Fandom: Harry Potter Fandom
Author: rosevalleynb || rosevalleynb
Characters: Millicent Bulstrode, Theodore Nott
Word Count: 1993 words
Summary: The evolution of Millicent and Theo in thirty snapshots
Challenge: fffc May Special: 30 prompts = 30 sentences, Table A: Emotional Prompts.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter characters are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No profit is being made, and no copyright infringement is intended.
A/N: My sincere apologies for the run-on sentences and the missuse if not overuse of commas and semicolons.
It came out of nowhere, and it was stupid because she’d heard it some many times before, but that morning, during the ride on the Hogwarts Express towards the start of their fourth year, Theo’s boisterous laugh after seeing Loony Lovegood’s radish earrings unleashed the swarm of butterflies in Millicent’s belly that would haunt her for a long time to come.
Millicent wasn’t familiar with falling in love or the emotions and sensations that came with it, and all she could think of was losing one of the two friends she had, so she spent weeks avoiding being alone with Theo lest he’d suspect she really wanted to pin him to the wall and snog him silly.
Whilst Millicent spent most of her alone time trying to come to terms that losing Theo as a friend was inevitable because her stupid hormones decided to play up, Theo spent those weeks worrying and wondering what he’d done to drive his best friend away right as he’d finally mustered up the courage to the risk and ask her to Hogsmeade, as his date.
The day Draco Malfoy decided to make fat-girl-falling jokes after he’d intentionally made Millicent trip, was the day Theo finally took action and went after her when she stalked off in embarrassment whilst most of their Housemate cackled and pointed at her; of course, Theo hit Malfoy with a Bat-Bogey Hex first.
Millicent spent a long time feeling guilty about it, apologising for more times than she could remember because breaking Theo’s nose when he tried to console her after Malfoy had made fun should not have happened, but Theo had a different idea about that; even decades later, when asked how they got together, he gleefully recalled how Millicent had punched him in the nose because she’d mistook him for Malfoy.
In utter disbelief, Millicent made Theo repeat his question three more times before turning on her heels and taking off without another word to find Pansy for advice and help; only when Pansy asked Millicent what she’d answered Theo, Millie ran back to where she’d left him standing and told him ‘yes’.
After weeks of being officially boyfriend and girlfriend –much to the hilarity of their Housemates, Millicent had given up the hope that she and Theo would do anything more than hold hands, so imagine her surprise when Theo took her face between his hands and firmly pressed his lips to hers in the middle of the dancefloor at the Yule Ball.
Whilst most of their schoolmates spent the night dancing and singing along with the Weird Sisters, Millicent and Theo spent the night hidden in a shadowy alcove, kissing and touching and rubbing against each other until Snape pulled him off Millicent by the scruff and assigned them detention for unbecoming behaviour.
Afterwards, during the heavily laden train ride back to London, Millicent could recall every second of what happened after Potter returned with Diggory’s dead body, claiming the Dark Lord had returned; the cries, screams, and even the smells, but most of all, she clearly remembered how Theo had not been surprised or upset by Potter’s claims; it was almost as if he had seen it coming.
Distant and seemingly uncaring, Theo broke it off with Millicent without much explanation as soon as the Hogwarts Express arrived back in London that summer after the Triwizard Tournament; she concluded that Potter must have been right about the Dark Lord’s return, and her Half-Blood status suddenly mattered more to Theo than he’d ever let on.
After a half-arsed attempt at saying ‘hello’ from Theo’s end on September first, he and Millicent didn’t speak again until the Hallowe’en Hogsmeade weekend; at seeing Goyle kiss a stunned Millicent, Theo forgot he was supposed to keep his distance from her for her own good, and they ended up in a screaming match in the middle of the Three Broomsticks whilst Goyle happily accepted his one Galleon reward from Pansy and Daphne.
Millicent gravely regretted joining the Inquisitorial Squad (being considered as evil as Malfoy didn’t sit well with her) and if it had not been for Theo with an ear to lend and a shoulder to cry on after her rounds, she would’ve probably told Umbridge where to stick the shiny badge.
Although Millicent wasn’t all too sorry to hear that Nott Sr. got himself arrested for breaking into the Ministry, she bit her tongue and spent the night sitting up with Theo, holding him as they pretended that he was not crying about that bastard he called Father.
Millicent and Theo had once talked about it before his father’s arrest, and as the summer continued they’d revisited the subject so often that it kept her awake at night because it would mean she’d have to get naked and allow him to see her imperfect body but nevertheless, on a sultry August morning, Millicent lied to her parents for the first time in her life and told them she would be spending the night at Pansy’s; a lie that was more than worth it in the end.
Somewhere between mourning Dumbledore and worrying about the future and what awaited them, Theo told Millicent he loved her, and since neither had grown up in a household where such sentiments were a part of everyday vocabulary, they had no idea how they were supposed to react to that, so they settled on crawling into his bed and holding each other in silence.
The moment Professor Slughorn led the student of Slytherin House out of the Great Hall per Professor McGonagall’s orders was the moment something finally snapped inside Millicent, and later, as she stood side by side with Theo, who had refused to let her go back alone, fighting harder and dirtier than they’d ever done, Millicent felt more alive than she’d felt since Dumbledore’s death.
As the crowd around them celebrated Voldemort’s fall, Theo watched with a heavy heart how the Aurors hardhandedly dragged his father from his hiding place behind the rubble and arrested him; even Millicent’s whispers in his ear that everything would be all right in the end didn’t ease the guilt brewing in the pit of his stomach since he’d been the one to lead the Aurors to his father.
For all the things to be grateful about, Theo being there to hold her hand -to hold her back before she did something irreversible- when she told her parents he was her boyfriend was the biggest one; her parents' scathing remarks about the Notts'fall from grace and their demands she’d break with him made Millicent see red in fury.
It was at Nott Sr.'s trial a year after the war that Theo was left with no other choice than to give up on him; hearing his father proudly justify the attacks on and murders of Muggles incinerated the last bits of love and admiration he had once held for the man.
Although Theo had known that Millicent would say yes even before he proposed to her on her twenty-first birthday, hearing her actually accept were two completely different things and he may or may not have held his breath until his maternal grandmother’s ring was safely on her finger.
Millicent never said a word about it, and on the day itself she was the radiating centre of attention, but Theo knew better, he knew her; only having three friends between the two of them and no family to invite to their bonding ceremony bothered her more than she’d ever let on and he wished that somehow, he could help her reconcile with her parents or help her make more friends.
It was Mr Bulstrode’s sudden death a few months after the wedding that prompted Millicent to seek out her mother and take over the funeral arrangements, and as Theo surveyed mother and daughter from a distance as they carried on as if they had not spent the last few years not speaking to each other, he could not help but feel extremely bothered by the fact that he’d never get such a chance with his father; to forgive him without needing to say it aloud and go on with their day.
It was on a rainy September Sunday when Theo found Millicent running around the house as if she’d drank a combination of too much coffee and Wideye Potion, cleaning every nook and cranny, and when he managed to get her to stand still for long enough to ask her what she was doing, she burst out in a fit of nervous giggles that turned into sobs; between hoarse wails she explained that she was too scared to performing the Pregnancy Revealing Charm because it could turn out negative; Theo didn’t know they were trying.
Millicent was almost six months pregnant when the Ministry inquiries to the Nott estate finally came to an end, and the ownership of the family vaults and manor were returned to Theo, and as he and Millicent walked up the pebbled driveway up to the house he’d been born and raised in, Theo vowed that he wouldn’t make the mistakes his father had made.
The night Millicent’s waters broke, Theo’s Terrific Foolproof Plan he and Millicent had rehearsed just that morning came into action; he sent his house elf, Dotty, to fetch his mother-in-law and take her to St Mungo’s, he Floo-called the midwife to inform her that they’d be leaving shortly, and locked the manor before grabbing Millicent’s suitcase and Flooing to the hospital; only when he tumbled out the fireplace at the Labour and Delivery Ward, he realised that he’d forgotten the most important part of his plan: Millicent.
Theo was sure that it was the utter exhaustion that led to Millicent not being able to think straight after what she’d been though -he sure as hell couldn’t and he had not been the one to push something the size of one of Hagrid’s pumpkins out of his privates, but after labouring for thirty-six hours whilst blaming Theo for putting her in that situation, and needing healing in places one should not need such healing in those places, she had said it loud and clear and repeated it again once their newborn was placed on her chest so she could try to feed him, “I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”
Aside from being the most handsome little boy to have roamed the planet, little Edward Nott was also the loudest and hungriest baby, waking up every three hours, demanding to be fed with loud cries, and many times, Theo found Millicent deep asleep in her rocking chair as their son drank away as if he hadn't eaten in days.
There weren’t many things in life that Millicent felt she could be smug about, but when their son’s first word turned out to be ‘mama’, she couldn’t help but rub it in Theo’s face for days after, who gladly let her have her moment whilst pretending to be annoyed by it.
The first night they spent alone since becoming parents, Millicent attempted to dress up in the corset and fishnet stockings Pansy had gifted her for her birthday to ‘spice up her life’; attempted because Theo walked in on her while she was changing, and seeing her bare breasts without their son latched on was more than enough to get him in the mood.
Just a few years ago, during the height of the war, Theo had not expected to be where he was today; he had expected to be initiated into the Death Eaters ranks after finishing Hogwarts or if he’d been lucky, killed or maimed before it got that far but here he was, not only celebrating his son’s second birthday but also the fact that in a few more month their little family would expand once more, and he couldn’t think of anything that could be better than that; a sentiment he knew Millicent readily agreed with.