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Chapter 8 : Truths (of sorts)
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"That's going to prove to be difficult."
"Why? Do you think I'm not capable of fighting a bloke who shagged you, abandoned you with a baby growing inside your body and then refuses to man up?"
He was close to spitting fire, his eyes a stormy grey and his hands balled up into fists.
"No, Oliver, that's not what I meant," I choked out. "It's going to prove difficult because you can hardly pummel yourself into the ground."
He stared at me blankly for a minute or two, unmoving, and I felt myself tense at his absence of reaction.
"What?" He finally croaked the word out.
"You're Bludger's father, Oliver," I whispered.
"No," he shook his head, "that's impossible. We never… Well, we did, but not eight months ago."
"The club we went to with the team. We were both hammered, and it just… happened," I finished lamely.
"No, no, no! I can't have done this to you!" I didn't answer him. "I can't have gotten you pregnant and left you alone to cope afterwards."
"But you didn't leave me alone," I pointed out quietly. "You were there for all the ultrasounds, you were there when I had panic attacks, you even found the nickname for the baby!"
"Cat knew." It wasn't a question. "That's what all the allusions were for, all the awkward situations we were in. Why didn't you tell me before, Kim?"
"I was afraid," I stammered. "At first it was because I was ashamed of myself, then because I didn't want to feel like I was forcing you into anything, and then it was because I didn't want to ruin what we had."
"Oh," he snapped bitterly, "really? You know what relationships are based on? Trust, fucking trust. I trusted you, you know? And now I find out that you've been lying to me for months, and you say it was to protect our relationship? What a load of fucking bullshit!"
Anger bubbled in me immediately. "Well, what was I supposed to do?'Good morning, Wood, we shagged last night – don't bother trying to remember, we were both so drunk it's a miracle we even managed to do something – and here I am, carrying your spawn', would that have gone down okay with you? Have you even considered what I might have felt like, lying to you? Do you think I wanted to? Do you think I wanted to be pregnant? DID I HAVE A FUCKING CHOICE? NO! I JUST HAD TO COPE WITH IT, DEBATING WHETHER OR NOT I TOLD YOU, BECAUSE I WAS TERRIFIED YOU WOULD REACT LIKE THIS!" I was screaming my last words.
"WY DIDN'T YOU GET AN ABORTION THEN, IF IT WAS SUCH A PAIN?" He roared straight back at me.
"YOU FUCKING TWAT, I DIDN'T WANT TO GET RID OF THIS CHILD BECAUSE IT WAS YOURS AND I THINK I WAS ALREADY IN LOVE WITH YOU AT THE TIME!"
A stunned silence followed my words. Was that what it had been, all this time? Love?
Oliver opened and shut his mouth stupidly a few times, but I cut him off. "Whatever you have to say, Wood, I don't want to hear it. You've caused enough damage in my life, and I won't stand being hurt by you again."
He crossed his arms determinedly. "You know what, Willows? I think I may have loved you too, but that was before I found out you were a lying bitch. I don't want you in my life either."
I punched him full on the nose, and immediately turned on my heel, Disapparating to the safety of my flat.
Cat was reading a magazine on the sofa, and jumped out of her seat as I materialised, catching me before I crumpled to the ground.
"Are you out of your mind? You can't Apparate when you're eight months pregnant." She then looked at me properly. "Kiwi, what happened?"
"I told Oliver," I told her angrily. "We're done and I don't ever want to see him again."
And at that, I promptly burst out crying, hot tears rolling down my cheeks, my body racked with sobs.
Cat pulled me into a hug, letting me cry into the crook of her neck, not saying anything.
"I've ruined everything," I whispered. "He loved me and I've ruined it."
I was nothing but a piece of shit.
After that, Cat had put me to bed.
"We'll talk about it tomorrow."
I woke up with red and puffy eyes.
I still felt like a piece of shit.
"I can't ever see him again. I won't see him again," I muttered forcefully.
"You'll have to," Cat interjected. We were sitting in the kitchen again.
Poor kitchen. If it were a live being it would probably need a therapy by now, with all the things Cat and I had debriefed here.
"You'll have to see him again, it's impossible for you not to. Unless…" She bit her lip hesitantly.
"Unless you leave London."
"What? Where would I go? And what about the baby?"
"The Canadian board of directors for Mapley's Academy of Magic are looking for newly graduated exchange students, in a program for International Magical Cooperation, you should owl them to ask if you could apply."
I gaped at her. "But… What about you?"
"I'll have to stay," she smiled wryly. "I can't quit the team, or Maya, or Dad."
I couldn't leave, not without Cat. Could I?
"Look," she took a deep breath. "If it's what you want, then go for it."
"I need to think about it," I muttered.
But deep down, my mind was made.
Dear Miss Willows,
The Mapley Academy of Magic is planning to provide individual lodging for the students participating in our exchange program. Therefore, we are happy to announce that your application has been received and validated, even with your pregnancy. Attached to this letter you will find a list of the required supplies for your year with us and a form that you must fill in for housing.
Please do not hesitate to owl us if you have any questions. We await your arrival with pleasure.
Tabitha Green, Headmistress of Mapley Academy of Magic.
"Maman," I hissed at her, "I can make my suitcase alone."
"Kiwi, that's enough. You obviously can't, seeing as you haven't even thought of packing a blanket for the baby." She looked at me with concern. "Are you sure about this?"
"Does this have anything to do with the baby's father?"
"No," I lied.
She gave me a steely glance that had always scared the shit out of me. A glance that clearly stated I am your mother, young lady, don't give me any of that.
"Yes," I admitted.
"You told him, didn't you? And he didn't take it well." Tears brimmed up again, and she put a comforting arm around my shoulders. "Don't worry. We're here for you."
I only wanted to have Oliver back.
"You know, when I told your father I was pregnant, he ran away from the house for two days."
"He did? Why?"
"He was afraid," she shrugged. "But he came back despite that."
"I don't think he'll come back, Maman."
"On ne sait jamais*," she tucked a strand of my hair behind my ear and resumed packing.
As she zipped the bag shut, I turned to her again. "What if I'm a terrible mother?"
"You won't," she asserted.
"How do you know?"
"You've been educated properly," she asserted firmly, "therefore you should be able to transmit the same to your child. But even without that, you are kind, gentle, loving and protective; as your mother I know that with such qualities you will not have any difficulties bringing a child up, even without the father."
I rested my head on her shoulder. "You and Papa will make fantastic grandparents."
"And she'll have the most awesome godmother ever," Cat walked into the room, clean laundry piled up in her arms. She unceremoniously dropped it on the bed and wrapped her arms around us both. "Trust me Kiwi. You'll be fine."
If anyone were to stick their head in the room, he or she would have smiled at the three women, two blonds, one black-haired, hugging like their lives depended on it.
"I'm back!" Cat walked out of the fireplace in her Puddlemere robes. My heart tightened at the sight. "The boys have been asking about you. Then Oliver starts scowling and drilling orders for us to stop chatting like old ladies, but today Tim got annoyed, nicked Greg's bat, thwacked Oliver across the head and said that he wanted to have news of his favourite girl even if Oliver was too stubborn and too stupid to listen."
I smiled weakly at her, and she noticed it.
"I'm such a tactless cow," she looked at me apologetically, "sorry."
"It's okay for you to talk about him," I answered truthfully, "he's still your captain. I just miss him."
"You really did love him, didn't you?"
"I did. I think I still do."
"Have you considered talking to him?"
I bit my lip. "I wrote. He sent Batsoulini back with the letter unopened."
She stayed quiet, not knowing what to say. After a short silence, she piped up again.
"How did your appointment with Healer Weber go this afternoon?"
"Quite well. Apparently I should deliver the ninth of July."
"Nine days," Cat squealed. "Are you happy?"
For the first time in weeks, a real smile lit up my face. "I can't wait to meet this baby. Will you be there with me?"
"Yes," she answered solemnly. "I have a match after tomorrow, but once that's done I'm staying with you the whole time to make sure I'm there when you need me."
"Have I ever told you how much I love you?"
"Yes, but it's always good to hear."
I hit her lightly in the arm, and she grinned back at me.
Screw wanting to murder Cat off. She was the best friend I could ever ask for.
On Saturday the first of July, when Cat came home from practice, she was not alone.
Benjamin, Nicholas, Alex, Greg and Tim appeared with loud pops after her.
"What are you guys doing here?"
"We came to see you."
"Yeah, we've got a present for you."
They proudly produced a package from behind their backs, neatly wrapped in green paper.
"I wrapped it," Alex declared. "You should be in awe of my skills."
"I am, trust me," I wrestled to unwrap it properly, revealing a prim white box.
I lifted the lid carefully, then pulled several layers of tissue paper away. Resting in the box were three tiny bodysuits, one red with a fluttering Snitch; one gold with a jumpy Bludger; and the last one grey with a Quaffle whizzing to and fro on the front.
"These are adorable," I breathed.
The oh so masculine members of the Puddlemere Quidditch team, who boasted about their Y chromosomes, who argued about their testosterone levels, who had spitting contests and who claimed that they were "rugged, manly specimens of the male subspecies", yes, those, all puffed up their chests in pride.
I immediately got up, hugging them all in turn.
"Now, shoo," Cat scolded as soon as I was done thanking them. "We've got a big match tomorrow, and Kiwi needs to rest!"
As soon as they had all left, not without some grumbling that sounded very much like "bloody crazy woman, should be in the army", she turned to me. "I didn't even help them pick that present, you know. It was a completely spontaneous choice, entirely their decision."
"You sound like their mother," I laughed.
"I do not," she huffed, visibly annoyed by the comparison.
"You do! Soon you'll be calling them sweetie-poo and preparing their breakfasts!"
"Sweetie-poo?" She cried out with indignation. "Even my great-grandma didn't use expressions as horrid as that."
"Your great-grandmother didn't speak English."
She looked even more affronted, her eyebrows long gone into her hairline. "There are some terrible nicknames in Spanish as well, I'll have you know, but none are as bad as that."
"I don't know, Pipita!"
"Excuse me," I sputtered, "what the hell does that mean?"
Cat went a furious shade of red. "It doesn't mean anything. I called my dad's mum that."
"Because, you moron," she rolled her eyes, "I didn't know how to say abuelita** so I shortened it to Pipita."
I smiled at her. "Aw, how cute."
"I'm not cute," she pouted, "I'm damn sexy."
I snorted. "Yeah, right, whatever floats your boat… cutie pie."
"Take that back!"
"Take what back, ickle Cattiekins?"
She shrieked at an ear-splitting level, but I saw the hint of a smile flit past. "I WILL KILL YOU, YOU CRAZY BINT, I KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE!"
"No, please, have mercy," I pretended to bow to her. "I will never offend you like that again, oh great one."
"You'd better not," she teased, sticking her tongue out at me.
"Never again, I swear, mighty cute one."
She lunged at me, but I dodged it in time, laughing.
Cat was so easy to annoy.
"Are you alright?" Cat looked at me worriedly.
I looked up. "Yes, why?"
"I don't know, it's a beautiful Sunday afternoon in July, I'm about to leave for a Quidditch match, and here you are scrubbing the floor, when you're due in a week."
"Well, I was bored, and it's productive, so shut up," I dipped my rag in the bucket full of dirty water.
She rolled her eyes at me, but made no comment, instead helping herself to a plate of pasta.
I was happily rubbing at a stain on the tiled floor when Bludger gave a mighty kick in my stomach.
"Ow," I groaned.
Cat looked at me, alarmed. "Is everything alright?"
"Yep, Bludger just gave quite a strong kick."
Cat was about to go back to her pasta when I gasped.
"Stop scaring the shit out of me, woman! What is it this time?"
I pointed to the pool of liquid that had just formed on the floor.
"So you spilled the contents of the bucket everywhere, serves you right for cleaning the bloody floor…"
"That's not the bucket. My water just broke."
A/N: Tada! Last chance for theories: boy or girl? What do you think Bludger's name will be?
And of course, questions realtive to this chapter: who's mad at Oliver? Who's mad at Kiwi? Who's mad at both of them? What do you think of Kiwi running away to Canada? How did you like Kiwi's mum? What did you think of the boys' present for Kiwi? How do you think Cat is going to react to Kiwi's latest statement? What will happen in the next chapter?
Thank you for all for your support for this story, I'm amazed you've stuck with me up to here! :)
Next chapter will be told by Cat.
* We never know.
** abuelita = grandma in Spanish.
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