a little."

She turned to look at him. He was wearing plain green dress robes that he somehow managed to make look elegant. He did not have them buttoned shut. Underneath he was wearing black dress pants and a white button down shirt. Both of these clung to his body, not to tight, but enough to imply that he was toned from years of playing Quidditch. On his feet, he was wearing a pair of black boots. His hair was getting a little long, not nearly as long as Harry's, but it was enough to show that it had a little wave to it.

And, yes, oh, yes, he had shaved.

She stood tall and kissed his smooth check. Then, she took his hand and pulled him toward the Great Hall.

Marcus dug his feet into the floor. "We don't have to go in right away."

Katie looked at him. "Why not?"

Marcus shrugged. "Why should we?"

Katie thought and could not come up with a reason. "Good point."

Marcus led her over to the grand staircase and sat down on the bottom step. He patted the empty stop next to him. She smiled and joined him. "So..." Marcus said.

"What?" Katie inquired. She had a smile of her face.

"I got elected to clean up duty."

She raised an eyebrow. "Oh, how did that go?"

Marcus shrugged. "Dunno, it was still there when I left."

"I'm taking it that you didn't do it."

"That's exactly right."

She leaned into him and breathed in his aftershave. "Was it there when you left?"

Marcus sucked in a lot of air. "Yeah."

She sighed. "And will it be there when you get back?"

Marcus shrugged. "It depends on rather Dad will get sick of looking at it."

She looked up at him. "Will he?"

"Nope, he'll make me do it."

Katie giggled, but stopped whenever she noticed a young girl enter the entrance hall.

She had long, dark brown wavy hair that went three-fourths of the way down her back. It was pulled back at the sides and the rest hung down. She was wearing a deep blue glittery dress and silver heals. She was also on the arm of fourth year Blaise Zabini.

Katie nudged Marcus. "Isn't that your sister?"

Marcus looked at her. "She told me that she wasn't coming."

Katie looked at him. "Guess what? I think she lied to you."

Marcus did not say anything. He was not mad. In fact, he liked Blaise, but he did wish that Haley had told him. Never mind, what was done was done.

"You're not going to freak out and kill Zabini are you?" Katie inquired.

"No, Blaise is okay," Marcus said.

"That is if he doesn't hurt Haley," Katie said.

"Exactly."

"Then, what?"

Marcus stood up and offered Katie his hand. She took it. "Then, I'll have to hurt him."

Katie laughed. She stood up and offered him her hand. "Come on, we should go in."

Marcus made a face. "Do we have to?"

Katie nodded. "We must."

Marcus took her hand. "Let's go get this nightmare over with."

Katie hit him across the stomach. "It's not a nightmare!"

"Oh, why is that?"

"Because you're with me."

Marcus pulled her toward the Great Hall without responding.

The Great Hall itself was even more magical than Katie imaged that it would be. The walls were covered in silver that shone when the candles' flames danced up the wall. Thousands upon thousands of candles flew around the hall, but somehow managed to avoid hitting anyone. The ceiling was a winter wonderland. It featured snow falling in a rather gentle sense with a clear blue sky as the background. Up where the staff table once stood was little round tables that went a fifth of the way onto the Great Hall floor. The rest of the Great Hall had been made into a huge dance floor with a stage on the north wall. Most of the student body and Hogwarts staff was already there awaiting the entrance of the champions.

Katie immediately spotted Angelina and Alicia with Fred and George. She made her way over to them. She turned back to make sure that Marcus was following.

"Hey," Alicia said once Katie reached her. They hugged. Alicia was wearing a silver version of Katie's dress.

Katie hugged her back, then turned to Angelina. "Hi."

"Nice dress," Angelina said with a smile on her face. She was wearing a yellow version of the same dress.

"You too."

Angelina looked behind Katie and saw Marcus. "I see you brought the troll with you."

Katie wished that her friends would get along with Marcus. "He's not a troll. He doesn't even look like one." This was very true. Marcus had no trollish features what so ever. Of course, he was freakish tall. He stood at six foot four. He looked like any other eighteen-year-old boy.

Marcus stood next to Katie. "So, did you miss me that much Johnson?"

Angelina glared at him. "No comment." She went back over to Fred.

Katie turned to Marcus. "Of course you would have some sort of comment."

Marcus shrugged. "Gotta keep up with her."

Alicia smiled at them. "Well, I'd best be getting back to George. It's nice to see you guys." She left.

Marcus had a thoughtful look on his face.

Katie was afraid to ask, but she knew if she did not, she would regret it. "What?"

"I think I'm starting to grow on Johnson."

"Why?"

"She wasn't so hateful toward me as she normally is."

Katie took his hand and smiled up at him as the doors opened and the champions entered.

Haley knew that Marcus had seen her with Blaise. She had not wanted to tell him that she had a date. She did not know if Marcus would have said anything, but she did not want to take that risk. Yes, Blaise was a year ahead of her in school. (She was a third year and would be fourteen-years-old on December twenty-seventh.) She thought that that he might had said something about that. However, now that she was thinking about it, Marcus had been three years ahead of Katie and was two and half years older. She shrugged. If he said anything, she would just bring that little fact up.

Blaise came back from getting drinks. "What are you thinking about?"

Haley took her drink. "Oh, nothing."

"You are too."

Haley looked back at her brother and Katie. They were now holding hands. "I wonder what Katie's parents would say if they knew where she was going to spend the night."

Blaise looked at Marcus and Katie. "I thought they weren't in a relationship like that."

Haley took a drink. "Oh, they're not, but they have spent nights together."

Blaise took a drink. "Would you tell on them?"

Haley had an evil look on her face. "Well, if he says anything about this..."

Blaise put his arm around her. "You two are alike more than you know."

Haley looked up at him. "How is that?"

"You both use people's secrets as a mean of personal gain."

Haley turned to look at him. "Only with each other."

Blaise smirked. "You two are more alike than you know."

Haley smiled. "Don't say that."

"Why?"

"It's an insult to me."

"What about him?"

"It's an honour."

Blaise burst out laughing.

After the champions came in and lead the first dance, Katie turned to Marcus. "Would you like to dance?"

Marcus looked at her. "I thought I was supposed to ask you."

Katie pulled him out onto the dance floor. "I'm not one for traditions." She put her arms around his waist. "Besides, if I waited on you, the dance would be over." Her blue eyes were shining.

They danced in and out of the other couples. Everyone and everything shone in the candlelight. The snow falling from the season was the perfect Christmas snow. Katie found herself looking up at it every few minutes. As a result, she stepped on Marcus's feet many times. Each time she did so, Marcus winced, but did not say a word.

Katie buried her face into his shoulder.

"Yes?" Marcus inquired.

Katie removed her face. "Can we go outside?"

Marcus led her off the dance floor. "I'd thought you'd never ask."

"Why don't you like dancing?"

"It's almost as a fun as having to drink that stupid healing Potion."

Katie laughed.

Marcus shrugged. "It's the truth."

They walked outside through the rose garden that was not there yesterday. At least, Katie thought that it was not there yesterday. She breathed in the deep scent of the roses. After about five minutes of walking, Katie stopped next to a bench and sat down. She patted the seat next to her and Marcus sat down.

She stared up at the night sky. "Everything's getting bad, isn't it?"

Marcus looked at her. "What are you talking about?"

"There's a storm coming."
Marcus looked down at the ground.

Katie sighed. "I know you know Marcus."

Marcus looked up at her. "Do we have to discuss this on Christmas?"
"I guess not," Katie mumbled.

Marcus kissed the top of her head. "Good."

Katie turned her head up at meet his lips and gently kissed him. "Merry Christmas," Katie said.

"Merry Christmas," Marcus whispered.

Behind them, the bell tower chimed in a wonderful carol of the bells.