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Chapter 17: Serious
“Reese! I have to leave like RIGHT NOW!” James shouted. I was spinning a letter in my hands and had just opened it to read ‘Miss Rizzo’ before James was shouting at me to hurry up. I got the letter when James was still asleep this morning. I hadn’t told him about it yet, mainly because of the rush he was in.
I stuffed the letter into my bra (as I had no pockets) and hurried out the room. “Sorry! Sorry! Have a great time and good luck!” I grinned and gave him a hug and he quickly hugged me back.
“What were you doing?” he asked curiously.
I waved a nonchalant hand. “Eh, nothing exciting really. Just trying to see if I can still fit in any clothes,” I lied. Technically I wasn’t lying though because I’d only read the first line of the letter.
He nodded and bent down to kiss me. “You’ll be fine, right?”
I rolled my eyes. “Of course, I’m not totally incapable,” I huffed.
He grinned. “Just call Mum or Nana if you need to cook something, I don’t fancy getting back and seeing you starved.” He over exaggerated so much sometimes. I could survive on my own.
“I can cook!” I said stubbornly. He shook his head and I gave him a hug. “Be careful, though.”
He rolled his eyes. “Yeah, I’ll listen to that,” he said sarcastically. I poked the side of him and he jerked out of my grip. “Mean.” I shrugged and he said, “Alright, I really have to go now. Take care of yourself.” He placed a hand on my stomach, looking at me seriously.
I shook my head in mock exasperation but then cracked a grin. “I will. Don’t you worry about me. Just try and win.”
He laughed. “Of course we won’t you know that.” I rolled my eyes and reached up to give him a kiss.
“I love you,” I mumbled.
He wrapped his arms around my waist and said, “I love you too. Bye.”
He gave me one last kiss before Apparating away. After he disappeared, I fidgeted, not knowing what to do. I looked around the room and Lionel meowed. “I’m not reading it, Lionel. I don’t want to know.” He meowed again and I shook my head stubbornly. He then weaved between my legs and I said, “Still not reading it!”
He started to purr and I shook my head. I was not going to read that letter.
Then the baby kicked me sharply. I bet they were conspiring against me.
“Okay, okay,” I snapped. “I’ll read the damn letter,” I grumbled. I sat down on the couch and he sat next to me, resting his head on my legs, looking up at me eagerly. The baby also kicked me in excitement.
We would like to thank you for applying for the job but we have unfortunately decided to give the position to another applicant.
We wish you the best of luck in your future career options.
My heart sunk. I had an inkling I wouldn’t get the job but it still stung a bit. I picked up Lionel, giving him a cuddle and he licked my face a couple of times. After a nice long snuggle with him, I decided I wouldn’t sit here and do nothing, I needed to do something otherwise I’d go insane.
Only joking. I already was insane.
Hauling myself up from the couch (it was starting to get a lot harder now – I didn’t like it one bit), I grabbed my bag and Flooed to the Ginny and Harry’s.
When I flew out of the fireplace, there seemed to be no one at home. I said tentatively, “Hello?”
Ginny popped her head in from the kitchen and said brightly, “Hello, Reese! Wasn’t expecting you today!”
I smiled. “Yeah, sorry for the random pop in, James just left, and everyone else is at work. Are you busy?”
She shook her head. “Not at all, do you want a drink?”
I nodded and followed her into the kitchen. “That’d be great thanks. Just a water will be fine.” She nodded and pulled out a glass of water for me.
“Did you want to talk about anything, you look worried?” She sat down opposite me and I nodded again.
“Yeah, I just found out I didn’t get that job.” Her face softened and I shrugged. “I knew I wouldn’t get it, but it’s still frustrating.” I took a sip of the water.
She leaned over and gripped my hand. “Reese, you know Harry and I will always be here to support you. You don’t need to get a job right now, you just need to relax and not stress yourself out.”
I sighed. “I know, I know. I just get so bored of doing the same thing over and over again.”
Ginny said, “I understand. I get it, but I hate to break it to you, after the baby comes you’re going to be at home a lot more. This sounds horrible but you just have to get used to it, sweetheart.”
I laughed and said, “Yeah, yeah. I know. But being at home makes my head go in circles.” She laughed and I fidgeted nervously.
“Is there something else you’d like to talk about?” she said shrewdly.
I picked at the grey varnish. “Well… I was reading something about postnatal depression and…”
“And you want to know if you’d be more susceptible to it?” she guessed. I nodded and she said, “Reese, so many mothers get postnatal depression, you might have more of a chance but it’s generally heredity.”
I took a drink out of my glass. “I don’t know whether or not my mum had it, but I think she may have. She always tended to resent me…”
Ginny gave me a consoling smile and asked, “Have you told James that you suffered from depression?”
I looked down and quietly said, “No I haven’t. I mean the potions and anti-depressants and therapy worked pretty well, and I’ve been pretty good for the past year. I just thought I wouldn’t need to discuss it.”
Ginny gave me a look that clearly told me she knew the real reason I hadn’t said anything to James. I sighed and gave in, “Okay it’s because I was scared. I just—” I broke off, not too sure if I should be discussing this with James’ mother.
“Just what?” she asked curiously.
I hesitated and then decided to just tell her. “What if he thinks it’s all too much and, I dunno…”
Ginny leant forward. “Reese, even if he does think it’s all too much, he won’t disappear. He might for a few days but he would come back. I’m not saying this because I’m his mother and I feel the need to defend him, but because I am his mother, I know him like the back of my hand and he wouldn’t do that.”
“But, the thing is. I’ve never told anyone, not even my brother. He just found out through a letter from the school. And I hardly ever talk about it with him, anyway. I only told Rose because well, she was the one who found me.”
Ginny nodded as I continued, “And well then Ron and Hermione had to know, and basically all of you knew, but I never really told you.”
She was about to say something but I cut her off, “And I’m scared that if I do get postnatal depression I’ll do something horrible to me or the baby! What if I just leave it crying or something?! I’m not emotionally stable enough to look after something as big as this!” I ran my hands through my (now straight) hair.
“Reese, look at me. Even if you do get postnatal depression, we won’t let anything happen to you.”
I said hysterically, “How do you know that?! How will you know how to help?!”
Ginny came over to my side and put her hands on my shoulders. “Reese, someone in this family suffered from it, we all understand how it works. I won’t say who, but she went through it and we all supported her.”
I blinked. “Really?” She nodded and I muttered, “I’m sorry for freaking out. I’m just so nervous.”
She smiled and rubbed my shoulders. “That’s perfectly normal. Do you really think any of us were perfectly fine? Just ask my mum how many times I called her crying that I’d be a horrible mum.” I laughed and she smiled gently at me. “You’ll be fine, Reese. You’ll be fine.”
I really hoped so.
After a long chat with Ginny I hauled myself to Mungos for a quick check-up. She offered to come with me but I declined. I’d already been such a burden having a minor panic attack and all.
Everything went smoothly and when I left the little room, I walked around, looking for Rose. I knew she was working today otherwise I would have gone to hers and had a panic attack rather than Ginny’s.
I knew where Rose usually worked, I think it was called the Dai Llewellyn ward but when I looked she wasn’t there. I asked the other healers and they said she might be on her lunch break, but they didn’t know either.
I frowned and looked in the hospital café. I still couldn’t find her so I decided to leave. I’d catch up with her later.
As I was walked past an office of some sort, I heard sobbing. The baby kicked me and it was like it was telling me to do something instead of leaving like I was planning to. I hovered near the door for a little bit but as I took a step away, the baby kicked me harder than it had ever done before. I frowned at my stomach but walked towards the door again.
I knocked tentatively and asked, “Are you okay?”
The person sniffled and stuttered, “Y-yes, I a-am.” I knew that voice. It sounded like…
I opened the door and said incredulously, “Rose?”
She dabbed her eyes and choked out a, “Reese?” I wrapped her in a hug and asked her what was wrong. She avoided my eyes but after a few pokes and prods she sat me down and started talking.
“Well, you know how I’ve always had problems with my period?” I nodded and she bit her lip, looking like she was about to cry again. “I saw my healer and asked her and she told me that I’d probably never be able to have children.” Her voice cracked on the last half and I reached out and squeezed her tightly.
“Oh, Rose,” I said softly, stroking her hair. “It’ll be okay.” She buried her head in my shoulder and sobbed. I held her, not really believing it. Healers had warned her that she might not be able to have children, but it was always an uncertainty. I was sure that it wouldn’t happen, because that just didn’t happen to people. You only hear random stories on brochures or books, not believing that it actually happened to people you love.
She let out a heart-wrenching sob, and I squeezed my arms around her, in shock.
Then it finally hit me.
Rose would never have children.
It hit me with a blow and immediately, I felt terrible. I’d always maintained that I’d never have kids (because I knew I wouldn’t be able to handle it) but Rose always said she wanted to have kids, she wanted at least three.
It was unfair, how I – a dumb slut with a whole lot of issues and had a one night stand – was having a baby but Rose – a girl who’d had a boyfriend for about three years and was completely… well, relatively normal – would never be able to have them.
She sniffled and I tightened my grip on her and said, “Well, I don’t know what I can do, but we can kinda share this baby. You can be the godmother and we’ll share it.”
She looked up at me, her eyes red. “R-really?” she hiccupped.
I nodded and said, “Of course, Rose. You’ve always been there for me. Now I want be there for you.”
She gave me a watery smile and I wrapped her in a hug again. She cried and I just held her, not saying anything, silently letting her know that I’d be here for her, supporting her.
We stayed like that for a few minutes and then she pulled back, wiping at her eyes. “My boss said I could go home, so I think I’ll do that.”
I nodded and got up off the chair. “Come on then, I’ll keep you company.” She smiled at me and took a deep breath.
“You can go ahead, I’ll just tell the others.” I nodded and she gave me a little wave before dashing out the door.
I put my hands to my face and thought about what was happening. I knew Rose had all these problems, but I just thought it could be fixed magically. I didn’t realise it was so serious – it was insane as to what was happening.
It just wasn’t allowed to happen.
Rose was one of the nicest people you could ever meet. She was clever, mischievous and one of the greatest friends anyone could ever have. She shouldn’t be the one that had to suffer with something like this.
When Rose had finally arrived at her house, I had already made some cookies to try and make her feel better. The kid was practically dancing in excitement in my stomach. I didn’t tell Rose though; it wouldn’t be wise at the moment.
“Reese, you didn’t have to do that!” she said, giving me a thankful smile.
I waved it off. “Of course I did.” I sat down and she sat opposite me, taking a bite out of the cookie. “They’re okay? No food poisoning?” I asked.
She laughed. “No, they’re fine.” She chewed silently and her expression dropped.
“Did you—” My voice caught and I cleared it, and started again, “Did you want to talk about it?” I asked gently.
She put the cookie down and shrugged. “I don’t know. I mean, I knew had all this crap going on but I didn’t think it would happen to me. It’s one of those ‘That’s never going to happen’ situations…”
I nodded and she said quietly, “It’s called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Or PCOS for short. I’ve researched it, both magical and Muggle, and I don’t think there’s a cure.” She took a deep breath and I gripped her hand, just wanting to be there for her.
“It’ll be okay, Rose,” I said, “there’s always other ways around it.”
She nodded sadly. “I know, I know. But it won’t be the same, y’know?” I nodded and she rubbed her eyes. “It’s just, why did it have to happen to me?”
“I don’t know why. It shouldn’t have happened to you, you’re one of the best people I know,” I said honestly.
She blushed and shook her head. “No, seriously!” I insisted, “You’re just full of goodness and you’re so special, you shouldn’t be the one going through this.”
Her eyes welled up and she said, “Thank you, Reese.” I smiled at her and she said, “I think I’m gonna call Mum though. She’s constantly worrying about this. I need to talk to her about it.”
I laughed and said, “Did you want me to go? I can leave you two—”
She interrupted me, “No, no! Stay! Mum won’t mind, she won’t mind at all!” I nodded and she stood up to go call Hermione.
I leant back and rested my hands on my overlarge stomach, feeling the baby kick. Rose would never have this feeling, she wouldn’t ever get the moment of euphoria when you feel your baby kick, the one that you made.
Yeah, my baby was a by-product of a drunken one night stand but did that mean I loved it any less?
No it didn’t.
And even though I always maintained that I’d never have children because I was too screwed up, that didn’t make me love my baby any less. If anything, it made me love and appreciate it just that much more because if I really wasn’t ever meant to be a mother, I wouldn’t have gotten pregnant. There would have been something out there that would have prevented from this little thing from happening.
Yes, it threw my whole plan out of whack, but honestly? I was quite happy with that. I’d seen Colleen work as an Obliviator and that probably would have been my life. Being crazy busy and exhausted. Although I was exhausted all the time, I wasn’t sure I could handle all that running around and stress. After the baby is born, I would probably like to work in a quiet place where I could have flexibility. From what I’d observed and read about, being a mother was a full time job.
And even though my parents refused to talk to me about the whole thing, I didn’t give a damn. If they didn’t want to see their first grandchild it was their loss. This baby was the most important thing in my life at the moment, and I wasn’t going to allow my arsehole parents to hurt him or her.
Additionally, I’d spent far too long trying to get them to talk to me, it wasn’t my responsibility anymore. I should have accepted long ago the fact remained that they never wanted anything to do with me or my magic.
And although I didn’t get the job, and money would probably be tight, I could deal with it. I wasn’t completely alone. I had James. I had Ginny and Harry. I had so many people backing me up. I’d just never seen it before.
Yeah, okay I didn’t have the greatest life right now, but it could be so much worse and if I didn’t have James, it probably would be a lot worse.
And right at this moment, I could probably tackle anything that came at me.
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