crazy bookstore

13. Things you said at the kitchen table

A reader on AO3 asked me to write some fluff to atone for my sins with regard to yesterday’s piece.  I decided to make it Harry Potter-themed, because why not?

i. April 2007

“Hey, Scully?”

“Mmmm?” She looked up from her laptop and the piles of notes spread out before her on the kitchen table. Mulder was standing at the window, peering through the drapes into the sunny backyard.

“What’s Will reading?” She leaned back in her chair and peered past him, through the window, to the distant form of their son reclining in the hammock, a pastel-colored book propped on his thin chest.

“Harry Potter, I think,” said Scully, returning to her journal article. Across the kitchen, Mulder turned to look at her, eyebrows raised. “What?”

“Isn’t that a little advanced for a six-year-old? Like, shouldn’t we be reading it with him?”

“I tried,” said Scully. “He said I was going too slowly. Said he was never going to get through all of the books before the last one comes out at the pace I was setting.” Mulder chuckled.

“Sounds about right. Your kid through and through.” She glared at him over the top of her reading glasses. “What? I mean his advanced reading level, not his impatience.” She looked skeptical. “Honest. You gonna tell me you weren’t reading at a fourth grade level when you were in kindergarten?”

“Fifth,” she said grudgingly, returning to her work. Mulder smirked, then returned his gaze to his son, relaxed and absorbed in his book.

“You know those books are completely inaccurate, right?” he said. “Completely off the mark when it comes to established practices in witchcraft.” She sighed, rolling her eyes.

“Mulder, are we really going to go through this again? Do you remember what happened when we tried to watch E.T.?” She shook her head. “It’s a children’s book series, Mulder. They’re fiction. They’re cute. Let it go.”

“Where’d he get them, anyway?”

“From my mom,” said Scully. “She bought them for Matthew, but Bill won’t let them in the house. Says they promote witchcraft.” Mulder snorted.

“Of course he did.” He watched his son for another moment, then glanced back at Scully thoughtfully. “He seems pretty absorbed.”

“He’s barely looked up all day,” Scully agreed.

“Seems like it’s unlikely he’ll look up anytime soon,” he said, crossing to stand behind her. “Don’t you think?” The corner of Scully’s mouth turned up slightly.

“I’d have to agree with that assessment,” she replied. He bent, brushing his lips against the side of her neck, feeling her inhale sharply. “Did you have something in mind? Something more pressing than this article that’s due in a week?”

“I think I do, yes,” he murmured into her hair. “Can I see you upstairs for a brief consult, Dr. Scully?” He headed for the stairs, and she got up to follow.

“Brief? Mulder, he’s on book three of six. He’s gonna be in that hammock the rest of the day. You make this brief, and that same hammock is exactly where you’re gonna be sleeping tonight.”

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