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A/N: As a reward for your super patience I give to you a semi long chapter for your pleasure. Really sorry for the wait but now that I am home for the summer I should be able to update faster. Just so you know the person dipicted in the picture below is Bridget Skeeter. Okay thanx for your time, remember to R&R.

Chapter Three:
T-Minus 4 Days


Journalists and sharks have a lot in common—mostly a love for utter carnage and destroying lives. Alex was sitting upside down on the sofa with her head resting on the floor. Halie parted the blinds and peeked through, “I don’t know, Lex, the crowd just keeps getting bigger…”

The sound of vomiting came from behind the bathroom door and Alex sighed, “how many?”

Halie turned around, “Two dozen or so, maybe we should cut our losses and just go for it.”

Naomi shuffled from the bathroom, looking ashen, “Who doesn’t have floo powder?”

Alex nearly growled, “What’s the point of having floo powder if you don’t have a freaking fire place?”

“If we don’t leave soon we are going to be late to your grandmother’s.” Halie sighed.

“What’s worse: a horde of angry story-starved journalists or your grandmother?” Naomi asked, leaning over the couch.

There was a moment’s pause.

“Let’s go,” Alex muttered, flipping herself upright. “Hell hath no fury like a grandmother scorned.”

Old Mrs. McGovery was standing next to the door like a hawk ready to strike. She spun on the spot at the sound of the approaching girls, a deranged look on her face. Alex rolled her eyes, “They’ll leave when I leave, and you can just keep my deposit to make up for the damage.”

She huffed in agreement and waddled away. Naomi snorted, “Sure, now she leaves her post.”

Alex paused before the front door, “I got a job…”

“Really?” Halie asked incredulously.

“Yeah, at Hogwarts…”

Naomi snorted derisively, “What…They needed a new caretaker?”

“Has it been nine months yet?” Alex shot Naomi a dirty look, “as the transfiguration professor.”

“That’s great…” Halie said cheerfully.

“I leave in four days,” Alex continued.

“That’s timely,” Naomi said flatly.

Placing her hands on either side of the door, Alex finished, “So it would seem.” Sighing, she pushed the doors open to an onslaught of camera flashes and loud voices.


Alex paused before the front door to her grandmother’s house. The press paced impatiently behind the locked iron wrought gates at the end of the drive. Alex sighed; the feeling was similar to being surrounded on all sides and having nowhere to run. After about five minutes, Halie ignored Alex’s squawks of protest and pushed through the front door.

The front hall was full of Alex’s family, James’s family, and even some people she had never seen before. James stepped forward to meet her—his hair in a state of disarray that was incomparable to recent memory. His eyes were shadowed with exhaustion and his mouth set into a thin line of unhappiness. Continuing to frown, Alex spoke, “Care to explain?”

“So you’re still in denial?” James bit coldly.

“What exactly are you accusing me of?” Alex asked shrilly.

James just shook his head and walked away, the Weasleys’ trademark crimson seeping into his cheeks. Alex whipped around, a dangerous look in her eye. She stared down Naomi, who was suddenly quite interested in looking at her feet. In one quick movement, Alex grabbed her by the top of her arm and whirled her into a nearby closet. Naomi squealed, “God, Lex…Get off me.”

Alex pulled the cord to the light, and Naomi took a sudden step back as she noticed the death glare that her friend was shooting at her. Chest heaving, Alex seethed, “This is getting out of control!”

Naomi shuffled her feet, “What do you want me to do about it?”

Alex threw her hands into the air, “Tell- them- the- truth!”

“I can’t! I haven’t even told Ace yet,” Naomi cried back.

“You were supposed to do that last night!”

“Well, sorry, I couldn’t find the right moment.”

“Merlin, Na- my entire family is here, and they think I’m PREGNANT!” Alex shouted. At the last few words, the door to the closet opened and a dozen or so faces peered in. Alex’s grandmother moved into the doorway. “Alexandra,” she stared down her nose, “We need to talk.”

Alex shot Naomi with a menacing look as she was pulled haphazardly from the dark comfort of the closet. She and James were forced down onto a sofa side by side. She shot James a dirty look before turning to face the crowd that included an ashen-looking Ginny Potter. Grandma Callista spoke from her perch amidst the crowd, “So, Alexandra do you have anything to say for yourself?”

Alex narrowed her eyes, “No, not really.”
James jumped up from his seat, “Are you kidding me? I found the positive test in your apartment.”

Alex shook her head, “You are such a jackass.”

“Young ladies don’t use such language,” Grandma Callista cried shrilly.

To her horror, Alex’s father leaned forward and asked, “Have you and James been having sex?”

A few people in the room snorted and the heat rose in her cheeks. “We’ve been dating for seven years…What do you think?”

Ginny spoke up, “Have you been safe?”

“Yes,” James answered hollowly.

Grandma Callista stood up, “My God, Alexandra, how could you be so irresponsible? You have been given everything in this world. A great education, yet you don’t have a job. A steady relationship, yet you’re not married. You’re 23, and what do you have to show for it…some dingy one room apartment!”

Alex shot Naomi a desperate look and Grandma Callista continued, “Look at Halie. She has a great job with your mother and she is engaged. And Naomi, she has a job at the Ministry and is dating your brother…Why can’t you be more like her?”

“Alex isn’t pregnant!” Naomi burst out. Every head in the room turned to where she stood as she promptly turned green and vomited spectacularly on the oriental carpet beneath her feet. Wiping her mouth, she looked up to find Ace, who was frozen in an expression of horror, and continued, “It’s me. I’m the one who’s pregnant.”

The room exploded; Ginny nearly fainted with relief and James paled. He turned to face Alex and stuttered, “Lex, I…I’m…”

Alex gave him a cold look before she swept from the room. James caught up with her near the front gate, where the press waited with excited stares. He yelled from behind her, “Why didn’t you just tell me?!”

Alex rounded on him, “It’s not like you ever gave me the chance. You never even asked me if it was true—You just started accusing me of hiding things!

James stood there dumbly as she continued, “and it’s not like I’m the one who hides things in this relationship, James. I’m sorry that the idea of me being pregnant is so catastrophic to you that you had to freak out and tell every reporter on this side of the date line; but don’t worry about it, we won’t have another pregnancy scare because I’m never sleeping with you AGAIN.”

Chest heaving, she turned to glare at the reporters, who had all drawn back a step. Huffing angrily, she spun on the spot and apparated away.


Her apartment was dark and silent as Alex stared moodily at the pint of ice cream she had eaten. For the fourth time that hour, her phone rang, and James’s face flashed on the screen. Alex hit the ignore button and tossed it blindly across the room, where it bounced and skidded into the far corner.

The program Alex had been pretending to watch on the wizard tele ended, and the opening credits for a new one began. Mona Sharp’s face filled the screen. Alex groaned and flipped off the TV. She rolled her head toward the ceiling and stared blankly at it. After a few minutes, a fervent knock came at the door. Alex looked up, “Go away; I’m not interested.”

“Alex, it’s me, Naomi,” A muffled voice called.

“Still not interested—Go AWAY!”

“Lex, please let me in. I need to talk.” The pounding stopped and Alex glared at the door. With a sigh, she pulled out her wand, and without bothering to stand up, unlocked it. Naomi peered into the room from the doorway and spoke, “Is it safe to come in?”

Alex rolled her eyes and continued to glower at the cracks in the ceiling. “Lex, I’m sorry that this got so out of control.”

She sighed and with a little smile spoke, “It’s fine. It’s not really your fault, but I’m sure James has something to do with it.”

“Well, it got interesting once you to left…I thought your mother was going to have a conniption in the middle of your grandmother’s living room.”

“Yeah, sorry, I missed it,” Alex replied sarcastically.

“The weird thing is, once your grandmother found out it wasn’t you who was pregnant, she got really excited.” Naomi frowned slightly. “She offered to start a Hogwarts fund for me.”

Grandma Callista’s response wasn’t all that surprising…Ace had always been the golden child—some things never changed. Naomi took a seat at the end of the sofa, taking care not to sit on the Shepherd’s Pie stain and asked, “Look, Alex, I know I have no right to ask, but…”

For the first time, Alex noted the tears that strained Naomi’s voice. Alex sat up, “Merlin, Na- what happened?”

Naomi sniffled quickly; dissolving into tears, she cried, “Ace and I got into a fight, he stormed off, and now, he won’t answer his phone, and…and…I don’t know where to find him!”

Alex sighed, “Did you fight about the baby?”

“Alex, I think he broke up with me!” Naomi let out a heart-breaking sob as she lost the ability to control her tears. Alex pulled her into a tight hug. Patting her gently on the back, she whispered, “Don’t worry, he’s just upset that’s all.”

“Can you find him?” She managed to choke out before a steady flow of tears started again. Alex gave her a tight squeeze and stood up from the couch. Silently, she summoned her cell phone from the corner and spoke quietly, “You can stay here, and I’ll be back in a little bit.”


Ace was a fairly simple guy; there were only so many places he went on a regular basis. Still, he wasn’t at his apartment, the Three Broomsticks, the Leaky Cauldron, the Callista Mansion, or their parents’ house. Alex apparated to a random street in Diagon Alley where she vaguely remembered seeing her brother and threw her hands dramatically into the sky. Sighing deeply, she dropped her hands and went to walk from the alley. After only a few steps, she froze for a moment, and then backed up a few paces.

There, sitting at the bar, was Ace, his head hung in the direction of his drink. Alex, sighing in relief, walked into the unnamed bar that was empty except for her brother. Not even the bartender looked up as the door chimed; Alex took the seat beside her brother and hailed the keep, “Two coffees, please.”

The gruff barkeep nodded.

Without looking up, Ace sighed, “So, who sent you?”

“Doesn’t matter. I’m here for you.”

“Sorry about the confusion…it wasn’t cool how they cornered you like that.”

Alex smiled, “Just a typical day in my life, wasn’t so surprised.”
“Have you talked to James yet?”

“Let’s just say James is going to have to work for it this time.” Alex turned to look at him and continued, “So, did you really break up with her?”

“I think I may have accidentally managed to do that. Is she really upset?”

“The hormones don’t help much.”

“I was just trying to figure out how this could happen.”

“Does it matter? It happened…So, how are you going to deal with it?”
Ace hung his head, “I’m 25! I can barely get up for work on time…How am I supposed to take care of a child?” Ace banged his fist against the bar, “This isn’t fair, and this isn’t fair to Naomi either.”

“You know Naomi has never been the type to run away from things,” Alex put her coffee cup down, “but she is pretty freaked out by this.”

“We’re kids! How are we supposed to raise one?”

“You wouldn’t have to do it by yourself; there are people who can help.”

“Who?” Ace laughed, “James and Charlie? They have their own lives.”

“Them.” Alex smiled, “Grandma Callista sounded pretty willing to help.”

“Could you imagine Dad with a grandchild?”

Alex finished her coffee and replied, “Well, they’ll be flying a broom before they even learn to walk, but I don’t think you’re giving yourself a lot of credit.” She nudged him and smiled, “Buy an alarm clock and who knows, you could be a great dad.”

Ace cringed, “That sounds so strange.”

“Think of it this way, you can’t do worse than our own mom and dad and we turned out normal or…mostly normal.”

Ace snorted, “Yeah, I’m about to have a child out of wedlock and you’re unemployed.”

“Well, that’s not exactly true, you may have a kid on the way, but I have a job.”

“No way!” Ace let his jaw go slack, “Hannah finally gave you a job at the bar?”

Alex stuck her tongue out, “No, I got a teaching job at Hogwarts…don’t look so shocked.”

The bartender shuffled forward and snarled, “Closin’…get lost.”

Ace threw some cash down on the bar and they walked out onto the nearly abandoned street. Alex stopped Ace, “Look, she’s sitting in my apartment. If I hadn’t already eaten everything in the kitchen, I’m sure she would’ve gotten to it. She’s concerned and upset…just talk to her.”

She sighed as he apparated away; and then, she turned to find a small news stand closing up for the night. Her eyes narrowed in concentration when she noticed a near empty stand of the evening Prophet. On the front cover, just below a moving picture of her screaming at James, a headline read, “Former Witch Weekly cutest couple calls it quits.”


The early morning sun shone through the ancient grimy windows of Alex’s flat. She stood in the middle of her apartment, completely surrounded by boxes; in fact, as someone knocked on the door, she had no way to answer it. Peering over a box to the door, she called out, “It’s open!”

Alex dropped the plate she’d been packing when her grandmother stuck her head through the door. It shattered into a million pieces as it hit the floor, scattering pieces across the floor. Grandma Callista came to a halt in the middle of her cramped living room with a young blonde girl on her heels, “Alexandra, aren’t you going to say hello to your grandmother?”

Alex narrowed her eyes and flicked her wand at the shards of the bowl. As they flew together to reform in her hand, Alex muttered, “What do you want?”

Grandma Callista huffed angrily, “I merely came to introduce you to an acquaintance of mine.”

She turned and indicated the girl standing behind her. The short bleach blonde-haired girl only came to Alex’s chin (and that was with three inch heels on). The girl smiled falsely, “Hello, Alexandra. My name is Bridgette Skeeter, reporter for the Daily Prophet.”

Alex continued to frown, “You’re the one writing the articles about me?”

“Yes dear, Ms. Skeeter has agreed to interview you for an article for the Prophet.”

“What article?” Alex asked coldly.

“The one that’s going to clear up this pregnancy nonsense. Plus, now that you’re free of the quidditch-playing nitwit, we want the eligible bachelors to know you’re available.”

Alex heaved herself over several cardboard boxes seething, “First off, I won’t be interviewing for any article; secondly, whatever’s going on between James and I is complicated and I am certainly not ready to date; and thirdly, I don’t care if people think I’m pregnant. I’m not and that’s all that matters. I have been dealing with backstabbing reporters and people thinking ill of myself for years and it’s not about to start upsetting me now.”

Both women had taken a clear step backwards amidst Alex’s furious rant. Mrs. Callista responded angrily, “That is not how you were raised to speak to your elders.”

Alex rounded on her, “I was raised by two attention-starving crazy people, but what I have learned for myself is that elders are those who are intelligent and earn their respect on a daily basis. Both qualities you clearly lack. Now, I need to pack and you are in my way. If you will kindly remove yourself from my ‘dingy one room apartment,’ I will be out of your life sooner than you will suspect.”


“OUT!” Alex screamed brandishing her wand. With a noisy huff, Mrs. Callista stormed from the tiny flat, leaving the blonde reporter to scurry in her wake.


James stared blankly at the ceiling; Charlie and Ace were looking at him with concern. Charlie leaned forward and whispered, “I don’t think he’s moved since yesterday.”

“She didn’t really break up with him, did she?” Ace frowned, “If Alex and James can’t work out their problems, is there hope for any of us?”

“I can hear you,” James muttered morosely.

“Come on, mate, tell us what happened…” Charlie leaned forward.

“Did you read the paper?” James asked. Charlie and Ace nodded so he continued, “Well, they had a front row seat for the whole cursed argument, so for once, they’re pretty much correct.”

Ace shook his head, “Just because she won’t sleep with you doesn’t mean she’s breaking up with you.”

James and Charlie gave him dubious looks, but the conversation was cut short when a knock sounded at the door. Charlie jumped up to answer it, but fell back when he realized it was Alex at the door. He stuttered, “I, umm…have to go pick up a few things from the store.”

Ace sprung to his feet, “I…am going to help him.”

When the front door closed, James finally looked up to find Alex still standing in the doorway clutching a large cardboard box. The color drained from his face, “So, we’re not even going to talk about it? You’re just going to break up with me?”

Alex glowered down at her box, “I got a job and I’m leaving in a two days. This is the stuff from my flat that belonged to you.” With the sound of shattering glass, Alex dropped the box to the floor and kicked it to the center of the room, “I’m not breaking up with you, James. Every time we run into trouble, I’m the one who fights for us to make it work. I have done nothing to lose your trust and yet you question me every time you have a doubt. James, seven years ago, I told you I was in this for the good and the bad, and I’m not going to lie, lately it has been a whole lot of bad. But now, you have to decide. Either you’re with me or you walk away because I’m done trying to fix something that seems to be broken.”

Alex turned stiffly and left without another word, leaving a stunned James frozen on the couch. His jaw slackened but no words came out. With a sigh, his head fell into his hands.


Alex flooed her last box into her parents’ living room, and her dad quickly relieved her from its weight. Sighing, Alex noted the cold silence between her parents before she threw herself on the couch and sighed, “Thank you for letting me keep my stuff here…”

Mrs. Wood took the seat by her daughter’s feet and smiled, “You know I’m going to miss you?”

Alex looked at the sad smile that stretched her features, “What is going on between you and Dad?”

“I’ve wanted to tell you since New Year’s, but with all the trouble you’ve had in the past few days, I didn’t want to burden you with it,” Mrs. Wood heaved a mournful sigh and continued, “Honey, your father and I are getting a divorce.”

Alex looked up at her mom, “Did something happen?”

“I think it has been in the works for a while…We just kept going this long for you and Ace...”

Alex sat up and gave her mother a hug, “I’m sorry, mom.”

“It’ll be okay,” she smiled briefly, “Have I told you lately how proud I am of you?”

Alex stared off at nothing in particular and sighed, “I’m not sure everyone agrees with you.”

Mrs. Wood laughed, “You never cared what anybody thought…I always admired that about you.”

Alex’s phone chirped, and she looked down to find her grandmother’s number flash across the screen. Alex frowned and stabbed the ignore button with vengeance. Mrs. Wood smiled, “Yeah, she called me last night. Whatever you did made her very upset.”

“I kicked her out of my apartment. She wanted me to do some ridiculous interview for the Prophet.”

“Well, she wants to have lunch with you tomorrow to apologize…and I don’t care if you mean it, but if you leave her in this state and go off to teach, I may kill you myself.”

Alex sighed and rolled her eyes, “Fine, but you have to tell her.”


Alex sat in one of the more upscale restaurants of Diagon Alley as she impatiently checked her watch for the third time in ten minutes. Per usual, her grandmother arrived fashionably late in a fanfare all her own. Without a doubt, every patron in the restaurant saw her enter and take a seat in front of Alex.

“Alexandra, thank you so much for joining me.”

Alex gave a still nod as the waiter stepped forward to take their order. Throughout the meal, Mrs. Callista blathered on about what’s her face and so and so, none of which Alex found important; so she feigned interest during the superficial chatter. As the waiter cleared the dessert dishes, Mrs. Callista waved at someone near the front of the restaurant. Alex turned to see who it was. The restaurant was mostly empty except for a man about her age standing in the doorway. He had curly brown hair, was well-built, well-dressed, and wore an easy-going smile as he sauntered forward. The reality of what was happening sunk to the pit of her stomach and Alex turned a critical eye on her grandmother.

Her worries were confirmed when the man came to a halt before their table. His easy-going smile widened, “Mrs. Callista, thank you so much for inviting me.”

“Oh no, dear, the pleasure is all mine. Please have a seat, and let me introduce you to my granddaughter, Alexandra.”

He took the seat across from Alex and extended a hand, “Hello, Alexandra. My name is Hunter, Hunter Green.”

Alex arched a brow, ignored the hand he offered, and smiled, “Your parents had an interesting sense of irony when they named you.”

He laughed and put his hand down, “So it would seem.”

Alex moved her stare to her grandmother, “So, this is how you apologize? By doing exactly what I asked you not to do.”

“Alexandra, I have complete faith that, in time, you will notice that your time with James was a childhood dream, and you will be able to move onto more mature relationships.”

Alex stood abruptly, making all the dishes on the table jump. Those patrons remaining in the restaurant all stared at the spectacle as Alex’s cheeks colored. “James and I have not broken up. Like I told you yesterday, things are complicated right now; and when I told you I needed time, I meant it.”

“ALEXANDRA CALLISTA WOOD, you will sit down this instant! We are in public!”

“NO!” Alex seethed, “You have no right to interfere with my life. You invited me here to apologize, and here’s your chance.” Mrs. Callista said nothing, so Alex directed her direction to their lunch guest, “Hunter, I’m sorry if my grandmother brought you here under false pretenses, but I am already in a relationship. And if not, then I’m just getting out of a seven year relationship. Either way, I’m in no condition to be meeting anyone new. I apologize if I have come off hostile or rude; but I assure you, my grandmother has overstepped a boundary. I wish you the best of luck.”

Alex gave her grandmother one last burning glare before storming from the restaurant and into a mob of waiting paparazzi.


Alex, Halie, and Naomi lay on the floor of Alex’s empty apartment, each staring contentedly at the ceiling. Naomi sighed, “I can’t believe this is your last night here.”

“You guys, it’s Hogwarts not Antarctica. I’ll be around.”

“Who’s going to plan my wedding?” Halie sniffed.

“A wedding planner,” Alex sighed.

“Who’s going to go to my doctor’s appointments with me?” Naomi frowned.

Alex turned to look at her, “My brother…You guys, in a few weeks, you won’t even notice I’m gone.”

There was a knock on the door and James stuck his head in, “Hey guys. How are you feeling, Naomi?”

Naomi grumbled, “Whoever named it morning sickness should be crucioed because let me tell you, it doesn’t just happen in the morning.”

Halie stood, grabbing her purse in one hand and Naomi in the other, “Alex, we’ll see you in the morning before you leave. Have a goodnight, James.”

James nodded at Halie and Naomi and closed the door behind them. Alex still hadn’t turned to look at him. He dropped the five or so bags he had been carrying and pulled a blanket out of one. Laying it on the ground, he turned to her, “Do you remember your first night in this apartment? You didn’t want to spend it alone, so you asked me to stay.”

Alex still hadn’t moved as he bent down and pulled some pillows from another bag. “You had absolutely no furniture, so we nicked some pillows and a blanket from your parents’ house.” He knelt down and pulled an old fashioned record player from another bag, “We found this in the closet, and we spent the night listening to that one ridiculous record we found.”

After starting the record on low, he bent to the final bag and pulled out a few cartons of Chinese food, “We ate and danced and laughed the entire night and before we even thought of going to bed, the sun was coming up.”

Losing patience, he grabbed her by the waist and hoisted her to her feet, “You want to know why I always second guess us? It’s because, for the life of me, I can’t figure out why you’re still here. I do nothing but screw up and you always forgive me. I guess I just forgot that you weren’t in this out of obligation, but because you wanted to be. So, I get why you asked me to choose; it was because every time before this, I was the one to make you choose. That first year you lived in this apartment was one of the best I can remember. So I’ve made up my mind, I choose you. And not because I have to, but because I love you and because, for the girl who had everything, the happiest I’ve seen you was sitting on a stolen blanket, eating Chinese, and listening to someone’s old record. I can’t promise it’ll be easy, but I can promise that I’ll try.”

Alex frowned, “James, I’m still leaving.”

“I know.”

“We’re barely hanging on as it is; how are we going to do the long distance thing?”

James sighed and pulling her close, they began to sway back and forth. As Alex rested her head on his shoulder, he whispered, “It’s not going to be easy, but if anyone can make it work, we can. For the last few years, you have patiently waited at the sidelines of my quidditch career and now, it’s my time to support you…We’ll just have to take it one day at a time.”

A small smile played across her lips as they continued to dance, “I love you, James.”

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