Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Alan Burdett

Invite In The Second That The Hammer Hits

Recommended Posts

Headmaster ★ Sadrienne
51 year old Pureblood Human ☆ He/Him

This had all come up way too fast. Alan stood in the lobby, bags packed at his feet. Tavi was very proud of her bright green suitcase, wheeling it behind her and asking random strangers to admire it. They did, because Tavi was adorable, and it was very hard to say no to her. This was going to be his longest Floo trip by far, and for all Audrey's reassurances, Alan couldn't shake the feeling that something was going to go wrong. They were going to get reassembled the wrong way at the other end, or something.

Was this really safe for Audrey while she was pregnant? They had done all the research (mostly to shut him up) but in spite of hundreds of pages of proof that Floo travel was absolutely safe for pregnant women, Alan had read one article about a possible defect that had come about probably not because of Floo travel, but maybe it had. After all, how much did it really matter that there was a genetic mutation in the family that had caused the same defect in the child's father and grandfather, it was clearly and probably the Floo travel!

This wasn't the only source of his worry. In about two hours, Rachel would be getting the divorce papers. That wasn't going to resolve itself quickly and quietly, when they came back (assuming they survived) there would be a fight to be had. Maybe death by Floo travel wasn't the worst-case scenario here? Alan really didn't want to face his estranged wife. That always got complicated.

Didn't want to leave, sure didn't want to stay. Alan found in these situations it was just better to do as Audrey wanted---which in this case was going to a very cold place to talk to her parents (who probably didn't like him much) about a baby they probably wouldn't approve of. 

Fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tally Staff ☆ Headmaster's Assistant, Fill-in 'Mum'★ LilyCat
26 year old Pureblood Human ☆ She/Her

Arriving at the lobby, Audrey had made sure to hold Tavi's hand while they walked through - not that the girl had really wanted to go anywhere without proudly holding her 'new Mum's' hand these days. It would wear off, but for now it was as adorable as the girl wanting people to admire her suitcase. The other reason she held her hand was to keep her from randomly wandering off to talk to people. The girl knew no fear, and the whole 'stranger danger' thing hadn't really been comprehended by her yet. She'd got to the point where she started asking people for their name before she started talking to them so that she wasn't talking to a stranger.

That wasn't how it worked. But try explaining that.

Waiting in line, Audrey glanced at Alan, who looked like he might drench his shirt with sweat with how nervous he looked. She'd let her family know they were coming so that they'd meet them upon arrival. It seemed like the best way instead of a full on surprise, especially if Alan wasn't going to be doing so well after the travel. Audrey had given him something that should kept keep his stomach mostly settled, but given his history he'd probably still not feel completely one hundred per cent.

"It's going to be alright," Audrey murmured across to him with a bright smile. She was excited, that much was very obvious. It had been a long time since she'd visited England, and now she could say she was bringing her own family with her. Of course, her parents had to learn that part yet. She'd decided it'd be best said in person, that part. It was very possible her mother might have refused the visit if she knew the full details, at least until she cooled off and realised that this wasn't going to be something worth losing one of her daughters over. "You excited, kids?" The young woman then asked Cam, Sarah and Tavi. If anything, they seemed more than ready to jump on in already. She'd explained the whole process to them at home, so that they knew to be careful and behave here, and they were being fantastic.

It was Alan she was worried about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Headmaster ★ Sadrienne
51 year old Pureblood Human ☆ He/Him

"Yes!" the chorus of excited Burdett children shouted back at Audrey, making Alan at least crack a nervous smile. Whatever she'd given him had settled his stomach, but he also felt a touch drowsy. Or drunk in the not-fun way. Whatever got him through this... maybe... maybe beer was the answer? Surely they had time to chug down a beer or six before their appointed departure slot? Alan looked around, there had to be a bar here somewhere...

"Yeah, yeah..." Alan nodded, swallowing down another big lump of impending doom. The kids were very excited about this. About all of this. Sarah had tried to pack dolls' clothes in her suitcase just in case the baby arrived early. Tavi was telling anyone who got past her bright green suitcase demonstrations that she was going to be a big sister, and Cam was quietly (but desperately) hoping for a brother. It didn't bother them at all that the baby was with Audrey and not their biological mother, but why would it? Audrey was more a mother to them than Rachel was these days. 

"Reckon there's anywhere I can get a beer around here?" he asked, looking around again. It sounded like a very good way to prepare for the travel, and then for facing Audrey's family. Meri was going to be meeting them on the other side. No amount of gentle "you don't have to!" would persuade her otherwise. Alan had hoped they could tell Edmund and Amy first, get them past the shock and whatever came next before they faced Meri. At least that way, they wouldn't be frozen and unable to act if Meri decided to stab them. Or something.

Alan really wasn't sure what Meri was capable of anymore. The world had broken her. 

Alan felt broken too. His appetite was gone, only the desire for beer was still there. He hadn't even been able to face bacon and eggs for breakfast. He was also wearing a collared shirt, and jeans that weren't mostly destroyed. He was neat, clean-shaven, presentable. He had shoes on that weren't also farm boots, and Audrey had put something in his hair to make it sit right. How did she know what was "right"? Hair just... did what it did. 

"It's gonna be colder when we get there," he said to the kids. "You all got your jackets ready?" He knew they did, he could see all three jackets. He was trying not to think, and still trying to locate a bar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tally Staff ☆ Headmaster's Assistant, Fill-in 'Mum'★ LilyCat
26 year old Pureblood Human ☆ She/Her

Smiling brightly, Audrey couldn't help but feel happy that the children were all excited for their first trip in another country. It was also perfect that they'd be away while Rachel had her initial meltdown at attempts to throw a hissy fit about the divorce papers moments. The children had been probably the most excited out of everyone about the news of a new brother or sister on the way, and Audrey felt somewhat relieved that they were only too happy that it was she who would be the mother of their sibling. Tavi had already taken to telling people that Audrey was her Mum now that she was going to be the mother of her sibling.

"I don't recommend drinking after what I gave you, it's not going to help your stomach at all. Just... try to relax, it's going to be alright. It's nearly our turn anyway, and it'll be over and done with before you know it," Audrey tried to reassure Alan, but she also knew that it wasn't going to be easy for him no matter what. At least he probably wouldn't get sick, but his nerves were doing a number on the rest of him, easily seen. She couldn't blame him too much. Meri had insisted on meeting them too, which was going to be interesting.

"Remember the plan, kids? You all have to attack Nana and Poppy as soon as you see them, with hugs and everything," Audrey grinned down at the three. At least with the children as a buffer, it was going to be a lot more difficult for anyone to blow their top or anything as an immediate reaction. It would more than likely just be looks and very polite words spoken to them until they got to her parents' home.

Then Audrey's head perked up as they were called over next. She offered Alan a reassuring smile, and led the girls over toward the international floo departure desk.

"Alright, remember how we do this, kids? Everyone hold hands," Audrey said to them, before stepping over to Alan to lean up and give him a quick kiss, "We'll be alright."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Headmaster ★ Sadrienne
51 year old Pureblood Human ☆ He/Him

Well now this was actual hell. Had Audrey poisoned him? Put something in his stomach that meant he couldn't have a beer? That basically was poisoning him, he was sure of it, especially when the next week would be spent in England where they didn't even see the point of cooling their beers. Alan's stomach did three consecutive flips. Was he ever going to have a cold beer again? Maybe he should just go and get one now. In case... well, in case the worst happened. 

But---they were being called. Alan swallowed and tried not to look as anxious as he felt. The kids, in contrast, were pure excitement. Alan was worried for them as much as he was for himself. If this went wrong his entire little family could be wiped out in the blink of an eye. It happened to people. What were they thinking taking all the kids along with them, and Audrey pregnant, and... Audrey's kiss only soothed his worry a tiny bit. Sarah took his left hand, and Cam took the right. Both kids beamed up him with big smiles. Alan wanted to run. This could be the very last time they ever did that. 

And then... his guts flew forward, and everything got very suddenly colder.

"Oh, f..." dizzied from the journey, Alan bolted awkwardly for the nearest bin. He felt drunk, light-headed. A little sleepy from whatever Audrey had given him. Fast travel was always hell on his stomach, and though the nausea was not so bad as he'd feared, it was still enough to leave him dry-retching over a bin. Marie had, of course, told the kids all about their family trips and wasn't it so funny that Dad couldn't handle the trip, so... yes, the kids were stifling giggles. Which was better than them worrying about him.

"Not a happy traveller, then," Edmund was also amused. As instructed, the kids rushed to the sound of his voice, clamoring around Audrey's parents for cuddles and to show off Tavi's prized green suitcase. Alan waited until he felt a little stronger in the knees before letting go of the bin. 

"Never been real good at it," he mumbled, stumbling over to the group. Meri stood a little off to the side, as though she wasn't part of the group. "Nice to see you again Edmund, Ammeleine. Meri." 

"And you too, Alan," Edmund reached forward through the kids, to shake Alan's hand. Ammeleine, on the other hand, was eyeing Audrey critically.

"You're looking well, sweetheart," she said. "It is lovely to see you over here again, and to have the kids... and Alan... here with you." At this last she sounded less convinced, as if she was unsure of why Audrey had brought her boss and his children all this way. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tally Staff ☆ Headmaster's Assistant, Fill-in 'Mum'★ LilyCat
26 year old Pureblood Human ☆ She/Her

As thankful as she was for the ever immediate travel that floo provided, Audrey felt Alan's pain once they were on the other side, and even she had lifted a hand to her lips as soon as the children had let go to rush her parents, taking a small moment to make sure that her own stomach was at least a bit settled before she quickly followed suit of the children. The young woman skipped forward to pounce at her father with a big hug and the small squeal of a daughter who very much missed her daddy when he wasn't there. She gave him a big kiss on the cheek, and then moved to Ammeleine, who also received a hug and kiss, followed by Meri, who Audrey then also dragged back toward the others by the arm.

Releasing her sister once they were with the rest of the group, Audrey moved to Alan's side easily, lifting a hand to rub his back gently as she gave him an apologetic look for the possible trauma he appeared to have gone through. Though it was very clear that she appreciated that he had done it and that they were here. With another happy huff, Audrey's shoulders lifted and dropped as she regarded her family.

"Gosh, it's so good to be here! And you all look great. And thank you, Mum, I'm feeling absolutely wonderful too," Audrey beamed brightly as she bounced on her toes, and then looked at Alan and then to her family and then back to him and back and forth a few times as she worked up the nerve to actually tell them why she'd brought them all with her.

"And well... Alan and I are together now, and we're having a baby around late November, early December. Isn't that exciting?" The words were basically all blurted out, a mixture of nerves as well as the excitement of telling her family what she considered the most exciting news in the world as far as she was concerned. "The kids are really looking forward to having a new brother or sister, aren't you?" She looked down at the children with her bright happy smile, before then braving a gaze to her parents again. She was happy, they could see she was happy, right? That's what mattered, right?

Should she have waited until they got to the house?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Headmaster ★ Sadrienne
51 year old Pureblood Human ☆ He/Him

If Audrey hadn't dropped the news when she did, there was a fair chance Tavi would have done it for her---Alan knew there was never going to be a nice, well-calculated moment to make that announcement. Nor should there be, it was a baby and Alan didn't have time for people who felt like they needed to be in the right frame of mind to hear about it. That he and Audrey were officially a couple now? Well, that was different. He coughed as Edmund's sharp gaze went straight to him, followed by a similar look from Ammeleine. They were clearly thrilled to see Audrey and the kids, but he felt like he was a little... less welcome? It was very probably all in his head.

"A baby?" Meri was the first to speak. "With him?" 

"Yeah I'm still tryin' to figure out why she'd bother with me too," Alan laughed wryly. Meri wasn't amused by that, she just frowned. Edmund didn't appear entirely shocked by the news, smiling quietly before reaching out to Audrey again. He pulled her in tight, kissed her forehead. 

"That's wonderful news, princess," he said softly. Ammeleine let out a long breath.

"It is, but are you sure about this?" here it came. Alan braced himself. "New relationships are wonderful, but a baby so soon? What if this doesn't work out for you? You're not married, I wouldn't... well, I wouldn't want you to ruin any future like that..."

"A baby ain't gonna ruin any future," Alan did his best not to snap Amy's head off, but he had strong feelings. "Even if things don't work out between me and Auds, we'll do our best for the kids. The three we've got, and the one coming." it was very important to Alan that Edmund and Ammeleine understand how integral Audrey already was in their family unit. This wasn't something he could, or would, walk away from easily. Even if there was no baby,  he would always do right by Audrey because he would never let his own situations hurt the kids. They loved her. That was everything.

"Aren't you already married, Alan?" Edmund's question was surprisingly gentle. Alan nodded, his expression grim.

"Technically, yes. Rachel should be getting the papers around about now, it's been over for a long time." he waited for follow up questions, but Edmund seemed happy with that. He offered Alan his hand, shaking it with a wide grin.

"Well, congratulations you two." he said, kneeling to be on the same level as the kids. "And to you three! What do you think you're going to get, a brother or a sister?"

It was the most heavily debated question in the Burdett household, and Edmund soon found himself under an avalanche of arguments as to what it should be and why. Alan relaxed a little, hiding a smile. Meri frowned, watching her sister with a look of disappointment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tally Staff ☆ Headmaster's Assistant, Fill-in 'Mum'★ LilyCat
26 year old Pureblood Human ☆ She/Her

"Yes, Dita! A baby," Audrey's voice changed so swiftly from that of the carefree sheltered little girl that she had always been, to something firm, the voice of a young woman who had been working hard the past years, who had goals and who kept Alan organised and doing what he should be, that it would come as a shock. Her gaze was fierce for a brief moment, before it reverted to it's natural gentle state, as though nothing had even occurred while she hugged her parents. "Of course I'm sure! I always wanted a big family, anyway. And I love Alan and the kids, and being in Australia," She smiled brightly at Edmund and Ammeleine, neither of their words of concern having affected her in the slightest. She knew what she was doing.

It was to be expected that Edmund would question Alan on his marital status, but Audrey knew that he would be content with the answer that they had regarding it. She leaned against her mother's side, and offered the older woman a reassuring squeeze as she glanced at her with a smile. She was happy. That's what was important, and she knew that her parents would see that and realise there was nothing wrong, she wasn't being used or taken advantage of. This was something that she wanted and she wanted to share it with them, for them to be happy for her as well. Turning her head to glance at her sister, Mereditha was given her own look of disappointment.

"Be happy for me, Dita," Came Audrey's quiet words to her older sister. Not a request, not an order, but a simple acknowledgement that she knew her sister was judging her and Alan, and that she was disappointed that Meri of all people was willing to dampen Audrey's excitement. "I don't want to Junior thinking that Auntie Dita is perpetually grouchy," She then poked her tongue out cheekily at her sister, before leaning against Ammeleine in another hug.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Headmaster ★ Sadrienne
51 year old Pureblood Human ☆ He/Him

The mood was considerably lighter than Alan had expected, initial awkwardness aside. It only seemed to be Meri who really had an issue with anything, and that made him rather sad. He remembered a younger, brighter, happier Meri. He remembered the young graduate teacher who pushed on with such childlike determination that it was impossible not to like her. Unless... well, there were certainly people who didn't like her, who had felt her immature and a poor choice to be educating children, but her optimism had always struck him as something special. Alan had been there, watched as Meri and Adrian's relationship disintegrated to a pile of bitter ash. He hoped Adrian was living a better life, because Meri sure wasn't.

And it wasn't his problem that she was so miserable. Nor was it Audrey's.

"I have to say, I really don't think this is a good idea," Meri's hand up, defensive even as she said the words. 

"It's not an idea," Alan frowned. "It is what it is. Might not have planned it, but we're bloody happy about it anyway. If you want to have a problem with it, that's your choice, but I'll ask you to keep that to yourself around the kids." his voice turned gruff toward the end, enough to make Cam look around and check he wasn't doing anything he might be in trouble for.

Alan didn't want to have this discussion in this way, right now. But he knew he also had to shut Meri down before she got too carried away in front of the kids. They already harboured the fear that Audrey might find a reason to walk out on them just as their mother had, he really didn't need Meri giving them a reason that sounded real. 

"Well," Ammeleine said after a long, very awkward moment. "We'd best be headed to the house, don't you think? You all must be starving, and... oh, Alan you do not look well at all."

The moment she said it, he felt it again. That horrible lurch. The twist in his gut. All too briefly masked by the righteous indignation Meri had sparked, Alan gave Ammeleine a tight and queasy smile. Yes, best they get out of here before he was sick all over Edmund's expensive looking shoes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tally Staff ☆ Headmaster's Assistant, Fill-in 'Mum'★ LilyCat
26 year old Pureblood Human ☆ She/Her

Meri's attitude had already begun to get on Audrey's nerves. Audrey, who had the patience of a Saint. And as soon as her sister had opened her mouth to relay her thoughts once again, Audrey was about ready to shoot back a remark about Mereditha's own choices that had led her to where she was today. Though she loved her sister, the younger woman had also watched Meri and Adrian, and had seen her sister time and again return to her moping and shutting him out selfishly until he couldn't take it anymore. She'd never tried to move forward, only lived in the past, and that had destroyed them a second time.

Thankfully, Alan spoke first, which prevented Audrey from saying what she'd wanted, and what she knew she'd regret saying.

"Yes, at least keep other peoples' happiness in mind, sis," Came the young woman's agreement with Alan as she stepped back over to him, a hand moving to Tavi's head in order to pat the girl's hair, almost to reassure herself, the kids, and everyone else, that she was adamant in her decision. She did love the children as though they were her own, and she had no intention of going anywhere, and didn't want them to believe for a moment that she would abandon them like their own mother had.

Audrey's arm then wrapped around Alan's as soon as she saw his reaction to her mother's words, as though Ammeleine had reminded him that he hated travelling by floo. She sighed, but offered a small chuckle and a nod.

"Yes, let's get home so that Alan can sit down and relax a bit," Leaning against his side, Audrey offered Alan a warm smile, one that appreciated the fact that he'd come all the way to England, that she could share this with their family.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Headmaster ★ Sadrienne
51 year old Pureblood Human ☆ He/Him

To all of this, Meri withdrew, clearly not pleased by the situation---but knowing that any further remarks would land her in more trouble than she already was. She had always been overprotective of Audrey, she truly didn't believe that this was going to end well, and really did want to spare her sister a lot of pain. Now the children were looking at her warily, her displeasure at the news enough to make them wonder if Meri was going to refuse to be their family.

"I am starving!" Cameron broke the tension. He was always starving. Unless there were vegetables on his plate, in which case he was adamantly only starving for cake. Ammeleine and Edmund had become the distant grandparents that his mother's parents weren't, so he figured it wouldn't be too far off the mark to assume there would be cake back at the house. Nan Marie always had cake ready and waiting for them.

"Sounds good," Alan nodded, willing his stomach to settle just long enough to get back to the house. At least the kids had handled the long distance journey well, he was proud of them for that. Himself, not so much. The colour was still draining from his cheeks, and despite the chill in the air, a thin sweat shone on his forehead. 

"Are we going across roads, Dad?" Tavi asked, twirling her prized suitcase.

"I imagine so, sweetheart," he nodded, looking around the busy lobby. There were people everywhere. Alongside the floo sickness, he felt the claustrophobic creep of the city prickle up his spine.

"Okay," Tavi said brightly, before dragging her suitcase forward a few steps. "Then I want Aunty Meri to hold my hand."

"And I want Pop Eddie!" said Sarah, dashing toward him.

Cam stood back. The eldest of the three, he was above needing someone to help him cross the street. All the same, he moved closer to Ammeleine. 

"You can hold my hand if you like, Nanna Amy," he offered. Alan managed a queasy smile.

"Wonderful," said Edmund, with his broad smile. "Let's be off, then."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×