Fandom: Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Millicent Bulstrode/Theodore Nott
Characters: Millicent Bulstrode, Theodore Nott
Additional Tags: Friends With Benefits, Community: fanfic50, community: gen_prompt, Declarations Of Love, one-sided Millicent/Theo, Rare Pairings, Community: mixandmatch100
Millicent should've picked another day to tell Theo that she loved him. Or better yet, she should've kept her mouth shut. There was a reason that they weren't anything more than friends with benefits, after all.
The skull piercing ringing of her alarm clock woke Millicent up from the best sleep she had in days. Cursing under her breath, she rolled onto her stomach and blindly reached to put an end to the sound the evil device spawned. In a smooth wave of her arm, she knocked the damned thing to the ground as she had done every morning since her mother had bought it for her first year at Hogwarts. As usual, the glass shattered and the deafening sound died down. In a matter of hours, it would fix itself again and fling itself back onto the bedside cupboard, shiny new and in working order.
“That’s better,” she muttered sleepily and let her arm drop to the ground with a dull thud. She was just too lazy to pull it back under the covers. She cracked one eye open to look around in the too bright room.
If it hadn’t been for the rumbling chuckle by her ear, her morning would have started with disappointment. Her lips curled up into a smile as her insides got warm with a mixture of relief and butterflies. Theo had kept his promise and stayed the night.
Rationally, she knew that she shouldn’t get all too excited about it, but couldn’t help herself. As far as she was concerned, this was another step in the right direction after agreeing to be her date to her cousin's wedding. Maybe, after a year, they could surpass the awkward sex-only thing.
Millicent buried her face in her pillow, giggling like a little girl as her fantasies surfaced again. Date nights, slow dancing to romantic music in the moonlight and maybe, a mini holiday. She’d love to visit Paris with him, see the Eiffel Tower and climb the stairs to the Sacre Coeur, and drink wine in one of those cosy cafes in the Montmartre as they discussed the works of the many artists in the square behind the grand cathedral. It was supposed to be the city of love, after all. Perhaps, by next spring, she'd have him convinced to go with her.
Too busy with daydreaming about strolling along the Seine and eating chocolate crepes, Millicent didn’t notice her bedmate had propped himself on his elbow, studying her with raised brows.
“What are you doing?”
Startled out of her dreams and immediately embarrassed by her girlish fantasies, Millicent buried her face deeper in her pillow in hoped that he wouldn't see her flushed cheeks. “Nothing.”
“You’re a terrible liar. Seven years in Slytherin should have taught you a thing or two about that.”
Millicent huffed and lifted her head a little so she could look at him and tell him off for calling her a liar, but the words dried up in her throat. His dark hair stood in every direction, which was also the only thing about him out of place. He hadn’t creases in his cheeks like she often woke up with. Nor was there a trail of dried up drool on his chin, something she’d come to associate with men after living with Greg and Vince for the first two years after finishing Hogwarts.
No, his light eyes were sparkling with energy (what else could it be, anyway?) and a healthy colour graced his cheeks. Even his lip shone as if he’d smeared gloss on them. Merlin, there ought to be rules about looking that good early in the morning.
“Trying to wake up,” Millicent answered, her voice hoarse in bubbling arousal. Her cheeks grew hotter than they already were and her heartbeat went up a notch or thousand. Even with everything they'd done to and with each other over the last year, he had the ability to turn her into a blushing maid. It was an incurable ailment that had bothered her since Hogwarts. Or also known as Theo-rithis, as Pansy often called it.
“Are you now?” Theo said with a laugh. “I can’t remember hearing giggle so early in the morning before.”
As usual, when it came to Theo, her insecurities washed over her. What if there wasn’t a next time? It took him a year already to stay the night instead of sneaking out like a thief. What if he found someone who was prettier, thinner, and smarter than she was? It wasn't too farfetched; look at him and then look at her. Whilst young witches and the occasional wizard toppled over each other to get to Theo, those same wizards and witches turned on their heels as fast as they could when they saw Millicent coming.
Deep down, she knew that it wouldn’t work out between them; he could do so much better than her. Still, she couldn’t deny that it would gut her if he were to decide to end their arrangement. Calling it that was already painful enough.
“Millie?” Theo asked in concern when she stayed too quiet for too long. “Are you all right?”
A ‘you've never stayed this long before’ was on Millicent’s lips, but she bit her tongue in fear of ruining the moment. She wanted the morning to last for as long as possible. Unfortunately, it seemed that her mind had a different thought.
She raised herself up on her elbows, mincing over the words she wanted to say. Really wanted to say. Deep down, another her, the smarter one, was yelling at her to drop her fat face back into her pillow and keep her mouth shut. She wanted to. Honestly, she did. But the longer she looked at Theo, the harder the butterflies in her stomach began to swarm, forcing blood to drum in her ears, which coincidentally drowned out the voice of her smart self.
“Millie?” asked Theo again.
This time, he managed to pull her from her daze and without skipping a beat, Millicent leant closer to kiss him. She yearned for the intimacy it offered. She wanted to feel close to him. Even if it was for a second, she wanted to forget that he was only in this for the sex and pretend that he reciprocated her feelings. When Theo kissed her back, more tenderly than he ever had done, she wanted to cry in happiness. For at that moment, her dream had come true.
“I love you, Theo,” she whispered against his lips, and regretted it as soon as the words escaped her.
The tenderness disappeared like snow under the sun. In fact, he hurriedly scooted from her side as far as possible without falling off the bed, eyes wide in shock. Just like that, a suffocating silence replaced their early morning banter.
“I, uhm,”I-” She wanted to say that she had been joking, that he shouldn’t take her seriously. But her mind refused to do the much-needed damage control.
Thankfully, Theo saved the day. Sort of, not quite. He all but jumped out of bed without looking at her. “Oh, look at the time. I need to go,” was all he mumbled as he searched for his clothes.
“I need to be at St. Mungo’s in thirty minutes,” he cut her off. He sounded angry, probably pissed off that she had to go and ruin the day like that, Millicent imagined. “I’ll probably be gone by the time you finish your shower.”
“I… Yeah, sure.” Millicent nodded, her eyes stung with tears. Because of the embarrassing words she had uttered, the sadness she felt at his rejection, or the way he made her feel cheap with his behaviour, she wasn’t sure which one it was. “I’ll see you tonight, then? The wedding reception?”
“Oh, right. The wedding,” Theo muttered annoyed and turned his back to her as he fought with his trousers. Only when he finished buttoning his shirt, he took a deep breath to calm himself down and turned around. His face held no emotion, just like his words,
“I wanted to tell you earlier. I have something else planned for tonight. I need to cover someone else's shift. Yeah, that’s it. So, perhaps another time.”
Millicent's shoulders slumped in disappointment. She had been looking forward to tonight. It would have been the first time that they'd be out in public together, just the two of them.
Almost as if they were a proper couple.
“S’alright, I understand.” The sad part was that she really did; who’d want her, anyway. She cleared her throat; the situation was getting more uncomfortable by the minute. “Oh, it’s getting late, I-I ought to take that shower now.”
For the first time since the beginning of their arrangement, she felt embarrassment for being naked in his presence. Wrapping a blanket tightly around herself, Millicent clumsily got out of bed. “You can let yourself out, yeah? I-I’ll speak to you later?”
Theo didn’t look up when he answered. He kept his eyes fixed on his shoes he was busy lacing up. “Yeah, sure, I’ll owl you.”
Maybe, it was in the way he said it, but Millicent knew that he wouldn’t.