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Chapter 20: Unexpected
“D’you wanna go out for lunch?” James asked me, staring into the empty pantry.
I shrugged. “Sure, why not?” He grinned at me and I pulled myself off the couch. I had gotten so much larger in the past few weeks and although it was probably the least stressful part (I mean, I had stopped peeing every five seconds and I only threw up if someone shoved fish right under my nose so that bit was okay) and I could still walk without waddling. Although it had been getting harder and I was struggling a tiny bit.
And I had just entered the third trimester which was just a teensy bit terrifying.
Okay, it was so fucking scary that I could hardly comprehend it. I was about 28 weeks and although that didn’t sound very far along but in a mere twelve weeks I would have a child. Like, a living and breathing and eating and pooping baby that I would have to watch 24/7.
Not terrifying at all.
So James and I walked to a Wizarding restaurant and sat down before I said the thing that had been on my mind for weeks, “James, should we start thinking of names?”
He looked at me in surprise. “I completely forgot about that. I’ve just been so focused on you being pregnant; I think I forgot what comes after it.” He laughed and I grinned at him.
“Well the thing that comes after it is a pretty life-changing thing. You can’t really ‘forget’ about it.”
“I might want to,” he said lightly.
I narrowed my eyes. “What’s that supposed to mean?!”
His eyes widened. “Nothing! I was just trying to make a joke.” I glared at him and he sighed. “Reese, it honestly meant nothing. Okay?”
I nodded but before I could say anything, a waiter came to our table, asking brightly, “Did you guys want to order now?”
I smiled at him and said, “Yes please, I’ll have a Caesar salad thanks.”
He beamed at me and said, “It’s absolutely delicious! Good choice!” He scribbled down the order and asked James, “And you? What did you want to eat?”
“Uhm, I’ll just have a burger thanks,” he mumbled.
The guy beamed at him and recited our orders and then he looked at James. “You look awfully familiar. Do I know you?”
James winked at me and I looked at him confusedly. He then turned to the guy and asked seriously, “Do you watch porn?”
I clapped a hand to my mouth, trying to stifle my laughter as the poor guy went bright red. What would possess James to say such a thing?! Then James started laughing, “Nah. I’m just messing with you. I play for the Chudley Cannons.”
“Ah! You’re James Potter! And is this your girlfriend?” he asked, putting a hand on my shoulder.
“Yeah I am,” I said, feeling embarrassed.
He said, “Well aren’t you pretty?! If I wasn’t married I’d snatch you up in an instant!” He laughed and turned to James. “Hold on to her tight! You don’t want this one to go missing!” He winked and said, “I’ll give your orders to the chef. It shouldn’t take too long.” He walked off and James looked at me with a grin.
“I thought he was gay,” James said, laughing.
I grinned and then asked, “Do you usually say things like that if people don’t recognise you at first?”
He grinned. “I change it every now and then. It gets fun. Al and I used to have competitions of who could come up with the weirdest ones.”
“Who won?” I asked curiously.
He grunted, “Al. I keep trying to think of a new one but I can’t beat it.”
I stared at him for a bit and when he didn’t say anything, I prodded, “What was it then?”
“He convinced someone that he was the ghost of their son and that only they could see him. It was pretty good; it lasted for about ten minutes as he spouted some crap about how life was in Heaven. Then Mum came and ruined it, the people were so embarrassed.” He laughed and I shook my head, but I was still laughing.
He was about to say something but our food arrived. We thanked the waiter and started eating. He was definitely right, the salad was delicious. James and I didn’t really talk as we ate, but I was aware of someone watching us.
I tried to look behind me surreptitiously and met a girl’s eyes. She quickly looked down at her soup, looking far away from me. She looked oddly familiar but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I felt like we had a bad association though, judging by my immediate decision to scowl when I saw her.
I finally finished my salad and then rested my hands on my stomach, feeling the baby kick. I watched James finish his burger and then he asked, “Do you wanna get out of here?”
I nodded and pulled myself out of the chair. James left a couple of galleons on the table and we walked out together. He held the door open for me and when I walked out I was blinded by the glare and a strange flash. I raised my hands over my eyes and James laughed.
“What are you laughing at?” I grumbled.
“You. You have one eye closed and the other half-closed with your nose scrunched up.” He gave me a grin and I scowled at him. “Come on, Reese. You still look beautiful.”
I grinned. “That’s better.” He pulled me in close for a kiss and I grinned against his lips. “I love you.”
“Love you, too. Now let’s go home.” I nodded and pulled away, although I kept holding his hand. We jumped into a taxi and sat in a comfortable silence.
We finally arrived and James helped me out, quickly throwing the driver a few pounds. “So, James, should we start thinking of names or something soon?” I asked once the driver drove away.
“Oh, yeah. Sure. Er, how will we do it?” he asked, looking down at me with half a smile. We made our way to the entrance of the complex.
I shrugged. “Compose a list of all the names you like – for both boys and girls – and then we go through them all together?” I asked.
“Sounds good.” He opened the door of the building for me and then pressed the button for the elevator which hardly ever worked but we still had hope.
We waited for the elevator and then just as the doors opened (which rarely ever happened), we heard a squeal, “JAMES!”
We both turned around and saw Roxy running towards us. She gripped James in a bear-hug and he stumbled supporting her weight. She said, “My coach just told me the good news! You’re gonna be a Tornado!” He laughed and put her down.
“I know! Finally, right?! But let’s get in the elevator before it closes,” he said just as the elevator doors closed. Guess we’d have to take the stairs now.
Roxy laughed. “Oops?”
“I have a list,” I announced a few days later. “Did you want to read mine and I’ll read yours?” I asked James.
He looked at me blankly and I clarified, “Names? You know, for our unborn child?”
“Ah yes.” He nodded in understanding. “I’ll get it now.”
I smiled at him and settled in the couch, rubbing my belly. He came out from the bedroom and gave me his parchment while I gave him mine. He settled himself opposite me and had a quill to scratch out the bad choices.
I started reading and crossed off the ones I didn’t like. I put a star next to the ones that I really liked and then just left the okay-ish ones plain. After a few minutes James looked at me expectantly and asked, “Have you finished?”
I snorted and muttered, “That’s what she said.” James rolled his eyes but laughed anyway. “But yeah, I have.” We switched back and I looked down at the ones he’d crossed out. “Why’d you cross out Tamara?” I asked. I actually really liked that name.
He made a face. “I don’t really like that name. How come you crossed off Scott?”
This time it was me who made a face. “Well, it doesn’t really go with Potter, does it?”
James’ jaw dropped. “What? The kid’s gonna have my last name?” he asked incredulously. As if I wouldn’t give it his name. I hated my last name. It constantly reminded me that I was unfortunately related to my crappy parents.
I smiled. “Of course. Rizzo is a shitty last name, isn’t it?” He beamed at me and I was so glad that it made him happy. I was a lot to handle, and I knew that, but I just wanted some way of repaying him.
Obviously this wasn’t all of the repayment, but it was a start.
He said seriously, “Reese, are you sure?” Although I could tell he was trying not to let a massive smile take all over his face. He just looked like he didn’t want to believe it.
I nodded. “Of course I’m sure. I want our kid to have your last name.” I smiled and his mouth cracked into a grin. His eyes twinkled and I was so glad this decision had made him this happy. It never really occurred to me to give the kid my last name, mostly because I didn’t want it to have proof that it was related to my parents.
“Thank you,” he said gratefully. He came around and kissed me, tangling his fingers in my hair. I responded enthusiastically and soon enough, my chipped varnish was purple again.
I was lying in the bed as I read the revised version of James and I’s name list.
Brandon – boy
Arianne – girl
Andrew – boy
Kaitlyn – girl
Zara – girl
Alex – boy
Mason – boy
Hayden – boy
Skyla – girl
Luke – boy
Sasha – girl
Sydnee – girl
Jasper – boy
Ryan – boy
Lena – girl
I stared at them for a while but none of them really called out to me. I liked Ryan as a boy name and I was ninety-four per cent (the other six per cent was just me saving space in case another more awesome name came up, although I doubted that would happen because I loved the name Ryan so much) sure that if I was to have a boy I’d call him Ryan.
Zara was quite nice but once I had said it a few times I got sick of it. I said each name a few times, for both boys and girls.
I decided definitely on Ryan, but I wasn’t too sure for the girls. I said them a few times until one caught my eye.
Yes. Sasha for a girl and Ryan for a boy. Those names were perfect. Sasha Potter, Ryan Potter – it was a perfect fit.
“James!” I yelped. He came running in with wide eyes. His shirt was off as he was just about to have a shower. Oh well, this was more important than a bloody shower.
“What?!” he asked worriedly, rushing to my side.
“I’ve found the perfect names!” I said excitedly. I grinned and waved the parchment around. In the corner of my eye, I noticed Lionel was sitting in James’ pyjama draw. I didn’t say anything though.
He visibly relaxed and sighed. “What are they then?”
I grinned and said, “For the boy, Ryan.” I watched James think it over and then he smiled.
“Yeah, that’s… perfect. It fits really well. Ryan Potter.” He looked ready to burst with happiness. I could tell that he wasn’t just saying it to save an argument, which I was thankful for. “What about the girl name?” he asked, looking at the parchment curiously.
I could barely contain my excitement. “Sasha!”
He grinned and said, “That was one of my names! It was one of my favourites as well, you really like it?” I nodded and crawled over to give him a hug.
“Definitely. But you definitely like those names?” I asked. He nodded and I relaxed, leaning back. “That’s good then, we’ll decide middle names later?”
“Yeah, sure whatever you want,” he said, going back to the bathroom. “Can I have my shower now?” I nodded and he gave me a quick kiss before ducking out of the room.
I was thinking we should give the middle name from someone we know. My first thought was Ginny and Harry of course, because they had done so much for me.
But Ryan Harry Potter didn’t sound good at all. Sasha Ginevra Potter sounded okay. Unless the kid didn’t have a middle name. I mean, was it really necessary?
I guess I should talk to James about it, considering he’s the father and all. I looked at the list again and thought about middle names.
Ryan Brandon Potter, Ryan Andrew Potter, Ryan Alex Potter, Ryan Mason Potter, Ryan Hayden Potter, Ryan Luke Potter, Ryan Jasper Potter, Sasha Arianne Potter, Sasha Kaitlyn Potter, Sasha Zara Potter, Sasha Skyla Potter, Sasha Sydnee Potter, Sasha Lena Potter.
They all sucked. I think if it was a girl, Sasha Ginevra Potter would be nice. It had a nice ring to it. Ryan Harrison Potter sounded pretty good as well, and it was kind of like Harry.
I was thinking about it when my phone rang. I picked it up and looked at the screen where Blake’s name was flashing. I answered it and lifted it to my ear.
“Hey,” I said, putting the list on the bedside table. “What’s up?”
“Erm, quite a big thing actually. You know how our wedding is on the 23rd?” he said frustratedly.
“Well, yes.” I’d gone flower shopping with Zoe a few weeks back and she was practically weeing her pants from excitement and nerves.
He huffed. “Well the fuckers have organised it for the 23rd of December, not November.” I didn’t know how these things happened but of course it would have happened to my brother. He always had odd things happening to him, honestly. He had the worst luck ever.
“WHAT?!” I shrieked. “That’s Christmas Eve Eve!” There was no way I could be a bridesmaid by then. I would be a month away from popping. Literally.
“I know! Zoe was furious, she yelled at the girl for three hours straight. So it’s this big dramatic thing and they can’t change it so it’s going to be in December.”
My jaw dropped. I was definitely not going to be a bridesmaid then. I would have to tell Blake that. I’d probably just cause more stress. As if he and Zoe needed more stress but I needed to tell them. I took a deep breath and said, “Blake, if it’s going to be in December—”
He cut me off, “I know, I know. You won’t be able to be a bridesmaid. I guessed as much.” Oh thank god. Thank goodness my brother had a bit of sense. He must have known that I was already hesitant at being a bridesmaid when seven months pregnant, let alone eight months.
He continued, “I told Zoe that and she had a back-up cousin in case you couldn’t do it or someone else got sick or something. So now she’s going to have to be a bridesmaid. But look, I really have to go and I need to see you soon. I haven’t seen you in weeks.” I could hear how tight his voice sounded and I could practically hear his wrinkles appearing out of nowhere. He’d get grey hairs before he knew it if he didn’t relax soon.
“Okay then, I’ll come over whenever suits you,” I said to try and stop him from becoming old too fast. “I’ll help you organise everything if you want, I just sit at home doing nothing, I may as well at least do something,” I offered, running a hand through my hair. Wedding things were stressful. Thank goodness I wasn’t the one getting married.
“Really?” he asked hesitantly. “That would be great, Larry. Do you want to come round tomorrow?”
“Yeah, sure. See you soon!” I said.
“Thanks, I’ll see you tomorrow then. Come whatever time suits you. I’ve got the day off and I have to stay at home because of the organising things that I won’t burden you with. See you.” Then he clicked off and I looked at the phone in shock.
Well, that was unexpected.
See this was why people should never get married. People get stressed and yell at other people for three hours straight.
I sighed and went back to the list. Ryan Harrison Potter sounded okay-ish. But Sasha Ginevra Potter could be the perfect name.
I really hope James liked those names. But I think he would because it was after his parents. And people hardly use middle names anymore. And plus, it just made it look that more posh.
Lionel came running up to me and then he jumped up, snuggling up against me. I pat his fur, closing my eyes. I just wanted a nap. I didn’t want to do anything except sleep for the time being.
I closed my eyes and then I heard a knock at the door. James was still in the shower so it would have to be me who got up. I grumbled and heaved myself off the bed, walking towards the door. I yawned just as I arrived at the door and ran my hands over my face. I quickly brushed my hair into a quick ponytail so I didn’t look like a complete mess before answering the door. I didn’t want people to think I was homeless.
I opened the door and stared at the man in front of the door. He had receding brown-grey hair, dark grey stubble over his chin, green eyes. He was wearing a faded blue jumper that all old men seemed to have for some reason. He had also combined that with dark jeans and trainers.
The man smiled nervously and said, “Hey, Larry.”
It was my father.