The room was nearly silent as everyone held their breath while the Curse-breaker examined Scorpius. The only sound that could be heard was the crackling of the fire in the hearth and the shuffling of the man's feet. He was older than Cait could have imagined, his hair long and grey and pulled back into a wayward ponytail at the base of his neck. His skin was wrinkled but cleanly shaven, and his eyes were a mottled shade of hazel. His voice was quiet and rough, but it held an authority. He had introduced himself as Reynolt Di Rossi.
"I…" Reynolt began after what seemed like an eternity, his brow furrowing. "Are you sure that this child has had a curse placed on him?"
"Yes," Cait told the man. "You see, I was wearing this band while pregnant. The band is cursed to bind the child with Voldemort."
"May I?" Reynolt asked, gesturing to Cait's hand.
Cait nodded and allowed him to examine her fingers. He made a few sounds deep in his throat as his brow furrowed deeper. His eyes darted between the band on Cait's hand and the baby.
"Were you, by chance, wearing this when the babe was conceived?" He asked, his eyes meeting Cait's.
"I… no, I didn't acquire it until after…" Cait felt her heart speed up. Why hadn't she thought about it before. What if…
"I can find no trace of a curse on this child, however, I can tell that this ring is indeed cursed. It is my opinion that being as the child was conceived prior to the acquisition of the cursed object it therefore had no effect on him," Reynolt told the room. "I can remove the cursed band from you, and we can monitor the child, but I don't see any indication that the curse will affect him now or in the future."
A sigh of relief slid through Cait's lips as she turned to Draco and buried her face in his shoulder. Draco brought his arms up and embraced her tightly, his own relief flooding his body. Cait could feel the tears streaming down her face, but she didn't care. All that mattered was the safety of Scorpius.
"I will need some time to gather the necessary supplies to perform the breaking of the band," Reynolt told her.
"Yes, of course. Take all the time you need," Cait smiled.
"I can also break the bind of the other band that you wear," Reynolt told her, gesturing to the wedding band on her left hand before glancing towards Draco as well. "For both of you."
"Please," Draco told the older man.
"I will return," Reynolt told the pair before he turned back to Lupin to be shown the exit.
Cait looked up into Draco's was relieved, without a doubt, that not only was her son not cursed but that the man would be able to remove the wretchedly cursed band from her finger. She had mixed feeling about the removal of her and Draco's bond though.
She knew she was being ridiculous-of course they should have the bond removed, they had been forced into it. But a part of her didn't want to be unbound from Draco. His quick response to wanting the bond broken stung, even though it shouldn't have.
"What's wrong?" Draco asked, concern filling both his eyes and his tone.
"Nothing," Cait lied before gently pulling away and going to Scorpius.
She cradled the baby in her arms before kissing his forehead lightly. She smiled down at him as she made her way out of the room.
"I'm going to feed Scorpius," she told Draco who had given her a questioning look.
Fleeing the room, Cait nimbly made her way up the stairs and secured the door to her bedroom before the first tear escaped her. She couldn't believe that this was affecting her so greatly. Surely this was what she really wanted, but why did it hurt to think about?
Draco watched as Cait fled under the pretense of feeding their son. He knew her well enough to spot the lie in the words that she told him. He just didn't understand why she was lying to him or what had unsettled her so much. Had it been something that he had done? Helplessly, Draco met Theo's gaze from across the room, but he had nothing to offer but a confused shrug.
Quietly, he wandered from the room. He wanted to give Caity the space that she so clearly desired, however, he also wanted to know what had caused her sudden change. Slowly he made his way down the worn halls and up the stairs only to find the door to the room that he and his wife shared closed.
Hesitantly, he stood outside the door. He was torn between giving Caity space and comforting her. He rested his forehead against the smooth surface of the door while he sent up a silent prayer. Slowly, he grabbed the door handle, turned it and pushed open the door.
Inside he found Cait standing over Scorpius' crib as she watched the baby sleep. She hadn't heard the door open, or if she had she was doing a good job ignoring him. Quietly, Draco closed the door behind him and made his way across the room.
"Caity?" He whispered, not wanting to wake Scorpius or startle his wife. When she didn't respond he gently laid a hand on her shoulder which caused her to turn towards him. Once she faced him he could see the tear tracks on her cheeks.
"Caity, what's happened?" he asked, his heart slamming against his ribs at the sight of her apparent sorrow. He feared that something was wrong with Scorpius, but when he glanced at his son he appeared to be peacefully sleeping. "What's wrong?"
Cait looked up into Draco's eyes and fresh tears began to fall causing him to gather her up into his arms and hold her tightly against his chest. Her tears turned to sobs as he held her, her body softly wracking against his. All the while, Draco soothed circles into her back as he held her.
When she finally grew quiet, she remained in his arms where she felt safe and loved. "I'm sorry," she murmured.
"You have nothing to apologize for, love," he told her honestly.
"I just, I know it is stupid, it's just…" she paused. "I know that it shouldn't be affecting me this much…"
"What is it that is affecting you," he asked quietly, patiently.
"It's just that you were so quick to agree to the Curse-breaker breaking our bond…" she hiccuped.
"That's what you are upset about?" he asked disbelievingly. "Oh, Caity."
"I told you it's stupid…" she sighed, attempting to pull away.
"No, it's not stupid," he assured her. "Caity, I don't want to break our bond because I don't love you. I want to break it because it was something that was forced on us. I want for us to have a real wedding and marriage. I want you to be my wife because it is something that you want."
This time when Cait's eyes filled with tears it was because of love and happiness. She smiled timidly up at the man that she had grown to love-the man that was her son's father-and she couldn't help but feel her heart grow a little more.
"I love you, Caity. Never doubt that," he whispered before brushing his lips softly against hers.