If you want to conquer fear, don't sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. - Dale Carnegie
Oliver groaned as he rolled over in bed and noticed that the other side was empty. He grimaced, remembering last night. Falling over. Vaguely loudly declaring his love for Sam in the middle of her birthday party in front of all their friends and her co-workers.
"Christ…" he muttered as he looked towards the open bedroom door, the smell of coffee drifting in.
He had been a prat. And he knew that Sam would not be happy with him. He had ruined her birthday party by letting Percy's stupid words get to him. Groaning again, he sat up in bed and tossed the covers off. Best to face the music now.
He shuffled out of the bedroom, seeing Sam on the sofa, still in her pajamas. She was still wearing the locket. She looked at him expectantly.
"Sammie… I'm so sorry," he said, walking over and sitting next to her.
"Not making a habit of this, are you?" she asked, putting her mug down on the table in front of her. "I know it's been a couple months since the last go around, but still."
"I know and I was an idiot last night," he said.
"Care to explain why you felt the need to get sodding drunk and declare your undying love for me? Not that I mind you declaring your love for me, just… could go without the dramatics," she said, crossing her arms in front of her as she raised an eyebrow. Oliver looked down at his hands a few moments. "If this is about the locket… I'm sorry with how I reacted. I know you only did it to protect me…"
He looked up at her, his eyes wide.
"And I do love it… just wasn't expecting it," she said.
"I wanted to wait to give it to you until we were on our own," he admitted.
"I know… Ellie didn't realize the, ah, significance of the gift when she found it," she said, looking down at it as she held it out. She smiled softly as she glanced over at him. "I know why this is passed down in your family."
"And that's why I wanted to give it to you without everyone around," he said. "Also so I could explain. I know we haven't talked about… that… and I don't want you to feel any pressure. Just… I know how much you love the locket and Mum gave it to me awhile ago…"
Sam reached out and grabbed his hand, squeezing.
"Truth be told, part of me has wanted it since I was a kid," she admitted with a smile.
"This doesn't have to mean anything like… that," Oliver said quickly. "Just… whatever we call it… I love you…"
"I love you, too," she said. "And I know you love me. Next time, let's not declare in front of queen and country while drunk, aye?" Oliver chuckled.
"Again, sorry about that," he said. Sam leaned over and kissed him then hopped off the sofa, making her way to the kitchen. When she returned, she held a small bottle out to him as she sat.
"Figured you'd be in need of this," she said. Oliver took the bottle and quickly downed a bit of it, sighing in relief as the headache began passing.
"What would I do without you?" he asked, handing the bottle back to her as she handed him the mug of coffee in her other hand. Sam put it on the table and looked over at him as he took a long sip then sat that on the table as well.
"Likely suffer from the world's worst hangover for the next two days," she said. Oliver reached over and pulled her into his lap, causing her to laugh and squeal. "What are you doing?"
"Making up for looking like an idiot last night," he said, grinning at her before kissing her. Sam sighed as the kiss became more heated, tingles running up and down her body. She slipped her robe off before wrapping her arms around his neck.
"Never forget… I'm yours," she whispered in his ear. Oliver moaned softly before turning his head and attacking her lips again. He rolled them until Sam was lying on the sofa underneath him.
"And I'm yours," he replied, looking deep into her eyes before kissing her again.
Sam sighed as she scurried down the sidewalk a few weeks later. She was late. Again. But the company had insisted that she and Robert stay behind after practice to speak to a few reporters about the production set to open next month. It seems all the money they had earmarked for Christopher's show had been routed to amping up the summer ballet and they were not holding back.
It was becoming more and more obvious that the directors thought this was a last-ditch effort to keep the company open during the war. Drumming up as much press as they possibly could before opening night. Just that day, large posters featuring Sam and Roger had gone up on the outside of the building with the opening date flashing underneath them. She had felt slightly ridiculous looking up at it, seeing Roger smile and wink at passersby. At least she had managed more dignified poses, with a few featuring the two of them together, Roger lifting her up in complicated lifts.
Sighing, Sam hoisted her bag strap higher on her shoulder, her thoughts going to whatever delicious dinner Oliver would have ready. There was no meeting and with the season still going, he had stopped doing shifts at Hogsmeade with the others. He had taken on most of the household chores with Sam's life getting more hectic the closer to opening night they got.
"I hope it's roast," she murmured to herself.
"Hello, Samantha Abbott," a chilling voice said from behind her. Sam stopped. She didn't recognize it, but there something in the undertones that caused her blood to chill. She reached into her jacket pocket and gripped her wand, slowly turning around.
Standing on the sidewalk was a tall, thin man with dark hair streaked in gray. A cold smile on his face as he studied her.
"You look so much like your mother," the man said. Sam's eyes widened as her heart started pounding.
"How do you know my mother?" she asked, not sure she wanted to know. It didn't seem like anyone that would normally consort with her parents. The man chuckled.
"First let me introduce myself. I am Antonius Flint. You must be familiar with my son, Marcus," he said. Sam froze, finding herself unable to move. Standing just feet from her was the man that killed her mother and brother. "My, how you have grown. Granted you were just a small child the last time I saw you."
"What do you want?" she asked, struggling to stay calm when all she wanted to do was hex him. Or kill him. Or run. She couldn't decide which as her mind flew through a million options at once.
"Relax, Samantha. I'm not here to harm you… not now, anyway. I just felt it necessary that we finally meet face to face. Though, as you may recall, this is not the first time we've met," he said smoothly.
"It was you at the World Cup," she said, willing her voice to stay steady. "And you killed my mother and brother."
"I heard you were a very clever witch," he replied. "Seems you are brave as well." Sam narrowed her eyes at him, a wave of anger flowing through her.
"I will see you in Azkaban someday," she said. Antonius just laughed.
"I highly doubt that, my dear," he said. "I'm rather clever myself."
"Don't underestimate me," she replied.
"My, you really are so much like that muggle bitch that birthed you," he said.
"Don't ever speak of my mother," she said through clenched teeth, her grip tightening around her wand. Antonius just smiled.
"Oh, we are going to have so much fun together, Ms. Abbott," he said. "Until then…"
Just as Sam whipped out her wand, Antonius disappeared with a pop. Her eyes widened as she looked all around her, half of her expecting to see him pop up again.
"Sam!" Oliver shouted as he appeared next to her. She looked at him confused.
"What are you doing here?" she asked.
"The necklace. It alerted me that you were in danger. What happened?" he asked, stepping up to her as he scanned their surroundings. There was no one around.
"It was him. Antonius Flint. He was here," Sam said, starting to look around again.
"Merlin, Sam. Did he hurt you?" he asked, gripping her arms.
"No… he just wanted to talk," she said.
"Sam, look at me!" Oliver shouted. Sam looked up, meeting his eyes. "We're not safe out here. We need to get home." She nodded and closed her eyes as Oliver apparated them to the flat. Once there, Sam threw her bag down and started pacing around the living room as she ran her fingers through her hair.
"Sam, calm down. Tell me what he said," Oliver said, walking over to her. Sam stopped and looked up at him.
"He said he wanted us to meet face to face," she said. "To introduce himself."
"Christ, what for?" he asked.
"He said that I was like my mother… and then that… we were going to have so much fun together," she said. All the color drained from Oliver's face as the full impact of Flint's words hit him.
"Christ, Sam. We need to tell your dad. You need to go into hiding. Now," he said.
"No!" Sam shouted. "I can't! Not now!"
"For once, would you think about your own safety!" Oliver shouted back.
"The ballet premieres soon! I can't leave now! I may never get another chance!" she shouted.
"And I'll be damned if I'm going to run off into hiding just because of that, that bastard!" she shouted. "I am not giving up my life. I am not running. Because of him!"
"You are in danger. He will come after you! He obviously knows your route home and the exact moment to find you alone. At the very least we should tell your father and the rest of the Order so they can put a protective guard on you!" Oliver shouted back.
"You will do no such thing, Oliver Wood! You tell them and you know they will make me go to the safe house and completely cut me out of the loop. There is work to be done and I will not be shut up in some safe house knitting!" she shouted back. "Not to mention, there are more important things for them to be doing than guarding me!"
Oliver went silent a few moments, knowing that nothing he said would change her mind. She would fight tooth and nail. But still he needed to do something to ensure her safety.
"Promise me," she said. "Promise me that you will not tell my father." He sighed and shook his head.
"I promise," he finally said, though he already felt as though he was going to break it at some point in the future.
"Good," she replied.
"But we've got to do something about this. He could come for you," he said.
"And I'll be good and ready when he does," she stated.
"Sam, that's not what I meant," he nearly groaned.
"I'll speak with the company. I can start apparating directly into the building," she said. "I won't go outside on my own. Not without you or someone. Adrian. We can tell Adrian and he can help."
"But what about when we're too busy?" he asked. "We are both still in the league." Sam looked to the ground, thinking a moment. "We should tell Bill…"
"He's too busy as well," she said, waving her hand in the air. "Alicia. She's in the Order. We tell her and Adrian. No one else."
"Sam, we really should-"
"NO!" she shouted again, glaring at him. "We can take care of this ourselves." He nodded solemnly.
Sam seemed to be her normal self the next morning when they got up, though Oliver was worried after she spent nearly the entire night tossing and turning. She had gotten up earlier than him and had been journaling at the kitchen table when he came out after his shower.
She then smiled brightly and told him that breakfast was on the stove. He watched her cautiously as she rattled off her schedule for the day. She had pas de deux rehearsal with Roger in the morning and then they were to move on to groups in the afternoon. Oliver offered up the proper responses but insisted that he walk her to the company before going to the stadium.
The walk was short and while she went to the locker room to get ready, he had made his way to the security office, making arrangements for her to apparate directly to a rehearsal hall. He was worried he would face resistance, but the head of security mentioned they had already set up a point for other dancers who were worried about their safety. He then reluctantly left, heading off to the stadium and starting to get ready.
"Something up?" Adrian asked softly as the rest of the team noisily prepared for the day. Oliver sighed and glanced around, then stepped closer to Adrian.
"Antonius Flint showed up last night. Stopped Sam while she was on her way home," he whispered. Adrian's eyes widened.
"Merlin, where is she?" he whispered back. "Tell me you got her to a safe house."
"Refuses to go," Oliver replied, rolling his eyes. "But made arrangements for her to apparate directly to the company. And hoping to make up some sort of guard schedule for her."
"Fuck's sake," Adrian said. "She should be at a safe house. He'll come for her."
"I know. But she made me promise not to tell her dad or the rest of the Order. 'Sides you and Alicia," he said. "She doesn't want to go into hiding. Not with the production about to open."
"Stupid, bloody production," Adrian said.
"Maybe you can talk some sense into her," Oliver replied. "Certainly won't listen to me. In fact, I think she wants him to come after her. She thinks she can stop him herself."
"God, Sam," Adrian muttered.
"For now, we just got to do our best to look out for her," Oliver said. "Will you help me?" Adrian nodded.
"I'll do what I can…"
"Very good and lift!" Madam Reynolds shouted, clapping her hands in time with the music. "Gracefully! Gracefully! Good!"
"Keep your hands where they belong," Sam muttered to Roger as he placed her on the ground and she spun away from him.
"Ah, but we both know you love being in my arms," he replied, winking as she spun back towards him and he lifted her in the air. Sam frowned as she fought to keep her pose. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the instructor start to scowl as she swiped at the air with her wand and the music stopped.
"This is not chat time," the madam said, crossing her arms in front of her as she glared at the two.
"Sorry," Sam said, shooting a frown at Roger, who was still smiling.
"We will take a break, but when we start again, I want this perfect," she said. "And don't think I didn't see your hand placement, Roger." She shot another frown at him before walking out of the room. Sam walked over and grabbed a bottle of water, not looking at Roger as she drank.
"You know… since we are working together rather closely, perhaps you should finally agree to that drink? Just so we can get to know each other better. Might help," Roger said, walking up to her.
"I don't need to get to know you any better than I already do," Sam spat at him. "And how many times do I need to remind you that I'm in a relationship?"
"Still dating the quidditch player, are we?" he asked lightly. Sam rolled her eyes.
"For three years," she retorted. "We live together. You've been to our flat."
"Ah, right," Roger said with a sigh. "You know… there is a bit of a spark with us. It's only natural-"
"Shut it, Roger," Sam said, scowling at him. "There is nothing between us and there never will be. I don't know how many times I have to tell you."
"Oh, you say that now," Roger said as he smirked at her. In a split second, Sam had her wand out and at his throat. The dancer started laughing. "Really, Sam? What are you going to do? Hex me?"
"Don't test me, I will," Sam said, her eyes flashing in anger as she pushed her wand deeper into his neck. She stared at him as incantations began floating around her head. Roger winced as he fell to a knee. Sam kept her wand trained on him, a cold look in her eye. For a moment, Roger looked genuinely frightened of her as the pain continued to grow.
"Relax, Sam," he said, putting his hands up. "I'm unarmed. And I promise to behave."
Sam continued to stare at him, seeming to go into some sort of trance.
"Sam! Stop!" he shouted, starting to pant. Suddenly, she came to, shaking her head as she put her wand down. Roger gasped as he fell over on his hands. "Christ, what's gotten into you?"
"I'm, I'm sorry. Just jumpy lately," she said, quickly putting her wand away in her things. Roger pushed up from the ground, watching her cautiously. "But I'm serious. No more of this… this… flirting and the like."
"I promise," Roger said, for once appearing to mean it. "I'd rather not get hexed again… Where did you even learn that? I didn't hear a spell or anything."
"Just… my dad's an auror. He taught me some advanced offensive and defensive spells," she said, not meeting his eyes. Roger nodded.
"Been wondering if I should take up learning more," he said, his voice sounding different. Sam looked over at him. "My uncle disappeared not long ago…" Sam blinked, her eyes widening in surprise. She hadn't known that.
"I'm sorry," she said, though she didn't move any closer to him. She still remembered his hand sliding towards her bum when they were rehearsing.
"Sure life is no walk in the park for you right about now. Having a father who's an auror," Roger continued.
"It's not," Sam confessed. "He… I don't know details or anything. But I worry about him a lot." Roger nodded, looking at the floor for a moment.
"Sorry I didn't realize," he said, glancing at her. "How about… we start over. No more silliness. Just… two dance partners doing their damnedest to keep our company afloat." Sam nodded.
"Think I can do that," she said. Roger smiled briefly.
"I'm going to go get more water. Do you need anything?" he asked. Sam shook her head. As he walked out of the room Sam sat on the floor and leaned against the wall, sighing heavily.
She wasn't sure what had come over her when she held her wand up to Roger. She knew she had gone a bit far but couldn't seem to help it. All of her nerves were on high alert after her run-in with Flint last night. She had tried to play off that she was fine that morning, but she knew she had kept Oliver up most of the night, unable to sleep. Every time she closed her eyes, she saw Flint's sneer.
She needed to pull herself together if she was going to keep him convinced she didn't need to be in hiding. She knew that his promise was a thin one. Ultimately, Oliver was going to do what he could to protect her and eventually he would cave and tell her father.
Taking in a slow deep breath, she then let it out.
"You can do this, Sam," she said to herself. "You can handle this. You can do this."
I just realized that I gave Sam's dad and dance partner the same name... oops... that was unintentional... But too late to change that now... Really should make a master list of all the character names I've used just so I don't accidentally end up using the same ones over and over again.
Camryn Kissel - Aw, thanks!
cjconner326 - Haha, thanks! I just turned in the first three chapters and the client is actually really happy with them, so that's good. ^_^ Dude, I didn't even realize I had done that with Percy and Adrian until you said it, but it's so true. Which is interesting when you think about it. Percy is supposed to be logical and such, but he just ends up egging Oliver's silliness, while Adrian is the actual voice of reason.
Thanks everyone for reading and following!