Chapter 16 : Growing Up
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I glared at him and Rose punched him.
“You’re a twat,” she said flatly.
Al smirked. “So what have you been up to lately, Reese?”
“Oh, nothing much really. I'm still waiting to see if I got that job, really,” I responded.
Scorpius asked, “Wait, how many weeks are you?”
“Twenty one weeks,” I said, grimacing, “past the half-way point.”
“Fuck, that’s gone fast,” Al muttered.
I nodded and Scorpius asked, “If you get the job, how long are you going to take off?”
I shrugged. “Dunno. I definitely won’t work in the last couple of weeks, but really the maternity leave is like six months or something… So maybe six months? It depends on the kid, really. Tea anyone?”
They all asked for one and Rose helped me out. “How’s Healer training going, Rose?”
She beamed. “It’s been so good! I absolutely love it!”
I laughed and she started telling me stories about all the strange things she’d seen. “Oh my God. You should have seen it. He had actual Freshwater Plimpies as eyebrows! I didn’t think they even existed!”
“Me neither,” I agreed.
She went to say something but Al cut her off, “Oi, Reese. When are you due?”
“23rd of January,” I said, freaking out slightly that it was less than twenty weeks away.
He turned to Scorpius. “Told you it was close to my birthday!”
Rose rolled her eyes. “Al, your birthday is the third of February. That’s ages away.”
“You never know it could be late and end up being born on my birthday,” he said, pointing out.
I laughed (ignoring the small voice in the back of my mind saying he might actually be right) and gave them their tea. “Al, I don't think the kid could be that late. That’s just over a week.”
“Just you watch,” he said ominously before taking a sip of his tea.
I rolled my eyes and sat down at the table. “No way is my kid going to be nine days late, that’s ridiculous. I’d probably end up exploding.”
Rose snorted and her tea went flying. “Oh fuck, sorry! Let me just clean it up.” She waved her wand and the mess disappeared.
Wasn’t magic just amazing?
We kept chatting, discussing how boring adult life really was. There was a pause and then Scorpius said, “Life sucks now. We’re not like a metre away anymore.”
“We never were a metre away,” I said.
“We weren’t even a metre away,” Al pointed out.
Scorpius flushed. “You know what I mean!” he whined.
We all laughed and Al leant back. “Yeah… it is different. Now that we aren’t actually at school, it’s really hit me.”
“Me too,” I agreed. “Even though I knew I was pregnant, now that the baby is kicking and everything, it’s really hit me. It’s like, ‘Holy guacamole I’m going to be a mother’ and that’s fucking terrifying. And now getting the job interview, it’s even scarier because I feel old.”
They looked at me and then simultaneously shrieked, “THE BABY HAS KICKED?!”
I jumped and nodded. “Yeah… it’s been kicking for a week now. Just after I had the interview actually. Didn’t I tell you?”
Rose screamed, “NO YOU DID NOT!”
“Crap, I’m so sorry! I thought I had told you! It must’ve slipped my mind.”
Scorpius said, “You are being kicked from the inside, how could it have ‘slipped your mind’?” He used his hands to make quotation marks.
I snapped, “Oh I’m sorry, I forgot something! Aside from the fact that my parents refuse to talk to me, even though I keep calling them, I’m waiting to see if I got the job because money will be getting tight soon and James has to go away for Quidditch in a few weeks, I could not have forgotten something! Oh silly me!”
Scorpius blushed and Rose said comfortingly, “Sweetie, we didn’t mean it like that. We were just excited but disappointed that we only found out now. We understand that it’s tough right now…” She gripped my hand and looked at me.
I looked down. “I’m sorry I shouldn’t have snapped. It’s just everything has been building up. I decided to go through expenses and all that, and even though James has a good paying job, it’s still going to be a huge struggle. He keeps telling me not to worry about it, but if we leave it alone, it’s gonna come back and bite us in the butt. And I decided to try and call my parents at least once a day, but they just leave it ringing. I called my brother to see if they had gone away, but no, they just got caller ID.” I bit my lip and Rose gave me a hug.
“It’s all becoming real, y’know?” I said quietly. “And I thought my parents might want to talk to me. I mean, I know they never really liked me but…”
Al gripped my hand. “They wouldn’t have hated you, Reese. Maybe they’re still in shock?”
I shook my head. “No, do you know the muggle book Matilda?” I asked. The three of them shook their heads and I sighed. “I always related really well to that book. The girl, Matilda, was magical and her parents absolutely hated her. She had an older brother, although he was an idiot and Blake isn’t but she was always tossed to the side, no one gave a damn about her. And that’s what being with my parents felt like. They worshipped the ground that Blake walked on, but with me…”
Scorpius raised his eyebrows. “Shit,” he whispered.
“I used to wish my primary school teacher would adopt me like the teacher did in that book. It was a dream come true when I got to go to Hogwarts and stay there for holidays.”
They all smiled sadly at me and then I shook my head. “I shouldn’t be burdening you with my problems, it’s really just same old, same old. Do you guys want to do something?”
Al shrugged. “Wanna watch a movie?”
“Sure, what movie?” Scorp asked.
Al shrugged again. “Should we just go to the cinema and see what movies there are?”
Rose, Scorp and I nodded and started getting up. I felt a little kick and quickly shouted, “The baby just kicked again! Quick! Feel!”
Immediately their hands went straight to my stomach and all their eyes lit up and their smiles widened.
In that instant, I knew that this baby was going to be the most spoiled kid in the whole world.
“That sucked,” Rose said bluntly.
“It did,” I agreed. “When is it ever acceptable to do cartwheels when your grandmother dies?”
Scorpius said dryly, “I always do cartwheels when someone dies. It’s a way of remembrance.”
“Can you even cartwheel?” I asked amusedly.
Scorpius nodded. Rose said sadly, “He can. He can also quote all of Mean Girls.”
“Cheers, Rose,” Scorpius said, his cheeks going slightly pink. Al snorted loudly.
“And you have a girlfriend, how?” Al asked, shoving his hands in his pockets.
“Because I’m amazing in bed,” was his quick reply.
Al and I made faces. “THAT’S MY COUSIN, YOU NITWIT!” he shouted, attracting attention from random Muggles passing by. Scorpius shrugged and Rose just continued sucking on her slushy straw.
“It’s true, you know,” she said nonchalantly.
Al covered his ears with his hands. “No, I don’t want to hear this anymore. This did not happen.”
“Actually it’s happened several times,” Rose said, fighting a smile. I snorted and Al made a very ugly face.
“Actually we shouldn’t be talking about this because there is a child, and we would not want to taint its innocence before it’s even been born,” he said, grasping at straws.
Rose and I snorted even louder. “Please, you think I’ve been an innocent little angel since I’ve been pregnant?” I laughed again. “Get real, Al.”
He paled. “What?! You still – huh?”
“Do you want me to spell it out for you, Al?” I teased, popping a crisp in my mouth.
He pretended to gag and said, “How are you all so comfortable with this conversation?!”
Rose rolled her eyes. “Well, Scorp and I have been dating for a very long time, we’re going to buy a house together, so what did you expect? Did you think we were going to sleep in separate rooms?”
She huffed. “You are sadly mistaken, my cousin. And, Reese is pregnant. You think James magically put that baby in her without actually shagging her?”
Scorp made a face. “I don’t want to think about that, that’s disgusting.”
I rolled my own eyes. “Sure, you yell at me because I didn’t tell you when the baby kicked but you don’t want to hear how it got there?” Al grimaced again and I shook my head.
“And it’s not like I haven’t been sleeping with him since,” I said, shrugging.
“What?! You still sleep with him?!” Scorpius asked incredulously. “That’s weird.”
“I know!” Al agreed with him. “And it’s gross because it’s my brother.” He shuddered.
I folded my arms. “I’m having your brother’s kid, I live with your brother, I love your brother, I get very affectionate at times because your brother slept with me and got me pregnant. Now, how to get rid of those urges? I sleep with him some more,” I snapped.
Both the boys shuddered (they like to think I was the baby of the group and wouldn’t do anything remotely wild – oh their poor, misguided minds) and Rose rolled her eyes again. “It’s completely natural, why are you so freaked out about it?!”
Al widened his eyes. “Because it’s my family who she is talking about shagging. I mean, if I talked about who I shagged wouldn’t you find that weird?!”
We all turned to look at him. “Al every time you sleep with a girl, we unfortunately get to hear every little detail,” Rose said slowly. “You can’t really talk about it being weird, because I distinctly remember yelling at you that it was disgusting you were telling us these things.”
Al huffed. “You know, I’ve really missed hanging out with you guys,” I said.
“Me too,” Rose said, “it’s weird eating breakfast and Al not falling asleep in the eggs.”
“One time, Rose, one time!”
When I finally got home, I dumped my stuff in my room and changed into more comfortable clothes. James was at work and I was fiddling with the ends of my hair.
You know, ever since I got pregnant, my hair became more and more straight and now the curl was nearly out of it.
I didn’t know whether I was relieved or sad. I mean, all my family had curly hair and now I had straight hair. I always wished for straight hair but now that I had it, I wanted my curly hair back.
Grass was always greener on the other side, eh?
I sat down and put a hand on my stomach as the baby kicked. I bit my lip and played with my phone. I had taken to calling my parents every day, and every single time they let it ring until I eventually hung up. I would change my phone to private but I kept forgetting how to do that.
Biting my lip, I started dialling their number. I started playing with the green button that would give me the familiar ringing sound.
I know I was just putting myself through hell. They weren’t going to answer and probably never would.
But I had to. They were my parents – as much as I was reluctant to admit – and although we were never on the best of terms, I couldn’t just not give up.
I was a Gryffindor for a reason! Filled with a new sense of determination, I pressed the little green button and held it up to my ear.
It rung once, twice, three times and usually I would hang up by now. Instead, I waited for the voicemail.
“Hello you’ve reached Christopher and Anastasia, sorry we missed your call, please leave a name and number and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.”
I waited for the beep and took a deep breath.
“Hi, Mum and Dad. It’s me, Larissa. I know you hate me right now and you have the right to be. I said some really rude things to the both of you and I don’t expect you to forgive me for that.”
I swallowed and continued my speech, “But I do expect you to forgive me for getting pregnant. I didn’t plan on it, but it’s happened and there’s nothing I can do about it anymore. I thought I should let you know I’m keeping the baby and the father is incredibly supportive.
“His whole family is supportive, they’ve been so wonderful and although I’m so grateful for them, I would still love to have you by my side. I’ve been going through so much lately and if you guys were next to me, I dunno… I guess I’d feel a bit more, erm… stable?
“You know you never treated me as well as you should have, and I used to hold that against you but now, I’m trying to get over it. It isn’t easy, but you’re my parents, that should count for something, right?
“Anyway, you’ll probably ignore this message, but I just wanted to let you know that I’m doing surprisingly well and that I’m trying to forgive you. Even though you probably haven’t forgiven me.”
I hung up and threw the phone down, my hands going to my face in horror.
WHAT THE HELL DID I JUST DO?!
DID I JUST DO SOMETHING RIGHT?!
Call the newspapers, Reese Rizzo has actually done something right for once in her life!
I picked up my phone and thought about what I said. It wasn’t too harsh, but it got my point across. I would give it a few days before I called them again.
Okay it had been three weeks since I had made the call, I freaked out about it to James, but he somehow managed to calm me down.
I had also become much fatter and the Obliviator Department still hadn’t owled me.
“You know, a letter saying that I had been rejected would have been nice,” I grumbled, biting into a peanut butter and pickle sandwich.
Don’t judge, it tasted good, okay?
“You never know, you might still have gotten the job,” Rose said positively.
Oh yeah, and Rose and Scorpius moved into their flat a bit sooner than planned. I didn’t know the details but they got to move in and they were happy about it.
So yeah, we were sitting in their new apartment, having lunch.
I wiped my mouth. “I doubt it. They said they needed people immediately.”
Rose shrugged and took a bite of the salmon sandwich she was eating. The smell wafted towards me and I crinkled my nose. “That’s really strong that smell.” I tried subtly covering my nose, but Rose noticed.
Because Rose always noticed. “Oh, sorry. I’ll quickly finish it then.” She shoved the whole sandwich in her mouth and I turned away before I threw up everywhere. I took a few gulps of water and tried to ignore the nauseating feeling slowly rising within me.
“All done!” she said brightly. I turned back to her and gave her a smile.
“Sorry, Rose. It seems like this baby doesn’t like salmon.” I placed a hand on my stomach as it kicked me again. I took that to mean it was thanking me.
She waved her hand nonchalantly and asked, “Did you want to come to Diagon Alley with me? I need to get some books for Healing School.”
I nodded. “I’ll Floo to the Leaky and meet you there?”
Rose said thoughtfully, “I don’t know if you’re meant to be Flooing, Reese.”
“Actually at the last appointment, my healer said that it should be fine. Tons of mothers Floo when they’re pregnant, it’s just so much easier.”
Rose nodded and said, “Alrighty then. See you soon, yeah?” I nodded and she Disapparated with a crack.
I walked over to the grate and threw some Floo powder into the fire. Stepping into the flames, I braced myself for a very uncomfortable journey.
When I finally arrived at Flourish and Blotts, Rose had her arms full of books already.
“Rose, I must have been what? Ten minutes?”
She grinned and I took some from her, to try and lessen the weight for her. “I know, but I just saw all these books and you know how much I love reading.”
I looked at the title of one of the books I was holding. “Fungi Uses?” I asked, looking up at her.
She blushed. “It was buy three, get twenty-five percent off. I just needed something from that section.”
I rolled my eyes and heard someone call my name from behind me. “Reese!”
I turned around and saw Colleen rushing towards me. She gave me a hug and I hugged her back. “Hey, Colleen!”
Rose looked up from her mountain of books. “Colleen! I haven’t seen you in ages!” She grinned and gave Rose a hug too.
“I know! What have you been up to?”
She shrugged. “Moved in with Scorpius, started Healing School, that’s it really. What about you?”
“Became an Obliviator, still living with my parents, not very interesting.” She laughed and then turned back to me. “Reese! Why haven’t you started working yet?!”
“They didn’t send me an owl.” I shrugged. “I assumed that I didn’t get the job.”
She frowned. “That’s not right, I heard them talking about it the other week. I’m sure you got the job!”
Rose and I stared at her. She looked like the time she overheard Rose and Scorpius saying some naughty things to each other. (Basically, it looked like she’d been lying about how she got the information.) She rolled her eyes. “Okay, I rummaged through my boss’ files. It said you got the job.”
“Are you sure?” I asked hesitantly.
“One hundred percent sure. I was really excited, I remember. I’m actually on my break now, maybe when I get back I’ll bug Pete about it.” She grinned and I smiled back at her.
“You don’t have to,” I assured her.
She shook her head. “No I need to. I’ve been working every single day for the past month. It’s getting ridiculous. We’re so short on people. Two of them just retired and now we don’t have anyone doing night shifts. So they’ve shuffled us around and I’m the poor sod that does all the day hours. BY MYSELF!”
“Shit.” Rose whistled lowly.
Colleen nodded. “It’s been frantic. That’s why you’d be perfect, Reese. You could stay back and do most of the paperwork while the rest of us do the practical stuff.”
I grinned. “Hopefully I’ll get it.”
“You’ll get it,” she said confidently. “The other guy was hopeless. He came in and then halfway through his interview he lit Pete’s office on fire. That was your competition.”
Rose and I burst into laughter. “In that case, I think I will get the job.”
Colleen grinned and said, “I gotta run. Hopefully I’ll see you soon, yeah?” We nodded and she quickly Disapparated.
“It was good seeing her again, I miss Hogwarts,” Rose said sadly.
I smiled. “I do too.”
Thanks for reading, and please review on your thoughts!
Matilda is Roald Dahl's creation
Mean Girls is Mark Waters and Tina Fey's creation
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