Disclaimer: Any towns, schools, hospitals and characters you recognize from the Harry Potter series do not belong to me.
“ISOBEL!” Maeve squeals, throwing open the door to my ward. A frazzled looking nurse is behind her and Alicia, making shushing noises like her life depends on it.
“Hey guys,” I say weakly. I figured they’d come eventually, but a little warning and volume control would’ve been nice.
“Goodbye,” Maeve says suggestively to the nurse, shutting the door in her face.
“Maeve!” I snap. “She’s been taking care of me since I got here!”
Maeve rolls her eyes. “You got here yesterday Isobel, I don’t think that exactly binds you two together.” She sits on the back rail of my bed. Alicia pulls up a chair.
“So,” Alicia says, easing into her chair. “Cat’s out of the bag, huh?”
“Sorry. I didn’t mean to faint,” I say. There’s a bit of a silence, which is weird, because there’s almost always noise when it’s the three of us together. Maeve sorts through her purse, Alicia twists her bracelets around, I stare at my covers.
Maeve looks somewhat hurt. “If you told us how bad you felt, we could’ve given you some meds or something.”
“I said I’m sorry, okay?” I snap.
“Have you had an appointment yet?” Alicia asks.
“Yep. Yesterday I had an ultrasound. And then they loaded me with brochures and lists of foods I should be eating, how much sleep I should be getting, what stuff I can and can’t do…” I shake my head. “It’s all so weird, you know?”
“Did you get an ultrasound picture?” Maeve asks.
I reach over onto my bedside table and grab the little black and white photo. Healer Geiger printed it for me yesterday after my appointment. I must’ve spent an hour just looking at it yesterday with my mum. I hand it to Maeve, who squints at it. Alicia picks up a few brochures.
I gesture to the ultrasound picture Maeve is holding. “My babies are cute, aren’t they?”
“Well, the rumors are true then,” Maeve sighs, handing the picture back to me. “Everyone’s talking about you. And the twins. I heard some people saying it was triplets, but that was freaking ridiculous.” She glances up. “Cute kids though.”
Alicia opens my Twin Mothers Connect: How Are You With Your Babies?. “Well, when you passed out yesterday, no one really knew what was going on. Then James left and didn’t come back until after dinner, but he wasn’t really saying anything. Then, of course,” she studies me carefully. “Your mum came to the school and went to see the headmistress, and tons of people heard them talking in the hall about pregnancy exceptions for classes and homework and stuff. Word of mouth did the rest.”
“My mum didn’t tell me she was going to the school,” I say quietly. “I thought she was going home.”
Maeve shrugs. “I guess not.”
I lean back into my pillows, cold dread filling the pit of my stomach. Oh shit. I didn’t think everyone at school would know I’m pregnant for a while.
“Can we both be godmothers?” Maeve says. “Seeing as, you know, there are two kids, one for each of us.”
I give her a look. “I haven’t really sorted much out yet.” We’re all quiet for a minute. Maeve breaks the silence.
“Is that a yes?”
I purse my lips. “It’s an ‘I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do and godparents are not my priority right now,’” I snap.
“What’s the plan for James?” Alicia questions.
“I don’t know,” I say quietly. “He had to leave yesterday after the ultrasound. We didn’t talk all that much.”
Alicia makes a face. “I can’t believe you slept with that bastard.”
“I was drunk!”
“Was he drunk?”
“Why would he sleep with me if he weren’t drunk?”
Alicia shrugs. “Is he coming back?” She looks around, as if expecting him to pop out from under the bed with baby carriages and cribs in tow.
“Probably,” I say. “I mean, he took home brochures and an ultrasound too, so I guess it means something to him.”
“Listen to this,” Alicia says, quickly changing the subject. “’Pregnant women should not eat the following: raw meat, deli meat, smoked seafood, raw shellfish, raw eggs, unpasteurized milk and caffeine.” She looks up at me. “Wouldn’t you generally stay away from raw meats anyway?”
“I already read that,” I say. “I don’t really care about much of that except for the caffeine.” I make a face. “How long do you think I can go without coffee?”
“Not too long,” Maeve grabs one of the brochures and flips through it. “Ah, this one has a list of baby names.” She smiles. “Have you thought about any yet?”
“I won’t be able to know the gender until the end of January, so I haven’t really thought about it much,” I reply. “But if there’s a boy, I think I’ll have his middle name be Devin after my brother.”
“Does Devin know you’re in the hospital?”
“Mum called him yesterday. She was pretty pissed that he had known and hadn’t told her.”
Maeve flips through her brochure. “Do you have a preference, boy or girl?”
I shrug. “Not really.”
“If its identical twins, you’ll probably get them mixed up,” Maeve giggles.
“No I won’t,” I kick her. “I’ll put nametags on them.” We all laugh. I can’t help but smile- it feels so good to finally be able to talk to both of my friends about my being pregnant. Have a laugh like it’s the most normal thing to talk about. It’s not nearly as awkward as I thought it would be.
“So back to the baby daddy,” Maeve says in a suddenly serious tone. “No one really knows he’s the father…”
“How did you know it was him?” I ask. They exchange somewhat sheepish looks.
“We sort of… asked him?” Alicia says. The last part sounds like a question. I lean back into my pillows.
“Oh, Merlin, what did you two do?”
“We asked him if he went to see you!” Maeve says defensively. “And he was all ‘Yeah, I did’ and we asked him why and he sort of shrugged, and then I kind of took his bag and went through it and… well, he had brochures like these, so…” she gestures nonsensically. I groan. This is pretty typical Maeve behavior- it’s not the first time she’s grabbed a bag and went through it. In fourth year when she thought her boyfriend was cheating on her, she took his hoodie and went through his pockets looking for any remnant of another girl while he was still wearing it. She can be quite forceful.
I pull at the stray threads on the sheet. “So what now? I go back to school and not only am I the pregnant slut with twins, but I’m the pregnant slut with twins who doesn’t know who her kid’s dad is?”
“I’m sure he’ll tell people eventually but…” Alicia puts her brochure on my bed. “His cousins and siblings are in the school, Isobel. I’m sure he’s just… nervous about how they’ll take it.”
I laugh sarcastically. “I’m the one who’s pregnant! I told my family and my friends, and the school! I’ve got the hard part, he’s got the easy part!”
“You didn’t actually tell anyone but Devin and Alicia, Isobel,” Maeve says. “Everyone sort of found out by accident. And besides, don’t you think you’re sort of overreacting? I mean, yesterday he found out he knocked up a girl he hardly knows and that he’s having twins. I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect him to tell the whole world immediately.”
“I thought you guys didn’t like him,” I say.
“Then why are you defending him?”
“Because if it were me, I wouldn’t go around telling people the first day either,” Alicia says simply. “And because we’ll probably have to get used to him, being the godmothers of his children and all.”
I glare at her. “I didn’t say you two got to be the godmothers!”
“Pleeeaaase,” Maeve begs. “We’re your best friends!”
“I’ll ask James,” I grumble. “I think he’s coming back later this afternoon.” We sit quietly for a while, passing around the ultrasound picture and talking about names, Christmas, classes, boys, what I’ve missed… all too soon, they’re getting up and leaving.
“Can you please stay?” I ask. I really don’t want to be alone.
Alicia shakes her head and shrugs her blazer on. “Lunch is almost over, and we didn’t exactly come with permission.”
I roll my eyes at them and wave at them as they head out the door. Maeve pops her head back in and gives me the finger, and I give it right back to her.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
I wake up to a muffin basket.
Seriously. Someone is shoving a wicker basket full of muffins and flowers in my face.
“Surprise!” an overly cheery voice bubbles. I shoot up.
“Hello, Isobel,” she smiles, placing the basket down on my bedside table. “I got out of my classes early today, thought I’d drop by and say hello.”
“Oh.” This I was not expecting. Angie sits down on the end of my bed, cross her legs and clasping her hands. She looks very studious.
“I heard about your predicament at school,” she says gravely. “Isobel, I am so, so sorry that this has all had to happen to you. And triplets! Oh Merlin, this must be so hard on you…”
“They’re twins, actually,” I say as politely as possible. Am I the only one who finds it weird that the girlfriend of the father is visiting me, unbeknownst to the fact that he’s the dad?
“How are you coping?” she leans forward. “My sister go pregnant last year, but she had to get an abortion. It was awful. She got it because our parents didn’t approve, she was only eighteen, I don’t know if you remember her? She just graduated.” Angie looks at her clasped hands, then pops back up, smiling. “But not to worry! I’m sure you’ll love the babies when they come, you must have a supporting family for you to not be in tears right now.”
I just nod. Angie is famous for her talk marathons. Shit, this had better not take too long.
“So…” Angie says, her eyes trained hard on mine. “Who’s the father?”
“Can I not… say right now?” I ask pitifully. I feel like a five year old saying something like that.
She nods understandingly. Then she smiles. Again. “I brought you a couple of your belongings, your friends gave them to me when they heard I was coming down. They said they forgot to bring them when they came at lunch…” she winks. “I promise not to turn them in for leaving grounds without permission.” She says it like we’re sharing some juicy secret. I nod again. I almost forgot Angie is head girl.
Angie hands me a little pink gift bag. Inside is makeup, flowers and chocolate. I stare up at her. “This isn’t my stuff…”
Again with the smile and wink. “I know. It’s just , whenever someone gets pregnant in my family, we’d always give them some nice bag of pampering stuff so they could have a little ‘me’ time. Except for my sister.” Her face falls.
“Well,” I say, trying to change the subject of abortion. “Thank you for the little, um gift bag. And the muffins. They should save me from this treacherous hospital food.”
She laughs. It’s such a tinkly sound. She reaches down and grabs a large tote bag and gloves, tugging them on. “I should really get going. Sorry I couldn’t stay long,” she says perkily. “I’ll see you when we get back,” she winks and heads for the door, closing it loudly behind her.
I take a deep breath. Dear Merlin, that girl is going to get herself pushed off a tower one of these days.
It’s about four o’clock when James comes.
The nurse, who still seems a little annoyed about Alicia and Maeve’s visit earlier, leaves without any protest when James arrives. He sits in the chair Alicia was in and smiles.
“How do you feel?”
“Fine,” I say tightly. “And you?”
“Pretty good,” he looks at the floor. “So…”
“So…” I say. Could this be more awkward?
“When will they let you come back to school?”
“Tomorrow afternoon. I’ll go to half my classes on Friday, and they told me I could go to Hogsmeade to pick up my prescriptions and stuff the next day.”
“That’s great,” he says. Silence resumes.
“Have you read your brochures yet?” I say after a while, trying to break the quiet.
He shakes his head. “Not too much. I flipped through them when they gave them to me, but it looks like they gave you a lot more than me,” he nods over at the large stack of shiny papers on my bedside table. “Mine were just baby names and stuff about child support.”
I nod. “My friends looked at names for a while. They want to be godmothers.”
He raises an eyebrow. “Godmothers?”
“They have a habit for jumping the gun. Maeve especially.”
He smiles. “That sounds like my cousin Rose.”
I sit up a little straighter. “Speaking of your family… Alicia and Maeve said no one at school knows you’re the father.”
“Oh. Yeah, I guess I didn’t really tell anyone.”
“Well, can you tell someone before I get back? I’m coming home tomorrow afternoon, so…”
He shifts in his seat, looking uncomfortable. “My family is at the school, Isobel… and my girlfriend, telling her would make things sticky…”
Hot anger rises to my cheeks. “And how do you think it is for me? I’m the one carrying the babies. I’m the one going through changes. I’m the one who was so exhausted from pregnancy she passed out in the middle of class! What, does that not match up to what you have to face? A couple sad family members and an awkward moment with your girlfriend?”
“You forgot about the press,” he snaps. “Do you want to see your name in the headline? ‘James Potter knocks up Hogwarts student, expecting twins’? They’d rip you and me both. You’d be portrayed as some slut who seduced me and I’d be shown as some jerk who got a girl drunk and took advantage of her.”
“They wouldn’t be too far off with you, now would they?” I say loftily.
“Damn it Isobel!” He stands up. “I’ve done nothing but try to be pleasant with you! I came to visit you in the hospital! I tried to talk to you after the whole sex thing happened! And all I get from you is snippy comments.” He runs his hands through his hair. “I know you hate me, Isobel. I’ve seen the looks you and your friends give me. I’ve heard the disgusted sounds you make when you see me holding hands with someone, or hear my name in a history class or whatever. But what have I ever done to you?”
“Oh, gee, I don’t know,” I say sarcastically, standing up. “Gotten me drunk and pregnant?”
“Been a first class jerk. Maybe not to me, but-“
“But nothing, Isobel. I’m done trying to win you over.” His voice becomes soft. “We’re going to be parents soon- you can’t be like this anymore. You can’t just shut me out or try to make me feel unwanted. We’re in this together now- there’s no way I can just leave my unborn children and their mom.” And with that he gets up, walks over to the door and shuts it carefully behind him.
A/N: Woohoo! Hospital drama. Fun stuff. I can’t believe it's chapter 9 alraedy!
The current story date right now is Wednesday, December 18th. You pick the year, it’s not too specific for me. Just thought it would be good for you all to know what the timeline is;) I’m looking forward to the next chapter- first day back at school as the pregnant girl! I wonder how Angie will take this news… Please rate and review!
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