"But Talia, that would have rather defeated the point," he interjected cheekily. "You know I only ever said those things to wind you up, right? You have the most adorable pout." Probably not the wisest admission he could be making, but it was entirely true. Teasing her was just too much fun.
"And don't you even think about going blonde. Have I ever said I have a soft spot for long, dark hair? You're absolutely gorgeous, stunning..." His blue eyes we're focusing on her, looking at her with his usual charged intensity.
Odhrán paused when he thought he'd heard a noise coming from downstairs. Was that Cachou? No, he could hear talking too. Sounded French so probably Séverin and was that a woman? Oh, probably his mother. "Merlin help us all," he whispered. "Let's hope they go away quickly. I was looking forward to getting some rest."
He leaned closer to Talia. "Let me have a couple of minutes with them to put them at ease, but then I want you back."
Being examined by Séverin with his mother still in the room could only be described as uncomfortable. Odhrán didn't like being poked and prodded at the best of times, but this was weirdly humiliating. He wasn't a little boy anymore. He couldn't even remember when his mother had last seen him without a shirt on.
"Sév, I'm fine." Odhrán insisted firmly. "I just need some peace and quiet to sleep it off."
His friend disagreed. Pressing his fingers against a spot on Odhrán's ribcage, he gave a challenging look to his patient. Odhrán winced at the sudden pain. "Fine, fine, fine. Do whatever, just get it over and done with."
Odhrán grudgingly accepted two potions, vile juice and disgusting slime which he downed dutifully in the hopes that his privacy would be restored soon. His mother seemed to watch him like a hawk, as if she was expecting him to spit the liquid back out into a cup. Maybe, he shouldn't have done that as a child.
"I need to check your arcane function too," Séverin explained.
"Does that mean I get my wand back."
"Then why would I go along with this?"
"Because if you don't, there will be lots of long and painful medical tests in your future."
"Fine," Odhrán snapped.
It felt like getting rid of Séverin had been an endless task, but worse than that his mother didn't seem to want to shift either. She'd cleaned up a little in his room, called poor Cachou four times and was now fussing with the blankets on his bed. He didn't know why she bothered. He was about to lie back down anyway and rest.
"Could you at least help me with the buttons on this?" Odhrán sighed, holding out a black pyjama top in front of him. Everything felt sore again after Séverin had cast a couple of spells on him. He'd not appreciated the news, but apparently his body was still battling with some infection and worse than that there was still an issue with his magic. Apparently, he had discharged some of it into his body, leading to blockages. He knew the condition well enough, having only recently treated a patient suffering from it.
Knowing his luck, he was sharing his findings with Talia in the kitchen so she could be dogged and annoying about it for the rest of the day.
"Odhrán, you've got to tell me, is it serious?"
He snapped his attention back to his mother. What was she talking about? He'd clearly missed the beginning of this conversation while he was thinking about Talia down in the kitchen.
"You're not going to answer that? Odhrán, I raised you better than this," his mother fumed. "Are you serious with that girl downstairs?"
"And is she from a good family?"
"Like you need me to answer that, mother. I would have thought you've done her research on her by now."
"A HALFBLOOD. Odhrán, she's a halfblood."
"And no family money."
"And you're still going ahead with this?"
"You haven't even introduced her."
"I will. Just give us some time. It's still very new."
Katharina Uì Dálaigh huffed and grumbled in frustration. "You know this is not what your father and I had in mind for you."
"Leave him out of it, please. Look, I don't want to argue. That decision is made."
"You know fine your father and I always saw eye to eye on such matters. He'd want you ..."
"He'd want me to be happy. And I am. No pureblood politics while I'm recovering. Concern is noted, but she's non-negotiable."
It felt like hours had passed when finally he was alone in the lavender room again. Having family around sure was exhausting, but looking at the clock it seemed like only half an hour had passed. At least being with Séverin and his mother had afforded him with a small victory. He'd managed to get his necklace back. He tried to reach around his neck to fasten it into place, but it seemed that his ribcage didn't approve of the idea. Also, why was his left arm still so stiff.
"Talia?" He called softly. "Still here?"