Well it’s a bit earlier than usual for the pure and simple reason I am currently not sure what time I am going to be home. This story is very almost finished now, I think about 2 more parts and we are done…so this is the home stretch.
Without further ado…
The next time Katie awoke she was wrapped in Marcus’ arms, their legs were tangled together, her head resting on his chest. Blushing, mortified at how close they were, she wriggled out of his embrace and shuffled to the end of the bed. In a matter of moments she was dressed in her clothes from the previous night and staring down at Marcus’ prone body. Leaning down she brushed a light kiss to his forehead and then quickly, quietly, made her way through the unfamiliar house and out of the front door.
Three owls were perched patiently on her windowsill when she arrived back at her flat, after opening the window to let them in she made her way through her bedroom and into the en-suite shower room. She had a quick, cold shower and then sat down on the edge of her bed, wondering if she actually wanted to read any of the post that the owls had delivered.
After a few moments of hesitation and contemplation, she wrapped herself in the long dressing gown she always hung on the back of her bedroom door, pulled her hair back from her face with an elastic band and decided to face her mail.
The first owl was from the Witches’ Pleasure Catalogue offering her, as a newly single woman, a 20% discount on all their goods, a bargain if Katie actually had any need of the goods they sold. Blushing when she flicked through the catalogue they had enclosed for her to look at, she quickly used a diffindo and sent the shredded paper to the kitchen bin.
The second owl was a letter from Oliver’s solicitors. It demanded that she return the engagement ring he had given her, and several other ‘gifts’ that he had presented her with during their relationship. Furious at his cheek, and wondering why he hadn’t just asked her to give back the things that she had thought were presents, she put the letter to one side, it was something that could be dealt with later.
The third and final owl contained an open invitation from Molly Weasley to stay at the Burrow should she ever need an escape. Wiping away a stray tear as she read through the letter that Molly had sent her, she decided then and there that, despite being positive there was another reason for the Weasley Matriarch to send her such an invitation, she would very likely take it up if the press coverage of the Scottish Quidditch Wonderboy and his beautiful new wife continued very much longer.
Today’s headline on the Daily Prophet was an ‘exclusive’ interview with Lavender Wood about her love for her husband and how, despite everything that had tried to keep them apart, they knew that they belonged together. Gritting her teeth and struggling not to tear the paper into thousands of tiny little flecks, Katie started to read the article, wondering how they would skim over the fact that Oliver had been on the verge of getting engaged to someone else – namely her – and still make it look as though they were love’s young dream.
”I knew that we were perfect for each other the day we met,” Mrs Wood proclaimed the moment I sat down with her to talk about her marriage on the Island of Bali to the Scottish Quidditch player. Mrs Wood, formerly Lavender Brown, a Play Witch playmate three years in a row, is sitting on the veranda of the cabana she is currently sharing with her husband of a week, she is wearing a beautiful native dress which makes her look even more slender and delicate than usual.
From the slight curve of Mrs Wood’s stomach it is apparent they are already working on the next generation of fabulous Quidditch players. When asked to comment on this though, she declined, stating; “We haven’t talked about children yet.”
“We couldn’t wait to get away, Oliver said that he had a surprise for me, I just never realised that it would be such a wonderful one. We got married on the beach.” She went on to tell me all about the wedding, which was planned right down to the Leis on the three-tiered wedding cake by Oliver Wood.
When asked about previous relationships, Mrs Wood went very quiet before telling us that neither of them were involved with anyone seriously before they met and fell in love. I am sure that Katherine Bell, Chaser with the Holyhead Harpies will disagree with this statement, but through representatives she has refused to comment on the situation.
“Ollie and Katie were friends really. I am sure that she is really happy for us.”
After a few moments of silence, Mrs Wood took us on a tour of the house that is being constructed for them, “We want something new, just like us,” she informed me as she showed me through the large and very ornate dining and living areas that are already being decorated in deep burgundy and gold “to match our house colours,” I was told.
Just as I am about to leave Mrs Wood’s face lights up, her husband has just returned from meeting with his managers at the Scottish National Quidditch Association. It is apparent that they are very much in love. Like the hero from a romance novel, Oliver Wood wraps his wife in his arms and gives her a kiss that made even this seasoned reporter blush like a schoolgirl. Needless to say I wish them both all the best.
The front page of the colour supplement, and two pages inside were littered with images of Lavender and Oliver smiling at the camera, their arms wrapped around each other, totally and utterly unaware of anything else. “I could never really compete could I?” Regret filling her at the realisation that the last few years had been completely wasted trying to keep a man who didn’t want to be kept – at least not by her – she folded the paper up and dropped it into the bin, along with the rest of the rubbish.
Marcus woke up and the first thing he noticed was that he was no longer sharing his bed. He couldn’t believe that she had woken up and left as though she was ashamed of what they had shared. He could have sworn that she had been as involved in their shower activity this morning as he had. Irritated beyond believe that he hadn’t been given a chance to refresh her memory of how good it had been, he sat on the edge of the bed, pulled on a pair of trousers and raked a hand through his mussed hair before making his way downstairs to pour himself something to drink.
Stacked up on the kitchen table, was a rather large pile of post, obviously Mrs Jacques, the cleaner, had come in while he was sleeping and done the daily chores, which included feeding the post owls, and doing a general tidy up through the house.
He opened a few of the envelopes and immediately discarded them, they were junk mail, ”Wizards all over the country are looking for homes in this area, is yours on the market for less than it is worth?” “Tips for cleaning your wand to ensure that no one can trace your last spell…an auror trick!” “Would you like a subscription to something racier than Play Witch? See real live graduates in all their glory”.
As with every other day there were also a few proposals. The one thing he really disliked about having money was the fact that mothers with eligible daughters saw him as their ticket to fame and fortune. He wondered if there was a magazine for money-hungry witches who had daughters that had some semblance of beauty…he could just imagine it ”Rich husbands; where to find them, how to trap them, how to get all their money for yourself”. Perhaps he should suggest it to Lovegood and Zabini, he knew that they were looking for a new joint magazine venture.
Tossing six ‘I have a beautiful daughter, don’t you want to marry her’ letters onto the pile reserved for the have a laugh over this with my mates category that he kept for the nights when Zabini, Malfoy and Bole visited, he opened up the Daily Prophet – although sometimes he wondered why he bothered to buy a paper that pandered to the Ministry of Magic as this one did. “Shit!” the first page, and several inside, were dominated by images of that stupid prick Oliver Wood and his slut-wife Lavender Brown. Quickly checking his watch he realised that he had very little time, he had to be at ‘night training’ for the team in about an hour, but if Katie had read even a tiny part of this article then she would probably be in a right state.
Feeling fury fill him at the blatant lack of regard for anyone but themselves, Marcus picked up his training bag from the hall floor, where Mrs Jacques always left it after she had cleaned, and headed out the front door. He had no idea why, but he was really concerned about how Katie was going to react to this article. Angry at his own confused emotions, he slammed the garden gate shut and apparated with a loud ‘crack’ to the gardens surrounding Katie’s building.
Making sure to avoid the press that had gathered outside, he sneaked in the side door and, after checking the accommodation list at the security desk, where the guard was trying his hardest to fend off a group of rather rabid reporters, ran up the stairs to the fourth floor.
When Katie didn’t answer the door after Marcus had rung the bell, and banged the letterbox, several times, he started to get a little impatient. She had to know that security wouldn’t let any press through, he had even shouted through the door to tell her who it was, but still he had heard nothing. He waited a few minutes, his finger pressed insistently on the door bell, a sound he was sure was enough to make the dead want to come back and kill him, and then realised that she was either not in – although the little blue tick beside her name on the check-in list assured him that she was – or there was something wrong.
Following a few minutes of internal debate, he opened his training bag and pulled out the beater’s bat that he always kept with him, sometimes it came in useful to frighten off over-eager press, and proceeded to hit the relatively flimsy door with it. In no time at all there was a hole where the door had once been, and Marcus was afforded a view of Katie Bell that it was unlikely he would ever forget.
So, what do you think has happened?