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Chapter 14: Birthdays
“James.” I poked him and he grunted at me.
“Ja-ames,” I sung and poked him again.
“What?” he groaned, flipping over so he could peer at me.
I grinned. “It’s my birthday!”
“Happy birthday,” he mumbled before he fell back to sleep.
Oh no you do not!
I crawled on top of him and straddled him to start gently kissing his neck. His eyes sprung open and I grinned mischievously.
“We should have birthday celebrations a lot more,” he suggested.
I rolled my eyes playfully and he pulled me back down to kiss me again. I lowered myself so our noses were touching before rolling back off him.
“Come on let’s open presents!” I grinned and got off the bed. He groaned again.
“That’s just cruel, Reese.”
“No, what’s cruel is that you’re making me wait to open presents,” I said sassily. I folded my arms and waited for him to get out of bed. He didn’t move.
This ought to be fun. I pulled my wand out and sent Levicorpus at him.
I grinned and said, “I’ll let you down if you promise to find my presents.”
“I promise, let me down please?” He tried pulling a sweet face and I snorted unattractively.
“Not going to work. But I will let you down, not because of that terrible look That could frighten small children.” He scowled and I grinned at him as performed the counter spell.
He crashed back down on the bed and I burst out laughing. It was fun tormenting James.
Wow, I sounded like a deranged psycho.
Oh hold on, I was a deranged psycho.
He rolled off the bed and led me to the kitchen. I sat on the couch, bouncing excitedly.
I love my birthday, I mean, it was celebrating the day I came into existence – what better thing could you ask for?
I was seriously considering making it a public holiday.
James started going through all the cupboards and then started pulling out a frying pan.
“What?” I asked in confusion.
He grinned. “I’m making breakfast, I’m starving and I bet you are too.”
My stomach growled before I could protest and he laughed. My stomach did a flip at the noise. “Told you. You’ll get your presents later.”
I sighed and nodded. “Do you want help?” I offered.
“What and burn the bacon again? No thank you,” James said, grinning at me.
“That was one time!” I protested.
“Actually it was five times,” he pointed out.
I grumbled and got up to help him. “I can do toast!”
He snorted. “No you can’t, you burnt that too last time.”
“ONLY BECAUSE YOU CHANGED THE SETTING.”
“Face it, Reese: you can’t cook.”
I said, “I can do anything that doesn’t require heat, like buttering the toast and pouring out cereal and milk—”
James interrupted me, “No you can’t, you spilt it everywhere!”
I huffed. “Because Louis Apparated in unexpectedly! I got scared!”
James laughed and dragged me in close. “Admit it: you can’t do anything with food.”
“I can do eggs thank you very much!” I turned my face away when he bent down to kiss me.
“You can,” James agreed, “but only scrambled. And that’s just stirring so…”
“You’re a horrible person.” I narrowed my eyes at him.
“I am,” he said simply before returning to his cooking.
I stared at him for a while and said, “You know, I can treat you as my bitch. I can tell you to make me a sandwich because you’re always in the kitchen. Are you sure you’re a guy?”
“Very sure. And I’m pretty sure that you know it too, considering last night.” He laughed when I flushed a deep red.
I said begrudgingly, “You have a point.”
He grinned and finished the breakfast. I grabbed the peanut butter and spread it over everything on my plate. James made a face but I ignored it and ate my breakfast.
“It’s your kid that wants peanut butter, so you shouldn’t complain because it’s kind of your fault,” I said, wagging my fork full of eggs and peanut butter at him.
“It’s your kid too, can’t be just my fault,” he said raising his eyebrows at me.
“When did you get so smart?!” I asked frustratedly.
He laughed and said, “It’s not being smart. It’s just you lately that you’ve been du—” He stopped abruptly and shovelled some food in his mouth.
“Go on,” I said dangerously.
“Don’t kill me,” he said, raising his hands up in surrender. “But lately you’ve been er… kind of… dumb.”
I put my fork down and folded my arms and glared at him.
James smiled adorably at me and I couldn’t find it in me to be angry. I swear, if this kid ended up with all those cute faces he pulled, he or she would probably end up as a whiny brat so I had to learn to resist the cute faces.
“Not going to work, James. Tell me,” I said sternly.
He blinked in shock and I grinned. “I feel as if I should start trying to resist those faces you do, because then I’ll never be able to say no,” I explained.
He shrugged. “Fair enough. But seriously, Reese, you’ve been so – I don’t know, blank? Anyway, you haven’t been very smart lately. Like the other day you were doing that crossword and you were like ‘what’s a five letter word that has R-something-B-O-T and is usually made out of metal?’ and then you got lost in Diagon Alley!”
I scowled and threw my napkin at him. He caught it. “Shush you. I’ve just had lots on my mind!”
“Yeah, that’s understandable but yeesh, I’ve never seen you like this. You always have smartass responses and now that you don’t, it’s weird.”
I laughed and picked up my plate to go in the sink. “Maybe it’s some pregnancy side-effect or something.”
James shrugged and wrapped an arm around my waist. He went to kiss me but I leant away from him. “I’m gonna brush my teeth first, I probably have the worst morning breath.”
He laughed and pressed a kiss to my cheek. After we had both brushed our teeth, he pulled out my present. I grinned excitedly and unwrapped the very neat packaging.
“Did you do the wrapping?” I asked, furrowing my eyebrows knowing how bad at wrapping presents James usually was.
“I did!” He seemed offended so I quickly apologised. He then admitted, “But I did it by magic.”
“Ah, that’s why it’s so neat!”
“Are you saying I can’t wrap presents?” he asked, affronted.
I nodded. “Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. Remember your fifth year? You decided to wrap Christmas presents and then Fred’s exploded?”
“Fine, you have a point,” he conceded. “But hurry up and open it!”
I tore off the rest of the paper and let it drop to the ground. Inside was a velvet box and when I opened it, there was a gold chain with a cat with peridot eyes.
I looked up at James in shock and he asked nervously, “Is that the right stone? The lady told me it was August… I can’t remember though, it started with a—” I cut him off with a kiss.
“It’s absolutely gorgeous, thank you!” I grinned and he gave me another kiss.
“Glad you like it, do you want me to put it on?” he asked, picking the chain up.
I shook my head. “I want Lionel to wear it.”
He looked unsure at whether I was joking or not but I rolled my eyes. “Yes, you can put it on me, thank you.”
He rolled his eyes back at me but put it on. It dropped just below my collarbone and was absolutely amazing.
“Thank you so much, James!” I said, fiddling with it. He grinned and was about to kiss me again when the door flew open to reveal Rose, Scorpius and Al.
“HAPPY BIRTHDAY, REESE!” Rose ran at me and I hugged her. Al and Scorpius then gave me a much calmer hug. Scorpius then glanced at my stomach.
“You’re starting to show!” he said excitedly.
I glared at him, Rose punched him in the arm, James snorted and Al picked up some leftovers and started to eat.
Literally. James had made some beans and because they’d been sitting out so they were cool beans.
Good grief I was hilarious.
I should really look towards a career in comedy. They always say comedians have messed up lives.
Check and check!
“Gee thanks, Scorp,” I said sarcastically.
“No problem,” he said, not getting my sarcasm.
I cast my eyes to the roof and Rose shoved my present towards me. “YOU WILL LOVE IT! I CAN’T WAIT FOR YOU TO SEE IT!” she shouted, whilst bouncing up and down excitedly.
I started unwrapping the large box. Rose made me sit down and she sat down right next to me, beaming like crazy.
After the paper (and the fifty thousand layers of sticky tape – Rose was very enthusiastic) was all pulled off, there was a brown box. I noticed the logo and my heart went haywire.
I gaped at Rose who encouraged me, “Keep opening it!”
I opened it and saw the shoes that I had been staring at Diagon Alley the other week. I gave Rose the biggest hug ever.
“YOU BOUGHT THEM FOR ME?! OH MY GOD ROSE! THANK YOU SO MUCH! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! YOU ARE THE BESTEST FRIEND EVER! Oh, God – OH MY GOD!” I was so excited I probably wasn't making any sense. She grinned and hugged me back.
“So was I right? Do you love them or do you love them?”
I squealed, “OHMYGOSHILOVETHEMSOMUCHTHANKYOUSOMUCHROSEILOVEYOUILOVEYOU!”
We both laughed and I couldn’t wait to wear them. When we broke apart, I saw the three guys looking at us in shock.
Rose asked in a defensive tone, “What?”
Scorp cleared his throat and scratched his head. “Erm… they’re shoes.”
I nodded and looked at him silently, daring him to ask. He did. “Why are shoes this exciting?”
James and Al nodded in agreement but both Rose and I gasped (over) dramatically.
“HOW COULD YOU SAY THAT—”
“BLASPHEMY I TELL YA! BLASPHEMY—”
“—THESE ARE THE ESSENCE OF LIFE—”
“—don’t worry, babies. Mummy loves you heaps—”
“—SCREW ESSENCE! MEANING OF LIFE—”
“—don’t listen to the big bad Scorpius. He’s an evil mole—”
“—SHOES – THESE ARE – GAH! I HAVE NO WORDS LEFT!”
“How could you, Scorpius?! My shoes are hurt because of what you said! Tell them you’re sorry!”
Rose nodded furiously and James, Al and Scorpius looked so scared. James shifted and said, “Reese, calm do—”
“NEVER! NOT UNTIL THE SHOES RECEIVE AN APOLOGY!”
They all looked frightened. Yeah that’s right, be afraid boys. Be afraid of the delinquent hormonal pregnant lady.
Scorpius stuttered, “Sorry shoes?” I nodded, happy with the apology and started on the other presents. Rose and I grinned at each other as the guys shot each other bewildered looks.
No one insults my shoes.
I picked up the next present and Al said, “Scorp and I decided to conjoin presents.”
I nodded and Scorp said, “I don’t think you’ll have the same reaction as before, but I hope you still like it.”
“It’s okay.” I laughed. “I’m sure I’ll love it, it’s just because those shoes hold a special place in my heart and now that I actually have them, it’s quite exciting.”
Rose snickered and he nodded. I tore the wrapping to reveal a box. I opened the box and saw that there were more wrapped items.
“Seriously?” I asked, raising my eyebrows at them. “Why did you bother wrapping the box?”
They shrugged and I shook my head. I opened the bigger one and saw it was a book that I’d been wanting. I grinned at them and pulled out another present. There was some jewellery, some perfume and clear nail varnish.
I grinned and gave them each a hug. “Thanks, guys! I love them!”
Scorpius grinned. “That’s not normal nail varnish, though.”
“What do you mean?” I asked confusedly.
“It’s a mood-changing varnish,” Al said excitedly. “Changes with your moods, I think blue is calm or something…”
“Brilliant!” James said happily. I gave him a sharp look. “What? Your moods are haywire. I never know what to do because you keep having mood swings.”
I huffed and Al peeked at the chart. “See, if you were wearing the varnish, your nails would be white. Oh how boring.”
Scorpius picked up the chart. “If you’re horny it turns purple.”
I went bright red and the rest of them burst out laughing. James said quietly so only I could hear, “Not like you don’t tell me anyway.”
I probably went an even deeper red and James smirked triumphantly. “Go on, then! Put it on!” Rose urged me.
“Nah, I think I’ll put it on later,” I said.
“Come on!” Al whined. “Please put it on, I wanna see if it works!”
I sighed and pulled the bottle towards me. “Fine.” I quickly painted them and cast a spell on it so they’d dry immediately. God bless magic.
“It’s grey,” Rose observed. “Nervous or anxious? Why are you nervous?” she asked.
“I was scared it would turn out purple or something, even though I’m not,” I added when I saw the smirks on Al and Scorp’s faces. “You know, in case it was faulty or something.”
Al snorted. “I want to see if it changes. James, make her horny.”
I went bright red but James just laughed and pulled me towards him, his hands dangerously close to a place on the top of my thighs. “You’re horrible friends,” I complained, hiding my nails just in case.
“You’re the one who decided to be friends with us,” Scorpius retaliated with a grin.
“Ooh look they’re blue!” Rose said happily.
I looked at my nails and grinned. “It does work, thanks guys!” They went to say something but two loud cracks resonated through the room. I jumped about a foot off the chair.
My nails turned a mustard colour.
“HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PREGASAURUS!” Fred and Louis shouted at me.
“Thanks,” I said weakly.
Rose stood up. “Don’t just Apparate in here, you thickheads! What if Reese pops that kid out in shock?!”
“Charming, Rose,” I muttered.
They scrunched up their faces and threw their present at me. I caught it, and it was surprisingly very light.
I moved it around a bit and Fred said, “Don’t worry, it won’t explode. It’s perfectly safe.” I nodded and tore open the wrapping.
Fred and Louis had this thing of giving me exploding presents every year for my birthday. It was only natural that I thought this one was going to explode.
I noticed my nails had turned a light pink now. I finally got the present open and they turned to blue.
It was pretty cool watching my nails change colour.
I focused on the pile of white cloth in front of me. I pulled it up and saw it was a very large shirt with the word ‘MILF’ on it.
“I’m flattered you think I’m a MILF,” I said sarcastically.
“That shirt actually expands so you can wear it all the time!” Louis said happily.
I grinned. “Yes, I’m sure I’ll wear it all the time. There’s nothing wrong with me going around with the acronym for ‘mother I’d like to fuck’ on my shirt.”
“Course not!” Fred said, grinning at me.
I rolled my eyes and sighed. “Thanks, though. I will probably end up wearing it. I’ll just put a jumper over the top.”
They seemed happy with that answer. “So are we going to the Burrow now?”
I looked to James who shrugged. “Dunno.”
“Yes you are,” Rose said, while patting my shoes absentmindedly. “Nana Molly made heaps of cake in celebration of your birthday and because the rest are going to back to Hogwarts.”
“Oh my gosh! They are too!” I said, my mouth dropping open.
I put my head on the table. “No, summer has gone too fast! NO, THIS IS NOT ALLOWED! TIME, PLEASE SLOW DOWN!”
I felt everyone staring at me but I couldn’t care less.
I was already four months pregnant!
WHERE HAD THE TIME GONE?!
I’m getting old!
“You alright, Reese?” James asked me.
“No,” I mumbled. “It’s gone too fast. Slow it down!”
Everyone chuckled and I lifted my head up. “It’s true! Don’t laugh at me! I feel like it was just yesterday I was getting Sorted! Now I’m pregnant, living with you and then I’ll be a mother and then I’ll be old and argh! It’s going too fast!”
James looked at me amusedly and Louis said, “Naw you still have ages before you get fat. Oh wait—” He smirked at me and everyone sniggered. I had terrible friends.
I threw the shirt at him. “Mean,” I pouted.
“Only the truth,” he shrugged.
I rolled my eyes and Al asked, “Should we go to the Burrow now? I’m sure Nana Molly has already made some food.”
“Won’t your nana mind if we go a bit too early?” I asked.
Rose shook her head. “Nah, she usually tries to get us to stay there all day. We don’t complain.”
Fred shrugged. “Why would we? She bakes us all this food and doesn’t let us do anything.”
“Well she made us do stuff last year,” James grumbled.
“That’s ‘cause you didn’t have to go back to school,” Al said.
Louis scowled. “Does that mean we’ll have to do stuff this year?”
“Lily and Hugo will purposely be extra messy!” Rose made a face. “Maybe we’ll come right at the last minute and—”
“Nana Molly will make us stay and clean up,” Fred sighed.
There was a pause and Scorpius asked, “So what do we do then?”
We all looked at each other and the door crashed open. “HAPPY BIRTHDAY, REESE!” Roxy screamed.
“Thanks!” I said, giving her a hug.
Roxy gave me a big pile of books and DVDs. “For when you’re so fat that you can’t move!” she told me cheerfully.
She was one of a kind.
We went to the Burrow at about twelve thirty, where the rest of the Weasley clan was already waiting. As soon as I walked through the door, I was greeted with shouts of ‘happy birthday’s’ and hugs.
Gotta love them.
I laughed and said, “Thank you so much, you didn’t have to go through all of this!”
“Of course we did!” Lucy said, grinning. “It’s your 18th! That means you are legally an adult in both Muggle and Wizarding worlds! That means you can supply us with alcohol if we’re in the Muggle world! That means you can go clubbing without a fake ID.”
Of course Lucy would be thinking about alcohol and fake IDs.
I rolled my eyes. “Of course, because I’ll be clubbing with a baby on my hip.”
Lucy grinned. “Yup, bring him along. We’ll make it a rave-baby!”
“Why do you say him?” I asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Because we all think it’s a boy,” Lily said, grinning at me.
I looked at James who shrugged innocently. He thought it was a boy too. I had no idea, sometimes I had a girly feeling and sometimes I was so sure it was a boy.
It really made me re-think my decision not to know the gender.
“What do you think it will be, Reese?” Hugo asked.
I shrugged. “I don’t know. I change my opinion every day.”
“It’s a boy,” Lily said confidently.
“You never know, it could be like an oyster. It might change its gender every day,” I said. Everyone stared at me. “What?” I asked.
“You really believe that our kid could be an oyster-baby?” James asked incredulously.
I rolled my eyes. “Of course not, I’m not stupid.”
James sent me a look, and if his grandparents hadn’t have been in the room, I would have flipped him off.
Mrs Weasley then said, “Lunch will be ready in a moment, make yourselves at home.”
“Already did Nana,” Louis said, putting his feet up on the coffee table.
Mrs Weasley sent him a look and he reluctantly took them down. She smiled fondly at him and bustled off to the kitchen.
I went to sit down but James poked me and pointed to Harry and Ginny, who were beckoning me over. I walked over and they each game me a hug. “Happy Birthday, Reese!” Ginny said, grinning at me.
“Thanks, Ginny,” I said, smiling back at her.
She then gave me a card which was surprisingly heavy. I frowned and opened the envelope, which had some galleons at the bottom of it.
I glanced at her in surprise and Harry winked. “Undetectable extension charm, Hermione taught me a few years back.”
“This is too much!” I protested weakly, there were about fifty galleons in there!
“Nonsense, it’s your birthday!” Ginny said, pushing the envelope back to me.
“Ginny – I can’t take this! You’ve already done so much!” I shook my head in awe.
Harry rolled his eyes. “Reese, just take it. We’re not going to take it back. If not, I’ll find your vault and put it in there anyway. I have some influence over the goblins.”
I laughed and gave them each another hug. “Thank you so much!” They both gave me a hug and let me get back to the others.
When I sat down on the couch, a present got thrown at me. I put my hands up and it bounced off me and onto the floor. “Fu—” I quickly changed the word I was going to use. “—ow! What was in that, Lily?!”
“Open it and you’ll see,” she said, picking the book up for me again, but this time passing it to me. I sighed and Lucy said, “By the way, that’s from everyone, basically. Not all of our parents are willing to give us money for presents.” She stared pointedly at Audrey.
“Don’t lie, Luce. I gave you fifty galleons at the beginning of the summer. Not my fault you spent it all.” Audrey grinned.
Lucy said, “I thought you were still going to give me money though, for presents.”
Audrey cocked an eyebrow. “Since when have I ever given you more than fifty galleons for the summer? Not many people get that a year!”
“I can’t help that I like shopping,” Lucy said, smiling at her mum.
“Of course, you got that off me,” Audrey quipped back. Just that small little argument/debate/thingy made me wince.
I wished my mum had been like that with me, even if it was just for a bit. It was my birthday and neither of my parents had called me, wrote a letter – nothing. I tried not letting it show but I think James could tell. He hadn’t said anything and I didn’t know whether I wanted him to.
A little flutter went through my stomach and I smiled. Last time it happened James hadn’t felt it, much to his disappointment. Looking down at my little (well, it’d gotten a lot bigger lately) bump, I realised even though I didn’t have the best mother, I’d just have to learn what she didn’t do.
“Okay, did you want to open it now?” Lily asked me.
I nodded and took the ribbon off the box. Inside was a bag that matched the shoes Rose bought me. My jaw dropped and Lily smirked. “You better love that, bitch.”
“Of course I do, Lily! It’s amazing!” Lucy coughed and I said, “And you too! Who else was there?”
“Me too!” a few voices chorused.
“Well, thank you all so much! It’s gorgeous!” I said, grinning at them. We kept chatting and Lucy was saying how freaked out she was for her NEWTs, she’d never been very academic, she’s more of the type of person who liked sport.
But she didn’t want to do Quidditch for the rest of her life, even though she could become a beater for England.
“Just wing ‘em, Luce,” Roxy said, giving her a flick on the arm. “They aren’t that bad.”
She scoffed. “Yeah, because Rose and Reese were fine.”
“Hey! I needed to get the best results for Healer School!” Rose said, indignant.
“And I just found out I was pregnant,” I said, “so I had a good enough reason to freak out.”
Lucy looked stumped. “Well then. Are we going to eat now?”
Al shrugged and asked Mrs Weasley, “Nana? Is the food ready?”
She yelled out an affirmative and everyone rushed to outside where the tables were set up.
I however walked a bit slower and James noticed. “Are you okay, Reese?”
I sighed. “Yeah.” James studied my expression for a bit. I tried giving him a smile but I think he saw through it.
“Is this about your parents?”
I nodded and he pulled me into a hug. I held my tears in and said, “It’s just that… I just feel so… I don’t know, unloved? Useless, anything that’s really associated with insignificant I guess. Being hated by your parents does that.”
He pressed a kiss to my forehead and I realised how lucky I was with James. Most guys in his situation would run a mile and leave me homeless and broke, but he let me live with him, dealt with my crazy hormonal mood swings and made me feel better all the time.
I wrapped my arms around his waist and reached up on my tippy toes to give him a kiss. His arms were at the small of my back and I grinned against his lips.
“Oi, stop snogging and come outside. We want food,” Louis interrupted, throwing a pillow at the pair of us. Luckily James caught it.
“Prat,” James retorted.
He ignored the insult. “We’re all starving, come on.” He gestured for us to come out.
James shrugged. “Nah, I’m fine.”
“Well I don’t know about you, but I’m going to eat. See ya!” I said in a bright voice.
Louis grinned as I walked past him. I walked outside and sat down next to Rose. I was in a much better mood. Soon after, Louis and James joined us, and James sat opposite me. He shot me a wink and I grinned.
Rose started chatting to me and I felt so much more at ease. Lucy and Lily joined our conversation and the food was absolutely amazing. I loved Mrs Weasley’s cooking.
After we finished eating, Mrs Weasley brought the cake out and everyone sang happy birthday to me. Looking around at the various redheads, I really felt like I was part of their family.
Honestly? This was probably the best feeling in the world.
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