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Disclaimer: Any towns, schools, hospitals or characters you recognize from the Harry Potter series do not belong to me.

 

                It was a dark and stormy night.

                Okay, that’s a dramatization, as it’s barely drizzling outside and it’s the middle of the day. But inside I feel like it’s a dark and stormy night. I got about five hours of sleep last night, and my entire body feels stiff, achey and bloated. I’ve been feeling awful for about two weeks now, but today I really just feel… off. Like I’m not even in my body, it’s just acting on its own accord. I’m surprised I managed to get through breakfast and half of my classes this morning.

                I glance around the Charms room. Alicia and Maeve sit together, neither so much as flicking their eyes in my direction. Alicia thinks I’m being a prickly bitch since last night (or, should I say, early this morning) I snapped at her for almost ‘no reason’ (which is what she told Maeve). Maeve agreed with her, seeing as I ignored her best I could almost all of yesterday after breakfast. Hey, it’s not my fault I’m fat, hormonal and fed up with being pregnant.

                Well, not completely my fault.

                I try to focus my attention to the teacher. Damn, my head hurts. So does my back. And I’m really hungry.

                I take a few deep breaths. Focus, Isobel, focus. I pick up my quill and quickly read a couple lines of the notes next to my paper. I must have missed the last few lines. I copy down a couple notes, until the girl sitting next to me moves her elbow, blocking her paper from my line of vision.

                “…were used in the fourth battle of the goblins, taking place in 1496. Often times, the spells would only stun for a few hours, but were known to put some in a coma. This is why we know have added on ‘minima’ to the spell to make it less dangerous. If we had not, the average rate of near death would go up to about…”

 I shift uncomfortably in my seat. Am I the only one absolutely roasting in here? I look over to the windows. Despite the rain, the glass has been opened about five inches on each. I roll up my sleeves, hoping for a breeze to come my way.

“…occasionally, and regardless of the nine laws of Merlin, he often pulled banned curses in front of a full court. These curses were the beginning of the now Unforgivable curses, and have not been taught in classrooms since he nearly injured seven of the jury members who made it down in history for just that. Now, however, we can begin…”

                Chills run down my back. I push my hand up my forehead, smoothing some of my hair back. The lines of my notes blur and move. There’s black spots everywhere. I’m so tired. Just so tired.

                “… nine of which could have been fatal. We may teach the least lethal of the nine, all of which now do not work as the language of which they originated has not been used for hundreds of years. If we used the others, it could be quite dangerous. Now, the procedure we use for these spells is…”

                The desk and chair slip out from underneath me and I hit the cold, stony floor. Everything flashes white. And then black.

                Very, very black.

 

~*~

 

                My eyes crack open. I’m in a room with eggshell blue walls. I wrinkle my nose. It smells too clean in here, like someone’s been spraying muggle cleaning products on every surface. Where the fuck am I?

                I ease up, wincing. My head hurts like hell. I reach up and pat it- damn. There’s an awful bump on the side of it. How did I get here? I look around the room. It’s small, with a tiny window and white lace curtains fluttering in a non-existing breeze.

                “Isobel?”

                I whip my head around. Sitting in a plain looking plastic chair is over by the door is my mum. Her gaze is soft at first, but suddenly hardens. “Why didn’t you tell me you were pregnant?”

                Fuck.

                “Where am I?” my voice cracks like it always does when I’m nervous.

                “St. Mungos,” she says crisply, getting up from her chair and sitting down on the end of my bed. “After you passed out in your Charms class, they moved you here because you hit your head and they were worried about a possible concussion.” She studies my face carefully. “It only took the Healers about five seconds to realize you were pregnant, which gets me back to my question…” she purses her lips. “Why didn’t you tell your own mother you were going to have a baby?”

                I look down at my hands. “Because I was afraid of what you would think,” I mumble softly. “I only told Devin and Alicia just a little while ago, and that was because I thought I would explode if I didn’t tell somebody, you know?”

                “No, Isobel, I don’t know,” she snaps. “I don’t know anything about these past few months! I didn’t know you had a boyfriend, I didn’t know you were sexually active, I didn’t know you were pregnant!”

                “I sorry,” I say softly, tears pricking my eyes.

                “I’m sorry too, Isobel,” she says harshly. “If you had told me you were ready to have sex, we could have gotten protection for you! Pills! Shots! Condoms!”

                “It was a mistake, mum.” The tears are really starting to come now. “I don’t have a boyfriend, I didn’t know I was going to sleep with someone, it was…” I try and gulp back my tears. “It was a stupid one night stand, okay? It was at that party, and I was drunk, and he was drunk, and I’m sure we both wish it never even happened!” I sniffle, reaching over to my bedside table for a box of tissues. I wipe my eyes before I look back up at my mom. She doesn’t look angry anymore, just tired. Careworn.

                There’s a silence between us, the loudest silence I’ve ever heard. After about an eon, she takes my hand in hers. “How long have you been pregnant?”

                “September 28th. I found out at the end of October.”

                She sighs. “The doctors say that you weren’t rested and hadn’t been eating enough for a pregnant woman, and that it was all too much for your body- that’s why you fainted.” She leans in closer. “You needed to go to a Healer, Isobel. You put you and your child’s life in danger by not having all your needs met properly. I understand that the symptoms and school must have been a lot, but you need to do better than that. You could’ve had support from your friends and the baby’s father.”

                “I only told two people,”I whisper.

                She looks at the curtains, fluttering in their imaginary breeze. “I know, sweetpea. But don’t change the subject…” she turns back to me. “Who’s the baby’s father?”

                Now it’s my turn to look at the curtains. I suppose I could lie, tell her I don’t remember. But I’ve already lied so much in the past few months- I’m tired of secrets, of symptoms, of worrying.

                She sighs. “You don’t have to tell me if you’re not ready.”

                The tension leaves my body, replaced with the relief of procrastination. “Thanks, mum.”

                She gets up, smoothing her khaki pants. “I need to make a few phone calls,” she says, gesturing to the hallway. “But I’ll be back soon.” She strides over to the door, putting her hand on the knob, but doesn’t turn it. Instead, she looks back at me. “You grew up without your dad, Isobel,” she says. “Don’t make your child do the same.” And with that, she leaves me to myself.

 

~*~

 

                At about two o’clock, the door to my ward opens. A middle aged Healer is behind it.

                “Someone here to see you, Ms. Olivier,” she says, smiling as if it’s the best news in the world. She steps to the side, and sure enough, behind her is a tall, dark figure. Damn it. I was hoping this wouldn’t happen.

                “Hey Is,” James smiles.

                “Isobel,” I say in a clipped tone. “I don’t like that nickname.”

                He holds up his hands as if in surrender. “My bad.” He glances back at the still grinning Healer, who stands, holding the door open. “Do you mind if…” he trails off, but the Healer takes the hint.

                “Call if you need anything,” she says cheerfully, swinging the door shut.

                James sits drags the plastic chair my mum was sitting in over to my bed and sits down. We don’t say anything for a minute. There’s chatter in the hospital hallway, along with various hums of different machines. A light blinks on the ceiling. This is a whole different awkward from when my mum was I here.

                “So,” James says, breaking the silence. “You’re pregnant, eh?”

                “How’d you find out?” I twist the sleeve of my school sweater around my thumb.

                He rolls his eyes. “You’re in the pregnancy wing of the hospital.”

                “Duh,” I snap. “I mean how’d you know to come? I find it quite unlikely you came out of the goodness of your heart.”

                “Oh. That. Well, it’s not exactly a secret that you fainted in class, and when I heard you’d been moved to the hospital, I put two and two together.”

                “They moved me here because they were afraid I might have a concussion.”

                “I know that now, but I was right about the pregnant part.” He looks me in the eye, an unreadable expression on his face. “I’m guessing I’m the father?”

                “Yes,” I mutter.

                “Why didn’t you tell me?”

                I glare at him. “Well, that seems to be the million galleon question of the day, and it has the same answer every time!” I snap. “I. Didn’t. Know. What. You’d. Think.” I put emphasis on each word. “We’re not even dating, James, the last romantic thing that happened between us wasn’t even that romantic! It was a drunken mistake. And, by the way…” I pause. “I’m blaming you for getting me drunk.”

                “I didn’t ‘get you drunk!’ You couldn’t work the keg, so I helped you.”

                “Yeah, you helped me get about four glasses!”

                “You wanted more. I was drunk. I wasn’t thinking properly, and if I had been, I wouldn’t have given you more than you needed.”

                “You were sober enough to pour the damned alcohol out the keg!”

                He runs his hands through his hair. “Fighting about the drinks isn’t going to help anything, Isobel.”

                I don’t respond, but merely glare at the curtains, which remain to flutter around. At first it looked nice, but after an hour of them moving up and down, they’ve become annoying.

                The door bursts open, making us both jump. In come a white haired Healer and two interns who are wheeling in a machine with a large screen on it, behind them my mum, who stares at James for a moment before pushing the door shut. The Healer pulls out a clipboard and begins checking off little boxes, white the interns pull the machine up to the end of my bed. Mum flashes me a quick and questioning smile. The Healer looks up.

                “You’re Isobel, yes?”

                “Mm-hm,” I nod quickly, shooting James a get-out-now look.

                The Healer scribbles my name at the top of his clipboard. “I’m Healer Geiger, and I will be doing your check up today, seeing as you should’ve been in here about every other week since the conception.” He looks up. “It seems you missed coming, so we best get you started right now.” He motions for James to get up from the chair. James jumps out of it, suddenly aware of his intrusion. I look at him meaningfully.

                “Goodbye,” I say somewhat sarcastically.

                Healer Geiger looks at me strangely. “Is he the father?”

                “Yep,” James says, popping the ‘p.’ I shoot a death glare at him. My mum gives me an exasperated look. Shit. I probably should have told her earlier.

                Intern number one waves her hand. “He can stay.” I glare at her.

                “Okay,” Healer Geiger says, sitting down. “How far are you along?”

                “Two and a half months?” I guess.

                “When was the conception?” There’s a pause. What the hell is a conception?

                “September 28th,” James cuts in.

                “Okay…” Geiger says, scribbling on his clipboard. “What have your symptoms been?”

                “Morning sickness, really bad headaches, frequent heartburn, exhaustion, bigger breasts…” I trail off, blushing. I really wish James had left. “Oh, and I’m starting to, um, show a little bit.”

                Geiger stares at me for a moment. “And you’re only two and a half months along?”

                I shift, uncomfortable under his gaze. “Yeah…”

                “Okay,” he jots down a couple more things on his clipboard. “Have you been taking any pills at all during the pregnancy?”

                “No.”

                “Were you using any faulty birth control during the conception?”

                “No…”

                “Have you weighed yourself at all during the gestation?”

                “No!”

                “So you don’t know how much you weigh or how much weight you’ve gained?” he looks at me intently. I shake my head.

                 Geiger continues scribbling on his clipboard, then looks back up at me curiously. He places his clipboard down on the bedside table. “Well, Isobel, we’re going to do an ultrasound if that’s alright.”

                My mum places down her paper tea cup. “An ultrasound? I thought you wouldn’t really need to do one until-“

                “Her symptoms are all normal, but they seem like they’re intensified.” He gives me a hard stare. “And at two and a half months, she shouldn’t be showing at all.”

                “What does that mean?” James asks.

                “I’m not sure what it means yet,” Geiger says calmly. “Which is why we need an ultrasound.”

                The intern who suggested James should say grabs a little bottle from the machine. “Do you mind?” she says, gesturing to my shirt. I roll it up over my stomach, but place my hands over the slightly bloated half self-consciously. The intern shakes the bottle, motions for me to move my hands and squeezes a clear goo onto my stomach.

                “Might be a little cold,” she says with a smile.

                The other intern is turning on the machine, which makes a tiny whir and then goes silent. The screen is black with white writing at the top. I glance over at my mum, who’s nervously sipping her tea out of her cup. Poor mum. She probably didn’t expect to be at her daughter’s first ultrasound for a couple more years.

                Geiger takes his wand out of his pocket, mutters a few words, and places it on my stomach. The screen lights up a bit, the white writing remaining, but now there’s white imprints around it. I can’t make hide nor tail of what’s going on.

                A tilt my head sideways, staring at the lamp on my bedside table. It’s a faded lavender with a yellow shade. A few seconds later, there’s a gasp from my mum. I sit up, looking at the blurry picture on the screen.

                “Sit still,” one of the interns snaps.

                “What’s going on?” I ask nervously.

                Geiger is staring at the screen intently. He doesn’t say anything.

                “Sir?” James questions.

                Geiger turns back to me, his expression unreadable. I look up at the screen. There’s two white blobs there. Oh, Merlin.

                “You’re having twins,” he says softly.

 

~*~

 

A/N: Yep, twins! Double, bubble, toil and trouble! This chapter was really fun to write, and I’ve been doing nothing but write all day- it’s the first snowfall of the year here. Yeah, pretty sad that it’s the middle of January and we’re only just getting sow, but it’s a snow day, so I’m not about to complain.

 

So… what does everyone think about the twins? I’m excited to finally put it in! It’s been twins since the beginning, and now we can all finally have double the fun! That sounded really corny, I’m sorry. Rate and review, everyone!

               

               

               

 

 
 

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