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Chapter 4: Butterflies
It's so pretty. So, so pretty. And our sea star @TDA. made it.
Previously in Willows and Wood.
"Cat," I interrupted her quietly, "I'm sure I had sex because I'm pregnant."
She stared at me, eyes wide, then fell off her chair.
"Pregnant? As in, pregnant, pregnant?"
I gave a small nod.
"But," she was still on the floor, looking dazed. "Are you keeping it? And since when do you know?"
"I took the test yesterday, my period was a week and a half late. And I don't know," I bit my lip anxiously.
She stared at me curiously. "Shouldn't you be all over yourself crying with the pregnancy hormones and all that shit?"
"Obviously not, I just feel empty. And totally lost. What am I going to do?"
"Okay." She pulled herself back up. "Let's straighten things out a little. Are you absolutely sure it's Oliver's?"
"Are you going to keep it?"
"I don't know. I'm seventeen for crap's sake!"
"Let's put things another way. Do you want to get rid of it?"
"No!" I cried. Cat smiled a bit, and I followed her glance. My hands were instinctively crossed over my stomach.
"Well then, that much is settled. But are you going to tell Oliver?"
"What? No. No way in hell, no! It'll already be traumatising enough for this baby to be the product of a night neither of its genitors remember. On top of everything else it doesn't need to know that the said genitors hate each other, and the proximity Oliver and I have, without us being together, would make it grow up into an adult with severe psychological issues."
"Put that way, yes, I guess it's better for him not to know. But Kiwi, he is the father of that thing growing inside you, and he might want to know..."
"He's not knowing," I growled. "I'm staying away from Oliver Wood until I die. He's also responsible for this fucking situation, and I don't want him as a part of my life anymore."
"But it's too late! You're carrying his baby, Kiwi, he'll always be a part of your life, even though it's not direct. And if the situation is as bad as you present it, then why don't you abort and pretend nothing happened?"
"I don't want to abort! This is also my baby, and I'm not killing it off because I love it already!" I buried my face in my hands. "It's not the current situation that makes me desperate, it's how I got into it and with whom!" I looked back up at her. "Why did it have to be Wood?" I wailed.
She got up, opened a cupboard, pulled out a pack of speculoos, and tossed it over to me. "Eat these and shut up." I did as I was told. "Okay, so we're not telling Oliver. Now listen to me, because this is going to be your cover story. You had a fling, a one-night stand with some guy you met on that weekend with your parents. He's the father. And when the baby will be born, you say it was a bit premature, of about two weeks or so. And nobody will ever know."
"Okay. And that's the version for everyone. Including my Maya, and my parents." Look at what a good daughter I was, lying to my parents so they wouldn't have to see me as a slut who got pregnant when drunk.
Ouch. That just stung my ego. It was kind of true though. Except I wasn't a slut. Just an idiot. A pregnant, lying idiot.
Things quickly got worse. Though I was miraculously spared morning sickness, by the time I was eleven weeks pregnant it was already starting to show. Not much, of course, but for the skinny person that I was, it was too visible. The positive aspect of things was that it was the end of December by now, and I could hide away under thick sweaters and woolly shirts.
Christmas had passed and gone. I had celebrated with my parents, and things were just as they always were, except that I only got one glass of champagne. They had taken the news of my pregnancy surprisingly well. A few questions about the father, a slight look of disapproval, but they had been a huge support. I never had any problems with Christmas anyway.
No, it was New Year's Eve I was worrying about. Because the whole of the Puddlemere United Quidditch team was settling into my flat for the night.
I hadn't spoken to Oliver since the night at the club, fleeing team parties unless I was sure he wouldn't be there. I didn't have the choice this evening.
Cat was under the shower when the doorbell rang. Why hadn't whoever it was Apparated here?
"Coming," I called, wiping my hands on my apron before taking it off. I crossed the room and threw the door open, finding myself face to face with Oliver. Karma's a bitch.
"Hey," he greeted me breathlessly. Damn, he was sexy, snow sparkling off his jacket shoulders, his brown hair tousled and his grey eyes shining. He certainly didn't have the worst genes to transmit. "You look stunning."
I felt myself blush, and self-consciously adjusted my dress. It was more of an oversized t-shirt, gold with sequins sown all over it. It also hid my emerging baby bump perfectly. "Thanks?"
He quickly bent down and pressed his lips to my cheek. "You're welcome."
I stared blankly at him, cheeks flaming. This wasn't supposed to give me the butterflies. "What's with you tonight, Wood?"
"Nothing. So, do you need any help?"
"Nope, all done. And anything left can be done by wand."
"You mean you did all this without magic?" He glanced around the room, where streamers were hung up on the walls and steaming plates of food were waiting on the table.
"With Cat's help, but yes."
I rolled my eyes. "Because."
He just laughed, and I had to grin at him. "Can I get you a drink?" I asked him. I was hit with the memories of the night at the club, when he had bought me a drink and all that ensues. At the reminder of the baby I was carrying, my hands moved towards my stomach instinctively, and it took all my self-control to stop the movement.
"Please. Do you have white wine?"
By the time the glass was in his hand, Cat had come out of her bathroom, and Tim, Benjy and Nicholas had arrived as well.
"Why are you all arriving the Muggle way this evening?" I asked as I pulled the door open again, letting Greg in.
"Decided to this traditionally," he answered as he shook the slush out of his hair. I cringed away playfully, then punched his arm.
"Oi! Cat doesn't help do the cleaning around here!"
If she answered anything, I do not know, because the bell rang again and I had to go open the door.
"Hi Alex, everybody was waiting for you," I Tergeo'd the snow away.
"Well, just like you should," he declared.
I heard a collective snort, followed by Nicholas' mocking voice. "We weren't waiting for you, you arrogant prat, Cat just wouldn't let us touch the food while everybody wasn't here." To prove his point, he tossed a sushi up into the air and swallowed it.
It must have been a signal because the only sounds you heard immediately after that were munch, crunch, slurp. Ugh, Quidditch players.
At the end of the meal, everyone but me scattered around while I sent the remains to the kitchen, and stayed around the table to light a few candles. I didn't acknowledge Oliver's presence until I felt his breath on the side of my face.
I screamed. "Oliver! Do you have to be this close?"
"I'd love to move, but I'm stuck."
"What?" I tried to move aside, but my feet were as good as glued to the floor. Oh, no. My head snapped up, and sure enough, there it was.
Every year, during the Christmas period, magical mistletoe randomly sprout out over my and Cat's heads, disappearing if the pair underneath it kissed or just vanishing in thirty seconds if we were alone, but it had never lasted until the 31st of December before. Just my luck.
For the second time today, I had no choice. But maybe, this time, there was a loophole.
I stood up on my toes and gave Oliver a peck on the cheek. Bloody plant didn't move. Shit. There was no loophole. Only one possibility. And so I kissed him.
It should only have been a brief kiss. It was more than that, though not snogging. He tasted of cinnamon and wine, we were barely touching each other, and broke apart after a minute, but it was enough for me to get the butterflies again. What was wrong with me?
I looked up into his eyes, and he smiled at me. "Oliver, I..."
"You two, get over here," Cat's loud voice broke our bubble from the balcony, "fireworks are starting!"
What had I been going to do? I wasn't sure of it myself, but Cat's intervention had just saved me from saying something dumb.
The fireworks were beautiful, and we watched them like children, eyes wide and hands over our ears.
"I don't understand why they don't set the fireworks off at midnight though," Cat complained when we walked back inside.
"Because," Tim explained patiently for the fourth time, "they want younger kids to be able to watch as well, and kids are in bed at midnight."
"Well, that sucks."
"Oh, come on, we get our own at midnight," I reminded her.
Her eyes lit up at the thought of the magical fireworks that were invisible to Muggles, and she shut up on the subject after that.
Midnight came fast enough, and we all piled up on the balcony again, waiting. The first thing that burst into the sky was a dragon, an Antipodean Opaleye that spat out a jet of flames. The Opaleye was followed by a series of fantastic magical beasts, three quarters of which I don't even know the name. A last jet of silvery sparks erupted, and we all got ready to go back in.
"Wait," Oliver called out. "I think there's something left."
He was right. A phoenix was scratching its way out of what had to be representing ashes, and we watched it grow, then burst into flames.
"I don't think I've ever seen anything like that," I murmured.
"Neither have I," Greg admitted. "It's the first time they take things this far, I wonder who took care of the charms..."
"Countdown's starting!" Nicholas called out. "Ten, nine, eight..."
I closed my eyes. I wish for everything to be fine.
"Two, one... Happy New Year!" We were a flourish of hugging arms and screeching voices. Merlin bless silencing charms.
I heard a loud pop behind me, and saw Benjamin holding a steaming bottle. "Champagne everybody?"
We all sat on the balcony floor, drinking in silence. I watched Cat empty her glass quickly, then exchange with me.
Nicholas was the first to speak. "Any announcements for the coming year?"
"I've got a girlfriend," Benjamin offered with a sly grin.
"You always do," his brother countered. "That doesn't count."
"We're playing against Ioannina League in three months time," Oliver announced. This was followed by a collective exclamation.
"What?" Tim cried. "Why didn't you tell us earlier?"
"They hadn't confirmed before today."
"Ioannina is in Greece," Cat explained to me. "They've got a good team, and if we win we can make it to international competitions next year!"
"Where would we be playing? And when exactly?"
"We're going there, the match is on the fourth of April, so we'll be leaving on the twenty-third of March."
Maya's wedding was planned on the seventeenth march, so Cat would be fine. Oh. And my birthday was on the twenty-first of March. I would be alone. Insert pouting face here.
"Any more breaking news, that could counter what Oliver's just said?"
It was now or never.
There was a dead silence. And then a round of applause. I started breathing again.
"Who's the father?" I heard Alexander ask.
"You don't know him, it was a one-night stand in Belgium." I grinned slightly. "Elegant, isn't it?"
They laughed, and we switched to another subject. Phew. That part was done. Almost.
I say almost because I was cornered by Oliver when I went back inside for chocolate. The others had left already.
"Kim," he closed the door behind us, "why didn't you tell me anything? You're pregnant, and you still let me kiss you under the mistletoe."
"Are you calling me a slut?"
"No. It's just that you should be kissing this baby's father, not me." His grey gaze was unmoving.
Oh, the irony. "I'm not dating my child's father, Oliver, I barely even know what happened that night, and I can kiss whoever I like. I'm pregnant, not getting married. It's not like I was cheating on anyone."
"You don't remember?"
"Vaguely, but it's too late for that anyway. What matters now is that I'm going to be giving birth in a few months, and that I'm going to bring this baby up without his or her dad. And all of you guys will be there so there will be some testosterone around."
He grinned, the slightly lopsided smile I was getting so used to seeing. "True. But that'll force it into becoming a Quidditch player then..."
It was already in this child's genes anyway. "Yes, probably."
We were silent for a moment. "Have you had your first checkup yet?"
"No," I was a bit startled by his question. "It's tomorrow. Today," I remembered it was past midnight already. "Speaking of which, I need to talk to Cat."
"Yes, what about me?" she walked into the room at that moment.
"I've got my first checkup at Saint Mungo's later today. At five"
"What? Why didn't you tell me? I'm not going to be there!"
"I did tell you," I replied indignantly. "Where are you going?"
"Dad's, with Maya and Liam. We're trying to define the basic outline of the wedding. Kiwi, I'm sorry, but I can't back out of this," she looked truly apologetic.
"Shit, shit, shit, what do I do then?" There was no way I was capable of doing this on my own.
"Do you want me to be there?" Oliver asked quietly. My mouth fell. Him?
"If you say no, you're going to be alone," Cat pointed out. She was too helpful, it wasn't normal.
Bloody hell. Her ears were twitching. No way. She couldn't actually be doing this.
"Would you do that?" I turned to Oliver. Cat could go and die, I was never forgiving her.
"If I wasn't serious I wouldn't have asked."
I gave in. "Yes then. Please."
"I'll be seeing you in a few hours then. I'll Apparate here, okay?" I nodded weakly, he turned on his heel and Disapparated.
I immediately whipped round, facing Cat. "You knew I had this appointment! Why didn't you tell Maya you weren't free today?"
"I'm the one who suggested the date."
My jaw hit the floor. "Why?"
"So that I couldn't accompany you."
"Yes, and then?"
"Then Oliver could."
I expected as much, but it was worse hearing it out loud. "Cat, I thought we agreed not to implicate him in the whole situation."
"He's not implicated as your baby's father, he's coming as your friend, to support you. And you know you do want him there as the first of the two options."
As much as I hated to admit it, she was right. But she didn't need to know. "Fine," I threw my arms up in the air with irritation, "and what's he going to say when he realises my pregnancy stage and weekend in Belgium don't correspond?"
"You go to Belgium all the time, at least once a month. He won't ask any questions."
"I hate you."
"I know," she grinned. "It's for your good."
"Shut up. And give me the chocolate." It was the only thing that could make me less nervous than I was.
I should have probably eaten more chocolate because I was as jumpy as Hermione Granger before an exam when Oliver arrived with a pop at ten to five that afternoon.
"Is everything okay?" He watched me anxiously as I paced the room back and forth.
"Right," he caught me by the shoulders. "Go on, talk to me."
"Why would I want to do that?" I tried to get away from him.
"Because that's what I'm here for."
"Oliver Wood, counselling service," I muttered under my breath. He snorted. "I'm not okay because I'm pregnant, scared, alone and fucking seventeen."
"You're not alone. I'm here."
I had to give him that. Not knowing what to say, I shook him off and linked my fingers with his. "You are. Can we go?"
A moment later we were in Saint Mungo's, and I was still holding his hand. I tightened my grip around it as we walked over to the receptionist's desk.
"Yes?" she snapped.
"Kim Willows. I've got an appointment with Healer Weber." I sounded much more confident than I was.
"Wrong ward of the hospital," she didn't even bother to raise her head. "You're looking for the Morgana Ward, use the chimneys."
We did as we were told, and finally got to Ida Weber's office. She was a woman in her mid-forties, with frizzy brown hair streaked with grey and round glasses.
The gel she applied was cold, and I squirmed a bit like the ticklish person I was.
"So," she moved her wand over my stomach, "there are the feet, and that's the head. And there, you've got the little heart beating." The image was appearing in mid-air as she commented. "The foetus seems to be developing normally, I don't see any visible malformations, which should start appearing at this stage. Yes, everything is fine." She vanished the gel and the image shrunk to photo size. She handed it to me. "Now, as you enter your second trimester you're going to start putting on weight. I want you to take note every week, so that when we meet again in six weeks we can see how things are going along."
"That was easy," Oliver smiled at me as we came out. "Show the picture again?"
I handed it to him, and watched his smile grow even wider.
"She's going to be beautiful," he ran his finger along the outline of the baby's face.
"She?" I was surprised.
"Gut instinct. The father must have had good looks."
"You can't even imagine," I teased him. The lies were killing me, but I couldn't back out anymore.
"What, was he as hot as me? That can't be..."
"He was," I answered simply. "But you wouldn't be jealous."
He gave me the picture back, then stuffed his hands into his pockets. "So, where do we go now?"
"You didn't honestly think I was just accompanying you like that, did you? I had no reasons to, I've got no links with you and this baby other than friendly ones, so now you owe me."
"Fine. You decide where we're going."
"Well, there's a new Muggle cake thing a few streets close to Diagon Alley..." He looked at me hopefully.
"Cake it is then," I slipped my arm under his. "Are we walking?"
"Do you feel like it, in your condition?"
"Absolutely. Especially if I'm going to stuff my face with cake."
We walked arm in arm in silence, with an occasional shiver on my part – what was I thinking, wearing only a coat? When my teeth clattered for the sixth time, Oliver sighed, untied his scarf and wrapped it around my neck.
"Thanks," I whispered. The proximity with him made me nervous. "Will you be okay?"
He nodded. "I'm never cold."
"Neither am I, normally. I have polar bear blood."
We finally got to Oliver's cake shop, cheeks and noses red. He pushed the door open for me, and I sniffed the warm air appreciatively.
"Go and sit down, I'll go see if we can still order at this time," he pushed me towards the nearest table.
Great. It was a small, enclosed booth. Our knees would certainly be touching.
No, that didn't make me happy.
Okay, maybe it did. In any case the thought gave me those bloody butterflies once more. But only a little. Did that make me happy? I wasn't sure.
I sat down, restlessly drumming my fingers on the wooden surface of the table. Oliver came back, sliding into the seat next to mine. "Someone will be coming to take our order soon."
I was wrong, our knees were not touching. We were hip to hip, shoulder to shoulder. It wasn't butterflies anymore, it was magical fireworks.
A leggy blonde sauntered over to our table before I could say anything. "Hey, I'm Liz, and I'll be your waitress today. What can I get you?" She was looking only at Oliver, smiling flirtatiously, twirling her hair around her finger, and I felt my stomach tighten.
"Is a huge plate with a sampling of every kind of cake okay for you?" he turned to me. I nodded, not looking at him. "There's your answer, then," he waved Liz off without further ceremony. She left, swinging her ass with every step, while I scrunched up my nose in disgust.
"What's wrong with you?" Oliver nudged me.
"Nothing's wrong with me, I'm fine," I hissed.
A huge smile lit his face up. "You are jealous."
"I'm not," I grumbled.
"Yeah, yeah, whatever you say." Sodding git.
Liz was making her way back with a huge tray, and was it just me or had she hitched her skirt up higher on her thighs? Whore. Sorry, language, I know.
I rested my head on Oliver's shoulder, and felt him shake with silent laughter. What? I was tired.
As Liz got within hearing length, Oliver stopped laughing, and I heard him speak up, a little louder than necessary. "Can I see the ultrasound again?"
It was my turn to stifle a laugh. "Here," I pulled it out of my pocket.
Looking very pissed, Liz dropped the tray on our table without a word, and left. I'm pretty sure I saw her pull her skirt down on the way back to the counter.
"Better now?" Oliver teased me.
I buried my face into his arm. "Oh, shut up. And eat your cake."
"You should eat some too, it's delicious."
I looked at the plates. "I would, but there's no fork. And I don't fancy seeing Liz around anymore, thank you very much."
"You idiot. Here," he handed me the fork he was holding, "or you could just eat with your fingers."
"I'll take that, thanks," I took the fork from him and popped a piece of chocolate (obviously) cake into my mouth.
"This is going to be practical," he watched me as I took another piece.
"Couldn't we just duplicate it?"
"Too many Muggles. Doesn't matter, just give me some cake."
I stared at him disbelievingly. "I'm not feeding you, Wood."
"If I take that fork again I'm keeping it."
I narrowed my eyes at him. "I hate you."
"I know. And I love cake."
I burst out laughing, piled a huge piece of cake on the fork and stuffed it into his mouth without further preamble. "You're an idiot."
He nodded, incapable of talking, and I laughed even harder.
We stayed for almost two hours in that tiny booth, talking and sharing cake, before walking home.
I meant back to my flat. It wasn't our home.
He accompanied back me up to the door, and we stood there awkwardly, facing each other.
"Thanks for everything," I put my hand up to his cheek.
He turned his head a bit, kissing my fingers. "You're welcome."
Maybe I didn't hate Oliver Wood as much as I pretended to.
A/N: I'm sorry it has taken so long to update, it has been a hectic few weeks. But here I am, and here are Cat, and Kiwi, and Oliver.
Speaking of which: they kissed! Anybody else had a squee moment?
AND OH MY MERLIN! Kiwi and introspection about Oliver! It must be the hormones...
More Kiwood in the next chapter, I promise.
Ah, about that. I have never been pregnant in my life, and the next chapter is going to jump a few months just so that I spare you (and myself) a terrible description of pregnancies. But it will be good. Hopefully.
Will you be there? Will you leave this chapter a review? Has anyone ever tried speculoos? They're belgian biscuits, and if you've never tasted you're missing out on something.
You are all so wonderful, and I will never say it enough.
THANK YOU :)