fifty-eight

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"CELESTIA!" DRACO YELLED. "PRESENT TIME!"

Despite the fact she had been hounding Theo all morning to give her his present, she didn't remove her mouth from Theo's. She nipped at his bottom lip, and he snapped his teeth back at her. Laughing into his mouth, his tongue swept inside of her mouth.

A moment later, he was pushing softly at her hips. At the first sign of resistance, she pulled back with a frown. She smoothed her hand over the side of his head, tangling her fingers in his curls.

"What?" she asked.

He grinned. "It's time to go open your birthday presents." When all she did was look at him, dazed, he laughed and continued, "You're finally eighteen, remember? March thirtieth? Your birthday? Today? You were harassing me all morning to give you your present?"

"Oh, right," she said, rolling off him, "that."

Theo had woken Celestia that morning with a soft, lingering kiss, and breakfast in bed.

The past two weeks had moved slowly, and things had returned to normal—her new normal, anyway. Which consisted of secret kisses exchanged in the dark with Theo, getting to know Mary, spending time with Regulus, and slowly rebuilding her relationship with Draco.

He was still angry at her for having Regulus pull him away from her fight with the werewolves. She couldn't blame him for clinging to the resentment. They hadn't actually talked about it, which was a problem. It wouldn't be long before there was an explosive fight between them.

The only reason she wasn't in complete disarray over her fractured relationship with her brother was because of Theo. Somehow, they had managed to keep their relationship a secret, despite the fact they always had to be touching.

Their feet and calves would twist beneath the table, where no one could see it. Their hands would brush as they walked, his thumb would smooth over her knuckles as they studied a book, their fingers would brush as they exchanged an item. Their shoulders would bump against each other, hips pressed together, when they stood side-by-side.

When they were alone, though, his hands would be in her hair, or cupping her neck, or grasping her hips to position her right where he wanted. Their lips would meld together, their tongues would tangle, and they'd kiss until her lips were red and swollen and gasping for breath.

And then he would hold her throughout the night, his arm curled her waist or holding her head while it lay in the curve of his neck. The number of times they had told each other I love you was honestly a little embarrassing. But the both them had spent so long supressing it that there was no way for them to stop saying it now.

Even if she was in an exceptionally better mood these days, it didn't take away the fact that they were in the middle of a war. There was a feeling of foreboding crawling under her skin, warning her of the coming battles. She hated it.

None of that mattered, though, when she had awoken on her birthday to breakfast in bed.

The food before her wasn't extravagant by any means. He'd made her some scrambled eggs, bacon, and beans on toast. But he'd gone out of his way to make it for her. Perhaps saying it was made with love was extremely cheesy—but seriously, she understood it now.

She rested against the headboard beside Theo, the plate of food resting on her lap. She tilted her head back, and his lips descended to meet hers.

"Thank you," she had murmured.

As she resumed eating her food, he kept his head pressed to the side of her face. His nose pressed softly against her temple, lips brushing her cheekbone. He turned back to his food a moment later.

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