Chapter 5: Brothers Stick Together

“I think the house looks good like this,” I told David over breakfast one morning.

He nodded, smiling at me as he took my hand in his.  “That it does.  That it does.”  We had recently been discussing possibly having another child.  We both wanted another one; maybe we’d have a girl this time.  It was still up in the air, but one of the reasons we had remodeled was keeping this in mind.

For now, we aren’t necessarily trying, but if it happens, it happens.

David is still hard at work at his painting.  Now that the boys are older, he has more time to put toward his artistic pursuits.

Draco has been steadily going through school and I have received several notes, even calls from his teachers of how bright he is.  He’s also making friends.  He brought one of them home after school on Friday.  Her name is Cecilia Costa.  She’s a sweet girl and the two of them are already best friends.

She spent the night and slept in the bottom bunk in Draco’s room.  He’d specifically asked for a bunk bed because he wanted to be able to have his friends sleep over.

He also asked for something else; it seems my boy is very interested in science.  I found myself a little taken aback by this because in my mind, science was vastly different from what I could do.  But even so young, my son is already teaching me things.  “No mama, not at all.  Science and magic are linked; they are just two different sides of the same coin.  I want to test out chemistry first, and compare what I can make there to what you craft with alchemy and your magic.”

So his father and I bought him a chemistry set.  He requested it be placed down in the basement so that when I am working he can join me.  That’s exactly what we did.  Now, he and I can work side by side, often the only sounds being the bubbling and burbling of liquids, a bang or pop here and there.

The boys’ birthdays rolled around before any of us realized it.  They each got their own cake once again.  Draco, being the oldest, once again went first.  He thought hard about a wish (a tradition his father told us about) and then blew out his candles.  After the sparkles hit, he ran to the mirror and dresser to don his own personal style.

David carried our youngest to the cake once again so I could sit back and watch, teary-eyed.  Both my boys were growing so fast!  It just didn’t seem possible.  Falkor was so cute, trying to blow out the candles himself.

Even still, I can only be proud of them.  They are both so handsome.  First, Draco decided that short hair would suit him better now.  He hasn’t quite decided what he wants to do later in life, or should I say that he has narrowed it down to three choices: there’s law enforcement, science, or the medical field.  He also wants to go to University, but since he has time to figure things out, he’s in no rush.  Like his dad, he did go with a little diamond stud in his ear.

Falkor likes to be comfortable, but he’s already begun to take after his father a bit and has taken a liking to painting.  Perhaps he’ll try some of the other arts later on, but for now, he wants to concentrate on his canvases.  He thinks the glasses he needs due to a bit of nearsightedness actually make him look more ‘artistic’.  I can only assume he got that from the television.  David just laughed.

The boys are pretty close.  They often will stay after school and do their homework together, though I keep telling them they should find somewhere with a roof and not just sit in the snow, but they seem to enjoy it.

And I’m not sure what they talk about at times.  I came downstairs one morning to find them both at the kitchen table.  Falkor was doing his homework and Draco was eating breakfast.  “-for the weak parts,” my oldest was saying, his mouth full of grilled cheese.

“Hm, so punch them in the stomach?”

Draco nodded slowly.  “Yeah, if you can reach.  Of course, if they’re trying to shove you into a locker, they probably aren’t guarding against that kinda blow, so stomach works, or-“ He leaned close and grinned.  “Hit ‘em in the family jewels.”

Falkor laughed, then stopped as I gave a little cough to alert them.  “Hey mom!”  He leapt up, having just finished his homework.  “Later mom!”

Draco shoved his chair back as well, intending to escape, though he threw me a grin.  But I stopped him.  “Draco, what’s going on?”

“It’s nothing, mom, really,” he assured me, looking uncomfortable.  “Just some idiots hassling Falkor.  He’s got it under control.”

I frowned, spurts of anger running through me at the thought of my poor boy being picked on.  How dare they!  “I’ll call the school!” I vowed.

“No!” Draco said firmly.  “Mom, look, if it were a big deal, I’d have told you.  But Falkor didn’t want me to.  He was just asking for tips.”

“On fighting?” I asked quietly.

“Well, a little.  That’s only if what I told him before doesn’t work,” Draco answered with a grin.  “I told him to try to make them laugh first, to make friends of them.  If that fails… well, he has the right to defend himself, doesn’t he?”

I was speechless for a moment.  He must have thought I’d be angry, because he looked down.  “Look, mom… I-“  He stopped when I hugged him tightly.

“Go to school,” I murmured.  His eyes lit up, he squeezed me tightly back, and then he ran to the bus to join his brother.

The high school students went for a field trip to the mausoleum today.  Draco had quite a bit of fun exploring the catacombs.  He brought back a poster as a souvenir and proudly hung it in his room.

After Diego and his brood brought some more valuable gems to us, tiberium among them, we added a little ensuite to our bedroom upstairs to make it more convenient.  Sharing a bathroom with two growing boys, one of which is a teenager, plus my husband is getting a little cramped.

Hm… I think Draco may have a new ‘friend’.  He won’t talk to her on the phone in the house, I think because he’s afraid we’ll hear him.  Could my boy have a new woman in his life?  I’ll have to think of an excuse to invite her over without him realizing why…

I finally was able to snap a picture of Falkor as he was painting.  Shhhh, he doesn’t know it yet.  He may not be up to the level of his father yet, but he’s already very talented.

Oh, I am just tired of these paparazzi that insist upon camping out on our front lawn!  Apparently, I have become what they call a celebrity.  But if that means that I have these rude, annoying people on my lawn, I don’t want it!  Though… perhaps I shouldn’t have lost my temper as I did…

I DID change her back… eventually.  Then again, she makes a good test subject for the potency of some of my potions.

I think I have finally figured out how to investigate this girl that Draco seems so enamored with.  Snowflake Day will be here shortly.  The first one, I didn’t know what it was and I was pregnant.  I think a Gift Giving Party will be the perfect opportunity.  The rest of the family is pretty enthusiastic.  Draco came up to me.  “Hey, uh… Mom, you mind if I invite a few friends?”

Falkor piped up.  “Me too!”

“Of course, boys.  Of course.”  I grinned inwardly.  Good.

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