Bold = someone else's thoughtsItalic=Dom's thoughtsItalic Underlined= Ata's thoughts

Disclaimer: I own nothing! J. K. Rowling is the best!

Chapter Four ~~ Halfway through and Beach plans

When Dom woke up the next morning, at first, he didn't realize where he was. Stretching silently, he sat up. Blinking in disorientation, he looked around at the walls in shock. Walls?

In a rush, he remembered arriving home at one in the morning, and slipping carefully, quietly, into the house. He smiled slightly. He certainly didn't want to aggravate the Lady Celeste, but arriving at that time was almost certain to do it. Groaning softly, he rolled out of bed and padded into the bathroom, checking the clock on the way. Ten o'clock. Not too bad, he thought, getting into the shower. It could have been worse, after all. Still, by the time that he was out of the shower, it was much closer to eleven o'clock.

Walking back into the bedroom he was sharing with Argenta, he immediately noticed that she was gone. Instantly extending a psychic probe, he located his twin downstairs, in the kitchen, eating a very large breakfast under the supervision of Madre Celeste, with another meal waiting for him.

Dom strolled downstairs, hands in his pockets, to join Ata at the table. Madre Celeste smiled at him, and put a plate on the table in front of him before bustling back into the kitchen. They both heard her muttering things to herself about 'the nerve, coming home in the middle of the night, I was so worried…' the twins grinned at each other.

A few minutes later, Alec and Jon came slouching into the kitchen, looking exhausted. They took seats at the table, groaning quietly. Madame Celeste came back in and placed a large breakfast in front of both of her sons. That done, she placed her hands on her hips and glared at both of her sons. They both shifted uncomfortably, and looked down at their plates.

"Well?" She asked icily. "Do you have any explanations? Do you have any idea how worried I was when you didn't come home?"

"Madre, I'm sorry, but—"

"But!" Madame Celeste looked like she was ready to explode, which might be one of the reasons that both her sons kind of shrank in on themselves. Then, to the twin's ever increasing astonishment and fear, she took a deep breath and started to rant.

The twins sort of shrank in on themselves. They watched in silent shock as she continued to rant for fifteen straight minutes, finally finishing with,

"And you are both grounded, don't you give me that look, young man, you deserve it."

Dom made a strangled sound, and Madame Celeste took a breath and turned to the twins, who stared at her with wide eyes.

"I'm so sorry, are you alright? I know that you had a long night as well, and you are just children still. How are you feeling?"

Is she trying to smother us?

You too? We aren't infants.

I don't think she gets that, Ata.

Humph.

"We're fine, Madame Celeste, really. And it wasn't their fault, really." Dom was wide eyed and earnest—the twins had discovered that wide eyed innocent looks made everyone bow to their every whim—except Madre, and she always just sighed and muttered darkly about them being just like him, and they knew she meant their father.

Meanwhile, Madame Celeste frowned slightly at the pair, then smiled reluctantly. "I know, Dominic. And I'm glad. Well, as soon as you are all finished, I want you out in the yard. You need the exercise." With that said, the woman hurried back into the kitchen, muttering about dinner under her breath. Her two sons just sighed, and finished their breakfasts.

"Come on," Alec said with a sigh. "We'd better go out or we'll never hear the end of it."

The older boy led the three younger kids out into the large lawn that served as a backyard.

"What's that?" Ata asked instantly, pointing to the large sand pit a fair distance from the yard. There was a large net set up in the middle of it, and a beach bag was sitting on the edge of the pit, clearly filled with large balls. Ata tilted her head curiously, and Dom couldn't help but be interested as well. It just looked so odd, like nothing they had ever seen before.

Jon looked confused. "It's a beach volleyball court," he said. Then his eyes widened. "Oh, right. You don't know about muggle sports. Well, you see those balls?" both twins nodded. "You have to hit them over the net, without letting the ball hit the ground, and you don't want to hit it out of bounds, unless it is the other team going out of bounds. There are two forms, the bump," he demonstrated quickly, "and the set," he finished, demonstrating that one.

"What are the rules?" Ata asked curiously.

Jon shrugged. "I don't know, but see that man?" he asked, nodding towards the beach pit. Ata looked over, and saw the old man sitting on a chair in the shade.

"Yes."

"He's kind of an expert at the game. He knows all the rules, of both Beach Volleyball, and regular Volleyball. He can tell you everything that you want to know."

"Cool!" she bounced off, over to the court, and the old man. Dom grinned at her back.

Don't kill him with the excitement of teaching you, he called to her. She laughed, but didn't respond. He could feel her excitement running through their bond, and as he turned back to Alec and Jon, he kept a bit of the thread open so that he could hear what Ata and the old man were saying. He looked at the two older boys, and they looked at him. Then they all shrugged at the same time. Jon jerked his head at the picnic table on the lawn, and told them that he was just going to relax.

"I'm going to the track," Alec said easily.

"I'll come with you," Dom said.

Alec eyed him doubtfully. "Look, kid, I'm a track runner. You won't be able to keep up with me," he said slowly.

"I can start, right? Don't they say that the younger you start, the better you are? Besides, I don't have to keep up with you."

Alec threw up his hands in exasperation, sighed, and walked off. Dom grinned and followed behind him.

What Alec quickly realized, once the pair reached the track a short distance away, was that he had massively underestimated Dominic. Sure, he was young, and he couldn't run for long without stopping. But he was determined, and what he lacked in stamina, he more than made up for in the boundless energy of a five year old boy. He would run as long as he could, then stop and walk…or plod…along, and when he got his breath back, he would take off running again.

Alec was tired just watching him. He couldn't believe that Dom could just keep going like that. It was making him ill just to think about what the boy was doing. With an effort, Alec shoved Dom out of his mind, and focused on his run.

"They're freaks, I'm telling you," Alec groaned to Jon two weeks later.

"Yes, you've said. Multiple times, I might add."

"How do they have that much energy?" Alec groaned. "After the track, the kid goes over to the Volleyball court, and the old man supervises their game. Even though Dom shouldn't have any idea how to play, he somehow knew every thing. How did he do that? And—"

"I don't know, I don't know, and give it a break!" Jon said, exasperated. "If you want to know that badly, just ask them. They don't bite!"

"They're twins."

"What's your point?" Alec didn't answer, just made a frustrated sound and collapsed backwards on his bed, which was where the brothers were having this conversation. "Talk to them. They are only human, you know. Even if they are twins who can practically hear each others thoughts."

"Oh my god!"

"Wait—they can?" Jon's jaw dropped, and shock was evident on his features.

"You just said it!"

"That was just metaphorical! I didn't think that they could actually hear each other's thoughts!"

"Well, I don't know if they actually hear each other's thoughts. That seems like it would be a little…much. Sharing every thought you have? I just think that they can communicate mentally. It seems like the only way that Dom would know the Volleyball rules that Ata had only just learned herself."

"I guess." There was a thoughtful pause. "You know, I think that I've seen that myself. When Dom invited me to go camping with you. I hadn't really thought about it until now…" Jon frowned.

There was a rapid knock on the door to Alec's room, and then the door opened and Ata bounced in, beaming. "Hi!" she chirped.

The two boys stared between her and the door. "Hi," Alec said weakly. "Ata, what are you doing in my room?"

"Dom and I were thinking…why are you looking like that?" She had changed from sentence to sentence mid-word, and sounded innocently curious.

"Erm…can you and Dom…I don't know…talk to each other…in your head?" Alec asked after a long pause.

She smiled at them. "Uh huh. We've done it for as long as I can remember. It's a twin thing." She paused. "Dom wants to know how you figured it out," she added.

Both boys looked slightly disturbed, but Jon finally managed to mutter something about Volleyball rules. Ata tilted her head in confusion, but shrugged it off. "Dom's laughing at me—he say's he gets it. Humph.

"Anyway, Dom and I wanted to go to the beach, and Madame Celeste said to ask you, and we could make it a family trip. So, can we go?"

"Sure…um…yeah, I'll talk to Madre about it." Alec said.

"Thank you!" Ata leaned forward and kissed Alec's cheek, and then bounced over to Jon and kissed his cheek before skipping out the door. A low laugh—Dom—meet her, before she said, "Come on, let's go play another round!" and the pair vanished down the stairs before either of the older boys had recovered.

"She's a little…"

"We are like putty. Pathetic."

Three days passed before it was time to go to the beach. Every day had started with Dom getting up and running around on the track, with a reluctant Alec who would much rather be in his bed. After that, Dom and Ata would play a game of beach volleyball under the supervision of the old man, Roberto, or Rob for short. They would eat breakfast, then hole up in their room and work on addition's to the laptop/wiznet. They would eat lunch, Dom would run, they would play a game, then they would go get Jon and Alec and explore the neighborhood. After that, Dom would run, they would play, the family would eat, maybe play a board game after dinner, and go to sleep. Fairly predictable, really.

On the day that they were going to go to the beach, Dom woke up even earlier than usual. Alec flatly refused to get out of bed, so Dom went with Ata, who sat on the bleachers by the track and tried not to fall asleep again. Afterwards, they skipped the morning volleyball, instead planning to make it up when they got to the beach.

They bounced—or more accurately, Dom bounced and Ata walked—into the kitchen afterwards, and immediately caught sight of all of the bags that held the things they were taking to the beach. Ata's eyes light up and she squealed excitedly, and Madame Celeste laughed at her expression.

"Sit, and eat, children. The beach will not run away, you know," she teased them lightly.

"Oh, yes, Madame Celeste," Ata said earnestly, "but we've never been to the beach before,"

"And we probably won't get to go again for a while, so we're really excited," Dom finished for her.

Madame Celeste shook her head, and then placed a large plate of pancakes in front of them each with a smile. "Eat, so that we can go. I will wake the boys, they will eat, we will pack the van, and go." The woman nodded to herself, then bustled out of the kitchen, leaving the twins to blink blankly after her.

"Um…ok," Ata finally muttered, turning back to her food.

A few minutes later, both of the older boys walked into the kitchen, and headed over to the stove to grab their own food before joining the twins at the table.

"So, looking forward to today?" Jon asked them, starting to eat.

"Oh, yes," Ata said excitedly. "I can't wait! It's going to be so much fun, and we're going to have ice-cream, and play beach volleyball on an actual beach, and—"

"Whoa, slow down there!" Alec said with a laugh. "Yes, it'll be fun, and we'll do a lot of stuff. Don't micromanage us!"

"What?" both twins asked him, confused. "What does that mean?"

"Nevermind," he told them, just as his mother swept into the room.

"Finish, finish," she chided. "We want to hurry, dears, to get there quickly, before the crowds."

"Yes, Madre," the boys said, while the twins simultaneously chimed "Yes, Madame Celeste."

Mothers could be really scary.

Thank you for your patience with me, because I know that you all must really hate me for my updating habits.

Anyway, I know that this chapter is crap, but my muse for this story has hit me over the head and run off…so I'm putting the story on hiatus. I don't want to, and I regret it, but I need time to figure everything out. Hopefully, the next time that I post, I will have pretty much typed out most if not all of the story.

I'm sorry!