I think the premise of the fest is quite clear. My prompt was as followed (Yes, my own prompt. Sue me):
Prompt: Huh, who would have thought that karma was a thing. Nineteen years after Marcus and Katie had an awkward talk with her parents, they know have to listen to the exact same message they'd stuttered their way through at the time.
Suggested pairing(s): Katie/Marcus, their daughter, and the Higgs, Pucey, or Montague progeny (male).
Additional: I imagine this as a no-war AU and the reason Katie missed a few months of schooling in her seventh year wasn't because of the cursed necklace, but an unplanned pregnancy. Maybe a series of flashbacks to the conversation with her parents at the time and the period leading up to giving birth while their daughter and boyfriend try to convince them they've it all figured out.
Below the cut is what I managed to word-vomit. Yes, the third part is cut off abruptly, but that comes with the territory of a running against a wall called a writers-block. And to be honest, I don't like it very much. It's too cheesy, cliche, and just... blah, even for me. I'm pretty sure this one will never, ever be finished. But if you must know; they all lived happily ever after. That's the only detail of the story I'm sure of because I rarely do unhappy endings. Life is hard enough as it is.
So, without further ado:
Then, Easter Holiday 1996
The Leaky Cauldron was deserted when Marcus Flint tumbled out the fireplace. Tom offered him a curt nod and pointed at the back of the pub, at the dark-haired girl sitting at a table by the dirty window by herself. Marcus regretted doing this, meeting her again; the girl who had ripped out his heart out and shattered it into a million pieces.
As he slowly made his way to her, he silently cursed his inability to stay away from her. He wished he’d told her to go and suck on a mandrake root when she’d first written him last week, begging him to meet her. He should’ve told her to stop bothering him and enjoy her life as a single young witch. Wasn’t that what she’d told him when she broke up with him last Valentine’s Day? That she wanted to experience life and other wizards, that having the same boyfriend since she was fifteen was suffocating and holding her back? His throat constricted at the memory of that awful day and how stupid he’d felt holding a bouquet of roses and a box of chocolates whilst she’d done her best to gut him with each word that had tumbled from her lips. He wasn’t sure how he managed to leave The Three Broomsticks that day without snapping at her, or do even worse, but he had.
“Katie.” It should’ve sounded harsh or uncaring. He should have called her by her last name. Saying her name out loud for the first time in seven weeks shouldn’t affect him like this, make him want to cry and fall to her feet, beg her to take him back. Seeing her look up at him with those big brown eyes shouldn’t make him want to forgive and forget that she’d broken his heart.
“You came. You really came.”
Marcus pretended not to hear the relief in her voice as he sat down. He pretended not to see her hand shoot out to grab his and how she quickly pulled it back, or how terrible she looked. Tired, sick almost. It was confusing; shouldn’t she be glowing, just shining because of her new-found freedom? Had it not worked out with her new lover? And just like that, the idea of her having a new lover, or lovers even, gutted him further.
“You said it was important,” he grumbled when the tension and her staring became too much.
“Yeah…” she trailed off, dropping her eyes to her lap. It took her a few deep breaths before she continued. “I’m sorry for hurting you. I keep replaying that day over and over again in my head, and if there was a way to take it all back, I would. I should’ve never said those things. I didn’t mean a word of any of it.”
A meaningless apology as far as he was concerned. “Was that it?”
“No,” she said quietly. “I regret the way things have ended between, Marcus, I honestly do. But, I was-”
“Well, it happened. End of story. Now, if there isn’t anything else you want to discuss, I’ve other things to do. Better things.”
“No, no, no, stay, please.” She reached out and grabbed his hand before he could get up and leave. “Let me explain. I need to explain, please. I can’t do this alone.”
Marcus leant back in his chair. contemplating on what to do. The little voice in the back of his head told him that he ought to get up and leave. He didn’t owe her anything. Then again, the past month-and-a-half, he’d been wrecking his brain to figure out where he’d gone wrong for her to break up with him like that.
The only time Marcus had seen Katie cry in public had been at her Nan’s funeral last year. So, when she began talking and sobbing at the time same, it took him aback. Worst of all, he couldn’t make out a word of what she was saying, forcing her start over again when he merely stared at her in confusion when she finished talking the first time. The second time wasn’t any better. All he could make out was that she was late for something and had to take a test with Leanne - - a few times, if he understood correctly, and the results had her so rattled that she broke up with him because she got scared that he’d leave her anyway.
“Why would I break up with you because you had to retake a test?” he asked tiredly as he rubbed his temples. That was what she’d been saying for the last ten minutes, wasn’t it? Out of all the reasons she could’ve picked out to break up with him, she broke up with him because of a test. That was what she was saying, right?
“You don’t understand,” she said sobbing and buried her face in her hands.
“Yeah, that much is clear. I’m a simple man, Katie, tell me in simple words what it is that I don’t understand.”
Katie lifted her head from her hands, glancing at him from over her fingertips. It seemed like a lifetime before she found the words to make it clear to him what her problem was.
Now, August 2014
The Goblin’s Head in Knockturn Alley wasn’t an obvious choice to meet up with your girlfriend for a few drinks but as it was, it was their spot. Michael Higgs told himself that after this upcoming schoolyear, after they’d finished school, he’d take her on a proper date. He told himself that one day, he would proudly flaunt her around because that was what a girl like her deserved, not being hidden away like a dirty secret. Even though she often told him that she understood why they couldn’t tell anyone yet that they’d been dating for the last two years, he knew that it chewed away at her self-confidence. He’d make it up to her. After their NEWTs.
His lips curled up into a broad grin and his chest swelled with the love he felt for her when he spotted her, his Abby, in the back of the pub. She’d her face buried in a thick tome as she twirled a dark lock around her finger, unaware that he’d arrived. He liked seeing her like this. In all the time they had been together, he was yet to tell her how much he liked to watch her in those quiet moments.
Abigail was funny, hilariously so, sweet and kind and smart and she had a deliciously curvy body that made his hands itch and cock twitch by merely thinking about it. She had a way of brightening up his day by simply being there, holding him and listening as he raged on and on. And after her initial shyness and inexperience at first, she was the best lover a man could wish for, willing to try anything at least once.
That’s why it was such a shame that he couldn’t flaunt her. But bluntly put, she was Abigail Flint. A somewhat chubby and plain looking Hufflepuff girl. Not exactly a girl the Slytherin Seeker should be seen with, according to his Housemates. It was stupid and childish, he was well aware of that, but he couldn’t be seen with her, not without her becoming the butt of every joke and cruel remark. He wouldn’t do that to her.
“Next year,” he murmured with regret when the urge to take her by the hand and take to Diagon Alley where everyone could see them, kiss her in public and show her off, almost became too much. It had to wait for now.
Shaking his head to rid himself of the unpleasant thoughts, he made his way towards her. After not having seen her last week, he needed to hold her, touch her, and take in her sweet scent.
“I thought you’d never stop ogling me,” Abby murmured behind her book as he sat down next to her, and proffered her cheek for him to kiss.
“It’s hardly my fault when you look like that,” Michael answered, licking his lips when he noticed what she was wearing. He couldn’t wait until he could bring her back to his Uncle Terence’s flat and strip her naked. “You bought a new book I see? Something naughty I hope.”
“Naughty, yeah,” she said quietly and slowly put the book down, making sure that the cover title was readable. “It’s supposed to be a full guide to help me through, ah- You know… things…”
“Through what things?” When she didn’t answer, Michael leant closer to read the title. His lips moved as he tried to make sense of what he was reading. “Why would you need a guide to your body? I can help you with that for free. In fact, if we leave now, I’ll show you all things that you’ll need to know.”
Abby chuckled nervously as she shook her head. “I’m pretty sure that you can’t help me with this little problem.”
Michael’s smile faltered and he narrowed his eyes at her. “What problem? What’s wrong?”
“Not wrong, not really. It’s just…” she trailed off as she scratched behind her ear as if she was trying to urge her mind to come up with the right thing to say. “It’s just- Can I ask you something first?”
“You’re worrying me, love.”
“Nothing to worry about. I think. So, can I?” Seeing him, she took a deep breath, and another one. Then, when that didn’t work out, she screwed her eyes shut and blurted out, “Do you think that we’ll still be together next year? In five years? Ten?”
“Yes, I do,” was the first thing Michael said, determined. Ten years seemed a lifetime but for now, he had no doubt he’d still be with her. He couldn’t think of any other witch better suited for him than her. “Don’t you? Is there something you’re trying to tell me?”
Abby nodded absentmindedly, not really looking at him. “Are you sure about it, though? I mean, you wanna play professional Quidditch, and despite my parents’ hard work teaching me, I hate flying. You look like you belong in Witch Weekly, and I hardly look like a Quidditch wife, do I? I can imagine that once you’re elbow-deep in that world, I’ll fall behind and embarrass you-”
“Stop it,” Michael snapped, not sure what she was trying to prove. But most of all, he was angry with himself for making her doubt herself like that. Maybe, ten months was too long of a wait. “What brought this on? Abby?”
She cleared her throat and deftly folded her hands in her lap, staring at the wall behind him. “I’ve a decision to make. It’s not an easy one, and it depends greatly on what you say because I can’t do it alone if I were to go with the decision that appealed to me the most. You should know beforehand that the chances of me resenting you are great if you chose differently than me. I won’t fight you on it, and logically it’ll probably be the best option so I will follow through, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. Or you when it’s said and done.”
Michael rapped his fingers on the table, his features twisted into a scowl. His earlier cheery attitude had vanished like snow under the sun. “I see that you’re in one of those moods again. Can’t you just save that gibberish for your Ministry career and spit out what you really want to tell me?”
“I don’t wanna say it aloud just yet.” Abby flashed him a tight smile and tapped her finger on the book. “Read closer, the small print below the guide part.”
He did as she asked, looked up, and back at the book again. She must have made a mistake somewhere because there was no reason in the world why she’d need such a guide. She was on the potion and he’d never forgotten to use the charm. What were the odds?
“Are you sure?” he asked in small voice. She was going to say no, he was sure of it. Or better yet, she was going to jump up and tell him that he got pranked. Oh sweet Gods, let it be a prank.
“Yes, checked and double checked. Triple checked even. I nicked all my mum’s tests to do it. So, she’s probably gonna notice one of these days if I, uh, don’t replace those soon”
“Oh, fuck me.”
Then, Easter Holiday 1996
Like the Leaky Cauldron, Diagon Alley was deserted as well on this chilly Easter Sunday. Katie and Marcus walked side by side, both in deep thought. She wanted to reach out, wrap her arm around his waist and warm up against his body. She wanted him to hold her, tell her that it’d be alright. But most of all, he needed to tell her that he’d forgive her for dumping him like that instead of being honest.
“Fourteen weeks, that means it’s too late…” he suddenly mumbled.
“Twelve weeks is the cut-off date. Later if it turns out that there’s something wrong with it.” Katie pushed her hands deeper into her pockets for the next part. “I was supposed to get it done last month-”
“Without telling me.”
“Well, yes. I, ah, didn’t think you’d want to be there. I didn’t want to be there.”