Fandom: Harry Potter
Characters: Katie Bell/ Marcus Flint
Prompt: Prompt table 8, 004. Caught
Word Count: 1343
Summary: Marcus is hungry, Katie is cold, and grandfather Flint is just confused.
Notes: Kid!Fic, not adult situations, or hints at adult situations
“…and after, we’ll build a snowman!” five-year-old Marcus Flint said excitedly as he jumped to reach the doorknob. He managed to open the kitchen door in one go, and when he was sure it wouldn’t shut behind as soon as he turned his back, he carefully descended the snow-covered stone steps into the garden. “I’ll ask granddad to help us, okay?”
Two-year-old Katie was already waiting for him, arms stretched as she giggled merrily at the suggestion of building a snowman. As soon as Marcus reached her, he wrapped his arms around her waist and carefully climbed back up the steps. Her feet bungled against his shins and she clapped her hands with every step, still laughing.
They’d spent the whole morning playing the fresh snow that had fallen overnight. Usually, Marcus hated playing with babies because they were too slow and cried about everything, and would’ve thrown a tantrum at the mere suggestion of playing with the one next door. But he didn’t do any of that today because his mum was sad about something in the papers and needed his gran and Mrs Bell to cheer her up. And since he didn’t want to upset her even more than she already was, he got stuck with little Katie.
It wasn’t as bad as he’d expected, thankfully. Marcus had taught Katie to make snowballs and how to throw them, and she turned out to be a quick learner. The balls she made weren’t perfect as his were, of course, and she could barely throw further than the noses of her boots, but it didn’t spoil their fun. It helped that Katie looked at him in awe when he was talking and didn’t go crying for her mummy each time he hit her with a snowball. In fact, she seemed to think it was the funniest thing ever.
Katie laughed about everything, actually, and Marcus decided to keep her laughing so his mum wouldn’t have to worry.
“I’m hungry,” Marcus declared as he dropped Katie on the kitchen floor and quickly traipsed to the connecting door to the living room, searching for someone to feed them.
“Huuungry!” Katie bellowed as she hastily scrambled to her feet, rubbing her forehead where she’d hit the floor. Not that Marcus heard or saw any of it.
His mum was still sobbing he noticed as he peeked around to corner. Mrs Bell and his gran were sitting on either side, whispering to her. He reckoned that he didn't have to ask any of the women to make Katie and him soup and sandwiches, which left his granddad as the last option. Just as Marcus wanted to sneak past the living room unnoticed to go and search for him, a sound behind caught his attention.
As he turned around, he saw Katie, still dressed in her winter coat and wrapped up in a thick woollen scarf. Her gloved hands were balled into tiny fists in front of her body as she shivered heavily. Her wet pigtails stuck to her flaming red cheeks and forehead and puddle of water had formed around her boots. Her teeth were clattering when she babbled, “Cold, Marc’s, so cold.”
“Didn’t your mum wave her wand at you?” Marcus asked in exasperation, his hands on his hips as he’d often see his mum and gran do. Great, now he had to go and explain how Baby Katie got so wet and then they'd punish him for pelting her with snowballs.
“No wand!” Katie said, giggling as if Marcus had told the best joke ever. That died down quickly, however, and she resumed shivering. “Cold, Marc’s.”
Marcus frowned as he thought about what to do. Their mums and his gran were too busy doing girl stuff, and he didn’t want to leave Katie alone to look for his granddad in case she did something and got him into trouble. So, that meant he had to find a way to keep her warm himself.
Towels, he probably needed towels to dry her off. His eye fell on the fireless fireplace with the cauldron hanging inside it and another idea formed in his head.
It seemed easy enough. Yeah, it had to work.
“I’ll make you warm again. Take off your clothes.”
As expected, it took Katie less than thirty seconds to strip down to her sagging nappy. The speed in which she managed undress wasn’t all that surprising since she had managed to run around starkers whole summer, running away as fast as she could each time her parents or anyone for that matter tried to dress her.
Marcus grabbed a dishcloth from the counter as he stalked over to her and wrapped it around her head in the same way his mum did after taking a bath. He pondered about what to do with her nappy. It looked drenched. His nose wrinkled when a memory popped up of when he’d offered to help Mrs Bell to change Katie last year.
It had been a traumatising experience. The stench, the poop all the way up to her neck, it was something out nightmares. Then there was the issue of her missing bits he still couldn’t wrap his head around.
Perhaps it was for the best if Katie kept her nappy on, he decided.
“Let’s get you warm.” Like earlier, Marcus wrapped his arms around Katie’s waist to lift her up and toddled over to the fireplace. When he realised that the cauldron was hung too high to throw Katie in easily, he set her down and crouched down to his hands and knees. “Climb on my back and then in there.”
Katie tilted her head, her hands on the dishcloth to keep it in place, and deep in thought seemingly. “Climb in bathtub?” she asked as she cocked her chin at the cauldron. Seeing Marcus nod, a big grin spread across her face, and she did as he asked her.
There was a loud metallic thud when she fell to the bottom of the cauldron, but soon enough, she was peeking over the rim, scowling at him as if he’d tricked her. “Still cold, Marc’s. No warm water.”
“I know, I know, give me sec,” Marcus parroted the default answer his grandad usually gave his gran whenever she scolded him for something or the other. He hastily got up to his feet and made a beeline to the kitchen drawers. He was sure that there were matches in there somewhere in there. Thankfully, he didn’t have to search for too long.
“Found them!” he said, triumphantly holding up a small box as he hurried back to the fireplace. Katie clapped in appreciation.
“Make me warm now, Marc’s?” she asked when he dropped to his knees in front of the cauldron.
Marcus hummed as he lit the first match. It went out almost immediately. So did the next four, and only at the sixth try, he managed to keep the small flame alight for long enough to hold it to the cold embers in the hearth, trying hard to remember if this was the right way to make a fire.
“What on earth are you doing!” a deep voice thundered, startling the two children.
“Uh oh!” Katie mumbled and clasped her hand in front of her mouth, eyes wide.
Marcus, however, merely glanced over his shoulder, annoyed. Because he had dropped the match and had have to start all over again. His grandfather was glowering back at him, arms crossed over his chest and foot tapping in impatience.
“Explain yourself, son,” Martin Flint ordered. “Why is that poor girl in there?”
To Marcus, the answer was quite obvious, but he knew better than to keep quiet when asked a direct question. But instead of telling that he was trying to defrost Katie, his mind made the connection between seeing his grandfather and what he’d wanted to do before Katie told him she was cold. It’d take years for him to understand the look of shock on his grandfather’s face when he said,
“I’m hungry, I wan’ soup!”