(1937-09-30) The Secret of Scars
Details for The Secret of Scars
Summary: After an extremely real nightmare about Tim, Annie Floos into his place at 3AM.
Date: September 30th, 1937
Location: Tim's House
Related: All other Annie & Tim Scenes

3AM. The most quiet time of the night, some call it the darkest hour, just before dawn. Stillness has settled on Tim's house, and even dear Bowie is asleep dreaming his house elf dreams. Until the noises start in the fireplace. The banked fire leaps into life, flames dancing as the floo network is activated, and with a brilliant flare Annie appears in the fireplace. She stumbles out onto the hearth, barely holding her footing as she sneezes lightly. Clearly she has been in bed, her hair is uncombed, her attire is untypical, to say the least. Annie wears men's flannel pajamas, charmed to a smaller size to fit her comfortably, feet bare and now lightly smudged with soot from her travel. Her head snaps up, eyes wide and frightened as they dart around, and a wail rises from her lips. "Tiiiiim!"

The thunder of feet quick and agile thumping down the stairs remarkably awake for having just been asleep. Auror training keeping him sharp in these sort of sudden situations. "Annie?" He quickly moves to her to wrap his arms around her and start to check her over for harm. He's in grey boxers and his wand is in his hand. He looks surprisingly calm despite the panic that's got his heart racing and thumping visibly and to the touch of her shoulder against his chest as he holds her. "What is it?"

The sight of him brings a visible wash of relief over Annie, and the power goes out of her legs a moment before he is there, taking her in his arms before she crumples. But her arms go around his neck in a shockingly fierce grip, words coming quickly, "Oh god Tim yer alright.. I was so afraid… it was so /real/…." Her arms loosen and she pulls back to look into his face, her hands on either cheek before moving, stroking his skin and beard, reassuring herself that he really is here. A tear spills from her eye, followed soon by another, and she is looking /him/ over for harm. "Yer alright… it didn't happen.." Other than her obvious distress, there is nothing to suggest she has suffered physical harm.

Tim easily sweeps her up off of her sooty feet and he carries her to the couch where she is rested down in his arms on his lap. For being a photo-journalist that never made it through Auror Training he sure has a great deal of battle scars. Because wounds inflicted by dark magic don't heal like normal wounds do, they always leave scars behind. The Dork that is Tim is surprisingly riddled with signs of tossles with the Dark Arts. "There now love. Aye, I'm jus' fine. Sleepin' like a babe. Dreamin o yee.

Her eyes seem to skim over the scars, looking for signs of fresh wounds, finding none, and as Tim gathers her up, Annie's arms go around his neck again. She makes no move to vacate his lap as he sits, instead curling against him, clinging as if he might disappear if she lets go, burying her face in the soft skin of his neck as she begins to tremble lightly. More tears dampen the ginger wizard's skin as one hand finally releases him, but only enough to move to touch him, fingers skirting along his jaw, his neck, over his shoulder, a reassurance that this is real.

Tim wraps her up very securely in his arms. His face resting down on her head, face in her hair. Kissing her scalp and he begins to sing to her in Irish Gaelic the song his mother would sing when he'd wake up at night from a terror. He might now know why she's had this reaction, he knows how it feels to wake up and be terrified that something has happened to his parents. The cradlesong is sung softly, not the greatest of pitches or voices right now, but the tender emotion behind the words more than makes up for it.

Annie's hand drifts to rest over Tim's heart, palm flattened to feel the beating, and over the course of several minutes the trembles throughout her lessen as she is lulled by the rhythm of his heartbeats and the soothing sound of his song. She takes a deep breath that shudders her slight form, and then settles into a more easy breathing. Her tears have stopped although her cheek is still damp against his shoulder, and a bare turn of her head plants a soft kiss at the base of his throat. "You're here," she whispers on his skin.

Tim nods his head and lifts her chin to give her lips a soft kiss. "Aye. Right here. Did my talk of danger and secrets give ye bad dreams? I'm sorry love. It's exactly what I was trying to avoid. But aye, I'm right here. Safe an' sound."

Annie tilts her head up willingly, the tenderness of his kiss further dispelling the nightmare. Her eyes seek his as she pulls back slightly. "It was so real, Tim," she whispers. "I could feel rocks under my feet." She moves suddenly, pulling one foot up to display the bottom. Nothing but a remnant of the chimney soot smudging her toes. "They were cold and sharp," she murmurs.

Tim's warm hand moves to cover over the foot she pulls up and rubs a soothing hand over it and massage it. "Maybe ye went for a sleep walk? In the garden where the gravel is a bit sharp?" He rubs her foot clean and then cleans his hand on the throw blanket he pulls to wrap around them both, further using the edge of the blanket to tend to her poor feet.

Shaking her head, Annie drops her foot, curling back up in his lap. "No… no it wasn't. But I couldn't see where it was, it was dark. Like fog." Her brows draw together as she frowns in concentration. "I could see you like you were in a spotlight, though. In dark clothes, a dark robe." Her hand lifts to lightly touch his left cheek, drawing a short line, "There was blood… here…"

Tim reaches up to cup her hand and press it more firmly against his cheek. "See. No blood. Everythin' is fine love. Just a bad dream." He leans in to kiss her again. "Tell me all about it, it'll help the hauntin'."

Annie lets her lips linger on his a moment longer than before, then settles again with her head on his shoulder, laying warmly against his bare torso. "You were the only thing there, but it looked like something…" she pauses, concentrating. "Like something hit you. You moved… like you were pulling your wand back… yes, your wand was in your hand… and your other arm came forward and there was this… this…" The young witch winces at the memory of the nightmare. "Crack. A horrible, loud crack, and you yelled."

Tim lets her get it all out, comforting her but allowing her to speak. He is listening carefully and is nodding as he digests this dream she had. To lighten the mood he uses a high feminine voice as he mock yells, "Help, oh help me! Tha sorta yell?"

This does garner a wan smile as Annie looks up at him, but there's pain in her eyes. "No," she says simply. To say it as boldly as 'you screamed' feels like it would give the very idea of it power, although lessening the intensity of the words she uses does nothing to lessen the intensity of the dream. Her voice hushes again, and she looks at Tim, sweet, gentle, boyish Tim, and sees the man in her dream imposed over his face. "You doubled over then. And when you looked up…" Another wince, "So much anger. And you brought your wand forward and I didn't hear what you said and everything…. exploded."

Tim caresses her cheek and looks pained to see the pain in her eyes. "Would ye show me the face? What sort of face did I make?" She's starting to convince him that this is something more than just a really bad vivid dream. The doubling over, the yelling, the exploding. It's all hitting key points that have him worried. Did she somehow follow him and knows his secret and this is her way of revealing she knows?

Again, Annie's head shakes. "No… it was…" She falters for a way to phrase the dream Tim. "You barely looked yourself, in that moment, Tim." Her hand starts to move again, the other arm still slung around his shoulder, fingers drifting over his skin beneath the blanket he's pulled over them, tracing absently over the lines that mar his flesh. "I… I think I screamed. I think that's what woke me. And the only thing I could think was that I had to get to you. I don't even really remember getting from bed to here."

Tim gets a little squirmy from the way her hand exploring his bare skin is making him feel. There's another reaction that's more than evident under her where she is on his lap. "Yee are here now…" He makes sure they are wrapped up good because he scoops her up again and starts to carry her up the stairs to one of the spare rooms. He lays her down on the bed after folding down the covers with a wave of the wand he brought along with. He tucks her in and then lays on top of the covers next to her with the throw blanket over him. Cuddling her in his arms he tries to encourage her to get some sleep again. "Ah'll be righ'ere."

Annie is slow to recover from her intense dream, noticing none of Tim's 'discomfort', and she is content to fall silent as he carries her, the security of being in his arms all but wiping away the last of the fear the dream caused. It's not until they're settled in the bed that she turns on her side to look at him. Her fingers sneak out from under the blanket to pull down his covering an inch or so, exposing an angry scar on his chest, and her eyes raise to his face, questioning. "Tim?"

Tim takes a deep sighing breath as they get settled down for a moment happy that she's doing better. When she reveals the scar he got on the day his parents died of all the scars he swallows hard and pretends to not realize or dread what it is she's about to ask. "Aye love?"

Annie hesitates, her eyes searching his face. "Those are part of it," she finally says, not exactly a question. "All those scars." They registered in her brain, but her attention hadn't turned to them, to the marks on his exposed skin, until now. "Whatever it is you won't tell me."

Tim takes another deep breath the scar on his chest stretching a little under her finger. He nods again and repeats himself, this time an answer not a question. "Aye love." He slides one hand to cover over her to keep her from tracing it anymore cause he could very well just giggle inappropriately cause it is ticklish and sensitive.

Concern can be clearly seen on her face, but Annie just looks at Tim for a long minute. Despite the calm he's brought her, she's still terrified for him, but she promised, and her love is patient. Her hand stays under his, against his skin, and she dips her head to cuddle in closer to him, breaking eye contact. She doesn't say anything, because if she did she might say everything. Once words are out in the light of day (or the dead of night, as the case may be), they cannot be unsaid or unheard. She holds her tongue and presses as close to him as the barrier of two blankets will allow.

Tim kisses her forehead and wraps her up in his arms helping her to press close as the barriers would allow. His voice is hoarse with emotion but more so there's fear, fear that sharing even this much of his secret will mean losing her. "The Auror Office let mah parents die…after putting them in the mission in the first place. I couldn't work for them after that." … nor could he let anyone else suffer at the hands of Dark Wizards while the Auror's Office stood by and did nothing blaming red tape and other excuses. That part at least goes unsaid, but by the look in his eyes and by the scars he proudly bears, it's not exactly too difficult for an intelligent woman like Annie to put together.

"Oh Tim," Annie says softly, the words strained with the emotions behind them. Pain for him at the loss of parents and his career, fear at the implications of the scars and what he's left unsaid.

Tim slides his hand into her hair and holds her head and draws them together so he can rest his forehead on hers and look into her eyes. "Do ye understand?" He whispers, his voice almost begging with the hope that she will and hope that her patience, understanding and love will continue on through this new revelation.

Annie sighs softly, closing her eyes for a few heartbeats before opening them to look into his again. Her answer is honest and simple. "No." But then her head tilts, her eyes close again, and her lips find his. Despite that she can't quite understand, the kiss still holds all the patience and love that she has for him. She murmurs against his lips, "But I will try."

Tim holds a passion in his lips that transfers into hers as he clings to her and draws her closer still. Her acceptance, the promise of her willingness to try is the most relieving thing he's ever felt. It's like a flood gate has been released and the boundless passion the artist has till now dammed up is awash over her mouth. His hands slide over her sides and back sliding under the blanker to be able to be on her jammies and even sweep them up just a little so he can sneak a hand underneath to touch his palm and fingers against her lower back.

The terror from the dream, the very real fear for Tim's safety, is over-ridden by his desire, channelled from the negative into the positive that is an affirmation of love. At first slightly overwhelmed by what he'd been holding back, it only takes a moment for her own desire to flare, and Annie returns the kisses with a passion that builds more slowly but burns as brightly. There is no protest offered to the roam of his hands, and when the touch of skin on skin finally comes, it draws a momentary gasp, a pause, and then a soft groan that's lost against his lips in another kiss.

Tim gives the blankets between them a little tug and pouts like a little boy who's had the cookie jar moved out of reach. "May Ah?" He blushes now and nuzzles his face against her like a little puppy begging for permission to come snuggle under the covers.

Annie's lower lip is trapped in her teeth for a moment before she nods and whispers, "Yes." She shifts over, allowing a bit more room for him to slide beneath the covers with her. Before he can pull the covers up, she stays his hand, letting her eyes travel the expanse of his bare torso, lingering on the scars and welts.

Tim slips into place and then he swallows hard when she puts him a bit under the microscope. "Sorry, Ah know they aren't exactly pretty…" He says bashfully. The blankets are attempted to be gathered up at least enough to cover over his boxers. His fingers slide over the nasty one that he's got on his chest she was toying with earlier. "I tracked my parents down to a stronghold in Germany or somewhere close. Didn't exactly get a pin point location. I made my way through the castle. This was the worst I received…" He starts to point to other more minor scars, naming off the area of the castle he was in when he received them. Then he returns to the one on his chest. "This was from me Da. Before their torturer came in, Ma died in my arms…Da was so mental from the torture he attacked me, he dinnae even recognize meh. For a whole month they were left there by the Auror's Office. Two of the best Auror's of their time discarded an' forgotten like rubbish. I nearly had to kill me own Da, to calm him down enough to realize it was me…just as the Dark Wizard was returnin'. Da lept in front of me to block the killing curse that was aimed at me. I barely got out of there with an apparate, praise the powers I was able to bring'm home to lay'm to rest."

Annie stays silent as Tim talks, giving him the leeway to say as little or as much as he is comfortable. As he goes over where assorted scars were obtained her hand moves with his, each scar touched softly before her fingers glide to the next one, until finally back to the biggest. Sadness grows in her eyes as he gives the details, and after a moment of silence she speaks softly. "I can't even imagine how horrible that must have been, Tim." She reaches for the blanket, drawing it up around them both as she settles in next to him, her pajamas significantly less a barrier than the blankets were. "They aren't pretty," she agrees in a low voice. "But they're part of your story." Annie ducks her head, letting her lips lightly touch the scar on his chest, soft and moist on the wounded skin.

Tim freezes when her lips touch his scar. He gulps and once the initial frozen in place is done he swallows audibly and one hand slides under the covers to keep certain things better hidden while the other arm stays around her and sneaks all the more under her shirt to caress her skin. "How in the bloody hell did I get so fantastically lucky?" He looks down at her and smiles in that boyish way, all his pain and suffering vanishing with that one soft kiss from her. "Look me in the eye Annie Taylor. I have somethin' to tell ye."

Light color rises into Annie's cheeks at Tim's words, and the touch at her back brings an unconscious shift as her leg slides against his. She looks up to meet his eyes at his request, her gaze questioning, "What's that, Tim?"

Tim gulps again when her leg brushes over the hand that's on control duty. He takes a deep breath and looks into her eyes and says very clearly. "I love ye my Annie."

The questioning look in Annie's eyes fades at Tim's words, and as a smile begins to curve her lips it's her turn to look bashful. But she doesn't look away from his brilliant green eyes. She nods her head slightly. "I love you too."

Tim tries to draw her up so that he can cup her face in both of his hands to give her a soft but passionate kiss. He's giddy at this moment, she loves him too. The stutter, the age difference, the secrets she knows he has, they all don't matter. They weren't strong enough or important and couldn't stand up to the love that's growing stronger by the very moment if the way he looks into her eyes is any indication.

Annie moves willingly, but of course, it comes with a price as she shifts against Tim again. Her smile is easier after the kiss, as his words have time to sink in fully. "You love me," she murmurs. The dream? That's a million miles away, and now there's just the warm glow of new, shared love.

Tim has both hands on her cheeks now so when she shifts again there's most certainly something there digging into her thigh. But he's shyly smiling to her and is more focused on their exchange than his manly reaction to how simply desirable he finds his girlfriend. "I do."

And then it sneaks up on Annie… she has to stifle a yawn, and it draws a giggle from her. "I love you, my darlin' Tim, but I'm so tired now. I think it's because you make me feel so safe. Nothing can hurt me while I'm here with you." Indeed, it is still the middle of the night, after all, and both were woken rather rudely.

Tim slides his arms around her and cups the back of her head to gently pull her down against him and lay there. He kisses her forehead and whispers. "Aye love. Ah'll never let anythin' happen to yee. You're safe. Sleep now, here with me."

Annie melts against Tim, her eyes already fluttering closed, his whisper soothing her further. She sighs softly, then murmurs sleepily, "I love you, Tim." Enjoying the way it feels to say the words, and the feeling she has here with him. A safeness and warmth that she hadn't realized she'd missed so terribly since her parents passed. A feeling of being home, just from being in his arms.

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