Hades Project Zeorymer Fan Fiction ❯ Home LIfe ❯ Home Life ( Chapter 1 )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]

Home Life

Markie turned over in her bed onto her side, facing out the window that rose into her tin roof and looked up at the big, white moon. That's the only reason she insisted on making her window L shaped, so she could watch the moon rise until she fell asleep. She sighed contentedly to herself. How nice it felt to finally be home for winter break. No annoying roommate to bicker with on if the lamp stays on or off at bedtime. No dank, musty smells of cold, unfeeling stone, or the ever-watchful eyes of haunted portraits. No, this was home. This was comfort. Her big, overstuffed feather mattress, her room with walls made from wooden planks on two sides and the hillside in the other two. The warm, inviting smell of her earth-made home, being able to listen and watch little brown mice bob round and round her oatmeal colored chest at the end of her bed. You just couldn't get that kind of serenity at Hogwarts.

Markie smiled warmly with a soft sigh and snuggled into her bed, pulling the plaid covers up to her shoulders. She had lightly begun to doze, thinking happily of all that she could do over her vacation when suddenly TAP! TAP! TAP! Markie sat straight up and looked at her clock. It was almost two. What the hell was that tapping? She rubbed her eyes lightly and looked up at her window and saw two dark brown eyes glowing down at her. Beneath them was a large, goofy grin, plastered on a head covered with a mop of bright red-orange hair. Markie rolled her eyes lightly and got up and to the window, unhooking the small latch that kept the window shut.

From the outside, the boy in the tattered and oversized coach-driver's coat pushed the window open and pulled himself inside her bedroom, brushing the snow off of his shoulders lightly. Markie shivered violently and shut the window tightly behind the boy as the cold winter wind whipped in and around her nice, toasty room. As she turned to face her guest, she saw that he was already making himself quite at home, turning on her little stove to warm his hands, now stripped of coat, scarf and boots. Markie crossed her arms, sitting on her bed.

"Might I ask what in the world you're doing 'ere at this hour Kit?" Markie asked, pulling her big padded robe on over her. So much for no roommates, she thought with an exasperated smile. Kit looked up at her with an innocent smile, the same way a child does when his mum catches him picking flowers for her out of the neighbor's garden. He always smiled like that, so aloof and carefree. That was part of his charm, Markie supposed. If he smiled at you like that you just couldn't stay angry with him for too awful long.

"Well if you must know," Kit said, reaching a hand over to help himself to Markie's hidden stash of tea biscuits. "The Landlord's been giving us a lot of lip lately about rent and maintenance and whotnot, so Mum went out to her cousin's or something to borrow some money. But obviously she didn't bring me with her and she left in a hurry to get it, and took the bloody keys with her. So I came here." Markie lifted an eyebrow. Now, the rent thing and his mom leaving in a hurry and locking him out she believed. But she still knew better.

"Kit," she said, taking a biscuit from his hand before he could pop it into his mouth. "Unless some carpenter with no life suddenly found your sneak-in entrance behind the sign in back, I know you could have gone into your house and just come in and out like that. You live there, no one cares how you go in or out." Kit paled slightly and looked down at his hands. She'd pinned him on that one.

"Olright," Kit sighed, munching on his biscuit. "It's 'cause Mum hasn't gone shopping yet so there's not much in the way of edibles in the house. Besides that, you know I hate staying alone for too long, and who knows how long she'll be gone this time? So I came here, and that's the important part!" Kit grinned and Markie rolled her eyes at him before tossing him a pillow. He looked at the big gray pillow and looked up at her like a hurt puppy dog.

"Oh, I'm 'urt, love," Kit said over dramatically. " 'Ere I come to ye for help, me, a starvin' lad who's just not READY to tackle living alone. And what do you do? You throw me a pillow and point to your linen closet! In the dead of winter, she wants me to sleep on the floor, like a common dog! " He put the back of his hand up to his eyes and faked tears. Markie groaned, trying not to laugh.

"Well whot do you expect me to do, Kit? Invite you to bed? Sides, I thought you liked my floor - it's where the heater is."

"Yes, but not in the dead of winter! Yes the heater's there, but the window's right there next to me. I could catch my death like that! But, since you mentioned it, sharing your bed would suit me dandy." The gangly teenager grinned as Markie groaned and smacked her hand to her forehead.

"Kit… you can't share my BED with me! It's… It's… We just can't!"

"It's not like we haven't shared bed before, Markie! You know I don't bite."

"Kit… last time we shared a bed, we were ten and in footy pajamas. And no you don't bite, but you do bark and scratch fleas," she teased. Kit beamed back at her and promptly bounced onto her bed next to her. That was the typical ritual between the two of them; they'd argue, one would pout, the other would tease, and then it was okay, and someone got their way. Usually it was Markie giving into whatever Kit wanted, but sometimes it was the other way around. Even though she was the more dominant personality of the two, when Kit smiled up and begged, you just really couldn't say no without feeling guilty later.

Markie reached over and put out the lamp, scooting over to give them both enough space to sleep as Kit pulled her blanket up over the two of them, grinning himself silly. He won and he knew it. She shook her head and smiled, and nestled in to go to sleep. It wasn't that she didn't trust sleeping with Kit, that wasn't it at all. She was just worried on what would happen if somehow her family outside of her father and aunt found out. But hey, they lived far off somewhere and made little to no contact with Muggles, so how would they even know?

The sun rose up slowly, shining silver over the crisp, white snow that had fallen freshly somewhere between then and the wee hours. But inside the house carved into the small, round hills, there was already a warm fire starting and bread rising on the hearth. With snow this deep, the only way you could get to town would either be on foot or by horse. But why bother riding into town at the crack of dawn to bug the baker when Markie could just make a loaf herself? Markie and Kit were already in the kitchen making breakfast, working smoothly side by side. What a perfect way to start off a morning - cooking breakfast for the family. And as odd as her family was, it was hers and she loved the way things were.

Kit lightly moved his hand to dip it into the blackberry muffin batter, only to have his hand swatted readily by Markie. "Ah-ah! No eating the batter, Kit. You can lick the bowl when I'm done."

Kit pouted. "But I wasn't gonna eat it," he pouted. "I was only tasting it." Markie frowned. Kit grinned. Markie grinned and smacked a dollop of batter on his nose with her spoon and caught him off guard completely and pulled away from the counter to tend her now-ready bread.

"You keep filling the muffin pans. We'll have breakfast in a little while," she said as she picked up the now fluffy wad of dough and placed it on a wooden pan. While they had a conventional oven that they normally used, for things like her homemade bread, Markie preferred to use her old-fashioned bread baker's oven above her fireplace.

Walking groggily down the hall, awakened by the smell of fresh coffee, a fire and things starting to bake, Emmett walked from his bedroom to the kitchen table, dressed in a thick flannel robe and fuzzy bear slippers. Kit stood very still, smiling away against a large white board of canvas that Markie hadn't brought into her room yet. Emmett blinked drowsily and watched his daughter, and then stared at Kit, trying to figure if he was a painting or a person.

"You know love," he yawned. "Your painting's are getting more and more realistic. If I didn't know any better, I'd say that was Kit standing there, grinning at me and waiting for first dibs on coffee and breakfast." He smiled to himself as he got up to the counter and poured a cup of coffee. "It's really quite impressive," he said, turning his head to look at Markie and wonder why she was grinning like that. But as he turned to finish stirring his drink, the "portrait" of Kit reached out a hand and grabbed up the cup and began to sip at it happily.

"Mornin' Mr. Donnelly!" Kit beamed and trotted to a chair at the table, helping himself to two splashes of cream and six spoons of sugar. Emmett stared at his now empty hand, and poured himself another cup and guarded it like a wolf.

"Kit, you're 'ere again," Emmett grumbled. "Or haven't you left yet from the last time? I'm going to start charging you rent, you know." Emmett gave his best death-glare, which looked terribly laughable. He squinted his eyes to beady brown spots and wrinkled up his face, making his laugh lines and crow's feet more than noticeable. And with his light brown hair that was visibly thinning in spots, he looked more like a shaggy bear rug than an intimidating wizard - but somehow, "intimidating" and "Emmett Donnelly" never really went into the same sentence.

Markie laughed and put the hot muffins onto the table, along with a batch of pancakes and sausages she had whipped up somewhere along the way. Within the moments, Elizabeth came down in her robes, but somehow always looked in a better condition than her younger brother did, her dim-gold hair soft and shiny like a child's. She smiled pleasantly as she helped herself to her niece's cooking. Just your average family breakfast, like the kind that you'd find on some TV sitcom from the 50's in America. Just like that. Well, except that they were Irish, and the three who were family were a family of wizards and the mooching boy was only a mooching Muggle. Close enough.

Breakfast passed quietly, and as Markie cleared the dishes for Kit to wash them there was a faint screeching. A very large, silvery-white owl landed on the flower box outside the kitchen window, his feathery breast bearing an ornate harness and crest, and his talons a large letter. The family stared a moment, each agreeing that it was a bit early for mail, but bade Markie let the bird in anyway. The large owl had flown a long, long way from a town not listed on any normal map of Ireland, nestled in the northern hills, hidden from Muggles and kept hidden by magic. This town was Ceilbe, an ancient and hidden wellspring of Celtic and Druid clans, as magical and more secret than the realms of Avalon.

Emmett took the owl to the little perch by the fireplace, pouring it a bowl of feed as he pulled the sealed envelope from its talons. The letter was for Markie, but addressed to him generally, like a letter from school would. But this wasn't a Hogwarts letter, not with this ivory colored paper, deep crimson ink and intricate scrolled letters. No, this wasn't Hogwarts at all. Emmett flipped the letter over to look at the midnight blue and silver wax seal, the crest matching the one on the owl's harness. He opened it lightly, and got an icy glare from the large silvery owl; Emmett stuck glared back a bit.

"It says "Markie Donnelly, C/O Emmett Donnelly," he said to the owl just loud enough for him to hear it. "As I'm the caregiver and her father, and my name's on it too, I think I'm entitled for first glance at this. We don't even know who either of you are from yet." The ivory letter with browned edges was covered in intricate, small handwriting, and all in Gaelic. Emmett read through a little of the letter, then looked up with a horrified expression and called for Elizabeth to hurry to his side; Kit and Markie paid no attention, busy chatting and doing dishes.

"Whatever is it," Elizabeth asked, slightly annoyed that her brother would call her over for some urgent looking reason. Emmett motioned for her to lower her voice.

"Read this," he said, thrusting the letter in her face, his own looking pale and his eyes wide. Elizabeth rolled her eyes, taking the letter.

"You know, I thought Mum taught you to read back as a kid, English and Gaelic." She chuckled to herself, then stared a bit before reading when Emmett didn't share her humor. After a few moments of reading, she slowly pulled the letter from her face, now sharing her brother's terror. "Dear God," she whimpered, "they mean it, don't they?"

Emmett nodded mutely. "We need a plan, and time to prepare… I know, we'll send the kids out to town for the day. That will give us time to think of something!"

"But what CAN we do, Elizabeth? They're coming, and coming for Markie and mean it from the sounds of it." Elizabeth closed her eyes and nodded, biting her lip in slight nervousness. Simultaneously, they both looked up at Markie and her Kit, having a bubble fight and splashing water at each other, as if they were little children again. Emmett frowned and went back to the troubling letter, and Elizabeth put on a huge, happy smile and went up to the two teens.

"Hey, make a deal with you," Elizabeth said warmly. "There's a lot of work to be done here, but a lot of errands to run out in town. Me and the shaggy bear take the house chores, and you two take two of the horses and run me errands in town, and I'll give you each a little extra money to go have some fun on. Sound fair?" The two looked at each other and smiled.

"You got it, Aunt Elizabeth," Markie chirped. Anything to get out of the house, and into the fresh air. Kit grinned, drying up the last few dishes and running off to get his coat and boots. Within minutes, the two were dressed and ready; Kit was armed with a list of groceries and goods, Markie with a list of names, money and receipts, and a few small parcels to drop off in different places.

The barn was like a large wooden shed, and warm from the hay and smelled like hay and leather. But the horses, Little John, Molly and Wind Whistler pranced about in their stalls, eager and happy to have company and get exercised. Little John and Molly were large draft horses, Little John a reddish colored Clydesdale and Molly a gray dappled Percheron, and Kit only really trusted riding these two as he knew that they wouldn't take off at a gallop randomly like Wind Whistler. Wind Whistler was a large black Friesian, and had a habit of being unpredictable, and of throwing Kit off of him and laughing in his face about it.

As the two rode off to town through the snow, riding side by side, Elizabeth gave a little wave and sighed deeply as she turned to face her brother. "Well," she said quietly. "After all these years, they mean to come and finish Markie's training, don't they?" Emmett nodded.

"My wife's brothers are coming here and hoping to leave with her, to take her off to Ceilbe, I suppose. They're coming to visit today, tomorrow at the latest." They both looked at each other and sighed deeply. Life really sucks sometimes.