Chapter Ninety-Four

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"So, you're telling me," Meredith said, standing in the telly room of Harry's Kensington Palace flat, "I can redecorate."

"I want you to make this place your home too." Harry came in, holding a glass of a fine champagne for her. "So redecorate. Do what you like. Make it your home, Mere."

She arched an eyebrow. "Anything?"

Harry sighed. "You're giving me fears with that? I prefer if you don't put sex dolls about and write things on the wall."

"Really? I was just thinking the TARDIS in that corner." She pointed. "Maybe a mural of Harry Potter in the corner."

"Should I put on the kettle and make some tea? Make this as British as possible." Harry laughed. "What about the boxes coming in? Where should they put all the books?"

"I think you should be more concerned with my massive shoe collection."

"Oh, I prefer not to look." He took a drink of the champagne, and Meredith followed. "I think all of your shoes can take up a whole room."

"Just wait for all the shoes I'll get now."

Harry laughed. "Terrible thoughts." Putting down the glass, Harry looked through some of the boxes. "I see you brought the trinkets." In Harry's pale fingertips, he held small figurines of Rome's Coliseum, the Cologne Dome and Big Ben.

"You might be used to traveling the world, but I am not." She plucked the figures from his fingers and grabbed the rest. "I like to remember these, and if they're cheap and made in China, all that much better."

Harry picked up a figure of the David. "This one is made in Italy."

She rolled her eyes and walked over to another set of boxes, which when brought in, groans had ensued by the heaviness. Pulling off the tape, she uncovered her many books and things. "Where do you want these?"

"On full display."

"Why?" Most of these books were New Young or Young Adult, so they weren't as impressive. While she had the greats, they were outnumbered by all the sweet and quick romance.

"I want to look like I read. People will think I'm smart."

Meredith snorted. "Oh, good." Walking over to the window, Meredith had gotten used to the blinds needing to be closed. It was different now with a thin white cloth covering the windows. It allowed Meredith to see out, but no one to see it. While it was meant to be a comfort, a desperate need flooded through Meredith to throw the windows and scream out into the early January sky.

Harry curled his arms around Meredith, placing his chin on her shoulder. "It is tempting, isn't it?"

Meredith smiled. "Do you ever just watch the tourists?"

"That would be weird." Harry shrugged. "Who would you expect I see?"

"Lucy and other fangirls," Meredith muttered before she turned around and kissed Harry. "I just have to get used to everything, don't I? I will fall into a pattern. I will get to know my surroundings. This will be home."

"What would you like to do first?" he asked.

Glancing around the room, Meredith whispered, "Have sex in every room."

Harry almost collapsed in laughter. "Maybe another day. I'm tired."

"Oh, fuck, but really...." Meredith peeled herself way and walked into the kitchen. People shopped for her, and Meredith didn't even know what was in her own kitchen. Looking through the cabinets, a few changes needed to happen quickly. She wanted chocolate. "Where do you keep the mugs?"

"Are you actually going for tea?" Harry leaned against the door frame.

"Hell no." Meredith knew, in the bottom of her heart and stomach, she would never like tea. "Hot cocoa. Do you have toffee sauce?"

"Do I have toffee sauce?" Harry mocked while picking it from the cupboard. "Here."

"Do you want a cupper?"

"Oh," Harry winked, "becoming English, are we?"

"Desperately I try, but I feel I am a bit Scottish sometimes."

"Sometimes? Ha!" Harry sat down at the table in the kitchen.

Meredith fought the urge to give him a nasty look as she finished up on the cups of hot chocolate. Sitting down at the table, Meredith put her feet up on Harry's lap and took a sip. It burned. Harry yawned. "You're tired?"

"We've been moving things in all day."

Meredith tilted her head and gave him a look. "Yeah, moving things around the apartment-- not actually moving them in." Blowing on the hot chocolate, the smell radiated off.

"But really, Mere, what's the first thing you want to do in your new home?" Harry asked. "You have free reign." He laughed at his own joke.


"I thought you weren't tired."

"I could be." Meredith winked.

"What exactly did you have in mind? Every room, you said. A way to break it in? Is that how one makes it a new home?" he asked, inching closer and closer. "And when? How? How are you going to do it? Where? Do you have a list, or just anywhere at any time?"

"Your highness," called one the movers, and Harry got up. "Sir, that was the last box. We'll be leaving now."

"Thank you," Meredith yelled from the kitchen.

"Yes," Harry said, "thank you."

Meredith listened deeply, waiting until she heard no more footsteps against the floor. The door closed behind the movers. "Finally." She went upstairs, and Harry followed happily.

In their bedroom, Meredith started to undress. The room was left like Harry wanted it, and tomorrow, she knew it was time for a change. Harry was getting a new comforter, for sure, and Meredith was in need of more blankets. She liked to be wrapped in blankets, which Harry knew. Other blankets had been brought in by Harry to give Meredith comfort.

Harry kissed her neck, trailing down her shoulder. "Where would you like to start?"

Meredith shed her underwear. "The bathtub."

"I don't know if that's large enough."

"I know." Meredith grabbed her book and headed into the bathroom. "Good night, Harry." Closing the door, Meredith turned the hot water on, letting it cloud up. The floral scents fluttered. Glancing at the clock, Meredith knew what came the next morning. The engagement ring would be slipped onto her finger, where it was meant to stay forever. Meredith welcomed it without fear.

Slipping into the bathtub, she let the warm water overtake her. She waited for the moment to come. She waited for the rest of her life.

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