Chapter Four: Reasons
I’m really getting good at this whole ‘shocking people speechless’ thing. Teddy is staring at me, mouth agape, as if I just told him I’m going to fulfill a lifelong dream of fucking a pack of werewolves. I flush as he stares at me, “That’s a good enough reason, then?” I ask snidely as I walk past him and into the kitchen; I need to take my potions, I’m feeling really weak. Well, maybe that’s not the pregnancy as much as it’s the fact that I’ve just told the father about it…
“I –you – me – but,” Teddy stuttered oh-so-eloquently behind me. Well, he’s going to yell at me he might as well know why I’m ‘being a right bitch’ about it. I enter the kitchen and decide that I’ll hold off on taking the potions and just find something to eat.
“Th-this is some joke,” Teddy is in the doorway.
“Tell that to your spawn,” I say, not in a good mood. And it hasn’t really hit me that I’ve just revealed my secret.
“This isn’t funny,” Teddy says. I pull out a thing of yogurt and look at him as I shut the fridge.
“Oh, really? I thought the fact that I was having your child was bloody hilarious.”
“Dominique,” he starts. Does he really not believe me? What the hell? Why would I make this up?
I angrily set my yogurt on the counter, turn sideways and pull up my sweater. “Look at this, then. See that? I’m not gaining weight from eating,” I say showing him the little bump I do have.
He stares at me again and his jaw drops. He closes it and repeats the process looking much like a dying fish. I scowl at him as I drop my shirt and pick up my yogurt and grab a spoon.
I don’t answer him. If he can’t figure that one out on his own, then I feel bad for my child. Hopefully it will get my brains. Why does everyone ask that question, anyway? It’s not like they really don’t know…
We stand there in silence while I eat and he continues to look like a dying fish. When I finally finish my yogurt, I throw it away and push past him to change; these jeans are getting really uncomfortable.
“Where are you going?” Teddy asks.
“To change out of these jeans,” I call back as I enter my room. “They do run a bit tight nowadays…”
As I tug my jeans off and pull on a nice, loose pair of sweatpants, I can’t help but think about what is going to happen now. Teddy knows – one of the hardest parts (well, before actually having the baby) is over. But where the hell do you go from here? I don’t think that Teddy can just go home and announce that he’s going to be a father; I’m sure as hell not announcing my soon-to-be motherhood anytime soon. Then again, I didn’t think that I was going to tell Teddy anytime soon, either, and look how that turned out. Damn Weasley temper (and Maman isn’t exactly levelheaded either so I was screwed both ways).
Deciding that holing myself up in my room wasn’t going to solve anything, I walk back down the hall and find Teddy sitting on the couch staring into the dying fire. I sit in an armchair next to the couch and wait for him to talk.
After a few minutes, he finally turns to me, “What have we done?” he asks as his voice cracks.
“‘What are we going to do’ would be a more helpful question to answer,” I tell him.
“How long have you known?” he asks, shifting awkwardly to face me a bit more.
“About two months,” I shrug. “Which, if you didn’t notice, is when I started avoiding people. I don’t think that this news would have brought joy to the family.”
“Did you consider –”
“And you’re not going to, right?”
He nodded. I didn’t think he would have wanted me to get rid the baby that way. And I definitely couldn’t now; I’d heard him/her. The heartbeat. And however terrible it was going to be for me, I would make sure that this child didn’t suffer. Whatever that means. But, for now, Teddy and I stared at each other both stuck on what me actually carrying this child meant.
“So you don’t have some master plan, either,” I sigh and turn to look into the fire.
“Well, sorry about that. I didn’t know I would be expected to think up a plan fifteen minutes after I find out that I knocked up my fiancée’s little sister,” he snaps.
“I never said I was expecting you to do anything, Teddy. If I wanted you to bail me out I would have told you about this two months ago.”
“Then what were you expecting me to do tonight, then? Find out that you’re fucking pregnant and then just walk away wishing you luck?”
“I actually wasn’t planning on telling you tonight,” I tell him. “But your little bitch-fit made it necessary for me to improvise.”
Teddy looks at me incredulously, “First of all, when were you going to tell me? When you showed up to the wedding with a baby? Second, at the time, I had no reason to think that you weren’t just being like that out of bitterness towards me, which isn’t fair to...” he trailed off. I looked at my hands; we didn’t want to bring up Victoire.
“I know it’s not fair to her,” I said quietly. “Why do you think I’ve been avoiding everyone? Out of sport?” I ask. “I feel so awful.”
I look up and see that he’s staring into the fire again. After a while he leans his head back and sighs, “Sometimes I wish that Victoire was an only child.”
My eyes widened, well sorry for existing, Teddy! I can’t change what my parents did so many years ago but hey, I’ll do what I can. “Well here, I’ll help you then,” I turned on him, “You go home and just get someone to confound you and forget about me and your child then, viola, problem solved. I think the best idea is for me to just raise this kid on my own, anyway. I’ll move somewhere else or something, okay?” I stand up. “Show yourself out,” I say as I wave my wand and all the lights except that coming from the fire extinguish.
I walk back to my room, hearing the sound of the floo fire faintly from the other room, and collapse into my bed. Tears streak down my face as I curl into a ball – it’s not that I can’t take Teddy not liking me. Personally, I don’t give a damn about him. It’s just that I’m beginning to realize just want I’ve gotten myself, and this kid, into.
What a night.
In my dream, I was at their wedding. I was at their wedding even though it was scheduled right on my due date. I was at their wedding, as the maid of honour, on my due date, and I was still skinny. Yes, this dream made no sense. So I was just as they are about to exchange “I do’s” I go into labor. Dream-labor lasts about three seconds and is not messy at all (this is when I really knew that I was dreaming). Anyway, so the baby pops out and it looks at me, then at Teddy, then at my sister. Then it reaches over to Victoire and goes “Maman!”
Then I woke up, in horror, sweating.
There is no way that Victoire is raising my child.
I shakily climb out of bed and stumble into the kitchen to make breakfast, trying to push that out of my head. As my bread is toasting, I swallow the miracle potion that saves me from retching my guts out and pour myself a glass of orange juice. As I take my toast, marmalade, and orange juice over to my kitchen table, the owl is waiting at the windowsill with my copy of The Daily Prophet.
So goes my normal morning routine. I’m trying to think about hospital stuff, Emmelyn, anything except the dream and my predicament. However, I can’t help but be distracted because parts of the previous night keep flooding back to me at odd moments. I read about the old, aging Weird Sisters and flashback to Victoire yelling at me that I’m being a bitch for not being her maid of honour. I turn the page and see an advertisement for Weasley Wizard Wheezes’ new product – some form of hair dye – and think of Teddy’s blazing red hair as he yelled at me – then his dark blue hair as he learned my secret. Then I think of Uncle George and then Fred and how he’s leaving for Hogwarts today. I don’t know what I’ll do without him. As I close my eyes and put my head in my hands, I can almost hear him.
“Oi! Preggers, what do you think you’re doing?”
Wait, that sounded a bit too real. I look up and, sure enough, Fred Weasley is walking out of my fireplace with a trunk, a broom, his owl, and confused look on his face. “What’re you doing here?” we ask each other at the same time.
“Well,” I start slowly. “I live here…”
“I know that, but why aren’t you dressed?”
“Because I only just woke up,” I tell him. He stares at me incredulously. “Am I missing something?”
“Didn’t you get the owl?” Fred asks.
“Ruddy bird!” Fred exclaims, kicking his trunk. “I’ve told Dad that he needs to get a new one but there’s something about that generation and not getting a new owl until the old one croaks…”
“That’s all great and dandy,” I say slowly. “But would you mind explaining why you’re here with all your Hogwarts stuff?”
“Oh, right. You’re taking me to the platform.”
I stare at him, then groan, “Are you serious?” I stand up and look at the clock. Ten-thirteen. Okay, so not that bad.
“Sorry,” Fred says as he follows me back into my room. I go into the bathroom and he launches himself onto my bed. As I disappear into my bathroom, I see him accio my quaffle out of the closet and lay on his back tossing it into the air.
“What’s up with your parents, then?” I call from the bathroom as I start the water to wash my face. I’ve been noticing lately that its not as greasy – I guess there are a few, very small perks to this pregnancy thing.
“Roxie’s sick,” he calls back. “We think she may have gotten into some of dad’s not-quite-finished work. Looks like some rash from a weird plant that only Grandma Weasley can identify.”
At least my kid won’t have to deal with a father leaving his shit around, I think miserably. Just a single, eighteen-year-old mum. Perfect.
“Sounds rough,” I tell him. “Is Emmelyn seeing you off?” I ask. I guess this could be beneficial if I get to see both of my best friends together. As long as the two of them don’t snog the whole time. Ugh, I shake my head. Yes, I may have slept with my sister’s fiancé but the thought of my best friend with my cousin does still freak me out. Hypocritical or not.
“Yeah, she’ll be there,” Fred answers. I put on a little makeup and run a brush through my hair before tying it up.
“It was weird, though,” he says as I exit the bathroom and walk over to my closet.
“What was?” I ask as I shuffle through my clothes to the very back where I’m lucky enough to find a pair of jeans that would normally be two sizes to big. I slip them on and walk out with a light blue blouse that matches my eyes.
He sits up and throws the quaffle into the corner, “Well, Mum was going to send me off with Aunt Ginny and Uncle Harry but when she flooed them Aunt Ginny insisted that I come with you so as to say goodbye and whatnot. Mum didn’t protest much ‘cause Roxie started retching again, but she said Aunt Ginny was pretty persistent.”
I groaned as I button up the blouse, “She knows too much.”
“How would she have found out?”
I turn and look in the mirror, “Well, I guess something like this might tip her off.” The blouse is stretched over my stomach. Yes, it technically fits, but as it used to be comfortable and lose, it now would get me weird looks for wearing such a tight shirt.
“Oh.” Fred says so eloquently.
“Damnit,” I curse as I dive back into my closet to find something that doesn’t make me look like a fat stripper. Finally I find a dark blue blouse that was my mothers at some point and decide that it looks good enough.
“What time is it?” I call to Fred as I put on my socks and trainers.
“Er, ten thirty–one.”
“I’m not good with apparating onto the platform, so we’re walking. It takes a good ten minutes to walk there from here, that’s if traffic isn’t insane – which it’s bound to be with so many wizards on the road today…” I talk to myself as I finish dressing. Walking out of my room, I shove my wand and some money into my pockets and grab my last piece of toast.
“Wait,” Fred stops me. “You mean that we’re going to have to haul my trunk, broom, and owl on the London streets?”
Shit. That would be hard. And very strange-looking. I think for a second then smile, “Nope,” waving my wand the trunk and broom shrink to a miniscule size. “You just have to carry your owl – I’ll put this in my purse.” I grab my purse off the table and pick up the trunk and broom.
“I randomly forget that I can do that now,” Fred comments as he picks up Snarky.
“Well, let’s go then,” I sigh. Even though I’ll be seeing Emmelyn, I’m not looking forward to meeting my actual family. I’d bet ten galleons that Aunt Ginny is just waiting to attack me. Maybe I can sneak off before anyone notices… doubtful.
Walking the streets of London with an annoyed owl and a sore back is not something that I ever want to do again. “Hurry up, Dominique!” Fred calls from across a busy street.
“Excuse me for not being able to keep up,” I call back. I push through an annoyed-looking couple and past an old lady who attempts to whack me with her cane.
“Bitch,” I say under my breath as I pass her. Finally I catch Fred by the sleeve, “Slow up, for Merlin’s sake, I’m pregnant!”
“You’re going to make me late,” he whined as he slowed down to a normal pace.
“Sorry if my slower pace cuts into your snogging time with Em,” I snap effectively shutting him up.
We finally reached the station and I went into the bathroom to enlarge his trunk and broom. “There you go,” I wheeled it out and handed it to him. “Let’s get this over with, then.”
Leaning casually against the appropriate barrier, as I’d been doing since I was about ten, we managed to get Snarky the owl, the trunk, the broom, and ourselves onto Platform 9 ¾ without attracting much attention.
I stand on my tiptoes to look around but sigh and ask my taller cousin, “Where is she?”
“Er – over there,” He takes off walking at marathon speed. It’s all I can do to keep up without falling or bumping my now-tender chest into someone.
“Fred! What took so long?” I hear Emmelyn exclaim.
“I’m not alone,” he smiles as he embraces her. “I brought along Pregs’ here.”
“Sweet Circe, just make a sign that says ‘I’m pregnant’ and tape it to my back?” I growl, agitated.
“Already done, dear cousin,” Fred winks. Shit. Is he serious? I slap my hand onto my back – nothing. Git.
“I hate you,” I whisper harshly.
“Are you really going to leave me with those words?” Fred gasps.
I roll my eyes, “Fine, I guess not. Here, give me a hug and then I’ll leave you two to… well whatever you do.”
Fred engulfs me in a hug, “Be careful, okay?” he tells me.
“Aren’t I supposed to tell you that, little cousin?”
“I’m not … you know,” he smiles.
“Take care of you two, then.”
“I will,” I sigh. I pull away. “Meet me at my flat later?” I ask Emmelyn.
“We can do charts!” she says with false enthusiasm.
“Oh, joy,” I smile and turn to leave. I guess they are good together. Though I don’t know how they’ll make it with Fred at Hogwarts all year.
I walk as fast as I can to the barrier trying to escape before, “Dominique!” I hear a stern voice call. So close; why does this always happen to me?
I put on a fake smile, “Aunt Ginny!” I turn around and see her whole family. This is my, what, third lucky day in a row?
“Come here for a minute,” she smiles at me. Before I became paranoid and pregnant, I would have loved to spend time with my Aunt and Uncle and their kids. Now… not so much.
I walk over to her and Lily hugs me – I notice she’s so happy she’s glowing. Well, she is going back to Hogwarts with her boyfriend. “Hey, guys,” I smile, avoiding Aunt Ginny’s eyes. “Excited?”
“Yes!” Lily exclaims. Al and James shrug.
“You two are plotting,” I narrow my eyes at them.
“They better not be,” Aunt Ginny turns to her sons.
“What? Us? Never,” James exclaims innocently.
“We aren’t even back at Hogwarts yet,” Al says as James sends me a hard look. I smirk at him.
“Well, you two better be good. Right, Harry?” Aunt Ginny looks to her husband.
“Er – yeah. I don’t want any reports of mischief,” he says as sternly as he can. “So don’t get caught.” He adds quietly with a wink as Ginny pulls Lily away from me to talk to her.
“Well, I’ll just be on my way,” I say, as the five minute warning whistle goes off.
“No, wait,” Aunt Ginny looks up as she pulls out of a hug with her daughter.
I try not to make my agitated sigh apparent as I wait for her to hug and kiss all of her children before sending them off. As they say goodbye to their father, Aunt Ginny looks at me, “Come on, have lunch with me?” she asked. Well, I think that she phrased it like a question but I knew that no matter what I said there was no way I would get out of it.
But I had to try anyway, “Er – I really should be doing my charts and –”
“You can’t take the time out of your schedule to have lunch with your godmother whom you haven’t spoken to in nearly two months?”
“I would love to have lunch with you,” I try again. “I’m just really not in the mood to be out in public.”
“Well, we’ll eat at my house, then. Harry’s going over to Ron and Hermione’s, anyway. We’ll have the house all to ourselves.” Oh, great.
I see that there actually is no way to get out of this so I sigh, “Okay – if you insist.”
“I do,” she smiles and takes my arm and without so much as a warning turns on the spot.
I land ungracefully in her kitchen, coughing and gasping for air. “I put a Sheppard’s pie in the oven before we left, “ she says crossing the perfectly clean, shiny, and huge room to check on the food. “But it looks like we have about thirty more minutes to wait.” She closes the oven and looks at me.
“Oh, well, that’s fine,” I say as I stand there awkwardly. I’m probably being paranoid but I have a feeling Aunt Ginny’s up to something.
“Oh!” she exclaims suddenly making me jump. “I have a few shirts for you! They don’t fit me right anymore, and I think that you would love them; come try them on!”
She walks over and grabs my hand. I laugh at her enthusiasm, but I’m a bit worried. Aunt Ginny loves to spoil her godchildren, and she has the best taste in clothes so usually whenever she says she has hand-me-downs, I am thrilled. However, now that nothing she has in my normal size will fit…
I follow her up the stairs to her master bedroom, my stomach turning in nervous knots. So this is how she’ll force it out of me. “Well, I’ve had these for a while, but yesterday Lily was going crazy trying to find the one shirt she absolutely needed so I looked through my closet and saw theses and thought of you!”
“Thanks,” I smile. “But, I don’t know if it will fit me right. I’ve had to give away a few of my clothes lately – hospital food, you know.” I try to laugh.
“Oh, I’m sure these will be perfect for you,” she looks back and grins at me. She is definitely up to something. I gulp as she turns back around. If she finds out, my life is over. I have to just apparate out of here right now. To Scotland. And never come back.
We finally reach her and Uncle Harry’s room, and she leads me to her huge closet. Seriously, I think it’s as big as my bedroom. It must be amazing to have such a huge closet. And house.
But I mean, I never went hungry or didn’t get what I wanted for Christmas. Ever since the war ended, us Weasleys have been pretty well off. Something about our repayment for staying loyal and helping set up the Ministry again. That and Uncle Harry’s late parents left him a ton of money that he practically forces upon the rest of the family.
I stand in the doorway as she rummages through one of her clothes racks. Finally, she pulls out two different nice polo shirts (a red one and a dark green one) along with a nice rich purple blouse. “Here, try this one first,” she smiles and hands me the green polo.
I take it and sigh. It looks about my old normal size. Meaning it will be about two sizes too small for my fat, pregnant body. I walk into her bedroom, unbuttoning my blouse. With my back to her, I quickly take it off and pull the polo over my head. As I adjust it over my stomach, I feel it clinging. Shit. But, oddly enough, the way that it was clinging took some of the pressure I didn’t know was there off of my back.
Damn. Maybe I’ll wear smaller shirts more often.
“Turn around,” Aunt Ginny says and shuts the closet door so I can see the mirror on the back of it. Taking another breath, preparing for her to gasp at my bump, I turn and open my eyes to look in the mirror.
When I see my reflection, my jaw drops. I don’t look pregnant at all. How is that possible? I looked more pregnant in the huge blue blouse I’d been wearing before and that wasn’t anywhere near as tight as this feels. But it doesn’t look tight. It looks normal. And, sure, I don’t look as skinny as I did, say, three months ago, but I don’t look pregnant.
I look to Aunt Ginny, who looks extremely worried, “Oh, Dominique,” she gasps and runs over to embrace me. I stop breathing; but I don’t look pregnant now! “You must be at least three months along. Oh, how did this happen?” she asks as she pulls away and tries to look at me with her huge, caring, brown eyes. My stomach drops and my chest stabs with shame. I look at the floor, silently.
“Dominique, Honey, don’t worry,” she says quietly, as she sits me down on her bed. I’m too ashamed of myself to even look at her. Or marvel at how she knew. I knew she knew.
I feel as if I could drown in the disappointment and shame. I want to throw myself off a bridge; well, not really. But this is the worst I’ve felt in a long time. Aunt Ginny’s disappointment is a million times worse than Fred’s, Emmelyn’s, or even Teddy’s reactions. My eyes tear up because pregnancy chooses the worst times to show emotions.
She sits beside me and tucks me under arm, “Shh,” she says. “I’m not going to tell anyone, Baby.” She soothes, as she strokes my hair.
“I-I’m s-sorry,” I stutter.
“Who else knows? Anyone?” she asks.
“E-Emmelyn and F-Fred a-and the father j-just found out,” I can’t bring myself to tell her who the father is. I know that she won’t push me. Aunt Ginny is probably the most motherly person I know. Well, her or Grandma Weasley. My own mother isn’t as motherly as they are and she’s pretty motherly. I love my mother but there’s just something about Aunt Ginny.
“Have you been taking care of yourself?” she asks. “You have the potions? And you know what foods are good to eat?”
“I-I got the potions on Friday and –”
She sits me up, “This Friday?” she asks. I nod, confused. “But you have to be at least three months along!” I nod again. “You mean,” she says, looking kind of mad now, “that you went nearly three months without pregnancy potions!?” I feel ashamed again, but I nod. “Do you know how dangerous that is?” she says angrily. “You could have gotten really sick! Some witches have even died!”
“I-I didn’t know,” I say, looking at my lap.
“Dominique –” she starts again, but stops. I think I am tearing up again; I hate this. I hear her take a deep breath. She lifts my chin up, “I’m sorry,” she says. “I just can’t imagine going that long without the potions; it’s very risky but you are obviously fine – you must be really strong. All that matters is that you are not seeing a healer and have an appointment for next month?”
“You have to take care of yourself,” she says. “Especially now that you have someone else to think about.”
I nod again. We sit there for a minute then I look at her, “I don’t know what to do at all, Aunt Ginny,” I say as tears continue to run down my face. “I can’t do this!”
She looks at me sternly, “Dominique, you obviously made a mistake and now is time to take responsibility. You have to do this, and that’s why you will.”
I sigh and nod; I know she's right.
A/N: Hey, guys. I'm soooo sorry that it took so long for me to update. I have hadl ike half of this chapter written forever, but I just haven't had the time to finish it! I'm so sorry! Anyway, now Ginny knows. Oh man. Haha. Anyway, thanks so much for all the reviews. They make me sooo happy. I love you guys. Please continue to tell me what you think!
over and outt.
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