The Adventures of Tintin: The Girl and the Tesseract Machine

A Science Fiction Romance

Written by: FossilQueen1984

Disclaimer: Hey again, it's summer break and I am updating before my classes start up again. I am taking five courses this summer, so I shall be updating as often as possible. Big thanks to Pink_Pencil_Girl for her thoughtful critiques! I don't know what the names of the tabloid reporters are so I am naming them after two of my favorite characters from Code Lyoko, another cartoon I do not own. All characters belong to their respective owners.

Suggested Soundtrack: Arrival on Tatooine- Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, It's Hard Work- Spirited Away, Swan Lake: Opus 20- Tchaikovsky

Chapter 12: Haddock's Living Nightmare

The chirpings of birds outside the window roused Augustin from a restful slumber. Helene was still asleep, snuggled against his chest. Glancing over at the electronic clock radio, the time read 6:03. It was a bit on the early side to wake up, an hour more of sleep wouldn't hurt. Readjusting himself not to wake his sleeping beauty, he wrapped his arms around her shoulders and promptly fell back asleep.

Helene rose first, kissed Tintin softly and whispered, "Good morning, Augustin." Lying on her side, she smiled cheekily and he kissed her softly. Greeting her as well, Tintin stroked her face softly before kissing her. Snowy roused himself and barked impatiently at the lounging newlyweds. He chuckled, "All right Snowy, we're getting up." Turning off the alarm, they cleaned up and took Snowy for his morning walk. The gardens had burst into color that fine early summer morning, and it was a breathtaking sight. Helene leaned over the smell the climbing roses.

"What a lovely morning, I feel like nothing bad can dampen my mood, even our over the top guest," Helene commented poetically while Tintin waited for Snowy to finish going potty. He smiled at her, "You are absolutely right, Helene." Snowy finished his business and wandered over to Helene. Stooping down, she smiled and patted the terrier's soft head. Making their way back towards the kitchen to get some breakfast, the couple caught sight of Wagner slinking along the back garden wall, holding a dirty laundry bag. He rushed to an unused shed and slammed the door. Snowy barked in surprise, what had that been all about?

Sitting down at breakfast, Helene inquired to Castafiore about what her agenda was. Bianca informed the young couple she was giving an interview to the reporters from Paris sometime before noon that day. She was also practicing in the gallery, as soon as Wagner was up. He was sleeping in, and had told Irma he was suffering from a hangover. Haddock groaned, he didn't need his Loch Lomond supply drained by a foppish pianist. Calculus was already in his lab, and did not want to be disturbed.

After breakfast was finished, Haddock was rolling away towards the garden when Bianca caught up to him. "Captain Padlock, you look unwell. You need some fresh air, and since it is such a lovely day let me take you around the gardens," Bianca cheerfully offered, long forgetting her and Haddock's heated argument the previous afternoon.

Haddock protested, "My name is Haddock, not Padlock! Iconoclastic diva. No, I do not want to be shown around my gardens." Bianca ignored him, determined to help her host recover. Without as much as a word, she rolled the invalid out the side door onto the pathway.

Meanwhile, Tintin and Helene were leisurely strolling around the front yard, when they caught sight of two men in a quite dented Astin Martin speaking to each other in French. These must be the reporters that Bianca had been alluding to. Noticing they were being watched, the taller one with dark hair and glassy grey eyes addressed them.

"Hello there, you two. I am Ulrich Stern for the Paris Flash, and this is my co-reporter Odd Dell Robia. We are here at Marlinspike Hall to interview the Milanese Nightingale. You wouldn't happen to know where she is currently, would you."

Augustin shook his head, "Sorry, I haven't seen her since breakfast. Have you seen her recently, Helene?" Helene replied that she had not seen the soprano since breakfast. The second reporter, Odd asked who the two of them were. Helene explained that she was Haddock's daughter and Tintin was her fiancé. The towheaded reporter nodded, "See? It makes perfect sense, Rosamund Dupont being seen with Haddock and Sakarin at all those outing years ago. Makes her illegitimate…"

Tintin coughed, and gave the men a sharp look. Ulrich made a hasty apology, and the two scampered off to the front door. "Illegitimate indeed, I am the daughter of Doctor Rosamund Dupont," Helene huffed. Tintin comforted her by saying that they didn't know the first thing they were talking about. She smiled.

Calculus answered the door, much to the surprise of the reporters. "Good morning gentlemen, I take you are here to see Signora Castafiore. Please excuse me, I am about to gather materials for my latest experiment."

Odd inquired, "Professor Calculus, you are a friend of Captain Haddock. Could you please enlighten us about her stay here at Marlinspike?"

"Relationship between the two of them, well they are engaged currently," Calculus prattled, thinking that they were asking about Tintin and Helene. Unbeknownst to Calculus, Ulrich and Odd took this to mean Haddock was engaged to Bianca Castafiore. This really was quite a scoop; all they needed was a picture!

Across from the two tabloid reporters, Haddock was being pushed around by a happy Bianca Castafiore. Chatting incessantly about the amazing variety of flowers at Marlinspike Hall, she handed him a bouquet. Taking it roughly, they were temporarily blinded by the sudden appearance of flash bulbs. Once the photo session ended, they told Castafiore thank you and sped off. "That was unusual, I thought they would want an interview," she stated dryly. Haddock frowned, what had that been about?

It was not even high noon, when the BBC radio station announced the following news tidbit, "…in more recent news, the Paris Flash is reporting the upcoming nuptials between Belgian millionaire Archibald Haddock and Italian superstar soprano, Bianca Castafiore. Castafiore is currently touring Belgium with Brussels' City Opera troupe…"

Tintin and Helene were in the office working on an article involving weapon running over seas when they heard the news. Dropping his pencil in surprise Tintin gasped, "Crumbs, when did this happen? Haddock can't stand Bianca, where on earth did he get the idea to propose?"

Helene replied, "I doubt he did. If I had to venture a guess, those two gossip mongers talked to Calculus and misinterpreted his reply." Augustin nodded, that had to be what happened. Just then, Haddock burst into the room, demanding how it was that people were saying he and Bianca were engaged. Helene and Tintin comforted him as best they could, but this really was Haddock's worst living nightmare. Sadly, it was bound to get worse before it got better.