Who: Katie Bell, Nikky the house elf, and a memory with Blaise
Where: The Shrieking Shack
Summary: Katie recalls the last time she saw Blaise, and her reactions to him being gone
Still no answer.
The house elf hesitantly turned the knob, her large round eyes luminous in the dark room. "Mistress Katie? Is Nikky. Does... does Mistress want anything? Anything to eat?"
The elf waited, ears strained for the tiniest sound of agreement or affirmation... ANYTHING, really.
After several long moments of silence, Nikky's ears drooped sadly in defeat, and she quietly padded back out, shutting the door once more.
It wasn't as if Katie hadn't heard, for she was awake. She just didn't want anything the elf could provide... and the one thing she wanted was beyond the elf's control. So she continued to stare at the empty pillow next to hers where she lay on her bed... as she had for days now. Granted, she had been provided with her own room, but they had often shared each other's beds, she and Blaise. More often than not, he had come to hers, saying that although smaller, it was cozier than his room. She never minded.
Katie forced down the lump in her throat. How long had it been, since he'd left? She honestly didn't know. The only thing she did know was that he had left... and he wasn't going to be coming back. If it hadn't been for that night, she might have been worried sick... she would have been afraid that his father might have gotten him, or something happened on his way to the DA base. But the way he had acted... the (few) things he had said... She felt foolish for not realizing it then, but she knew now that in an odd way, he had been saying good bye.
She stirred, feeling cold despite the layers of sheets and the comforter covering her. True, she had no pajamas on, but that was becoming a regularity, and she was growing more and more used sleeping with nothing on. No... what she felt was a loss... something missing. Reaching out sleepily with her eyes still closed, she felt for the body that should have been laying next to hers... only to find there was none.
"Blaise?" she murmured, still not awake, but starting to be.
"Shhhh," came his voice, from somewhere higher up. He must be standing next to the bed. "I am here, Katarina. Go back to sleep." A gentle command.
She certainly felt tired enough to just roll over and do as he said... but something she could explain gnawed at the corner of her heart. A warning. A worry. She tried to force herself more awake, more alert, weariness making her thinking blurry like a tear-blinded image. "But... what are you doing up? What time is it? It's too early for the Army..."
"Shhh..." he said again, resting a hand on her shoulder, using only enough pressure to coax her languid body to settle back onto the mattress. Not about to let him off the hook, she was just beginning to blink her eyes open when she felt the weight of his body settling next to hers... and then his lips were claiming hers in a soft, tender kiss.
Melting. It was the only thing she could do. Despite the little facts clambering for her attention in the back of her mind... those facts being that he was lying on top of the covers, fully clothed: she could feel the material of his shirt rubbing against her bare back where his arms had embraced her. Instead, she sighed against his mouth, the warmth and comfort he always brought her easing her unrest as she snuggled back against her pillow.
He pulled his arms away so she could fully settle onto the bed, curling up on her side as sleep began to reclaim her. She felt him pull the sheets and comforter all the way up, tucking them securely around her. A smile tugged her lips. "Blaise..."
There was a pause... and then she felt him shift. She was about to ask where he was going, when his fingers began to stroke her hair, brushing the long strands away from her face before petting the wavy, dark gold mass spread behind her. "Katarina," was all he whispered. And then he began to hum... the hum turning into the lullaby he had sung to her when she had been sick.
The dream man is coming with his train of cars,
With moonbeams for windows and with wheels of stars ...
The dream man's fare they say is awfully cheap
You just roll up into a dimply heap
Close your eyes, and you're fast asleep ...
And all aboard, my little one.
She had fallen asleep again... and she never felt him rise. She never heard him open the door, nor saw him pause to look at her one last time before he left, shutting the door behind him.
The only thing she knew was when he didn't come home the next night and she had gotten an owl from someone in the Army asking why he hadn't shown up today, she had checked his room. There was nothing there. He had left most of his possessions in the house, but his robes, swords, and weapons were all gone... and that alone told her he had left with no intentions of returning.
To her, or anyone.
"Mistress? Nikky... Nikky heard..."
The elf's head popped up over the edge of the bed, and her huge eyes watered when they saw her Mistress clutching Master's pillow, her face buried in it to stifle her sobs. Nikky glanced at the night table to where she had left some food... and saw it was still untouched. As had all the plates she brought had been. With a helpless glance at the broken woman on the bed, she padded over to the stand and changed the food with a few snaps of her fingers, refilling the glass of water. At least her Mistress was drinking something...
When the noises from the bed stopped suddenly, Nikky grew alarmed and hopped onto the mattress to see if Katie was alright... but she had only fallen asleep, her cheeks and the pillow she clung to stained with tears. Sighing sadly, Nikky grabbed the sheets and quilt at the end of the bed and pulled them over her Mistress.
When she finally left the room, she took one last look back at the bed. "Master said to look after Mistress..." she whimpered. "But Nikky not so sure she can..." And with that, she shut the door behind her.